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How to memorize Hiragana and Katakana.

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

The very first step to learning Japanese is to memorize Hiragana. I've met some students who did not study Hiragana and Katakana well but try to skip to more advanced levels. If your goal is to speak just basic phrases, that's no problem however if you want to fully understand Japanese language or culture and speak Japanese, needless to say you definitely have to memorize Hiragana and Katakana.

But, it’s really hard and takes lots of time to remember them all !!!

It’s because all of these symbols don’t mean anything to you and nothing like the English alphabet …

I am writing this article so that I hope this will help you understand Hiragana and Katakana and remember them.

The origin

Hiragana and Katakana both originally came from Kanji. So if you know some Kanji already, you might be able to imagine how they are created and it will be easier for you to remember them.



The usage

Now, we use Hiragana as a basic Japanese symbol and Katakana as foreign words.

We have so many foreign words that are used in Japanese language.

For example, チョコレート for chocolate, バナナ for banana, パイナップル for pineapple, foreign names and etc…

You will find it interesting since lots of Katakana sounds like English.

Some of my students asked me if it's easier for Japanese people to write down all Hiragana instead of mixing Kanji or Katakana. The answer is No. It's much much harder for us to read all Hiragana because, unlike English, when you write Japanese sentences, we do not use space so it's harder to recognize each word.

Recommended book

If you are having trouble memorizing Hiragana and Katakana, I want you to get the book, called "Kana can be easy" ( If you are in Japan and learning Japanese, click here to see.)

These are the samples. As you can see, you combine Hiragana with some drawing and that way, you can associate pictures with Hiragana instead of just memorizing the symbols.

Not only that but also this book helps you practice writing and explains stroke orders.

If you want to master the pronunciation, I have a recording for Hiragana pronunciation and you can download it from my website.

Practice book

When you want to practice writing Japanese symbols (Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji), it's good to use this square box notebook. In the box, there are 2 dots line and they help you to write the symbol correctly. At Japanese school, this type of notebook is always used in Japanese class. If you want to get this kind of notebook, you could get it at Daiso ( 100yen store) and basically any supermarket in Japan. If you are not in Japan, you can buy from amazon.

The end

It's not easy to learn a language and especially it's said that Japanese is one of the hardest languages in the world. It might take a while to memorize these symbols but when you do, you will start to recognize lots of Japanese especially if you are living in Japan and that would be a really amazing experience !!!

Thank you for reading and I always appreciate you all 😊

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