Friday, August 15, 2008

Hola, Oi, Hello, Konnichiwa, Bonjour, Aloha...

Learning a new language can never be a bad thing. But it comes with it's challenges. I think Japanese sounds exotic; but for those of you who are studying any of the romance languages, or any language written with letters instead of symbols you should consider yourself lucky, because you have a head start!

Japanese has three different writing styles. Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Sometimes you will encounter the romanization of these as well. Hiragana and Katakana are symbols...but they are phonetic.

This is Hiragana

This is Katakana

Katakana is mostly used to write non-Japanese names. Because expressing a foreign name with Kanji (The most common form of writing Japanese names) can be difficult.

- This is my name in Katakana.

Also, In the rental shop, the name of foreign movies are written in Katakana. The point is to make it sound phonetically like English, while still using Japanese symbols! A little confusing right?

This is an example of Kanji (Symbols borrowed from Chinese language)
This Kanji is "Ai"
And means Love.
I am currently able to read and write Hiragana and Katakana, and maybe 50 or so Kanji. But there are thousands, and thousands of Kanji to go!
As you can see Ive got my work cut out for me.
So good luck, and happy studies!


David said...

amazing experience you have going on there. been reading for awhile and finally leaving a comment. lol.

Taigra said...

Cool, dear!

I think you've been having a lot of fun, don't you?


Aira Kay said...

Wow. Wow!!! I just started reading (I got the link from AFS) and I think that everything you've done so far is REALLY cool. I'm so jealous. I hope when I go (I'm pretty sure I'm going to Japan with AFS in the summer program; they sent off the applications last Tuesday) I have as much fun as you did. I'd really like to here more about your trip- and any advice you can give me (though I guess you'd be back now, right? Whatever. ^-^).


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