I hear people talk about the difficulty of 48 hiragana (48!!!!) and 48 katakana, meaning nearly a hundred characters before you even deal with kanji.
Well, think about this:
English does not just have 26 letters. There are 52. We have capitals and lowercase letters, and the forms are not always identical. Yeah, C looks like c, and S like s -- but to be fair, hiragana has り and katakana has リ. But compare A and a. And B and b. There's a reason kids confuse b, d, p, and g. Add to that the fact that we ALSO have 26 CURSIVE capitals and 26 lowercase cursive letters as well, we have a total of 104 letterforms that must be learned by students of English.
So which one is harder NOW?
We have more than that, when you add in computer displayed or printed info, which everyone deals with at one time or another.This is especially true for lower case letters. Just with a basic block font, for example the lowercase a we have the version this site uses, with the little flag on top, or the circle with the line on the right side, the same height as the circle. I have also seen many variations on charecters with a decender, (g,j...) to accomodate display issues on several devices. Also, if you look at serif vs sans-serif fonts, you will see even more variations. In sans-serif fonts, you can have some glyphs look exactly the same as others (lowercase L and capital I for example) while the serif fonts will show the difference by having a little tail at both sides at the top of the capital I, while the lowercase L will only have it on the left.
If you also look at people getting fancy, there are the Olde English scripts to look at as well, and you have additional varients of every letter in both cases. (Commonly used for engraving, invitations, official documents (diplomas, professional certifications...))
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