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What is Glomaji (Global Romaji)?

An Alphabetic version of Japanese which can be used to promote communication between native Japanese and Japanese students around the world

Launched at the end of 2011, Global Romaji is a method of communicating in Japanese by using the alphabet. Created by inputting Japanese phonetically into a keyboard, the text is left as it first appears onscreen instead of being converted into Japanese characters.

According to a survey conducted by the Japan Foundation in 2009, there were about 3,650,000 students of Japanese studying at educational institutions throughout the world – a 22.5% increase compared to a survey conducted in 2006. It was an unexpected result considering the increase in numbers of people studying Chinese throughout the world. Perhaps this is because those studying Japanese are not only motivated by economic reasons, but are also interested in Japanese culture.

Possibly the most complicated written system in the world, Japanese is expressed using a mixture of hiragana, katakana, kanji and romaji characters. Learning all these scripts is a huge obstacle to students of the language. On the other hand spoken Japanese, which comprises of around 100 syllables, is rather easy to pronounce. These syllables can all be sounded out using only hiragana and katakana.

Romaji means using the alphabet to phonetically write Japanese, so you don’t need to learn anything more than the alphabet to be able to input text. Most people input hiragana, katakana and kanji phonetically using the alphabet. Glomaji is simply alphabetic Japanese for a global community. These people will be entering Japanese using this method without converting text into Japanese characters.