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Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Finest Hiragana & Katakana Studying Sources

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Hiragana and katakana are actually the ABCs of Japanese. They’re essentially the most primary forms of Japanese characters and important elements of the Japanese language. Studying these two forms of characters is usually the very first step to studying Japanese, too.

Having the ability to learn hiragana and katakana is wonderful as a result of it is such an instantly sensible ability. You see them in every single place in Japan. The surroundings of Japan, and even your neighborhood Asian grocery retailer might begin to look completely different as soon as you recognize hiragana and katakana.

Fortunately, they’re pretty straightforward to grasp, too. No, you do not want a photographic reminiscence or superpower to memorize all of them. All you want is the suitable methodology and instruments to check successfully and effectively.

There are 46 hiragana characters for hiragana and katakana respectively. Memorizing 92 characters with unfamiliar shapes may sound intimidating now, however belief me. Individuals have discovered them in a pair weeks, a number of days, or perhaps a few hours with these efficient strategies.

If you wish to research hiragana and katakana pretty shortly, and always remember them, you have come to the suitable place. I will discuss how you are able to do it, and introduce a number of the greatest kana studying assets you need to use for a profitable kana studying expertise.

How To Study Hiragana & Katakana

First, let me undergo the three key factors for profitable kana studying.

1. Use reminiscence hints aka “mnemonics”

Reminiscence hints, aka mnemonics, are actually the sport changer in remembering international characters like hiragana, katakana, and even kanji. Utilizing mnemonics, you may simply affiliate the form of kana with the studying.
Curious how mnemonics truly work? Here is an instance to recollect hiragana “ki” (き). This one is fairly easy. Simply consider a key! πŸ”‘

illustration of a mnemonic for the hiragana き using a key

Remembering a bunch of unfamiliar shapes abruptly sounds doable, proper? Mnemonics make issues straightforward to recollect, recall, and never neglect. It truly is a strong device for kana studying.

2. Prioritize “studying” over “writing”

Give attention to studying first. Not writing. I do know, it is not the normal means kids be taught their characters. However, studying to learn is extra essential as the commonest type of “writing” these days is typing. (Should you can learn kana, you may sort them.)

Having the ability to handwrite hiragana from reminiscence is a superb ability to have too, but it surely takes much more time to grasp and has fewer real-life advantages. I like to recommend you reserve it for later. Handwriting or tracing over the characters along with your fingers may be a good way to spend time observing the shapes intently, however all the time take into account the “studying” precedence moderately than with the ability to handwrite out of your reminiscence. No less than, for now.

3. Apply recalling

When you turn out to be accustomed to the kana, apply studying repeatedly. Be sure that to evaluation gadgets you have discovered and stick with it. And whenever you evaluation, focus in your recall. The extra effort you set into recalling one thing, the stronger reminiscence your mind will find yourself constructing.

The Finest Sources for Studying Hiragana/Katakana

So now that we have talked in regards to the three key factors for profitable kana studying, it’s possible you’ll be considering, “What instruments can I take advantage of to be taught hiragana and katakana?”

I bought you β€” I put collectively an inventory of a number of the greatest kana studying assets. They, after all, have small variations, however all of them function mnemonics and studying apply, that are the important thing factors for profitable kana studying.

Useful resource Format Professionals & Cons
Tofugu’s Study Hiragana/Katakana Books PDF books πŸ‘ Free!
πŸ‘ High quality mnemonics
πŸ‘ Bonus handwriting workouts that will help you affiliate the form with the studying
πŸ‘ Different Tofugu kana studying assets can be found
πŸ‘Ž No audio (although the online web page variations do have audio)
HIRAGANA/KATAKANA Reminiscence Trace iOS/Android Apps πŸ‘ Free!
πŸ‘Ž Solely presents a number of selection quizzes
πŸ‘Ž Glitchy β€” some options (like audio play) might not work
Study Languages with Dr. Moku iOS/Android Apps πŸ‘ Animated mnemonic illustrations and audio studying aloud mnemonics
πŸ‘Ž In-app buy is required for the total protection of kana
Hiragana/Katakana in 1 Hour – The way to Write and Learn Japanese YouTube Video Classes πŸ‘ Free!
πŸ‘Ž Being a video lesson, it is onerous to navigate and reference a selected kana

Now, let’s take a better take a look at every useful resource.

Tofugu’s Study Hiragana/Katakana Books

image of some pages from tofugu's learn hiragana and katakana books

Earlier than something, let me discuss Tofugu’s personal merchandise β€” our Study Hiragana/Katakana Guide sequence. This can be a shameless plug as I’m very happy with all of the learners who efficiently discovered kana with our books and proved them to be efficient. They’re additionally out there free of charge, so nothing to lose for those who give them a attempt.

