Describing sounds with words is really really hard.
If you’re having trouble with the small つ you should probably go to Youtube and look up some videos on “Japanese Double Consonant”. It’s pretty easy to understand once you’ve heard it a few dozen times and know what to listen for.
Yellow: As long as we’re talking about hiragana, what’s up with the tiny つ that keeps shwoing up in the middle of words?
Blue: The tiny つ means you should double the consonant that comes after it.
Yellow: How do you double a consonant? You can’t just hold the sound out longer like you do with a vowel.
Blue: It’s hard to explain. Think of it like adding a split-second pause right before the consonant.
Blue: For example, compare いか and いっかい
Yellow: I can’t really hear the difference…
Blue: There are a few examples in English as well. Like when you pronounce “midday” or “lamppost” as one word instead of two.
Yellow: I still can’t hear what you’re doing!