I want to start learning to read Japanese (I already know romaji) and I was wondering which writing system would be better to start with. Or should I start all at the same time?

  • I'm not exactly sure why everyone voted to close this as a resources question, since you're not asking about books/programs/websites/whatever. Do note, however, that 'how/what should I study?' questions are also offtopic here.
    – jkerian
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 2:58
  • As mentioned in my link, you might find the site chatroom useful for these sorts of questions.
    – jkerian
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 3:02
  • You must have a reputation of 20 to use the chatroom.
    – sumitani
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


Usually start by hiragana, then katakana. With this you can learn kanji (reading on'yomi form 音読み{おんよみ}, kun'yomi form 訓読み{くんよみ}).

When you get a kanji dictionary you can notice different ways to read the same kanji:

  • on'yomi form 音読み{おんよみ} usually with reading in katakana
  • kun'yomi form 訓読み{くんよみ} usually with reading in hiragana

Here have an example of '行' kanji at wiktionary: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E8%A1%8C

Kun'yomi is 'i-ku' (used as verb)

On'yomi (in website is Kan'on) is 'kou' (found in airplane word: 飛行機{ひこうき} hi-kou-ki)


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