Which Japanese alphabet should I learn first? (2023)

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Which Japanese alphabet should I learn first?


Hiragana and katakana, explained

Characters generally represent a whole sound (like 'ki' or 'ra'), rather than individual letters (like 'k' or 'r'). Usually, we write native Japanese words using hiragana, while katakana is used for words borrowed from other languages.
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is the first alphabet that children and students of Japanese learn to read and write, and it's very widely used in Japan. A basic understanding of hiragana is practically necessary just to start learning Japanese!

(Video) 10 MUST-KNOW FACTS about Japanese before you start learning
(NihongoDekita with Sayaka)
When learning Japanese which alphabet should you start?

There are several Japanese alphabets to learn, including Hiragana, Kanji, and Katakana. Of these, Hiragana is the best for beginners. It is the most basic of the three sets of the alphabet and it is the foundation of the written Japanese language.

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(Ruri Ohama)
What alphabet do Japanese use most?

Hiragana is the most commonly used, standard form of Japanese writing.

(Reina Scully)
Is it better to learn Japanese alphabet first?

Learn the Japanese alphabet

The best way to learn Japanese is to start with the basics: learning the alphabet. There are 3 basic writing systems you need to learn to be able to read Japanese: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

(Video) How I Would Learn Japanese (If I Could Start Over)
(ToKini Andy)
What is the best order to learn Japanese?

Let's start by considering some important steps in order to learn Japanese:
  • Familiarize yourself with Hiragana.
  • Familiarize yourself with Katakana.
  • Try to avoid Romaji.
  • Learn some vocabulary.
  • Learn Grammar.
  • Learn to Type Hiragana.
  • Understand the Concept of Kanji.
  • Learn Basic Pronunciation.
Jun 16, 2022

(Video) Learn Hiragana ひらがな (Japanese alphabet)
(Learning Kanji)
Is hiragana or katakana harder?

Something that almost everyone finds, including Japanese people, is that katakana is just harder to read than hiragana, so don't be discouraged if it takes you significantly longer to get used to it.

(Video) What is Katakana for? and Kanji? - ひらがな&カタカナ&漢字
(Yuko Sensei)
Is it better to start with hiragana or katakana?

You should learn hiragana first, followed by katakana and kanji. Hiragana looks more cursive than katakana or kanji. It is used to write native Japanese words, conjugation endings, and grammar particles. Hiragana consists of 46 characters with each character representing a syllable.

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Why is katakana so hard?

Katakana is significantly tougher to master compared to Hiragana because it is only used for certain words and you don't get nearly as much practice as you do with Hiragana. To learn the proper stroke order (and yes, you need to), here is a link to practice sheets for Katakana.

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What is the hardest Japanese alphabet to learn?

Because kanji characters are the hardest to master, children's books only use hiragana and katakana characters. That reminds me: hiragana and katakana also have a joint name: kana.

(Video) Watch this before studying Japanese / 日本語を学び始める前に知っておきたい事
Is hiragana used in anime?

It's common to see hiragana, katakana, and kanji (the three Japanese writing systems) in use even in shows set in futuristic spaceships and magical kingdoms.

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Which is easier hiragana or kanji?

Hiragana, though, are much simpler in both form and function. They take fewer strokes to write than all but the simplest kanji, and instead of representing concepts, hiragana are used for writing phonetically.

(Video) The Easiest Kanji vs The Hardest Kanji
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Is katakana necessary?

Japanese has three writing scripts - hiragana, katakana and Kanji. All three are used, so if you want to learn the language properly, learn all 3. Katakana is used widely for loan words, stylistic purposes, brand names, and to break up sentence text.

Which Japanese alphabet should I learn first? (2023)
Does duolingo teach you kanji?

Pro #4: They Teach Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, and Romaji

You can then get comfortable with reading various words with hiragana, katakana, kanji, and romaji.

Is 3 months enough to learn Japanese?

How Long Does it Take to Learn Japanese on Average? With consistent studying and speaking, for about 30 minutes to an hour a day, you could speak at a conversational level in Japanese in about 3 months.

Is 3 years enough to learn Japanese?

Learning Japanese isn't easy and it will take time. It's probably fair to say that you can expect a commitment of at least three years in order to achieve something resembling fluency. The average learner gets to the advanced level in three or four years.

How many hours should I study to learn Japanese?

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent.

How many hours does it take to learn hiragana and katakana?

Typically, learning hiragana and katakana takes just a week or two. (You can even do it in just a few days if you're willing to put in some hard work!).

How fast can you learn hiragana?

If you want to use Japanese textbooks and workbooks, you'll need to be able to read hiragana to get started. But, fortunately, it's really very easy to learn. You can learn hiragana in just a week (or even a day or two, if you're ready to buckle down!).

