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Encyclopedia > Japanese language
This article contains Japanese text.
Without proper rendering support,
you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of kanji or kana.
Japanese
日本語 Nihongo 
Nihongo (Japanese) in Japanese script:  
Pronunciation: [ɲihoŋɡo]
Spoken in: Majority: Japan
Small community: Brazil (~1.5 million), United States (~1.2 million. esp. Hawaii), Peru (~88,000), Australia (53,000~. esp. Sydney), Taiwan (16,000~20,000), Philippines (13,000), Guam (2000~). [2]
Total speakers: 130 million [3] 
Ranking: 9
Language family: Japonic
 Japanese
 
Writing system: Japanese logographs and syllabaries 
Official status
Official language in: Flag of Japan Japan
Regulated by: None
Japanese government plays major role
Language codes
ISO 639-1: ja
ISO 639-2: jpn
ISO 639-3: jpn

Japanese (日本語 / にほんご Nihongo ?) is a language spoken by over 130 million people, in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities around the world. It is an agglutinative language and is distinguished by a complex system of honorifics reflecting the hierarchical nature of Japanese society, with verb forms and particular vocabulary to indicate the relative status of speaker, listener and the person mentioned in conversation. The sound inventory of Japanese is relatively small, and has a lexically distinct pitch-accent system. Early Japanese is known largely on the basis of its state in the 8th century, when the three major works of Old Japanese were compiled; but smaller amounts of material, primarily inscriptional, are older. The earliest attestation of Japanese is in a Chinese document from 252 A.D. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Image File history File links 書.svg‎ The Chinese character 書, in regular script. ... The UTF-8-encoded Japanese Wikipedia article for mojibake, as displayed in ISO-8859-1 encoding. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Manyogana 万葉仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 For other meanings of Kana, see Kana (disambiguation). ... This article describes the modern writing system and its history. ... Image File history File links Nihongo. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the metropolitan area in Australia. ... This is a list of languages, ordered by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. ... A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common proto-language. ... The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages constitute a language family that is agreed to have descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... This article describes the modern writing system and its history. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Japan. ... This article describes the structure of the Japanese Government For an outlook on current and historical political events, see Politics of Japan. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... Image File history File links Ja-nihongo. ... It has been suggested that Agglutination be merged into this article or section. ... Honorific speech is speech which shows respect. ... Most dialects of the Japanese language have lexically-distinct pitch accent, though the position of the accent for a given word may vary among them. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... The Old Japanese language is the Japanese language as used in the Kojiki, Manyoshu, Nihonshoki, and other early records of Japanese history and poetry. ...


The Japanese language is written with a combination of three different types of scripts: modified Chinese characters called kanji (漢字 かんじ), and two syllabic scripts, hiragana (平仮名 ひらがな) and katakana (片仮名 カタカナ). The Latin alphabet, rōmaji, is also often used in modern Japanese, especially for company names and logos, advertising, and when inputting Japanese into a computer. Western style Arabic numerals are generally used for numbers, but traditional Sino-Japanese numerals are also commonplace. Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 Category Rōmaji (ローマ字 Roman characters, sometimes misunderstood as romanji in English), is a Japanese term for the Latin alphabet. ... For other uses, see Arabic numerals (disambiguation). ... Sino-Japanese or Kango () in Japanese, refers to that portion of the Japanese vocabulary that originated in the Chinese language or has been created from elements borrowed from Chinese. ...


Japanese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by loans from other languages. A vast number of words were borrowed from Chinese, or created from Chinese models, over a period of at least 1,500 years. Since the late 19th century, Japanese has borrowed a considerable number of words from Indo-European languages, primarily English. Because of the special trade relationship between Japan and Holland in the 17th century, Dutch has also been influential, with words like bīru (from bier; "beer") and kōhī (from koffie; "coffee"). Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Beer (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Coffee (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Classification

Main article: Classification of the Japanese language

Some historical linguists who specialize in Japanese agree that it is one of the two members of a Japonic language family, the other member being Ryūkyūan. Others, however, regard the kinds of speech found in the various Ryūkyū Islands as dialects of Japanese, since it is not yet clear when and how the various islands came to be settled by members of this linguistic and cultural group. The classification of the Japanese language is uncertain and disputed. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages constitute a language family that is agreed to have descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan. ... The RyÅ«kyÅ«an languages are spoken in the RyÅ«kyÅ« Islands and make up a subfamily of the Japonic family. ... Location of Ryukyu Islands The Ryukyu Islands, in Japanese called the Nansei Islands ) are a chain of Japanese islands in the western Pacific Ocean at the eastern limit of the East China Sea. ...


The genetic affiliation of the Japonic family is uncertain. Numerous theories have been proposed, relating it to a wide variety of other languages and families, including extinct languages spoken by historic cultures of the Korean Peninsula; the Korean language; the Altaic languages; and the Austronesian languages, among many others. It is also often suggested that it may be a creole language combining more than one of these. At this point, no one theory is generally accepted as correct, and the issue is likely to remain controversial. An extinct language is a language which no longer has any native speakers, in contrast to a dead language, which is is a language which has stopped changing in grammar, vocabulary, and the complete meaning of a sentence. ... The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. ... This article is mainly about the spoken Korean language. ... Altaic is a proposed language family that includes 66 languages [1] spoken by about 348 million people, mostly in and around Central Asia and northeast Asia. ... The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable language that originates seemingly as a new language, sometimes with features that are not inherited from any apparent source, without however qualifying in any appreciable way as a mixed language. ...


