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Forums - mnumonics for katakana

Top > 日本語を勉強しましょう / Let's study Japanese! > Anything About Japanese

Level: 35, : 67

any mnumonics for シツソンノ?

theyre just extremely hard to remember

2 months ago
Level: 717, : 2,156

ノ = No, because it has (no) ticks

2 months ago
Level: 74, : 6

I suppose it's over the top lol but my way to separate ツ and シ is that the "eyes on the face" are more straight on tsu. So my absurd Mnemonic is, Shi looks f***ed up.

2 months ago (Edited 2 months ago.)
Years Studied: 2 years.
Studying: Genki I
Level: 556, : 21

I was taught that ツ has strokes coming from the Top, and シ has strokes written from the Side.

2 months ago
Years Studied: ニ
Level: 47, : 117

Hey! There was a post about the same thing so you can look for that in the forums if you want. I had posted there (and if you don’t want to go searching for it) and will post it again here. If you do find it, please read the other responses because they may help you too.

For ノ(no), I think of it as the first stroke when you would write an “x” as for no, that is wrong. [I think that Anonymous123’s tip is very helpful: it has no “eyes”]

For シ (shi) and ツ (tsu), you can differentiate them by the direction the “eyes” (two small strokes) are facing.

For シ (shi) the “eyes” are looking at someone else, possibly a girl. Who is it looking at? She - Shi シ。As for ツ (tsu), they are looking at You - Tsu ツ。

For ソ (so) and ン (n), I have yet to think of a well thought out tip, but for ソ (so) I have this: When you are in a conversation, have you ever elongated the “o” when you are saying “so”? For example: Sooooo, what did you do yesterday? Typically, when you say this long “so”, your pitch goes down. When I see ソ (so), the single “eye” stroke is going downwards, just as your pitch in the elongated “so”.

For ン (n), I think of a pencil/pen when it is on its side. The single “eye” stroke is going in a direction almost perpendicular to the bottom “smile” stroke to create the tip of a pen. This pen is going to help you accomplish notes.

Yes, these may be a bit far off, but it has immensely helped me in telling the difference.

I really hope these tips assisted you in any way!


2 months ago
Level: 10, : 2

Wow, I just wanna say thank you for this question and for all these answers. This well help me too as I have difficulty memorizing those katakanas due to their similarity.

2 months ago
Years Studied: ごろしましたけど、めたと、けた
Studying: Japanese, Korean, and Living life
Level: 277, : 140

I'll post my previous post here:

Ah reminds me of the time when I started learning. I made these mistakes a lot too.

Here's some tips from my observation:

1. use context. When the characters are seen in text or sentences, usually you'll be able to tell what doesn't make sense by elimination.

2. It is harder when the characters are standalone. However, visually, computer fonts are made to tell them apart, like the previous method. Handwritings will be harder. The other way is to actually mentally draw a box to box up the characters, like when one is practicing writing with grid paper worksheets.

Once you mentally drew a box, you"ll be able to see that:

Tsu ツ, has all 3 brush strokes touching the top side of the box.

Shi シ, has all 3 brush strokes touching the left side of the box.

So ソ, has all 2 brush strokes touching the top side of the box.

N ン, has all 2 brush strokes touching the left side of the box.

This is the method that worked for me, and I hope it will be useful to help you too.

Here's the other thread.
2 months ago
Level: 717, : 2,156

I thought of this set of mnemonic that may, or may not, be useful.

"My son's (ソン) Shih Tzu (シツ) has a lot of ticks."

The Shitzu has a lot of ticks (シ + ツ have two ticks each).

The son only has a couple from petting his dog (ソ + ン have one tick each).

The (outer) two in (ソン+シツ) i.e. (ソ+ツ) have more vertical ticks that follow the V pattern. Because when you go to (outer) space you are launched vertically.

The (inner) two in (ソン+シツ) i.e. (ン+シ) have more horizontal ticks that follow the > pattern. Because when you have (inner) peace you lay down horizontally.

And, of course:

ノ = No, because it has (no) ticks

1 month ago (Edited 1 month ago.)
Site admin
Level: 121, : 6,891

Also, don't forget that you can add mnemonics as "usage" notes for vocabulary (and all singular kana are listed in the vocab dictionary). I hope to make these available in the future for those "learning for the first time" panels, so anything you add there will probably be useful to others!

1 month ago
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