Thursday, October 22, 2015

New Font Lets Anyone Learn Japanese

This is very clever. Amazing it hadn’t been thought of before.

New font lets anyone learn Japanese “A U.K. company named Johnson Banks has come with an ingenious way to include English pronunciation in Japanese katakana characters. The company has dubbed this new font cleverly as ‘Phonetikana,’ where each katakana character featured a few English letters to help English speakers say the word properly.”


Note that Kanji is stolen from the Chinese and a glyph is basically a word. But Katakana is also commonly used in Japan and is an alphabet. Hiragana is another alphabet they use typically for foreign (non-Japanese) words. We English speakers have it easy with just one alphabet. I found once I saw Katakana I could better pronounce Japanese transliteration because I realized they have the five vowels and then all the other letters are a combination of a consonant and a vowel (e.g., ka, ki, ku, ke, ko). So when you have a word like Katakana it become obvious that it’s pronounced: ka-ta-ka-na or sumimasen is su-mi-ma-sen.

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