Learn to Read! Japanese Reading Lesson 005: がざだばぱ ぎゃああああ

Posted by meronpan on April 19, 2009

This is the last hiragana lesson, woo hoo!  Luckily I find this the easiest part to remember, hopefully you do too ^^


Alrighty, here we go!  Lesson 4 is here or start from the beginning if you’re behind.

Twenty of the new characters are covered by the following mark:

Simply add that to any か、さ、た、or は character and you get a different sound.

か ⇒ が (ka -> ga)

さ ⇒ ざ (sa -> za)

た ⇒ だ (ta -> da)

は ⇒ ば (ha -> ba)

Guess it wouldn’t be a language lesson without some exceptions… note the bold characters in the table below don’t quite follow suit:

ga gi gu ge go

za ji zu ze zo

da ji zu de do

ba bi bu be bo

Because of those exceptions, you may see those characters romanized differently – du for づ, di for ぢ and zi for じ.  I stick to the romanizations that reflect how they’re pronounced, though it’s nice to be aware of the other way.  If nothing else, you use the alternate romanization when typing with the IME.  As far as I can tell, ぢ and づ are a lot more rare than じ and ず so if you hear a “ji” or “zu” sound, it’s most likely the latter.



Once you’ve mastered those, we’ve got one final mark – a tiny circle for making p sounds:

This symbol is only applied to the は row, making:

pa pi pu pe po

Woo hoo!  On the home stretch now.  We covered double consonants with the small つ in an earlier lesson.  Other characters are shrunk down and used to make other sounds also – や、ゆ、and よ.  Combine these with characters containing the い sound and you get:




kya kyu kyo




sha shu sho




cha chu cho




nya nyu nyo




hya hyu hyo




mya myu myo




rya ryu ryo




gya gyu gyo




ja ju jo




bya byu byo




pya pyu pyo

As you can see… there’s not too much need to memorize every character individually… you can basically tell how to pronounce a compound character by looking at the sub characters.

じゃん! (tada!)  You’ve got all the characters memorized now, right? ^^;;  Well, once you have, you’ll be able to read Japanese manga!  You won’t be able to understand anything, but you can sound it out ^^;;


Though we haven’t covered any kanji, most manga have furigana, small hiragana written to the side of kanji so you know how to pronounce the characters.  As such, you should be able to pick up a volume of your favorite series and work your way through it.  Well, ok fine, katakana will still trip you up, but we’ll be covering those eventually (and they’re much much less common).

Alrighty, reading/vocab practice!

1. ばば

2. がくせい

3. ざんこく

4. つづく

5. じかい

6. ぱんつ

7. ぼいん

8. ぷにぷに

9. きゃあああ!

10. にょろん

11. です

12. じじ

13. ばくにゅう

14. ぞ / ぜ

15. したぎ


1. ばば – baba – old woman, grandmother, hag.  A very informal, insulting term to use in reference to older women.  Well, techinically (according to the dictionaries I use), ばば refers to one’s grandmother or an old woman, while ばばあ is the derogatory version.  In practice… you’re most likely to use the person’s name or おばあさん (obaasan).  i.e. A term that’s good to recognize but not one to use very often ^^;;

nagasarete airantou

ながされて あいらんとう

2. がくせい – gakusei – student.  Did I forget to cover ‘u’ sound pronunciation?  I think I did ^^;  basically ‘u’ sounds are made silent sometimes.  i.e. this would be pronounced ‘gak sei’ rather than ‘ga ku sei’.  Very similar to how you usually say, “des” for です instead of ‘de su’.  Or “mas” (ます) instead of ‘ma su’ .

kuugen pretending to be a がくせい ^^;

kuugen pretending to be a がくせい ^^;

3. ざんこく – zankoku – cruel.  Sound familiar?  As in ざんこく な てんし の ように しょうねん よ しんわ に なれ (zankoku na tenshi no you ni \ shounen yo shinwa ni nare).  If you don’t recognize that, you need to watch more evangelion :P

Click for gelbooru

Click for gelbooru

4. つづく – tsuzuku – the verb, ‘to continue’.  You may see this at the end of an episode of anime or volume of manga to mean, “to be continued.”  The kanji looks like this: 続く

てんげん とっぱ ぐれん らがん

てんげん とっぱ ぐれん らがん

5. じかい – jikai – another useful term that you’ll encounter in anime a lot at the end of episodes… this one means, ‘next time.’  Mostly you’ll see this in kanji form and as part of a bigger word: 次回予告 (じかいよこく), literally, ‘next time advance notice.’  A better translation would probably be more like, ‘A preview of next week’s episode,’ or, more succinctly, just, ‘Next time on [show name].’