Tofugu’s Study Hiragana/Katakana Guide sequence consists of two PDF workbooks, so you may print or use them in your system offline. The workbooks cowl every little thing it’s worthwhile to find out about hiragana and katakana. You may discover ways to pronounce, and tips on how to keep in mind every character with mnemonics and writing apply sheets. There are additionally studying apply workouts that will help you evaluation what you have simply discovered by filling in romaji. The quiz makes use of precise phrases constructed from the characters you have discovered, making a rewarding second that hopefully makes you go “Woah, I can learn Japanese phrases!” and motivates you to maintain going.

Greater than something, the last word focus of our content material is the standard of mnemonics. We have been updating and bettering our mnemonics ever since we first printed them, and that is what makes our kana content material particular. For instance, to elucidate the pronunciation of every kana, we use an English phrase that makes use of the identical or very comparable sound in order that you recognize precisely tips on how to pronounce it. And, when attainable, we use the English key phrase for mnemonics too. For instance, the hiragana い sounds identical to “e” as in “eel.” And that will help you affiliate the sound and the form of the characters, we use the identical key phrase “eel,” and say い appears to be like like two eels hanging out. One other frequent mnemonic for い is that it appears to be like just like the quantity eleven as in 11 (which, it completely does!) however we select “eels” for the extra correct pronunciation. We imagine that studying kana can also be about studying the sounds of the Japanese language and the fundamentals of Japanese pronunciation, so we hope these key phrases enable you to keep in mind the right pronunciation.

We additionally hold our mnemonic artwork easy in a means that makes it straightforward to see the unique form of the character. Not many mnemonics on the market have this high quality, and it is generally onerous to acknowledge the unique form within the mnemonic artwork.

If you’re on the lookout for a one-stop resolution for kana studying, you will not be disillusioned with Tofugu’s Study Hiragana/Katakana Books.

Format PDF Workbooks
Professionals
  • Free!
  • Many of the mnemonics use English key phrases which can be near the Japanese sound of the character
  • Mnemonic artwork does not intrude with the unique form of the character
  • Comes with writing sheets that will help you affiliate the form with the studying
  • Extra kana studying instruments out there to combine and match at Tofugu
Cons
Product Hyperlink

For many who need to have the ability to hearken to the pronunciation of every kana…

we now have net web page variations too β€” Study Hiragana: The Final Information and Study Katakana: The Final Information. Whereas these do not include writing sheets, you may play the audio, which is all the time a bonus.

So there you’ve gotten it. We even have extra kana studying instruments in varied codecs and for various functions, so try the listing under to search out one thing that fits your choice and wishes. You may combine and match too β€” they’re all free!

  • Internet Pages
    They arrive with audio so you may hear how every character is pronounced.
  • YouTube Video Classes
  • Mnemonic Charts
    A fast reference chart of our mnemonics.
  • Quiz/Evaluate

HIRAGANA/KATAKANA Reminiscence Trace

hiraganakatakana memory hint

HIRAGANA Reminiscence Trace and KATAKANA Reminiscence Trace are cell apps that will help you be taught kana with reminiscence hints (aka mnemonics). Developed by The Japan Basis Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, each apps can be found free of charge.
The apps are divided into two elements: Reminiscence Hints and Quiz.

The reminiscence hints are total useful and intuitive, they usually all include cute illustrations. If something, the distinctive artwork type makes it a bit onerous to acknowledge the unique characters within the illustration. Most of the illustrations kind of modify the shapes to make sense of the visible mnemonics (or no less than, many look loads completely different from generic font textual content). So for those who ever use these apps, hold that in thoughts, and ensure to match the illustration to what the character truly appears to be like like. There are a pair choices within the app that enable you to with this; one to see the mnemonic illustration and the unique aspect by aspect, and one other to play an animation of the illustration steadily fading out and the unique character showing after that.

Should you go to the Quiz display screen, there are 4 forms of quizzes you may choose from. Along with the standard apply of selecting the corresponding romaji studying for every kana, the choices embrace Pay attention & Select, the place you hear a sound and select a corresponding kana out of three selections, and Related Hiragana / Related Katakana, the place you see a sound written in romaji and select a corresponding character out of two or three kana choices that look alike, similar to あ, め, and ぬ.

One other good factor in regards to the quiz function is you could slender down the characters you wish to apply by choosing a gaggle(s) of kana. Every group comprises two kana rows of eight to 10 characters. Not many individuals cram all of the kana in a single sitting, so it is good to have the ability to choose and apply the kana you simply grew to become accustomed to, earlier than shifting ahead to check extra.

