Lesson 2: か き く け こ


How to Read

か き く け こ

, , , and are placed in the second row of the 五十音図 [ gojūon-zu | Table of 50 sounds ].


が ぎ ぐ げ ご

Letters with two short bars are called 濁音 dakuon (lit. muddy/turbid sound). These are the voiced sounds of , , , -row syllables.

Contrary, voiceless sounds are called 清音 seion (lit. clear sound).

Irregular Pronunciation

Rule 1: o + u = ō

word component pronunciation
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 colum letters (お こ そ と の ほ も よ ろ ご ぞ ど ぼ ぽ) are followed by , the pronunciation is [ ō ] (long o not ou).

The spelling in Rōmaji is [ ō ].

Rule 1 (exception): o + u = ou

word component pronunciation
おう (追う to chase) verb o u ou

There are exceptions. For example, when colum letters + is the verb ending, you read as it is written.

Rule 2: e + i = ei / ē

word component pronunciation
えいが (映画 movie) e i ga eiga / ēga
えいご (英語 English) e i go eigo / ēgo
Irregular Pronunciation

When colum letters (え け せ て ね へ め れ げ ぜ で べ ぺ) are followed by , 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

  1. Hiragana will be shown.
  2. Read out the letter when it becomes red color.
  3. You are good enough if you can read correctly the last 10 questions.

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