Japanese is an East Asian language, member of the Japonic language family. It is spoken almost exclusively in Japan, but it has been spoken outside as well. Before and during World War II, by means of Japanese annexation of Taiwan and Korea and partial occupation of China, the Philippines, and various Pacific islands, locals in those countries learned Japanese. Thus, many elderly people in these countries can still speak Japanese. With our team of experienced, bilingual
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Japanese has dozens of dialects. The main distinction in Japanese accents is between Tokyo-type and Kyoto-Osaka-type. Dialects from peripheral regions may be unintelligible to speakers from the other areas of the country.
Not much is known about the prehistory of Japanese language and when it appeared. The first Japanese recorded words appeared in Chinese documents in the 3rd century; substantial texts appeared in the 8th century. Old Japanese was highly influenced by Chinese from the point of view of vocabulary and phonology. In Japan, literacy was introduced in the form of the Chinese writing system. Initially, the Japanese wrote in Classical Chinese, with Japanese names represented by characters used for their meanings and not their sounds. The Japanese writing system evolved over time. Chinese characters (kanji) were used to write words borrowed from Chinese and Japanese words with the same or similar meanings.
Modern written Japanese consists of a mixture of three main systems: kanji (characters of Chinese origin used to represent Chinese loanwords and also certain native Japanese morphemes) and two syllabaries: hiragana and katakana. The Latin script is used to a certain extent - for imported acronyms and to transcribe Japanese names and in other situations where non-Japanese speakers need to know how to pronounce a word. Arabic numerals are much more common than the kanji when used in counting, but kanji numerals are still used in compounds.
Translating from and into Japanese can be quite challenging due to the fact that the language structure is distinctly particular; choosing the correct tense is an art because there is no future tense; many Japanese nouns can also be used as adjectives or adverbs; it takes ability to differentiate grammatical genders; when translating, Japanese needs massive restructuring and special measures for communicating the parts of English Grammar that are missing etc.
The ISO language code for Japanese is JP.
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