Why is kanji so hard?

Kanji characters are based on Chinese characters and are often almost identical to their partner words in Chinese. This writing system is one of the most difficult parts of Japanese to learn, as there are over 2,000 different characters to learn and many kanji have several different readings.

Is it OK to mix hiragana and katakana?

I mean, almost all the time foreign names (nouns) are written in Katakanas; in this case writing Katakana and Hiragana together is fine. Sometimes, adverbs such as 'bikkuri', 'hirahira', 'kirakira' etc are written using Katakanas.

How can I memorize hiragana fast?

Re: How to memorize Hiragana

Write them down on a big sheet of paper and hang it up somewhere where you can see it a lot or in the bathroom. Imagine some stories with each of them. Make flashcards and review them at least 3 times a day. Exercise yourself to visualize them by reciting あ、い、う、え、お、か、き、く、け、こ etc.

Should I write kanji or hiragana?

From top to bottom: Kanji is mainly used for the lexical elements: nouns, verb stems, adjective stems, and so forth; Hiragana has rounded letter shapes, which are mainly used for the grammatical elements of sentences such as particles, auxiliary verbs, and suffixes of nouns; Katakana has an angular letter shape, which ...

What age do Japanese learn katakana?

Children begin officially learning reading and writing at the age of six, when they enter elementary school. They learn hiragana and katakana during the first year of elementary school. (See Hiragana and katakana for more about these.)

What is the rarely used katakana?

Another rare katakana symbol is ヱ (hiragana ゑ), which is officially known as 'we', but often read 'ye' or simply as 'e' and used as an alternative to the usual エ symbol. This still survives today in the name of the popular beer, Ebisu, which is written ヱビス and historically was actually known as Yebisu.

What is the easiest Japanese language?

But hiragana and katakana are easy to pick up — you could master them in a day. They're just the Japanese alphabet and each one represents a syllable. And as for kanji, focus on the language hacks we mentioned! Learn the kanji that go with your 80/20 core vocabulary first.

Which Japanese language is used in anime?

Yakuwarigo (Japanese: 役割語, "role language") is a style of language, often used in works of fiction, that conveys certain traits about its speaker such as age, gender, and class. It is particularly used in reference to the styles of speech found in Japanese-language media such as manga, anime, and novels.

Why is Japanese so hard for English speakers?

The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult to learn by many English speakers. With three separate writing systems, an opposite sentence structure to English, and a complicated hierarchy of politeness, it's decidedly complex.

Can I be fluent in Japanese in one year?

In fact, Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn for a native English speaker. If you want to speak enough Japanese to make friends in Japan and carry on simple conversations, you can master casual Japanese in under a year, especially if you are skipping over hiragana and katakana.

Is it OK to write in hiragana?

Hiragana is the basic Japanese phonetic script. It represents every sound in the Japanese language. Therefore, you can theoretically write everything in Hiragana. However, because Japanese is written with no spaces, this will create nearly indecipherable text.

Does Tokyo use hiragana or katakana?

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Why does Japanese use 3 alphabets?

Why does the Japanese language have to use three different types of script; Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana? A. This is because each of the three types of script, Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana, has its own specific role. Let's examine a sentence like “I'm Anna,” WATASHI WA ANNA DESU.

What are the 3 Japanese languages?

These three systems are called hiragana, katakana and kanji.

Can you mix kanji and hiragana?

One example is hiragana in words containing complicated or rarely used kanji. The resulting kanji-kana hybrids, also known as 混ぜ書き (mazegaki, mixed writing), always look a little makeshift to me, but they are far too many to ignore.

Do foreigners use katakana?

When you start learning Japanese, you will learn that katakana is used for foreign words or words that are imported from foreign languages. However Japanese people actually use katakana more often, even for words that kanji (Chinese characters) exist.

Why does Japan still use katakana?

It's also often used for beginning Japanese students and children in place of Kanji they don't know. While Katakana represents the same sounds as Hiragana, it is mainly used to represent newer words imported from western countries (since there are no Kanji associated with words based on the roman alphabet).

How can I memorize katakana fast?

The best, quickest, most fun method is to associate each character with a picture that it (clearly or vaguely) looks like, ideally also using the sound of the letter. Hiragana and katakana are pretty simple, so associating each character with a picture is super easy.

What is the hardest language to learn?

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

How far does Duolingo Japanese take you?

As of October 2022, Duolingo's Japanese course has a total of 6 units, broken down into a total of 131 skills. That means there are 655 crown levels in Duolingo's Japanese course — or 786 if you include the legendary levels.

Is it OK to learn Japanese on Duolingo?

