First Katakana Lesson - Beginner Japanese (Start here first!) | Miko Hayashi | Skillshare

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First Katakana Lesson - Beginner Japanese (Start here first!)

teacher avatar Miko Hayashi, Language is another world of its own.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Learn Katakana Introduction

    • 2. Materials needed

    • 3. Reading Katakana

    • 4. Katakana page 1

    • 5. Katakana page 2

    • 6. Using Katakana

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About This Class

Want to learn Japanese? Join Miko, a Tokyo resident, and learn the very basics to the Japanese language. 

This is my very first class, which I made in 2016. It is the very first Japanese class ever on Skillshare. I encourage you to learn the katakana writing system first, before hiragana or kanji. I will explain why in the video.

In this class, you will learn Katakana. Katakana is the angular writing system used to simulate foreign words, onomatopoeia, and give emotional emphasis in manga. 

Miko, a Japanese-American, graduated with a major in Japanese, and has been living in Japan since 2009. 


Meet Your Teacher

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Miko Hayashi

Language is another world of its own.


Hello everyone! Thank you for your interest in my classes.

I am a half-Japanese American, who majored in the Japanese language. I've been living in Japan since 2009, and I use Japanese in my daily life.

I wanted to share with you how to write Japanese. When learning a language, writing is the key to learning. When you write, you are writing memories into your brain.

First, let's start at the basics. Begin with the katakana course as an introduction. Usually, hiragana is taught beforehand, however, katakana's usage can be confusing, not to mention the similarities the characters can have with each other. It's best to get the tricky part finished first.

I have already published how to write katakana. As you take your first steps, keep on practicing on writin... See full profile

