All languages have similarities, be it in writing, grammar, speaking or in a few words. In this article we will present the similarities that the Japanese language has with other languages like Chinese, Portuguese, English, Korean and others.
Studying Japanese I realized that it has characteristics of several languages. This can happen because of history, influence, importation and even by chance because of the results of the collective unconscious.
What is the benefit of knowing languages that have similarities to Japanese? Maybe you are a curious polyglot, or want to find similar languages. Hope you enjoy this article and share it with friends.
Table of Contents - Similarities of Japanese to Chinese - Similarities of Japanese to German - Similarities of Japanese with Sign Language - Similarities of Japanese to Korean - Similarities of Japanese to Portuguese - Similarities of Japanese to English - Japanese similarities to tupi-guarani - Similarities of Japanese to Hebrew - Similarities of Japanese to other languages
Similarities Between Chinese and Japanese
Many times people end up thinking that the Japanese and Chinese languages are the same thing. Motifs abound, Japanese uses most of the traditional Chinese ideograms and also imported most of its words.
But this is one of the few and only similarities to the Chinese language, because it pronounces it, and some spelling rules change completely. The only thing that stays beyond ideograms is simplicity.
Chinese is a tonal language, while Japanese has few predefined syllables that sound does not change at all. The way of speaking of the Chinese is completely different from the Japanese. Japanese writing also has 2 other syllable alphabets that blend in with the ideograms imported from China.
Similarities Between japanese and german
How similar is the Japanese language to German? Have you noticed the huge and complicated words of the German language? They are junctions of small words that form others, which sometimes have very different meanings.
Like German, Japanese is a language that joins words to form others. There are many similar languages, but German is one of the most popular when it comes to putting words together.
As in German, when it will refer to just a particular thing in Japanese, the word is written together using ideograms. Both German and Japanese join words to form new ideas.
Sometimes it may seem confusing because the Japanese language has no space, but the similarities are visible, and it was one of the first things I noticed when learning Japanese.
Similarities Between japanese and sing language
Japanese can be similar to sign languages for 2 reasons, firstly the simplicity of the language, and also because of the signs representing images in the mind, just as ideograms do.
Sign language has a simple grammar and language. There are thousands of languages with a simple language, but the most similar to Japanese is sign language.
Similarities Between japanese and korean
The Japanese and Korean languages share many similarities, such as SOV (subject + object + verb) grammar, typology, honorifics, prefixes and so on. One of the differences between Japanese and Korean is that Korean grammar is much harder than Japanese.
About 40% of Korean vocabulary resembles Japanese. Like Japan, Korea was influenced by the Chinese language. Korea also had influences in the Japanese language, just as Japan also influenced Korea in some way.
Korean writing is totally different from Japanese writing, but they share the same idea. While Japan simplified its language by creating hiragana and katakana, Korea completely removed the ideograms by creating its own writing system.
Similarities Between japanese and portuguese
The Portuguese language had a lot of influence on the Japanese language. The Portuguese arrived in Japan around 1542-1543 and were the first Europeans to establish a continuous and direct flow of trade between Japan and Europe.
Over the years it has speculated that over 4,000 Japanese words have influenced the Portuguese and Portuguese language. So we have many similar words in both languages.
It is believed that the tenten e maru (accent that changes the Japanese syllable) was created only because of foreign Portuguese living in Japan.
Words like glass, alcohol, button, balance, bottle, jesus, cover, cup, cross, bread and tobacco are used in the Japanese language adapted to katakana writing.
Similarities Between japanese and english
Like Portuguese, Japan has had much influence from the English language in recent centuries. Nowadays most inventions and things that came up had their name derived from English.
These words borrowed from English are called wasei-eigo, something similar happens a lot in Portuguese, where we speak downloads, hashtag, update, billboard and smartphone.
Similarities between Japanese and Other Languages If 4,000 words of Portuguese origin in Japanese is too much, the English influenced much more. Words such as apartment, elevator, underwear, panties, ice cream, animation, butter, milk, dormitories, building, computer, desk, driver, fight, and Christmas were imported from English.
Similarities Between japanese and tupi-guarani
For some reason, several Tupi-Guarani language families have striking similarities to the Japanese language. Words such as wall, rain, restless, and field flowers have almost identical pronunciation.
It is not enough to have a similar pronunciation, Tupi-Guarani and Japanese have similar words with the same or similar meaning. Sometimes not just words but even Japanese grammar looks like Tupi-Guarani.
Similarities between Japanese and Other Languages In Japanese there is the demonstrative pronoun ano (あの) while in Tupi there are the demonstrative pronouns aõ and anõi. Are these similarities coincidental or did it have any deviation in history that united these two distant nations?
Similarities Between japanese and hebrew
Some insist that the Hebrews influenced Japan in some way, both in history and in the political system and language. Let’s not discuss this from here, because scholars totally contradict such a belief.
Still, there are slight similarities between the Hebrew language and the Japanese language. This happens in both writing and pronunciation, but there is a scientific explanation for such coincidences.
The explanation for such a theory is what we call the collective unconscious. It is the idea that we all inherit trends, functional traits, virtual images that would be common to all human beings. Which explains several coincidences around the world.
Similarities Between japanese and others language
In addition to those mentioned, other scholars create theories similar to Japanese and other languages. Some claim that Japanese phonology is similar to those of the Austronesian languages as the Creole language.
Other researchers have tried to link Japanese with Indo-European languages, Dravidian languages, and other Eurasian languages. There are some similarities between the Altaic languages such as Turkish, Mongolian and others.
I do not rule out any possibility that these languages will influence each other. Directly, indirectly or through the collective unconscious.
Is that you? Do you know any other languages that resemble Japanese? Leave your comment on this subject and share it with friends!