Is the Japanese language difficult?


Many believe that the Japanese language is very difficult to learn. And it really scares because of its thousands of ideograms. However, the reality is that the Japanese language is very simple, in this article I will try to show how the Japanese language is very simple and easy to learn.

It is worth making it clear that all languages require dedication and patience to learn. I personally believe that speaking Portuguese makes the process of learning Japanese a little more difficult. All this because Portuguese is a very complicated language, full of grammatical rules and has a different structure. Enough of the bullshit and let's understand why learn japanese it may be easier than we think.

Simplicity in grammar and verbs

Unlike Portuguese, Japanese does not have thousands of verb conjugations or pronouns. While Portuguese has 10 tenses in the indicative and 6 in the subjunctive, Japanese has only 2 the present and the past. In Japanese, verbs do not conjugate according to the subject.

The example below shows how many different variations of the verb exist Go in Portuguese and how little in Japanese:

  • Portuguese - Go - go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, will, will, will, will, will, would, would, would, would, would, would, go, go, go, go, go, go, were, were, were, were, were, for, for, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go;
  • Japanese 行く - iku - iki (masu), ikou, ike (nai), itte, itta, ika;

Only iku it is already able to be used most times. These variations shown above are just to add a termination that changes the phrase to the past, present, negative or to give politeness, condition, emphasis, etc. (masu, mashita, nai, tte, ta, nda, zo.)

Japanese too has no gender (male and female) in nouns and nor plural. Nor is there a definite article or an indefinite article in the Japanese language.

Is the Japanese language difficult?

Japanese pronunciation and syllables

Due to the fact that we speak Portuguese, learning Japanese pronunciation is very easy. Unlike English, Japanese syllables are similar to Portuguese, so pronunciation is not a difficulty. Not to mention that Japanese has fewer syllables than most languages (109) and they do not change in key (words).

Another thing that makes learning Japanese easier is that although there are 109 syllables, there are only 46 kana (type letters) that represent the syllables. Japanese uses 2 composite alphabets 46 kana that form 71 different sounds. This is possible because some kanas have a different pronunciation because of 2 dots or a ball that is placed on top of them. See some examples below:



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Mastering these 46 kana (hiragana and katakana) and the 71 sounds, you are able to speak and read any Japanese word and text that do not have ideograms, or that use furigana (kana on top of ideograms).

Is the Japanese language difficult?

Japanese word formation

Another proof that Japanese is an easy language is the fact that many words came from the language English It's from Portuguese. Many nouns such as objects, animal names and even some verbs have their origin in another language or have a foreign version. These words of foreign origin are written using katakana.

Although many are afraid of ideograms (kanji), the reality is that they are very useful. Japanese becomes much easier and more understanding when you start to understand the ideograms and see that they bring the words to life. Some ideograms are composed of elements and shapes that make perfect sense, as if we were seeing the meaning of the word. Like German, we can easily see that many words in Japanese are joins of other words as in the examples below:

  • (hand) + (paper) = 手紙 (Letter). Junction of 2 ideograms forming a word;
  • (tree) = (woods) =  (forest). All of this with a single ideogram;
  •  (tree) +  (table) = (writing desk). 2 different ideograms have become an ideogram;
Is the Japanese language difficult?


Japanese is a super simple and easy language, its difficulty is the memorization of the ideograms and their writing. Grammar, despite being simple, can be complicated because it is different from Portuguese, so it takes a long time to get used to not changing word orders. Japanese can also become quite complex because of its variations, dialects, formality and politeness. Not to mention the countless forms of counting and other elements that can make you break your head a little.

Therefore, I find it much easier to learn the Japanese language, although it requires a longer time and a great dedication to master the ideograms. What do you think of the Japanese language? Find it easy? Leave your opinion in the comments.

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