30 Peculiarities and characteristics of the Japanese language

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For students of Japanese language, it is important to know some peculiarities and characteristics of the Japanese language. Today we are going to analyze several points that you need to learn before studying Japanese, some rules of reading and identification.

 Can I use Hiragana and Katakana in the same word?

Particularities in reading and pronouncing the Japanese language

  • In Japanese the pronunciation of R it will always be the same, as pronounced in the word expensive. Does not exist RR in the Japanese language;
  • O H does not have a mute sound as in Portuguese, it will be pronounced as R, equal in the English word Hungry;
  • O AND must be pronounced with closed sound as in poems and where;
  • O W is a semi-vowel and has the sound equivalent to U, while the Y has the sound equivalent to I;
  • s it's always a hissing like SS and Ç of Portuguese;
  • J has the sound of DJ as in adjective;
  • CH has the sound of tch as in bye;
  • SH has the sound of X or CH as in Tea;
  • GE and GI if pronunciation gue and gui;
  • When we speak in words with two consonants like Ittekimasu, between these two T's there must be a pause extending the previous vowel;
  • When a dash is found above the vowel as in the word Okāsan it means a long vowel and it can be said: Okaasan;

If you want to go deeper into Japanese language pronunciation, you can watch our video below:

PECULIARITIES of Hiragana and Katakana

  • The letter pronounce TSU and it doesn't exist in our Portuguese language;
  • When the  is small between the letters, as in the word: Te ってきます (Ittekimasu), indicates an occlusive sound;
  • The Trace at the Katakana it also means an extension of the anterior vowel;
  • Little ones やゆよ are contracted sounds, like Kya Kyu Kyo. (We will not go in depth);
  • Long vowels will be transcribed with duplication of the vowel, as in Okaasan (おかあさん);
  • In the Japanese alphabet the lines of the syllables ぎょう follow the order A I U E O different from Portuguese which is AEIOU;
  • The little Hiragana found over some words mainly in karaoke or some books, which is the pronunciation of kanji It is known as furigana;
Nihongo escritas - língua japonesa e30 peculiaridades e características do idioma japonês
Diferentes formas de escritas do idioma japonês.

Other Japanese language features

  • Japanese currently mixes many English words;
  • Japanese is a very formal language, you must speak politely according to the person;
  • In Japanese, the plural or future is not used, as in Portuguese;
  • If you use too many Suffixes special when speaking people's names or some things;
  • People's names are usually the name of anything, fruits, objects and etc;
  • In Japanese there are thousands of identical words, so you should pay close attention to the context of the conversation;
  • It does not have degrees of augmentative and diminutive, however, there is suffixes for this;
  • There are thousands of forms of counts using;
  • Nouns are invariant, or lack genres distinct for male and female;
  • A Word can have several meanings, and using the same spelling in kanji;
  • The Japanese language uses the SOV system where the verb always goes at the end of the sentence;
  • Nihongo has a formal and informal language, with different hierarchical levels;

Some of the inspirations in this list were taken from some handouts and the dictionary Michaelis that I highly recommend:


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