Why is katakana not pronounced katagana

The most important words for a trip to Japan

Some history

The archipelago has been inhabited by peoples who speak Japanese since 40,000 BC. From the 4th century onwards, the need to transmit the Buddha's teachings from China forced the Japanese to develop a script. So they decide to use Chinese characters, which explains why kanji (Chinese ideograms) can still be found in the language today.

Later, during the Heian period (794-1185), the Hiragana and Katakana introduced. The use of these two syllabars continues to develop today. The first is now used for words of Japanese origin, while the other is used for foreign words. It can be both proper names and objects that did not exist in Japan before they were imported from abroad, such as elevator ((elebeîta from the English "elevator") and refrigerator (fulîza from the English "freezer").

So Japanese is a mix of hiragana,katakana andkanji. When you look at the different kanas knows, you can already read a lot on site. However, to be able to talk to locals or the kanji To be able to decipher, a German-speaking guide will make sense!

Last but not least, the letters we use will romanji called. Much important information (traffic signs, subway stations) is in Japanese and in romaji marked.


This is roughly the same as in Germanyexcept that "u" is not pronounced at the end of a word. "r" is pronounced like an "l" and "h" can sometimes be pronounced as "w". When the Japanese speak English, you tend to be very articulate. This is normal, because their syllabar is designed in such a way that, apart from the "n", no two consonants can be pronounced one after the other and no letter can be mute. They therefore regularly add unnecessary vowels to their sentences.

For example, a simple "Good morning" becomes "gutto moluningu". This confuses you at first, but you get used to it!

Have a German-speaking guide

A journey through a country with so many sights that are so different from ours is not so easy. A local supplier will help you create a dream trip to Japan depending on what you want. He can also organize a German-speaking guide for you, who will make sure that you do not miss any sight that an inexperienced traveler might not notice.

If you are accompanied by a German-speaking guide, you have above all the opportunity to exchange ideas with someone who on the one hand knows the western and eastern culture. A person who likes to share their love for the country and their knowledge with you.

Even if the language problems (and the poor English skills of the Japanese) are somehow part of it, it is not wrong to have someone with you who can read Japanese in the restaurant menus, can help with the purchase of train tickets or can assist with exchanging ideas with people.

In addition, with a guide that you hire locally, you can use valuable time that you would otherwise spend organizing for other things, whether before the trip or in the country itself. But above all A German-speaking guide gives you the opportunity to develop a special relationship with Japan and at the same time to preserve your freedom of travel.

Article with Marielle Awad composed.