Compare Hiragana and Katakana App and Kanji Essentials App


Hiragana and Katakana App Logo

Hiragana and Katakana App

This iOS app is ideal for those starting to learn Japanese, to remember characters and practice stroke order. Find out more
Kanji Essentials App Logo

Kanji Essentials App

This iOS app provides a quick reference guide for learning the 1,945 General-Use Kanji. Find out more
Try Hiragana and Katakana AppTry Kanji Essentials App
Who is it for?
  • Advanced Learners
  • Beginner Learners
  • Intermediate Learners

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Hiragana and Katakana App

A quick reference guide for learning Hiragana and Katakana, diacritics and digraphs.

Ideal for students who are just starting to learn Japanese, this reference guide will help you to remember the characters, practice stroke order and listen to the spoken pronunciations.

Frequently asked questions

Does Kana represent the Japanese alphabet?

Not really. Japanese Kana are syllabic writing (each character represents one syllable), consisting of Hiragana and Katakana characters – though you might consider this is somewhat similar to an alphabet.

What are diacritics?

Diacritics are accent characters which change the voiced sound of certain characters – for example カ (“ka”) becomes ガ (“ga”).

What are digraphs (compound characters)?

Compound characters (digraphs) are two Kana which are pronounced as one sound, not individually. These are formed by appending smaller versions of “ya”, “yu” and “yo” to the syllables from the “i” sounding Kana (“ki”, “shi”, “chi”, “ni”, “hi”, “mi”, “ri” and their variations) – for example キ (“ki”) + ョ (small “yo”) = キョ (“kyo”).

What are Hiragana?

The more cursive and widely used form of Kana.

What are Katakana?

The more angular form of Kana, primarily for words of foreign origin – these have the same sounds and pronunciations as Hiragana.

Why do I need to practice stroke order?

Japanese characters are composed of strokes and each character is intended to be written in a certain order. It is very important to learn the correct stroke order as this will help you intuitively know how to write new characters and it has a big effect on how readable it ends up looking.

Why don’t some of the stroke order diagrams match the displayed Kana?

This is because the glyph (shape) of the handwritten form is different from the printed (typed) form. Example: き (ki).

How are long vowels written?

A long vowel is written in Hiragana with an extra “あ”, “い”, “う” “え” or “お” depending on the previous vowel sound – for example おねえさん (oneesan, “older sister”) or おおきい (ookii,”big”). In katakana, it’s written with a dash – for example, メール (me-ru, “email”).

How are double consonants written?

The double consonant is written by adding a small “tsu” (“っ” or “ッ”) in front of the doubled consonant syllable – for example, “どっち” (docchi, “which”).

Kanji Essentials App

A quick reference guide for learning the 1,945 General-Use Kanji officially documented by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Ideal for students who already know Hiragana and Katakana, this learning tool will help you to:

Download now


Learning Japanese iPhone and iPad apps © Dale Clifford 2012-2020.
These applications made possible by the following resources:

4 Reviews

  1. PINNOCHA says:

    This app is tightly designed and useful for learning your kana. The animated stroke diagrams are a nice touch that most other apps don't include. Aesthetically pleasing and matches well with iOS7. The only thing missing is a randomized quiz function but it's not essential. Best app I've found for kana, especially nice since other (worse) apps tend to try charging for katakana flashcards. I'd buy an everyday kanji expansion.

  2. Pmrigo says:

    This app is amazing for leaning how to write and there's even sound. Good option for somebody who just got started in learning Japanese!

  3. josoine says:

    Sans apprendre le japonais, je me suis mis à la calligraphie japonaise. Il faut se souvenir de l'ordre dans lequel on doit tracer les traits, points, etc. qui composent les caractères. Quand on débute, ce n'est pas évident de se souvenir de tout ! Cerise sur le gâteau, l'app donne la prononciation des caractères. C'est une bonne aide. Merci au développeur.

  4. anpiet says:

    Ce site m'aide beaucoup pour arriver à écrire en japonais (niveau Débutant).

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