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い (i) – Hiragana


– Pronounced as the Japanese ‘i’. Sounds closest to an English ‘ea’ as in ‘pea’. Say it aloud after you hear the audio.


い in hiragana or イ in katakana (romanised i) is one of the Japanese kana each of which represents one mora. い is based on the sōsho style of the kanji character 以, and イ is from the radical (left part) of the kanji character 伊. In the modern Japanese system of alphabetical order, it occupies the second position of the alphabet, between あ and う.


Mnemonic 1: The character represents two little legs of a peacock. Imagine the way ‘e’ is pronounced in ‘peacock’ as ‘ee’.

Mnemonic 2: A golf-club has hit a golf ball towards you. You can’t see the ball, because it is the same colour as the background, but you can see the stripe down its middle, as it spins towards you.

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