1. Japanese Writing System: An Introduction to Hiragana and Katakana


Japan has a unique writing system that uses a combination of three scripts: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. In this blog, TODAI Japanese will take a closer look at the first two alphabets: Hiragana and Katakana, if you also want to know how to learn Kanji more effectively, you can click on that link. 


Let’s go!

2. What is Hiragana? Hiragana Is The Foundation of the Japanese Writing System


Hiragana is the basic script used to write native Japanese words and to provide inflection to words written in kanji. Hiragana’s chart consists of 46 basic characters and a few variations - Hiragana chart and each character representss a syllable. Hiragana is a curvy and rounded script used for most written Japanese, and it is the first script that Japanese children learn in school.


3. What is Katakana? Used for Foreign Words and Emphasis


Katakana is the second script used in the Japanese writing system. It is used to write foreign words, to express emphasis, and for scientific and technical terms. Katakana’s chart consists of 46 basic characters, just like Hiragana’s chart, but the characters have a more angular appearance. The characters in katakana are similar to hiragana, but they are usually written with sharper strokes and have a more angular look.


4. Learning Hiragana and Katakana: Tips and Tricks


Learning the Japanese writing system can be challenging, but with a few tips here, TODAI Japanese hope can help you get started:


4.1. Start with the basics: Begin by learning the Hiragana and Katakana characters, one at a time. Focus on memorizing the basic characters first, then work on the variations. You can follow Hiragana’s chart and Katakana’s chart to learn and memorize them better!


4.2. Use mnemonics: Mnemonics is a memory aid technique used to help remember the Japanese characters (Hiragana or Katakana) and their sounds better. It involves using a system or strategy to associate new information with something that is already familiar, making it easier to recall. For example, you could associate the Hiragana character for "ka" with a cat, or the Katakana character for "to" with the word "toe.". So the next time you learn “ka” character, you can relate to “cat” and know how to pronounce that Japanese character. 


4.3. Practice writing and reading: “Practice makes perfect”. Write each Japanese character over and over again until you have it memorized. Reading Japanese news every day is a good way to remember Katakana characters and Hiragana characters at the same time, you not only learn their meaning you also learn how to use them in real contexts. You can try TODAI Japanese - Japanese reading news online 

4.4. Immerse yourself: The best way to learn Japanese script is to immerse yourself in it. Watching Japanese movies, reading Japanese manga and Japanese books, or trying to have conversations with native speakers,.. can help you remember the Japanese alphabet better. But there are a lot of Japanese movies with a lot of levels, if you are a beginner, watching a movie with a lot of Japanese difficult words, or sentences is not a good idea. You should try some movies that are suitable for your Japanese levels.


In conclusion, Hiragana and Katakana are essential parts of the Japanese writing system and a great place to start your journey in learning the language. With a little patience and practice, you'll be reading and writing Japanese in no time!


I hope this can help you study Japanese better, so if you want to improve your Japanese more easily with so many exciting tips, follow TODAI Japanese and download the application TODAI Japanese below to achieve your goal.