When to use Kanji when writing

r_folsom

r_folsom

When you write in Japanese, how do you know when or where to use Kanji?
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Konnichiwa! This is an excellent question. First, you should know that you can write Japanese ALL in Hiragana. The tricky thing about this, is that your sentences get very long. For example, if I wanted say, "I eat rice every day." You could write it this way; わたしはまいにちごはんをたべる。 Now, as you can see, this gets a little confusing, as you don't know which are the nouns, particles, or verbs. Let's write it with kanji: 私は毎日ご飯を食べる。 See how short it gets? The Hiragana characters in there - are either particles (wa/o), prefixes (go) - or the trailing of a verb (~beru). Almost all nouns have Kanji characters - and so in newspapers and books, you will see that this is written in Kanji. Also, most verbs start with a Kanji - and usually have a Hiragana trailing, such as: 食べる (ta-beru) "to eat" 買う (ka-u) "to buy" 飲む (no-mu) "to drink" 遊ぶ (aso-bu) "to play" Particles are NEVER written in Kanji - they are ALWAYS in HIRAGANA. は、が、を、に、 へ、と、 etc. I hope this helps! -Sayaka :P
CatPanda

CatPanda

[quo]*Quote from * Sayaka Particles are NEVER written in Kanji - they are ALWAYS in HIRAGANA. は、が、を、に、 へ、と、 etc. [/quo] You should tell that to my school's Japanese teacher... she teaches the students the Kanji of particles which is why I don't take that class xD. To answer the question, Sayaka nailed everything I could possibly write. Although, I'd like to mention though that there are a few words that can't really be written in Kanji: -Borrowed words (written in Katakana only) -Onomatopoeic expressions (also in Katakana only) Borrowed words are words that are English/Spanish/French/German/etc. words that were incorporated into Japanese by adding the heavy Japanese accent to it. Like the word bus for example is バス which is read "Basu". Onomatopoeic expressions are words that can't be translated into romance languages as they hardly exist. They more describe a sound than anything. The sound they described is usually attached to an action too. So like a big ball rolling down a hill would be described as ゴロゴロ (gorogoro) and if you say "Gorogoro shitteimashita ne" I'd be like saying "It rolled down the hill as a big ball would roll down a hill" but is literally "It went Gorogoro". I hope I didn't confuse you with that last one, but it's something you might want to look into. Hope that helped! Derek
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Derek-san, What Kanji's is the Japanese teacher teaching you to write the particles??? That would be quite confusing as one of the big helps associated with the rule of Particles being written in Hiragana is to differentiate from nouns and verbs and adjectives!! -Sayaka :P
CatPanda

CatPanda

[quo]*Quote from * Sayaka Derek-san, What Kanji's is the Japanese teacher teaching you to write the particles??? That would be quite confusing as one of the big helps associated with the rule of Particles being written in Hiragana is to differentiate from nouns and verbs and adjectives!! -Sayaka :P[/quo] Sayaka-sensei, I don't take her class (primarily for this reason) so I don't know what Kanji she teaches for particles. However what I do know is that she does it. Yes indeed it would be very confusing! Fua-sutenbe-gu
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

デレックさん、 fua-sutenbe-gu はなんですか? What is this? -Sayaka :P
CatPanda

CatPanda

[quo]*Quote from * Sayaka デレックさん、 fua-sutenbe-gu はなんですか? What is this? -Sayaka :P[/quo] さやか先生、 ごめんね... I was typing on my dad's computer which doesn't have Japanese language support. So, I typed my last name in romaji instead of the usually katakana I use. My full name is: ファーステンベーグデレく So in my Japanese journal entries, I figured that since Japanese use the last name to address people that I should use my last name to close my letters. So hence the ファーステンベーグ closing in my posts. While I understand Japanese may want to adapt to my presence by addressing me the western way, with my first name. I'll usually ask them (politely of course) to use my last name and explain that I'm the one whose supposed to be adapting to Japan's custom's not the other way around. それではまたね、 ファーステンベーグ
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Derek-san, I see! Yes, Japanese people use last names - so you should get used to using and being called by your last name to adapt to the culture. Subarashii!! -Sayaka :P
FNGRwizrd93

FNGRwizrd93

Sayaka-sensei, I just finished the lessons involving hiragana and the next thing I tackle will be Katakana, but I'm worried....where am i even supposed to even begin when learning the kanji characters! :P - Neyland
CatPanda

CatPanda

There isn't really much of a beginning point, one way to do it is to follow the JLPT's ranking system and learn from there on, but I believe its better to just learn kanji as you need new vocabulary in Japanese. So basically whenever you are going to write something in Japanese and you can't figure out what the translation of "Chicken" is you could look it up in a dictionary to find that in Japanese it is とり which in kanji is 鳥. Also Rocket Japanese premium-plus will get you started on kanji. Rocket Japanese platinum has you get even more into kanji than premium-plus, but if you don't follow that order, I'm sure things could easily get confusing.
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Neyland-san Konnichiwa! Congratulations on tackling the Hiragana's! Don't be worried about the correct 'timing' of learning Kanji. Think of it this way - once you've tackled the Katakana it will be much easier to get into Kanji - because Katakana (as well as hiragana) are developed from Kanji characters. For example, あderives from the kanji character 安 and か from 加 Check out this site for more information on this: http://www.nihongoresources.com/language/writing/kana.html -Sayaka ;)

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