Learn Japanese: When to Write Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji Video
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Video:Learn Japanese: When to Write Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji

with Ayaka Hills

The Japanese language includes three different ways of writing: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Each of these Japanese scripts is appropriate at different times. Learn how to use and recognize Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji .See Transcript

Transcript:Learn Japanese: When to Write Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji

I’m Ayaka Hills of Hills Learning in New York for About.com. In this video, I am going to explain when Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji are used; and how to tell the difference between the 3 character sets.

Japanese Scripts Represent Different Parts of the Language

Japanese is written in a combination of Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Kanji represents ideas or objects. Hiragana typically expresses the grammatical concepts between them. Katakana is used for words of foreign origin or for emphasis. Unlike Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana characters represent one syllable and have no meaning other than the representation of sound.

Japanese Scripts Have Different Styles and Shapes

If you're a beginner of the Japanese language, you can easily tell the character sets apart. For example, Hiragana characters are more round and have less edges compared to Katakana. Kanji are more complex characters of Chinese origin.


Here is a set of Hiragana characters. Here is a set of Katakana characters. Here is a set of Kanji characters. Thanks for watching. To learn more information on Japanese, please visit About.com.

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