Hiragana Page 57 Combinations

Oni's picture

This part is a little different... Take it slow and you should be able to catch on


How to make the 'ten-ten' letters. A 'ten-ten' is like a double- quote (") It changes the sound of the letter to a harder sound. You can ONLY 'ten-ten' the 'K' row, the 'S' row, the 'T' row and the 'H' row. (look at the chart to the right - the red ones are the ones with slightly difficult pronunciation)

Now look at the chart below. You will see that

  • the 'K' row becomes 'G' (still the same good ole ka only with a ten-ten ; notice it is a harder sound)

  • the 'S' row becomes 'Z' (again harder sound)

  • the 'T' row becomes 'D'

  • the 'H' row becomes 'B' or 'P' ('B' is with a ten-ten (ex. ba) and 'P' is with a circle (ex. pa))

NOTE: Actually if you allow it to sink in, the sound changes seem quite logical. You will get used to it quickly

Review this page until you feel comfortable with it


Download MP3s of these sounds here.


im's picture

Why is there two ji and zu??

Why Is The (JA) Word In Japanese Wrote Like This (じゃ) ??.. Why It Doesn't Wrote Like (じあ) ?? O O

I think that (じあ) would be 'jia', and (じゃ) is 'ja' because it doesnt get a 'y' in it like most of the combinations do. That might be because J's are already make a bit of a 'y' like sound. (I'm just learning myself, so that might be wrong).

kayklorella's picture

The smaller letter means you say it quicker.

There's a lot of theories in response to this post, but I think what it all boils down to is a quirk. Look at English, I mean who the devil decided that the "gh" in "tough" would make an "uff" sound? ;]
I just tend to accept the quirks and not think too much about them, it helps me move on and learn quicker. =]

I never actually thought about that. I guess when English is your main language you don't think about rules like tough "uff" Although, the word "although" isnt pronounced althouff. If that makes sense. o_o guess I will have to get used to different rules C:

Nanuzhk's picture

well, my comment is waaaay later than your post!!
but it might help if you think of it like this: (perhaps you no longer need this :S )

in spanish the letter "y" is called "the greek i"
it might help you think of "y" as an "i", the combination of ji+ya makes more sense.

kasukehanayori's picture

because its wrong if you write ja as (じあ) because じ= ji and あ is a when you pronunce it the Y sound is not there, therefore it is (じゃ) which is じ= ji and ゃ= ya we pronunce j+ya=jya thats y it is like that!! watashi wa patrick desu.. hajimamashite, yoroshiku onegai shimasu/ わたしはぱとりくですはじめましてよろしくおねがいしますっ in hiragana / ワタシハパトリクデスハジメマシテヨロシクオネガイシマスッ in katakana!! arigatou gozaimashita! jaa ne!!

I don't how you pronounce the small tsu eg: くっ~くっ~くっ~くっ~! (kururu's laugh)

Dustin's picture

It has no pronunciation, it is actually a market for a double consonant, which makes almost a pause before the next sounds.

An example of this is さか saka hill
さっか sakka author

Instead of pronouncing it saka, there is a slight pause between sa and ka

When used after a sound, but has no consonant to double up ( such as the くっ example you provided ) It's a hard stop to the sound, making it seem a bit shorter.

Another example is えっ  showing surprise.

hi guys, thanks for this amazing website its really helpful, before japanese seemed to me like a code that I cannot crack but now things are getting clear, i have one question please, whats the difference between the "zu" and "ji" in the z section and the ones in d section
arigatou gosaimasu

Dustin's picture

Usually zu is ず and ji is じ however there are fairly rare uses of づ and ぢ

These are not interchangeable, and for the most part you just need to memorize the exceptions.

Quoted from wikipedia

There are two hiragana pronounced ji (じ and ぢ) and two hiragana pronounced zu (ず and づ). These pairs are not interchangeable. Usually, ji is written as じ and zu is written as ず. There are some exceptions. If the first two syllables of a word consist of one syllable without a dakuten and the same syllable with a dakuten, the same hiragana is used to write the sounds. For example chijimeru ('to boil down' or 'to shrink') is spelled ちぢめる and tsuzuku ('to continue') is つづく. For compound words where the dakuten reflects rendaku voicing, the original hiragana is used. For example, chi (血 'blood') is spelled ち in plain hiragana. When 鼻 hana ('nose') and 血 chi ('blood') combine to make hanaji 鼻血 'nose bleed'), the sound of 血 changes from chi to ji. So hanaji is spelled はなぢ according to ち: the basic hiragana used to transcribe 血. Similarly, tsukau (使う/遣う; 'to use') is spelled つかう in hiragana, so kanazukai (仮名遣い; 'kana use', or 'kana orthography') is spelled かなづかい in hiragana.

However, this does not apply when kanji are used phonetically to write words which do not relate directly to the meaning of the kanji (see also ateji). The Japanese word for 'lightning', for example, is inazuma (稲妻). The 稲 component means 'rice plant', is written いな in hiragana and is pronounced: ina. The 妻 component means 'wife' and is pronounced tsuma (つま) when written in isolation—or frequently as zuma (ずま) when it features after another syllable. Neither of these components have anything to do with 'lightning', but together they do when they compose the word for 'lightning'. In this case, the default spelling in hiragana いなずま rather than いなづま is used.


Wolfstroy's picture

When I type on my iPad using the romaji/hiragana keyboard I always get the usual ず and じ. The same happens with my laptop. How do I type these variations of ZU and JI?

PS. To write this comment I have just copied and pasted of course.


Hyperworm's picture

"du" and "di" will generate those characters from the romaji keyboard.
The "d" is because づ and ぢ belong to the d-row.

(In the same way, you can generate つ and ち with just "tu" and "ti", saving yourself a keypress.)

du for the first one and di for the second one I have the whole chart that works with windows ime here hope that helps.


Wolfstroy's picture

Great, thanks a lot!

Suisei's picture

Wow..this looks so confusing..so..I should make flash cards for these as well? : o

Suisei's picture

So, should you memorize the combinations as well? I've been getting Hiragana down but not sure if I should memorize these as well. :o

Sorry for another weird question but making sure. I'm not used to self studying . :S

Suisei's picture

The trouble I'm having is just remembering what rows what characters are in so I know what sounds they changed too.

Should I just memorize the rows then? ;w;

Shiroisan's picture

You don't need to memorize "rows" or combinations. They're all just based off the first letter. All you need to remember are the exceptions: "Shi" doesn't turn into "zi" like you might expect, it turns into "ji". "Chi" for example is another exception.

Cant anybody help me plz?!
My eng isnt very good XD!

I am an Indian .....my langyage is Hindi..AND HINDI IS JUST LIKE JAPANESE...in hindi also there are things like this "ten-ten".....so i find all this way too easier than others...also in hindi also the ra ri ru re ro sound is there ...so I hav an xtra advantage ...yay i love hindi ....i love japanese....

Can these dakuten pronunciations also have audio files please?

clay's picture

These were recorded a long time ago and unfortunately have a severe buzz. I'll try to get Yumi to record better ones soon.


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