The double consonants in hiragana

Learn more about the double consonants in hiragana and its use!

Although not as noticeable in many japanese courses, this is a part of learning that I consider very important, as disrespecting these rules can cause a lot of communication problems between us and a native Japanese.

duplicating consonants

It is common to find Japanese words written with two consonants in a row. In romaji (phonetic transcription from Japanese to a language that uses our alphabet, such as English, Portuguese from Portugal, Spanish, etc.), we usually find words written in the following way: Akka, Anna, Massao.

The double consonants in hiragana

Let's use Akka in our explanation. Right?

For akka, pronunciation requires a short break when moving from one syllable to another. It's as if you pronounce the A, then stay silent for a second and then pronounce the last syllable (the KA of akka).

In the case of Anna, the An is first pronounced and then we speak the Na. Respecting a small extension of An (First syllable).

Massao works the same way. First we speak the Mas (as in Portuguese) and after a second, we finish pronouncing the word with the syllable Sao.

Don't panic, whenever you see words with two consonants, just remember to pause a second of silence for the cases of two silent consonants (kk, TT.. ), or to pronounce it longer in the case of the consonants NN and SS .

Okay, I understand how to say it, but how do I write this in hiragana? It's quite simple. Every double consonant with a muted sound is preceded by a tsu ( つ ), but this つ is very small. Check it out:

つ -> Tsu normal.
っ -> Small Tsu.

The consonant ん (N) is the only exception. It is usually written with a syllable starting with the family of な (N) and is not followed by a っ ( TSU small ). Therefore, the words already mentioned above should be written as follows.

Akka = あっか
Anna = あんな
Massao = まっさお

The confusion

Communication difficulties start when we encounter words with double consonants because they generate completely different meanings. In other words, aka is a very different word from akka.

あか – Blood red.
あっか – Corruption, immorality or degeneration.

So, be careful with double consonants so you don't get misinterpreted. OK?

Well guys, I'm staying here. I hope you're enjoying it because we're already finishing this little one hiragana course. To the next!