[4] The Structure of Japanese is Simple

You Can Learn Scripts Later

Using Glomaji (Global romaji), which was designed with Japanese learners in mind, there’s no need to learn any scripts before becoming able to communicate orally. Smartphones and PCs are widespread these days. By learning a few rules, you will be able to type the phonetic sound of Japanese with the alphabet so that it can be correctly converted into hiragana, katakana and kanji.

Japanese Pronunciation is So Simple

Japanese basic phonics contain only five vowel sounds. Even when you combine these with its nine consonants, this comes to a total of 45 phonic units. Moreover these do not alter when combined with other letters as they would in English. For instance, an “a” sound in English alters in “have,” take” “talk” and “cat.” In Japanese, the sound of the “a” even when combined with a different consonant, as in “ha” or “ta,” does not change from being equivalent to the “a” of “alligator.”

Characters Match Phonics

In Japanese, each character matches a phonetic sound, and that’s why the “a” sound matches to the hiragana character “あ” and the katakana character “ア.” In English sentences are formed by the relation of words to one another, while in Japanese words and sentences are built up from the characters themselves. In English, the length of a sentence is counted in the number of words it contains, whereas in Japanese this depends on the number of characters it contains.

Word Order is Flexible

Take the sentence: “ashita shibuya he kaimono ni iki masu” (I will go shopping in Shibuya tomorrow). As long as the verb “iki masu” (will go) is placed at the end, you can change the word order to: “shibuya he ashita kaimono ni iki masu,” “kaimono ni shibuya he ashita ikimasu,” and so on. “he” or “ni” complement the previous word, though the sentence is still understandable without them. They are often omitted in casual conversation. Taking the metaphor of a car, they perform a role similar to rear mirrors or indicator lights.

The Key is Understanding the Japanese Mindset

The structure (OS) of English and Japanese are different. This makes it difficult to understand from an English perspective. The secret to mastering Japanese lies in learning about the Japanese mindset, that is their way of thinking. Language changes with the times. That’s why learning the history of the Japanese language is helpful when it comes to understanding Japanese.

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