How Many Letters Are In The Japanese Alphabet

How Many Letters Are In The Japanese Alphabet

‍The Japanese language is fascinating, with its own set of characters that appear very different from English speakers. It’s also challenging, with many words having no direct translation as they are combined differently to create a new meaning. Even so, the Japanese alphabet isn’t that different from English and contains fewer letters than you might think. There are only hiragana, katakana, and around 40 other special characters called kanji which make up the Japanese alphabet. But how many letters are in the Japanese alphabet? Let’s take a closer look at this interesting Asian language.

How Many Letters Are In The Japanese Alphabet?

The Japanese language uses three writing systems: kanji (Chinese characters), hiragana (phonetic scripts), and katakana (phonetic scripts). There are 46 letters in the modern Japanese alphabet. Hiragana is used for native words, and sliding kanji. Katakana is used for foreign words and loanwords, also spelling out words in hiragana or kanji (called okurigana) is a word processing practice in Japanese to make many small changes to a piece of writing

Why You Should Learn The Japanese Alphabet?

You’ll be able to read signs and menus

This is one of the most important reasons to learn the Japanese alphabet. You’ll be able to read signs and menus at restaurants and stores, which is extremely helpful when traveling to Japan. It’s also common for Japanese students to exchange letters with pen pals from other parts of the world, so you can use your new language skills to write to a friend in Japan.

You’ll be able to communicate with locals

Being able to communicate with the locals will help you to better understand the culture. This can be a challenge without language skills, so learning the alphabet will give you a better chance of truly enjoying the experience. You can communicate with the locals in a variety of different ways – you can exchange pleasantries with people, ask for directions and even make friends.

You can continue to learn more about Japanese

If you’re interested in learning additional Japanese, you can do so by learning hiragana. This is a Japanese alphabet that’s used to write Japanese words. It will build on what you’ve already learned, so you can continue to expand your knowledge. You can read Japanese literature and newspapers, which will help you to further your language skills.

It’s a great way to practice your math skills

Learning the Japanese alphabet will help you to practice your math skills. The Japanese alphabet uses a numeric system that’s similar to our own. It’s a great way to put your math skills to work as you learn how to read and write Japanese.

You’ll have an easier time mastering the language

Learning the alphabet is the first step toward mastering the language. It will give you a foundation you can build on to continue your studies. This is a good thing, as it will give you an easier time learning the language.

Learn the Kana (Japanese Alphabet) too!

If you’re really committed to learning the language, you’ll want to learn the kana (Japanese alphabet) too. This will give you a head start on learning the language and make it easier to remember what each symbol means. The kana is the hiragana and the katakana – two alphabets used in Japanese writing. The hiragana is the Japanese alphabet used to write Japanese words. And the katakana is used to write foreign words. Hiragana is the Japanese alphabet that’s used to write Japanese words. Katakana is used to write foreign words. Luckily, you can learn both alphabets at the same time. You can find katakana, hiragana, and kanji flashcards online. They’ll make it easier for you to learn both alphabets at once.

How To Learn The Japanese Alphabet? 

Learn the Hiragana and Katakana Together

First things first: make sure you’re learning the hiragana and katakana together. These two alphabets are intertwined, which means that if you don’t start studying them together, you run the risk of getting them mixed up for the rest of your life. While it might seem like a good idea to only start with the hiragana and then move on to the katakana at a later date, it’s actually a better idea to do them both at once. This is because both the hiragana and the katakana have similar shapes and structures. They’re also written in a similar way. Since they’re so closely related, learning them at the same time will help you avoid mixing them up later on.

Watch Anime or Japanese Movies with Closed Captions

If you’re the type of person who learns better when you’re actively engaged in what you’re doing, this one is for you. Watching Japanese movies, television shows, or even anime with closed captions is actually a great way to get a feel for how each of the letters sounds. Besides the fact that you can actively see and hear the letters, this is also an excellent way to learn the kanji as well. Since movies and shows often use the same kanji over and over again, hearing them while you watch will help you connect the letters to their meanings. This works especially well if you’re watching older Japanese movies or shows because they’re likely to use the kanji and kana that are typically found in older books and textbooks. However, if you’re looking to learn more modern or slang words, you might need to find a different resource.

Play Games to Help You Memorize

This one is for the more hands-on learners: If you’re more of a visual learner, or you just want to make the process a little more fun, games are a great way to help you memorize the Japanese alphabet. There are several games out there that focus on the kana, and they’re a great way to make studying more fun. Besides just making it more fun, games are also a great way to make learning more engaging because you’re actively trying to reach the next level or beat the game. As you move through the game, you’ll be actively learning the symbols and helping them to stick in your head. Besides playing games, you can also create your own flashcards or use a tool like the Wani Kani system to make learning even easier.

Write out the Kana in Romanization While You Study

This one is a great way to help you remember the kana while you study: while you’re actively studying the kana, make sure to write them out in romanization as well. This works especially well if you’re studying in a group or with a friend and you can help each other remember. This is especially helpful for the hiragana, which is a little trickier than the katakana to remember. While most of the katakana symbols are just one simple shape, the hiragana has three different shapes (they’re broken up by a small line). So, if you can’t remember one, it can be easy to forget the rest. However, if you write them all out in romanization, you’ll be actively reminding yourself of all the kana at once.

Check Out a Good Game or Tool for Learning Kana

Finally, if you’re looking for a good resource to help you learn the kana, check out one of the many games or tools available online. These are great tools for helping you learn the kana because they’re tailored specifically toward helping you learn these symbols. These websites are also interactive and engaging, which can help you stay interested in the process and make sure you’re actually retaining the information. Besides helping you learn the kana, they can also help you with the kanji. Since these symbols are used so often, if you don’t know them, it can be incredibly challenging to read Japanese. So, if you’re serious about learning Japanese, learning the kana is an essential first step.


Learning the Japanese alphabet takes time, patience, and practice. But don’t let that put you off if you’re keen to learn the language. You don’t have to learn the entire Japanese alphabet at once, and the sooner you start learning, the sooner you’ll be able to read and write Japanese. Japanese is a fascinating language with many incredible nuances that English speakers have to learn to understand. With so many different types of letters, it can be challenging to know where to start. But once you get the basics down, Japanese becomes much more accessible, and you’ll be able to start following along in conversations, watching Japanese films, and reading Japanese books.

Randall Willis

Randall Willis is a news blogger who likes to write about the latest events happening in the world. He is always up for a good debate, and loves to hear people's opinions on current topics. Randall is an avid reader, and loves to learn new things.

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