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1. Learn Katakana Introduction: Hi. My name is Nico, and I like to talk to you a little bit about myself before we begin. Um, first of all, thank you so much for having interest in my class. I hope you learn a lot. Secondly, Um, so I have been living in Japan for about eight years or so, and my major was the Japanese language. And I'd like to pass down what I've learned on to you. Not just from what I learned as a major in Japanese, but also as a resident of Japan as well. So, in my experience, um, I think it's easier to learn cut back on our first. And I kind of regret learning hit it on our first because I struggled with Kata Kata for so long after I picked up here to Ghana. And then I think Kathy Khanna is usually the hardest one, not because of just how it's used in Japanese, but also because a lot of the characters are looking very similar. So it's easier to get that down and finish with and then move onto here to Ghana and then lastly, have congee. Um, also for those who are thinking that well, I think it's too hard. I think they're way too many characters. I don't have time to learn on Condi and here to Ghana and Costa Kana and I understand your position. It does take some dedication and it does take some time. However, you won't get very far in Japan if you stick with using Onley, Ramadi, Um, or Roman letters for Japanese. I think it's really important to learn congee, Kata Kana and hit a Ghana by writing it. And that's how you get it stuck in your head is by writing it. So that's why the focus of this lesson is not what the vocabulary are, but more on how to write it so you can learn how to write it and apply what you've learned later to the vocabulary that you pick up. So without further ado, let's get started on learning some cut that off 2. Materials needed: Oh, and welcome back to learning Japanese. My name is Mico. Here I have my, um Condi practice notebook. Uh, if you have a of Japanese stationery store to you, I highly recommend to go out and buy this. It should be very cheap. I only paid 100 yen for mine, which is like $1 but there might be some import price. Um, the inside looks like this. This is meant for first graders. You could see that each box is very big and has to dotted lines going vertically and horizontally makes it very easy for beginners to learn how to write and also in a very balanced manner. Now, to talk about the differences between the three different writing systems that are used in Japan, we have already in this page on the front page an example of all three. So here this part, where it's very angular and not so curvy. This part here is called Kana here, where it gets a little bit more complicated. This conjure here and also in the corner over here those our country which have met many more stroke here, the more rounded ones over here are called here. I don't know what today I'm gonna talk to you a bit about, um, Khanna and I would like to start, um, with teaching you how to write in a from proper order for that kinda. 3. Reading Katakana: Okay, so I'm gonna begin Teoh, show you how to write Kata Khanna. So here I've already completed one page. It's not all of the Catholic, Ana, but it fits on the one page. Um, here, you can see the e u A Oh, here. This this part This column. This represents those sounds e a. They don't have any constants. And those of the five basic sounds of Japanese they'd never changed no matter what word you're using you to always be very long. Sound e A. Here is when this starts to have a continent. So if you put Kate and ate together, you get caught. Okay? I keep Okay, you coop que e k k o cold. Now you will be continue over here. Sata not, huh, Ma? Yeah, And it keeps all going on until maybe three more columns. So first I want to do is I'm gonna tell you on about writing because stroke order is very important. When you're in Japanese. When you write English, you can write the letter however you want, but they're much more strict in Japanese and there are some good reasons Why So generally you can see the in pencil. I wrote the stroke or you go from top to bottom and also left to right. Usually when you're curving towards this way, it's connected. You do not lift your pen. Also, the straight line usually comes last. However, if you are doing a curved line, if there's nothing else on top because the order is talked of autumn, for example, here, then you would go around first and then go over here like that. So those were the general rules. Sometimes they're not always followed, but most of the time they are, um, so we will begin by writing over here. 4. Katakana page 1: Now, the tool I'm using right now is called a calligraphy pen. And you can also get this at your, um, stationery store, um, or the Japanese station A story if you're lucky to have one near you. This part is the brush part is very flexible. It bends like a brush. This part is just a normal marker part. There's nothing special about this part. Um, you do not need this to work on your writing. However, I'm using it so you can easily see the stroke quarter. All right, so let's begin with up first go. Uh, e. And oh, now all has a little bit of a hook here, so we'll be careful that that's very important to the Japanese. Uh, let's see. Cop also has a hook. Very important key going down mill crew, and then Kit and Cole. This is connected. Don't lift your pen. There you go. All right, Next ease, suck. And I'm going to stop at this point because it's important. That has a different sound. So goes across for a soft and then going down. All right, so for this one here, it is not see, There's an H in there So she and always is she, um they're don't have changing of sounds like in English is very constant. So you start by going down like this, making two and then you go up like that and sometimes you will see a little bit of a tick mark. It's not necessary. However, it's part of that. Um, this is important to remember. So I'm gonna market with a Red Star because it's going to look very similar to the one over here. So let's continue with s U suit going down like that and say and so again, this one is important because of the