Language Center

Fall 2010 Learn to Read Hiragana & Katakana

Mini-Workshops (each workshop): $35
Japan Society members: $28
*For tuition discount, please contact Reiko Sassa at 212-715-1256.

Course Descriptions (PDF)
Registration Form (PDF)

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These mini-workshops offer the beginning student of Japanese the opportunity to master quickly and efficiently the reading of the two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana. It is these two writing systems, in combination with the more complex kanji (ideograms which represent meaning), which constitute the written Japanese language.

Hiragana was developed from the cursive style of kanji in the beginning of the Heian era. Its function is to represent sound rather than meaning, and it is used to write native Japanese words as well as verb inflections, adjectival endings, etc.

Katakana was developed in the Nara period by either simplifying the kanji imported from China or by squaring off its cursive style. It is used to represent foreign names and words imported into the Japanese language, for onomatopoeic and mimetic words, certain slang expressions, telegrams, technical terms, and so forth.

The hiragana and katakana workshops are taught by Ms. Yuko Aizawa, who has taught at the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, Japan and at the Royal Hawaiian Academy in the United States. She has been an instructor at the Toyota Language Center since 1994.

Hiragana Workshop:
Thursday, September 23 6:00-8:00pm

Katakana Workshop:
Friday, September 24 6:00-8:00pm

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