Learn Japanese Language – Do You Know That There Are 3 Different Japanese Symbol?

December 1, 2008 by admin 

Learn Japanese for a real communication for your work, school project, and communicating with your Japanese mate properly.

Many people think that Learning to speak Japanese language is more difficult than learning to write Japanese. But, it is actually vice versa, because there are 3 different Japanese symbol called Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana, if you want to learn to write Japanese.

Normally, many Westerners think that kanji symbol is the only writing form we use in Japanese. It is true that we use kanji symbols more than hiragana or katakana symbols when writing something in Japanese. However, unlike Chinese people who use only Kanji symbols, we mix up all Japanese scripts.

So, when do you have to use which script? The answer is it all depends on a type of sentence used. Generally, the majority of Japanese textbooks says that Hiragana symbol is used when a word cannot be written in Kanji symbol, and Katakana symbol is mainly used to represent foreign words, or names which have adopted into the Japanese writing system.

However, it is always the case.

For example, “Thank you” in Japanese is “A Ri Ga To U”. Normally, you will write this word in Hiragana symbol, but in a formal letter, you should use Kanji symbol. Although it is not wrong to use katakana symbol to write “Thank you” in Japanese, not many Japanese people would do so.

If you travel to Japan, you would see how each Japanese Kanji Symbols, Hiragana and Katakana symbols are used

For example, Japanese Magazine normally use 80% of Kanji symbols, and 10% of Hiragana and Katakana symbols.

Another case is the singboard of the place in a subway. Almost all the sings are written with the Kanji symbols. By the way, we can write numbers in kanji symbols as well, but normally use the numerical sign to represent.

Also, Japanese language is changing everyday. There are new Japanese words in which old Japanese people cannot understand and those words are usually written by Katakana symbol or Hiragana symbol.

Although they are not proper Japanese language, many young Japanese people use such characters nowadays, and those words are normally abbreviated words.

That is why leaning to write Japanese is more difficult than speaking Japanese.


3 Responses to “Learn Japanese Language – Do You Know That There Are 3 Different Japanese Symbol?”

  1. aslan649 on January 5th, 2009 8:43 pm

    I got rosetta stone and it has three different options with the japanese language: Nihongo and two others…
    I got Rosetta stone japanese and it has Nihongo as one of the options to learn and then two other options that are in different character form. (looks like actual japanese symbols). What is the difference between these three and which is used in Japan the most…. What is Nihongo and is it even worth learning (it seems like japanese in english form…)

  2. 田中 on January 5th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Nihongo= teaches romaji
    にほんご= teaches hiragana
    日本語= teaches kanji/kana mix. If you’re looking for reading, this is your best bet. But you don’t learn to read like Japanese students do.

    Nihongo- Japanese language
    Nihonjin- Japanese person
    Nihon- Japan
    References :
    Speak Japanese at home

  3. Bubbles25 on January 5th, 2009 8:47 pm

    Nihongo means japanese (language). It probably has the romaji,kanji, and hiragana options. Romaji is japanese using the english alphabet. The word “nihongo” is romaji. Kanji are the japanese characters based on the chinese language, therefore are more complex and a little harder. Hiragana are simpler and easier to learn because they don’t have as many strokes. There are also katakana characters, so there may be an option for that somewhere too. Kanji,kana,and hiragana are normally used all together when writing in japanese. Romaji is easier to read, but i would suggest learning characters too as you go along. It will be faster/easier to learn them both at once. Once you get the general idea of japanese sentence structure, and vowel sounds, you should have no problems. Here is a site that explains sentence structure, and characters.

    References :
    Learning japanese also.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!