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For example, chijimeru ('to boil down' or 'to shrink') is spelled ちぢめる and tsudzuku ('to continue') is in hiragana.

However, this does not apply when kanji are used phonetically to write words that do not relate directly to the meaning of the kanji (see also ateji).

For example, ち, nominally ti, is very often romanised as chi in an attempt to better represent the actual sound in Japanese.

The figure below shows the derivation of hiragana from manyōgana via cursive script.

The upper part shows the character in the regular script form, the center character in red shows the cursive script form of the character, and the bottom shows the equivalent hiragana.

In Japanese this is an important distinction in pronunciation; for example, compare Ouch! However, it cannot be used to double the na, ni, nu, ne, no syllables' consonants – to double these, the singular n (ん) is added in front of the syllable, as in みんな (minna, "all").

Hiragana usually spells long vowels with the addition of a second vowel kana; for example, おかあさん (o-ka-a-sa-n, "mother").

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