How To Write Japanese Letters

The Japanese language is far removed from everything that a native English speaker would be used to, but thanks to the many exports that Japan has offered throughout the years, like Pokemon, anime and even Japanese music, the language has gained a larger following. And while knowing Japanese doesn't really allow much use other than using it on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka, understanding it opens one up to a whole subculture of technology, gaming, animation, television, literature and music. To someone who truly wants something offbeat, learning how to write in Japanese could be a good start.

The Japanese alphabet in freehand

The Japanese alphabet is called hiragana. There are 48 characters in the original version of this alphabet. The sounds in the Japanese language have a corresponding Japanese character. Here are the original 48 sounds along with the characters in the Japanese language:

  • a あ
  • ka か
  • sa さ
  • ta た
  • na な
  • i い
  • ki き
  • shi し
  • chi ち
  • ni に
  • u う
  • ku く
  • su す
  • tsu つ
  • nu ぬ
  • e え
  • ke け
  • se せ
  • te て
  • ne ね
  • ko こ
  • so そ
  • to と
  • no の
  • ha は
  • ma ま
  • ya や
  • ra ら
  • wa わ
  • hi ひ
  • mi み
  • ri り
  • wi ゐ
  • fu ふ
  • mu む
  • yu ゆ
  • ru る
  • n ん
  • he へ
  • me め
  • re れ
  • we ゑ
  • ho ほ
  • mo も
  • yo よ
  • ro ろ
  • wo を

Typing in Japanese using your computer keyboard

If you're using Windows, you may also tweak your computer's settings to enable you to type in the Japanese language. You may do this by following these simple steps:

  1. Click the start button and go to the control panel.
  2. Under the control panel, locate the keyboard settings tab.
  3. Select language and find the "Japanese" option on the drop down list of choices. Click it and watch as the option to use Japanese characters is activated. Windows would then give you a short walkthrough on how this option can be used.
  4. You may also toggle your keyboard from the Japanese version to the standard issue English keyboard at your own convenience.

Getting a custom keyboard

There are also specialty keyboards that have Japanese keys instead of the usual English letters. Using this keyboard can, of course, be a lot more convenient because you won't have to work through a translator.  If you're really an expert in the Japanese language, you may also purchase some software in Japanese that could most definitely streamline your typing towards a more Japanese direction.

There are plenty of options to make your keyboard and computer more Japanese friendly. Whether you're trying to type a document in Japanese or making your business more in synch with the Japanese market, learning about how you can type Japanese letters can certainly go a long way.


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