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Help learning katakana and hiragana

pugtm

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I know i can get lists online and all but just staring at them is not helping me and the way i figure it kanji will come way later. So is are there workbooks or textbooks (preferably online or free for download) that will help me learn them? If some other method is known please tell me as this is the one biggest thing i will really have problems with until i hit kanji. Vocab i'm very good at. I picked up huge amounts of words just from kendo class alone.
 

JimmySeal

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I always recommend Remembering the Kana by James Heisig. It's not free, but it's really good.
 

String

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I used "A Guide to Learning Hiragana and Katakana by Kenneth G. Henshall" and it took me about two weeks to learn each kana. This books is not free but it costs like 5 bucks so it's worth a try (you can find a scanned copy if you look hard enough but I wouldn't recommend studying through the computer, at least print it and buy the book if you like).

I also like to point out that I tried Heisig's but I found his mnemonics to be stupid and also I did not like the fact you don't learn by following the correct order. In the end it's all about taste.
 

hideway

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String, where do you buy books that teach japanese?

I can't find anything anywhere. :(
 

String

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You can buy them from Amazon since they ship overseas, although it's a bit pricey.
 

pugtm

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you can find a list anywhere online but you need a method to practice writing and remembering them. i got a guide to learning hiragana and katakana.
 

Shiroi na Tenshi

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Just try it!

Learning Hiragana and Katakana should be easier when you actually know all the romaji syllabary (ke, ku, ko) and are learnig the basic "-gyo".
THe trick with gyo is that as you learn each of them there is a large intercept between learning under pressure and learning a few each day and meditating or relzxing afterwards. It just doesnt make any sense to learn anything unless you actually have the time to learn it, the energy to learn it, and the stamina to learn it. Ki o tsukeru kudasai. It's the only ki you have!
 
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I thought that learning the kana was pretty easy and straightforward. I just printed out a kana sheet from the internet, it has romaji, hiragana, and katakana on it. I also printed out some test paper with just the character on it and some blank boxes (Google is your friend!).

Everyday I would do a "row" of hiragana and write it out, character as well as the romaji. When I learned that "row" I would do the next one AND the one I learned before. I would do this until I learned them all and be able to write out the whole table. I did the same with katakana. I thought this was probably the easiest and I had fun learning it. Writing Japanese is probably my favorite so I learned fast.

Anther useful thing I did was make the kana the background on my desktop. So I had it right there when I needed to look a character up.
 

StandAlone2323

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the way i learned them (and the first 150 kanji so far) are flash cards. honestly, just look up a hiragana/katakana chart of google images and write them onto notecards until you know them all. and it doesnt cost a dime (unless you have to go out to buy notecards). well, youv'e got my recommendation. good luck!
 

bakaKanadajin

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Everyday I would do a "row" of hiragana and write it out, character as well as the romaji. When I learned that "row" I would do the next one AND the one I learned before. I would do this until I learned them all and be able to write out the whole table. .

I think this is good advice, this is how I learned, took me just over two weeks during breaks at work and I'm not very good with memory stuff. A line a day. Also, identify for yourself which Kana are confusing you the most. Of particular difficulty are 'so' and 'n' for example in Katakana, which look very similar. Or perhaps re, wa and ne in Hiragana. Focus on differentiating these somehow in your mind, perhaps through pictographic comparisons. e.g. the 're' has a little foot sticking out, while the ne is curled around. Wa isn't sticking his leg out at all, its tucked in. Silly things like that can help you.
 

pugtm

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1 thing to remember though is this is something i have almost zero time for right now. Im doing summer school spanish plus im learning pre-cal and on top of that my parents aren't supportive of me learning Japanese at all. They think its a waste of time. so i needed to get something like a book i can lug around all day and work in the 15 minutes i have on break or on the bus. Something all in one place so they dont get lost. I also made a flash card set but i bike to school and they get all ruined so i leave those at home. This might take me longer than just 2 weeks.
 

nice gaijin

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I've probably recommended this elsewhere, but some studies have shown that information absorbed right before sleep is more likely to be encoded as long term memory. By practicing reading, writing, and repeating one or two sets of kana just before going to sleep helped me commit them to memory faster, and I was able to learn hiragana and katakana (in that order) in less than two weeks.
 

Shiroi na Tenshi

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About sleepin'

YOu gotta be careful when doing the before-sleep routine. Sure, reading kana/kanji before the act of rest is a good way to keep it reviewed in our minds, but if this is the only time it is used, we may fail by only recalling things before sleep, as we would have trained our minds to think only in the periods before sleep about kana/kanji.

