learning japanese script

ronald bresell rrbresell
Tue Aug 14 10:24:19 EDT 2007

  I can understand your concern.  3 different writing techniques.  hiragana mostly for native words, katakana for foreign (western) words.  The characters originated from china.  Often used for place names and other common names (e.g., bank, river, mountain).  For the characters, if you learn about 500 you should be in good shape.  Understand that names use characters and recognize individual names from context, not necessarily be able to read the name.  Sometimes the characters have hiragana script beside them.
  So, katakana is use to pronounce western words.  Chinese characters do not mean the same in japan as in china nor korea.  500 characters / character combinations should make things easier.

Emma Newbery <emmanewbery at hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
  Hello all.

I have just embarked upon the long path of learning to read and write 
Japanese. I am using the 'Japanese for busy people' workbooks, and have been 
sailing through learning hiragana, but much to my dismay when i went to try 
out my new skill on www.amazon.jp i find all the sentences to be combination 
of hirigana, kanji and katakana. I realise to all you who know how to read 
japanese this is very obvious, but it there anyone out there to whom 
japanese is not their first language who can instill me with some confidence 
that it is possible to learn it all - and why are there 3 forms within one 

Emma Newbery BA (hons), MA, PGCE
Programme Leader
BTEC National Diploma in Media Productions
Blackpool and the Fylde College

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