Geographic distribution

Although Japanese is spoken almost exclusively in Japan, it has been and sometimes still is spoken elsewhere. When Japan occupied Korea, Taiwan, parts of the Chinese mainland, and various Pacific islands during and before World War II, locals in those countries were forced to learn Japanese in empire-building programs. As a result, there were many people in these countries until the 1970s, who could speak Japanese in addition to the local languages. Japanese emigrant communities (the largest of which are to be found in Brazil) frequently employ Japanese as their primary language. Approximately 5% of Hawaii residents speak Japanese, with Japanese ancestry the largest single ancestry in the state (over 24% of the population). Japanese emigrants can also be found in Peru, Argentina, Australia (especially Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne), the United States (notably California (1.2% of the population has Japanese ancestry) and Hawaii), and the Philippines (particularly in Davao and Laguna). Their descendants (known as nikkei 日系, literally Japanese descendants), however, rarely speak Japanese fluently. There are estimated to be several million non-Japanese studying the language as well; many schools, both primary and secondary, offer courses. This article is about the Korean civilization. ... In this map of China, the light-coloured areas represent Mainland China, while yellow coloured area refers to Taiwan. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Poster of Manchukuo promoting harmony between Japanese, Han Chinese and Manchu. ... This article is about the metropolitan area in Australia. ... For other uses, see Brisbane (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Davao refers to several places in Mindanao in the Philippines. ... Laguna is a province of the Philippines found in the CALABARZON region in Luzon. ... Nikkei can refer to: The Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper The Nikkei 225 stock market index This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


According to the Ethnologue database and CIA's World Factbook, the state of Angaur, in Palau, is reported to have Japanese as one of the official languages[1][2]. If these reports are true, Angaur is the only place in the world where Japanese is the de jure official language. However, another source reports that the official languages in Angaur are Palauan and English, as in other states in the republic. [3] Whichever the case, the 2005 census reports the number of active Japanese speakers is zero. [4] Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language. ... “CIA” redirects here. ... The World Factbook 2007 (government edition) cover. ... Angaur (or Ngeaur) is an island in the island nation of Palau. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Official status

Japanese is the de facto official language of Japan, which is the only country to have Japanese as an official working language. There is a form of the language considered standard: hyōjungo (標準語?) standard Japanese, or kyōtsūgo (共通語?) the common language. The meanings of two terms are almost the same. Hyōjungo and kyōtsūgo is a conception that forms a counterpart of dialect. This normative language was born after Meiji Restoration meiji ishin (明治維新?) (1868) from the language spoken in uptown in Tokyo for communicating necessity. Hyōjungo is taught in schools and used on television and in official communications, and is the version of Japanese discussed in this article. For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation). ...


Formerly, standard Japanese in writing (bungo (文語?), "literary language") was different from colloquial language (kōgo (口語?), "colloquial language"). The two systems have different rules of grammar and some variance in vocabulary. Bungo was the main method of writing Japanese until about 1900, since then kogo gradually extended its influence and the two methods were both used in writing until the 1940s. Bungo still has some relevance for historians, literary scholars, and lawyers (many Japanese laws that survived World War II are still written in bungo, although there are ongoing efforts to modernize their language). Kōgo is the predominant method of both speaking and writing Japanese today, although bungo grammar and vocabulary are occasionally used in modern Japanese for effect. Bungo (文語) is the name given to the written form of classical, literary Japanese, in contrast with kōgo, which is its oral language counterpart. ... Bungo (文語) is the name given to the written form of classical, literary Japanese, in contrast with kōgo, which is its oral language counterpart. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Dialects

Main article: Japanese dialects

Dozens of dialects are spoken in Japan. The profusion is due to many factors, including the length of time the archipelago has been inhabited, its mountainous island terrain, and Japan's long history of both external and internal isolation. Dialects typically differ in terms of pitch accent, inflectional morphology, vocabulary, and particle usage. Some even differ in vowel and consonant inventories, although this is uncommon. // As with any language, Japanese has its share of regional dialects. ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ...


The main distinction in Japanese accents is between Tokyo-type (東京式 Tōkyō-shiki?) and Western-type (京阪式 Keihan-shiki?), though Kyūshū-type dialects form a smaller, third group. Within each type are several subdivisions. The Western-type dialects are actually in the central region, with borders roughly formed by Toyama, Kyōto, Hyōgo, and Mie Prefectures; most Shikoku dialects are also Western-type. Dialects further west are actually of the Tokyo type. The final category of dialects are those that are descended from the Eastern dialect of Old Japanese; these dialects are spoken in Hachijojima, Kōchi Prefecture, and very few other locations. Toyama Prefecture ) is located in the ChÅ«bu region on HonshÅ« island, Japan. ... The Iwashimizu Hachimangu, a Shinto shrine in Yawata. ... Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県 Hyōgo-ken) is located in the Kinki region on Honshu island, Japan. ... Mie Prefecture (三重県; Mie-ken) is part of the Kinki region on Honshu island, Japan. ... This article is about the island. ... The Old Japanese language is the Japanese language as used in the Kojiki, Manyoshu, Nihonshoki, and other early records of Japanese history and poetry. ... Hachijojima (八丈島; Hachijo Island) is a Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean, 300km south of Tokyo. ... Kōchi Prefecture ) is located on the south coast of Shikoku, Japan. ...


Dialects from peripheral regions, such as Tōhoku or Tsushima, may be unintelligible to speakers from other parts of the country. The several dialects used in Kagoshima in southern Kyūshū are famous for being unintelligible not only to speakers of standard Japanese but to speakers of nearby dialects elsewhere in Kyūshū as well[citation needed], probably due in part to the Kagoshima dialects' peculiarities of pronunciation, which include the existence of closed syllables (i.e., syllables that end in a consonant, such as /kob/ or /koʔ/ for Standard Japanese /kumo/ "spider"). The vocabulary of Kagoshima dialect is 84% cognate with standard Tokyo dialect.[citation needed] Kansai-ben, a group of dialects from west-central Japan, is spoken by many Japanese; the Osaka dialect in particular is associated with comedy. Tohoku region, Japan The Tōhoku region (東北地方; Tōhoku-chihō) is a geographical area of Japan. ... Tsushima is a name related to Japan. ... Kagoshima (鹿児島市; -shi) the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwest tip of the Kyushu island of Japan. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The Ryūkyūan languages, while closely related to Japanese, are distinct enough to be considered a separate branch of the Japonic family, and are not dialects of Japanese. They are spoken in the Ryukyu Islands and in some islands that are politically part of Kagoshima Prefecture. Not only is each language unintelligible to Japanese speakers, but most are unintelligible to those who speak other Ryūkyūan languages. The RyÅ«kyÅ«an languages are spoken in the RyÅ«kyÅ« Islands and make up a subfamily of the Japonic family. ... The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages constitute a language family that is agreed to have descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan. ... Location of Ryukyu Islands The Ryukyu Islands, in Japanese called the Nansei Islands ) are a chain of Japanese islands in the western Pacific Ocean at the eastern limit of the East China Sea. ... Kagoshima Prefecture ) is located on KyÅ«shÅ« island, Japan. ...


