How to write small kana in Gboard

Hello everyone! I’m fairly new to Wanikani (recently restarted level 1) and learning Japanese. I I’m using the Flaming Durtles app on Android and use the Gboard 12 key keyboard to type in hiragana for kanji readings.

However, I have a small problem as I don’t know how to type small kana (Eg small つ) on the keyboard. This means I can’t currently do my reviews properly as I cannot input the correct answer! Does anyone know how to do this on Gboard keyboard or is there a better keyboard available that has this functionality? Thanks in advance for any help.

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In the same key as " and ° if you slide up it shows 小
It makes small the kana typed just before


Ah that’s it! All working nicely now. Thank you so much!

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You can also just tap that key rather than having to do the slide motion. A tap cycles between all the possible small/large/dakuten/not options for the character, so for the usual characters you want to make small like やよ a tap will just switch them between small and large. For つ the sequence for taps is つ->っ->づ and then back round to つ, so a single tap also works here.


Yes, I can see that when you press that key it cycles through each option for the character. This is really useful to know, thanks!

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With an IME you can also type many characters as small characters by prefixing them with an ‘l’:
ala → あぁ
teli-supu-nn[F7] → ティースプーン (teaspoon)

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You can save a keystroke by typing “thi”. :slightly_smiling_face:

Clean forgotten if there’s a similar shortcut for the トゥ in トゥモローランド…

Also, while that works for most IMEs, WaniKani used to treat R and L as the same - that is, “teli” would yield てり - and you’d have to use the alternate option of “x” instead. I vaguely recall that they changed that.


I’ve been using the Gboard 12 key flick on my phone for (almost 2!) years now for my WaniKani reviews. I really like it. I hate using Qwerty on my phone…I only use swype for English…

I never boot up my computer nowadays…

Good luck with your studies, Sensei!

Hi, @YanagiPablo, good to see you again! :blush:


Thanks very much, Shannon! I want to stick to using Gboard as it forces me to type in kana, it is more challenging but ultimately more realistic and fun too! I started logging in on my computer originally but am much happier using an app as it is much more convenient doing reviews on my phone.

I’m trying to learn slowly as I think I will retain the information better over a gradual process. I never thought I would start learning kanji at all so I have no expectations and will just see how I get along!

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Kana flick (Gboard) is actually pretty good, at least due to bigger keys. Also, Kana is always created, rather than mixing with alphabets on typo.

Repeated tapping to advance through the row, but I don’t know to force advancing to the next character. Hold the key always force advancing to the next character.

The speed is just the matter of getting used to, but mobile typing isn’t like desktop with keyboard, anyway.

That’s “twu”. “h” and “w” are the first guessing candidates. I have to type トゥーリ a lot nowadays.

I always use x to force a small character, eg. x+tsu = っ

とぃとぅ :owl:

Always? Even with it’s just doubling a consonant? Because when you’re typing やった, say, “yatta” is a whole heap fewer keystrokes than “yaxtsuta”.

Though come to think of it, I do have an app on my phone which maps all the michi-no-eki in Japan, and all the names are romanised exactly like that. For example, はにゅう in Saitama Prefecture is written “Hanixyuu”.


ok, always was a bit 大げさ, i admit. I mean when I need to deliberately go out of my way to write a small character I just use x in front of it. Seems to work for most usages I recall offhand.