JAPANESE LANGUAGE

Japanese Language: Japanese (日本語 nihongo) is spoken in Japan, and essentially nowhere else. The Japanese language is distinct from Chinese and Korean, although the written form uses Chinese (kanji) characters, and is not known to be related to any other language.

Grammar
Japanese generally employs a subject-object-verb order, using particles to mark the grammatical functions of the words: 私がハンバーガーを食べる watashi-ga hamburger-o taberu, "I-subject hamburger-object eat". It is common to omit subjects and even objects if these are clear from previous context.

Verbs and adjectives conjugate by tense and politeness level, but not by person or number. There is no verb "to be" as such, but the polite copula desu can be used in most cases: John desu ("I am John"), Ringo desu ("This is an apple"), Akai desu ("It is red"), etc. Note that the exact meaning will depend on the implied subject!

The good news is that Japanese has none of the following: gender, declensions or plurals. Nouns never conjugate and almost all verbs are regular.

Reading and writing
Reading and writing Japanese are advanced skills which take years of work to gain much real proficiency. Japanese themselves use three different writing systems of various complexity, two of which (hiragana' and katakana) are syllabic and relatively easy to learn with 50 characters each, but the clincher is the set of over 2000 Chinese characters known as kanji. The set of hiragana characters is illustrated in the Japanese Pronunciation Guide.

See also Japanese Writing System.

 

IMPROVE YOUR JAPANESE

The best way to improve your Japanese is to use it regularly. The best way to use your Japanese regularly is to talk to native Japanese who are interested in developing their English skills. This way you improve your language skills, help them with their English and make new friends at the same time.

GoJapanGo Friends is the ideal way to find language partners, both male and female. It is great to have friends in Japan so when you travel there, you can meet them and they can show you around. This way you can experience the real Japan that you would normally miss as a tourist.

Japanese Words

JAPANESE WORDS

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