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What is hiragana? Hiragana, along with katakana, is a syllabary, or a set of symbols for writing syllables -- the basic building blocks of the Japanese language. Japanese also uses kanji, or Chinese characters, so that any Japanese text usually contains all three writing systems.
Hiragana is used for a number of purposes, but the most significant for learners is that it is the script used to phonetically spell words of Japanese or Chinese origin -- that is, roughly 90% of the words in the Japanese lexicon. Ordinarily, most words are written in kanji, or in the case of adjectives and verbs in a combination of kanji and hiragana. But any kanji, no matter how difficult, can also be written in hiragana. What this means is that learners who have mastered hiragana will be prepared to read kanji, so long as the characters are accompanied by furigana -- a kind of pronunciation aid written in hiragana.
Most Japanese dictionaries nowadays use hiragana rather than romanized Japanese, and some designed especially for learners also use kanji with furigana.(pcrdist) (instock)