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Should people use Romaji?


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I only use Romaji / Romanji when reading off lyrics. Haha. That way, I could read it faster. But then again, when it comes to studying and learning, of course, we should minimize (if not avoid) using Romaji. What's the use of learning Hiragana / Katakana when you'll use Romaji more often?

But yeah, I agree with most of the people here, it is good in the beginning. But never rely on it. It's like cheating. Haha

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  • 2 months later...
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I find romaji to be useful at times, when I'm uncertain if I read the hiragana/katakan right. But I do think it's bad to rely completely on the romaji. As soon as you know the hiragana and katakana, you should use/take use of the romaji as little as possible.

Relying too much on romaji will probably slow down your learning, I mean, how quick you will be able to become fluent in reading the syllables that is.

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I agree with most of the responses, romaji is good when you're starting, but you should drop it when you can.

The only thing helpflu in romaji that is missing from kana and kanji are spaces, those are usually very helpful (especially in ling sentences xD ).

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I used to use romaji when learning the lyrics of an anime song. I also used that when I started seriously studying Japanese. However, as soon as I had memorized hiragana, I stopped using romaji, since it kind of slowed me down when it comes to pronunciation. I used audio files instead, to know the proper way to pronounce the characters, since I think romaji tends to be more English.

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Romaji is easier to understand for folk who do not speak too much japanese and that are begininers.  Japan has 3 diffrent writtings and its really hard to learn them all quickly.  I myself is full japanese but I only know Hiragana and katakana is hard and well kanji is just impossible!

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I made an effort to stop using Romaji pretty quickly. Hiragana and katakana readings become natural to you very swiftly if you stay away from the English characters. You should be able to think about words and kanji in terms of those, not in terms of an alphabet in another language.

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I believe Romaji is very helpful, especially when you are still a beginner. Learning a completely unfamiliar script is not that easy and practicing both ways can be very helpful (Romaji-Hiragana and Hiragana-Romaji). I am still learning Hiragana and Romaji helps me a lot, especially the exercise I'd already mentioned. Sometimes you can't immediately remember what a certain symbol means, and having it written in Romaji helps.

Besides, that's a universally accepted way of transliteration - transliteration is very important and it's a part of your knowledge about a certain language. That's simply something you must know. When we were learning Attic Greek a few years back, we had transliteration exercises which were also a part of the tests. Of course you don't write in Latin script when you're doing the rest of the test, you use Alphabet, but still, knowing how to transliterate a word or a sentence is important.

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Romaji is usfel until you learn Hiragana and Katakana. Once you learn those, it should be dropped. And when learning Japanese, you should be learning those two in your first week or two, so romaji really has little use in your language journey. See, romaji wasn't created for language learners. It was created for people who didn't want to learn their language (e.g Businessmen, Travelers, some Linguists) but still be able to use it effectively.

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I still use romaji on occasion, but now that I am learning hiragana, I'll be using that more often.  This is not to say that romaji will lose its usefulness, but rather it will have to take a back seat in favor of hiragana and katakana.

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