Introduction – 4 scripts in Japanese

Welcome to EasyJapaneseE’s JLPT N5 preparation course.

I list learning materials here in order, please follow the order and learn vocabulary as you go.

Japanese Script

Japanese uses 4 different scripts. They are:

  • ひらがな(Hiragana) – the first set of phonetic alphabet children learn in Japan. In a normal Japanese sentence, all sounds that cannot be written in Katakana or Kanji (i.e. particles, conjugation, etc.) are written in Hiragana.
  • カタカナ(Katakana) – the second set of phonetic alphabet. In a normal Japanese sentence, Katakana is preliminarily used to write originally foreign words in Japanese. That’s why all foreign people’s names (except for those which have kanji writing) are written in Katakana.
  • 漢字かんじ(Kanji) – Chinese characters. Each character has some meaning(s) and most of these meanings are common with the Chinese language (but not all though). There is a list of about 2000 kanji characters designated for everyday use (常用漢字/じょうようかんじ/jouyou_kanji).
  • ローマ字(Ro-maji) – Japanese words written in the English alphabet. Roomaji is not usually visible in a normal Japanese sentence but many computer users use “Roomaji Input” method on a keyboard with the English alphabet. When you enable “roomaji input” on your computer and if you hit the letter “a”, your computer will automatically convert that to あ.

In JLPT N5 exams, candidates are expected to know all of the Hiragana and Katakana alphabets as well as about 100 Kanji characters, which is listed in my JLPT N5 Kanji page. For each set, I have a Moodle course. Please use them and learn Hiragana and Katakana concurrently together with Lessons 1 to 3 of this course. Up to Lesson 3, I will provide phonetic guide for all hiragana words, but Lesson 4 onwards, no Roomaji transliteration will be provided.


Moodle link: Hiragana Learning Modules


Moodle Link: Katakana Learning Modules

Kanji Moodle Link: JLPT N5 Kanji Modules

Course: JLPT N5