Monday, September 28, 2009


仮名 (かな) is the Japanese syllabary. 仮名 is used to in much of Japanese writing, so this is where you should start if you're learning to read. There are two different syllabaries: ひらがな (平仮名) and かたかな (片仮名). You'll see mostly ひらがな, as this is the syllabary used to represent native Japanese words and constructive particles. かたかな is used to represent foreign sounds or borrowed words, such as コンピュータ (computer) or ラジオ (radio). Your name, more likely than not, would also be written in かたかな (you are foreign, after all...). Though ひらがな is a bit easier to learn, you'll find great benefit in taking the time to learn both syllabaries, as both are equally important!

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