Towards the end of the 11th century, the runic alphabet met competition from the introduced Latin alphabetbut instead of being replaced, the runes continued to be used for writing in the native Old Norse language. The Latin alphabet, on the other hand, was mainly used by the clergy for writing in Latin, but also Latin prayers could be written down with runes. Whereas the Latin letters were written with quill and ink on expensive parchmentthe runes were carved with sharp objects on prepared wood staffs that were cheaper  see e.
In addition to the seemingless infinite number of kanjior Chinese characters, Japanese uses two sets of phonic characters called hiragana and katakana. Kanji of the Year - Kita" During the Heian Periodpoetry written by aristocratic ladies used kanji then referred to as Manyogana to express the Japanese language.
Over time, these ladies developed a simpler and more fluid style of writing which became known as onnade woman's hand and later as hiragana. This form of writing gained full acceptance in the early 10th century when it was used to write the Imperial anthology of waka Japanese verse known as the Kokin Wakashu.
Katakana were developed as a way of phonetically writing Chinese Buddhist texts and were standardized in the 10th century. Anthologies of waka were written in katakana from this time. These days, romaji roman letters and English words can be seen quite often.
Hiragana are cursive characters usually used with kanji to add inflectional endings or other suffixes such as to conjugate verbs and create adjectives ; as a replacement or supplement for kanji which are difficult to read particularly for children ; for grammatical particles and function words; or simply for visual or graphic effect.
See examples below The non-cursive katakana are used to write loan words from other languages, especially English; to write onomatapoeic words similar to the use of italics in English ; or for visual or graphic effect. The tables below show the hiragana and katakana alphabets and their romanized syllables.
In each case, the upper left character is the hiragana and the upper right character is the katakana. There are five basic vowel sounds: The other sounds are formed by combining the vowels with various consonants. Table 1 shows the 46 basic kana forms in use today.
Table 2 shows simple compounds formed by adding the kana for 'ya', 'yu' and 'yo' to other kana. Table 3 shows basic kana altered by the addition of two short strokes to make a voiced consonant, such as 'ga' or a circular stroke to make an unvoiced p-like bilabial stop, such as 'pa' to the upper right.
Table 4 is a combination of Tables 2 and 3. Double consonants, such as in the word 'rokku' rock musicare written with a small 'tsu' character between the 'ro' and 'ku' characters. In recent years, as more and more loanwords are introduced to Japanese, new kana symbols are being used to represent the pronunciation of such English letters as v confused with b and f confused with halthough they are not official.That means everyone finally did kanji the same way, and Kanji finally got useful (and ready to make its way to Japan).
Just a quick aside: sadly, this 3, kanji list doesn't last. Smart people learn 10,+ kanji in China, and up to 8, kanji in Japan (where kanji is, thankfully, not used in absolutely everything).
The Japanese had no writing system prior to the introduction of the Chinese one, which was originally used by Chinese people who lived in Japan during the early Christian era.
Later, the educated Japanese used it to write the Chinese language. The modern Japanese writing system is a combination of two character types: logographic kanji, which are adopted Chinese characters, and syllabic kana. Kana itself consists of a pair of syllabaries: hiragana, used for native or naturalised Japanese words and grammatical elements, and katakana, used for foreign words and names, loanwords, onomatopoeia, scientific names, and sometimes for emphasis.
Literacy was highly prized, albeit made difficult by the writing system. Wood block printing had been standard for centuries; after Japanese printers experimented with movable type, but reverted to the wood blocks.
By the s Japan was publishing books a . During the Middle Ages, the CRUSADES were an attempt to regain the Holy Land. D IS FOR DARK AGES The term DARK AGES describes the early Middle Ages in Europe, but they were anything but dark in other parts of the world.
In an alphabet, each character represents a foneme, like in Latin where "p" represents /p/ (in a broad sense, but still remaining the relation character-sound). In a syllabary, each character represents a syllable, so it's quite self-explanatory.