About Writing in Japanese

Writing in Japanese (WIJ) is a resource run by me, Khuong Le, to help you pick up and learn how to write in Japanese within a short time and appreciating the culture along your journey.

Visiting the temples and deers in Nara
Visiting the temples and deers in Nara

Who is Khuong Le?

And how does he know about this?

I’m a family guy in my mid-thirties who loves visiting Japan, eating the food and experiencing the culture and traditions. I am able to speak the basics of the language from watching anime during my university days, communicating with friends and family and more recently from online resources and books.

For a long time, learning to write and read in Japanese was never really a thing for me until I decided it may be the best way to help progress my speaking as I couldn’t move past a certain slump. The kinda slump where you’re feeling super motivated to learn, then you spend a short amount of time on it and end up stopping the process altogether.

When I started learning and writing the Japanese characters, I started seeing the progression and results. Even when it was only a humble result of my writing, reading or speaking, and therefore I felt inspired, focused and determined to keep learning.

How Writing in Japanese began

When I started looking into learning how to write in Japanese, I felt overwhelmed with the amount of new and unfamiliar characters that I had to learn. One of my limiting belief was ‘I’m too old for this’ but knew I wanted to prove myself wrong.

I decided to finally started setting aside some time first thing in the morning to focus on learning and being consistent with the process. I worked through a lot of different online resources and discovered what works and what didn’t work for me.

As a result I have managed to learn how to write Hiragana and Katakana in a short period of time and consequently with my knowledge and experience, I want to share, inspire and help others who are in a similar situation as I once was.

Should I learn how to write in Japanese?

If you’re reading this, then you probably have some interest in learning, maybe you’re planning to visit Japan or you just love the Japanese culture.

If visiting Japan is on your agenda, I believe knowing the language will make it more enjoyable by allowing you to communicate with the local people, understand their culture, broaden your way of thinking and being able to select your desired ramen from a vending machine that only has Japanese words!

Even if you don’t plan on visiting Japan, being able to read your favorite manga or your local Japanese restaurant menu is a wonderful feeling. Learning how to write the language will help you appreciate the culture and history and in return, the culture will help you understand the language better. It will also make learning how to speak the language much easier.

Ramen vending machine
What one should I pick?
Yotsuba&! (よつばと! Yotsuba to!)
Yotsuba&! (よつばと! Yotsuba to!)

Japanese Language

What is Hiragana and Katakana?

The Japanese language is written using a combination of four alphabets.

The first and most common writing system is Hiragana. This is the first alphabet Japanese children learn at school. An example hiragana for the word Sushi is すし

fuji den hiragana
Hiragana example: Fujiden - ふじでん

A second writing system is KatakanaIt is used to repeat words that were borrowed from other countries. An example katakana for the word Ice coffee is アイス・コフィー

moren do pane katakana example
Katakana example: Moren do pane メロン・ド・パネ

The third writing system is Kanji, which was brought over to Japan from China more than 1200 years ago and is the most complicated script. An example kanji for the word Japan is 日本

Kanji example: Shinkansen 新幹線
Kanji example: Shinkansen 新幹線

The last is called romaji and is not an official script but a sound system which is used to assist foreigners to learn Japanese.
An example romaji for the word Japanese is Nihongo.

I will be focusing on Hiragana and Katakana as it is the simpler two of the three writing systems and it’ll provide the quickest transformation and progression. We will also be using romaji to assist with learning and will touch upon Kanji in the future.

Journey of a thousand mile

Start with the first step

Enough on history for the moment, let's get started shall we?

  1. Check out these posts to help you get started

WIJ exist to guide you on your journey

I created this site for you and I’d love to hear your stories success throughout your Japanese learning journey. Thanks for reading this and I’d love to have you join me and the community of aspiring pupil and linguistic enthusiasts.