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Japanese Simplified

Updated on September 23, 2015

Japanese ways of writing

1. Romaji - Japanese writing represented in English characters.

2. Hiragana - Japanese writing used everyday and used to congregate Kanji.

3. Katakana - Japanese writing used for borrowed or foreign words.

4. Kanji - Derived from Chinese characters of writing.

English Vowels Vs. Japanese Vowels (Booin)

a e i o u = English

a i u e o = Japanese

Consonants (Shiin)

( ) How you pronounce

Ka Sa Ta Na Ha Ma Ya Ra Wa N

Ki Si (shi) Ti (chi) Ni Hi Mi I Ri I

Ku Su Tu (tsu) Nu Hu (fu) Mu Yu Ru u

Ke Se The Ne He Me e Re e

Ko So To No Ho Mo Yo Ro Wo

Syllabry (Gojuuonzu) Part 1

Ga Za Da Ba Pa

Gi Zi(ji) Di Bi Pi

Gu Zu Du Bu Pu

Ge Ze De Be Pe

Go Zo Do Bo Po

Syllabry (Gojuuonzu) Part 2

Kya Gya Sha Hya

Kyu Gyu Shu Hyu

Kyo Gyo Sho Hyo

Mya Rya Nya Bya

Myu Ryu Nyu Byu

Myo Ryo Nyo Byo

Pya Ja Cha

Pyu Ju Chu

Pyo Jo Cho

Devoiced Vowels ( Booin Nuseika )


Suki (pronounced as ski ) = Like

Kite (pronounced as kte ) = come

Long Vowels ( Chooboin, Nagaiboin )

aa ii uu ee ou/ou => May also be interpreted as double vowels


Okaasan = Mother

Otoosan = Father

Foutou = Envelope

Toori = Street

Suuji = Numeral

Oneesan = Sister

Oniisan = Brother

Biiru = Beer

Double Consonants ( Sokuon )

Note: N, before m, p, or b pronuounced as m as in my as in the Japanese word "Shinbun" meaning newspaper in English is pronounced as Shimbun.

N, before n, t, d, and z is pronounced as n as night as in the Japanese word Honda.

N, before k and g at the end of the word pronounced like ng as in King as in the Japanese word manga meaning comic book in English.

Personal Pronouns ( Ninshou Daimeishi )

Watashi = I

Anata = You

Kare = He

Kanojo = She

Watashi tachi / Ware ware (mostly by businessmen usage) = We

Possessive Pronouns

Watashino (Male) Watakushino (Female) = My, Mine

Anata no = Your

Kare no = His

Kanojo no = Hers

Watashitachi no / Ware ware no = Ours

Kanojo tachi = They (Female)

Kanojo tachi no = Their (Female)

Kare tachi / Karera = They (Male)

Kare tachi no / Karera no = Their (Male)

Note: Ra & Tachi here is the same

Informal Personal Pronouns

Boku (male mostly used by boys) = I

Ore (male) = I

Kimi = You (male)

Omae =You (male)

Mr./Ms./Mrs. = San, Sama

San,Sama is an honorific suffix used after a personal name, irrespective of gender (sex) san, sama should never be used after one's own name since this suffix is a mark of respect. Although Sama here by comparison is more honorific.


Tanaka San/Sama = Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. Tanaka

Note: San is also used or placed with regards to mountain names example is Fujisan

PARTICLES (Fuhenkashi) (Joshi)

It shows the relationship of a word, a phrase or a clause

WA = it has no English equivalent and shows that the topic preceding word or words are the topic of the sentence.

Example (Reibun)

I am a student.

Watashi wa gakusei desu.

She is mine.

Kanojo wa watashino desu.

* to the rest of the sentence. Post positions

You are my friend.

Anata wa watashino tomodachi desu.

DESU (DES) = this corresponds to the English verb "to be" on what we call as "be verb"

(is, are, was, were etc.,) it is called a copulative verb because it acts as a kind of equal sign.


He is a boy.

Kare wa otoko desu.

She is beautiful.

Kanojo wa kirei desu.


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