Welcome to the Introduction to Hiragana series where I’ll go through how I learnt each Hiragana character through the use of mnemonics. If you don’t know what mnemonics is then it essentially is a technique people use to memorize the particular item by associating it with a pattern of letters or words that makes it easier to remember.
1. My Hiragana mnemonics
In this series I have developed my own set of Hiragana mnemonics based on what I came across from my studies and what worked for me. I will also provide real world example words that’ll be useful for you, and dip you a little bit into Japanese culture.
Before you begin, I suggest you read my 7 simple step guide to write in Japanese Hiragana as it provides a list of simple techniques that I followed and applied while learning these mnemonics.
Shall we get started?
2. First 5 Hiragana characters
The 5 Hiragana characters あ、い、う、え、お represent the 5 basic vowel sounds.
あ– a, is your first Hiragana and is pronounced ‘ah’.
Mnemonics: あ for eggman screaming ‘ahh’
い– i, is pronounced ‘ee’.
Mnemonics: い for eel
う– u, is pronounced ‘oo’.
Mnemonics: う for rotated ui
え– e, is pronounced ‘eh’.
Mnemonics: え for a halo zed
お– o, is pronounced ‘oh’.
Mnemonics: お for octopus
3. Additional resources
The following resources is what I used in conjunction with these mnemonics, so be sure to check them out:.
- 7 simple steps guide to write in Japanese Hiragana - it provides a list of simple techniques that I use to help memorize the Hiragana characters.
- Hiragana chart - a PDF version of the Hiragana chart, good for quick references.
Test your knowledge at Learning Hiragana words #1 post.
Next up is か, き, く, け, こ - Ka, Ki, Ku, Ke, and Ko.