How I Mastered One Japanese Writing System In Less Than Five Hours Total

Jayson Frascatore
5 min readJan 16, 2022

If you asked me bright and early in the morning on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, to read a handful of Japanese words strictly in the writing system of Hiragana, I would’ve only been able to read about 7 of the Kana on the off chance that they were present. Most of them were easy vowel sounds equivalent to A, E, I, O, and U. By the afternoon, I had decided to kick into high gear once and for all. And then by nighttime, I had officially mastered one of the three Japanese writing systems. If you’re learning Japanese, these steps will have you reading Japanese words in no time. Here’s my experience on how I mastered the Hiragana writing system in such a short amount of time, and what made it so easy.

Upon starting Japanese on January 1st, 2022, I was worried that learning this language would be a massive undertaking and that it would take a very long time to learn the writing systems. But if I wanted to pronounce words correctly, I needed to know the sounds of each syllable. Therefore, I really needed to learn how to read Japanese. I had to familiarize myself with the language.

Writing Training
On January 3rd, I made an attempt to learn some of the Kana by writing them down with Hiragana writing worksheets and saying the sound out loud. This lasted for about 30 minutes with breaks. I didn’t take it too seriously at that time and I had only began writing them down on my phone. I gave up too easily and just thought to myself “I’ll learn by audio like I do with languages that use the Roman Alphabet.” Soon, I realized that that was no longer an option. I couldn’t keep up with the difficult pronunciations of unfamiliar syllables. I couldn’t procrastinate any longer.

On January 12th before 1pm, I printed out all nine of the Hiragana writing worksheets. I immediately took all of the papers in a stack and sat them on my desk. Things were about to get serious. By 3pm, I had completed about five of the worksheets while once again saying the corresponding sounds out loud each time I wrote the Kana in the box. I looked them over and took a well deserved break for lunch and some time to relax. It’s important to take breaks so you aren’t cramming so much information. This isn’t an anatomy test you forgot to study for. This is a language that…

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Jayson Frascatore

I write about languages, politics, current events, and climate change | Curated 25x | Buy me coffee beans https://ko-fi.com/jaysonfras