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What is Glomaji (Global Romaji)?

What’s the difference between romaji and Glomaji?

Romaji can be a big help when it comes to learning katakana and hiragana but Glomaji can be used as a written method of communicating in Japanese internationally.

Romaji is used to help foreigners who can’t speak Japanese pronounce proper nouns – such as station names, place names and the names of people. It’s never used as a method of communication between Japanese or in publications.

There are various different ways to write in romaji. Take, for instance, Osaka (Ōsaka, Osaka, Ôsaka, Oosaka, Ohsaka) or Kobe (Kōbe, Kobe, Kôbe, Koobe, Koube, Kohbe). Needless to say, this state of affairs is very confusing for foreigners.

Glomaji is written as you would when inputting Japanese characters into a computer, so Osaka is spelt as Oosaka and Kobe as Koube. In this way it’s possible to learn the correct way to input Japanese into a computer. Moreover, Glomaji is not just restricted to just expressing proper nouns. Without the need to write in hiragana, katakana or kanji, it’s possible to communicate with people around the globe using a common set of characters.