Nonetheless, it is price noting these quizzes are all in multiple-choice format. In comparison with typing or writing, it is a much less strict methodology of testing your information, or working towards your recall. However for those who desire easing into kana with a extra relaxed strategy, this might be an excellent choice. No matter your reply being right or not, you may be proven the mnemonic illustration of the reply proper after you reply every query. It is a good gesture for individuals who had a tough time recalling many of the characters, however this feels redundant whenever you attempt to get by means of the session as shortly as attainable or whenever you’re already assured and needn’t see them. Quiz classes are timed to encourage folks to undergo shortly, so being proven the mnemonic picture can really feel extraneous.

Total, regardless of minor particulars that you could be want to change, HIRAGANA/KATAKANA Reminiscence Trace is a professional choice to be taught kana with the assistance of mnemonics. And it is free!

As a aspect word… As of reviewing the apps (February, 2023), the audio was sadly not working in any respect on my iPhone 13 mini. Audio play buttons to test the pronunciation of every character does not work, and the Pay attention & Select quiz does not play the audio both.

Study Languages with Dr. Moku (Hiragana & Katakana)

learn languages with dr moku

Study Languages with Dr. Moku is a cell app that makes use of the ability of mnemonics to assist visible learners research the characters of international languages, together with Japanese β€” hiragana, katakana, and even primary kanji.
Of their hiragana and katakana programs, you may be introduced with mnemonic illustrations and a brief phrase or two that will help you affiliate the form of the character with the way it’s pronounced.

Upon tapping the mnemonic picture, it performs an animated model of the visible mnemonic (You may hear Dr. Moku studying the mnemonic aloud for you!), then an animation exhibiting how the character is written following its stroke order. Many mnemonics are intelligent, however simply remember that there are some popular culture references used within the mnemonics, similar to Mr. T or Ed Sheeran, which is probably not relatable to everybody.

Following mnemonics is an audio play button to listen to the pronunciation together with some helpful details about every character β€” tips on how to pronounce it or the place you may see the character. It additionally reveals a number of phrases the place the character is used.

After studying a set of characters, you may be prompted with quizzes to evaluation what you have simply discovered. It presents varied codecs of quizzes, similar to typing in romaji, and choosing a personality comparable to the sound you hear. It quizzes you with not solely single characters but in addition generally phrases which can be made out of a number of characters.

The app total has a terrific design and high quality illustrations and animations, however it’s important to pay for what you get β€” it is not free to be taught all of the kana. You should use it free of charge to check eleven hiragana and eight katakana, however after that, you may must make a one-time in-app buy to improve to the total kana protection. Every kana bundle prices $5.99, however there is a Japanese Bundle bundle for $7.99, which incorporates each kana in addition to primary kanji and a phrase ebook.

The improve additionally unlocks some bonus options, together with a apply device the place you are able to do further quizzes, however this apply function will not actually be helpful till you are already accustomed to the entire set of 46 primary kana plus variation characters. You may select what number of questions you wish to undergo in a session, but it surely does not contemplate what kana you have already discovered on the app, nor does it let you choose kana you are already accustomed to and wish to quiz.

Format Cellular Apps (iOS/Android)
Professionals
  • Mnemonics and quizzes in a single app
  • Seamless app expertise to be taught and evaluation kana
  • Visually interesting with high quality illustrations and animations
Cons
  • Not free to be taught all kana, so just about, you are anticipated to pay
  • Quiz outcomes do not inform you what particular character you had a tough time with
  • The paid “Apply” function will not contemplate what kana it’s possible you’ll already know
Product Hyperlink Dr. Moku

Study ALL Hiragana/Katakana in 1 Hour – The way to Write and Learn Japanese (JapanesePod101.com)

Study ALL Hiragana/Katakana in 1 Hour is a sequence of two video classes out there free of charge on YouTube. Every video is an hour lengthy, specializing in both an entire set of hiragana or katakana.
The video offers an outline of hiragana and katakana utilizing graphics and charts, then goes by means of every character that will help you keep in mind tips on how to write and browse them. Every character is launched with the stroke order of the character, and what the character appears to be like like in several sorts of fonts. In addition they present an illustration mnemonic for every character to make it straightforward to recollect. You may additionally hear a short rationalization of the place you may see the character in Japanese grammar. After they introduce a brand new kana that has an analogous form to the one you have already discovered, they take the time to match and clarify the variations.

As soon as every column (a set of three to 5 characters) is launched, they do a fast quiz to evaluation, exhibiting you the characters you have simply discovered whereas supplying you with a second to recall how they’re pronounced. Some quizzes use precise phrases the place the character seems.

The host of the video classes, Risa, is a local speaker of Japanese, so that you get to listen to her genuine pronunciation of every character. Nonetheless, take into account there’s generally a niche between the precise Japanese sound and the English key phrases they use of their mnemonics. For instance, they encourage you to consider the form of an apple to recollect a hiragana あ (a). Nonetheless, あ is nearer to the sound of “ah” (Ι‘), not “apple” (Γ¦). This will journey you up, so attempt specializing in how the host reads the character, moderately than the mnemonic key phrases for correct pronunciation.

