7課:ひらがなとカタカナ
In today's lesson we will cover は、ひ、ふ、へ、ほ and ハ、イ、ウ、ヘ、ホ. But before we begin. The English F is done by placing the teeth on the bottom lip and blowing air through, while keeping the tongue at the back of the mouth. 'Fu' is not the same as the Japanese ふ or フ. ふ is done by making a small O with the mouth and keeping the teeth back, not touching the lower lip. It's more of a blowing action, rather then forcing air through the teeth. This distinction will become important in time.

は andハ are pronounced as 'hah' in 'hahnium'; romanised as 'ha'. It is similar to 'ha' in 'haha', as in the laugh. 

は is derived from 波・ハ・なみ・'nami'・wave. It is a phono-semantic compound made up of 水 or 氵 ‎water and 皮 pelt, which shows a 手 hand stripping fur from an animal. The idea of this 漢字 is when stripping fur from an animal, the pelt rolls like a波 wave, so this visual representation is added to水water, to create an image of waves. One way to remember this 文字 is thinking that people don't laugh 'はは' when they are drowning under波 waves in the sea. 

ハ is derived from 八・ハチ・eight. The original ideogram for ハ was to divide (now obsolete), and was later borrowed to mean 'eight' due to homonymy. Good way to remember this kana is to think of 八・ハチ, or eight in Japanese.

ひand ヒ are pronounced as 'hee' in 'heed'; romanised as 'hi'.

ひ andヒ are derived from 比・くらべる・kuraberu・ヒ・to compare and shows two 人・ひと・men juxtaposed, comparing them against each other. To remember this kana、 think of the one guy laughing ヒヒ because the other guy left and now he doesn't need to worry about being compared to anyone anymore. ひ also looks like a big smile of someone laughing... must be nice not being compared with others...

ふ and フ are pronounced as 'who' with a smaller constriction of the lips; it is romanised as 'fu'.

ふ andフ are derived from 不・フ・negative/-non and was originally a pictogram of a flower's calyx (the green bit under the petals that protects the bud before it flowers). To remember this kana just think of フor ふ blowing onto a flower after it has bloomed to spread the seeds in the wind. 

へ and へ are pronounced as 'hea' in 'heaven'; romanised as 'he'.

へ andヘ are derived from 部・ブ、-ベ・section/department. 部 is made up of 咅・トウ to spit out and 阝/邑・むら(village) a person kneeling to an authority, who is speaking to them. You can think of ヘ as a little extended roof, where you ヘ・he-lp other people of your 部 section/village. 

ほ and ホ are pronounced as 'ho' in 'hot'; romanised as 'ho'.

ほ and ホ are derived from 保・たもつ・ホ・protect/preserve and shows a 人・ひと person protecting a 呆・ホウ baby. Ironically 呆 can mean amazed, disgusted or shocked in Japanese, which I guess are the usually responses to meeting a baby. So, you didn't use a condom and this 乃 happened, now you are thinking ホ・ho-ly shit, how am I going to 保 support this 呆 child.

That is all for today, tune in for another lesson tomorrow.


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