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Hiragana Extra Lesson 1: Sokuon "っ"

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Japanesepod101

Illustration and voice by Shou Yukiya
Voice by Yukiha Saki
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What is Sokuon?

Sokuon (促音) {

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} is a symbol, in the form of a smaller Hiragana つ or Katakana ツ, that indicates a slight pause between two syllables. For instance, さっき means that after pronouncing "sa", there is a slight pause before pronouncing "ki".

Sokuon does not appear at the beginning of a word.

How to type Sokuon?

You can type Sokuon by repeating the letter that follows っ. For instance, if you type ”kite", you get きて. But if you double the "t" and make it "kitte", you will get きて.

Of course, there are times when you only want to type the Sokuon. You can easily do so by typing "xtu" or "ltu". In Japanese input system, the letter "L" is normally not used. But if you put an "l" (small letter because there is no need to capitalize) before a kana, you will get a smaller form of that kana. For example, if you type "la", you will get ぁ.

Sokuon in songs

Because Sokuon indicates a pause in spoken language, it is easy to imagine that Sokuon in songs is different from that in daily conversation. Otherwise, there will be a lot of awkward pauses in Japanese songs.

Sokuon in songs is transformed into repeating the vowel of the previous kana. For instance, きっと (kitto) will be transformed into きいと with き and い pronounced as two separate syllables instead of one single long vowel. Of course, fast songs do not have this problem.

How to write:

hiragana sokuon

The shape is exactly the same as Hiragana つ . But the size is smaller.

The stroke order illustrations are made by D.328, used under CCSA3.0.