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Hiragana / katakana / kanji

Hello. I have a question regarding when to use which alphabet symbol when writing in Japanese. I am currently memorizing hiragana then moving on to katakana. I often see a mix of the two and some kanji occasionally on Japanese products I buy. I was wondering why this was. I tried to look it up online and the site I checked said that important words in the sentence or foreign words are what are written in katakana and kanji. Is this true? Could someone please explain the rules to me? Thanks, Misty~

For learning: Japanese
Base language: English
Category: Other


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    Think of hiragana as lower case letters and katakana as upper case letters. For foreign words, or to emphasize a particular word, you use katakana. Kanji are used in two ways: "Chinese-style" words (think of words like "biology" that are made from latin or greek roots, here "bios" and "logos") are composed from usually two or more Kanji, pronounced in a way somewhat similar to the Chinese pronounciation (onyomi, "on-reading"). For the other way, words (especially words that are conjugated) start with usually one Kanji chosen by meaning, and then the ending is written in hiragana, because otherwise one would not able to conjugate the word. The part of the Kanji that is pronounced like the word it represents is called kunyomi or "kun-reading".

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