They do cowl all of the kana in an easy-to-understand means utilizing illustrations and animations. Nonetheless, an hour lengthy video lesson is loads to pack in. Should you’re eager about utilizing this video lesson sequence for studying kana, do not drive your self to undergo it multi functional sitting.

The sequence is created by JapanesePod101.com, who’re identified for providing an enormous quantity of Japanese studying content material. Nonetheless, on the similar time, their content material group tends to be tough to navigate. For instance, these YouTube movies haven’t got timestamps, so it’s possible you’ll discover it onerous to maintain coming again to the place you left off.

Should you desire a set of bite-size classes, you may try the 10-Day Hiragana Problem and 10-Day Katakna Problem playlists. Every of the 2 movies from the Study ALL Hiragana/Katakana in 1 Hour sequence are divided into ten elements with movies simply a number of minutes lengthy. The draw back of this 10-Day Problem sequence although is that it consists of extra ads for JapanesePod101.com merchandise.

Format Cellular Apps (iOS/Android)
Professionals
  • High quality movies
  • A brief rationalization about the place you may see the kana in Japanese grammar
  • A radical, but easy-to-understand overview of kana
  • Tricks to inform similar-looking kana aside
  • Free!
Cons
  • English key phrases for mnemonics usually not matching the precise kana studying
  • The dearth of timestamp makes it onerous to navigate and reference a selected kana
  • It won’t be straightforward for everybody to sit down by means of your entire video, as advised by the title
Product Hyperlink

For Additional Quiz Apply and Critiques

The assets that I’ve talked about up to now are all one-stop options that enable you to keep in mind kana with mnemonics and evaluation and apply by means of quizzes. As I’ve talked about, kana is in every single place. When you begin finding out different features of the Japanese language, you may see them continually. So in a means, you may be naturally reinforcing your kana information shifting ahead. That stated, you may wish to first apply loads and be sure to solidify your kana information.

You will get some apply in with the assets above, however I additionally needed to introduce you to some different instruments particularly designed to quiz your kana information for further apply. One standout function is that they allow you to truly sort in romaji for the kana readings as an alternative of simply providing you a number of selection solutions. This implies they’re a greater evaluation of your true kana information, and may help you establish what kana you is likely to be struggling to recollect.

Tofugu’s Study Kana Quiz

a screenshot from tofugu's learn kana quiz

That is one other shameless plug (okay okay, I promise this would be the final).

Tofugu’s Study Kana Quiz is an online app initially designed to be a quiz device that will help you solidify the kana information from our kana merchandise, such because the workbooks and net pages I launched earlier. Nonetheless, it might be a terrific companion for actually any sort of kana-learning useful resource as what it does is mean you can apply no matter kana you need, as many instances as you need. It additionally lets you establish the characters you continue to have a tough time with.

The way in which it really works is easy. On the principle web page, you get to decide on the kana you wish to apply by column (a set of three to 5 characters). You may test all hiragana or all katakana with a single button too, for those who’re already accustomed to all of the kana listed.

In the course of the quiz, you may be prompted with a set of the chosen hiragana characters and requested to sort within the readings for every one. You may select to skip gadgets so it can save you those you’ve gotten a tough time recalling and circle again on these later. We imagine the act of recalling is essential, so not like some other quiz instruments, we truly will not inform you the right reply even whenever you get issues fallacious. (We deliberately make it onerous to cheat, and it is all for you!) Nonetheless, you may attempt answering the identical merchandise till you sort in the suitable reply so you may check your recall time and again.

Then, whenever you end a session, the outcomes present you what number of failed makes an attempt you had with the characters you could not reply appropriately on the first go. This can enable you to establish what kana characters will not be nonetheless sticking in your reminiscence so you are able to do one thing about them β€” revisiting the mnemonics, inventing new mnemonics, or tracing the characters β€” no matter you gotta do to lastly keep in mind them!

Format Internet App
Professionals
  • You may choose what kana columns you wish to apply
  • Would not present the right reply
  • Outcomes present the variety of failed makes an attempt for every character
Cons
Product Hyperlink Tofugu’s Study Kana Quiz

Actual Kana

real kana
Format Cellular Apps (iOS/Android)
Professionals
  • Varied font choices
  • The power to pick what kana you wish to apply by column
  • Apply choices that use kana-only vocabulary from all JLPT ranges
  • “Pace mode” helps you to undergo quizzes shortly
Cons
  • The iOS design is so easy and minimal that it may confuse some customers
Product Hyperlink Actual Kana

So that is it! Hope you discovered one thing that you just wish to give a attempt on this article. Once more, with the ability to learn kana is a giant first step, and it is not as onerous as you suppose. I hope the strategies and assets that I talked about gives you a terrific head begin in your Japanese studying journey! Comfortable Kana Studying!

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