Why do you have Kanji?

question, grammar tip
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Question

Why do you have Kanji? You can write everything, using Hiragana and Katakana, can’t you? Kanji is way too hard to learn. Japanese people should not have Kanji.

Answer

There are a couple of reasons why Kanji is used.

The biggest reason is that it is much easier to read and understand a sentence with Kanji (if you know them) because each Kanji symbol has its own meaning.

Example

  • 私は月曜日に学校で日本語を勉強しました。
  • わたしはげつようびにがっこうでにほんごをべんきょうしました。

Both mean ‘I studied Japanese at school on Monday’.

You can recognise and understand each word very quickly in the first sentence thanks to Kanji.

On the other hand, it is very difficult to do the same thing in the second sentence as it is written all in Hiragana.