Japanese Language Classes

The modern Japanese writing system combines logographic kanji (adopted Chinese characters) and syllabic kana. Kana is made up of two syllabaries: hiragana, which is mostly used for native or naturalized Japanese words and grammatical elements, and katakana, which is mostly used for foreign words and names, loanwords, onomatopoeia, scientific names, and sometimes for emphasis. Almost every written Japanese sentence includes a combination of kanji and kana. Because of this mix of scripts, as well as a large inventory of kanji characters, the Japanese writing system is regarded as one of the most complicated currently in use.