way you write it. Going down. That's important. It'll conflict with another upcoming public on a soon. So I'm gonna make a star mark there. This one is the tea sound. I'm gonna make a circle here because that's also a different kind of sound there. I guess I should give this one a circle A swell, because that's a different kind of sound. So this one starts with top, so going down, do not lift your pen on this and then connects like that top. So their circle mark here is a different sound is called Chief instead of t i t. It's a t c h i t. So going down, across and down cheap. And then again, so this is going to look very similar to this, except the stroke order is different. That's why so stroke order is very important in Japanese because sometimes it can get confusing. So you're going down again just like this one, except starting from the bottom, you're gonna start from the top, and also there will be no hook in any of those. And so we're going to start going down like this. So it looks slightly different because this one you can tell I went upwards, this one, I went downwards. So it's very Be very careful this also, the sound here is different. So I'm gonna make a circle because it is not too It sit so t s you. So if you sound to the listen to the difference of this, this is suit just normal suit. This is sit like that. Um so, for example, if I were to use this in Japanese word cost suit custom So that's where this this one, however, would be cut suit. So it's a little bit different than a little tiny of a t sound there. That's why it belongs in this category. So then next is taught cheats sit, take. So next is tick. And then the lasted told, and you might have seen this character before. If you are a fan of total in the very open beginning of the opening credit, alright. And the next is not nothing strange about this column here, not meat, which is the this unique is similar are the same to the con Jeannie. And then you going down. Don't live your pen and going like this and then Nick is going down. Don't live your pen again and then going down one more next and then no, again going down this way. Don't start from the bottom. Start from the top on this one going down? No, It's better to start from the top, so I will make a little mark here. I guess I should do that for this one as well. Mark, start here. Start here. Start here. So that means Okay, so next is hot. So going down, huh? He started here and then going down and up could so this one is not a who. It's more like on F, but not the that you get. It's saying who, but without making the sound through your teeth. So who, like that is very soft? Don't lift your pen again. Next one is head sometimes said it it Hey, don't live your pen again and then going across for hope and then going down and also has a little bit of a tick mark or a little check and then going down and down that hole me And starting for months, Ma goes down and across and then me me goes this way. So be very careful not to go the other way because that is a common mistake. A lot of kids do that in school. However, make sure you are going from left to right. That's the general rule left to right. Okay, so then going. No, don't live your pen again. No. And then no. No special rules here. Okay, so then here there are only three characters, not five. Um, a long time ago, there used to be five in the Edo period. So this is Yeah, which starts like this and has a check mark again. And then going straight down and then you So nothing in here. You going down? Don't live your pen going across you and in your is here, going down and then here is your all right. 5. Katakana page 2: aren't last home stretch. So here we have the R and the l sound, so it's Neither are. It's neither. L however, if you are a Spanish speaker or I believe even Italian, if you know that the ours are slightly rolled. So instead of saying, um Pero, for example, in Spanish, it would be pedal so the same that goes for Japanese as well. All of these are Daudi do today Dole. So not Rory Rivero. And it's not Lolly Lou. Lay low the the the So it's kind of a D, but just try rolling your R's just for a little bit, and you'll be able to get that sound. So that's why there's often confusion in Japan between R and L. Because there is no l. There is no are. It's sort of a combination of the two, so they're not quite how sure how to spell it in English sometimes. So anyway, this is ah dot going down like this, and OD going down like this do goes up like that. Don't lift your pen over here. Do not lift your pen day and then roll. So the boxes, which are also common in Condi this is a great way to practice because you don't just go through Whatever. Right? So you have to have a very good stroke order in order to make a beautiful box so you can go down first going around and don't lift your pen and stop and then connected at the bottom left to right. It's always left to right. Okay, then. For what? So this is the Onley character here that's gonna have the would sound this these two here. I'm gonna mark where the Red Star? Because they're not that common. Actually, you were rarely see these two and also in Cotto con up to this is it is caught. You would rarely see this as a swell. This would be much more common to see. So, um say what? Like this? Like I said before, this does not have a w sound. It's a very old character. It's not used very common leagues, but is called e. So going back to here, um, I'm not sure in what instance you would use this character. However, it does exist, so I'm showing you eat. And then again, this is a so not wet, but it so you go down and cross Don't lift your pan again going down and then lastly going across and then this is so not Whoa, just Actually, the worst sound is very difficult for Japan. So, um, just a old sound here, all right? And then the last and final sound does not have a vowels It starts with Just is the letter end. That's it. And if you recall, I have this here soul. This is so so. The soul with the s soul looks very similar to this one. However, this one goes down, this one goes up. So that's why you should be very careful so going down and then go up and I'm gonna make a