The Final Two Voiced Consonants Both Come From [h]

The last two sounds are [b] and [p]. The interesting thing is that [h] is the un-voiced counterpart for both of them!

Since we use the same base kana for all three, there needs to be a new way to differentiate them from one another.

Here’s how it goes:

The [h] sound is the default. For example, [ha] is written as は in hiragana.

The [b] sound is the daku-on version, which means that it will receive the two small dashes. Using the same example from above, [ba] is written as ば in hiragana.

The [p] sound will receive a small circle instead of dashes. This is called a handaku-on and if we keep with the previous examples, we see that [pa] is written as ぱ in hiragana.

So when you read or write hiragana, you’ll need to remember that [b] gets the [   ゛] mark and [p] gets the [   ゜] mark.

The [b] and [p] sounds in Japanese

The [b] consonant makes the following sounds with each vowel:

ば = ba

び = bi

ぶ = bu

べ = be

ぼ = bo

The [p] consonant makes the following sounds with each vowel:

ぱ = pa

ぴ = pi

ぷ = pu

ぺ = pe

ぽ = po

Example words, chosen just for you!

うりば = Sales floor

ぺこぺこ = Starving

ぶた = Pig

ぱたぱた = Flapping

びん = Flight

ぷんぷん = Pungently

Is this the last practice? Maybe!

You know the drill:

  • New sounds 3x
  • Hiragana 5x
  • Example words 3x

You’re on the homestretch!

Congratulations! You have so far completed all of the sounds of Japanese that are represented by the basic hiragana, the daku-on hiragana, and the handoku-on hiragana!

Woo! Wha-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!

There is only one group of single mora sounds left and they are known as you-on or “combination” hiragana.

Once you’ve learned them, you will have finished Part One of this course in its entirety!

Continue to Lesson 13!

Questions? Comments? Let me know down below!


Go Back to Lesson 11!

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