Katakana

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Reading and Writing
Hiragana
Mnemonics from: http://www.canyouchopstick.com/2011/01/katakana-mnemonic/
Animations from: http://japaneselanguageculturefood.com/japanese-language-katakana.htm
Hiragana
Chart
A あ
An antenna is up on the roof.
あ as in ‘up on the roof’.
I
い
There are two eels.
い as in ‘eels’.
U う
Ooo! This is heavy!
う as in ‘Ooo!’
E
え
I have to exercise.
え as in ‘exercise’.
O お
A golf ball is on the green.
お as in ‘on the green’.
*NOTE:
Handwritten
Print
KA か
A kite is flying in the sky.
か as in ‘kite’.
KI き
I have a key.
き as in ‘key’.
KU く
Here comes a cuckoo bird.
く as in ‘cuckoo’.
KE け
A keg of beer.
け as in ‘keg’.
KO こ
An apple core.
こ as in ‘core’.
*NOTE:
Handwritten
Print
SA さ
I love sake!
さ as in ‘sake’.
SHI
し
She has a ponytail.
し as in ‘she’.
SU
す
The pigs tail will soon fall off.
す as in ‘soon’.
SE
せ
Sensei’s hat.
せ as in ‘sensei’.
SO
そ
Zig-zag sewing.
そ as in ‘sewing’.
TA た
A letter ‘t’ and ‘a’ make ta.
た as in ‘ta’.
CHI
ち
She’s a cheerleader.
ち as in ‘cheerleader’.
TSU
つ
Tsunami is a tidal wave.
つ as in ‘tsunami’.
TE
て
The dog is wagging his tail.
て as in ‘tail’.
TO
と
Ouch! A nail is in my toe.
と as in ‘toe’.
NA
な
A nun is kneeling in front of
the cross.
な as in ‘nun’.
NI
に
A needle and thread.
に as in ‘needle’.
NU ぬ
The egg fell out of the bowl
with noodles and chopsticks.
ぬ as in ‘noodles’.
NE ね
I caught a big fish in my net.
ね as in ‘net’.
NO
の
Do not enter!
の as in ‘not’.
HA
は
I live in a house.
は as in ‘house’.
HI ひ
He is on the wall.
ひ as in ‘he’.
FU ふ
I climbed Mt Fuji.
ふ as in ‘Fuji’.
HE
へ
There is a haystack.
へ as in ‘haystack’.
HO
ほ
A house becomes a home
with a satellite.
ほ as in ‘home’.
MA
ま
Mum loves music.
ま as in ‘mum’.
MI み
Who’s 21? Me!
み as in ‘me’.
MU
む
Moo-moo cow.
む as in ‘moo’.
ME め
Chopsticks and noodles
without any mess.
め as in ‘mess’.
MO
も
The more worms, the more fish.
も as in ‘more’.
YA や
Yay, I’m on a yacht.
や as in ‘yay’.
YU
ゆ
Make a U-turn.
ゆ as in ‘U-turn’.
YO
よ
Yoga is hard.
よ as in ‘yoga’.
*NOTE:
Handwritten
Print
RA
ら
I love steamy ramen noodles.
ら as in ‘ramen’.
RI
り
A pretty ribbon.
り as in ‘ribbon’.
RU
る
Catch a kangaroo with
a loop in the rope.
る as in ‘kangaroo’.
RE
れ
Ready, set, go. Let’s race!
れ as in ‘Ready’.
RO
ろ
No loop in the rope. The
kangaroo got away!
ろ as in ‘rope’.
WA
わ
Wow! A magic wand.
わ as in ‘Wow’.
O を
Oh! A cheerleader is
on my toe.
を as in ‘oh!’.
N ん
The letter ‘n’ in end.
ん as in ‘end’.
*NOTE
じ ず
ぢ づ
mostly used
not commonly used
big
small
Long sounds
ā
ああ
ii or ī
いい
ū
うう
ei or ē
ええ OR えい
ō
おう OR おお (less common)
kyā, kyū, kyō
きゃあ、きゅう、きょう etc
Pause sound (small tsu つ)
kk
けっこん
pp
きっぷ
(tickets)
ss
まっすぐ
(go straight)
tt
きって
(ticket)
tch
サンドイッチ
(marriage)
(sandwich)
Particles – Hiragana changes
Particles are grammatical markers and are put before or after
Japanese words to make a sentence. Eg. In romaji particles are
written on their own separate from other words.
Ie. Watashi wa kōen e ikimasu.
wa
は
(not わ)
o
を
(not お)
e
へ
(not え)
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