If your ambition is to learn Japanese you need to begin with Hiragana not Romaji. Romaji script is not Japanese. Don't waste time learning how to read Romaji thinking it will help you learn how to read Japanese. It won't. It is far better to start with Hiragana. rosetta stone japanese Learning Hiragana is worthwhile and will give you a better understanding of Japanese. Studying how to read and write Hiragana will help build your vocabulary and get you on the road to reading Japanese.
Hiragana is primarily used to write out things for which there are no Kanji. Hiragana characters are used for expressing "grammatical" elements such as particles, the endings of adjectives and verbs which show tenses, etc. Kanji are used for expressing "meaningful" elements such as nouns and stems of adjectives and verbs. Hiragana is used in conjunction with Kanji. Therefore you should consider Hiragana as the first important step in learning Japanese.
Hiragana is also used when writing out words for which there are Kanji but which do not warrant Kanji to be used, Rosetta Stone Korean such as simple words or sometimes names. It is possible to write entire Japanese sentences in hiragana, but uncommon. Hiragana is found in children's books and also substitutes difficult or old Kanji.
There are 46 hiragana characters for 46 different syllable. Unlike "letters" in the English alphabet Hiragana characters only represent one sound. However, there are more than 46 syllables in Japanese. There are five vowels, and the syllabary is based on these five vowels. You will soon understand this after watching a few video lessons.
Katakana, like Hiragana, is indeed worthwhile rosetta stone chinese learning. Often English native speaking students of Japanese make the mistake of half learning Katakana or skip learning it all together. Making the assumption that you can get by because most Katakana words are English loan words is a big mistake. Rosetta Stone Portuguese If you can't read Katakana you can be sure that you're not pronouncing Katakana words well. If your pronunciation is slightly off you will have trouble being understood.
Learning katakana is not only about "loan words". If Kanji represents the traditional "language culture" of Japanese, then Katakana represents the modern and evolving "language culture".
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Nicholas Kemp is an online educator and speaks and read fluent Japanese http://tjrth66.journalspace.com . After living in Japan for 10 years he returned to Australia and started his own online business. He teaches Japanese with the help of his Japanese wife and has produced several multimedia rich products he help people read and speak Japanese.