Japanese: Lesson 6

Now that you know your first 16 Kanji, or chinese characters, you can write the word "Japan" in Kanji instead of the hiragana alphabet. First you write the character for "sun" for the "ni" part, then you write the character for "root" for the "hon" part. So how would you write Japan?


It is pronounced "nihon" but you can’t tell that from looking at the pictures. The pictures tell you the meaning, and you just have to remember how the words they represent are pronounced.

Now you should be able to write the question "Is it from Japan?", writing the "Japan" part in Kanji, and the "from" and "is" parts in Hiragana. The question mark at the end is optional, because the "ka" shows it is a question. If you don’t use a question mark, you need to use a hollow Japanese full stop or period. Please write "Is it from Japan?":

?Is it from Japan?|日本 から です か。

The letter "ha" looks like a person playing a harp. But if you want to write the word "hai", it is spelled H A I or "ha" plus "i". The letter "i" looks like two harps facing each other. Or maybe it is a picture of an Igloo taken from above.

If you were writing a letter to your friend Tom, how would you write "yes, it is from Japan"?

?Yes, it is from Japan.|はい、日本 から だ。

Remembering that in Japanese the "from Japan" part comes before what it describes, how would you say to your friend Tom: "Yes, it is sushi from Japan"?

?Yes, it is sushi from Japan.|Hai, nihon kara sushi da.

And how would you write it?

?Hai, nihon kara sushi da.|はい、日本 から すし だ。

OK, I think that’s enough writing for now!

NOTE: This appears to be the last lesson so far. The course is not marked as finished so there should probably be more lessons in the future. In the meanwhile, you might want to check out some of the other courses we have:

Introduction to Romanian a course of Romanian with 5 lessons produced by Linas
Introduction to Sambahsa-2 a course of Sambahsa with 14 lessons produced by mundialecter
Introduction to Estonian a course of Estonian with 5 lessons produced by Linas

You can also return to the main page of the labs to see all of the courses we have here.