Really interesting. Just found this out through you. The confusion with this comes from the similarities of "emoji" and "emoticon" where "emo" in the first one is misunderstood as coming from "emotion" as it is in the second.
e (picture) + moji (character).
This explains why most emoji are not faces like emoticons.
Japanese has 4 alphabets. Hiragana is japanese letters making japanese words, For example: dog is inu or いぬ. Katakana is japanese letters making english words, if you wanted to spell out dog or dogu ドグ. Another is romaji, which is just your standard abc's spelling out japanese words like inu. Last is kanji, kanji is the basic 'this symbol means this word' type of alphabet. So for inu (romaji) and いぬ(hirugana) the kanji is 犬. I would suggest getting a flash card app to memorize hirugana first, then katakana before you work on an app like duolingo for learning conversational japanese. It makes life WAAYYY easier. Best of luck!
ありがとう is "arigatou", or "thank you".
It means Thank you in Japanese. It's in Hiragana (Thank goodness). It's one of the words you will most likely need if you ever try talking in Japanese. Also, to get better at recognizing Hiragana, Katakana and/or Kanji, it's a good idea to try to drill the Kana everyday to get better with your memorization.
あ = A り = Ri が = Ga と = To う = (U)
Actually, I don't know what no one talked about this, but sometimes even native Japanese words are written in katakana either because it's too hard/cumbersome to write it or it's easier to distinguish when written very small and when it's intended to be able to be read by small children as well such as on signs like "danger, bear ahead" etc.
Very true. You'll oftentimes see full signs or even advertisements written entirely in Katakana, but that's more so just to draw peoples' attention. One thing that is a little important to know is the reason for using Kanji instead of kana (hiragana and katakana) for the vast majority of writing: If everything was written in kana, you would have no way to distinguish between words that have the same kana spelling, but are very different in meaning. To bring up a great example used farther up, the differences between かみ(神), かみ(髪), and かみ(紙). If I were to use the following statement, it would be unclear and confusing. わたしはかみをきました。 I either just said "I cut the God," "I wore the hair," or "I cut the hair (or paper)." If you instead used kanji, it would clear this up directly: 私は髪を切りました。I cut the hair.
Hope that makes sense.
Japanese doesn't really have tones. Just as in English, we're perfectly capable of hearing the difference between "I want two", "I want to", and "I want, too", especially because there is always the context in which the sentences are spoken. Nothing is ever blurted out in a vacuum.
I don't know why this comment got so many downvotes. Some Japanese words, though not foreign, are written in Katakana for emphasis or coolness. But this is not appropriate in general articles, you usually see them on commercial ads, animes, or comics. This is kind of like English words written in all capatalized letters.
I don't understand why this is down voted so much. It's true. In some signs and other things Japanese will choose to use katakana instead because it looks cool. In the same way that my host family thought it was prettier to get my name in hiragana rather than katakana on my souvenir from Tokyo tower. The different alphabets have their specific uses, but occasionally, in casual uses, you will see the alphabet swapped from what it should be.
I don't want to be that person on the internet that says you're wrong. But you're wrong. I also lived in Japan for a while and I know I've seen katakana used loosely for Japanese words.
It's not just manga.
Sometimes I look for the translation of some words, writting them in hiragana, and the translator gives me a mix of hiragana,kanji and (katana?). I'd like more explanations about it on the app when it's not on beta anymore, or even earlier, but what we have now is helping me a lot.
Katakana is normally used to write foreign loan words. Every english word, like emoji, will be commonly written in Katakana on most texts in japanese.
Hiragana is used to write Japanese words and particles (if you don't know what a particle is don't worry, you'll learn later on).
Kanji is used to write almost every word in japanese.
You can write a text in Japanese using only hiragana or katakana, but the text will be hard to read. The reason for that is cause Japanese does not contain spaces between words, like we have in English. So in order to know where a word ends, people alternate the writting styles since they are so visually distinctive.
Look, here's a sentence written entirely in Hiragana: わたしのなまえはがぶりえるです
Here's the same sentence written in Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, alternating the systems: 私の名前はガブリエルです
You see, the first sentence looks like a huge single word. But on the second one, you can spot where a word ends by noticing the writting swap.
You will almost always use じ and not ぢ, though there are a few instances where ぢ is used. They are not interchangeable. The reason for their similar pronunciation is due to how the language has evolved over time. Way back in the history of Japan, し was pronounced "si," ち was pronounced "ti," つ was pronounced "tu," and じ, ぢ, and づ were pronounced "zi," "di," and "du" respectively. These changed over time and became し (shi), じ (ji, pronounced similar to a French j), ち (chi, pronounced somewhere between tsi and chi) ぢ (ji, pronounced as a j is in English, or a hard じ) つ (tsu), and づ (dzu). Nowadays, many do not make the distinction between じ and ぢ, though some still do. Many books will still teach づ as dzu, though some will state it as being zu. The differences between all of these are minor, though it may still be worth your time to learn them.
Hunh. My college Japanese professor, who is Japanese and speaks Japanese natively, always called it "ten-ten", and our textbook Genki always called it "ten-ten".
This is what is good about the comments section here. You learn more (and sometimes better) than what you're taught in school. I also recently learned here on Duolingo that the two different words for "soup" in French were taught to me throughout my entire schooling completely backwards.
This page lays it all out:
Because of stress accents, English tends to pronounce Japanese words differently like how English say SUshi, Japanese pronunciation by comparison would sound like sishi (though it's sushi without stress). Also Konnichiwa has two n's but English only pronounce with one like kinichiwa instead of koNNichiwa.
I understand there's some confusion about people thinking it should be in katakana (thinking it is a non-Chinese foreign loanword), but it should have kanji so we understand what it is. Over-reliance on hiragana muddles the language, it does not clarify.
I understand some sections are introducing hiragana, but when vocabulary has not been introduced, "transcribe" would be better than "translate".
I am! :) Been using WaniKani for kanji and KameSame for more vocab. But I'm finding so far that using Duolingo regularly has been starting to break me of some bad habits (like using ある for everything instead of using いる when I should) and instill some better ones (like using は for negative phrases as a contrast marker). So even if I'm occasionally complaining about what English it does and doesn't take, I'm still getting a lot out of it!
えもじ is exactly what "emoji" is.