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Thread: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

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    Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    Lesson 1: Hiragana あ-お

    Lesson filepack: http://www.aragami.org/japanese/Japa...ic_Lesson1.zip
    Quiz: Japanese Lesson #1 - Quiz
    Master Thread: Free Weekly Japanese Lessons

    Material covered in this lesson
    -------------------------------
    1. Introduction to the Japanese writing system
    2. about hiragana
    3. vowels - あ い う え お
    4. basic vocabulary/pronunciation


    1. Introduction to the Japanese Writing System

    The Japanese writing system is made up of three different kinds of characters: hiragana, katakana and kanji. Each writing system has different uses and all three must be mastered in order to read and write properly in Japanese.

    Here is an example of a typical sentence using all three character sets:


    私はアメリカ人です。
    (trans. I am an American)


    *Please note that Japanese does not include any spacing between words.


    Let's break that sentence down into it's parts:

    私(kanji) は(hiragana) アメリカ(katakana) 人(kanji) です(hiragana)。

    In this sentence, hiragana is used to denote grammatical elements. Katakana is used to write a loanword from another language ("America"). Kanji is used to represent the noun "I" and the "person" which makes up "American".

    Don't worry about the specifics for now, we'll go into each in detail later on... just be aware that each element has a specific use and that all three need to be combined in order to make proper sentences.

    Japanese can also be written in the roman alphabet.

    ex. watashi ha amerikajin desu.

    This is called "romaji" and is used when communicating Japanese to foreigners who do not yet know how to read or write in Japanese scripts. It is also used to write Japanese place names/titles in English-language signage or documents.

    .-----------------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Things to Keep in Mind
    |
    | - Japanese is typically written and read vertically from right to
    | left. Letters, novels and magazines are almost always in this
    | format. As a result: Japanese books open on the opposite side.
    |
    | - Japanese can also written from left to right, horizontally in the
    | Western style... this style is usually adopted for business
    | documents, school notes, blackboard writing, and anything
    | written on or by a computer.
    .----------------------------------------------------------------------.

    Excersizes:

    - define the following ~ "romaji"



    2. About Hiragana

    Hiragana (ひらがな) is the first character set that Japanese children learn both at home and at school. It's often used to write words when the appropriate kanji isn't known by the writer or reader. Since young children know very few (if any) kanji, books and media for small children are often written in nothing but hiragana.

    Comic books and novels aimed at elementary or junior high aged students almost always include "furigana", hiragana in small print over any words written in kanji.

    Hiragana is also used to communicate words for which there is no kanji at all. New words, slang, or words for which the kanji has become obselete or is especially difficult are often written in hiragana. Parts of grammar (for example, particles) are written in hiragana as well.

    Hiragana is a syllabary. Each character represents a sound or set of sounds which, together, form a complete syllable. Unlike the English alphabet, the pronunciation does not change radically according to placement. That means hiragana will always sound more or less the same, no matter where they occur in a sentence or word.

    There are 109 syllables represented by hiragana, though two of them are no longer used in modern Japanese.

    Excersizes:

    - define the following ~ "hiragana", "syllabary", "furigana"



    3. Vowels

    Japanese has five vowels. Most syllables pronounced in Japanese contain a vowel sound, so proper pronunciation is vital. The vowels are as follows:

    あ - a - as in father
    い - i - as in eat
    う - u - as in zoo
    え - e - as in end
    お - o - as in Ohio

    The order is important! Dictionaries, store racks and telephone directories are organized in alphabetical order beginning with a, i, u, e, and o.

    Now it's time to learn your first set of hiragana. Before you do, please keep the following in mind when writing Japanese:

    - Stroke order and number (the order and number of lines written to make up a character) is important! Characters should be memorized with the proper stroke order if at all possible... Stroke number and order are vital to proper dictionary use, passing kanji proficiency exams, and doing calligraphy.

    -characters should be written with a properly held pencil and good posture (see handout1.jpg for details)


    Excersizes:

    - worksheet 1 and 2 (line tracing)
    - worksheets 3-5 (hiragana あ-お)


    4. Basic Vocabulary

    This week's vocabulary list consists entirely of words that can be constructed from the five vowel hiragana.

    あい - ai - love (noun)
    おい - oi - hey! (exclamation)
    いえ - ie - house (noun)
    うえ - ue - up, above (noun)
    あお - ao - blue (noun)

    Excersizes:

    - pronunciation drills with the sound files included in this pack
    - write each word 5 times in hiragana



    Recommended Study Regimen:
    ----------------------------

    Day 1: read the lesson and complete all activities
    Day 2-5: repeat worksheets 3-5 and pronunciation drills
    Day 6: test yourself with flashcards, review for quiz
    Day 7: Quiz


    Fun Semi-Relevant Media of the Week:
    Only a few dozen more kana until you can sing this pretty song ~ YouTube - あいうえおã&#1 87;しさま
    MILFs worldwide want you to learn! ~ YouTube - AIUEO(Japanese ABC) Song
    if babies can do it, so can you ~ YouTube - 賢の「あ&#2 27;„うえお」
    Last edited by tsurara; Nov 16, 2007 at 06:14 PM.

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    I'm all ears. Hassun has disabled reputation
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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    I encourage everyone who's interested in Japanese to give this a try. It's very easy to learn hiragana and katakana.



    P.S. That aiueo hoshisama song makes me want to club baby seals.
    Last edited by Hassun; Nov 05, 2007 at 01:55 PM.

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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    A~ah. Thanks for the lessons.
    I'm learning to write Hiragana and Katana but I don't have the right books and materials.
    Although my laptop has a Japanese program.. (Microsoft IME)
    Thanks a bunch~

    One question: When writing in Japanese characters, there's no need to leave a spacing, right?
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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    Quote Originally Posted by Aya-kun View Post
    A~ah. Thanks for the lessons.
    I'm learning to write Hiragana and Katana but I don't have the right books and materials.
    Although my laptop has a Japanese program.. (Microsoft IME)
    Thanks a bunch~

    One question: When writing in Japanese characters, there's no need to leave a spacing, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by tsurara View Post
    Here is an example of a typical sentence using all three character sets:

    私はアメリカ人です。
    (trans. I am an American)

    *Please note that Japanese does not include any spacing between words.
    So I guess no

    Anyways... I read it... I understood it all and it was even interesting to read it (I though Japanese writting is something paranormal up untill now This makes it a bit clearer) so I think I'll enjoy this enough to pull it off Thank You tsurara!

    My recommended fanfic: "Dreamer" by Scourge

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    Stray Sheep Aya-kun may be famous one day Aya-kun may be famous one day Aya-kun's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    Whoops! I didn't see that. Thanks for pointing out!
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    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    Quote Originally Posted by Aya-kun View Post
    Whoops! I didn't see that. Thanks for pointing out!
    Aya, if you'd like to be part of/have access to the student/tutor AIM list, please post your intent to join the lessons officially in the master thread (linked at the top of this lesson).

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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    dude i would love to join a jap lang class pm for what u need

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    Re: Japanese Lesson #1: Hiragana あ-お

    Quote Originally Posted by full blooded virgen 666 View Post
    dude i would love to join a jap lang class pm for what u need
    please follow directions and post in the master thread if you'd like to join the list.

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