Lesson 2: か き く け こ
How to Read
か, き, く, け and こ are placed in the second row of the 五十音図 [ gojūon-zu | Table of 50 sounds ].
Letters with two short bars are called 濁音 dakuon (lit. muddy/turbid sound). These are the voiced sounds of か, さ, た, は-row syllables.
Contrary, voiceless sounds are called 清音 seion (lit. clear sound).
Rule 1: o + u = ō
|おう （王 king） noun||o u||ō|
|こうこう （高校 high school）||ko u ko u||kōkō|
|くうこう （空港 airport）||ku u ko u||kūkō|
When お colum letters （お こ そ と の ほ も よ ろ ご ぞ ど ぼ ぽ） are followed by う, the pronunciation is [ ō ] (long o not ou).
The spelling in Rōmaji is [ ō ].
Rule 1 (exception): o + u = ou
|おう （追う to chase） verb||o u||ou|
There are exceptions. For example, when お colum letters + う is the verb ending, you read as it is written.
Rule 2: e + i = ei / ē
|えいが （映画 movie）||e i ga||eiga / ēga|
|えいご （英語 English）||e i go||eigo / ēgo|
When え colum letters （え け せ て ね へ め れ げ ぜ で べ ぺ） are followed by い, the pronunciation often becomes [ ē ] (long e).
This is a natural phenomenon and the degree of this change varies from person to person.
Both ways [ ei ] and [ ē ] are correct.
The spelling in Rōmaji is [ ei ].
How to Do
- Hiragana will be shown.
- Read out the letter when it becomes red color.
- You are good enough if you can read correctly the last 10 questions.
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