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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lesson 2.3: Dakuten and Handakuten

When learning the building blocks of writing Japanese, another thing to keep in mind is 濁点だくてん「゛」(Can't read it?& 半濁点はんだくてん「゜」, also known respectively as てんてん(dot dot) and まる (circle) in informal circles. When applied to k, s, t and h 平仮名ひらがな or 片仮名かたかな, their respective sounds change-k becoming g, s becoming z, t becoming d and h becoming b(with the exception of じ and ぢ, which are both pronounced 'ji'). ゛ are also applied to the 片仮名 ウ to signify v sounds in the written language「ヴァ(va)/ヴィ(vi)/ヴ(vu)/ヴェ(ve)/ヴォ(vo), respectively」 

Allow me to present a sample chart of some of the various changes.

Now let's apply 濁点 and watch the the sounds change to this:

With the above exceptions, the rest of the applicable 平仮名 follow the same pattern of addition and change in sound. For all the uses ゛ has, though,゜ only has one known one with the h family of 仮名, changing them from h to p sounds. Kinda strange, but at least it's only one more thing to learn with it, and less is always more, with how much you gotta learn.

If you need a bigger helping to grasp the changes, please turn your attention to
this chart

Obscure(key word here) usage notes:

濁点 are also used in written language to help enphasize a word(and when I say written, I mostly refer to hardwritten, as there are no conventional ways to use them this way in typed form)

On some occasions you'll also see this iteration mark 「 ゝ(平仮名)/ヽ(片仮名)」indicating you repeat the 仮名かな that precedes it- an example of this being すゝむ(すすむ). When ゛ are applied to the iteration mark, it indicates the proceeding 仮名 is said with the appropriate intonation- an example of this being the name みすゞ(みすず).

An iteration mark also exists for Kanji as well 「々」, also indicating either a repeat or altered intonation pronunciation of the preceding Kanji , depending on the Kanji used. This particular mark will appear more often in your studies, so keep it in mind as you learn more about Kanji.

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