Japanese has 126 million native speakers, making it the ninth most spoken language in the world. It’s spoken mainly in the north east Asian Nation of Japan and also to a limited extent in emigrant communities and among some elderly people living in Japan former colonies like korea and Taiwan. Japanese belongs to the Japonic language family, which also includes the endangered RyuKyun languages of Okinawa and Amami island. Languages in Motion offers high-quality translations and interpretation from Japanese to English and from English to Japanese, as well as many other Japanese language combinations.
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Brief History of the Japanese Language:
The early history of Japanese and the relationship to other languages is unknown. There are theories that the Japanese and Korean languages share a common ancestor. And there are theories that Japanese and Korean are part of a wider language family called the Altaic language family. This theory is highly debated and not generally accepted.
There are also theories that Japanese arose from contact between the language of the Yayoi people, who migrated from the northeast Asian mainland into Japan 2000 to 3000 years ago, and the language of the Jomon people, who were already living there.
Japanese was not a written language in its early history during the Yayoi period. During the 3rd century CE, the Yamato state in Japan established relations with China, and in the next 600 years would be a period of heavy Chinese influence. Since Japanese had no written form, classical Chinese became the first literary language used by the elite. Later, Chinese characters began being adopted to write Japanese.
Two systems of simplified phonetic characters developed in the 8th century in order to simplified the writing process. These two systems were Hiragana, Katakana. Chinese characters represent the meaning of the content word, while Kana provided the pronunciation, as well as the grammatical elements and inflections that were not present in Chinese.
Through this process of trying to make written Chinese language fit with the spoken Japanese language, a huge amount of Chinese vocabulary was adopted into Japanese.
Standard Japanese today, is based on the dialect of Tokyo, but there are also numerous unique colourful regional and local dialects. Like the distinctive dialect of the Kansai region which other Japanese people often associate with comedy. There are other dialects such as Tohoku, Okinawa, and many more. Almost everywhere you go in Japan there is a distinctive local dialect. These dialects are more closer to Standard Chinese than they were in the past.