Ignoring kana and studying with romaji instead

The Japanese writing system can feel very intimidating when you’re first starting out. For this reason, a lot of people tend to avoid learning the writing systems as much as possible and instead try to learn using resources that use romaji (Japanese written using the latin alphabet).


  • Literally none.


  • You need to learn how to read eventually, there’s no reason to postpone it for later
  • Romaji can imprint bad pronunciation habits in your head. Some people tend to pronounce sounds incorrectly because they visualize them in their head using the latin alphabet and mimic how they would pronounce them in their language.
  • Most resources that use romaji are sloppy, incorrect, or have very sketchy authors. For this reason, if you stick with romaji you will almost certainly end up using bad resources and your Japanese learning will suffer because of it.

Conclusion: You should really learn hiragana and katakana. They are not as complicated as they look and most people can probably get decent at them in a few weeks. Just practice them a bit every day and you’ll be fine. Actively avoiding romaji as much as possible early on will also make it easier for you to get used to reading kana (and kanji later).