Learn Japanese for Free

Whether you're a beginner starting with the basics or looking to practice your reading, writing, and speaking, Duolingo is scientifically proven to work.

Is 30 too late to learn Japanese?

If you're worried that you won't be able to come to Japan to study if you're over 30, then fret not. It's likely you will be asked more questions about why you want to come to Japan to study. But if you're motivated and want to come for the right reasons, then it shouldn't be a significant barrier.

Can I be fluent in Japanese in 2 years?

The average length of time to learn advanced Japanese is 2-3 years. At the intermediate level, you can understand most of what your teacher says, and you can follow along with TV programs. When it comes to using the language with other Japanese speakers, however, you still have some limitations.

Does it take 6 years to learn Japanese?

However, many experts believe it takes between 4 to 6 months of dedicated study to reach a beginner level. On the other hand, you can expect to spend at least 3 years studying to become fluent in Japanese with near-native level accuracy.

Is 40 too old to learn Japanese?

Of course you can. Generally the study is forever, so you can start it anytime you want, and 40 is still so young. Of course you cannot tell how further you can go in your life, but don't worry. To learn a language is forever.

How many hours a day should I spend learning Japanese?

In general, it is recommended that learners spend 2 hours per day studying Japanese. This rate of study will enable a learner to achieve general professional proficiency in Japanese in a time frame of 6.2 years. Increasing or decreasing study hours will shorten or extend the time frame respectively.

Is it too late to learn Japanese at 16?

Can learning the Japanese language be useful for teenagers? Learning any living language can be useful for anyone, at any age.

How many words does a native Japanese speaker know?

Around 30,000-50,000 words will give you native level reading proficiency, equivalent to a college-educated Japanese. Of course, this level is only attained by a tiny fraction of non-native Japanese speakers.

What is the easiest second language to learn?

We've used data from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) to rank them from the easier to the somewhat more challenging.
  • Frisian. ...
  • Dutch. ...
  • Norwegian. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Portuguese. ...
  • Italian. ...
  • French. ...
  • Swedish.
Oct 24, 2021

What is easier to learn Korean or Japanese?

Which language is easier to learn– Korean or Japanese? Korean is considered to be much easier than Japanese. There are more letters in the Japanese alphabet than in Korean. Japanese also contains more complicated Chinese characters and difficult grammar.

In what order should I teach the alphabet?

In choosing an order like this, it's wise to start with letters whose sounds can be sustained (like s, f, or m), teach high utility letters first (for example, waiting to teach letters like z and x) and order the short vowels in what is often considered the best order (a, i, o, e, u).

Which alphabet should be taught to write first?

Start with letters that contain only vertical and horizontal lines (L, I, E, F, H, T). Slowly introduce letters with curves (C, O, Q). Finally end with letters with diagonal lines (A, N, M, etc). Children learn best through play based learning, so make sure to have fun while teaching!

Do you need to learn all 3 alphabets in Japanese?

Do I really have to learn all of hiragana, katakana and kanji to learn Japanese? Much depends on how well you want to learn Japanese. If you just want to get by, then no it's not necessary at all. Even if you want to be able to have pretty good conversations, it's not necessary.

Why is katakana so easy?

Katakana is easier to “draw” because the structure of the katakana character is usually more simple. In addition, katakana words sound familiar to English speakers, so imitating the sound is easier.

Is it best to teach letters in ABC order?

There is no one “correct” order in which to teach the letters, and different phonics programs use different sequences. However, some alphabet letters are more easily learned. You'll also want to spend more time on certain letters versus others.

What are the first 6 letters to teach?

The order you teach the initial sounds in will depend on your school and the phonics program that is used – however, the most common 6 letters to begin with are s,a,t,p,i and n.

How many letters should I teach a week?

There are many theories on what works, but honestly you will find research that says a letter a day is appropriate and a letter a week is as well. In my perfect work, we would teach 2 letters a week but that's a decision you will have to make if you are able to.

What is the best age to learn alphabet?

A: Most children learn to recognize letters between ages 3 and 4. Typically, children will recognize the letters in their name first. By age 5, most kindergarteners begin to make sound-letter associations, such as knowing that “book” starts with the letter B.

What letters do you teach after Satpin?

Specifically, s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss.

Should you learn the alphabet first when learning a new language?

When in doubt, start by studying the alphabet, basic pronunciation and phonetics, and memorizing a list of the most common words and verbs. Most languages have roughly 100 or so words that make up the bulk of what you'll encounter in day-to-day conversation.

Can I learn Japanese without hiragana and katakana?

There are three different types of Japanese characters. These are hiragana, katakana and kanji, but the basic character set should be hiragana. Katakana is mainly used for words that have been imported from foreign languages.


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