The Japanese Alphabet

The Japanese Alphabet

by Gabriel Mandel
     
 

In the fourth century A.D., through contact with Korea, Japan adopted the Chinesewriting system which had been sweeping through Asia along with the newBuddhist religion. Modern Japanese writing uses three main scripts: kanji (Chineseideograms), which are used for proper names, for nouns, and for verb roots; hiragana(deriving from the terms hira,

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Overview

In the fourth century A.D., through contact with Korea, Japan adopted the Chinesewriting system which had been sweeping through Asia along with the newBuddhist religion. Modern Japanese writing uses three main scripts: kanji (Chineseideograms), which are used for proper names, for nouns, and for verb roots; hiragana(deriving from the terms hira, 'common,' and kana 'borrowed character'),used for adding to and distinguishing from sequences of Japanese grammar; andkatakana (from kata, 'part,' and kana, 'borrowed character' or rather, 'partiallyborrowed character'), which is used to denote foreign pronunciations or to writeterms borrowed from foreign languages.With large depictions and clear step-by-step instructions, Mandel illustrates all48 sounds in Japanese, presented in the traditional iroha order, in hiragana,katakana, and kanji forms, and each entry is accompanied with its roma-ji, orRoman phonetic spelling. The author clearly indicates the correct sequence forwriting the individual strokes, and provides each kana, or character, with theChinese kanji from which it was derived. He relates a concise history of Japanesewriting, and provides the reader with charts of the Japanese and Chinese numbers,the hiragana and katakana contractions, and the'keys' or radicals that make upthe Japanese kanji. A comprehensive guide to all of the characters of the Japanesealphabet, this is an ideal primer for the beginner, as well as a convenient referencefor a more advanced student. Joining Abbeville's Chinese Calligraphy, Maya Script,and Arabic Script, Japanese Alphabet is an exhaustive compendium of the Japanesewriting system and indispensable addition to any Japanese linguist's library.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789209597
Publisher:
Abbeville Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/06/2008
Edition description:
Bilingual edition
Pages:
148
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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