You might think…
“I just want to speak Japanese. I cannot dedicate my time to learn weird Japanese letters!”
Yes, I know. Some learners would like to focus on oral communication. From their point of view, learning Hiragana seems an extra task.
But still, I believe it would be beneficial to learn Hiragana.
Well, here is the list.
1. Hiragana has only 46 letters
Hiragana looks strange scribbles at first sight. You might be overwhelmed.
But don’t worry. It is not so bad.
Have you heard about Kanji? Kanji is our version of Chinese characters. There are more than 2,000 Kanjis we use. Learning Kanji is a huge task, you can imagine.
On the other hand, there are just 46 Hiragana letters. Only a handful.
2. Hiragana is simple to read (because it is phonetic)
You know how difficult to learn English spellings. There are many exceptional spellings. Learning phonics is a big step for all English learners.
Compare to English, Hiragana is SUPER easy. Each Hiragana letter represents one sound (phoneme).
It means, once you learn Hiragana, you can read everything! What a good news, isn’t it?
3. Hiragana improves your speaking and listening skills
As each Hiragana represents one phoneme, each letter works as a visual clue of each phoneme. You can learn each sound with seeing and hearing. It will be helpful for you to pronounce Japanese correctly.
Also, once you get the whole picture of all Japanese sounds, you will catch the words better when you listen to Japanese. Your ears will get used to the Japanese sound quickly.
4. Hiragana is a first step of Japanese reading
All Japanese kids learn Hiragana at the first stage of reading. Reading Hiragana is the basic skill for reading.
Because Hiragana will help you read Kanji. When you learn Kanji, you will find small Hiragana put alongside Kanji as a guide to pronunciation.
All Japanese kids learn Kanji in this way, so you will do!
5. Hiragana is eye-catching (in other words, you can show off)
Your family or friends would see you read or write some scrawls.
And they would know they are letters in the strange language called Japanese.
What do you think their reaction would be?
Hiragana looks completely different from any letters in the other languages. Everyone can see your special ability.It attracts attention. Yes, you deserve it!
6. Hiragana indicates your Japanese learning quality
These days, many people are interested in Japanese culture, from Judo to Anime. Some of them pick up some Japanese expressions like “arigato” or “sayonara”. They would like to learn the language more someday.
Learning Hiragana shows you are different from other want-to-be-learners. You are considered that you have learned Japanese seriously.
Everybody, especially Japanese people will appreciate your effort.
7. Hiragana boosts your self-confidence
When you learn foreign language, you might be frustrated sometimes.
You might not be sure how much you have progressed.
You would doubt your ability to learn.
Reading Hiragana helps visualizing your progress.
When you started learning Japanese, you didn’t read it at all. After learning Hiragana, you will be able to read it.
It is a distinctive step. You can feel your achievement clearly.
You will be self-confident.
8. Hiragana is the door of real Japanese Culture
If you go to Japan, you may find many Romaji, the letters of the Roman alphabet. Romaji represents Japanese sounds. It is easy for foreigners to read Japanese.
But soon you will realize Romaji is not used in normal Japanese scripts. No. Not at all.
Romaji is for foreign tourists, in other words, for outsiders. Even though you can read Romaji, you will not go inside.
To start learning Hiragana is like knocking on the door of Japanese culture. Once it opens, you will step inside to explore in-depth.
It will be exciting and fun! That’s the reason why you have decided to learn Japanese, isn’t it?
And, I would like to tell you, your dedication will be appreciated by many Japanese people.
Learning Hiragana is cool, fun and enjoyable.
Are you ready to start?
Let’s learn together!
Hiragana Learning Course contents
8 Reasons why you should learn Hiragana (this post)
More Hiragana Letters – Dakuon and Handakuon
Some More Hiragana Letters – Long Vowels and Small “っ”
- Happy New Year, 2023! - 2023-01-01
- How to say New Year’s resolution in Japanese - 2022-12-31
- Japanese New Year Food “Osechi ryoori おせち料理” - 2022-12-30