Romaji and its role in nihongo

O romaji it is simply a way of showing how to speak Japanese words using the letters of our alphabet.

As our alphabet is known as the Roman alphabet, this tool became known as romaji, as it is a romanized form of Japanese.

How it works

As a way of romanizing Japanese, the technique of romaji is just transcribing Japanese phonemes with the letters of our alphabet.

For example, the word goodbye in Japanese is written さようなら, but in romaji it is written sayounara or sayoonara (more faithful to the pronunciation).

Because of romaji, many people search the internet using the word nihongo unaware that she is a romanization of the word 日本語 (in kanji) or にほんご (in hiragana).

This word means Japanese language, Japanese language or simply Japanese.

The advantage of romaji

In my opinion, there don't seem to be many advantages, but the main one is making it easier to read hiragana, katakana and kanji for Japanese students.

Romaji - helps you read kanji and kanas in Japanese language

For students who are not very familiar with Japanese symbols, it helps a lot when reading, pronouncing and recognizing written symbols.

The downside of romaji

Many students fall, as I did, into the mistake of studying using only romaji.

After a long time of studying, I ended up finding out that this is not Japanese and that would end up getting me into a big trouble.

I would learn to speak Japanese, but I would not be able to write or read Japanese texts.

Because of this, many language teachers meet people who can speak the oriental language but cannot read or write.

Some even think that romaji is a Japanese alphabet, but he is not.

It is simply a tool used by language teachers to help students familiarize themselves with the language being studied.


Despite not being very in favor of using it, I believe it is a great tool to promote a closer relationship between students and Japanese.

Also, when used correctly, romaji can become a powerful tool in learning.

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Credits: Photo by Roberto Marquino