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Is Katakana important?

Buradorii

Hiragana & Katakana user
14 Aug 2008
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I just recently fully learned Hiragana and I was wondering if I should learn Katakana before I start on my Kanji. Alot of the characters look similar but of what use is Katakana?
 
Katakana is an absolute must and will be far easier than kanji of course (which you will never really finish in the first place). You MUST learn Katakana. It's used for just about everything from signs, to dictionaries and emphasis.
 
Katakana is important enough to warrant learning before Kanji. You can't skip Katakana and learn Japanese otherwise.

Katakana is used to "pronounce" foreign words (by which I could say foreign words in english) such as vitamin ビタミン and Bangkok バンコク

If I'm honest - Katakana pretty poorly reflects how English words are pronounced in english, I've found many Japanese people unfamliar with using a V in lieu of a B and an L in lieu of an R.

But like I said before, in Japan, you need to know how to read, write and pronounce these words and characters because they are as commonplace as Hiragana in Japan.
 
Katakana is used for lonewords and foreign names. It is necessary to learn since Katakana is used fairly often. Since it isn't that difficult, I would advice you to learn it now along side hiragana and save yourself the frustrations of not understand certain words or senctences just because it uses Katakana.

Example: テレビ=Television.
 
Thanks, I never expected such a quick response. Strange enough, I learned the Hiragana chart first. Its like Im learning to run before I walk...
 
I learned hiragana first. Kids in Japan learn hiragana first. It's not unusual.
 
Yes, you do need to.
Katakana is used to write foreign words to Japanese, and it is used a lot.

I learned them in the following order:

hiragana, katakana, kanji (of course I'm still studying kanji @_@)
 
I see, so its not unusual. I'm still not done with Katakana yet though. Some of the characters are similar to hiragana but most of them are completely different. There are also the Katakana characters that look too similar to other katakana characters already. Like: "shi" and "tsu", and "n" and "so".... grrrr. Yet...if I'm already having this much "fun" memorizing Katakana, Kanji is going to be a blast! (If only I didn't have A.D.D....)
 
I see, so its not unusual. I'm still not done with Katakana yet though. Some of the characters are similar to hiragana but most of them are completely different. There are also the Katakana characters that look too similar to other katakana characters already. Like: "shi" and "tsu", and "n" and "so".... grrrr. Yet...if I'm already having this much "fun" memorizing Katakana, Kanji is going to be a blast! (If only I didn't have A.D.D....)

The way i remember them is:

シ - "shi" (she) is looking up at you
ツ - "tsu" is the opposite of "shi xD haha

ソ - "so", like someone is looking down at you and thinking "ahh, this work is only so-so"
ン - opposite of so LOL

just a little thing how i remember the differences.

頑張ってね! (ganbatte ne!)
 
The way i remember them is:

シ - "shi" (she) is looking up at you
ツ - "tsu" is the opposite of "shi xD haha

ソ - "so", like someone is looking down at you and thinking "ahh, this work is only so-so"
ン - opposite of so LOL

just a little thing how i remember the differences.

頑張ってね! (ganbatte ne!)

That's pretty clever, lol.:D
 
I rememeber it differently by remembering only how to identify shi's diagonal strokes - N has the distinctive diagonal initial stroke that Shi does and it's easy to remember it as ShiN.

シ Shi
ン N

ShiN

The opposite is true - so I remember the other 2 similar characters as TsuSo

ツ Tsu
ソ So

TsuSo
 
If you fail to study katagana and are serious about learning all aspects of the language including writing you will surely fail. As was mentioned above, katagana is a must and should be mastered, along with hiragana, before attempting to learn kanji. With a little practice you can master them in a matter of days
 
Well, I have Hiragana figured out and I aim to learn Katakana by the end of the day, now that I have the time. Thanks to everyone for their words of wisdom and advice!
 
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