K-ON! じかいよこく

K-ON! じかいよこく

6. ぱんつ – pantsu.  Usually this is spelled with katakana though – パンツ

ぱんつ witches

ぱんつ witches

7. ぼいん – boin – a sound effect/term for big oppai.  A key word in a handful of eroge :P

Click for moe imouto

Click for moe imouto

8. ぷにぷに – punipuni – can you tell I was watching K-ON? ^^;  An adjective meaning squishy.


9. きゃあああ!- kyaaaaa! – this is how Japanese scream ^^;  Change to a g sound for a more manly version ^^;  ぎゃああああ (gyaaaa!)


10. にょろん -nyoron ^^

Click for gelbooru

Click for gelbooru

11. です – desu.  You know this verb, right?  The verb ‘to be.’  Sometimes overused to give a certain flavor to a character :P

12. じじ – jiji – the male equivalent of ばば, above.  Basically means gramps or ‘old geezer’ or however else you would informally address an elder ^^;  Again, technically it looks like the derogatory version ends with a long vowel (じじい) but in practice… you should be referring to old folk by other means :P

のぎざか はるか の ひみつ

のぎざか はるか の ひみつ

13. ばくにゅう – bakunyuu – lit. explosive breasts ^^;  I remember correctly, the nickname given to sonsaku :P

そんさく - ばくにゅう extaordinaire

そんさく - ばくにゅう extraordinaire

14. ぞ / ぜ – zo/ze – macho endings for the ends of sentences :P  Usually used by guys in place of よ to add emphasis to a sentence.

15. したぎ – shitagi – underwear.



And that’s it! ごくろうさま~

Next time we’ll learn some more vocab and grammar by translated manga ^_^



32 Responses to “Learn to Read! Japanese Reading Lesson 005: がざだばぱ ぎゃああああ”

  1. Kairu Ishimaru said

    That is read as ‘jikai’? Isnt it read as uhhh.. nevermind..

    • meronpan said

      looks like you figured it out, but just in case…

      the pictures all appear *underneath* the word ^^; the pic you linked is for tsuzuku. the k-on pic is the jikai pic ^^;

  2. sonic_ver2 said

    So many K-ON examples, XD. I enjoyed Mio’s pics there.

    Anyway, now i know the different between pa and ba. I never knew which one is pa and which one is ba before.

  3. I love how I can learn some words here that’ll never be taught in my Japanese class xD

  4. あ、これは本当に役に立てるぞ!


    Keep it up! Haha, maybe I should stop typing in Japanese, it seems to be somewhat exclusive :P.

    • meronpan said

      いやああ、日本語は大歓迎だからぜひ続けて下さい! ^^ 珍しく練習出来るのって嬉しい


      By all means, please continue to post in Japanese ^^ I’m always happy to have a chance to practice.
      The vocab is definitely on the vulgar side but I hope that’s what makes it more interesting for otaku ^^;

      • wwwww、そうだね。やっぱりお宅単語じゃなければ、他の人は盛り上げないかも:P。


        • meronpan said

          先生だ何て… ^^;;  やっぱり照れるよ ははっ

          ま、珍しく次のレッスンはもううPしたんだけどアーロンさんが知らない単語が出なかったと思う ^^;

  5. mikiwank said

    Thank you for this leson ! “ぼいん” Is so realy ^^^

  6. elczenius said

    Good lesson. :) Though I think katakana is used a lot more than one expects, when reading manga ‘n stuffs. Or maybe it’s just the particular ones I read… I always see katakana all over the place. ^^;; Looking forward to more, you’re a good sensei, though some of the stuff you teach is questionable.. ;D

