I'm mostly a self-learner, i have never learned anything from taking courses or educational institutions. But instead, i have always managed to figure out "how to learn things" by either asking or researching and then i do the rest on my own.

From what i have read so far about learning japanese, i figured it would be a bad idea to waste time learning things too early or too late or even learn things that i don't understand quite right.

So, my actual question is,

What exactly is japanese? Was it originated from another language? What does it consist of, entirely?

What is kana? I know it is a modern thing which means that you can learn the language without it, right! So why should i do learn it? What are other forms like it? And what are they used for?

  • 5
    1) It's a language. 2) No, it's an isolate. 3) Words. 4) Two syllabaries for writing Japanese. 5) If you consider the 9th century modern, sure. 6) Because it's part of the language. 7) I have no idea what you are asking here. 8) Everything that is not kanji. 9) You really should find a course to enrol to.
    – oals
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 19:55
  • 1
    You cannot learn the language without kana. Kana is a main part of the Japanese writing system. You can, perhaps, listen and speak Japanese without them, but you definitely cannot read or write Japanese without knowing Kana. Also, although kana is not directly used in listening and speaking, knowing it will actually make it easier for you to master it.
    – Pedro A
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


I'd suggest reading the introduction of Tae Kim' Guide to Japanese.: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/introduction

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