Hiragana: The K Line
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
Welcome to the exciting (?) second instalment of our hiragana lessons on zonjineko.com
Today I’ll be taking you through the second line of the hiragana table, which adds a “k” to the front of the vowels (a-i-u-e-o) that we’ve already learnt to end up with ka (か), ki (き), ku (く), ke (け), ko (こ).
The great thing about hiragana (and katakana) is that for the most part it follows the a-i-u-e-o pattern you learnt in your first lesson, which makes things easier to grasp as you move forward eg one less thing to remember!
Here’s a left-fielder for those that like to jump ahead. The Japanese word for soap (せっけん – sekken) makes use of the tricky small tsu (っ), which doubles the first letter that follows it. In this case that is “k” from け (ke). So you remove the small tsu and replace it with the k to get せっけん (sekken).
I have included below a ka-ki-ku-ke-ko (か-き-く-け-こ) worksheet for you to practice writing and memorising the characters.
As I mentioned in my “A Line” article I see a lot of students of Japanese that think they can learn the hiragana in a day. While this may be true, the retention of this quick learning may be fairly short. We have all crammed for exams before and a week later remember none of it.
There’s no doubt some people can learn things very quickly but I prefer to take it slowly and make sure I am actually learning what I am reading rather than just cramming and then forgetting.
I find the best practice is to read as much hiragana text as you can even if you don’t understand what the words mean. You want to get to the point where you can read it as quickly as you can your own alphabet and while this seems a mile away at the moment – it will become reality as long as you put in the hours to make it happen.
Also check out Wikipedia’s Hiragaga page »