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Japanese: The language with no plural words

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10 facts about the Japanese language

01

The Japanese language has four writing systems; katakana, kanji, romaji and hiragana.

02

The Japanese language has no plural words, so there is no verbal distinction between singular and plural nouns.

03

The Japanese do not refer to Japan as such but as Nippon or Nihon, meaning the “Land of the Rising Sun.”

04

Japanese is the official language of only one country in the world: Japan. It is not officially spoken anywhere else.

05

It is one of the fastest spoken languages in the world, with 8 syllables spoken per second.

06

The Japanese language is spoken by 126.3 million people around the world; for native speakers, it is the 9th most spoken language.

07

The Japanese language is the third most spoken language on the Internet, following Spanish and English.

08

The English language borrows a number of words from Japanese such as tsunami, origami and typhoon.

09

As Japan is the world’s leader in technology, 10% of the world’s Internet users are Japanese.

10

Unlike the English language subject-verb-object order, Japanese uses a subject-object-verb order.

Japan

Origin of the language

Japanese emerged in the Korean peninsula.

Japan

History of the language

It is believed that Japanese originated in the middle of the 4th century.

Japan

Learning the language

It takes an English speaker 2200 hours to learn Japanese as.

Japanese language for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Japanese:
Hello: Konichiwa
Thank you: Arigato
Yes: hai
No: lie
Home: uchi
Family: kazoku
Happy: tanoshii
Sad: kanashii
Bright: akarui
Dark: kurai

Quotes

There is nothing that I fear. I was born into this world to achieve something.

Hideyo Noguchi

Bacteriologist

Comics are an international language, they can cross boundaries and generations.

Osamu Tezuka

Cartoonist, manga artist and animator

This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.

Osamu Dazai

Novelist and short-story writer

Fun facts about the Japanese language

No connection to other languages

Japanese did not originate from any language. Despite the resemblance, it has no connection to Chinese.

World’s first novel

The novel often credited for being the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, is a Japanese novel.

Untraceable origin

Japanese started as a verbal language, and there are many theories about when and where it originated.

Reading the paper

According to official government advice, you have to know 2,000 words in Kanji to read a newspaper.

No names for months

Japanese infants do not have any names for the first 12 months of the year; they are denoted by Kanji numbers.

Grammar for politeness

Japanese has a separate grammar to express politeness called “Keigo” which also has several  levels of politeness.

You Would Know Some of Japanese Words Already!

Commonly spoken English words like 'tsunami', 'karaoke', and 'emoji' are actually Japanese words.

Days of the week

In Japanese, the days of the week are named in Kanji after stars such as Mars (fire) and Jupiter (wood).

Two different years

In Japanese, the years are recorded according to the Gregorian calendar and based on the reigns of Japanese emperors.

Kanji characters have multiple meanings

Kanji characters can be read based on the methods of on-yomi (Chinese) and kun-yomi (Japanese) and can have more than 10 meanings.

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