Recently, Standard Japanese has become prevalent nationwide (including portions of the Ryūkyū islands like Okinawa) due not only to television and radio, but also to increased mobility within Japan due to its system of roads, railways, and airports. Young people usually speak their local dialect and the standard language, though in most cases, the local dialect is influenced by the standard, and regional versions of "standard" Japanese have local-dialect influence.


Sounds

Main article: Japanese phonology

Japanese vowels are "pure" sounds. The only unusual vowel is the high back vowel /ɯ/ listen , which is like /u/, but compressed instead of rounded. Japanese has five vowels, and vowel length is phonemic, so each one has both a short and a long version. Image File history File links U_(Japanese). ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. ...


Some Japanese consonants have several allophones, which may give the impression of a larger inventory of sounds. However, some of these allophones have since become phonemic. For example, in the Japanese language up to and including the first half of the twentieth century, the phonemic sequence /ti/ was palatalized and realized phonetically as [tɕi], approximately chi listen ; however, now /ti/ and /tɕi/ are distinct, as evidenced by words like [tiː] "Western style tea" and chii [tɕii] "social status." In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. ... Image File history File links Chi_(Japanese). ...


The 'r' of the Japanese language (technically a lateral apical postalveolar flap), is of particular interest, sounding to most English speakers to be something between an 'l' and a retroflex 'r' depending on its position in a word. Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i. ... Sub-apical retroflex plosive In phonetics, retroflex consonants are consonant sounds used in some languages. ...


The syllabic structure and the phonotactics are very simple: the only consonant clusters allowed within a syllable consist of one of a subset of the consonants plus /j/. These type of clusters only occur in onsets. However, consonant clusters across syllables are allowed as long as the two consonants are a nasal followed by a homo-organic consonant. Consonant length (gemination) is also phonemic. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. ... In phonetics, consonant length is when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. ...


Grammar

Main article: Japanese grammar

The Japanese language has a highly regular agglutinative verb morphology, with both productive and fixed elements. ...

Sentence structure

The basic Japanese word order is Subject Object Verb. Subject, Object, and other grammatical relations are usually marked by particles, which are suffixed to the words that they modify, and are thus properly called postpositions. In linguistic typology, Subject Object Verb (SOV) is the type of languages in which the subject, object, and verb of a sentence appear (usually) in that order. ... Japanese particles, joshi ) or teniwoha ), in Japanese grammar are suffixes or short words which come after other words such as nouns, verbs and adjectives, indicating a wide range of grammatical functions. ... A postposition is a type of adposition, a grammatical particle that expresses some sort of relationship between a noun phrase (its object) and another part of the sentence; an adpositional phrase functions as an adjective or adverb. ...


The basic sentence structure is topic-comment. For example, Kochira-wa Tanaka-san desu (こちらは田中さんです). Kochira ("this") is the topic of the sentence, indicated by the particle -wa. The verb is desu, a copula, commonly translated as "to be" or "it is" (though there are other verbs that can be translated as "to be"). As a phrase, Tanaka-san desu is the comment. This sentence loosely translates to "As for this person, (it) is Mr./Mrs./Miss Tanaka." Thus Japanese, like Chinese, Korean, and many other Asian languages, is often called a topic-prominent language, which means it has a strong tendency to indicate the topic separately from the subject, and the two do not always coincide. The sentence Zō-wa hana-ga nagai (desu) (象は鼻が長いです) literally means, "As for elephants, (their) noses are long". The topic is "elephant", and the subject is hana "nose". In linguistics, the topic (or theme) is the thing being predicated (talked about), and the comment (or rheme) is the thing being said about the topic. ... For other uses, see Copula (disambiguation). ... A topic-prominent language is one that organizes its syntax so that sentences have a topic-comment (or theme-rheme) structure, where the topic is the thing being talked about (predicated) and the comment is what is said about the topic. ...


Japanese is a pro-drop language, meaning that the subject or object of a sentence need not be stated if it is obvious from context. In addition, it is commonly felt, particularly in spoken Japanese, that the shorter a sentence is, the better. As a result of this grammatical permissiveness and tendency towards brevity, Japanese speakers tend naturally to omit words from sentences, rather than refer to them with pronouns. In the context of the above example, hana-ga nagai would mean "[their] noses are long," while nagai by itself would mean "[they] are long." A single verb can be a complete sentence: Yatta! "[I / we / they / etc] did [it]!". In addition, since adjectives can form the predicate in a Japanese sentence (below), a single adjective can be a complete sentence: Urayamashii! "[I'm] jealous [of it]!". A pro-drop language (from pronoun-dropping) is a language where pronouns can be deleted when they are in some sense pragmatically inferable (the precise conditions vary from language to language, and can be quite intricate). ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ...


While the language has some words that are typically translated as pronouns, these are not used as frequently as pronouns in some Indo-European languages, and function differently. Instead, Japanese typically relies on special verb forms and auxiliary verbs to indicate the direction of benefit of an action: "down" to indicate the out-group gives a benefit to the in-group; and "up" to indicate the in-group gives a benefit to the out-group. Here, the in-group includes the speaker and the out-group doesn't, and their boundary depends on context. For example, oshiete moratta (literally, "explained" with a benefit from the out-group to the in-group) means "[he/she/they] explained it to [me/us]". Similarly, oshiete ageta (literally, "explained" with a benefit from the in-group to the out-group) means "[I/we] explained [it] to [him/her/them]". Such beneficiary auxiliary verbs thus serve a function comparable to that of pronouns and prepositions in Indo-European languages to indicate the actor and the recipient of an action. Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Indo-European languages include some 443 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken by about three billion people, including most of the major language families of Europe and western Asia, which belong to a single superfamily. ...


