The Japanese Language – Part 2

Posted On Oct 1 2016 by

HIRAGANA             Hiragana was developed in Japan sometime after A.D. 800 as a phonetic language for handwriting and personal documents. They originated as simplified kanji, but compared to the thousands of kanji, there are only forty-six hiragana, each one expressing a different sound. A few markers and combinations of hiragana up the total number of sounds to 104: for instance, “chi” plus a small “ya” makes the sound “cha” . The entire Japanese language can be expressed with these sounds, and so long as hiragana are provided in the text, Japanese speakers always know how a word should be spoken. …