How To Learn Japanese katakana & Hiragana
The Stylish Kana System
Japanese writing system is so fascinating because of its unique and stylish way of writing the language. Hiragana is one of the scripts of Japanese writing system. Hiragana is a part of Kana system which the other one is Katakana.
Historically speaking, Hiragana actually originated from Chinese characters during 8 to 10the century. Originally, Hiragana was called onnade (“woman’s hand”) as women were mainly used it. Men used to write characters in Kanji or Katakana. Beginning from the 10th century onwards, both gender have started to use Hiragana.
Hiragana is the first Japanese script non-native Japanese speakers should learn. It is most common, very useful and simplest to write. If you can learn hiragana and then pronounce it well, you will not have difficulty pronouncing other Japanese characters.
Most Japanese words are written in either Kana or Hiragana while foreign words are written in Katakana.
Hiragana characters are simple, rounded Japanese symbols of the Japanese writing system. Hiragana has also more curved lines compared to other Japanese scripts.
Hiragana is used to create grammatical structure to phrases or sentences such as the tenses of the verb or to add particles such as is or are in a sentence to show relationship among words in a sentence.
Hiragana is used to write some Japanese words that has no Kanji (Chinese writing system).
Hiragana is like English phonetic script, each character has a sound. Hiragana clearly separates native words from foreign words.
When you want to master the Japanese language, start learning how to read and write Hiragana. Thus, Hiragana is the best place to start learning the Japanese language.
Hiragana is composed of 48 characters:
* 39 distinct consonant-vowel unions
* 5 singular vowels
* 1 singular consonant
* 1 particle that is pronounced as a vowel in modern Japanese
* 2 consonant-vowel unions that are spoken as vowels. These are not used in modern Japanese
When you learn Hiragana, it will be easier to you to pronounce Japanese texts. Among the Japanese scripts, it is easier to study Hiragana compared to Kanji and Katakana. You will not have difficulty in reading signages such as “oterai” (toilet) when you travel in Japan or China when you have learned Hiragana. Certainly, it is impressive knowing other languages beside yours.
Start learning Hiragana then progress to Katakana. Learning how to read and write Hiragana characters is pretty hard but it could be easier if you focus, and make the learning process fun. The highly recommended Rocket Japanese has a step-by-step design that people find easy to follow so you might as well try this one.
Hiragana is easier to learn compared to other Japanese scripts as they are easier to remember since almost all Japanese words and sentences are written in this form unlike Katakana which appears less frequently.
Rosetta Stone Japanese prides itself on using the natural learning method. A student immerses himself in the activities and learns words and phrases presented in the modules by matching them to pictures which makes learning the Japanese scripts much easier.
Filed under: Japanese Language Courses
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