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Interesting facts about the Japanese Language — 11 Comments

  1. こんにちは、


    I am making a keynote for my social studies class and need to know why, what, and how the Japanese use Kanji and Kana. If you can pleas help me or get back to me that would be great:)

    Thank you~

    • Mr. Mackenzie, please do yourself and the Japanese people a favor by never ever using a machine translator like Google translate service to translate English text into Japanese. The Japanese text makes absolutely no sense at all. Google and other machine translation do a fairly decent job with European languages because most of those languages are related to each other. But there is no relationship at all of Japanese to English.

      To answer your question fully requires a course in the Japanese language but in short, Kanji is for words, hiragana is for particles and verb endings, and katakana is for foreign words and names. I see now that I haven’t made that clear in the text in this class. I just updated the page. Thank you for your input!

      • What are the benefits of using kanji instead of using Hiragana as we can write the symbol of school as Gakkou by a Hiragana writing system without using the sign symbolized kanji method. Please let me know that. Thank you.

        • Using Kanji together with Hiragana makes the sentence easier to read! If only Hiragana you would have to sound the word out in order to recognize it. But when you know the Kanji, the meaning is clear which makes it faster to read. Another reason is because there are many homonyms in Japanese, so many that even read in context the word is not as clear in meaning as when it is written in Kanji. Yet another reason is because there are no spaces between words in Japanese, using Kanji makes it easier to read than using Hiragana alone. I know all this doesn’t seem to apply for the Korean written language. They used to use Kanji but not so much now. The reason must be inherent differences between Hangul and Hiragana. What they are I cannot say not having learned Hangul.

  2. japanese learning is easier for us, hungarians. our phonetics are similar, we have all sounds and this makes speaking a lot easier. the writing problem remains though 🙂

  3. No verb conjugation?
    食べる、食べた、食べている what do you call these?
    The second time you say it, you say “according to person”?
    They have ~たい for the speaker and ~たがる for other people, does this not count?
    You didn’t elaborate much, I’m just wondering what you mean :S

    • 食べる、食べた、食べている is tense, not conjugation. “According to person” means a different verb ending whether the subject is either I, you, he / she / we / they. The ending of the verbs in every Romance language and every Slavic language changes according to I, you, he / she / we / they and even the difference between a singular you, and a plural you. English changes only in the third person singular, example, “He / she goes.” First person, second person, and plural forms, do not use the “es” after go. Did you forget your school grammar lesson? Or perhaps you are Japanese! Yes, ~たい for the speaker and ~たがる for other people is a form of conjugation but I sure don’t hear it used so often and it is only used when expressing volition.

  4. Hey I’m 15 years old and I’m trying to teach myself how to speak read and write japanese. Do you have any tips for self teaching

    • The only way I learned to read and write Japanese was with a teacher who taught me. I did not have the discipline to learn the written language on my own. Sorry I can’t help you other than to say you need a tutor.

  5. Now I’m learning about Japanese language for my advanced level examination. Then I think Japanese is very easy language if there are not kanji.

    • If the Japanese language didn’t have kanji, the Japanese would not be a nation with its own technology and would end up a bunch of farmers! There are too many homonyms in Japanese. You CAN write it in Latin script, but it would greatly reduce the understanding of highly technical writing.

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