Hiragana Diacritical Marks

by Morris Servaessen | 11 Mar 2023 Hiragana Diacritical Marks


What are the marks above the Hiragana Characters called?

Hiragana Diacritical Marks are symbols used in the Japanese writing system to modify the pronunciation and meaning of Hiragana Characters.

They include the Dakuten Mark【濁点】゛: Two little stripes on the top right-hand side of the Hiragana Character, and the Handakuten Mark【半濁点】 ゜: A small round circle on the top right-hand side of the Hiragana Character.

The Dakuten Mark changes the unvoiced consonants k, s, t, h into voiced consonants g, z, d, b.

Unvoice ➝ Voiced Consonants:

  • か ➝ が
  • さ ➝ ざ
  • た ➝ だ
  • は ➝ ば

The consonant h changes to p by adding the Handakuten Mark.

Handakuten Diacitical Mark:

  • は ➝ ぱ