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Tips On How To Memorize Hiragana & Katakana

Updated on February 7, 2013
A cute Hiragana chart to help you remember Hiragana & Japanese words!
A cute Hiragana chart to help you remember Hiragana & Japanese words!

When I was learning Japanese, Romanji was my best friend. When I realized I needed to learn my Kana (Japanese writing) I had trouble with Hiragana and Katakana. There seemed to be no way to remember all those characters! I also was confused since both Hiragana and Katakana both had the same sounds. I knew I had to learn them, but how?


Tip One: Get Familiar

One problem some people may have is that they aren't familiar with these characters. They look foreign and seem to have no meaning. I wanted to be able to recognize some of the characters. I put up some posters in my room, much like the picture to the right, in my room. I'd notice it everyday, and when I read Romanji, I looked at the posters seeing how it looked in Hiragana. You can also make it your laptop or computer wallpaper(also what i did), your phone wallpaper- anywhere. As long as you see it, it'll be in your mind. I also used flashcards everyday to help me memorize the Kana.

Tip Two: Learn Some Words

I wanted not only to recognize Hiragana & Katakana, but know it. So, I looked up some random Japanese, and posted sticky-notes to items in my house. When I looked at the clock, I seen my sticky-note that said tokei (toh-keh-ee), or とけい. I had written in Hiragana so then I had to remember what the Hiragana meant. If i couldn't remember what it meant, I looked at a Hiragana chart. Gradually, I started to recognize and remember much of the Hiragana. If i wrote in Romanji, I wouldn't have learned anything. By writing it in Hiragana, I challenged myself, and I learned it slowly.

Tip Three: Write, Write, And Write

I remembered in grade school, if I misspelled a word on a spelling test, my teacher made me rewrite it 10 times over. This way, the way I wrote it/spelled it stuck with me. I transferred this tip with learning Japanese. I wrote, let's say the "K" sounds, (Ka, Ki, Ku,Ke, and Ko) by rows over and over around 10 times. When I felt I had it memorized pretty well, I wrote the "T" sounds ten times over. Then, I wrote the "K" sounds over again, then the "T". After that, I'd move on to the "N"s and repeat. I have a notebook with 7+ pages filled with this practice. It took around 30 minutes to practice on each page.

Hopefully these tips have helped on your Kana. Try your best! ^_^ Here's a online Japanese Keyboard you can use if you can't type Japanese on your computer: http://linguanaut.com/japanese_keyboard.htm

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    • THEHuG5 profile image

      THEHuG5 5 years ago

      Awesome hub! I have a friend who will be taking Japanese classes soon and I'll share this with her. I really like your tip about making the charts your laptop background. That would be a good way to help remember things. Voting up!

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