Japanese "pronouns" also function differently from most modern Indo-European pronouns (and more like nouns) in that they can take modifiers as any other noun may. For instance, one cannot say in English:

*The amazed he ran down the street. (ungrammatical)

But one can grammatically say essentially the same thing in Japanese:

Odoroita kare-wa michi-o hashitte itta. (grammatically correct)

This is partly due to the fact that these words evolved from regular nouns, such as kimi "you" ( "lord"), anata "you" (あなた "that side, yonder"), and boku "I" ( "servant"). This is why some linguists do not classify Japanese "pronouns" as pronouns, but rather as referential nouns. Japanese personal pronouns are generally used only in situations requiring special emphasis as to who is doing what to whom.


The choice of words used as pronouns is correlated with the sex of the speaker and the social situation in which they are spoken: men and women alike in a formal situation generally refer to themselves as watashi ( "private") or watakushi (also ), while men in rougher or intimate conversation are much more likely to use the word ore ( "oneself", "myself") or boku. Similarly, different words such as anata, kimi, and omae (お前, more formally 御前 "the one before me") may be used to refer to a listener depending on the listener's relative social position and the degree of familiarity between the speaker and the listener. When used in different social relationships, the same word may have positive (intimate or respectful) or negative (distant or disrespectful) connotations.


Japanese often use titles of the person referred to where pronouns would be used in English. For example, when speaking to one's teacher, it is appropriate to use sensei (先生, teacher), but inappropriate to use anata. This is because anata is used to refer to people of equal or lower status, and one's teacher has higher status.


It is very common for English speakers to include watashi-wa or anata-wa at the beginning of every Japanese sentence. Though these sentences are grammatically correct, they sound terribly strange even in very formal situations. It is roughly the equivalent of using a noun over and over in English, when a pronoun would suffice: "John is coming over, so make sure you make John a sandwich, because John loves sandwiches. I hope John likes the dress I'm wearing.. ."


Inflection and conjugation

Japanese nouns have no grammatical number, gender or article aspect. The noun hon () may refer to a single book or several books; hito () can mean "person" or "people"; and ki () can be "tree" or "trees". Where number is important, it can be indicated by providing a quantity (often with a counter word) or (rarely) by adding a suffix. Words for people are usually understood as singular. Thus Tanaka-san usually means Mr./Mrs./Miss. Tanaka. Words that refer to people and animals can be made to indicate a group of individuals through the addition of a collective suffix (a noun suffix that indicates a group), such as -tachi, but this is not a true plural: the meaning is closer to the English phrase "and company". A group described as Tanaka-san-tachi may include people not named Tanaka. Some Japanese nouns are effectively plural, such as hitobito "people" and wareware "we/us", while the word for tomodachi "friend" is considered singular, although plural in form. In Japanese, counter words or counters (josūshi 助数詞) are used along with numbers to count things, actions, and events. ...


Verbs are conjugated to show tenses, of which there are two: past and present, or non-past, which is used for the present and the future. For verbs that represent an ongoing process, the -te iru form indicates a continuous (or progressive) tense. For others that represent a change of state, the -te iru form indicates a perfect tense. For example, kite iru means "He has come (and is still here)", but tabete iru means "He is eating". This page is a comprehensive list of Japanese verb and adjective conjugations. ...


Questions (both with an interrogative pronoun and yes/no questions) have the same structure as affirmative sentences, but with intonation rising at the end. In the formal register, the question particle -ka is added. For example, Ii desu (いいです。) "It is OK" becomes Ii desu-ka (いいですか?) "Is it OK?". In a more informal tone sometimes the particle -no () is added instead to show a personal interest of the speaker: Dōshite konai-no? "Why aren't (you) coming?". Some simple queries are formed simply by mentioning the topic with an interrogative intonation to call for the hearer's attention: Kore-wa? "(What about) this?"; Namae-wa? (名前は?) "(What's your) name?".


Negatives are formed by inflecting the verb. For example, Pan-o taberu (パンを食べる。) "I will eat bread" or "I eat bread" becomes Pan-o tabenai (パンを食べない。) "I will not eat bread" or "I do not eat bread".


The so-called -te verb form is used for a variety of purposes: either progressive or perfect aspect (see above); combining verbs in a temporal sequence (Asagohan-o tabete sugu dekakeru "I'll eat breakfast and leave at once"), simple commands, conditional statements and permissions (Dekakete-mo ii? "May I go out?"), etc.


The word da (plain), desu (polite) is the copula verb. It corresponds approximately to the English be, but often takes on other roles, including a marker for tense, when the verb is conjugated into its past form datta (plain), deshita (polite). This comes into use because only keiyōshi adjectives and verbs can carry tense in Japanese. Two additional common verbs are used to indicate existence ("there is") or, in some contexts, property: aru (negative nai) and iru (negative inai), for inanimate and animate things, respectively. For example, Neko ga iru "There's a cat", Ii kangae-ga nai "[I] haven't got a good idea". For other uses, see Copula (disambiguation). ...


The verb "to do" (suru, polite form shimasu) is often used to make verbs from nouns (ryōri suru "to cook", benkyō suru "to study", etc.) and has been productive in creating modern slang words. Japanese also has a huge number of compound verbs to express concepts that are described in English using a verb and a preposition (e.g. tobidasu "to fly out, to flee," from tobu "to fly, to jump" + dasu "to put out, to emit").


There are three types of adjective (see also Japanese adjectives): According to many analyses, the Japanese language does not have words that function as adjectives in a syntactic sense, i. ... According to many analyses, the Japanese language does not have words that function as adjectives in a syntactic sense, i. ...

  1. 形容詞 keiyōshi, or i adjectives, which have a conjugating ending i () (such as あつい atsui "to be hot") which can become past (あつかった atsukatta "it was hot"), or negative (あつくない atsuku nai "it is not hot"). Note that nai is also an i adjective, which can become past (あつくなかった atsuku nakatta "it was not hot").
    暑い日 atsui hi "a hot day".
  2. 形容動詞 keiyōdōshi, or na adjectives, which are followed by a form of the copula, usually na. For example hen (strange)
    変なひと hen na hito "a strange person".
  3. 連体詞 rentaishi, also called true adjectives, such as ano "that"
    あの山 ano yama "that mountain".

Both keiyōshi and keiyōdōshi may predicate sentences. For example, This page is a comprehensive list of Japanese verb and adjective conjugations. ... For other uses, see Copula (disambiguation). ... In traditional grammar, a predicate is one of the two main parts of a sentence (the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies). ...

