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Lesson

Writing system: Katakana

Katakana is a part of the Japanese writing system, together with hiragana and kanji. It's primarily used for writing words derived from foreign words, most commonly English (i.e. coat - ___) and onomatopoeia (i.e. dog barking sound - ____).

/w-//r-//y-//m-//h-//n-//t-//s-//k-/
/a/
nwarayamahanatasakaa
ヰ*/i/
wirimihinichishikii
/u/
ruyumufunutsusukuu
ヱ*/e/
weremehenetesekee
/o/
woroyomohonotosokoo

* very rarely used, ignore it for now

You can click on characters in the table to jump to the corresponding section.

Let's go over all of the characters and look at the stroke order. In order to memorize them quickly, it is recommended to practice using pen and paper for several days.

If you prefer learning by writing on paper, print out the PDF study sheet and get a pen.

Vowel column - a

Vowel column - i

Vowel column - u

Vowel column - e

Vowel column - o

/k/- column - ka

/k/- column - ki

Hiragana mnemonic

Mnemonic: キ - Ki is just like a Key.

/k/- column - ku

/k/- column - ke

/k/- column - ko

/s/- column - sa

/s/- column - shi

Mnemonic: シ - Shi is a gentle girl, She's smiling at you.

/s/- column - su

/s/- column - se

/s/- column - so

Looks very similar to n, with the main difference being the lower stroke being much more vertical. Depending on the font, it might be difficult telling them apart at times.

/t/- column - ta

/t/- column - chi

Mnemonic: チ - Chi is a "Cheerleader" cheering you on.

/t/- column - tsu

Mnemonic: ツ - Tsu is a Tsunami, run away!

/t/- column - te

/t/- column - to

/n/- column - na

/n/- column - ni

/n/- column - nu

/n/- column - ne

/n/- column - no

/h/- column - ha

/h/- column - hi

/h/- column - fu

/h/- column - he

/h/- column - ho

/m/- column - ma

/m/- column - mi

/m/- column - mu

Mnemonic: ム - Mu is like a cow looking at you, saying "moo".

/m/- column - me

/m/- column - mo

/y/- column - ya

/y/- column - yu

/y/- column - yo

/r/- column - ra

/r/- column - ri

/r/- column - ru

/r/- column - re

/r/- column - ro

/w/- column - wa

/w/- column - wo

/n/ column - n

Looks very similar to so, with the main difference being the lower stroke being much more horizontal. Depending on the font, it might be difficult telling them apart at times.