KATAKANA

Introduction

The Japanese language uses 3 writing systems:
Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.

In Japanese, broadly three scripts are used in a mixed way.

Hiragana and Kanji are used widely in a sentence. Katakana is mainly used for borrowerd words from foreign language.

For example,

ラジオ日本をきいた。(I heard a Japanese song on radio)

In the above sentence all the three scripts are used as follows:

Hiragana: で, の, を, きいた
Katakana: ラジオ
Kanji: 日本, 歌

 

Table of Contents

The Goal of this Session

  • Master Katakana alphabets within 3~20 days.
  • To be able to pronounce the alphabets correctly.
  • To be able to write Katakana  alphabets with correct order of stroke.
  • To be able to read simple vocabulary in Katakana. The main goal is to focus on reading, so do not worry about the meanings at this moment.

Brief Explanation

Katakana is used for foreign loan words. For example, 
Radio
in Japanese is ラジオ(rajio),
Towel
in Japanese is タオル(taoru),
Pen
in Japaneses is ペン(pen), etc.
Such words which are borrowed from english language are written in Katakana.
Also, names of people or places from countries other than Japan are written in Katakana.

Katakana and Hiragana alphabets represent exactly the same set of sounds.

Katakana alphabets are formed by taking a part of Kanji.

Katakana is also a set of 46 basic alphabets like Hiragana. All the rules are same as Hiragana.

In addition to 46 basic Katakana letters called as gojuuon, there are modified sounds like:
20 dakuon , 5 handakuon, 36 yoon, 1 sokuon.

You can download and print Katakana chart(PDF) for practice.

The meaning of each has been summarized below:

 

  • In Japanese, alphabets are organized in 5 x 10 matrix. This table is known as gojūon-zu which means `Table of 50 sounds`.
  • In total, 46 letters (45+1) are counted as gojūon (50 sounds).
  • The first row alphabets ア (a), イ (i), ウ (u), エ (e) and おオ(o) are five vowels of the Japanese language.
 aiueo
a
a

i

u

e

o
ka
ka


ki


ku


ke


ko

sa
sa


shi


su


se


so

ta
ta


chi


tsu


te


to

na
na


ni


nu


ne


no

ha
ha


hi


fu


he


ho

ma
ma


mi


mu


me


mo

ya
ya

 
yu
 
yo

ra
ra


ri


ru


re


ro

wa
wa

   
wo




 

  • Dakuon means two small dots
  • Dakuon can be added only to カ(ka), サ(sa),     タ(ta), and ハ(ha) rows. Dakuon is usually added to the right top of the letter.
  • and  are pronounced the same as ji.
  • and are pronounced the same as zu.
     aiueo
    ga
    ga


    gi


    gu


    ge


    go

    za
    za


    ji


    zu


    ze


    zo

    da
    da


    di


    du


    de


    do

    ba
    ba


    bi


    bu


    be


    bo

 

  • Handakuon means a small circle.
  • Handakuon is added to the right top of ハ(ha) row only.
     aiueo
    ha
    pa


    pi


    pu


    pe


    po

 

 

  • Addition of small ヤ(ya), ユ(yu), or ヨ(yo) to consonants is known as Yoon(拗音)
  • Formula:
    i-column letter + small ヤ(ya)、ユ(yu)、or ヨ(yo)

     ~ya~yu~yo
    kiキャ
    kya

    キュ
    kyu

    キョ
    kyo

    shiシャ
    sha

    シュ
    shu

    ショ
    sho

    chiチャ
    cya
    チュ
    cyu
    チョ
    cyo
    niニャ
    nya

    ニュ
    nyu

    ニョ
    nyo

    hiヒャ
    hya

    ヒュ
    hyu

    ヒョ
    hyo

    mi

    ミャ

    mya


    ミュ
    myu

    ミョ
    myo

    riリャ
    rya

    リュ
    ryu

    リョ
    ryo

    giギャ
    gya

    ギュ
    gyi

    ギョ
    gyo

    jiジャ
    ja

    ジュ
    ji

    ジョ
    jo

    diヂャ
    dya
    ヂュ
    dyu
    ヂョ
    dyo
    biビャ
    bya

    ビュ
    byu

    ビョ
    byo

    piピャ
    pya

    ピュ
    pyu

    ピョ
    pyo

     

 

Practice test

Katakana test (Part2)

3 minutes Katakana dakuon, handakuon, yoon (61 Letters)

Katakana test (ALL)

5 minutes Katakana test (107 letters) gojuon + dakuon + handakuon + yoon

Videos

To memorize the  Hiragana letters, here is a video link that will help you to learn musically! It will also help you in developing your listening skills because songs can be useful in language learning as they provide a format for memorizing vocabulary and rhythm of the language.

So, we suggest you to become a kid again and use your creativity to widen your language learning potential.

 

Coming soon……….

 

Download

Free Katakana Chart

To download the Free PDF of Katakana chart download button. 

 

 

Free Katakana Practice sheet
  1. To download the Free PDF of Katakana Practice book, please the download button. 
  2. This e-book contains stroke order of all the katakana letters.

Did You know ?

Japan in Japanese is Nihon or Nippon.

Recommended books

For more practice, we recommend the books below. Click on any book to get a detailed review. Also check out some popular dictionaries and Flip cards that can boost your study method.

To summarize

Practice reading and writing Katakana alphabets as many times as you can until you become Perfect. And then you are ready to shift to JLPTN5 and learning Kanjis.

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