Question about 文字

Does 文字 only refer to letters of “foreign” alphabets like latin and cyrillic? Or can it also mean hiragana and/or katakana?


Letters in general, as far as I know.

Example sentence in文字

Oh? You can type without looking at the keyboard. That’s cool!

Although I guess keyboards are usually in English.


Thanks for the reply!
That’s what I thought. I also saw this example (or some like it), but in Japan they have (not 100% sure on this one) keyboards with hiragana characters on the keys, so it could also mean those…
But for now I’m leaning towards only “foreign” letters.

a, あ, ア, and 亜 are all 文字. It’s not just foreign letters.


It means ‘‘character’’. Including kanji, kana, roman alphabet, Cyrillic, etc.
The definition in japanese starts with: “something different than a drawing that represents a word or concept. In it’s narrower form it would be a kanji. In it’s wider form it includes other symbols”.

So yeah, definitely no only foreign alphabets.


So, “letteral”?

Why? That’s not true.

This is a definition in a J-J dictionary for 読む:


Why would it be referring to foreign letters? How would that be a useful definition for a Japanese person? You’re creating a distinction that doesn’t exist.

Edit to add:
So I’ve also looked up the word 文字 for the reading もじ and the dictionary even uses the explicit phrase ‘漢字など’ in the definition.

I had no idea what a “letteral” was until 5 minutes ago. I think it doesn’t necessarily fits the japanese concept of 文字 actually. I’m not quite sure each kanji has a unique “name” to be refered with; or at least that’s what I understood from reading what those are :sweat_smile:.

character seems to fit the bill just fine.
as extra note on the dictionary 明鏡国語辞典 you get several examples on type of characters (文字).



How about á?

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Thanks to everybody for the replies!

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