Yet another only-in-Japanese headache: All kanji are written as hiragana. . . TO SOME EXTENT. So, should you even bother learning the kanji or not??? Textbooks and dictionaries offer no help to the pressed-for-time student.

For instance kanji words are generally written as hiragana in kids’ books, or simply to emphasize the word (like all-caps in English).

Then there’s words such as 帽子 (hat) or 沢山 (hella) which are written as hiragana about half the time.

Words like 居る (to live) or 可愛い (cute) are usually hiragana unless it’s a really formal (or pretentious!) book.

Words like 馬鹿 (idiot) or 凄い (deeeyamn!) are, inexplicably, usually written as KATAKANA.
Then there are words like 宜しく (yoroshiku= please) or 有難う (arigatou= thanks ) which are never written as kanji anymore – BUUUUT they still carry the pronunciation of the kanji.

Unlike some books or flashcards, I cut these words out so you don’t waste your time.
Furthermore, a lot of the DUPE kanji are written as hiragana, simply because even Japanese people don’t have any fuckin’ idea which kanji to use!!!
And then there are literally hundreds of jukugo where the first kanji is written as kanji but the second kanji is always written as hiragana. Or vice versa. What the hell is up with that? Make up your minds, guys!! (one piece of good news: if a kanji is written as hiragana in one jukugo, it’ll probably be written as kana in all of its jukugo)
Anyway, if a word is usually written in hiragana/katakana, I give it the KANA tag, which means you can skip it.

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