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Which writing system is most common in Japan?

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Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby MFoogle » Mon 04.17.2006 7:51 pm

Which writing system is most common in Japan? I know that have 3, but which one would you find most commonly, so i know which one to study most? please respond soon!
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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby richvh » Mon 04.17.2006 7:59 pm

Normal Japanese writing is a mix of all three, with nouns and the stems of verbs and adjectives written in kanji, particles and flectional endings written in hiragana, and foreign loanwords written in katakana. That said, learn hiragana first (it's the most immediately useful), followed by katakana, and leave the grand slog of learning kanji for the long haul.
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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby MFoogle » Mon 04.17.2006 8:14 pm

oh..that makes things so confusing...
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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby Machina Maw » Mon 04.17.2006 8:58 pm

It sounds confusing, but once you get into it, everything will sort itself out into neat order within your brain. Hopefully. :P
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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 04.17.2006 11:28 pm

Isn't there something in the FAQ about the writing system?


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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby kotori » Mon 04.17.2006 11:48 pm

MFoogle wrote:
oh..that makes things so confusing...


Once you've learned hiragana and katakana, and even just a couple of common kanji, you will see what a blessing the mix is, and will even rejoice to see a sentence that has kanji that you recognize. :D
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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 04.18.2006 12:43 am

Once you've learned hiragana and katakana, and even just a couple of common kanji, you will see what a blessing the mix is, and will even rejoice to see a sentence that has kanji that you recognize.


You tell it Sister/Brother. ;)
Text without kanji is almost impossible for me to read. My brain just sticks all those kana together into one long string of mumbo jumbo.
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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby AJBryant » Tue 04.18.2006 11:24 am

Text without kanji is almost impossible for me to read.


I tried an experiment once. You know how children's books space words with kana so you can at least distinguish the words? I tried taking a college-level history text, hiraganaized it, spaced it like a kid's story, and threw it out in front of some folks. Watched their heads explode.

It's not just the spacing that makes hiragana *barely* readable in kid's stories -- it's the limited use of grammar and vocabulary. Once you start getting adult concepts, vocab, grammar, and syntax, hiragana-only becomes Semtec for the brain.


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RE: Which writing system is most common in Japan?

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 04.19.2006 3:18 am

I tried an experiment once. You know how children's books space words with kana so you can at least distinguish the words? I tried taking a college-level history text, hiraganaized it, spaced it like a kid's story, and threw it out in front of some folks. Watched their heads explode.


I can completely imagine that. There were some post on this site a whlie ago (or somewhere) where someone was rewriting the nightly news in hiragana and asking for translations.

Coming from english, you would think that hearing something read and reading it just as it's read (in kana) would be of equal difficulty, but it's really a whole other ballgame.
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