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Move on whenever you feel like you have nothing left to learn from one of them. Hiragana is the very first step to learning Japanese. Once you know it, Katakana and Kanji both become easier because you can look at how they're pronounced, plus hiragana and katakana have some similarities. Also, you get used to the effort needed to memorize an alphabet. My ...


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I wholeheartedly agree with @Ian's answer. There's absolutely no reason why "honey bee" should have been written in katakana, and "snail" not. In fact, in the BCCWJ mentioned in @Yosh's answer, writing "snail" in katakana is more popular by roughly the same margin: みつばち 70 results ミツバチ 212 results かたつむり 77 results カタツムリ 194 results ("dolphin" ...


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When given no context, is it true that both "honey bee" and "dolphin" are written in katakana (instead of hiragana)? Yes, but using hiragana is perfectly acceptable. Names of species is one area where katakana is very often used, but there seem to be no rule to tell which is more widely used to write a specific name. In the examples you mentioned ...


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I'm in the translation industry and in my experience if given a list such as yours with no context there is no particular reason those words need to be written in katakana. The English is also inconsistent. Some words are arbitrarily preceded with "a". I think the katakana usage here is the same thing. I hope this helps


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Both words you mentioned have Kanji. 海豚{いるか} - dolphin 蜜蜂{みつばち} - honey bee Most biological terms are written in Katakana in everyday language (places like aquariums and TV spots). However it is also not uncommon to see them written as Kanji in biological or science texts. Other examples include... -海豹{あざらし} (アザラシ) >[Earless Seal] -海驢{あしか} ...



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