Tag Archives: kanji

Why write nouns in part Hiragana, part Kanji? (Japanese)

As you may already know, Japanese has three different alphabets: Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji. Many words are written in only one of these scripts (ex: カタカナ、ひらがな、漢字), and using a split of Hiragana and Kanji is required when writing verbs (ex: 食べる). However, occasionally one sees a noun also written this way, such as “子ども”. Why not just… Read More »

Beginner Japanese: Are three alphabets better than one?

In Japanese, there are three alphabets used together, and each has it’s own set of uses. Let’s go over each of them briefly before we talk about how this trio impacts the language. Hiragana: This alphabet is the most basic and is the first alphabet that Japanese children learn. Any word can be written with… Read More »

Kanji: pictographic compounds [beginner / intermediate]

One of the misconceptions I had before I got deep into Japanese study was that Japanese kanji are ‘pictographic’, meaning that each character represents some type of picture that is visually similar to a real object. This is true to a certain extent, especially with some of the very simple characters. For example: Tree: 木… Read More »