Visual Encyclopedia

Japanese language

is an East Asian language spoken by about 125 million speakers, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family. Relations to other language groups are debated. Japanese shows in its proto-form strong similarities to Southeast Asian languages. A 2015 analysis using the Automated Similarity Judgment Program resulted in the Japonic languages being grouped with the Ainu and then with the Austroasiatic languages. Relations to Korean or to the now discredited Altaic family are seen as obsolete.

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Currently learning Japanese and love it! It's a great language to learn. I recommend taking a class for a more in depth teaching experience. Today I am posting the vowels (a,i,u,e,o) あ a = pronounced 'ah' い i = 'e' う u = not really sure how to explain that. Reminds me of ew, but the w sounds more like an u. Others describe it as double 'oo' like in moo. え e = 'eh' お o = 'o' So many words can be created just from this five letters: ai= love ie=house ou=to chase aoi=blue

Contributed by Erika Griego

If you are studying Japanese, you may have come across the character つ or tsu in your studies. What some people don't understand, is that tsu can also be silent. When you see a smaller tsu in the middle of a word, you don't pronounce the tsu, but rather emphasize the character that follows it. A very common example would be the word 学校=がっこう=gakkou. Notice there is a tiny tsu between ga and ko, and when the word is written out in romanji, it's shown as a double consonant. What this indicates is that you would take a small pause between ga and ko. Don't drag out the pause; it's really only meant to last not even a second.

Contributed by Stephanie Federman

This might be helpful for anyone trying to learn Japanese on their own, or just practicing/ brushing up on their Japanese language skills.

Contributed by Kaileigh Nicklas

The article "ka" is something you will hear a lot in the Japanese language. It is permanently placed at the end of a sentence to indicate a question. For example in the earlier posts, "toileto ha doko desu ka." Here you are asking, " where is the bathroom?" Where normally in English an interogative sentence ends in a "?" symbol, Japanese uses the simple word "ka" to make note of a question being asked.

Contributed by JaNae Ford

"Sumimasen" is another phrase that is a every day used word. It translates into "excuse me". The phrase is used for situations for when you are trying to get someone's attention. It is also used for pardon purposes. For instance if you bumped into someone you would say "sumimasen", bow and continue on your way.

Contributed by JaNae Ford

"sou desu ka" is a phrase that is used a lot in the language. It basically means "is that right?" it is used to agree with some one or a filler response for a conversation you may not be so on point with.

Contributed by JaNae Ford

a = the a in [ father ] i = the i in [ feet ] e = the e in [ pet ] o = the o in [ toe ] u = the u in [ poot ]

Contributed by JaNae Ford

ichi = 1 ni = 2 san = 3 yo/shi = 4 go = 5 roku = 6 nana/shichi = 7 hachi = 8 ku/kyu = 9 juu =10

Contributed by JaNae Ford

ao = blue akai = red midori = green kuro = black shiro = white pinku = pink kiiro = yellow murusaki = purple chaiiro = brown gurei* = gray ( the pronunciation for this word is gu ree, with a long e sound at the end) orenji = orange

Contributed by JaNae Ford

"toileto ha(wa) doko desu ka? Now in this sentence you will notice the () I put around the "wa", this in to indicate that the "ha" is supposed to be pronounced as wa instead of ha. Don't worry as to why right now, just know that it is important whenever your speaking out loud to pronounce it as "wa". Also in Japanese everything is pronounced just like it is spelled. There fore "toileto" is to-i-le-to. When speaking always remember to sound it out like a big English word you don't know. Once you figure out the phonetics then put it all together.

Contributed by JaNae Ford

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