Why does Japan use Katakana? | JLPT TUTOR (2023)

There are millions of users of the Japanese language around the world. As a matter of fact, today we have two commonly used wire scripts in Japanese, hiragana and katakana. You cannot avoid learning either or both of these Japanese writing systems if you want to learn how to write or read in Japanese.

Katakana are used for words borrowed from other languages or abbreviations. Kanji conveys meaning with one letter instead of a single syllable because each character can represent different meanings depending on context.

If you want to learn Japanese, then it is important that you know the three types of characters: hiragana, katakana and kanji. Hiragana is the basic Characters You need to learn first.

Here are the method you I recommend to learn and practice Katakana :

1.Comparison of Picture‐matching

2.Blank note and Repeat

3.Play more Game

4. Remember from Anime or Idol name character

5.Practicing writing from romaji

6.Write a Hiragana from a song.

7.Applications to learn Japanese

it might make us forget. Moreover, the screening was only by hand writing. When memorized, we may have to memorize in order, such as A I U E O, we have to sit and recite it in our heads. It may be difficult. Today, I have a good trick for you.

1.Comparison of Picture‐matching

Video and audio are always the most memorable for me. I think it’s because my memory is so short that these two mediums work best, specifically this video format where you can watch over again easily.

The video from Japanese pod101 , This is high quality but it’s Free!!

But the problem is that it’s ok to remember, but sometimes I think about it for a long time. But when I can write it out, my hands shake and all of these thoughts come flowing through me as if they’re released from some imaginary prison in my mind. Go to next step

2.Blank note and Repeat

Put your pen to paper and start at the top of a blank page. Write for as long or short an amount of time, then when you’re done go back up one line and write again; repeat until you reach the bottom. If it feels like there’s nothing left inside, take some deep breaths before going on with

This is what we call “writing in circles.” It can be hard sometimes but don’t give up because eventually something will come out.

3.Play more Game

There are many sites with a quiz game, but I tried this one and it was pretty fun. You can match the needs to different careers in order for them to rank accordingly.

4. Remember from Anime or Idol name character

If you’re into Japanese animation or manga – remember this: Katakana can be found in its name. If you think it’s difficult, try memorizing the names of the most beautiful idols. It’s the easiest to remember the idol’s name. Let me tell you. If you can’t read it, look at the table and try to mix it for a while and you’ll remember it.

I can remember that When I started learning Japanese . that time was “Naruto”, when Volume 1 came out (how long to think about it). I write a lot full cartoon character names Then sit and write the names of the cartoon characters one by one. And the one that I like the most is Hinata. I want to say that I can write hi before a.

5.Practicing writing from romaji

Practicing writing from romaji to hiragana can help us remember the sounds of Japanese characters. It also allows a break in between steps when we are trying to write them – but I don’t recommend this method for long-term learning purposes, as it doesn’t teach you how each character is written correctly and will likely just lead back into romaji (Japanese words that use Roman letters). The best way forward would be starting with what inspires you about Japan: whether manga, anime or games; because then your motivation should drive you through any difficulties!

6.Write a Katakana from a song.

To all those who don’t like cartoons or celebrities, I recommend that you search for Japanese lyrics with romaji translations. It’s a fun way to learn new vocabulary while singing five-six songs in the process. Understandably, one song might be very long and it may not be your favorite genre of music but there are still several other singable tunes out there that can teach you something!

My favorite song : Harukaze Flumpool

7.Applications to learn Japanese

Nowadays, everyone should have a smartphone. Any youngsters who don’t have their own can let them load it into their parents’ mobile phone and they’ll be able to play together as well. In my era there were no apps like these so I’m not sure if this app is good or bad but what’s certain is that we’re using technology that we already have on our hands with us which means some of the downloaded applications could also serve for level checks while playing around in-between times! Let’s try loading one shall we?

8.Practice reading as much OLD SCHOOL METHOD

I may not be able to read Japanese, but the practice of reading from a textbook helps me remember vocabulary and review lessons that I’ve already learned. When studying outside of school or after-school hours though, it’s better if we don’t use our textbooks so much because then when you go back to them in class your eyes will only look at romaji instead of kanji which makes learning more difficult for us learners who can’t read Japanese!

Download Katakana Chart

Download this hiragana chart to get a head start on learning Japanese. Print it out for an extra challenge, or follow along digitally if you prefer!

Katakana is a type of Japanese character that consists of 46 letters, each with its own unique sound. When Katakana are put together into words they will be pronounced according to the letter it represents for example アニメ( Anime) which sounds different from English (a b c ..)

Let’s try practice pronunciation follow this free video https://www.youtube.com/embed/nRBvTy-Aay0?feature=oembed

Hiragana is a well-known system of Japanese writing, but pronouncing the five vowel sounds can be challenging. When you’ve mastered them and are ready to move on, I’ll show you how they’re written down so that your pronunciation stays accurate!

a i u e o

ア イ ウ エ オ

Hiragana is the first and most important column because it sets the pronunciation for all of its succeeding columns. The a-i-u-e–o sequence will repeat over and over again with consonants attached to them, so make sure you have your hiragana down pat before moving on!