red dot here. Okay? So I'm not going to spend my time writing these. However, you should keep these in mind that this mark here is called a 10 10 and the 10 10 changes the sound of the original ones. So this is taken from if you remember. Okay. If you said this your correct look sound. If you take this and put attention, it's certainly it suddenly becomes a good sound. And this one as well here groups did not add a 10 10 for that one. Excuse me. There you go. And this is sound. However, this does not make us sound. So I'm gonna make a, um, circle there because you say it differently. Here we go. Circle there. And also for this one. And also for this one, everything else does not change. So those special characters once more So this is a Jew sound G. So it's, uh, j actually not a Z sound on and anything else so is R g zoos hazel dot g. Again, it's another J do. So this is Ah, um not a zoo like this again. It's a little bit different. It's more of a d really soft d in front. So, um, it's a little bit tricky. The sometimes they're entertained. Changeable. Um, when they use it in the Japanese language and then this is dead dull. And then this is Bobby boob able. And then this one with a circle. They call it modern for pop Pete Poop picked bolts and that's it. 6. Using Katakana: so basically cut. The Khanna is used for three different reasons. The first reason are mainly foreign words so words that aren't originally Japanese. However, they a lot of words that are foreign are used in daily life in Japan. It's surprising how many words you can get away with just by putting an action on them. And two is Amon Apia like knock, knock or, um, pounding of your heart is doki Doki. So those would you be usually used for Coptic ana and the last one is going to be emotional emphasis. So it would probably use cut the Khanna for something that is, um, trying to put ah emphasis on something. So if you read a mongo, you might see that it's a Japanese word. However they've decided to use caught the car. And the fourth and reason that I forgot Teoh mentioned at the very beginning is just because they think it's cute. So, um, first, I have very common name. If your name is Mike, then this is really good for you. So if you noticed Mike and Nico is very different, so if you break it down, Mike, So what sounds do you hear for Mike. So you might think. And why First, right. However, that's not how the Japanese think, Ma. I could. So that would be I'm gonna write it small Must MMA I I right, Ma e Coop. Now they're gonna say my coup because they don't have a way of shortening it, and you can't really tell them to shorten it. However, they're going to say my coup anyway. Now, remember now the only thing that's different with my name in English and Mike is that there's an E and O. However, the sound is already very different. So is Nico. Nico. So this one already is me cool like that. If you want help writing your name to send me a message and all that, you know, if you have trouble figuring out from the list, um, Also Lee love is another one. So here, remember, there aren't any else. There aren't any ours, however, you're going tohave a mixture of the two. So your if your name is Leela, then you would start with a d. And then there's gonna be a uh Obviously, however, this is gonna be beat up. And your name is not vida. Your name is Leela. Therefore, to make that long sound, there's gonna be a no buses, which means to extent, Dida. Okay, so over this sound is knock, knock. So for an example of an Amman Apia, it's gonna be cold call, which is pretty cute. So call. Mm. Call Concho. And also they use it for the Fox Kong Kong. For some reason, that's what the fox says here. So again, this one is surely so I'm gonna do, um, this one The R is stronger cause it's er sound. So they're gonna have it with Sure. Shit. Show off. Probably us. Ah, do the shoddy, maybe. Or, I mean, it's your own name. If your name is surely Sasha E is another one, so they might have this. But if you want more emphasis on your are you can't. But I do. In there. So a shot of the or shoddy Hey, either way, you can choose now. The reason why I wrote tall is because if you go to Starbucks and you want a tall cafe latte than the way you write, it is not just tall, right? You need a new in there. So tall do thought it. I told you cafe dot good eyesight. Okay, now, this is a fun one that I like is McDonald's. So they like to shorten it to just ma Cooper. And I'll explain about this soon. They like to shorten it to just Macoute. However, full name for McDonald's is Ma Coop Dole. No, do So what you might be saying What? So if I write it out in English? Ma cu Lucescu? So no, do you? That's why that's the fun one. Um, it might make your head spin a bit. All right, so here you notice that I wrote a suit in here. Now, this suit does not get set. However, it is a, um it is very important in Japanese. Um, my crew instead of this one is Macoute. This one is my coop, which means you take a little bit of a space. Just imagine that it's written like this. Oops. Sorry. Cu instead of So the way my teacher explained it is imagine you're throwing a pen when you're saying it mop to, and when you catch it, you say the other coupe, that half part, then we have baga. So, uh, God, let's see there, Bahgat. So there are here. So But it's for some reason. Instead of the burger is baba. And also, be careful there's a difference. So Bagha is gonna be the sandwich. But Bi gu, I'm about goose boo is gonna be the paddy with some vegetables on the side on your hot plate, and there won't be any bunch. So be careful. Waga sandwich Babu little patty with nice vegetables. Its western here is popcorn. Now they're gonna have the chief sites two in here as well, so l sorry, cheese. I means small cheese site suit Suit is the sound. So this is pulled. So if you remember the charts here, they're the polls. So boat too put but booth and then call it good cold. So is that a popcorn? Because anyway, I hope you have fun with this. Listen, make sure you practice writing if you need help. Um, writing your name or any foreign word in Japanese. Just send me a message and I'll be happy to help out. Thank you.