Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Two nights ago, my darling MP gave me a copy of Japanese Katakana (the Japanese Alphabet), the characters derived from the traditional Kanji. Kanji is the writing system of Chinese Characters introduced during the Han Dynasty, which are translated to romanized writing called Romaji. The chart is really fascinating, although at a first glance you will find it difficult to differentiate a character from the other. Good thing the Romaji or the roman letters beside the Katakana and Kanji based on how they are pronounced were provided.

Why the interest for Japanese? Well, we started contemplating on living in Japan when I had a strange vision about it last week. It was not far-fetched since my husband who is working for a Japanese company already had a good number of visits to Tokyo for work-related purposes. I do not believe in coincidence or luck because I am certain that everything in the life of a Christ-believer happens for a divine purpose. No definite plans or moves yet; just a vision and my hubby's Japanese 1 class resources. His company encourages its employees to study the language for their possible out-of-country assignments particularly in Nippon-kokku. Thus, giving them language class scholarship. I really think that his Jap1 class was not a coincidence.

He described this island country as truly blessed with natural beauty, ideal climate, rich cultural and culinary heritage, and keen sense of order. The air is clean and crisp. The streets are spotless. The buildings are symmetrical. The office people are disciplined to its core reflected in their work ethics. He said they do not move around for chikas (short talks) or take a break before the official break time. What a contrast to most of the corporate people in our big cities. These are a few of the things he cherish about the Land of the Rising Sun. But for me, few bars of their dark chocolates with any nuts is enough reason to want a Jap experience.

Before I get into another round of yada-yada about this country's finest, I would like to zero in to its writing systems: the Romanji and Katakana. These particular systems unlike Kanji and Hiragana are used for non-Japanese terms or loan-words. They represent 48 basic syllables and 71 diacritics or combinations of syllables from the basic characters.

romanji, katakana, kanji

Variations represented by diacritics or combinations of syllables

It is interesting to know that they have developed many ways of writing any English term/name using the closest syllable pronunciation available in their Alphabet. Below is my Romaji name.

Colored Heart = Ko-ru-do Ha-ru-tsu
[look at the chart for its Kanji and Katakana

Interesting, huh? My next attempt would be to write it in characters, then to be able to post it on this site's heading. Help? Anybody?
By the way, Japanese language does not have "L". Can you guess what syllable combination to use in writing the word LOVE [] in Romaji?CH

3 chimed in:

peejay said...

weeee!!!! sana sana matuloy ang japan niyo. promise, we will visit you there palagi. i love japan kasi. =)

RoseLLe said...

wow! kasama nyo kami dyan sa panalangin.

jsharene said...

it's fun learning another language, isn't it? i self-studied hangul (korean) years ago (you know why, hehehe)...and even though i couldn't understand some of the words, i can now read and write (my korean friends were really excited)...i am praying for you guys! have fun learning the language! :-)

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