What does japanese mean
The Japanese language comes from Japan: almost all residents speak it. That's almost 130 million people. Some Japanese have emigrated to the United States and other countries and speak Japanese there.
Linguists would like to classify languages and say which language is related to which. It's very difficult with Japanese. Perhaps Japanese is somewhat related to Korean and the Altai languages from Russia. Namely, these languages form words and sentences in a similar way.
Little is known about the oldest Japanese either. The oldest words were written about 200 years after Christ. But the oldest texts known today are five hundred years younger. It's not that different from the German language.
The Japanese language tends to have few vowels and sympathetic sounds. Only certain syllables appear in words. Therefore, Japanese words and sentences are quite long, otherwise it would be difficult to form many different words.
In Japanese, it is common to pronounce the words in a sentence at different heights. Japanese do this more than Germans. In doing so, they emphasize something. Unlike in Chinese, the words retain their meaning.
What does the vocabulary look like?
Japanese is not related to Chinese. But it has adopted many words, as Buddhist monks have been coming to Japan for more than a thousand years.
A few Japanese words have also made it into the German language. These include "kimono", "manga" and "sushi". Conversely, German words also came into Japanese. The word “arubaito”, for example, is actually the German word work. It means vacation job or part-time work. Since the Japanese cannot speak several consonants in a row, they put an “a” between “r” and “b”. But other words are even less recognizable. The word “shurafu”, for example, is the German word sleep and stands for the sleeping bag.
Most of the foreign words come from English. In the process, new words are often formed that do not even exist in English. So the pocket monster, "pocket monster", was abbreviated to Pokémon.
How do the Japanese write?
The Japanese call the Japanese language "Nihongo". The Japanese script consists of three different types of characters. They are called Hiragana, ひ ら が な, Katakana, カ タ カ ナ, and Kanji, 寛 治.
The hiragana are for the normal Japanese words. Katakana are used to write names or words taken from another language. An example of such an adopted word is computer. With katakana one would write it コ ン ピ ュ ー タ ー and pronounce it “konpjuta”. The katakana are more angular compared to the hiragana.
The third type of Japanese characters is called Kanji. These kanji were taken from the Chinese language. They are usually very complicated. Both the hiragana and the katakana are syllable symbols. This means that every character has a specific pronunciation, for example "mo", and only several characters in succession result in a word. With the Kanji, however, each character has its own meaning. Even so, it can be pronounced in two different ways, Japanese or Chinese.
The word "Nihongo" in Chinese characters. It means Japanese language.
On this old poster the characters can still be read from right to left.
The syllable "mo" in the hiragana syllabary
The syllable "mo" in the katakana syllabary
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