Why Should You Learn the Japanese Language?
Oct 09, 2008 • By Julie Landry • 415 Views
Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with a total population of 127 million. Tokyo is one of the world's most populous cities. Japanese language instruction receives more attention in Japanese schools than English instruction in the United States because of the difficulty of learning written Japanese. Virtually every Japanese student takes English language courses from the seventh grade through the final year of high school.
Japanese has a lot of pronouns for use in different occasions, and different pronouns for men and women, younger or older, etc. These pronouns are not used all the time, but often elided when the reference has been established and is obvious from context. Japanese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by other languages, most notably Chinese, English, and some Dutch (because of the special trade relationship between Japan and Holland in the 17th century). Japanese cartoons and video games are very popular in today's society and many people, especially young ones, enjoy reading and playing them. There are numerous video games that do not reach the Western countries and in order to play them you need to know the language.
Japanese is a language that consists of characters that are completely different from the alphabet that makes up the languages of Western civilization, like English, German, French and Italian. If you are need to learn to speak Japanese for business reasons, or if you simply want to take a vacation there, it can be a bit intimidating to start learning a language so different from your own. Japanese ranks as one of the world's most important languages with over 126 million speakers. The vast majority, about 124 million, reside within Japan and the island group of Okinawa. Japanese verbs are inflected to differentiate what the speaker observes moment by moment. Therefore, the time expressed in a Japanese sentence is fixed at the speaker's present moment.
Japan may have been obliged to follow us in economic ways, but we have been obliged to follow the Japanese in many artistic ways. Japanese grammar and the grammar of the Myanmar language are very similar, so if you decided to learn them both, there would not be that many problems in studying the two languages. However, Kanji (Chinese characters) is not used in Myanmar, and even though I had studied a little bit of Kanji while at the school in Yangon, it was still not easy to become familiar with it. Japanese seems to lend itself to computerized learning, and there are a multitude of new software products that are great for learning the language. Sound files are a great aid for your pronunciation.
As was stated before, Japanese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by loans from other languages. A vast number of words were borrowed from Chinese, or created from Chinese models, over a period of at least 1,500 years. However, Japanese has five short vowels: a , i , u , e , o . They are short vowels, pronounced clearly and crisply. Japanese also shares considerable similarities with the languages of the Ryukyu Islands, within which Okinawa is located, although the Ryukyu languages and Japanese are also mutually unintelligible. Japanese has borrowed many words from European languages during the last 100 years, mostly from English. This process has been greatly accelerated in the post-World War II period.
Japanese ways of thinking depend on schooling in kanji. Japanese also coined many neologisms (in kanji) to carry Western concepts; many of these were exported to Chinese and Korean via characters, in late 19th and early 20th century. In the past few decades, wasei-eigo (made-in-Japan English) has become a prominent phenomenon. Japanese nouns in general have neither number nor gender. Thus "hon" meaning "book" can be used for the singular or plural.
Japanese personal pronouns are generally used only in situations requiring special emphasis as to who is doing what to whom. Japanese does have a distinct intonation pattern. Their intonation pattern can be heard not only in individual words, but also in whole sentences.
Japan is a beautiful country with good and bad things, but the few bad things that you might find are nothing compared to the good things that you can experience here. Nagoya is a big city, but it is pretty easy to find everything that you need.
Japanese diplomatic establishments overseas also provide information and advice on foreign students who wish to come to Japan on their own. As of May 1986, about 18,000 foreign students are studying in Japan.