ご飯が熱い。 Gohan-ga atsui. "The rice is hot."
彼は変だ。 Kare-wa hen da. "He's strange."

Both inflect, though they do not show the full range of conjugation found in true verbs. The rentaishi in Modern Japanese are few in number, and unlike the other words, are limited to directly modifying nouns. They never predicate sentences. Examples include ookina "big", kono "this", iwayuru "so-called" and taishita "amazing".


Both keiyōdōshi and keiyōshi form adverbs, by following with ni in the case of keiyōdōshi: Adverbs redirects here. ...

変になる hen ni naru "become strange",

and by changing i to ku in the case of keiyōshi:

熱くなる atsuku naru "become hot".

The grammatical function of nouns is indicated by postpositions, also called particles. These include for example: A postposition is a type of adposition, a grammatical particle that expresses some sort of relationship between a noun phrase (its object) and another part of the sentence; an adpositional phrase functions as an adjective or adverb. ... Japanese particles, joshi ) or teniwoha ), in Japanese grammar are suffixes or short words which come after other words such as nouns, verbs and adjectives, indicating a wide range of grammatical functions. ...

やった。Kare ga yatta. "He did it."
田中さん聞いて下さい。 Tanaka-san ni kiite kudasai "Please ask Mr. Tanaka."
カメラ。 watashi no kamera "my camera"
スキーに行くが好きです。 Sukī-ni iku no ga suki desu "(I) like going skiing."
食べますか。 Nani o tabemasu ka? "What will (you) eat?"
  • wa for the topic. It can co-exist with case markers above except no, and it overrides ga and o.
タイ料理がいいです。 Watashi wa tai-ryōri ga ii desu. "As for me, Thai food is good." The nominative marker ga after watashi is hidden under wa. (Note that English generally makes no distinction between sentence topic and subject.)

Note: The difference between wa and ga goes beyond the English distinction between sentence topic and subject. While wa indicates the topic, which the rest of the sentence describes or acts upon, it carries the implication that the subject indicated by wa is not unique, or may be part of a larger group. The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. ... The dative case is a grammatical case generally used to indicate the noun to whom something is given. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The accusative case (abbreviated ACC) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. ...

Ikeda-san wa yonjū-ni sai da. "As for Mr. Ikeda, he is forty-two years old." Others in the group may also be of that age.

Absence of wa often means the subject is the focus of the sentence. In linguistics, the focus determines which part of the sentence contributes the most important information. ...

Ikeda-san ga yonjū-ni sai da. "It is Mr. Ikeda who is forty-two years old." This is a reply to an implicit or explicit question who in this group is forty-two years old.

Politeness

Unlike most western languages, Japanese has an extensive grammatical system to express politeness and formality. Honorific speech is speech which shows respect. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Since most relationships are not equal in Japanese society, one person typically has a higher position. This position is determined by a variety of factors including job, age, experience, or even psychological state (e.g., a person asking a favour tends to do so politely). The person in the lower position is expected to use a polite form of speech, whereas the other might use a more plain form. Strangers will also speak to each other politely. Japanese children rarely use polite speech until they are teens, at which point they are expected to begin speaking in a more adult manner. See uchi-soto. For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Uchi-soto in the Japanese language is the distinction between in-groups (uchi, 内, inside) and out-groups (soto,外, outside). This distinction between groups is not merely a fundamental part of Japanese social custom, but is also directly reflected in the Japanese language itself. ...


Whereas teineigo (丁寧語) (polite language) is commonly an inflectional system, sonkeigo (尊敬語) (respectful language) and kenjōgo (謙譲語) (humble language) often employ many special honorific and humble alternate verbs: iku "go" becomes ikimasu in polite form, but is replaced by irassharu in honorific speech and ukagau or mairu in humble speech. Inflection of the Spanish lexeme for cat, with blue representing the masculine gender, pink representing the feminine gender, grey representing the form used for mixed-gender, and green representing the plural number. ...


The difference between honorific and humble speech is particularly pronounced in the Japanese language. Humble language is used to talk about oneself or one's own group (company, family) whilst honorific language is mostly used when describing the interlocutor and his/her group. For example, the -san suffix ("Mr" "Mrs." or "Miss") is an example of honorific language. It is not used to talk about oneself or when talking about someone from one's company to an external person, since the company is the speaker's "group". When speaking directly to one's superior in one's company or when speaking with other employees within one's company about a superior, a Japanese person will use vocabulary and inflections of the honorific register to refer to the in-group superior and his or her speech and actions. When speaking to a person from another company (i.e., a member of an out-group), however, a Japanese person will use the plain or the humble register to refer to the speech and actions of his or her own in-group superiors. In short, the register used in Japanese to refer to the person, speech, or actions of any particular individual varies depending on the relationship (either in-group or out-group) between the speaker and listener, as well as depending on the relative status of the speaker, listener, and third-person referents. For this reason, the Japanese system for explicit indication of social register is known as a system of "relative honorifics." This stands in stark contrast to the Korean system of "absolute honorifics," in which the same register is used to refer to a particular individual (e.g. one's father, one's company president, etc.) in any context regardless of the relationship between the speaker and interlocutor. Thus, polite Korean speech can sound very presumptuous when translated verbatim into Japanese, as in Korean it is acceptable and normal to say things like "Our Mr. Company-President…" when communicating with a member of an out-group, which would be very inappropriate in a Japanese social context.


Most nouns in the Japanese language may be made polite by the addition of o- or go- as a prefix. o- is generally used for words of native Japanese origin, whereas go- is affixed to words of Chinese derivation. In some cases, the prefix has become a fixed part of the word, and is included even in regular speech, such as gohan 'cooked rice; meal.' Such a construction often indicates deference to either the item's owner or to the object itself. For example, the word tomodachi 'friend,' would become o-tomodachi when referring to the friend of someone of higher status (though mothers often use this form to refer to their children's friends). On the other hand, a polite speaker may sometimes refer to mizu 'water' as o-mizu in order to show politeness. In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ...


