That's right, it's a new lesson. I've decided to continue on with this in order to maintain my own memory so it doesn't go to crap. I make no guarantees about the next lesson though.
So this time, now that we've gone over katakana and pronunciations, we're moving on to hiragana, and we'll also be covering a little basic vocabulary while we're at it. So, tsutzukemashou (let's continue)!
Since I already covered how to get Japanese on Windows in the first lesson, please check that lesson
if you still can't read or write Japanese characters on your OS.
This is the simplest character set used to write basic words in Japanese. Unlike katakana, hiragana is used mostly for native Japanese words. Although Japanese has adapted a kanji system for writing many nouns and verbs, there are still things that can only be written in hiragana, such as particles (we'll get to those later) and verb conjugations.
Pronouncing hiragana is pretty much the same as katakana. So we'll skip the specifics here. Here are the basic characters:
あa いi うu えe おo
＊かka きki くku けke こko
＊さsa しshi すsu せse そso
＊たta ちchi つtsu てte とto
＊はha ひhi ふfu へhe ほho
まma みmi むmu めme もmo
なna にni ぬnu ねne のno
らra りri るru れre ろro
やya ゆyu よyo
Just like with katakana, placing two dots in the upper right corner of some characters (I've marked these with a *star) changes the sound slightly, and with はひふへほ, placing a circle in the upper right gives another alternate 'p' sound. There's no need to worry about foreign sounds like 'l', 'v', and 'th' this time because we're dealing mainly with Japanese words.
So, did you get it? Here are ten basic nouns in hiragana:
きっさてん COFFEE SHOP
Next time, we'll use these to write basic phrases, greetings and the like.