Mysterious Japanese 濁点 (Dakuten) Quotation Marks

Mysterious Japanese Dakuten Quotation Marks 2Everyone know kana? Good. You haven’t let me down. You know your 濁点 (Dakuten)? You probably haven’t even heard of this word. I didn’t know it for a long time. But you use them all the time. They are those little quotation marks and circles next to kana that change the sound they produce.

Dakuten are known as “voiced sounds.” But really, it doesn’t matter what they are called, as long as you know how to use them. And they are incredibly easy.

You learn the standard kana, and you learn when certain kana have ゛or ゜attached to them, it changes the sound to something else. It is a short list of easy rules.


か (ka) becomes が(ga)
へ (he) becomes ぺ (pe)

You know this. Why is there an article about this?

Let’s take a little quiz then to see if you can pronounce the following kana with their dakuten attached.


Wait what?


Stop making stuff up. You know your charts. These are not up there. And you are right.

So when you see the following situation, you may at first be confused:

 Mysterious Japanese Dakuten Quotation Marks

But now the simple answer.

Dakuten are used for any kind of distorted sounds.

Which includes the following:

Mouth Injured
Very sleepy
Being Drunk
Having a very strong accent

And how does it sound?

It is the same pronunciation as the original kana, except said as if someone fell into one of the above situations.

See, even Japanese kana is deep. Always something new to add on.

Any other situations where you’ve seen dakuten where they normally don’t belong?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Mysterious Japanese 濁点 (Dakuten) Quotation Marks — 2 Comments

  1. I think you pick up the meaning of the dakuten pretty fast because they are most often connected to very emotional scenes where the use is very easy to guess.

    So what are the black semi-pearls called? The ones for spelling out or emphasizing Kana.

    • I don’t know if this is their official name but I have heard them being called 強調点 (emphasis points).

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