Which to learn first, katakana or hiragana?

Q:  In regards to the Katakana chart, you say it is easy to learn and will help you with reading menus or small things in Japanese. This would be true if one knew what the word meant in English, correct?   I appreciate you taking your time in creating a website designed to help others. I find it very useful.   –  Kaitlyn

A: Hi Kaitlyn.  What a very good question!  With regards hiragana, you are absolutely correct you’d have to know what the word means in English for the hiragana to make any sense.  But this is the beauty with katakana, because especially with menus it’s totally possible to guess at the meaning!  For example if you can read パスタ as “pa su ta” then you can probably guess that it means “pasta” or if you can read サラダ as “sa ra da”  with a bit of practice you can probably guess it means “salad”.   Hence why I totally recommend learning Katakana before Hiragana if you’ll actually be visiting Japan!

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