The Japanese alphabet – Part 1

The Japanese alphabet has, in fact, three different types of writing: the katakana, the hiragana and the kanji.

The hiragana consists of 46 syllables and is used on a daily basis to replace the words that are not commonly written with kanji. However, any Japanese word can be written using hiragana. Therefore, this is the first alphabet learned by children and is used in children’s books, since they know fewer kanjis. Hiragana is also used to write particles, endings of verbs and adjectives.

Hiragana table. Image from:

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