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Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

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Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby Kakashi-kun » Sat 02.17.2007 2:35 pm

ok, I just got this new book and most of the writing is in hiragana and katakana. And I have a few small questions about how I'm supposed to read this thing. The cover is so interesting and everything Im DYING to read it. So just three simple questions, then I can start! yayness!
question 1:
Some of the simple hiragana or katakana symbols have something that looks like quotes (basically just this: ") over top of them. Does this mean anything? I mean, it has to, they wouldnt just put them there for no reason, would they?
question 2:
How do you know when a sentence or word ends? This really confuses me.
question 3:
the words look like they are in rows. Do I read the rows top to bottom and read them backwards? (like, heres an example: there are ten rows, start on the right, read it to the bottom, then go to the top and read the row to its left?)

Hope Im not too confusing, and I hope someone out there is kind enough to answer. Thank you all so much!!!!!!!
Reply soon, I really want to read this book.

-KAKASHI-KUN B)

"
.
><
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 02.17.2007 2:48 pm

1) That indicates voicing. For example, か ka, が ga.

2) Sentences are ended with a period-like symbol: 。 There are no spaces between words, but surprisingly this is not generally a problem, especially once kanji are involved. Over time you just learn how to parse.

3. Standard order would be to start at the top right, and go down the column, and then move to the next column to the left.
Last edited by Shirasagi on Sat 02.17.2007 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby richvh » Sat 02.17.2007 2:49 pm

1. They're voicing marks. See this page (that's for katakana, but the same rules apply to hiragana, and the appropriate lesson for hiragana isn't as easy to navigate to.)

2. Sentences end with periods (。) Word boundaries are hard to define in Japanese, you just need to build your vocabulary and learn some grammar.

3. Vertical writing is top to bottom, right to left; horizontal writing is left to right, top to bottom.
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby Kakashi-kun » Sat 02.17.2007 3:21 pm

so, I wont be able to read this book until I finish learning Japanese?
I mean, it looks like a smaller childrens book, not many Kanji, and a few pictures, but how much do I need to learn before attempting to read it? :|
and there were a bunch of symbols that looked like this: ||
what the hec does that mean?
thank you guys for all of your help!
-kakashi-kun
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby richvh » Sat 02.17.2007 3:28 pm

Are those vertical lines in katakana words? If so, they are vowel lengtheners; in horizontal text, they look like this: ー
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby Kakashi-kun » Sat 02.17.2007 5:24 pm

vowel lengthers....which means what?
sorry, I am totally inept when it comes to hiragana and katakana. :(
also, this book shows a few symbols and then after like 3 or 4 symbols, it'll have something that looks very very much like a comma. would that be seperating words, or something? :o :o :o
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby seiryuu » Sat 02.17.2007 6:22 pm

Vowel lengthener is this.
No, a comma in Japanese has the same usage as the English comma.

In Japanese, there isn't what you'd call separation of words. You have to learn what part of the sentence belongs to what.

わたしはがくせいです。

When separating, it would go like this:

わたし は がくせい です
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby Kakashi-kun » Sat 02.17.2007 10:08 pm

oh, the vertical lines! No they look exactly like this: ||
so, is there any way to guess where the seperation of words is?
Are there any suggestions to what I should learn first? Like, I get that I should learn hiragana, then katakana, then kanji, but should I learn...like...actual words between some of these??? HELP!!! :@
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RE: Reading Hiragana and Katakana book

Postby richvh » Sat 02.17.2007 11:33 pm

One of the most common pieces of advice given here is "Learn words, not kanji." Learn words (vocabulary) and how they are put together into sentences (grammar.) A good place to learn grammar, if you don't have a textbook, is Tae Kim's Guide, but it's no substitute for a textbook.

Can you scan an image of a section of text containing those vertical lines?
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