Most Japanese people employ politeness to indicate a lack of familiarity. That is, they use polite forms for new acquaintances, but if a relationship becomes more intimate, they no longer use them. This occurs regardless of age, social class, or gender.


Vocabulary

The original language of Japan, or at least the original language of a certain population that was ancestral to a significant portion of the historical and present Japanese nation, was the so-called yamato kotoba (大和言葉 or infrequently 大和詞, i.e. "Yamato words"), which in scholarly contexts is sometimes referred to as wa-go (和語 or rarely 倭語, i.e. the "Wa words"). In addition to words from this original language, present-day Japanese includes a great number of words that were either borrowed from Chinese or constructed from Chinese roots following Chinese patterns. These words, known as kango (漢語), entered the language from the fifth century onwards via contact with Chinese culture, both directly and through the Korean peninsula. According to some estimates, Chinese-based words may comprise as much as 60%–70% of the total dictionary vocabulary of the modern Japanese language and form as much as 18%–40% of words used in speech. The following text needs to be harmonized with text in the article History of Japan#Yamato period. ... Chinese character for Wō or Wa, formed by the person radical 亻and a wÄ›i or wa 委 phonetic element Japanese Wa Japan, Japanese, from Chinese Wō 倭), is the oldest recorded name of Japan. ... Sino-Japanese or Kango () in Japanese, refers to that portion of the Japanese vocabulary that originated in the Chinese language or has been created from elements borrowed from Chinese. ... Sino-Japanese or Kango () in Japanese, refers to that portion of the Japanese vocabulary that originated in the Chinese language or has been created from elements borrowed from Chinese. ...


Like Latin-derived words in English, kango words typically are perceived as somewhat formal or academic compared to equivalent Yamato words. Indeed, it is generally fair to say that an English word derived from Latin/French roots typically corresponds to a Sino-Japanese word in Japanese, whereas a simpler Anglo-Saxon word would best be translated by a Yamato equivalent. Sino-Japanese or Kango () in Japanese, refers to that portion of the Japanese vocabulary that originated in the Chinese language or has been created from elements borrowed from Chinese. ...


A much smaller number of words has been borrowed from Korean and Ainu. Japan has also borrowed a number of words from other languages, particularly ones of European extraction, which are called gairaigo. This began with borrowings from Portuguese in the 16th century, followed by borrowing from Dutch during Japan's long isolation of the Edo period. With the Meiji Restoration and the reopening of Japan in the 19th century, borrowing occurred from German, French and English. Currently, words of English origin are the most commonly borrowed. Not to be confused with the Aini language. ... Gairaigo (外来語) is Japanese for loan word or borrowed word, and indicates a transliteration (or transvocalization) into Japanese. ... Many Japanese words of Portuguese origin entered the Japanese language when Portuguese Jesuit priests introduced Christian ideas, Western science and technology, among other things to the Japanese during the Muromachi period (15-16th century). ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... The following text needs to be harmonized with text in the article History of Japan#Seclusion. ... The Edo period ), also called Tokugawa period, is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868. ... The Meiji Restoration ), also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, or Renewal, was a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japans political and social structure. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


In the Meiji era, the Japanese also coined many neologisms using Chinese roots and morphology to translate Western concepts. The Chinese and Koreans imported many of these pseudo-Chinese words into Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese via their kanji characters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, 政治 seiji ("politics"), and 化学 kagaku ("chemistry") are words derived from Chinese roots that were first created and used by the Japanese, and only later borrowed into Chinese and other East Asian languages. As a result, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese share a large common corpus of vocabulary in the same way a large number of Greek- and Latin-derived words are shared among modern European languages, although many academic words formed from such roots were certainly coined by native speakers of other languages, such as English. Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ...


In the past few decades, wasei-eigo (made-in-Japan English) has become a prominent phenomenon. Words such as wanpatān ワンパターン (< one + pattern, "to be in a rut", "to have a one-track mind") and sukinshippu スキンシップ (< skin + -ship, "physical contact"), although coined by compounding English roots, are nonsensical in a non-Japanese context. Wasei-eigo (和製英語 wasei eigo, lit. ...


Additionally, many native Japanese words have become commonplace in English, due to the popularity of many Japanese cultural exports. Words such as sushi, judo, karate, sumo, karaoke, origami, tsunami, samurai, haiku, ninja, sayonara, rickshaw (from 人力車 jinrikisha), futon, tycoon and many others have become part of the English language. See list of English words of Japanese origin for more. This article is about Japanese cuisine. ... This article is about the martial art and sport. ... For other uses, see Karate (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Sumo (disambiguation). ... For other uses see Karaoke (disambiguation) A karaoke machine Karaoke from Japanese kara, empty or void, and ōkesutora, orchestra) (pronounced IPA: or ; in Japanese IPA: ;  ) is a form of entertainment in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and a PA system. ... This article is about paper folding. ... For other uses, see Tsunami (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Samurai (disambiguation). ... For the operating system, see Haiku (operating system). ... Jiraiya, ninja and title character of the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari. ... Sayonara is a 1957 film which tells the story of an American Air Force flier who was a fighter Ace during the Korean War. ... Japanese rickshaw (jinrikisha), 1886. ... A futon in Japan A futon in the U.S. A futon )   is a type of mattress that makes up a Japanese bed. ... A business magnate, sometimes referred to as a mogul, tycoon, or industrialist is a person who controls a large portion of a particular industry and whose wealth derives primarily from this control. ... Words of Japanese origin have entered many languages. ...


Writing system

Before the 5th century, the Japanese had no writing system of their own. They began to adopt the Chinese writing script along with many other aspects of Chinese culture after their introduction by Korean monks and scholars during the 5th and 6th centuries AD. This article describes the modern writing system and its history. ... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 to 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Write redirects here. ... The Chinese written language consists of a writing system stretching back nearly 4000 years. ... For contemporary culture after 1949, see Culture of the Peoples Republic of China. ...

