Let’s Learn Katakana!


This is the Katakana. The alphabet which was invented specifically to express foreign words. Meaning that THESE are the symbols which only appear when you’re reading foreign words. So it’s only useful about 20% of the time. Great.

Keep in mind here that vowels only make one sound (as far as I’ve heard): 
a = “ah” as in Gaga
i = “ee” as in see
u = “oo” as in moo
e = “ay” as in hay
o = “oe” as in snow
Mostly I’ve just been drilling and memorizing, but here are some stupid associations I use to remember a few: 
ki = pronounced key, obviously looks like a key.
ko = looks like a KOala, hanging onto a tree
shi = looks like a sideways smiley, not very happy. She is not very happy.
su = looks like a woman in a skirt. Sue wears a skirt.
chi = looks like a cross with a cool little beret. Like the concept of “chi” is christianity wearing a trendy            little hat. 
tsu = sounds similar to Sue. Sue is smiling because she’s wearing a skirt. 
to = clearly looks like a toe
hi = guy sitting down
he = haystack
ho = those dashes off to the side are spread legs
nu = new way to write the number 7
ne = pronouced “neigh” looks like a picasso horse face
ma = crooked arm, like a mother holding a baby
mi = sideways confused looking face….how I usually feel
mo = a figure with widespread arms like…”give me mo’!”
yu = you are almost losing at hangman
re = ray of sun
ro = that’s a boat. duh. 
I haven’t even delved into the crazy ones on the left yet. So yeah. This is the first alphabet I’m trying to learn. I need to actually get it down quickly so I can start learning hiragana, the non foreign, non kanji alphabet. Wheeeee. 
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One response

  1. One I remember from middle school is ri-looks like the reed you put into your instrument. Also its pretty easy to learn the second alphabet once you have learned the first since all of the sounds are the same, its just new shapes and i remember some of my hints for those once you get there.

    11/21/2012 at 1:51 pm

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