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Answered 2012-02-10 19:11:03

Kanji. Hiragana and katakana have 48 characters each. You will need to know about 2,000 kanji to be able to read through a newspaper.


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Japanese uses three character sets: Hiragana and Katakana, both native, and Kanji, the Chinese character set, which is much more geometric in appearance. One authority states 50,004 characters for Kanji. Hiragana and Katakana can be researched from Wikipedia.

Hiragana = 46Katakana = 46 basic Katakana letters. In addition to these 46 basic letters called gojūon, there are modified forms to describe more sounds - 20 dakuon, 5 handakuon, 36 yōon, 1 sokuon and 6 additional letters.Kanji = 2,136 Jōyō kanji ("commonly-used kanji"), which are the ones taught in school, although literate people usually know more than 2136.

No, but they come close. Kanji makes up 43% of a normal sentence. Only because many Kanji are too hard to write. If you are considering learning Kanji, you might want to learn Hiragana and Katakana. They are much more simple. And have a little alphabet too. But many names, places, and products are in Kanji. So I would recommend learning Hiragana, then Kanji, and if you want, Katakana.

Japanese uses hiragana and katakana and kanji while Chinese is just Chinese characters (kanji) but sometimes more complex. Japanese kanji is the simplified Chinese writing.

There are no letters in the Japanese writing system. Japanese officially uses the following set of symbols, which total a lot more than 204:Hiragana - 71 symbols, each representing the sound of a syllable.Katakana - 71 symbols, each representing the sound of a syllable, used mainly to write foreign words.Kanji - officially there 2,136 symbols, each representing a word or concept. In practice, there are thousands more. Kanji are borrowed from Chinese, which has more than 50,000 symbols.Chart of Hiragana and Katakana charactersChart of Kanji characters

There are three components to Japanese writing. The normal alphabet, hiragana, which has less strokes and is much curvier and more flowing; Kanji, which originated in china, and is more complicated and tends to be blockier and sharper, and katakana, which is for mimicking English and other foreign languages, as most of their sounds are hard t pronounce for Japanese people. Katakana is much like the hiragana, although sharper. hiragana: ひらがな kanji: 漢字 katakana: カタカナ

Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana :) that's the main three... you can also check on the internet for more writing systems :)

Hiragana is kind of like kanji but simplified, and usually used for words that have a Japanese origin, but it is ok to write normal words with hiragana, within reason, hiragana/katakana in normal writing is based on style. Katakana is normally and supposed to be used for foreign words and names. It is usually more angular and has more straight lines. Hiragana is used for simplifying Kanji. Most words written in hiragana in japan have kanji to represent it. You need to think about kanji too. Which is often singular complex "symbols" that represents an entire word instead of writing it out. There are thousands of kanji symbols so you don't need to focus on learning them. You will learn it through looking at culture. Of course you will need to learn some for a start anyways. There is also rōmaji. This is the romanization of the Japanese language used for writing with foreigners. What you pronounce as Japanese, put into your own ABC alphabet.

Japanese does not have an alphabet. It has 2 syllabaries and it also uses Chinese characters.There are 204 "Letters" in the Hiragana and Katakana, which are syllabaries, not alphabets. (Each character in the syllabary respresents a whole syllable, not a letter).The number of Kanji, or Chinese Characters is debatable, as upwards of 70,000 characters. But only 2136 are officially used as of 2017.Also the Arabic Numerals are used ( 0-9 in symbol form), and Latin letters are sometimes used.Japanese has three alphabets, hiragana, katakana, and kanji.hiragana and katakana are groups of symbols that represent sounds.Kanji are symbols that represent words and thiere are over 2000 of them that Japanese people use every day.

Both are syllabaries, used to "spell" words rather than having a symbol that stands for a whole word or concept. Syllabaries relate to pronunciation. The Kanji characters do not. Hiragana is a syllabary used to write words of traditional Japanese origin. The same words have Kanji characters that stand for them. Katakana is a syllabary used to write borrowed words and words of foreign origin, such as names. It is more angular in appearance than Hiragana.

There are three writing systems commonly used in the Japanese language: Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana.-Kanjiare Chinese characters which that Japan borrowed thousands of years ago. There are approximately 2000 common-use Kanji which are necessary to be considered fluent by the Japanese government. Many nouns are written in Kanji, with the stems of verbs and adjectives also typically using Kanji.-Hiraganawas the first 'Japanese' writing system and is used to write particles, end verbs and adjectives, show the phonetic reading of different Kanji and more. Japanese children typically learn Hiragana first, as it is acceptable for them to write solely in kana (Hiragana & Katakana). Children learn thousands of Kanji throughout their school life.-Katakanais used for loan words and foreign names. Katakana may also be used to add emphasis to a particular word. Many scientific names of animals are also written in Katakana.A writing system called Romaji is also used. Romaji is the romanization of Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. This writing system is often employed in the early stages of learning Japanese, however many learners seem to rely on it heavily.

