Thứ Sáu, Tháng Hai 26, 2021
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Why does Japanese have 3 alphabets?

Have you ever wondered why there are 3 alphabets like Japanese in just one language? Let’s go with Kilala to find the answer to this question!

The birth of the Manyogana alphabet

Like other countries in Asia, Chinese culture has influenced many neighboring countries. Not only in culture, way of life, thought, but also in language, Japan is a typical example.

Around the 5th century BC, this country appeared Han characters and the writing system known as Kanbun or also known as Han literature.

Then, around the 6th century BC, along with national pride, the idea of ​​asserting themselves to the world, the Japanese wanted to remove dependence on China, remove inconvenient barriers that made the Representing Japanese documents in difficult Chinese characters, the Japanese writing system was gradually formed.

The highlight of the changes in the Japanese writing system is the introduction of the Manyogana characters. Manyogana has no specific meaning but is only used to denote the pronunciation of Chinese characters in Japanese. However, because the Manyogana word was so difficult, during the Heian Period (794-1192), Manyogana adapted to create a Japanese version that has partially syllable characters based on sound: hiragana and katakana and part Logics are characters based on kanji concepts. Thus, both with the meaning of the kanji and in its writing, Japan has its own alphabet.


Later, the simplified Manyogana script became today’s Hiragana script, based on Chinese Chinese characters, but Hiragana has a softer and softer writing style.

In the early days of the Hiragana script, it was widely believed that it was not worth learning for the upper class, not as important as Chinese characters. Because Hiragana has a soft handwriting, although women like this, Japanese men prefer sturdy, straight-footed script, so Hiragana is also considered only for women and children – the classes considered inferior. The women at that time used Hiragana more, then Japanese men also started using it but only for handwritten letters because they thought that Hiragana was more impulsive, closer.

Hiragana is often used to write adverbs, conjugations, verb ends, and adjectives.


Katakana alphabet

Not too long since the arrival of Hiragana, Katakana was born. The appearance of Katakana marks the milestone for Japan to complete the first pure Japanese writing system, called Kana, consisting of two sets of Hiragana and Katakana.

Katakana was developed on the basis of radical simplification of Chinese writing. It is because of this reduction that 46 modern Katakana characters have lost the original look of the original Kanji and Katakana has stiffer handwriting than Hiragana.

Katakana was originally created for the purpose of noting beside Chinese sentences to transcribe the reading for Chinese characters, take Kanji notes, and record the explanation. Today, Katakana not only has the purpose of expressing onomatopoeic words, but it is used to denote foreign words, words in science and technology such as names of animals and plants, names of countries, places of water. out.



Although Hiragana and Katakana are available, in the formal Japanese texts, many Kanji are still used.

Kanji originated from the Chinese characters, the obsession of not only Japanese students but also Japanese learners. Japanese students must learn about 1,945 Kanji. This still seems too big a number for those studying Japanese.

Kanji is often used to write nouns, verb roots, and adjective roots.

Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana all follow a general rule for writing called orthographic writing, which is done in the following order:

Write from left to right

Write from top to bottom

Horizontal front and back

Inside – out (closed stroke)

Outside – in (open stroke)

Comma – marks

Between 2 side

Final radial stroke

Why does Japanese have 3 alphabets?

Japanese in general and Japanese alphabet in particular, although there are still limitations, but still has its own creativity. Although ranked as one of the most difficult languages ​​to learn in the world, today, the number of people studying Japanese is still very significant. Japanese increasingly asserted its position, not only stimulating language for children through anime cartoons, but also providing a job advantage for young people.


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