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3 Tips for Learning Kanji

What do we do when we want to turn speech, an auditory and transient phenomenon, into something both visible and permanent? We write it, of course. However, how we go about writing it is hugely dependent on the language, and not because there are many different systems of writing. The underpinnings of writing systems themselves…

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Basics of Japanese hiragana and katakana

Let’s take a little look at a typical Japanese sentence, together with English transcription and translation. 昨日、あのCMはテレビで見たかい。 Kino, ano shiiemu wa terebi de mita kai. Did you see that commercial on TV yesterday? In one simple written statement, we can see four visibly different kinds of script. The one that leaps out most for the…

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Basics of Japanese kanji

Have you ever seen printed Japanese and felt almost bewildered at how very different it is from English? Both are found written in ink or depicted in pixels, but the similarities might seem to end there. Japanese is traditionally written top to bottom then left to right; English right to left then top to bottom.…

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