Hiragana is used far more frequently than Katakana. Normally, Katakana is only used from writing words which the Japanese borrowed from another language. Since the quantity of these words is far fewer than the quantity of native Japanese words, you will see hiragana used a lot more.

There are three writing systems for the Japanese language, kanji which is Chinese character used in Japanese language, hiragana which is simplified text, and katakana which is typically used for borrowed Western words. For more info check out:

Japanese writing system consists of Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Each have their own style of writing and Hiragana and Katakana together are referred to as 'Kana'. It's believed that Kana in general are taken from Kanji symbols for ease of use by ancient Japanese natives. Kanji hails from the Chinese language of old times and have been inserted into Japanese through cultural exchanges. Writing kanji is relatively the most difficult of the three; Hiragana characters are curved and easy-to-write, Katakana have more consecutive and straight lines rather than curves. But kanji has all sorts of lines and strokes, which are called 'kaku' and more complex kanji are know by their various "radicals" (部首 'bushu') which most of the times have separate meanings. The order of drawing strokes is an important factor in Kanji drawing. This order almost always follows two simple rules, first vertical lines then horizontal ones, and always from left to right.

Japan has four main sets of writing symbols:kanjihiraganakatakanaromajiKanji characters, imported from China, were originally simplified pictures of things. Educated people know at least 2,000 of these, but there are many thousands more.There are also two phonetic alphabets called 'kana'. One is 'hiragana' and the other is 'katakana'. The symbols are different from each other but really they are different letters for writing exactly the same scheme of sounds, so each has a like-for-like equivalent letter in the other. In modern Japanese they have 48 letters (or slight variations of letters) in each set. The difference between the 'kanji' and the 'kana' is that 'kanji' have meaning and sound (usually more than one possible sound for each one), whereas 'kana' only have sound, and do not mean anything in themselves.There is another alphabet that is widely used - the Roman alphabet (the one English uses). Although not everyone is fluent in English, pretty much everyone in Japan can read the letters of the English alphabet, which is known as 'Romaji' (Roman letters).

If you mean its reading, only kanji can differ when inside a compound word and when alone. Kana [hiragana & katakana] are read the same no matter where they are. Kanji usually have one or more "on'yomi" [Chinese reading] as well as "kun'yomi" [Japanese reading], it's not a rule but more often on'yomi is used in compound nouns and kun'yomi when the kanji is single.

well there are 3 writing systems: hiragana, used for native japanese words and sometimes mixed with kanji*, for example My dog is cute. (watashino inu kawaii desu). 私の犬かわいいです. watashi is kanji*, no is hiragana. inu is kanji*, kawaii is hiragana, and desu is hiragana. there are 71 hiragana. katakana, used for foreign words like "loan words" from english. for example, cheese (chiizu)チーズ . there are 71 katakana. *kanji is the 2,000 characters that were taken from china. some are simple and easy to remember, like large ( dai) 大 . other kanji are sort of complicated, but become as easy as dai with practice, like tea ( cha) 茶 . but, many kanji are complicated and can take years to conquer. for example window (mado) 窓. the most important step to learning japanese writing is that you practice it everyday. learning katakana first is good because it sort of introduces you to the language, without any of the complcated drawings of kanji. hiragana isn't harder,but more elaborate. a good tip is to print out two kana tables, 1 hiragana, 1 katakana, and just keep them in your pockets. NOTE: japanese doesn't have one single letter. they have one kana that is two syllables. here is a link to a hiragana chart, it will make you understand better. of course, there are a few exceptions, like n and (w)o. also a i u e and o. if you've taken spanish, you could easily pronounce japanese vowels. a (ahh) i (ee) u (ooo) e (ehh) o (oh). to prounounce the hiragana syllables, just add the letter in front. ka (kahh) ki (kee) ku (koo) ke (keh) ko (koh). if you are serious about writing the language, you will need to speak it first. youtube search something it will help.

