Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Hiragana: Lesson 17 - 'ち' [chi] & 'ぢ' [ji]

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ち, in hiragana, or チ in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, which each represent one mora. Both are phonemically /ti/ although for phonological reasons, the actual pronunciation is ‘chi’.

'ち' is romanized 'chi', pronounced 'che' as in 'cheese'.

Word with 'ち':-
1) Word begins with 'ち':

  • 血/ (chi -> blood)
  • 小さい/いさい (chiisai -> small; little; tiny)

2) 'ち' at the end:
  • 口/く (kuchi -> mouth)
  • 日/に (nichi -> day)
  • 土/つ (tsuchi -> soil; dirt; earth)
  • 毎日/まいに (mainichi -> every-day)

Other sounds:
The pronunciation of the character 'し' can also be changed to 3 different sounds.

Stroke order:

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The character 'ち' may also be combined with a dakuten, changing it into ‘ぢ’ in hiragana, and 'ji' in Hepburn romanization. With the dakuten added the pronunciation is changed, to 'ji'. ち + " (dakuten) = ぢ (look below)

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Due to both ‘じ’ and ‘ぢ’ having a similar pronunciation it may be difficult to differentiate them. However, one way to tell the difference is by removing the dakuten and seeing if the original word is a shi or chi. Post 1945, no words in the Japanese language start with the letter ‘ぢ’.

Same with ‘じ’, ‘ぢ’ is romanized ‘ji’ and also pronounced the same way.

In the Japanese language there are also contracted words called 拗音 (yo-on) (as mentioned in lesson 12). They are made up of two letters written together. A Hiragana ending with “i” such as ki (き), shi (し), etc... followed by a small ya (ゃ), yu (ゅ) or yo (ょ).
The hiragana’s ending with “i” also include their dakuten and handakuten versions.

The yoon’s for 'chi' are:
  • ちゃ/cha (Pronounced: chya) Ex. 茶色/ちゃいろ chairo (brown)
  • ちゅ/chu (P: chyu) Ex. 中国/ちゅうごく chuugoku (China)
  • ちょ/cho (P: chyo) Ex. 頂戴/ちょうだい choudai (please give me (verb; comes at the end. Mostly used by women))

The yoon’s for 'ji' are:
  • ぢゃ/ja (P: jiya)
  • ぢゅ/ju (P: jyu)
  • ぢょ/jo (P: jyo)

Task: You shall write 'ち' & 'ぢ' 50 - 100 times in your textbook. If you want, like with the previous lessons, write 'ち' 70 times and 'ぢ' 30 times. Memorize the shape, the stroke order, the sound, the pronunciation (echo the sound of the character each time you write it down), etc.
And after you've done that, write ‘た' and 'ち' one after each repetitively (た, ち, た, ち, etc.) 50 times (100 if you have time).

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