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Japanese Writing System. ひらがな  カタカナ  漢字. 3 Types of Writing. Hiragana (sound system based on Japanese words) Katakana (sound system based on foreign “loan” words) Kanji (meaning system based on Chinese Words) (The English alphabet used for souding out words is called ‘roomaji’).

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japanese writing system

Japanese Writing System

ひらがな  カタカナ  漢字

3 types of writing
3 Types of Writing
  • Hiragana (sound system based on Japanese words)
  • Katakana (sound system based on foreign “loan” words)
  • Kanji (meaning system based on Chinese Words)
  • (The English alphabet used for souding out words is called ‘roomaji’)
hiragana
Hiragana ひらがな
  • Originally based from Chinese characters taken for their sounds

ex. 以ーい 宇ーう 加ーか

  • Used for Japanese words like

ichiban いちばん

arigatou ありがとう

katakana
Katakana カタカナ
  • Originally based from Chinese characters taken for their sounds

ex. 伊ーイ 宇ーウ 加ーカ

  • Used for foreign‘loan’ words like

televisionterebi テレビ

pizza piza ピザ

kanji
Kanji 漢字
  • Meaning system based on Chinese words

ex. School gakkou 学校 (がっこう)

I watashi 私 (わたし)

  • Many kanji characters have multiple readings

ex. 月  一月月曜日 

tsuki ichigatsu getsuyoubi

hiragana katakana kanji
Hiragana – Katakana - Kanji
  • Japanese people use a combination of the three writing systems – hiragana, katakana, and kanji

私は昨日友達とレストランに行きました。

  • In newspapers today, kanji takes up about 40% of the text, and hiragana and katakana the other 60%.