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The vowel ア (a) sounds like “ah” as in “father”.

The vowel イ (i) sounds like “e” as in “seat”.

The vowel ウ (u) sounds like “oo” as in “spoon”.

The vowel (e) sounds like “e” as in “bed”.

The vowel (o) sounds like “oh” as in “rope”.

ka ki ku ke ko

カ キ ク ケ コ

The next set of hiragana is from the “k-column.” This column consists of five sounds, namely ka , ki, ku ,ke and ko.

The vowel K plus a sound Ka

The vowel K plus i sound Ki

The vowel K plus u sound Ku

The vowel K plus e sound Ke

The vowel K plus o sound Ko

sa shi su se so

サ シ ス セ ソ 

The “S-column” is a really tricky one to remember. There’s only one word in the column that doesn’t follow the pattern and it’s for si, which is pronounced just like she when you say it out loud! Remembering how this letter sounds will now be easier with help from our new friend, sa-shi-su–se-.

The vowel S plus a sound Sa

The vowel Sh plus i sound Shi

The vowel S plus u sound Su

The vowel S plus e sound Se

The vowel S plus o sound So

ta chi tsu te to

タ チ ツ テ ト

The T-section is the most difficult. How does one remember all of these letters? Hopefully you understand that it’s just a matter of memorizing and remembering to use mnemonics, which I’ve already mentioned before in this article. There are two exceptions: ち (chi) and つ (tsu). So for this section we have “ta, chi, tsu, te,to”

The vowel T plus a sound Ta

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The vowel Ch plus i sound Chi

The vowel Ts plus u sound Tsu

The vowel T plus e sound Te

The vowel T plus o sound To

na ni nu ne no

ナ  二  ヌ  ネ  ノ

Ask yourself If you want to go ahead or end here.You’ve been getting better at recognizing the hiragana characters from all your practice!

The vowel N plus a sound Na

The vowel N plus i sound Ni

The vowel N plus u sound Nu

The vowel N plus e sound Ne

The vowel N plus o sound No

ha hi fu he ho

ハ ヒ フ ヘ ホ

Now let’s jump into the next five. If you need a break, go ahead and take one!

In this column you need to remember Fu ふ sound is difference one

The vowel H plus a sound Ha

The vowel H plus i sound Hi

The vowel F plus u sound Fu

The vowel H plus e sound He

The vowel H plus e sound He

ma mi mu me mo

マ ミ ム メ モ

The “M-column” is the hardest set because it requires a lot of finger dexterity. It’s not close to ten, but I’m getting there with my practice exercises!

The vowel m plus a sound ma

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The vowel m plus i sound mi

The vowel m plus u sound mu

The vowel m plus e sound me

The vowel m plus o sound mo

ya yu yo

 ユ ヨ

There are only 3 sounds in this column and there are no “ye” and “yi,” sounds.

The vowel y plus a sound ya

The vowel y plus u sound yu

The vowel y plus o sound yo

ra ri ru re ro

ラ リ ル レ ロ

What? You’re kidding right? We only have one more set to go and it’s such a short one! And the worst part is, we’ll be tackling that famous ra-ri-ru row. I hope you’ve been practicing your pronunciation

The vowel r plus a sound ra

The vowel r plus i sound ri

The vowel r plus u sound ru

The vowel r plus e sound re

The vowel r plus e sound ro

wa o n

ワ ヲ ン

The last group. This is a weird one. It includes “わ” which is quite normal,”を” which is pronounced just like “オ” but primarily used as particle, and “ん”.

The vowel w plus a sound wa

The vowel w plus o sound wo

The vowel N sound N This is only one Kana that consists of a single consonant.

The dakuten (Japanese: 濁点, Japanese pronunciation: [dakɯ̥teꜜɴ] or [dakɯ̥teɴ], lit. “voicing mark”), colloquially ten-ten (点々), is a diacritic most often used in the Japanese kana syllabaries to indicate that the consonant of a syllable should be pronounced voiced

The handakuten (半濁点, Japanese pronunciation: [handaꜜkɯ̥teɴ], lit. “half voicing mark”), colloquially maru (丸, “circle”), is a diacritic used with the kana for syllables starting with h to indicate that they should instead be pronounced with [p].

K → G

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ga gi gu ge go

ガ ギ グ ゲ ゴ

S → Z

za ji zu ze zo

ザ ジ ズ ゼ ゾ

Only Shi change to Ji sound

T → D

da ji tzu de do

ダ ヂ ヅ デ ド

Chi sound change to Ji sound and Tsu change to Tzu sound

H → B

ba bi bu be bo

バ ビ ブ ベ ボ

H → P

パ ピ プ ペ ポ

pa pi pu pe po

It is a combination of the three letters of the vowel sound ヤ、ユ、ヨ, with these 3 letters having a smaller size to show that they are diphthongs. It can also be used in combination with letters that have a sound of only 33 letters as follows.

