Rogue's Weyr : "the Weyr is where the dragon is" -Brekke Rider of Gold Wirenth, Southern Weyr

The kana to the left are hiragana; katakana are in brackets.

I Basic Syllables: Vowel, Consonant plus vow and n
 []  []  []  []  []
k ka か [カ] ki き [キ] ku く [ク] ke け [ケ] ko こ [コ]
s sa さ [サ] shi し [シ] su す [ス] se せ [セ] so そ [ソ]
t ta た [タ] chi ち [チ] tsu つ [ツ] te て [テ] to と [ト]
n na な [ナ] ni に [ニ] nu ぬ [ヌ] ne ね [ネ] no の [ノ]
h ha は [ハ] hi ひ [ヒ] fu ふ [フ] he へ [ヘ] ho ほ [ホ]
m ma ま [マ] mi み [ミ] mu む [ム] me め [メ] mo も [モ]
y ya や [ヤ] {i い [イ]} yu ゆ [ユ] {e え [エ]} yo よ [ヨ]
r ra ら [ラ] ri り [リ] ru る [ル] re れ [レ] ro ろ [ロ]
w wa わ [ワ] {i い [イ]} {u う [ウ]} {e え [エ]} wo を [ヲ]
n -- ん [ン]

Note: The syllables yi,ye,wi,wu and we do not occur in modern Nihongo.

II Modified Syllables: Consonant plus basic vowel
g ga が [ガ] gi ぎ [ギ] gu ぐ [グ] ge げ [ゲ] go ご [ゴ]
z za ざ [ザ] ji じ [ジ] zu ず [ズ] ze ぜ [ゼ] zo ぞ [ゾ]
d da だ [ダ] ji ぢ [ヂ] zu づ [ち] de で [っ] do ど [づ]
b ba ば [バ] bi び [ビ] bu ぶ [ブ] be べ [ベ] bo ぼ [ボ]
p pa ぱ [パ] pi ぴ [ピ] pu ぷ [プ] pe ぺ [ペ] po ぽ [ポ]

III Modified Syllables: Consonant plus ya, yu, yo
kya きゃ [キャ] kyu きゅ [キュ] kyo きょ [キョ]
sha しゃ [シャ] shu しゅ [シュ] sho しょ [ショ]
cha ちゃ [チャ] chu ちゅ [チュ] cho ちょ [チョ]
nya にゃ [ニャ] nyu にゅ [ニュ] nyo にょ [ニョ]
hya ひゃ [ヒャ] hyu ひゅ [ヒュ] hyo ひょ [ヒョ]
mya みゃ [ミャ] myu みゅ [ミュ] myo みょ [ミョ]
rya りゃ [リャ] ryu りゅ [リュ] ryo りょ [リョ]
gya ぎゃ [ギャ] gyu ぎゅ [ギュ] gyo ぎょ [ギョ]
ja じゃ [ジャ] ju じゅ [ジュ] jo じょ [ジョ]
bya びゃ [ビャ] byu びゅ [ビュ] byo びょ [ビョ]
pya ぴゃ [ピャ] pyu ぴゅ [ピュ] pyo ぴょ [ピョ]

IV Double Consonants:
kk, pp, ss, tt っ[ッ]
(see note 6)

V Long Vowels:
ā ああ    [アー]
ii,ī いい    [イー]
ū うう    [ウー]
ē,ei ええ,えい [エー]
ō おう,おお [オー]

Points of Note:

  1. The top line of the Nihongo syllabary consists of five vowels: a,i,u,e,o. They are short vowels, pronounced clearly and crisply. If you pronounce the vowels in the follwing English setence, makeing them all short, you will have their approximate sounds. The u is pronounced with no movement forward of the lips.
    Ah we soon get old.
    a i u e o
  2. Long vowels are written as show in Chart V. Ē or ei is often written えい but ええ id also sometimes encountered.
    おう is the gneral rule for ō but in some words it is traditionally written おお. Long vowels are a doubling of the single vowel and care should be taken to pronounce them as a continuous sound, equal in value to two identical short vowels.
  3. The rest of the syllabary from the second line down in Chart I are syllables formed by a consonant and a vowel.
  4. Nihongo consonants more or less resemble English. Listen to a native speaker for exact sounds. Especially note the following: t in the ta row,f in the syllable fu and the r in the ra row. The g in the syllables ga,gi,gu,ge and go at the beginning of a word is hard like the [g] in garden), but when it occurs in the middle or in the last syllable of a word, it often becomes nasal, as in eiga ("movie"). The partical ga, too, is usually pronounced in this way. However, many Nihonjin today use a g sound which is not nasal.
    N is the only independent consonant not combined with a vowel. When it is at the end of a word it is pronounced some what nasally. Otherwise it is usually pronounced like the english [n]. But if it is followed by syllables beginning with b,m or p, it is pronounced more like [m] and accordingly spelled with an m in this page. Special care is necessary when syllabic n is followed by a vowel as in the word kin'en.(ki-m-enm "no smoking"). Note that this is different in syllable division from kinen(ki-ne-n, "anniversary").
  5. As explained above, hiragana and katakana are phonetic symbols and each is one syllable in length. The syllables in Chart III which consist of two symbols -the second written smaller- are also only one syllable in length if the vowel is short, longer if the vowel is long.
  6. What are written in Rōmaji letters as double consonants kk,pp,ss and tt in chart IV are expressed in kana (hiragana and katakana) with a small tsu in place of the first consonant. I.e., けっこん kekkon ("marriage"), きっぷ kippu("ticket"), まっすぐ massugu ("straight") and きって kitte, ("stamp"). This small っ is one syllable in length, and there the slightest pause after it is pronounced (as in the English word book'keeping). In the case of the chi syllable, the tsu is represented by a t in the Rōnaji letters, i.e., マッチ matchi ("match").
  7. In hiragana, the syllables ji and zu are written じ and ず as a general rule. In a few rare cases, they are traditionally written ぢ and づ
  8. Hiragana follows a tradition in which the following three particles are written a special way:
    o when used as a partical is written を, not お.
    e when used as a partical is written へ, not え.
    wa when used as a partical is written は, not わ.