Read and write focus

I’ve been studying Japanese off and on for years, but I couldn’t get anything to really stick until wanikani. Now I think in japanese and am finally making progress. It took me roughly two months to reach Level 6, but I lost my iPhone while overseas and was off grid for months during Covid so it took me an entire month to relearn all that material just now.

I noticed I struggle with remembering the difference between on’yomi and kun’yomi. And my memory of katakana is very bad. I would like to test my writing recall as well. Any suggestions for apps for writing kanji? Again…only Level 6 so far.


So when learning words, you don’t need to focus too much on what is on/kun. So I would advice you to leave that be for a while, if it seems to much at the moment.

Katakana gives most people trouble, you see it it less frequently than hiragana, so that makes it hard to naturally practice. On the other hand, it won’t be too much of a barrier to reading, if you hardly ever see it! You can practice writing it at times where you have little else to do.

For writing kanji I have used the Kanji Study app (def on Android, not sure if it has an Apple app, as well), and have heard good things about Skritter, though that one is a monthly subscription.


Thanks! Are there any kanji games for android? I used to have some on my iPhone, but I’m stuck with Android for the moment.

Probably? I don’t really play kanji games.

I used this app to initially master hiragana and katakana, by the way. You can access those for free. Most of the kanji practice is behind a pretty low paywall.

You can just search for kanji games in the Play Store and some will pop up, though.

I am enjoying this community Anki deck called Katakana Reading Practice. It’s great for some extra vocabulary too. Katakana Reading Practice - AnkiWeb

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I use this site to drill myself on the kana:

If you do just a few minutes a day for a month you should be good.


For writing whatever writing system, you could start filling out forms (like name, street, city, province/state/prefecture/oblast/etc. kind of forms).
Just print some out and write all the details in katakana.

If you’re not used to handwriting (like me), you might destroy your hand many times, but over time you’ll never forget how to write them ever again.

I think the least common katakana you’ll ever encounter would be nu and wo, because they’re so rarely used in katakana.

One example how you can practise:
Donald Trump → ドナルド・トランプdonarudo toranpu
40 Wall Street → 40ウォールストリートuo-ru sutori-to
New York → ニューヨークnyu-yo-ku

After many times of filling out forms here in Japan by hand over the past 2 years, not only I completely destroyed my right hand time and time again, it got very easy for me to remember how to write in kanji too (this is including my first and lastname, I have an offcially registered alias in kanji that I can use nationwide for everything (including official documents and banks)).

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Dunno if I’d peg ヌ among the bottom two katakana, though I guess even ぬ is fairly infrequent. Words like タヌキ or ヌードル or スヌーピー use it, after all. No arguments about ヲ, though. Think the only place I’ve ever seen that is in the name of the anime ソラノヲト.

Wonder if anyone’s ever sorted the katakana by order of frequency…

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Maybe except for ヌードル, I don’t think people would write タヌキ or スヌーピー as often.
ぬ is pretty frequent, but I barely encounter ヌ in the real world for whatever reason.

Animal names tend to be written in katakana.

スヌーピー actually gets more Google results than タヌキ

That said, I found this list:


290948 ン n
237059 ト to / do
197454 ス su / zu
189442 ル ru
154554 イ i
151194 フ fu / pu / bu
141787 シ shi / ji
138642 ク ku / gu
137966 ア a
117203 ラ ra
111562 ツ tsu
106744 リ ri
105057 カ ka / ga
102225 ハ ha / pa / ba
101715 タ ta / da
086069 テ te / de
075301 ロ ro
072655 コ ko / go
070443 ヒ hi / pi / bi
068597 ホ ho / po / bo
060608 レ re
060230 メ me
056123 マ ma
054275 エ e
050758 ム mu
050340 キ ki / gi
049346 サ sa / za
048586 チ chi
044765 ヘ he / pe / be
042572 セ se / ze
041518 ウ u
040963 オ o
040670 ヤ ya
039269 ユ yu
038711 ニ ni
038047 ナ na
029262 ミ mi
028049 ヨ yo
027116 ケ ke / ge
023424 ソ so / zo
022462 ネ ne
021793 ワ wa
020070 モ mo
019572 ノ no
002897 ヌ nu
000122 ヲ wo (not used)
000073 ヱ we (not used)
000040 ヰ wi (not used)


And yeah, aside from the back end of the W-line, ヌ is bottom of the pile.

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True for the most part, but it doesn’t mean that many people would write it frequently.
Zoo staff and soba restaurant workers would, but other than that?

Just consider this, how often do you see people write カタナ?
The カ is often used, but it doesn’t mean that it’s as frequently used as as スイカ (at least in Kanto region, people in the Kinki region would use イコカ more often instead).

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Sorry, run that one past me again? I’m not sure I quite understand the point you’re making.

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Awesome! Thanks

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