Think You Know Your Kana?

While learning the Japanese Language, I've often been asked if I know hiragana and katakana; It is a good way to measure a beginner Japanese learner's skill level. I would always answer that I knew my kana well; I knew the phonetic sounds and how to write Japanese characters on my computer.

Yet when I was asked by my Japanese tutor, Rio Sensei, who is thankfully very specific in regards to learning the Japanese language, I thought, no problem. Yet, there's a twist: write them out, by hand, without any reference. Fail. I knew how to write some of the characters, but many I simply drew a mental blank.

Thus, Rio provided me a handy sheet for practicing hiragana and katakana. Over my time learning Japanese, I've completed over 80 sheets of kana practice. That's approximately 12,300 individually written kana; does your arm hurt after that. This is over a time span of about five months now.

That said, there are a few pesky kana, particularly katakana, that I blank on. While the previous kana worksheets are great for learning form and order, I have devised a new work sheet to help with memorization; unaided recall.

This new sheet has no sample kana to sample from; it is just you and your memory. I like to stream through all the hiragana then katakana, in proper order, then start again on the next line. If I blank, I leave a space and move on. It's good for keeping track of the characters you forget.

Get the blank practice sheet here

Now I know that I frequently forget: め(me), も(mo) in hiragana and ヌ(nu), ネ(ne), メ(me), モ(mo), ル(ru), レ(re) in katakana.

What hiragana and katakana do you seem to always forget?

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