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Alphabet in Japanese Language

Understanding the Japanese alphabet is necessary to learn the Japanese Language. Japanese alphabet configuration is practiced in a every day conversation. Without the Japanese alphabet, it is extremely hard to speak the Japanese phrases properly even if anyone learn how to write those phrases in Japanese. Learn More

As with any language, the better anyone articulate a letter in a word, the more grasped you’ll be in talking the Japanese language. Here are a few website links which directs you to the Japanese alphabet and how it’s pronounced in English.
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Vowels in Japanese Alphabet

Japanese has only five basic vowels, but the distinction between short and long vowels is often important. The sounds below are first given in romanized Japanese, then hiragana and finally katakana.
The short vowels are:
like 'a' in "palm"a, あ, ア
like 'i' in "marine"i, い, イ
like 'oo' in "hoop", but short (best described as the sound said without rounded lips)u, う, ウ
like 'e' in "set"e, え, エ
like 'o' in "rope", but less roundo, お, オ
Note that "u" is often weak at the end of syllables. In particular, the common endings desu and masu are pronounced by lowering the tongue from the roof of the mouth where the ss sound is formed and keeping a tiny bit of sound as you do so, it may be best to find audio of an actual japanese person saying desu to understand properly this particular sound. Also, the kana "do" and "to" are sometimes pronounced with a weak "o".
The long vowels are generally the same sound as the short vowels, only held approximate 60 % longer. The long vowels, marked with a macron in this phrasebook, are:
like 'a' in "father"ā, ああ, アー
like 'ee' in "cheese"ii, いい, イー
like 'oo' in "hoop"u, うう, ウー
like the 'ay' in "pay"ei, えい, エー
stretch out the 'o' in "soap"ō, おう, オー
All descriptions above are approximations, it's best to practice with a native speaker.

Consonants in Japanese Alphabet

With the solitary exception of "n" (ん・ン), consonants in Japanese are always followed by a vowel to form a syllable. Consonants and vowels are not freely combinable as in English, see table on the right for all possible syllables and note irregularities like し shi or ふ fu. Certain syllables can be marked with diacritics, which alters the pronunciation of the consonant part. The list below first gives the consonant part of the syllable in romanized Japanese, then the Japanese syllables that the sound occurs in first in Hiragana, then Katakana.
like 'k' in "king"k in かきくけこ・カキクケコ
like 'g' in "go"g in がぎぐげご・ガギグゲゴ
like 's' in "sit"s in さすせそ・サスセソ
like 'z' in "haze"z in ざずぜぞ・ザズゼゾ
like 't' in "top"t in たてと・タテト
like 'd' in "dog"d in だでど・ダデド
like 'n' in "nice"n in なにぬねの・ナニヌネノ
like 'h' in "help"h in はひへほ・ハヒヘホ
like 'p' in "pig"p in ぱぴぷぺぽ・パピプペポ
like 'b' in "bed"b in ばびぶべぼ・バビブベボ
like 'm' in "mother"m in まみむめも・マミムメモ
like 'y' in "yard"y in やゆよ・ヤユヨ
no equivalent in English, a sound between 'l', 'r' and 'd', but close to a very soft 'r'r in らりるれろ・ラリルレロ
like 'w' in "wall"w in わ・ワ
like 'sh' in "sheep"sh in し・シ
like 'j' in "jar"j in じ・ジ
like 'ch' in "touch"ch in ち・チ
like 'ts' in "hot soup"ts in つ・ツ
like 'f' in "food"f in ふ・フ
short 'n', slides towards 'm' in some casesn, ん, ン
glottal stop; the following consonant is prepared, held and stopped for the duration of one syllable. For example, にっぽん nippon is pronounced "nip-(pause)-pon".っ・ッ (small tsu)
(Note that the double consonants nn, mm, which are not written with っ, do not have this pause.)
kon'nichiwa → kon-nee-chee-wa (not kounneeCHEEua)
sumimasen → soo-mee-mah-sen (not sue my maysen)
onegai shimasu → oh-neh-gigh shee-mahss (not ouneeGAY SHYmessu)
Katakana chart, with hiragana and Roman letters below each kana character
Katakana are used to write foreign and loanwords and are hence a good choice for travellers to learn. The katakana set of characters encompasses exactly the same sounds as hiragana; they only look different. The table on the left only reproduces the basic character set and diacritics (カ → ガ). Combinations (キャ) apply just as for hiragana. One additional sound though is ヴ vu and combinations like ヴェ ve based on it, accommodating additional foreign sounds. Every once in a while you may spot additional ingenious combinations or use of diacritics.
Since Japanese doesn't very well accommodate rapid successions of consonants, the katakana transcription can often only approximate the actual pronunciation of a foreign word. While some words like café (カフェ kafe) can be represented quite gracefully, other words like beer (ビール bīru) or rent-a-car (レンタカー rentakā) seem slightly strange to the native English speaker. Nonetheless, many English expressions and concepts are used in everyday life, as are a number of German, French, Dutch and Portugese loanwords. Oftentimes the exact meaning of a word has changed in Japanese (de: Arbeit → アルバイト arubaito is used only for part-time work) or a completely new meaning was invented (ワンマンカー wanmankā → "one-man car", trains and buses without an inspector, only one driver), but you can usually at least guess at the meaning.
To identify a katakana word, it's usually helpful to repeat it out loud a few times and to leave out superfluous vocals, especially the 'u' in ス su and 'o' in ト to. That way ライス raisu quickly becomes "rice" and チケット chiketto becomes "ticket". Don't try too hard though, as sometimes original Japanese words are written in katakana as well, similar to the use of uppercase or italic letters in English. In addition, some words were not derived from English but from other languages such as German, French or Dutch.

Semi Vowels/ Diphthongs in Japanese Alphabet

Japanese sentence structure is very similar to that of Korean, so speakers of Korean will find many aspects of Japanese grammar familiar.
At its core, Japanese grammar is pretty simple, though sentence structures differ greatly from English. For instance, Japanese uses postpositions instead of prepositions (Japan in and not in Japan). It has no gender, declensions or plurals. Nouns never conjugate while adjectives follow a generally standardised conjugation pattern. However, verbs have extensive conjugation patterns and much of Japanese lessons for foreign language learners is about getting these conjugations right. Verbs and adjectives also conjugate by politeness level though, and in a rather peculiar way.
Japanese is a so called agglutinative language, meaning several morphemes which have purely grammatical functions are glued to the end of a word stem to express the grammatical function. The more the intended meaning differs from the basic form of the word, the more morphemes are glued together.
Japanese verb and adjective conjugation
stem見 mi
stem赤 aka
basic form見る miru, "to see"
past tense見た mita, "seen"
possibility見える mieru, "can see"
adjective赤い akai, "red"
polite basic form見ます mimasu, "to see" (pol.)
pol. past tense見ました mimashita, "seen" (pol.)
pol. possibility見えます miemasu, "can see" (pol.)
negative form赤くない akakunai, "not red"
negative form見ない minai, "to not see"
neg. past tense見なかった minakatta, "not seen"
neg. possibility見えない mienai, "can not see"
neg. past tense赤くなかった akakunakatta, "was not red"
pol. neg. form見ません mimasen, "to not see" (pol.)
pol. neg. past tense見ませんでした mimasendeshita, "not seen" (pol.)

[table id=japanese filter=”Special Consonant Cluste

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