The Japanese language is one of the most popular in the world, even though Japan is the only country in the world whose native language is Japanese (nihongo - 日本語). What factors in Japanese language make it so popular and unique?
In this article, we will see several factors and curiosities related to the Japanese language that shows how different, interesting and unique this language can be. Facts that can make learning easier or more difficult.
On the internet, about 10% speaks Japanese. The Japanese language has been evolving for over 1500 years. The Japanese speak more than 7.84 syllables per second, but the English itself speaks 6.19.
Facts that make a conversation in the Japanese language unique
The Japanese are more concerned with the emotional way the conversation is conducted. They don't matter so much about grammatical rules during a conversation, so particles and certain words can be excluded from a conversation, but they are absolutely necessary in a text.
At the same time that the Japanese swallow words and particles, they have 3 forms of language, one informal, one formal and one keigo (super formal and respectful). They avoid any negative words or insults to avoid conflicts.
The Japanese have a collective nature, caring more for the group than for the individual. This makes them rarely use personal pronouns, because it gives an individualistic idea. They also avoid using the first name of the person with whom they have no intimacy.
The Japanese also like to use signs and non-verbal languages. Silence is sometimes the only sign of an answer. For Japanese people, talking too much can be chaotic.
Although there are no genders in Japanese words, women and men have different expressions and ways of communicating. Just as there are regional dialects, there are different dialects between men and women.
Facts that make the Japanese language unique
The Japanese language often uses ideograms that represent ideas and come together. For example, the word letter is the combination of hand and paper, because a letter is written by hand. Another example is the ideogram of liking / loving, it is the combination of the ideograms of woman and child, representing the love for the child.
The Japanese language is one of the favorite options of polyglots, as when studying Japanese you automatically end up learning words in English, Portuguese, Chinese and several other languages that helped to enrich the Japanese language.
Japanese has its own writing system called Hiragana and Katakana, in addition to using ideograms of Chinese origin that represent ideas and sounds.
Other interesting curiosities:
- There is neither plural nor gender in the Japanese language;
- Although there are no accents and variations in pronunciation, intonation is important in some words;
- There are no articles in Japanese;
- The Japanese language is full of homophones due to the few syllables;
- Verbs are usually placed at the end of a sentence. The language uses the SOV system (subject, object and verb);
- Although Japanese uses Chinese characters, the language is completely different from Chinese;
- The language uses 3 writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.
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