    Maybe you could cover some stuff on SFX which are commonly found? Those confuse me a lot. ^^;;

    • meronpan said

      hmmm yeah probably depends heavily on the genre of manga. though i guess at this stage of my lessons, the ‘reading’ of manga one will be capable of is pretty bare bones so even if you still can’t read 50% of the characters, it’s not too much different ^^;;; not that i won’t be covering it, of course. just want to put in some manga translation lessons in between ^^

      happy to cover sfx, will add that to my future post list. there’s a lot so i may end up focusing on sfx commonly found in certain genres… anything in particular you’d like to see? (i.e. fighting, animal sounds, repeating sounds (barabara, kirakira, wakuwaku, dokidoki, etc), etc.)

      • elczenius said

        Haha, hmm, there are so many diff. sounds aren’t there… :P I guess I encounter fighting SFX and repeating sounds more often, in my manga reading. Really, what I need is some sort of Japanese onomatopoeia dictionary haha.. ^^;;

  7. T.I.P. said

    WOW…I think I need to start from the beginning, had absolutely no clue what’s going on ^^;; Will come back again when I finish previous lessons.

    • meronpan said

      good luck ^^ hiragana’s a beast but once you get it down, you’re set! (until you tackle katakana… and kanji ^^;;;;;;; be that as it may, everyone has to start somewhere ^^)

  8. Persocom said

    lol, you included the Suiseiseki video XD Another fine lesson to refresh my Hiragana, nice work! ^^

  9. rangerroh said

    Not bad, it’s very easy for beginners to understand. Maybe you should start a Katakana lesson too. What I have a problem with is Kanji! OMG, the nightmare of learning and trying to memorize these insane characters.

    私と助けて下さい! 本当に漢字が難しいよ. ^^

    • It should be 私を助けてください。 and I think the order doesn’t quite matter for meaning, but a Japanese person would say 漢字が本当に難しいだよ.

      But you’re using the kanji just fine :P.

      • meronpan said

        Was gonna make the exact same two comments ^^;; although I believe there’s no だ at the end unless you use んだ or something since the regualar form of muzukashii is just muzukashii.

        if you really want to say hontou ni at the beginning, my inclination would be to say:


        • If you were saying 丁寧語, then it would be 難しいです。 Changing it to casual form just makes it 難しいだ

          • meronpan said

            mmm i’m gonna have to stick to my guns on this one. for ‘na’ adjectives (keiyoudoushi?), yes, you would use ‘da’ in the casual form, but for ‘i’ adjectives (keiyoushi?) like hazukashii, you do not… at least, in standard japanese. perhaps in some dialect or slang they do so? i was under the impression that ‘i’ adjectives can never take ‘da’ in the casual form.

          • rangerroh said

            Oh man! my Japanese is a “FAIL”, lol I just realized the grammar mistake with を and が. 漢字が本当に難しいだよ it does seem to flow much better. But, like melonpan, I was taught to not use だ for い ending too.

            Glad I am using kanji just fine. I wasn’t sure if I was using the correct kanji.

          • rangerroh said

            Reading and writing Japanese are two different worlds….Sigh…. I guess I can’t rely on reading (manga) to help me improve without actually writing it on paper.

          • meronpan said

            writing is definitely difficult. you have to practice… all the time. there’s just no way around it unless you’re some savant with a perfect memory. i used to be very good about writing and could basically write any kanji that i could read… now i can barely write 1/10 of what i can read orz

            luckily… that’s probably the least practical skill since lots of writing can be done by computer nowadays. they even have a word for that that you may know… ワープロばか – wa-puro baka == someone who can’t write kanji anymore because they’re always using the auto-complete in a word processor. still… i highly recommend those interested to study writing and at least learn the stroke order. proper stroke order makes it waaay easier for character recognition programs to identify the things you write.

  10. phossil said

    Whats the diference between Pantsu and Shitagi?? Shitagi refers to upper and downer parts of underwear?

  11. […] Until next time! (it’s slight detour that covers random tidbits, for the next regular lesson click here) […]

  12. […] Learn to Read! Japan… on Learn to Read! Japanese Readin…Learn to Read! Japan… on Learn to Read! Japanese Readi…Learn to Read! Japan… on […]

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