Kanary: Learn to Write the Japanese Syllabary


Kanary is a Web tool that will show you animations about how to write every character from the Japanese Hiragana and Katakana. This post will show you how to use the application online and how to use it in your computer without an Internet connection.

Kanary is a Web widget for learning the sounds and writing of the Japanese syllabary. Try the real thing below:

Kanary is intended for two kinds of users: Japanese learners and people who write learning resources about the Japanese language. The former will just use Kanary for practicing writing the kana; The latter will embed Kanary in their own projects.

If You Are Learning Japanese

If you are just learning Japanese and want to practice writing the kana, just go to http://kanary.tuxfamily.org/ and use Kanary widget. In this Web site you will always find the most recent version.

But if you don't always have an Internet connection available and would like to save the widget in your computer, do the following:

  1. Go ahead and download the latest version of Kanary.
  2. Uncompress the file.
  3. Browse to kanary-x.y.z/widget directory and double-click the index.html file.

The widget will be opened in your Web browser for local use.

If You Write Japanese Learning Material

If you write blog posts or HTML books about the Japanese language, you can embed the Kanary widget in your own projects.

There are two ways of using Kanary depending on whether your project is intended to be used on-line or off-line.

For on-line projects just copy the HTML code below and paste it into any of your Web pages.

<iframe src="http://kanary.tuxfamily.org/" width="730" height="265" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Using Kanary this way is the easiest way because you won't have to worry about updating or upgrading the widget when new features are added to it, you will always have the most up to date version.

For off-line projects download the latest version of Kanary, then copy the HTML code below and paste it into any of your Web pages.

<iframe src="/PATH/TO/kanary/" width="730" height="265" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Using Kanary this way you will have to update or upgrade the widget manually in your HTML pages if you want to take advantage of the latest features available in new versions.

The Future of Kanary

The following features are planned for future versions of the widget:

  1. User interface in several languages.
  2. Audio track with pronunciation for each syllable (native Japanese).
  3. Listening, reading and writing activities to test your knowledge of Kana.

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