Sunday, 3 July 2011

Katakana (カタカナ)

After you've memorised all the Hiragana characters and sounds, you can start learning Katakana. This time it's much easier though, because you've already learned the sounds.

Each Katakana represents the exact Hiragana sound. For example:

A = あ = ア

Just view it as a different handwriting (eventhough sometimes it feels like a different letter). I know you're thinking "WHY are there two kana's of the same sound?".

I used to think the same thing, I felt like I'm learning alphabets of two different languages. BUT that's only because we're trying to view the language from our own language's perspective.
You cannot make a logic explanation of some things on your own language if you explain it to a foriegner trying to learn it...because it's just the way it is. There are things in Arabic that I see as logical but an English person might need me to give examples in his/her own language in order to find logic...but it is not always possible.
As I mentioned in previous posts, Katakana is used for words that were borrowed from other languages OR western words. For example, some fruits have Japanese names but others don't, like:

Apple = Ringo (りんご) <--- so it's written in Hiragana

Lemon = Remon (レモン) <--- so it's written in Katakana

Simple isn't it . So now you can start learning Katakana from this chart:
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 You'll notice that there are extra syllables on this chart (in the centre) because as Katakana is associated with foreign words, there are a few words that wouldn't be transliterated correctly. SO they added a few more.

For instance, some names like Fadiya (an Arabic girls' name) would've been Hadiya or Fuadiya which sounds different but now that there is 'FA' we can write it as Fadiya.
My Advice:
Visit Digital Dialects to listen to the sounds, but you've already learned that in Hiragana, so again visit Teach Yourself Japanese to learn the stroke order.

I'll be adding my own stroke order tutorial here when I'm fnished with them (just like with the Hiragana) but in the meantime, these links would do.


  1. EXCELLENT WORK!!!!...once I finish learning Russian (whenever that may be) I'll start learning Japanese through this blog...and through you of course, since we live together hahahaha

  2. Thanx momo <--- yes

    and I'll learn Russian through your blog XP can't wait!!!