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When Size Does Matter!

Are your eyes failing you, or is that hiragana character tinier than the other one? In Japanese, since there is a limit of hiragana characters, there is the need for some combinations. There are in total, 33 combination sounds that are made using small ya, yu, and yo.

The following are examples of these combinations:

KYA

KYU

KYO

example :
きゃく kyaku ( “customer” ), きゅう  kyuu  (”nine” )

SHA

SHU

SHO

example :
しゃかい  shakai  (”society” ) ; しゅみ  shumi  (”hobby” )

CHA CHU CHO

example :
ちゃいろ  chairo  (”brown” ) ;  ちゅんちゅん  chunchun  (”chirp chirp” )

NYA

NYU

NYO

example :
ぐにゃぐにゃ  gunyagunya  (”crooked” )

HYA

HYU

HYO

example :
ひゃく  hyaku  (”one hundred” )

MYA

MYU

MYO

example :
みゃく  myaku  (”pulse” ) ; みょうじ  myouji  (”family name̶ ;)

RYA

RYU

RYO

example :
りゃく  ryaku  (”abbreviation” );  みりょく  miryoku  (”charm” )

GYA

GYU

GYO

example :
きんぎょ  kingyo  (”goldfish̶ ;)

JA

JU

JO

example :
ジャズ  jazu  (”jazz̶ ;)

BYA

BYU

BYO

example :
さんびゃく  san-byaku  (”three hundred̶ ;)

PYA

PYU

PYO

example :
はっぴゃく  ha-ppyaku ( “eight hundred̶ ;)

It is important to keep notice if the character is full size or half-width, as it can really change the pronunciation and meaning. Fore example, こんにゃく(con-nya-ku  ”Kojnac”..a type of Japanese food ingredient) and こんやく ( con-ya-ku..”engagement” ) !

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