The table of Kana
The table of Kana

At first, the Japanese wrote in Classical Chinese, with Japanese names represented by characters used for their meanings and not their sounds. Later, this latter principle was used to write pure Japanese poetry and prose; however, some Japanese words were written with characters for their meaning and not the original Chinese sound. An example of this mixed style is the Kojiki, which was written in 712 AD. They then started to use Chinese characters to write Japanese in a style known as man'yōgana, a syllabic script which used Chinese characters for their sounds in order to transcribe the words of Japanese speech syllable by syllable. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1356x1532, 53 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Japanese language ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1356x1532, 53 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Japanese language ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... Kojiki or Furukotofumi (古事記), also known in English as the Records of Ancient Matters, is the oldest surviving historical book recounting events of ancient earth in the Japanese language. ...


Over time, a writing system evolved. Chinese characters (kanji) were used to write either words borrowed from Chinese, or Japanese words with the same or similar meanings. Chinese characters were also used to write grammatical elements, were simplified, and eventually became two syllabic scripts: hiragana and katakana. Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ...


Modern Japanese is written in a mixture of three main systems: kanji, characters of Chinese origin used to represent both Chinese loanwords into Japanese and a number of native Japanese morphemes; and two syllabaries: hiragana and katakana. The Latin alphabet is also sometimes used. Arabic numerals are much more common than the kanji characters when used in counting, but kanji numerals are still used in compounds, such as 統一 tōitsu ("unification"). Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ... In morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest lingual unit that carries a semantic interpretation. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


Hiragana are used for words without kanji representation, for words no longer written in kanji, and also following kanji to show conjugational endings. Because of the way verbs (and adjectives) in Japanese are conjugated, kanji alone cannot fully convey Japanese tense and mood, as kanji cannot be subject to variation when written without losing its meaning. For this reason, hiragana are suffixed to the ends of kanji to show verb and adjective conjugations. Hiragana used in this way are called okurigana. Hiragana are also written in a superscript called furigana above or beside a kanji to show the proper reading. This is done to facilitate learning, as well as to clarify particularly old or obscure (or sometimes invented) readings. Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... In linguistics, grammatical conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from the word root by inflection (regular alteration according to rules of grammar). ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji Okurigana (送り仮名, literally accompanying letters) are kana suffixes following kanji stems in Japanese written words. ... Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 Category Furigana (Japanese: ふりがな), are a Japanese reading aid. ...


Katakana, like hiragana, are a syllabary; katakana are primarily used to write foreign words, plant and animal names, and for emphasis. For example "Australia" has been adapted as Ōsutoraria (オーストラリア), and "supermarket" has been adapted and shortened into sūpā (スーパー). Rōmaji (ローマ字), literally "Roman letters," is the Japanese term for the Latin alphabet. Rōmaji are used for some loan words like "CD", "DVD", etc., and also for some Japanese creations like "Sony." Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ... Japanese writing Kanji &#28450;&#23383; Kana &#20206;&#21517; Hiragana &#24179;&#20206;&#21517; Katakana &#29255;&#20206;&#21517; Uses Furigana &#25391;&#12426;&#20206;&#21517; Okurigana &#36865;&#12426;&#20206;&#21517; Romaji &#12525;&#12540;&#12510;&#23383; The title given to this article lacks diacritics because of certain technical limitations. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


Historically, attempts to limit the number of kanji in use commenced in the mid-19th century, but did not become a matter of government intervention until after Japan's defeat in the Second World War. During the period of post-war occupation (and influenced by the views of some U.S. officials), various schemes including the complete abolition of kanji and exclusive use of rōmaji were considered. The jōyō kanji ("common use kanji", originally called tōyō kanji [kanji for general use]) scheme arose as a compromise solution. Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education on October 10, 1981. ... Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 Category The tōyō kanji (当用漢字, kanji for general use) are the result of a reform of the characters of Chinese origin in the Japanese written language. ...


Japanese students begin to learn kanji characters from their first year at elementary school. A guideline created by the Japanese Ministry of Education, the list of kyōiku kanji ("education kanji", a subset of jōyō kanji), specifies the 1,006 simple characters a child is to learn by the end of sixth grade. Children continue to study another 939 characters in junior high school, covering in total 1,945 jōyō kanji characters. The official list of jōyō kanji was revised several times, but the total number of officially sanctioned characters remained largely unchanged. Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji Kyōiku kanji (, lit. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education on October 10, 1981. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education on October 10, 1981. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education on October 10, 1981. ...


As for kanji for personal names, the circumstances are somewhat complicated. Jōyō kanji and jinmeiyō kanji (an appendix of additional characters for names) are approved for registering personal names. Names containing unapproved characters are denied registration. However, as with the list of jōyō kanji, criteria for inclusion were often arbitrary and led to many common and popular characters being disapproved for use. Under popular pressure and following a court decision holding the exclusion of common characters unlawful, the list of jinmeiyō kanji was substantially extended from 92 in 1951(the year it was first decreed) to 983 in 2004. Furthermore, families whose names are not on these lists were permitted to continue using the older forms. Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education on October 10, 1981. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education on October 10, 1981. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Learning Japanese

Many major universities throughout the world provide Japanese language courses, and a number of secondary and even primary schools worldwide offer courses in the language. International interest in the Japanese language dates from the 1800s but has become more prevalent following Japan's economic bubble of the 1980s and the global popularity of Japanese pop culture (such as anime and video games) since the 1990s. About 2.3 million people studied the language worldwide in 2003: 900,000 South Koreans, 389,000 Chinese, 381,000 Australians, and 140,000 Americans study Japanese in lower and higher educational institutions.


In Japan, more than 90,000 foreign students study at Japanese universities and Japanese language schools, including 77,000 Chinese and 15,000 South Koreans in 2003. In addition, local governments and some NPO groups provide free Japanese language classes for foreign residents, including Japanese Brazilians and foreigners married to Japanese nationals. In the United Kingdom, studies are supported by the British Association for Japanese Studies. In Ireland, Japanese is offered as a language in the Leaving Certificate in some schools. The following is a comprehensive list of universities in Japan, categorised by prefecture: University of the Air Imperial universities Japanese national universities Education in Japan List of colleges and universities by country List of colleges and universities Yahoo Directory Japan -> Colleges and Universities Asahikawa University[1] Chitose Institute of Science... A language school is where one can learn a foreign language. ... NPO may refer to: Non-profit organization Nil per os (NPO), Latin for a medical instruction meaning to withhold food and fluids from a patient for various reasons, a shorthand medical term that means nothing by mouth NPO, the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (Netherlands Public Broadcasting) organization. ... A Japanese-Brazilian is an ethnically Japanese person born in Brazil. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... The Leaving Certificate (Irish: Ardteistiméireacht), commonly referred to as the Leaving Cert (Irish: Ardteist) is the final course in the Irish secondary school system and culminates with the Leaving Certificate Examination. ...


