Katakana Tester

This little application offers a drill/test environment for the desperate student of Katakana – it can probably be adapted fairly easily for Hiragana and act as a model for other non-Romanic languages. Written for the PC/Windows environment, ports to Linux and/or handheld Windows devices should be relatively simple – although this has not been tried. Obviously a port to a handheld would be useful in that it could be transformed into a portable translater.

Written for personal purposes, there is no guarantee of correctness or completeness (but it did survive the acid test of providing sufficient literacy for a short period of survival in Japan)

Installation and Configuration

Given a working Dyalog APL (Version 10 or higher) copy the following files into a folder for the Katakana Tester application


The Katakana Tester workspace


Bitmap file used in the application


Icon file used for the main form

Into a subfolder called Help, copy


This help file (Help uses your default Web browser for display)

Install the Katakana font (there are several free ones available – hopefully they have the same character mappings, unfortunately I forget precisely where I found the one I used – sorry about that, but it was free and I can send you a copy if you need it).

Create a desktop shortcut to start the application, with the properties:

dyalog.exe katakana homefolder=name of the folder containing the files described above

Startin: name of the folder containing the files described above

Use the katakana.ico file if you like.

The first time the application is run you will be prompted for a password.

Using the Katakana Tester

When the Katakana Tester starts you'll see the form displayed...

Operation is relatively straightforward...

If your correct score is below about 80% the Show button is activated and you can use this to display a complete-ish 50-sounds table...


This application was produced for personal purposes and does not purport to be complete or accurate

Double vowels should be represented in answers by hyphens

No attempt is made to offer or handle double consonant sounds (represented by a small “tsu” - I couldn't find it in the font I used).

Support and So Forth

All of the above files can be obtained on request from Dogon Research Ltd. at no charge.

It's assumed that you have a Dyalog APL/W Version 10 environment – an executable-only file (for people who do not use Dyalog APL) can be produced on request.

No formal support is offered, although you can email Dogon Research Ltd. and some response should be forthcoming (if I'm not busy on other stuff I'll try to solve your problem(s)).

Since you'll have the source code, feel free to modify and improve; Dogon Research Ltd. is happy to receive improved versions and will give full credit to any person or organisation who improves the application.

There are lots of books and Web resources for anyone who wants to know more about Katakana – for example try Basics of Japanese

Copyright © Dogon Research Ltd., 2003-4