7 Tips for Learning the Japanese Alphabet Hiaragana and Katakana

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Learning the Japanese alphabet Hiragana and Katakana is the first step to start studying Japanese. Many end up finding it complicated, but in this article we'll teach you 10 days to definitely learn Kana and also start Kanji. 

If you still don't know the 3 Japanese alphabets, we recommend reading the articles below: 

Take a Japanese course

Obviously a practical way to learn Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji is to take a Japanese course. There are free courses and paid courses, all of which can lead you to success in different ways. 

Suki Desu has a course in the form of a members area, where we post video lessons and full articles teaching Japanese on the Japanese Club. This is our top recommendation! 

Unlike other online courses, Japonês Club has no monthly fees and gives you eternal access. You will always have access to the platform and all the content that will appear on it. 

Study the Hiragana and Katakana charts

Hiragana and Katakana charts are important tools for anyone learning Japanese. They show all characters of the Japanese alphabet in alphabetical order, allowing you to visualize and memorize each one of them.

When studying the Hiragana and Katakana tables, it is important to pay attention to the details of each character, such as its shape, strokes and pronunciation. You can stick the table in various places around your house or electronic device to always check it out. 

In addition, it is important to practice writing the characters by hand. This helps to fix the stroke of each character in memory and improve Japanese writing skills.

Kana: Definitive Guide to Hiragana and Katakana – Japanese Alphabet

Write the Kana several times

A good way to learn and memorize Hiragana and Katakana is to write them down. As much as it is not a good tactic to learn Japanese, since it takes time, learning the writing of at least the Kana will help a lot. 

Writing the Kana several times helps memorize the shape and structure of each character. This is known as muscle or kinesthetic memorization, and it is a very powerful method of learning.

Writing the Kana several times also helps to reinforce the visual connection with each character and consolidate everything in memory. The more times you write each character, the easier it is to recognize it and remember its pronunciation.

To be successful, it is important to write the Kana often and consistently. Try to take a few minutes each day to write the Kana several times using a calligraphy book or notebook.

Pen spinning – juggling with the pen

Use flashcards and spaced memorization

Flashcards and spaced memorization are effective tools to help learn the Japanese alphabet. They are useful for memorizing the pronunciation, spelling and meaning of each character, and help to consolidate your long-term memory.

Flashcards are cards with information on each side that can be used to practice reading, writing and memorizing each character of the Japanese alphabet. You can make your own flashcards using paper cards, or use an app to create digital flashcards. To use flashcards, just look at the side of the card with the character and try to remember its pronunciation, spelling and meaning.

Spaced memorization is a technique that helps improve memorization efficiency. It is based on the principle that, in order to consolidate long-term memory, you need to review information several times at ever-increasing intervals.

There are apps and programs that use this technique to help memorize the Japanese alphabet, such as Anki or Memrise. They present the flashcards at predetermined intervals, more often at the beginning and less often as you memorize each character.

To use this technique, you can create a set of flashcards for each Japanese alphabet character and practice them daily. Over time, you will notice a significant improvement in your ability to read, write and understand the Japanese language.

13 tips for learning the Japanese alphabet hiaragana and katakana

Learn Hiragana and Katakana with Words and Texts

Many people try to learn each Hiragana and Katakana individually and in isolation, but this is a big mistake. You should focus on learning Japanese words and phrases before memorizing the entire Japanese alphabet. 

Reading texts and learning words makes learning more interesting and engaging, as well as helping to memorize and understand the Japanese language as a whole.

Choose short, simple words that use just a few characters to start practicing. Over time you can move on to longer texts, children's books and many others. 

The problem with learning Japanese is that many texts have kanji, but you can work around this situation and practice reading by looking for texts with furigana or using some extension. 

Study guide for learning Japanese

Use games to learn Hiragana and Katakana

Games are a great way to make learning fun and engaging, and this is especially true when it comes to learning Hiragana and Katakana. Here are some suggestions for games that can help you learn Japanese alphabets:

  1. Hiragana Battle: this game is a card battle game where you have to read Hiragana words quickly to beat your opponent. The game is available online and also for download on mobile devices.
  2. Kana Invaders: this is a game in the style of Space Invaders, where you have to hit the letters in Hiragana or Katakana that are falling from the sky. It's a great game to practice pronunciation and reading speed.
  3. Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle: this is an RPG game where you have to learn Hiragana to help your character survive and win battles. It's a fun and educational game that can help you learn Hiragana in a fun way.

There are many other games that can be found on Android and iOS stores, or for download on computers. Feel free to do your search! 

space invaders
10 best games released in japan

Use apps to learn Hiragana and Katakana

Apps are a great way to learn Hiragana and Katakana anywhere, anytime. They often use games, flashcards and quizzes to test their knowledge. 

Apps also often teach not only the Japanese alphabet but also vocabulary and phrases for your Japanese language learning. There are famous apps like Memrise, Dulingo, Anki and many others focused on Japanese only.

If you can use an app every day to do hiragana writing and reading, you can memorize hiragana or katakana in weeks. But always do the apps and apply yourself to reading so you don't forget. 

Apps to learn Japanese on android and ios

Use Videos and Songs to Learn Hiragana and Katakana

There are hundreds of videos and songs that help you learn Hiragana and Katakana, shall we see some? 

Other Tips for Learning Hiragana and Katakana

  • Watch videos in Japanese: Watching Japanese videos can help you hear the correct pronunciation of words and also help you become familiar with Japanese writing.
  • Take regular breaks: Learning Hiragana and Katakana can be challenging, so take regular breaks to avoid burnout. Try not to push too hard and give yourself time to rest and absorb the information.
  • Have discipline: Learning Hiragana and Katakana can take time and dedication. Try to establish a daily routine for studying and practicing, and be consistent.
  • Seek help from a teacher or tutor: If possible, consider hiring a teacher or tutor to help you learn Hiragana and Katakana. They can provide personalized guidance and feedback to help you improve your skills.
  • Write your name and other words in Hiragana and Katakana: It will help you memorize and recognize characters.
  • Practice every day: Consistent, daily practice is the key to successfully learning Hiragana and Katakana.

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