dragon bowl top

Join Bullma, Poolong and Sun Goku on a brand new episode of Dragon Bowl!

Hey there and welcome to to the fourth installment of Learn Japanese through Ridiculous Manga, where every Friday we study Japanese together in a quick, fun way.

New to the series? Check out the intro article which will help explain all this craziness. And if you missed last week’s article, be sure to take a peek at it here.

▼ If you’re a fan of Attack on Titan,
then you’ll love last week’s A Tick on Titan.

a tick on titan teaser 2

Today we’re going to look at the next five hiragana. As always, I highly recommend putting these five into Anki, a flashcard program, so that you can practice them between articles. As long as you just do whatever Anki tells you to do every day (which usually isn’t much), you’ll be a master in no time.

1) Today’s first hiragana: さ (sa)
(Pronounced like “saw”)

(Click the play button below to listen to our wonderful
native Japanese writer Meg pronounce this hiragana for you!)

little hiragana sa

▼ If you remember the hiragana for き (ki), then this one looks just like it,
except the second line has been sawed off.

hiragana sa

2) Today’s next hiragana: し (shi)
(Pronounced like “sheep”)

little hiragana shi

▼ You know those canes sheep-herders use?
Well this is just like one of those, only upside-down.

hiragana shi

3) Today’s next-next hiragana: す (su)
(Pronounced like “sushi”)

little hiragana su

▼ This one’s easy! It has a circle in it,
just like everyone’s favorite cyllindrical food: sushi.

hiragana su

4) Today’s penultimate hiragana: せ (se)
(Pronounced like “set”)

little hiragana se

▼ When the sheep-herder wants to take a break,
he sets his upside-down cane on a table.

hiragana se

5) Today’s final hiragana: そ (so)
(Pronounced like “soap”)

little hiragana so

Soap on a rope. Need we say more?

hiragana so

(Click below to hear Meg pronounce all five hiragana!)

Okay, quiz time! Can you read the new hiragana below? (Hint: they’re not in the same order we just did them.)

sashisuseso quiz

And, if you’re already a pro at that try reading all twenty hiragana we’ve learned so far:

cumu hiragan quiz 03











(1st Quiz Answer: sa, se, su, so, shi)
(2nd Quiz Answer:
ko, shi, ke, i, go,
gi, a, sa, ga, o,
so, e, ki, ku, su,
ka, ge, gu, se, u)

Did you get them right? If you don’t feel confident yet, just review them in Anki and try again until you and those twenty hiragana are best friends.

But for now, it’s time for another installment of… Particle Party!

▼ And today’s birthday boy/girl/whatever
is a hiragana we learned last week: が (ga).

particle party

Just like we saw two weeks ago, Japanese has lots of “particles,” which are basically “little” words that help the “more important” words in a sentence come together and make sense. They’re kind of like “at,” “of,” “the” etc. in English.

This week we’ll be looking at a new particle: が (ga).

What Does が (ga) Do?
It has several uses, but when it comes after a noun, it marks that noun as the subject of the sentence.

Japan-glish Examples:
You が stink = You stink
(“You” is marked as the subject of the sentence, making it clear who smells.)

He が told me = He told me
(“He” is marked as the subject, making it clear who told me.)

The egg が is rotten = The egg is rotten
(“The egg” is marked as the subject, making it clear what is rotten.)

Who が ate my egg? = Who ate my egg?
(“Who” is marked as the subject of this question sentence.)

Easy, right? Now let’s take a look at the particle が and the rest of the hiragana you’ve learned so far by reading this excerpt from the manga Dragon Bowl.

“Teenage genius Bullma is searching the world for the seven legendary Dragon Bowls, which when brought together, can grant the user one dish. Along the way she runs into some interesting characters including Poolong the pig, and a strange boy named Sun Goku who has a tail as bright as the sun. Goku also really likes to eat, and unfortunately his latest snack has an unfortunate odor to it….”

(Read like a real Japanese manga: panels go from top right to left,
hiragana is read from left to right.)

dragon bowl 01

Sound FX: Gusu gusu. (Koko = here, kuu = eat, ka = the particle we learned)

Bullma: Uso!

Bullma: Gokuu! Ookii sushi ga sugoku kusai!
Sun Goku: E? Kusai ka? Oishii!

Bullma: Ike!

Poolong: Koko ga oishisou!
Sun Goku: A?!

Sun Goku: Sushi kaese!
Bullma: Koukai…

Sound FX: Sniff sniff.

Bullma: No way!

Bullma: Goku! (The) big sushi really stinks!
(sushi = sushi, ga = this week’s particle, sugoku = really/incredibly, kusai = stinks)
Sun Goku: What? (It) stinks? (It’s) delicious!
(kusai = stinks, ka = lesson #2’s particle)

Bullma: Go!

Poolong: (This) here looks good!
(koko = sushi, ga = this week’s particle, oishisou = looks tasty)
Sun Goku: Huh?

Sun Goku: Give back (my) sushi!
Bullma: (I have) regret…

All right! Did you read it yourself? If not then review in Anki a bit, and give it another crack.

Next week we’ll be taking a look at the next five hiragana, which will all be fresh new faces. And as always there will be a delightful manga as well, so grab some pun-filled popcorn.

In the meantime if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter. I can’t promise that I know everything, but I can guarantee at least an attempt at a witty response.

See you next week everyone, and remember to stay ridiculous!

“Extra Credit” Anki Input: (Front / Back)
ぐすぐす / gusugusu, sniff sniff
うそ/ uso, no way!
ごくう / gokuu, Goku
おおきい すし が すごく くさい / ookii sushi ga sugoku kusai, (The) big sushi really stinks!
おいしい / oishii, delicious
いけ/ ike, Go!
おいしそう / oishisou, looks delicious
すし かえせ / sushi kaese, Give back (my) sushi1
かえせ / kaese, Give (it) back!
こうかい / koukai, regret

Text/images: ©RocketNews24