Rocket Japanese and romaji



Romaji is simply the use of our own (Latin) alphabet to write the Japanese language. Even though Japanese writing really consists of sets of characters, the system of romaji is a hugely important stepping stone toward understanding and speaking Japanese. Rocket Japanese makes use of what's called the Revised Hepburn Romanization - which sounds like a mouthful but it's quite simple, really! All you need to know is that we represent the long vowel sound in Japanese with a little symbol called a "macron" that appears over the vowel. For example, we write the long "o" sound in arigato(meaning "thank you") with the macron, instead of arigatou as it appears in other systems of romanization. The long "o" in the word romaji itself is another example. Rocket Japanese, however, does not strictly follow the Revised Hepburn Romanization in every regard: namely, we do not separate difficult sounds with an apostrophe (such as onegai'shimasu). Instead, whenever separating a longish Japanese word or phrase will make it easier to read and say, we have added a full space (as in onegai shimasu). It reads easier and looks better this way. The reason we chose to generally follow Revised Hepburn Romanization is that this system is the emerging standard for new Japanese speakers, especially those in Western nations. But you should be aware that romaji is above all a tool for future learning and understanding Japanese writing. From the Rocket Japanese team.

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