how can i read hiragana


i don't know how to read them because i'm only a starter :(


You can find the syllabary in a thousand places on the net; some have games to help memorizing the kana. But watch out ! You can even find sites with training exercises which are wrong. So be sure to double check.


Hi Nicole, Have you checked out the writing lessons? When it comes to reading hiragana the best way is to practice writing them until they still in your head. It can also help to make pictures from the characters in order to help you visualise them. I hope this helps! Sayaka san


Hello, I have been studying Japanese... But Hiragana is very diffucult for me, So almost same alphabets. I'm Mongolian,,, So I have learning Hiragana, almost finish. Rocket lessons is very interesting and its can get good skill me...


Yesh! It will be difficult for a while, but you have to make it! As Sayaka-sensei said, you can check out the writing lessons, where there are videos showing you how to write each letter. But your question is how to READ. To know how to READ, you need to know the characters themselves. In other words, you need to MEMORISE them! Sorry, no easy way out! You can find hiragana and katana charts on the web, but here is the one I recommend: (Go to the Stroke Order and Direction part) Not only does it shows you the characters, it shows you how to write as well. Hope memorising doesn't scare you a bit. I devoted a few days time and now I can do it! Just a few days, not YEARS! You can do it! :) For motivation, just imagine reading raw manga, or picking up a product in Walmart and started reading the Japanese on the back of the product! (Though that would be mostly kanji)


Konnichi wa Minsan, Doumo arigatou, Good advice Wong-san! The advice I gave about checking out the writing lessons works particularly well for people that are KINAESTHETIC or VISUAL learners who learn by doing and by visualising. Writing characters out can help you to READ them as the practice will help you to memorise each character. There's also the awesome MegaJapanese Games which have a Mega Hiragana game. This is a fun way to help you remember your hiragana :-) Let me know how you get on! -Sayaka


有難うさやかさん。 I seemed to have forgotten how people can learn differently. 申し訳ありません。 Nicole, I would suggest you learn Katakana as well :) Many Japanese products have katakana written on them (at least I think so) and the katakana actually explains what the product is. For example, I recently found a packet of white stuffs in a Japanese store near where I live. There's no way to know what the white stuffs is, except the big katakana reading on the packet: メラミンスポンジ (meramin suponji). From there, I can tell that the white stuffs is actually melamine sponge. Useful, don't you think? :)


I am 12 years old and I learned Japanese for about a year now. Sometimes I slack off but then I got back on track. I know Hiragana and Katakana well now. When I first started my free trials on this website, I never known Hiragana and Katakana but then I started study five at a time and I wrote it five times and then I said it five times. Soon I knew many Hiragana characters so I began practicing by writing Japanese words in Hiragana. A week ago I just accomplished Katakana. When I was learning Katakana, most of it was similar to the Hiragana but, the characters were more straighter looking than the Hiragana. Now I am learning Kanji and I know it would take forever to succeed but, by the time 2013 comes around I will be able to read Japanese well but I will still need to study because there are more than 1000 kanji! So, what I am trying to tell you that there are many ways of learning and you shouldn't give up because if you slack like I did last year you wouldn't accomplished much. I slack many ways last year. One of the reasons why I was slacking is because if things soon get hard I get excited but then stressed out and I begin taking long breaks and I forget some things I learned. And then I become interested in other languages such as French and Spanish and Chinese. I like learning many languages because when I grow up I would like to be a journalist and travel the world and that is my reason for learning all these languages. But about a month ago I was in bed thinking...I should just learn one language at a time because I will get confused with the Japanese and Chinese kanji. And then if I learn Spanish and French I will forget my Japanese easily. I should learn Japanese because Japan is my dream and I will succeed Japanese first. That is what I said to myself. So just try getting a book in a book store that haves a book on Hiragana and Katakana and Kanji. And also learning on this website will help you learn the stroke order. Good Luck!

CatPanda hiragana, katakana, and JLPT N5 Kanji are free, it will help your reading abilities improve fast.


