Curse you Katakana! *Shakes Fist*

Here I am sounding out the word フォートローダーデール looking like :face_with_raised_eyebrow::face_with_monocle: “ what is this…?!” only to realize moments later. I feel so silly after figuring out a word in katakana. Does anyone else feel like this?


Didn’t even know what it was before I googled it


I mean, my katakana reading is so bad I have no room to judge anyone. I almost find it harder than kanji if I’m being honest. So many of the characters are samey and I have a hard time distinguishing them. (Looking at you ‘tsu’ and ‘shi’ or ‘n’ and ‘so’!)


Same. I find myself air writing the katakana to figure out which one is which

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Learn the stroke order of the hiragana.

Hiragana: starts at top left, moves to the right, then curves down and to the left.
Katakana: start with the left eye, then right eye, move to the top right, curve down and to the left.

Hiragana: start at the top left, move down, curve to the right.
Katakana: start with the top eye, then lower eye, move down, curve up and right.

Same with ン and ソ

ノ is easy because there are no eyes

Personally, I now have issues with the た and ら columns(and slightly with the か column).
Seriously, fuck ケクテヲワ


I also think part of it has to do with the fact that Japanese is more strictly pronounced than English. Like, English is a franken-language where we mostly just memorize how words are supposed to be said because we borrowed from a bunch of other languages, but Japanese explicity tells you through all of it’s mark up how a thing is said. Like, ‘ローダーデール’ sounds like Lauderdale vs ‘ロダデル’ which sounds like something totally different.

I have a bad habit of disregarding them and it almost always makes me fail to understand the word.

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After watching video of japanese ammo no misa about this subject, i became able to recognize these evil katakatanas easier.


Please take no offense at this mnemonic, but I learned it by thinking of “Shi” as she (a face), she is kind and gives you a bj, therefore she looks at you from below.
While “Tsu” is a tsundere face, she is not kind to you at first and therefore she doesn’t look at you from below, she doesn’t give you a bj, she looks at you from above.


I think katakana is impossible unless you are native japanese or unless you are reading the context of something. My native language is English, but a lot of katakana words aren’t even English. Even if they are, most of the time I end up reading it to not understand at all… Its pretty frustrating. I wish there was some sort of dictionary or book introducing commonly used katakana words/phrases… If someone knows of such a thing please enlighten me!


I find reading katakana manageable. Trying to make sense of a string of katakana is, however, a whole another struggle :weary:


First thing you ever say here and it’s gotta be that!
You won a medal. My medal. It may not show up in your medals on your profile, but you can see it there can you? My “best opening comment of the WKC” medal.

Keep it. You really deserve it :wink:

welcome to our community btw :smiley:


Everyone says this and it’s like no help at all, on print you don’t see stroke order.

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The point is that if you know the hiragana, you follow the same generally movement to do the katakana versions. I think most people know that the hiragana don’t start from the bottom or right, so if you know those, and you know the katakana follow the same basic movement, it’s easier to remember.

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When I have asked native Japanese speakers who decides how katakana is even “spelled” out, like who decides how the sounds work together, I get nothing but puzzled looks. Which is not to say that native speakers should know the history of how languages are built, but katakana is so puzzling when words that are English are not spelled out in Japanese the way that makes sense to me.

I often wonder if I would experience the same mental block if I had learned it before hiragana… :thinking:


One reason for many words looking like they converted them from English strangely is… that many weren’t actually converted from English.

For instance, many words came from Dutch, thanks to the early privileges the Dutch enjoyed of being able to come to Japan when it was closed off to everyone else.

Dutch and English share some similarities though, so sometimes they match the way the word would be converted from either language, and sometimes they seem to have subtle differences.

This is how you get something like ルートビア for “root beer”, which came from English, and ビール for “beer,” which came from the Dutch word “bier”

EDIT: That’s not to say that “beer” and “bier” sound super different (I don’t know much about modern or historical Dutch) but it’s just to note that they didn’t originate with the same source.


Katakana is a wonderful thing when you don’t know anything else about the language and you go to a restaurant that serves foreign food… suddenly the whole menu becomes accessible. I learned katakana first before I knew 10 words in Japanese.

Unfortunately this backfired once with a nomihoudai where the whole drink menu was in katakana… after about 5-6 drinks, I gave up on trying to decipher the menu… a mass katakana sea is not what you want to try and navigate through in a stupor when you are trying to get your money’s worth!


This makes sense, but for sure with more modern words sometimes it doesn’t quite connect! :upside_down_face:

If you have some you find particularly perplexing, it’d be interesting to research them.


Thanks for the mnemonic. That is easier to remember :smile:

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I find katakana harder than kanji. I learned hiragana very quickly and it’s like a second alphabet for me now. I have been working on the katakana but it still looks like a muddled mess when I see it anywhere.