Typing long vowel marker in WK

I just hit level three last night (woo!) and have been introduced to the vocabulary word ビー玉. Typically WK uses hiragana for all of the readings, but for this one, instead of びいだま, the only reading accepted is びーだま, using a katakana long vowel marker.

First of all, is this typical? I’ve never seen a long vowel denoted that way in hiragana.

Secondly, is there an easier way to type this than having to switch to the Japanese keyboard on my phone (or copying and pasting from a katakana chart on PC)? I feel like that’s sort of a hassle.

Thanks in advance!

Probably not, but it’s infrequent enough on WK that I don’t even think about it anymore.

It accepts a normal hyphen (minus sign) from the English keyboard.


When it comes to vocabulary words that are generally written with katakana, Wanikani’s input will accept answers with those characters in katakana, or in hiragana. So, for example, アメリカ人 can be written as アメリカじん or あめりかじん, either way will be accepted. That system just gets kinda borked when it comes to ビー玉, like you noticed. And you’re right, it would basically never be written as びーだま.

The way you type a ー is just with a hypen: -

I’d recommend getting used to typing answers with katakana in katakana. In this case, typing BI-dama will get you ビーだま. Note the capital letters.


You can type in katakana in romaji by using capital letters.

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There are times when it’s used in hiragana. The most common is probably らーめん, which isn’t that unusual to see on signs, though you of course can write it other ways as well.


Have you ever seen らあめん?

Sure. It’s not common though.


Thank you all for the insight! Didn’t even think about trying to use the hyphen before, haha.

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I used to do this, but if I wanted to listen to audio, I’d have to expand the info and click on the audio instead of just pressing “J”. I don’t know why typing in Katakana doesn’t allow the audio shortcut.

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