Now that I've read through my previous post, I noticed there are still some things left to explain, which I've missed last time beacause I'm too used to them and kind of take them for granted by now. That being the pronunciation of the kana a, i, u, e and o, and all the other kana they are part of. Although not by much, their pronunciation differs from that in English.
The kana a is pronaunced like the A in After.
The kana i is pronaunced like the I in Image.
The kana u is pronaunced like the OUGH in thrOUGH or the OO in mOO.
The kana e is pronaunced like the E in Ever.
And lastly, the kana o is pronaunced..... well, pretty much as it is in English, only little shorter - it isn't the English oh, but a shorter and clean O.
Well, that covers just about everything about the pronunciation. Another thing you might have been wondering about is how the Japanese spell words with consecutive consonants, since all their kana end with a vowel, and exept for the occasional n, all the words must be follow the pattern (vowel) -consonant - vowel - consonant -vowel and so on, with the possible addition of any number of vowels in betweem, since unlike consonats, single vowels do exits in Japanese. Well, they is no way to group a number of consonants together - the Japanese spell such words with a number of added vowels in between - for example the word Berserk; in Japanese that would be spelled beruseruku(that's the name of a nice manga, you can check it out if you're into fantasy/horror, be warned, though, it's pretty gory).
You might also have noticed that some letters are completely missing in the table, not even being present as part of syllables - such as v, b, l and many others. Some of them might be obtained from the kana in the table (we're going to cover this in the next lesson), but others simply don't exist - such as L. The Japanese language simply doesn't have that sound. Japanese always use R instead, which causes many funny mistakes when they try to write a word in English - their use of L and R is pretty much random, so you can often see on Japanese signs words like erebator, toiret or lestroom - such spelling mistakes and silly translations in general are know as Engrish.
Since I've started babbling on about random stuff now I will end this post for now before I say something stupid ;) Next will be Lesson 2.