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Laniii

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Does anyone Know the answer to this? So.. what's the difference between say
か v. カ
ん v. ン
め v. メ
し v. シ
よ v. ヨ
あ v. ア

From what I can tell they all make the same noises (unless there's slight differences I'm not catching) so what the difference, how do you know when to use one instead of the other? I'm very new to Japanese.
 

Laniii

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The ones on the left are hiragana. The ones on the right are katakana. Yes, phonetically they are identical.

Japanese writing system - Wikipedia
So, looking at the article it seems they are interchangable. Like I'll just use かかし because eceryone knows that. But if you put it into a translator, it suggests かかシ instead. Is there a reason for this? Does it matter whether you use Hiragana or katakana? Or is it juju writers preference?
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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What exactly are you trying to do? Knowing that would help us help you better.
 

Laniii

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I guess that would help :/ I'm not really sure exactly, just for writing and spelling in the future, I want to make sure I'm using the correct characters.
 

Majestic

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Yes it matters which letters you use. No it isn't just up to the writer's preference. There are rules for using katakana and hiragana. You have to learn the rules. If the online translator you are using is spitting out random combinations of katakana and hiragana, you'd best find a new online translator.
 
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Also, make sure you have a good reference for learning Japanese. Preferably a textbook; I recommend GENKI.
 

Laniii

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Yeah, I'm just now getting into it. Only about a week. So is learning when to use going to come as I continue to learn? Do you have any online recommendations for learning this?
 

Lothor

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I guess that would help :/ I'm not really sure exactly, just for writing and spelling in the future, I want to make sure I'm using the correct characters.

As a general rule of thumb, katakana words are used for loan words such as ハンバーガー (hamburger) and, of course, foreign names, whereas because you are starting out in Japanese, you will use hiragana for regular Japanese words. So in practice, the question of which set of characters to use doesn't often come up.

As you become more proficient, some of those hiragana will be replaced by kanji, mainly for nouns and the start of verbs, adverbs and adjectives.
 

Laniii

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Thanks! That's kinda what I was looking for!! Appreciate it!
 
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