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!
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!
Questions? Comments? Let me know down below!