  • It is the addition of (ya), (yu), (yo) to the independent vowel line (い) in キ シ チ 二 ヒ ミ and cloudy and semi-opaque (い) words. that add Tenten and Maru) by writing in lowercase resulting in various sounds as shown in the following table

In addition to the sound line that is mixed up By using the lowercase “ya” row after it. Katakana also has a compound row that uses other lowercase vowels as follows:

ヴァ VA クァ KWA ツァ TSA ファ FA ウィ WI ヴィ VI ティ TI ディ DI フィ FI ヴ VU デュ DU ウェ WE ヴェ VE ツェ TSE フェ FE ウォ WO ヴォ VO ツォ TSO フォ FO

If you want a long pronunciation, use 『ー』. For the example Maker = メーカー

What is katakana and how is it used?

1. Words with a single consonant and vowel (Exactly) For example: *

Camera カメラ

America アメリカ

2. Words that consist of two or more consonants. The appropriate vowel must be added to the last consonant.

2.1 If the sound of t, d, which may have an e but is not pronounced, add the vowel o, for example:

コート coat

カード card

2.2 If the sound is b,c (pronounced as k),f,g,k,l,m,p,s,ts,r,v,z, which may contain e but is not pronounced, add the vowel u, e.g.

ゲーム game

テープ tape

2.3 The sound of ~ce (pronounced s) and ~th is written as ~ス e.g.

Alice アリス

Smith スミス

2.4 If the sound is ~ge,~ch, add the vowel i, e.g.

オレンジ orange

マッチ  match

2.5 The sound of ~n is written as ~ン eg.

ロンドン London

ログイン Log in

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Why do Japanese use katakana? ›

It's also often used for beginning Japanese students and children in place of Kanji they don't know. While Katakana represents the same sounds as Hiragana, it is mainly used to represent newer words imported from western countries (since there are no Kanji associated with words based on the roman alphabet).

Is learning katakana enough? ›

Necessity is determined by your goal. If you want to learn to speak and listen only, it's not necessary to learn even Katakana or Hiragana. If you want to be able to read children's picture books for Kindergarteners, learning hiragana alone may be sufficient.

Why is katakana used more? ›

Katakana is used for emphasis, especially on signs and advertisements. For example, ゴミ, gomi (rubbish), or メガネ, megane (glasses). Japanese contains many words borrowed from Chinese or formed from Chinese elements. These words are usually written in kanji.

Is katakana necessary to learn Japanese? ›

However, if you ultimately want to be able to read Japanese, then you absolutely need to learn katakana. Katakana is used for all loanwords (ie. words imported from other languages), of which there are a ton used in everyday Japanese. Even the word “rāmen” is typically written in katakana – that's how prevalent it is.

Why is katakana harder than hiragana? ›

Most importantly, katakana characters look more similar in shape to one another than hiragana, so memorizing katakana could be more difficult. However, some may argue that hiragana is too difficult to write. Katakana is easier to “draw” because the structure of the katakana character is usually more simple.

Do Japanese use hiragana or katakana more? ›

So, then, what's the difference between hiragana vs katakana? Hiragana is the most commonly used, standard form of Japanese writing. It's used on its own or in conjunction with kanji to form words, and it's the first form of Japanese writing that children learn.

Is it better to learn katakana or hiragana first? ›

Always start with hiragana. It is the basic alphabet for japanese words, and will help you understand katakana, which is for western words, generally speaking. Without hiragana you won't understand kanji. For example にほんご (Japanese language) is the four hiragana (and four sounds) that make up the kanji, 日本語.

Should I learn katakana or kanji first? ›

If you're learning Japanese seriously enough to want to learn Kanji, then you should learn Katakana. Japanese has three writing scripts - hiragana, katakana and Kanji. All three are used, so if you want to learn the language properly, learn all 3.

Which is easier to learn katakana or hiragana? ›

The use of katakana is limited to only certain words, so it'd be more helpful to start with hiragana.

Why does Japanese have 3 writing systems? ›

Why does the Japanese language have to use three different types of script; Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana? A. This is because each of the three types of script, Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana, has its own specific role. Let's examine a sentence like “I'm Anna,” WATASHI WA ANNA DESU.

Why does Japan still use kanji? ›

In Japanese, there are no spaces between words, so kanji helps break words apart, making it easy to read. As I'm sure you can imagine, long sentences would get even more difficult to read, and when you don't know where one word begins and another one ends, reading errors can occur.

Should I learn hiragana or katakana? ›

I'd start with hiragana first and then katakana. Once you have the hiragana down, you'll be able to write in full sentences. The use of katakana is limited to only certain words, so it'd be more helpful to start with hiragana.

Why is hiragana and katakana mixed? ›

if i remember correctly they mix it up because they want to use hiragana and use it, but sometimes it may be to long, so they make it into kanji. Japan also mixes in katakana because their may be foreign words. remeber that hiragana is native, katakana is foreign, and kanji is shorten versions of hiragana.


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