Can Japanese people read romaji?

Q: Can the japanese read romaji? – Nadia

A: Good question!  The answer is yes.  And no.  Yes because everyone has learnt it at school.  But no because quite a few people have forgotten it (or learnt one of the systems that aren’t popular outside Japan) and mainly because it’s just a real pain and really slow to read Japanese in romaji!

With kanji you can just look at a word and instantly know the meaning, but with romaji you have to sound it out then hopefully guess at the correct meaning.   So although you find street signs and company names in romaji, you hardly ever see any real Japanese written in Romaji!

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