Learning Japanese is quite challenging, but Duolingo is here to help! After learning Hiragana, you’ll learn Katakana, the second set of Japanese writing system. Katakana is mainly used for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese.

Katakana click to enlarge

This chart starts from upper right hand side corner, and goes down from top to bottom.

Here’s the katakana list with stroke order. This chart doesn’t have romaji for those who know the katakana already and need to learn how to write them. click to enlarge


Here’re the first five letters and pronounce as short vowel sounds.

- Vowels
Hiragana あ  い  う  え  お
Katakana ア  イ  ウ  エ  オ
Romaji a  i  u  e  o
Pronunciation /a/ /i/ /u/ /e/ /o/


Hiragana and katakana have the exact same pronunciations.

- Learning Katakana - consonants
Hiragana あ  か  さ  た  な  は
Katakana ア  カ  サ  タ  ナ ハ
Romaji a  ka sa ta na ha
Hiragana ま  や  ら  わ  を ん
Katakana マ  ヤ  ラ  ワ  ヲ ン
Romaji ma  ya ra wa wo n

Please review.
Extended hiragana list
・Here’s tinycards for Writing Japanese—Katakana

Do you know any katakana words in Japanese? Please share with us in comments.

September 22, 2017


Can katakana be added to the Japanese course? It would be really helpful because katakana is very prevalent when visiting Japan (e.g. on menus).

I agree, having Katanaka, or even Kanji since that is related to Japanese... I'm not entirely sure about Romaji, but that should still work

Japanese is unreadable without the Katakana, because it is used for foreign words to help the Japanese say them correctly and such words are all over the place, therefore Katakana being deeply mixed with the Hiragana, so are there any plans to add it to the course? To be honest, without both the Hiragana and Katakana you should have just stuck to the Romaji, learning only half of it isn't of any use.

Maybe you've already found out about this by now, but the lessons from Intro and onward gradually have Katakana in them.

These supplementary discussions are helpful, especially because the web version of Japanese isn't yet available and the app presents but does not discuss the writing systems or review points of grammar.

I'm sure there is a mistake on the chart above. It gives the pronunciation ofあ / ア as /ə/ (schwa); shouldn't it be /a/ instead?

It's hard to explain in words. If only we could add the actual sounds to this forum. Japanese あ is between [a] and [ɑ], closest to [ä] (central), but it is unstressed just as in [ə]. There are no equivalent sounds in English, unfortunately.

Which lessons teach the katakana? I wish there were lessons similar to the hiragana. I picked those up reasonably quick with how those were taught.

Tinycards link is added for your practice!

Plz add katakana to duolingo like hiragana

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