実家 [じっか] – home (of one’s parents)

実 [ジツ・み] –  reality

家 [カ・いえ] – house; home

Notice that today’s word is pronounced じっか instead of じつか。This is a euphonic change, and happens quite a bit in Japanese.  Heck, it even occurs in one pronunciation of the word “Japan.”  日本 can not only be pronounced にほん, but also にっぽん.  The small hiragana っ doubles the consonant sound of the upcoming consonant rather than having a voiced sound of its own.  In katakana, it looks like ッ.

To type this character on your computer, either type a double consonant or the letter x + つ.  Try it out and see if you can get it to work.