Two types of Japanese script


Hi there, I've just started RJ and was looking at the Japanese script. In each module there are two different types of japanese writing given for each translation... E.G. おげんき です か? お元気ですか? O genki desu ka? How are you? What is the difference between the two types of writing? and which one should I be learning? Karen


The first scripts shown are Hirigana and Katakana. The second script is Kanji mixed with Hirigana and Katakana. Hirigana is a phonetic alphabet used for representing native Japanese words. Katakana is a parallel phonetic alphabet for representing foreign words. Kanji is a script derived from Chinese that I am guessing preceded Hirigana and Katakana. The writing lessons should give you some idea of what order to learn these scripts: start with Hirigana, then Katakana, and then move onto Kanji. The first writing lesson describes this quite nicely:

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