Japanese symbols can either be categorized as kanji, katakana, or hiragana. Kanji comes from China, hiragana is how they first learn to use their system of the alphabet, and katakana is either used to pronounce a word that wasn't originally in their language, or is sometimes used as a replacement for hiragana to stress a particular word or meaning. Kanji is like a short hand for hiragana. It can best be compare to how in English instead of writing out the word "and", one would substitute the symbol "&". Hiragana and katakana are broken up into their version of the alphabet by what they have for pronunciations. They can be viewed at the links below. These Japanese symbols, or pronunciations, are usually grouped with a vowel, not including the actual vowels. The pronunciations of the vowels are used exactly like the ones in Spanish and are very simple, unlike the English vowels that have a long and short sounds. But once you get down how the vowels are pronounced, reading the rest of their alphabet is a cake walk since it is based off of being grouped with those same vowels. Writing hiragana and katakana is also similar to English in how it is written. In hiragana the "he" sound for example, is written exactly the same, just like how in English, the capital "O" and lower case "o" are written in the same way (only one is smaller in scale). And sometimes a pronunciation, or letter, is written differently. In hiragana and katakana the "su" sound for example is written completely different, just like how in English the capital "G" and lower case "g" are written differently. Kanji doesn't get placed as part of their alphabet because it's more of a short hand way of writing. See links for more.

Hiragana for basics. Katakana for foreign-pronounced words. The recognition of over 1,400 Kanji (phonetic characters) is needed to become fluent. (The romaji, which are Latin/English characters, are not used in Japan.) (see related links for more information)

Hiragana came from chinese characters used for their pronounciations, called Man'yogana. For some time hiragana wasn't popular, and was used solely by women, as the original kanji script was seen as the more educated and 'refined' method of writing. They're basically extensively simplified kanji.

Katakana is meant for a younger reading level in Japan, unlike Hiragana, which is a bit more complex. Romanji is just the japanese language written out in roman text--the letters we use.

There are 4 writing systems used in Japan:HiraganaKatakanaKanjiRomajiHiragana (平仮名) is a syllabic system of writing and so instead of characters representing individual sounds it uses characters to represent combinations of consonants and vowels with the one exception of a character for the n sound.Katakana (片仮名) is a system with the same number of characters and same sounds as Hiragana. Katakana is currently used for loanwords to the Japanese language, onomatopoeia, and often for the names of businesses.The reason there are two sets of alphabets when they have the same set of sounds is because in old days Hiragana was used by women and Katakana more by men. Today everyone uses both.Kanji (漢字) is a set of 2,136 characters that have been borrowed from the Chinese language. Kanji is used to write parts of Japanese words. Kanji usually has multiple sounds associated with them usually one set derived from the Chinese pronunciation and another uniquely Japanese pronunciation.Rōmaji (ローマ字) is the Latin alphabet adapted to write Japanese words. This is more targeted at people who are non-native speakers, but you will likely see it in Japan. The most common system is the Hepburn system, known as Hebon-shiki (ヘボン式).

Katakana is the youngest of the three Japanese set of alphabetic characters, or better said syllabary. 片仮名 /ka ta ka na/ as the writing suggests, it means 'one of the two kana' or 'fragmentary kana'. (kana is the term referred to hiragana and katakana together.)As to why they are called syllabary rather than alphabet, it is because they each do not represent a single sound like 'm', 't' or 'ch' alone, but the combination of those consonants with each of the five vowels (a, i, u, e, o).Since katakana was taken from kanji, its characters have a more angular shape, in contrast to hiragana which are curvy and thus more flexible for calligraphic writing. Some characters are similar to their counterparts in hiragana. Examples: (the group 'k')ka - ki - ku - ke - koか - き - く - け - こ : Hiraganaカ - キ - ク - ケ - コ : KatakanaKatakana is basically created to write non-Japanese words such as loanwords, names or titles of places and people etc in Japanese. But in actual usage it's also common for it to be used instead of hiragana or even kanji, since it has a stylish sense to it. Sometimes, even if slightly, its eye-catching shape provides emphasis and/or signifies a specific meaning of a word, as for homonyms (words with the same reading, but different meanings and mostly different spellings too) are quite usual in Japanese.Simplest of words, names of animals, even Japanese names and so on, which originally should be written in kanji, can be found written in katakana, yet that does not imply that just anything can.Katakana has the same 'main characters' (monographs) as hiragana, but as for derivations made by combining two main characters (digraphs), katakana has by far the upper hand. Syllables like 'fa', 'fe', 'vo', 'di' etc which originally don't exist in Japanese phonology are only existent to katakana, through which different foreign words can be scripted in Japanese.

The original Japanese script was Kanji, based upon the Chinese characters but with Japanese words and sounds associated with it. The problem was that Kanji from China counted over 500.000 characters, and even the simplified Japanese version was still very difficult. To compensate, Hiragana was developed in the middle ages. It was flowing and very simple, comprising about 50 characters instead of thousands. It was considered to be for women and children however, and it would take more than a hundred years before it was adopted into the language as a means to denote grammar. Finally, Katakana was developed as a way to distinguish words that originated from outside of Japan, most notably words from the Spanish, English and Dutch languages. If you would write down these words using Hiragana or Kanji, you might get great misunderstandings. Because of this, it takes Hiragana, Katakana as well as Kanji to write Japanese at its fullest potential.

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