The First 20 Words You should Know in Japanese

Learning Japanese may seem scary and difficult with all the Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You may not even know where to begin.

Unlike English and many other languages, the fundamental sound structure of Japanese repeats a consonant and a vowel alternately, which creates the unique sound and rhythm of the language. After enough time listening and speaking the style with preferably Japanese natives, sooner or later, you will get used to the sound and sensation in your mouth when speaking.

But in the meantime, for a starter, how about learning some single-syllable words, which shouldn’t be too hard to memorize? There are more than 20 single-syllable words in Japanese; however, some of them are highly technical and without a proper context, saying the word itself hardly means anything. Here are 20 selected one-syllable Japanese words.

ee – stomach
eh – painting
oh – tail
ka – mosquito
ki- tree
kay – hair
ko – child
shi – death
su – vinegar
chi – blood
tay – hand
toh – door
ha – tooth
hee – fire
meh – eye
ya – arrow
wa – circle
guh – moth
goo – content
ba – place

Hopefully, these weren’t too difficult.
You can also download the handout for these 20 words by clicking below.
20 Single-Syllable Japanese Words (PDF download)