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For Life
2006.06.20(Review of 2001.09.18 edition)

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Today's LessonCATEGORY: 間違えやすいボキャブラリー


  • A hiragana, katakana, or kanji symbol is called a character.

    Be Careful[1]! When we talk about the Japanese writing system in English, we usually use the words “hiragana”, “katakana”, and “kanji” themselves, without translating them. Kanji are also sometimes called “Chinese characters”.

    Be Careful[2]! The three SETS of characters - hiragana, katakana, and kanji - used to write Japanese are usually NOT called “alphabets”, and INDIVIDUAL hiragana, katakana, and kanji characters are usually NOT called “letters”.

    * See the 19 June 2006 WordMaster, “LETTER vs. ALPHABET
  • 日本語のひらがな、カタカナ、漢字などのことは、character といいます。

    注意[1]:日本語の書き言葉について話すときは、普通、“hiragana” “katakana” “kanji” という言葉をそのまま使います。漢字のことは、Chinese character と呼ぶこともあります。

    注意[2]:ひらがな、カタカナ、漢字については、普通、“alphabet” という呼び方はしません。また、ひらがな、カタカナ、漢字の個々の文字は普通、letter とは言いません。

    * 2006/06/19のWordMaster “LETTER vs. ALPHABET” 参照


  1. When learning hiragana, it's easy to confuse the characters れ and ね.
  2. a: We've just started learning how to write katakana in my Japanese class.
    b: What's “katakana”?
    a: It's one of the three sets of characters used to write the Japanese language.
  3. Many children's books in Japan are written in hiragana because small children usually can't read the more difficult Chinese characters.

英会話レッスンTake care!