Wakarimasu ka?
 

nice gaijin

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I used this simply as a study strategy in addition to regular practice, and I had no problems dealing with the information. Nevertheless, I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment that this could lead to selective recollection. This sounds akin to saying that If I have a class at a certain time of day (say, right before I go to bed), I'm likely to only remember the material learned at that time of day...

A major part of the strategy is to practice what you learned again in the morning to be sure that you actually absorbed the information. If you try to take any "study tips" and use them as replacements for real practice, you won't get far.
 

Tomii515

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The way I learn Hiragana was making flashcards... ilearned Hiragana in 3 days, and katakan, i bought a book on hiragana and katakan and it makes you write everything over and oveer and over and over and OVER! Then, there are 5 million excercises in the back... I learned katakana in 1 day... umm, just write each kana down 5 millions times, then write random things in romaji, and then put it in hiragana/katakana

i hope this helps~

-Tommy
 

pugtm

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yeah flashcards are useful but only learning it one way. you need to learn from sound to character and from character to sound. Its still useful though.
 

Shiroi na Tenshi

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Dareka ni mune ni Hitomono desuka?

:)
There is no way I can say this without interrupting the flow of the threadds before.

Oh well.

Does anyone know Tanaka Momoko (Middle of the field, and Peachy child?)

You know, she emailed me just a few days ago in response to a Romaji kami i sent her in reply to her invitational ogenki note.

Who is she, where is she from, and how can I get to know her? I have little to no time, and christina is dogging me badly on the idea of meeting Nihonjin. So...who is this mysterious macabre?

One more thing...the darkness...it reassures me...that there will always be a brighter day...so look up to the day of no rules...except for kamisama's!

Konban wa, ja mata!​
 

jiriya

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Konbanwa mena san!
Im wanting to learn hiragana and am in New Zealand.
Im totally baka in using amazon etc so anyone got any good books that local stores have on learning hiragana etc>?
I got uni next year and am taking jap for the first semister so i wana learn the basics before i go.
i can speak quite decently due to my anime/drama adiction lol

Taskete kure ! Tanomu yo !


Sore ja .

Please reply!

Ja ne
 

Janny

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I started out by learning the first row of Hiragana (the vowels) and now I'm using a little program called Anki. You know, flash cards and stuff. But it's really useful, you're guaranteed to learn words every day and you practice.
 

Haruspex

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Just get something that has stroke order, get DreamKana (just google it) the rest is easy.
DreamKana writes the kana characters and you oughta enter romaji (Hepburn). Simply the best way. In the worst case I can send you the program.
 

jiriya

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Hiragana help

I started out by learning the first row of Hiragana (the vowels) and now I'm using a little program called Anki. You know, flash cards and stuff. But it's really useful, you're guaranteed to learn words every day and you practice.


Hey thanks for the fast reply.
I will download it a.s.a.p i got time as im busy with japanese friends now who are leaving forever on monday!

Totemo kanashi desu ne!:(


Sore ja 🙂
 

magevampjoe

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I went on japanese.about.com, went on the kana section, into hiragana, wrote each row out on a page in a notepad, with 3 or 4 words that included that symbol. It took me around 4 weeks to learn the whole hiragana chart except for the modified (don't remember the names, things like kyo, ryo, rya etc etc - just putting ya, yu, or yo in small next to the symbol), and they took about 2 weeks. in about 6 weeks i had all the hiragana.

I also learnt a lot of new words while I did it, but now I'm trying to learn to write them in kanji, because I keep writing them in kana :p

Don't print out, just use a site, write them out so you are learning instantly, and write them out a lot. Get postit notes, write a symbol on each and stick the around your room, and look at them and say them out loud a lot.

The only reason I remember the kanji for お辞儀 is beacuase it is on a postit note directly above my laptop screen, so I see it every time I stop to think what to write or search for. Put the postits everywhere: In your draws put a postit with a symbol on it on EVERY single tshirt you own. That way you HAVE to take the note off to put the tshirt on, and therefore HAVE to look at it.
 

kameron

かめです
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The way I learn Hiragana was making flashcards... ilearned Hiragana in 3 days, and katakan, i bought a book on hiragana and katakan and it makes you write everything over and oveer and over and over and OVER! Then, there are 5 million excercises in the back... I learned katakana in 1 day... umm, just write each kana down 5 millions times, then write random things in romaji, and then put it in hiragana/katakana
i hope this helps~
-Tommy

Yes, flashcards work! I can't remember learning hiragana (was when I was just a boy) but flashcards really helped me to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet in only a couple days. I can now read Korean pretty accurately, but I am so slow. 😊

BTW, Hangul is pretty fun to write, you should learn that too :) It's easy
 
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