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Japanese Language at Glance

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Pict. A : 3 elements in Japanese : 1. Kanji. 2. Hiragana. 3. Katakana. Pict. B : Horizontally written sentence. Pict. C : Vertically written sentence.

Japanese language consists of three alphabets: kanji (pictographic characters imported from China), hiragana and katakana  (phonetic alphabets developed in Japan). To read a newspaper, one must know 1,945 commonly used kanji, hiragana and katakana, which are taught in elemantary school and junior high school, along with the English alphabet.

- Vertically written sentences should be read from top to bottom and from the right line to the left line.
– Pages should be turned from left to right.
– Horizontally writen sentences should be read from left to right.

Kanji  (漢字) : an ideographic character. Each letter has a meaning.
Hiragana (平仮名) : phoenetic symbols.
Katakana (片仮名) : phoenetic symbols, used to describe a word of foreign origin or onomatopoeia, or to make a strong impression of a word.

Katakana was made by deleting a part of kanji and symbolizing it. Hiragana was made from the cursive style of writing kanji, particularly as used in the ancient poetry anthology, the Man’ youshuu.

:: Nihon Marugoto Jiten. Kodansha, Ltd.

Automatic Wash-Hand

cucitangan

 

日本語 ROMAJI ENGLISH BAHASA
INDONESIA
自動 jidou automatic otomatis
 さしだし sashidashi upward,
outward
julurkan,
arahkan
 石っけん sekken soap sabun
mizu water air
 温風 ompuu warm
breeze
angin
hangat

konnichiwa

konnichiwa

the lower, the more respectful

The Japanese bow is famous: the lower the bow, the more respectful. Traditionally, there would be not be any contact in the form of a handshake or kisses. With the increasing Western influence, the Japanese now often shakehands, sometimes bowing at the same time, especially when meeting foreigners.

 

 

Say these expressions aloud and try to remember the Japanese for each.

こんにちは!: hello!
konnichiwa

おはようございます= Good morning
ohayou gozaimasu

こんばんは = Good evening
konbanwa

私の名前は。。。です = My name is …
watashi no namae wa … desu

どうぞ、よろしく = pleased to meet you.
douzo, yoroshiku

さようなら   = goodbye
sayounara

では、また。 = ok, see you next time
dewa, mata.

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