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Static Wikipedia: Italiano -Inglese (ridotta) - Francese - Spagnolo - Tedesco - Portoghese
 
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Japanese language

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

This language has its own Wikipedia Project.

Japanese (日本語 "Nihon-go" or "Nippon-go" in Japanese) is the language spoken on the island nation of Japan, in East Asia.


Japan has only five vowel sounds. They are ah, ee, oo, eh, and o. Japanese has only one sound between L and R, instead of two sounds. That is why it may be difficult for many Japanese to pronounce the English 'R'. Japanese has a sound not often found in English that is usually written Tsu. Also, "o" and "u" can either be short or long. A "long" "o" or "u" would be an extended version. For example, benkyousuru (?ん??ょ??る)(to study).

In Japanese, the verb is at the end of the sentence, and the subject is at the beginning. The subject can be left out, because many times it is implied in the verb.

In Japanese, Japan is called Nihon (日本), and the Japanese language is called Nihongo (日本語) (-go means language). Sometimes, the words Nippon and Nippongo are also used, but today these words are thought of as more nationalist, while Nihon is a more neutral word.

[edit] Writing system

The Japanese language uses three writing systems, katakana (カタカナ) and hiragana (?ら??). Katakana is for writing sound effects and words from outside of Japan. Hiragana is for writing words from inside Japan. Both writing system have symbols that mean a syllable. Katakana has straighter edges and sharper corners than hiragana. Hiragana has more curves than katakana.

There is a third way to write, called kanji (漢字), where every word or idea has a picture character taken from Chinese. To be able to read Japanese, students must learn around 2,000 kanji. Many kanji are made up from smaller, simpler kanji. Each kanji may sound differently when used in a different way.

Written Japanese has no spaces between words, so kanji help separate words in a sentence.

Japanese can be written in 2 ways:

  1. From left to right, moving from the top toward the bottom of the page (same as in English language).
  2. From top to bottom, moving from the right toward the left of the page.

[edit] Examples

Here are some examples of Japanese words :

  • 人 (hito) : person
  • 女 (onna) : woman
  • 男 (otoko) : man
  • 水 (mizu) : water
  • ?ん??? (konnichiwa) : hello (during the middle of the day or afternoon)
  • ?よ?ら (sayonara) : goodbye
  • ?? (hai) : yes
  • ??? (iie) : no

[edit] External Links