Lesson 7: Hiragana が-ぼ

Lesson filepack: COMING SOON
Master Thread: Free Weekly Japanese Lessons

Material covered in this lesson
1. The "TenTen"/dakuten
2. hiragana - が ぎ ぐ げ ご ざ じ ず ぜ ぞ だ ぢ づ で ど ば び ぶ べ ぼ 
3. vocabulary

1. The "TenTen" (Dakuten)

From here on in, there are no new hiragana: only hiragana whose sounds have been altered thanks to fun little add-ons. The first of which, the "tenten", we're going to learn about today.

This " is a tenten ("Dakuten" if you want to sound smart!)

You may say to yourself "&*%@ no! I'm no idiot! That's a quotation mark!"

But in Japanese these 「 」 are quotation marks.

This " is a tenten.

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

What this tenten does is add voice to an unvoiced syllable. Behold:

か ka + " = が ga
さ sa + " = ざ za
た ta + " = だ da
は ha + " = ば ba

Because some sounds are ALREADY voiced (vowels, the nasal consonants, etc) they don't all have dakuten variants.

2. Hiragana が-ぼ

が - ga
ぎ - gi
ぐ - gu
げ - ge
ご - go

ざ - za
じ - ji
ず - zu
ぜ - ze
ぞ - zo

だ - da
ぢ - ji (keyboard input - di)
づ - zu (keyboard input - du)
で - de
ど - do

ば - ba
び - bi
ぶ - bu
べ - be
ぼ - bo

* Note that there are two different characters for both "ji" and "zu". You'll find that じ and ず are far more commonly used than ぢ and づ but that both will pop up from time to time in different words. Their readings are the same. 

4. Basic Vocabulary

さしみ sashimi - thin-sliced raw fish (noun)
いそぐ isogu - to hurry (verb)
みつまめ mitsumame - fruit-salad with tapioca and sweet beans (noun)
もみじ momiji - maple leaf (noun)
はつひのでhatsu hinode - the first sunrise of the New Year (noun)
ふゆ fuyu - winter (noun)
あじさい ajisai - hydrangea (flower)
おうじ ouji - Prince (noun)
おりづる orizuru - paper crane (noun)
だんろ danro - fireplace (noun)
でんわをかける denwa wo kakeru - to make a phonecall (verb)

Cultural Notes:


hatsuhinode - On New Year's Eve, it is a custom to go pray at the local Shrine for prosperity at midnight. After this Shrine visit (which may take hours, thanks to long lines), it's considered good luck to watch the first sunrise (especially with a loved-one). The first sunrise is called "hatsuhinode".


- 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 1-10 as-needed
Day 6: test yourself with flashcards, review for quiz
Day 7: Quiz (week 7 material)

Fun Semi-Relevant Media of the Week:
YouTube - The Jpn Video Podcast - Hiragana ga to po - Episode 7 (covers next week too!)