Use of katakana for actual Japanese words

I am flagging this as a bug, but it is not a software issue. It appears that when the lessons were uploaded, some Japanese words were mistakenly put in as katakana rather than hiragana or kanji. This may trip up some people into mistakenly believing that they are non-Japanese words, due to katakana being primarily used for that.

Japanese 0: ダメ - this should probably be だめ
Japanese 2: ヒマ - this should probably be ひま; I do not know if there is a kanji equivalent.

There are plenty of Japanese words with Japanese origin that are commonly written in katakana. Some are even written almost exclusively in katakana. I think it is important to understand early on that katakana =/= foreign word, as katakana has other very common uses such as styling and emphasis.

Both ダメ and ヒマ are words that are used in their kanji, katakana or hiragana versions depending on the nuance of the word’s meaning and the context of the sentence. Particularly, ダメ is a word I see more often written in katakana than hiragana(だめ)or kanji (駄目).

From the top of my head, other examples are オレ、イケメン、リンゴ、マジ、バカ、カラス、カエル、ワガママ.

I’m familiar with that concept, but the way those words are presented in the app, it gives the (misleading) impression that that is the way they should be written, when in fact it depends heavily on context. As well, the actual ability of the learner to discern the context matters too.

For example, in Japanese 0, there are many words that could easily be presented in their kanji form, such as だいじょうぶ/大丈夫. But kanji are challenging under even the best of circumstances, so I’m sure they decided to focus on hiragana and katakana for that course.

I get the importance of making sure that students know why it’s important to learn all three (hiragana, katakana, and kanji). Back when I took my first Japanese lessons, while they covered katakana, most of the words were written in hiragana, so it took me a lot longer to learn. And I didn’t understand kanji at all for a long time.

But that being said, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to rely on a student’s ability to discern that a word is being used in a particular context and from there to understand that it is being written in a particular way to convey that context. If that’s the intent, there should at least be something to denote it instead of telling on perspicacity.

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Katakana (カタカナ) also represent sounds; specifically, it is used for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words (collectively gairaigo 外来語 ); for emphasis; to represent onomatopoeia; oursainsburys