Katakana カタカナ is a Japanese writing system used to write words of foreign origin, foreign proper names, onomatopoeia, and animal sounds. Katakana is one of three Japanese writing systems, along with hiragana and kanji.
- How it works?
- - Basic Syllables
- - Variations of sounds
- - Combinations
- Learn with a course
Katakana were developed in Japan in the 9th century, originally to facilitate the reading of Buddhist texts imported from China. However, their use has evolved over time, and katakana are now used to write foreign words and sounds that have no equivalent in hiragana or kanji.
Katakana also consist of 46 characters, each representing a Japanese syllable. The characters are similar to hiragana, but they have more angular and upright strokes. Katakana are often written in large sizes and are used to draw attention to particular words or to give texts a modern, western look.
Although katakana are mainly used to write foreign words, they also have cultural and emotional connotations for Japanese people. Katakana characters are often used to express excitement, surprise, and modernity, and are often associated with Japanese popular culture.
Need a Course?
We have broken down the katakana syllabary into several lessons so that you can learn to read and write each character.
Practice each learned katakana with flashcards, memory games and word-reading exercises.
And also, stroke order, pronunciation, writing sheets (for members). As well as summary tables, wallpapers and many more.
Learn to read and write katakana now
* With a premium subscription you receive a writing book as well as writing sheets for each lesson and access to all other courses.