“There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.” – David Mahoney

In the following chapters you’ll be learning about Japanese pronunciations (i.e. the sounds that make up the Japanese language). We’re using hiragana (which you learned about last chapter) to learn all these sounds (since hiragana makes up most of the sounds available to you in Japanese).

You’re learning the sounds of all the hiragana before you learn the hiragana themselves because pronunciation comes first (I believe). When you learn hiragana, it will be a lot easier because you know the sounds that they make (learning the sounds helps you to wrap your head around the kana, which will help you to learn the kana faster, overall).

So, you’re learning the sounds of hiragana now so you can learn how to read and write hiragana more effectively later (though not that much later… pretty soon, in fact!).

In this chapter you should focus on being able to make all the sounds. You don’t need to know which sound goes with which character (yet), but it will be great if you can make all the sounds correctly and understand the patterns behind the sounds. Pronunciation is key this chapter.

Ready, Set, Go! →