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Video:Learn Japanese: How to Pronounce Hiragana Part 12: Dashes and Circles

with Ayaka Hills

Understanding hiragana is an important part of learning Japanese. Here's a guide to hiragana characters with circles and dashes.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Japanese: How to Pronounce Hiragana Part 12: Dashes and Circles

Hi, I'm Ayaka Hills of Hills Learning in New York, for About.com. In this video, I am going to demonstrate how to pronounce hiragana characters with dashes and circles.

Two dashes or one circle are put on the top right hand corner of some hiragana, so they can represent more sounds. When added to the symbols, the pronunciation changes.

Hiragana With Dashes

Let's use the characters かきくけこ (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko) as an example. When two dashes are added to the top right hand corner, you have がぎぐげご (ga, go, gu, ge, go). "Ga," "gi," "gu," "ge," "go." ご (go) can be used to write ごはん (gohan), or "rice." ごはん (gohan), rice.

Similarly, さしすせそ (sa, shi, su, se, so) with two dashes becomes ざじずぜぞ (za, ji, zu, ze, zo). "Za," "ji," "zu," "ze," "zo." じ (ji) can be used to write じかん (jikan), "time." じかん (jikan), time.

More Hiragana With Dashes

たちつてと (ta, chi, tsu, te, to) becomes だぢづでど (da, ji, zu, de, do). "Da," "ji," "zu," "de," "do." だ (da) can be used to write だいどころ (daidokoro), or "kitchen." だいどころ (daidokoro), kitchen. はひ

ふへほ (ha, hi, fu, he, ho) becomes ばびぶべぼ (ba, bi, bu, be, bo). "Ba," "bi," "bu," "be," "bo." ば (ba) can be used to write おばけ (obake), which means "ghost." おばけ (obake), ghost.

Hiragana With Circles

Now, let's take a look at the usage of circles. When one circle is added to the top right hand corner of the characters はひふへほ (ha, hi, fu, he, ho), they become ぱぴぷぺぽ (pa, pi, pu, pe, po). "Pa," "pi," "pu," "pe," "po."

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