The way I learnt hiragana and katakana was to take 5 (one row) every week and write them down whenever I got the chance (literally all of my school books are covered in ' a, i , u, e, o, ... ka, ki, ku, ke, ko ... etc!) It is quite a lengthy way of learning them, but it means you'll never forget them!


@リアム I used the same method, even down to filling all my school books w/ kana. (One page is quadratic equations, the next is さしすせそ over and over again.) I also found it useful to also read some japanese words just in kana to help not forget them.


haha, the thing with writing on my school books helped me a lot in remembering kana, and lately I've been filling them with recently learned kanji in order to not forget them. Quite a hassle if the teacher sees them, but it was worth the effort :D


How i learned hiragana is to make them into picture in your mind like for eg. sa さit looks like some who has sat down. so [sa] I think of sat. if you do that to all for hiragana it make it easy to remember. if you have a smart phone you there is a app thats called Dr Moku and it makes all hiragana into a funny picture.when its funny it easy to remember. you can do the same with kanji i was able to learn 50 kangi in one day.


Yep, seeing pictographic representations is pretty useful for Kana, and a fair few kanji.


Much good advice there. I would add that once you basically known the characters, the most important thing is to actually *read* in Hiragana & Katakana & ideally write too. Dump Romaji as soon as you can, many textbooks have kana or Romaji versions, stick to Kana. Some series (like MnN) have extra 'reading practise' volumes, with vocabulary matched to the stage you are at, get those. Just *read* lots; if you dont know a word, look it up in the Denshi Jisho, entering it in Kana. *Using* it was whast really made it stick & become more 'fluent' for me.


So basically the answer to the OP's question is "You can read hiragana by reading hiragana?". Just joking =P But yeah, totally right. If text books are too boring for you, as they are for me, read some manga with furigana over all the Kanji. I also used to have a book called "Breaking into Japanese Literature", by Kodansha, which was Japanese stories next to an English translation, with a dictionary on each page. Pretty useful. So yeah, while you can learn to read kana with mnemonics or repeated practice, the best way to actually increase your reading speed is definitely to expose yourself to the language. I personally have a problem where I can read all the kana, but even after after 2 years, sometimes I don't know how to write them.


Yeap. I definitely see a lot of good suggestions on this page! :D Nicole-san, months have passed now, hopefully you can read really fast now, or at least know all the characters! Pascal-san, thank you for the suggestion. I'll look up that book. I've been learning it the same way, although my "technique" is not that awesome. What I basically did is to have two version of my favourite manga <3 on my screen. Japanese version on left and English on right. Basically I read the kanji + furigana and look at the English for translation :D I also have a notebook to note down all the kanji for revision at a later date... I personally believe this is a good trick, because you get to learn the language structure as well, but be careful, what you will learn are informal versions and does not really benefit a new learner :/ So I believe this method is for those with few good years of experience (Yeah, I didn't get to learn kana until few good years later X__X) As mentioned by Hnrutt-san, DITCH ROMAJI as fast as you can. When you're good with kana, DITCH your JA-ENG dictionary. I've researched around. If you want to learn fast, use Japanese-Japanese dictionary. Why? You'll obviously run into lots of words you don't understand. Not helpful? Think again. You then will search those words up. You'll end up searching lots and lots of words... Get it? :D When you search = you learn. These are what I find out online :P Ignore me if you don't like these ideas. HEHE.


I tried to personalise my learning of Hiragana and Katakana. I wrote all the characters on two different sheets and then had photo copies of each in places where I was physically most often (office, kitchen, bedroom etc). I then had individual pictures in my head for each. Hiragana was easiest for me. I had 90 percent of it down in about 4 hours but then spent the next month reinforcing the learning. Katakana was more difficult because it appears to me as nothing more than a series of lines. Once you've got it though it's best never to go back to Romaji.


These are all fantastic ideas!  I am and will probably use all of them at different times.  Thanks to all of you for the ideas.

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