Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Learning kana, post 5 (katakana a-do)

We've finished hiragana and one set of special sounds and combinations in the previous four posts. You can find them here:
Hiragana a-zo, hiragana ta-po, hiragana ma-n, special sounds.

Since you're now used to writing and thinking about Japanese kana more the katakana range will be split in just 2 sets. We'll talk about the first one today and the second one next week. After that there will be just one kana post left, it will talk about special katakana combinations to make certain sounds that are not native to Japanese but are used in other languages.

Katakana is the kana set that people use to write non-Japanese words, like Chinese or English loan words or foreign names.

Just a note before we start, katakana has a couple of quite difficult to distinguish kana that look a LOT like other kana. I haven't found a trick yet to tell them apart, so it's just a case of practice practice and more practice.

The sounds of katakana are the same as hiragana and so are all the cards you'll be studying.

This set is written a lot more steady and on a different type of card, I think these should be easier to read.
As before, all the gifs that are next to the cards come from: http://www.umich.edu/~umichjlp/Katakanapro/index.html


Row 1 vowels
Nothing too difficult in this set as far as I know.


A








 

I







U





E







O








Row 2 K/G
Some of these aren't that hard, KA looks like the KA from hiragana and the same goes for KI.


KA





GA










KI








GI









KU







GU









KE









GE








KO








GO








Row 3 S/Z
Some of these look like hiragana that aren't the same. I feel like SA looks like the hiragana SE but less angles and flipped and SU looks like hiragana E but more angled. And you'll meet 2 of the kana that are part of the difficult ones.


SA








ZA








SHI









JI








SU









ZU







SE





 

ZE








SO





 


ZO






Row 4 T/D
Here you encounter one of the other difficult kana.



TA

I don't know why, but this might be my fav katakana.







DA








CHI




 

JI
(uncommon, JI from SHI is preferred)







TSU

Tsu looks like shi but the "eyes" on it are straight up instead of sloped and the "mouth" is written the other way around.

ZU

(uncommon, ZU from SU is preferred)








TE








DE










TO








DO








And that is the first half of the katakana. Remember to practice a lot, the more you do the easier it will be to read them.


Study on!

Kia