Kana characters

Japanese kanji writing is complemented by kana characters. They have no meaning in themselves, but stand for sounds. Every syllable has a corresponding hiragana character, e.g. "か" (ka), and a katakana character, e.g. "カ" (ka).

Hiragana are used to write word conjugations, whereas katakana are used for loanwords such as "コーヒー" (koohii, coffee).

WordDive kana course

Complete Kana

Basic Hiragana

  • Learn to read the 46 basic hiragana
  • Good starting point for learning Japanese characters

Start by learning the hiragana characters, which are much more common than katakana characters.

Kana reading practice

In reading practice, you will learn the kana characters as well as useful Japanese words. For example, below is the character す (su) as a part of the word すし (sushi, Japanese rice dish).

kana read

As your skills progress, you can move on to answering with full words and hiragana characters at your own pace. Above, all of the following answers are correct: su, sushi, す and すし.

Kana writing practice

In writing practice, you will write kana characters yourself by adding the missing character to the words. Below you would add the character す (su) to the word すし (sushi).

kana write

Kana character input is done by typing the desired syllable in Latin alphabet. It will then change into a kana character automatically.

Why WordDive works »

WordDive adapts to your learning and concentrates on words you have not yet learned, so you do not need to repeat words you already know.