Japanese has a reputation for being difficult to learn for adult students, and that reputation is well-earned. For most, the problem with Japanese is the written language, rather than the spoken one. The spoken grammar of Japanese is fairly regular, and pronunciation is overall a straightforward affair compared to, say, the complex grammar of Russian […]
Welcome back to The Origins of Japanese Icons. Last time, we looked at several classic Japanese foods, and where they first came from. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the language itself.
This is Part 2 of a two-part article offering practical advice for studying kanji. In Part 1 we looked at how important context is for learning kanji. In Part 2 we will continue with our top tips for studying kanji and list some useful resources. 6. Read You should read and read a lot. This […]
It happens to so many. You get started learning a language and those first few months feel like a rocket taking off. The jump from zero to anything feels like pure success—where once Japanese looked like a mysterious jumble of signs and pictograms, you start to make sense of it.
Kanji are Chinese characters that were first introduced into Japan in the 5th century. There are 2,136 official jōyō kanji (regular use characters) which you will need to study if you want to be able to read Japanese.
The Japanese writing system is a complex system of interconnected parts. There are two phonetic syllabaries called kana which are used to represent syllable sounds, and there are Chinese characters used to represent meaning which in Japanese are called kanji.
If you ever live in Japan, sooner or later you are going to encounter the kanji character 和. Pronounced “wa” it is frequently used as a prefix in kanji compounds to mean “Japanese” or “Japanese style”. Here are some examples: