Part 1: Japanese Writing System: Kana

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Part 1: Japanese Writing System: Kana

Post by The Right Admin on Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:07 pm

The Japanese writing system was originally brought over to Japan by the Chinese. This writing system was kanji. Since it was complicated using only kanji to write sentences, the Japanese people decided to make their own writing system that was more simple; this writing system is called kana. There are two groups of characters that make up kana are hiragana and katakana each of which have 47 characters. Both of these characters sets represent the same sounds, but their uses are different. Here is a chart of all of the hiragana characters that are used:



 AIUEO
------
 
K 
S 
T 
N 
H 
M 
Y 
R 
W 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sounds that each character represents are all the consonant of the row the character is in followed by the vowel of its column. There are a few exceptions to this they are:
し is read "shi"
さ is read "chi"
つ is read "tsu"
ふ is read "fu"
を is read "o" in most if not all cases
ん could be read either "n" or "m" depending on how it is used.

When using r- characters, it is good to know that it could also be interpreted to be a l- character; this is do the fact that the Japanese don't have a true "r" sound. When a "r" sound is used, it is actually a sound that is between a "r" sound and an "l" sound.

The sounds of k-,s-, t-, and h- can be changed by adding the ゛ mark. You can also add ゜ to h- characters.
k- characters become g- characters (ka --> ga and so on)
s- characters become z- characters (sa --> za with being the only exception shi --> ji)
t- characters become d- characters (ta --> da with exceptions of chi --> ji and tsu --> zu [or dzu])
h- characters become b- characters with ゛ (ha --> ba and so on, including fu --> bu)
h- characters become p- characters with ゜ (ha --> pa and so on, including fu --> pu)

You can also make different sounds by putting a small version of the y- characters after a character that ends with -i (not including い)
Examples:
きゃ ==> kya
じゅ ==> jyu
りょ ==> ryo

In some cases, the -u sounds can end with a silent u, this is due to the words getting slurred over time. And example of this is です which is spelled "desu" but is said "des"

You can make a long consonant sound by putting a small つ character before the consonant you want to be long. This works for all characters except for n- characters which you put ん before the character.
Examples:
きっさてん read kissaten (meaning cafe)
こんにちは read konnichi wa (meaning hello)

For long vowel sounds you:
add あ when the previous character ends in -a
add い when the previous character ends in -i
add う when the previous character ends in -u
add い when the previous character ends in -e
add う when the previous character ends in -o

Note that in こんにちは the は would normally be read "ha" but in this case it is working as a particle so it is read "wa" instead. In the past there would have been more to the sentence afterwards but it gradually became the way it is now. Because of this they left the は being read as "wa"


The Katakana characters are a bit different from the hiragana characters, but follow the same rules, for the most part. Katakana characters are used mostly for words that are based off of foreign words, such hamburger. Here is a chart of katakana characters:

 AIUEO
------
 
K 
S 
T 
N 
H 
M 
Y 
R 
W 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is only one character that is written the same way in both character sets. The character is へ.

If you want to make a long vowel sound when using katakana characters, you use ー instead of of the additional character mentioned with the hiragana characters.

Occasionally while using katakana a smaller version of ア, イ, ウ, エ, or オ are used to make new sounds. An example of this is with Halloween which is written: ハロウィン.

When trying to get v- sounds, normally b- sounds are used instead, but in some cases a ヴ is used. They add the ゛ to ウ.                                          




At one time there were characters characters that were read "wi" and "we" but they are no longer used, so they are not included above.


This is where I personally would suggest starting with learning Japanese. Even if you don't know all the characters you can start on the next parts, but as i get further into this there will be more of a need to know kana.

The Right Admin
Admin

Posts : 25
Join date : 2015-03-22

View user profile http://beasian.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum