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Hiragana & Katakana...

Tomii515

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i got o book and i teaches you all the letters in hirangana & katakana...hirangana is for particles and grammer stuff like verbs and blah blah blah....katakana is for your name and...uhh somethign else, im not sure. can someone tell me. anyways...can you have conversation just using the 2 or doo you also have to use kanji? and how do you use the sybols for japanese?
 

godppgo

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When you say conversation do you mean oral conversation or written conversation? For writing, you don't HAVE to use Kanji but it will look really awkward on appearance.
 

Luthien Rogue

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Hi Tomii, welcome to the Forum. 🙂

This site will answer your questions about the Japanese writing system: Link. It also answers your question in the other Thread you posted.

There are many other sites you can find by searching Google.

As for typing in Japanese (assuming you have Windows): Link.
 

Buntaro

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Tomii,
Hiragana is used for Japanese words in Japanese. Katakana is used for "borrowed words", that is, words brought in from English (and elsewhere) such as escalator, elevator, etc. As you have noted, most foreign students learning Japanese write their names in katakana, as their names come from a foreign language.

" ... can you have conversation just using the 2 or doo you also have to use kanji?"

--> As Godppgo stated, in conversations, we speak, we do not write, so characters are not used in speech. For example, if you want to use the word for "study" in a conversation, just say "benkyou suru", do not worry if it is written in hiragana or kanji.

" ... and how do you use the sybols for japanese?"

--> Can you be more specific?
 

nice gaijin

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I think tomii means "how can I input asian characters on my computer?"

hiragana and katakana are phoenetic alphabets. Technically you could have a written conversation only using them, but there will be no actual "meaning" behind the words unless your partner recognizes the sounds and can assign meaning to them. while you can still technically communicate, there are many examples of sentences that are written the same way in hiragana/katakana, but their meaning is ambiguous until you add kanji. This is not a big deal for beginners, but yes, kanji is also important to learn to expand your vocabulary and overall command of the language.
 
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