Greek, Arabic, and Japanese

Reading and Understanding through Greek, Arabic, and Japanese

A very easy method for learning to read Greek, Arabic, and Japanese Kanji, along with audio. Using it, it is possible to quickly learn to read the beginning of the New Testament book of John in the original Greek, the beginning of the Quran in the original Arabic, and a section from the Lotus Sutra in Japanese Kanji with Hiragana. The texts here are also transcribed with Latin letters, to make it as easy as possible to learn the Greek and Arabic letters, as well as the Japanese hiragana (phonetic writing system).

Click Here --> Greek-Arabic-Japanese

Click Here --> Greek-Arabic-Japanese - Interlinear with Latin letters for easy learning.

These Greek, Arabic, and Japanese-Kanji sections are very popular, and audio files for them can be found on the Internet. For the Greek, search for Greek New Testament audio, for Arabic, search for Quran arabic audio, and for the Japanese Kanji, search for kanzeon audio.

Audio recordings of the texts:

Audio of the Greek text.
Audio of the Arabic text.
Audio of the Japanese text.

Contrasting the texts with other languages:
Greek and German:

Greek is the original language of the New Testament, the sacred book of Christianity. About 1500 years after it was written, the Greek New Testament was translated into German by Martin Luther. The Greek of the New Testament, and German (unlike many other modern languages from their group) both maintain the standard Indo-European gender system of three genders for nouns (masculine, feminine, and neutral), and the Indo-European case system of nominative, accusative, dative, and genetive.

Parallel Greek and German versions of John 1.

Audio of the German text.

Same text in Hebrew.

Arabic and Hebrew:

The Arabic section from the beginning of the Quran shares many common roots with Hebrew. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic, all share the semitic language qualities of three letter roots for all words, and either masculine or feminine gender for all nouns.

Parallel Arabic and Hebrew translation of the beginning of the Quran.

Japanese and Chinese:

The Mahayana form of Buddhism spread throughout China, and the Chinese Mahayana texts such as the Lotus Sutra, further spread to surrounding countries, including Japan. The section here is from Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra, and is a prayer to Guan Yin (Kannon in Japanese), who became one of the major buddhist beings in the world of enlightenment, or "Pure Land".

Chinese phonetic symbols, "Zhyīn Fho" (also called bopomofo) were only developed at the beginning of the 1900s. Used throughout China until mainland China switched to the Latin-letter PinYin system, the bopomofo system is still common throughout China, and universal in Taiwan. Using 37 unique phonetic characters, it can be contrasted to the 48 Japanese characters of hirigana, which have been a standard part of the Japanese writing system for around 1500 years. Consequently, the Japanese hirigana pronunciation of the text reflects a much older version of Chinese pronunciation (and additionally, one without tones). While Japanese is essentially a phonetic writing system using hiragana, the Chinese phonetic symbols are used only as a learning aid, to be abandoned once the Chinese characters and their pronunciation are learned.

Chinese phonetic version of the same Japanese text presented above.

Audio of the Chinese text as a popular song.
Audio of the Chinese text as a Buddhist chant.

Mahayana texts were originally written in northern India, and translated into Chinese as they entered into China. A number of terms in Chinese Buddhist texts are actually transliterated from Sanskrit terms. The words below marked in green are Sanskrit (not Chinese) words that are in this text.

Greek, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese:

A PDF of the tables on this page.