This is a simple trainer for learners of Japanese to improve their recognition speed of hiragana and katakana. The purpose of this exercise is to increase the recognition speed; thus, it is assumed that you have already learned the pronunciation of each letter.
1. Choose one of the six choices.
ひらがな１ basic shapes
ひらがな２ basic shapes + dakuon (voiced consonants)
ひらがな３ basic shapes + dakuon (voiced consonants) + youon (glides)
カタカナ１ basic shapes
カタカナ２ basic shapes + dakuon (voiced consonants)
カタカナ３ basic shapes + dakuon (voiced consonants) + youon (glides)
2. Set a speed for your flash card from a pulldown menu. (Available speeds range from three seconds to 0.1 second with 0.1 second increment. )
3. Read each letter aloud. You must keep up with the speed you set. There is no feedback.
ひらがな１ ひらがな２ ひらがな３
カタカナ１ カタカナ２ カタカナ３
We have tested with native speakers to see how fast they can perform this task. It appears to be 0.4 second interval is the fastest they can keep up with. Thus, we suggest you set your goal to be 0.4 second. (This is the speed when the task requires you to vocalize the sound. When you read silently, the recognition speed is much faster.)
Have fun and challenge yourself!
This program is still under development and we welcome any feedback from teachers and students.
Japanese School at Middlebury College
PS. If you are interested in corrective feedback on learning kana, you migh want to take a look at the following software. http://tell.fll.purdue.edu/info/LPJ/LPJ.html