Why are the vowels ordered like that?

Asked 8 years ago

I find it weird that the vowels are ordered as A-I-U-E-O during lessons.

Where I live, the order was A-E-I-O-U, not only because of the alphabetic order but because of the sound they make, which are progressively closing.

It's not exactly a support question. I'm just wondering… where did it come from? Is that an american thing? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

1 Answer


Great question! The Japanese kana is ordered based on the Gojūon ordering.  This is the standard ordering and is really all I've seen in schools that I've been to as well as in Japan itself.  More information can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goj%C5%ABon

Answered 8 years ago

That seems to be exactly what's happening. Which is actually good… Can't really argue much against learn japanese like the japanese. But being a system offered to people who speak other languages, I wonder if tweaking the order of the kanas would make it easier for a beginner to learn them. But then again, maybe the Gojüon order is important just like it is for us the alphabetic order.

Commented 8 years ago

I'm honestly not sure of any particular significance in the English vowel order, besides maybe it sounds better when sung aloud, which means you remember it easier. Now a days i sing the Japanese order aloud, and find myself using it instead of the English one. Speaking of clever methods for memorization, Ka Sa Ta Na Ha Ma Ya Ra Wa N. Kana Signs, Take Note How Much You Read and Write. Is a good way to remember the Kana.

Commented 8 years ago