How to learn Hiragana and Katakana fast?

hi there, I was wondering if there`s a similar app or website to WaniKani to learn Hiragana and Katakana.
or does someone has some useful tipps and tricks to learn those alphabets quite quickly ?
thank you all



For a good (free) starter resource, I like IRODORI. You have to sign up with your email address, but it doesn’t cost anything.

The introduction section teaches hiragana and katakana and looks pretty effective to me. (But I already knew them before I started, so no first-hand testimonial)
After teaching it to you in a logical order, the practice section has flash-card like quizzes.

1 Like has a bunch that are user and team made.
it’s a flashcard style learning with quick paced options and 5 different kinds of reviews: classic, speed, difficult words; listening skills, and video (if available)

I wrote them down multiple time a day everyday for two weeks. Done.


By using them!
I learnt hiragana here in wanikani.
Also, for katakana, I switched kunyomi readings to use katakana and that helped me a lot.
It’s when you use them that your brain truly learns them.

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I used this

Tofugu is the same company that makes wanikani, its not flashcards but its mnemonics and a quiz, this is how I learned my kana and it took 2 days for both


This is how I learned kana as well! I spent 1 day on hiragana and 1 day on katakana and that was enough time to get comfortable with each of them. Granted my reading speed was slow at first, but I was able to read nonetheless. It’s almost been a year since then for me, and it’s crazy to think about how long it’s been since I last even needed to think about the original mnemonics!

Incase they miss the katakana article at the bottom of that page, here’s that one as well: Learn Katakana: The Ultimate Guide

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yeah its honestly really efficient

I used a Web app like this one:
Despite it working, I feel like it wasn’t necessarily the most efficient method. writing the characters by hand seemed more productive.

In my experience, having just one sound each, a universally agreed ordering, and no inherent meaning, makes kana a lot easier to learn. They’re alphabet-like, which kanji very much are not.

Duolingo has a pretty good set of kana drills, and it’s free.

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I’d recommend an app called Kana Town. Not sure about iOS but it’s on Android.
It has a tab for hiragana and katakana separately, and you can quiz yourself on them similar to WaniKani reviews.
Just brute force your way through it by taking a test of all hiragana/katakana until you get 100%.
I already knew hiragana when I used it but I learned all of katakana after 15-20 attempts.

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The Tofugu tests over, and over. Worked really fast for me.

And Kana Town is great, but I think it’s not supported for new Androids anymore.

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Ah, that’s a shame. I used it a few years back and would recommend it to absolute beginners.

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Flashcards and/or writing the characters on paper.

Seconding flash cards. I bought a deck but really just writing them on paper suffices. Nothing fancy needed. It helps to have a complete kana set with the digraphs and diacritics, and not just the base 46 for each set. I think the full set comes out to something around 218? Flashcards for an hour a day for 4-7 days is a worthwhile time investment IMO. No fancy SRS or app needed.

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Oh yeah, that’s a good point. In retrospect I felt like the characters + rendaku made it a little harder to remember than one would assume based on the fact that the rendaku is just a phonetic “add-on”.

@IrinaPobo I would recommend putting extra effort into katakana by the way. Once you’re past the “kana phase”, katakana doesn’t appear nearly as often as one would need to keep the characters in memory which makes it harder to read when katakana words appear in text.

That and katakana is a lot more unpredictable than hiragana by nature. The word being sounded out may be difficult to synthesis in your brain but once you hear a recording of it you’ll slap yourself in the face for not recognizing it… sometimes. Oftentimes it’s just a made-up word, a location you’ve never heard of, a foreign name or a foreign loanword you’ve never encountered, or some technical or fantasy/scifi term that only has specialized meaning.

Fantastic example of an unintuitive word if you’ve never seen it before: コンピューター. “Konpyoo taa…?” I remember being hung up on this the first time I saw it 20 something years ago.

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