Types Of Writing In Japanese

Understanding the types of writing in Japanese and its uses

It is important to understand the types of writing in Japanese before learning Japanese because the lack of knowledge on the types of writing in Japanese can confuse or disrupt your education. The first and foremost step in learning Japanese understands the types of Japanese scriptures. Unlike English and other popular world language, Japanese uses 3 types of writing in Japanese; not one! This is the reason for the initial confusion for many newcomers.

3 types of writing in Japanese

1. Hiragana

2. Katakana

3. Kanji

Hiragana is one of the most important types of writing in Japanese because it is used to write the Japanese alphabets. Hiragana can be used to write every Japanese word. Hiragana is the types of writing in Japanese used for daily writing. With a mixture of kanji, hiragana can be used to convey the messages in Japanese quite efficiently.

However, understanding the types of writing in Japanese is not as easy as it seems, especially with several evolvements of Japanese writing. Today’s Japanese writers use all the 3 types of writing in Japanese to convey messages. In other words, these types are often mixed to get the right meaning from sentences.

This is why learning to write in Japanese is more difficult than learning to speak Japanese.

Writing in Japanese is impossible in today’s world without the usage of katakana because the original Japanese scripture – hiragana – do not contain many alphabets that are required to write foreign words. This is why the Japanese system uses katakana to write foreign words.

* There are hundreds of foreign words that do not come with a Japanese equivalent.

* If you want to write a brand name or foreign word that is impossible to write with the original types of writing in Japanese, you will need to use katakana.

Kanji is used to create the most commonly used characters. Unlike other languages, kanji in Japanese is more like a drawing than writing. For example, each ‘letter’ in kanji is a noun or word rather than the regular letter. You need to know several kanjis to start using Japanese. For example, if you want to read a regular newspaper, you need to learn at least 2,000 Kanji characters.

It is believed that there are 50,000 characters although 5,000 to 10,000 are commonly used. The Japanese education system teaches 1006 basic kanjis at school, which takes up a lot of time in their education system.

However, in order to start speaking in Japanese, you need not know all types of writing in Japanese but learning hiragana and katakana is more than enough to start using Japanese. Secondly hiragana and katakana only has 46 characters each, which makes it quite effortless to learn and memorize the characters. So if you want to study Japanese katakana and hiakana are the types of writing in Japanese that you need to learn first before moving on to Kanji, which is more complex.

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