The difference between hiragana, katakana, and kanji? What are the differences between them - and which would you recommend to a beginner?
Oct 8, 2012 6:34 AM
Answers · 5
I-as a Japanese learner for about 9 months- will advice everyone to learn Hiragana at first. After that learn Katakana and at last the Kanji. Even though the previous comment mentions about English lettering it is actually much easier to learn Hiragana at the very beginning. 1. Hiragana-words that are regularly used for common situations and does NOT include any foreign word (ie. English). 2. Katakana-words written in Katakana are derived from foreign words (usually English). This writing system is extremely helpful for differentiating native with foreign words. Foreign words include names AND other common words such as cars, computers etc. However, there is a massive distortion in the pronunciation in Japanese Katakana, for example 'car' will be pronounced as 'kaa' (カー) and 'computer' as 'kompyutaa' (コンピュター). Interesting, isn't it? [the Japanese in the parentheses are Katakanas ] 3. And Kanji is mostly defined as 'Chinese characters for Japanese words'. Kanji words are the most difficult yet useful to learn because in kanji one letter (depending on the writing ways) has several meanings, pronunciations and different writing style! Keep learning from the basics and eventually you will find the facts of Kanji and Katakana writing system are the most awesome thing a language could have!!! Have fun learning...^_^
October 8, 2012
for us, Kanji is more useful in writing so that they can understand what you really mean bc each Kanji has a meaning. and also helps to make spaces esp like on essay or something like that. and katakana, it's used for things come from other country such as "computer = コンピューター", "Hamburger = ハンバーガー", "Hanger = ハンガー", and so on. and Hiragana, it's basic characters. You MUST need to remember the whole characters bc they are everywhere like on news papers, subtitles in movies, and so on. ask me anything if you don't get what I'm saying^^
November 26, 2012
A beginner knowing basic English would definitely benefit from the lettering in Katakana as it uses English style lettering. However all are integral. Katakana was mainly used for things that were adopted with English lettering. Hiragana is used when you are writing something that does not fit into Kanji, and Kanji would be the main writing system. Law
October 8, 2012
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