Top android apps for learning Hiragana and Katakana

For those seeking fluency in Japanese language, learning Hiragana and Katakana – two key elements of the Japanese syllabary. Hiragana phonetically spells Japanese words while Katakana does the same for foreign words.

With increasing popularity of Japanese language across the world, multiple apps have emerged for learning Hiragana and Katakana. We have handpicked five of them with latest functionality merged with best learning and memorizing methods. All these apps are for Android (and some for iOS) users, and are rated 4.6 and above with excellent user reviews. If there’s an app that you feel should be on this list, let us know in the comments. Here are the top android apps for learning Hiragana and Katakana apps.

Justkana

Our Rating: 4.8 stars

Learn both syllabary (Katakana and hiragana) easily using this app. It allows you to hear how the kanas are phonetically pronounced and to see the strokes orders so you are able to write the letters of the Japanese alphabet correctly.

Pros

Practice writing the kanas right on the app; clutter-free and simple to use; customizable tests to help with memorizing the letters of the alphabet; highlights strengths and weaknesses for better learning; easy to use interface.

Cons

Could have more elaborate learning options.

Our Review

The simplicity of this app is what makes it extremely popular. It has practical exercises and quizzes with multiple choice questions, that are great for memorizing Hiragana and Katakana. Justkana is the app to build, refresh, and master your Hiragana and Katakana skills. Install Justkana in one tap from Google Play Store. Once you have downloaded the app go to your settings and tap applications. Check the box labeled unknown sources and press OK to confirm. Now go to the downloads and select the apk file you just downloaded and Install

Kana LS

Our Rating: 4.9 stars

Kana LS Touch is excellent for learning Japanese syllabary from scratch. It is an amazingly easy learning resource from the same people who created Japanese LS Touch. It is a paid app (~2.5 USD) and is absolutely worth the cost, given the immense features and in-depth learning opportunities it presents.

Pros

Allows users to trace out strokes on the screen; it is simple and user friendly; multiple choice quizzes available; has various test modes. Besides English, the app is also available in German and French. For the ease of practicing writing, it is optimised for portrait as well as landscape mode.

Cons

Has an issue showing the some reviews after finishing some stroke.

Our Review

This app finally got an Android version after having an iOS version for years. Kana LS was actually one of the most anticipated crossover Hiragana and Katakana apps. It has simple but great functionality for writing practices and several tests modes including the Direct Impute test mode and the Leitner system.

It comes with a good number of sample words and the browser is kana enabled to help with rapid fire word identification. English, German and French users will find it easy to use because it has been localized for the three languages.

Kana

Our Rating: 4.7 stars

A great app for testing your progress as you learn hiragana and Katakana. Kana comes loaded with features such as simple intuitive learning, background knowledge on Kana, focus on writing Kana (and not just Grammar), and quizzes.

Pros

Excellent quizzes; has flashcards for reviewing your progress; organized and easy to use: great for beginners; audio for learning sounds and pronunciation

Cons

Occasionally has bugs that cause the app to crash; the consistency of the voices in the audio can get confusing for some users.

Our Review

This is a must-have app for Japanese language learners who want to challenge their proficiency in the language. It is fun and easy and you can see firsthand your knowledge of the Katakana you have studied.

It is centered around spelling and pronunciation using both syllabary which really helps users to master the letters of the alphabet. It also shows you how the letters looks when written down. You can have access to quizzes, including quizzes on the strokes.

Kana Town

Our Rating: 4.8 stars

This is a highly organized themed app that goes the extra mile and organizes studies for users along the lines of grammar, polite forms as well as JLPT levels.

Pros

Incredibly organized; easy and fun to use; no multiple choice questions; provides hundreds of words for learners; great keyboard interface.

Cons

Lack of multiple choice questions deters some learners; after practicing Kana it sends you back to the home screen instead of letting you redo them.

Our Review

Unlike most other Hiragana and Katakana apps, Kana Town takes the harder road of not providing learners with the multiple choices in their quizzes. This works well in instilling the ability to remember answers without any assistance in users. Since Kana Town is a fantastic revision tool pairing it with a learning app like DuoLingo would make it even more effective.

Obenkyo

Our Rating: 4.8 stars

Learning Hiragana and Katakana and even progressing to Kanji has been made easier,  fun and more effective through Obenkyo.

Pros

Effective learning methods with animation, flash cards, and drawing games; thorough database of words to practice with; great filters and vocabulary tools

Cons

Lacks audio pronunciation; not a good option for beginners

Our Review

By localizing the app to Spanish, German, Thai, French, Russian, Chinese, Polish, and Portuguese, the developers ensured that more people are able to benefit from Obenkyo. The feature that recognizes the strokes in your drawings gives this app an edge over the rest. This feature ensures that you can learn the drawing order of the letters perfectly.

It has an impeccable testing system which effectively compliments its learning capabilities that are comprehensive. The grammar guide is also quite effective.

Conclusion

The Japanese language though slightly difficult, is very rich and useful to learn and with these apps you are well on your way to mastering Hiragana and Katakana like many other users who have found success with them. So whether you’re planning to visit Japan, work with the Japanese, or just want to pick a new language to expand your brain’s cognitive skills, start exploring these apps. Arigatou.

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