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Katakana & Hiragana help.

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Hello everyone on JREF.

Recently I started learning Japanese, obviously I started with Hiragana.
Now, I have pretty much learnt Hiragana fully and have decided to start learning Katakana whilst still practicing Hiragana every day so I can say that I know it fully soon.

However, I'm struggling a lot.
After learning all the symbols for the Hiragana alphabet, now re-learning that same alphabet and swapping the symbols around is quite hard.

I'm currently using Anki flash cards to learn, & some of them I have got the hang of, but some of the letters are so different to the hiragana letters it makes me confused.

So what i'm asking is, do any of you know a good way to memorise which katakana goes with what hirganana, when practicing.

Thanks.
 

madphysicist

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How are you practising at the moment? Just by looking at flashcards? I think it's really helpful to write things out by hand. If you haven't learnt much grammar yet, practise writing out individual words.

Here's an article with a lot of loan word examples (warning: annoying autoplay video).
The Most Common Loan Words in Japanese
You could write down the romaji, close the webpage, and then try to write the same words out in katakana using a katakana table. Then go back and check if you got them right. You will learn a bit of vocabulary at the same time.

Here is a site that shows the stroke order for hiragana and katakana, so you can write them correctly:
Learning Hiragana - Yoshida Institute
Learning Katakana - Yoshida Institute
When there is a double consonant which is not a n, you should use the small っ or ッcharacter.
e.g. gakkou -> がっこう
When there is a double vowel in katakana, use the ー character e.g. maaku -> マーク

There are a few exceptions to the phonetic hiragana, in that some grammatical particles are not written as you would expect. Maybe you have not learnt these particles yet. If that's the case, don't worry about it for now.
"watashi wa" -> "わたしは" not "わたしわ".
"hon o" -> "ほんを" not "ほんお"
"nihon e" -> "にほんへ" not "にほんえ"

I think that's all you need to start writing. Maybe writing by hand seems tedious, and flashcards are easy, but you will need to be able to write eventually so you may as well start now.
 
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lanthas

 
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Agreed with practicing writing of the characters to remember them. There are not that many of them in the first place, so if you write them a bunch of times, either by themselves or as part of words, it won't take long before you know them well.

There are also some mnemonics that you can use to distinguish the more similar katakana:
シ (shi) <-> ツ (tsu): dashes come from the side vs from the top
ン (n) <-> ソ (so) <-> メ (me) <-> ノ (no): dash points to the northern end of the arc vs to the southern end, it may meddle with it or there may no dash at all
 
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How are you practising at the moment? Just by looking at flashcards? I think it's really helpful to write things out by hand. If you haven't learnt much grammar yet, practise writing out individual words.
I have been doing some character writing, some words etc but not all of them.
I am going to the store today and I am going to make a letter board for my wall for the different letters, match them up, so when I'm losing focus from the PC I can look up and see them, practice.

I will also be getting some graph paper to practice my hand writing.

Your post really helped me, and opened up my eyes with the

"watashi wa" -> "わたしは" not "わたしわ".
"hon o" -> "ほんを" not "ほんお"
"nihon e" -> "にほんへ" not "にほんえ"

section.
Thanks a lot.
 
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There are also some mnemonics that you can use to distinguish the more similar katakana:
シ (shi) <-> ツ (tsu): dashes come from the side vs from the top
ン (n) <-> ソ (so) <-> メ (me) <-> ノ (no): dash points to the northern end of the arc vs to the southern end, it may meddle with it or there may no dash at all
This opened up my eyes also,
The whole, "Side" and "top" thing is so simple but effective and it instantly got stuck in my head.
Thanks a lot.
 
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