The Japanese government provides standardized tests to measure spoken and written comprehension of Japanese for second language learners; the most prominent is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). The Japanese External Trade Organization JETRO organizes the Business Japanese Proficiency Test which tests the learner's ability to understand Japanese in a business setting. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test ), or JLPT, is a standardized test to evaluate a persons Japanese language proficiency - primarily in reading and listening. ... JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization ) was established by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in 1958 to consolidate Japans efforts in export promotion. ...


References

  1. ^ Languages of Palau. Ethnologue. Retrieved on 2007-09-19.
  2. ^ The World Factbook entry about Palau ([1])
  3. ^ According to the Japanese blog massangeana のいろいろ, Hersey Kyota, Palauan ambassador to the United States, stated that the official languages in Angaur are Palauan and English.
  4. ^ From the official website of Palauan Office of Planning & Statistics, 2005 census of population and housing, Table 16. The census reports there are 124 people who speak Japanese at home in the whole republic, 116 of them live in Koror, none in Angaur.

Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Palau boatyard on Malakal Island, August 1973 Koror is the state comprising the main commercial center of the country of Palau. ...

Bibliography

  • Bloch, Bernard. (1946). Studies in colloquial Japanese I: Inflection. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 66, pp. 97–130.
  • Bloch, Bernard. (1946). Studies in colloquial Japanese II: Syntax. Language, 22, pp. 200–248.
  • Chafe, William L. (1976). Giveness, contrastiveness, definiteness, subjects, topics, and point of view. In C. Li (Ed.), Subject and topic (pp. 25–56). New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-447350-4.
  • Kuno, Susumu. (1973). The structure of the Japanese language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-11049-0.
  • Kuno, Susumu. (1976). Subject, theme, and the speaker's empathy: A re-examination of relativization phenomena. In Charles N. Li (Ed.), Subject and topic (pp. 417–444). New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-447350-4.
  • Martin, Samuel E. (1975). A reference grammar of Japanese. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01813-4.
  • McClain, Yoko Matsuoka. (1981). Handbook of modern Japanese grammar: 口語日本文法便覧 [Kōgo Nihon bumpō]. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press. ISBN 4-590-00570-0; ISBN 0-89346-149-0.
  • Miller, Roy. (1967). The Japanese language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Miller, Roy. (1980). Origins of the Japanese language: Lectures in Japan during the academic year, 1977–78. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95766-2.
  • Mizutani, Osamu; & Mizutani, Nobuko. (1987). How to be polite in Japanese: 日本語の敬語 [Nihongo no keigo]. Tokyo: Japan Times. ISBN 4789003388 ;
  • Shibatani, Masayoshi. (1990). Japanese. In B. Comrie (Ed.), The major languages of east and south-east Asia. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-04739-0.
  • Shibatani, Masayoshi. (1990). The languages of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36070-6 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-36918-5 (pbk).
  • Shibamoto, Janet S. (1985). Japanese women's language. New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-640030-X. Graduate Level
  • Tsujimura, Natsuko. (1996). An introduction to Japanese linguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-19855-5 (hbk); ISBN 0-631-19856-3 (pbk). Upper Level Textbooks
  • Tsujimura, Natsuko. (Ed.) (1999). The handbook of Japanese linguistics. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-20504-7. Readings/Anthologies

See also

Wikibooks
Wikibooks has more on the topic of

Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The romanization of Japanese is the use of the Latin alphabet (called rōmaji )   in Japanese) to write the Japanese language, which is normally written in logographic characters borrowed from Chinese (kanji) and syllabic scripts... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji The Hepburn romanization system ) is named after James Curtis Hepburn, who used it to transcribe the sounds of the Japanese language into the Latin alphabet in the third edition of his Japanese–English dictionary, published... Henohenomoheji (へのへのもへじ) or hehenonomoheji (へへののもへじ) is a face drawn by Japanese schoolchildren using hiragana characters. ... The RyÅ«kyÅ«an languages are spoken in the RyÅ«kyÅ« Islands and make up a subfamily of the Japonic family. ... The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over the years, from the countrys original Jomon culture to its contemporary hybrid culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. ... // As with any language, Japanese has its share of regional dialects. ... In relation to the Japanese language and computers many adaptation issues arise, some unique to Japanese and others common to languages which have a very large number of characters. ... Japanese literature spans a period of almost two millennia. ... Yamada Tarō (), a typical Japanese name (male), equivalent to John Smith in English. ... Late Old Japanese ) is a stage of the Japanese language used between 794 and 1185, a time known as the Heian Period. ... The Old Japanese language is the Japanese language as used in the Kojiki, Manyoshu, Nihonshoki, and other early records of Japanese history and poetry. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Japanese dictionaries have a history that began over 1300 years ago when Japanese Buddhist priests, who wanted to understand Chinese sutras, adapted Chinese character dictionaries. ... Sino-Japanese or Kango () in Japanese, refers to that portion of the Japanese vocabulary that originated in the Chinese language or has been created from elements borrowed from Chinese. ... In Japanese, yojijukugo (四字熟語) refers to a compound word consisting of four kanji, or Chinese characters. ... The system of Japanese numerals is the system of number names used in the Japanese language. ... In Japanese, counter words or counters (josÅ«shi 助数詞) are used along with numbers to count things, actions, and events. ... Rendaku (&#36899;&#28609;, lit. ...

External links

Wiktionary
Japanese language edition of Wiktionary, the free dictionary/thesaurus
Wikipedia
Japanese language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1058x1058, 477 KB) aa Wikipedia logo, version 1058px square, no text Wikipedia logo by Nohat (concept by Paullusmagnus); compare Wikipedia File links The following pages link to this file: Arabic language Talk:Anarcho-capitalism Talk:Algorithm Talk:Anno Domini Talk:The... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ...

Dictionaries

Learning

Writing

“PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to...


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