Japan Fact File
Official Language: Japanese
Population: 1.26 Billion
Government: Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary government
Currency: Japanese Yen
Calling Code: +81
Time Zone: GMT+9
Major Mountain Ranges: Japanese Alps
Major Rivers: Biwa, Inawashiro, Kasumigaura
Japan is the eleventh most populous country in the world. It is also one of the most densely populated and urbanised nations. It is a cluster of islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Japan is the third-largest economy, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP, and the fourth-largest economy in the world, after the United States, China, and India, in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). It has given the world high-value brands like Honda, Toyota, and Suzuki. In terms of Robotics Technology, it is one of the leading nations. Hence, it offers a wide range of career opportunities in various sectors and fields.
The root of the Japanese language is vague whilst some link it to the Altaic language family which includes Turkish, Mongolian. The language also shows similarities to Austronesian languages like Polynesian. Japanese is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. However, speaking is comparatively easier.
Unlike most Western languages, Japanese has an extensive grammatical system to express politeness and formality. There are 3 main politeness levels in Japanese: the plain form (Kudaketa), the simple polite form (Teinei), and the advanced polite form (keigo). Unlike most Western languages, Japanese has an extensive grammatical system to express politeness and formality.
Japanese is a language spoken by over 130 million people, in Japan and by Japanese emigrant communities around the world. Japanese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by words from other languages like Chinese. In the late 19th century, it started borrowing words from other Indo-European languages, primarily English. Because Japan maintained trade relations with the Netherlands. Therefore, the Dutch language has also been a source of vocabulary.
The Japanese writing system consists of three scripts, namely “Hiragana” (Native Japnese words) and “Katakana” (foreign words or loan words) and Kanji (the adopted Chinese characters). The Japanese language is based on agglutination with a simple phonemic and pure vowel.
In countries like Japan, there is almost no use of English and other languages. Everything is done in the native language.
Some Fascinating Japanese Language Facts
- In the Japanese language, verbs are not conjugated for a person or a number. Therefore, once someone learns the base verb, then there is no need to memorise thousands of pesky derivatives. Instead, you can pay more attention to the complexities of Japanese writing.
- Japanese bears no close relation to any other major languages like English which is closely tied to Germanic (German, Dutch). In fact, Japanese was considered to be one of the most unique language until recent linguists found common roots. Ryukyuan languages, which are the indigenous languages spoken in southern Japan.
- Japan is referred to as the "日本 " (read as Nihon or Nippon) which can be roughly translated to “the Land of the Rising Sun”. The term “Japan” is a foreign word.
- Japanese is the 8th most spoken language worldwide; however, on the internet, it is the 9th largest language. Japanese speakers contribute less than 2% of the world population, yet they make up almost 10% of internet users.
- It is estimated that the Japanese language has evolved 5000 years ago, the Yamato people set up the first dynasty what is now known as Japan.
- Japanese contains uncountable words borrowed from other languages and they are called "外来語" (“Gairaigo”) simply meaning. words borrowed from other languages) and not particularly English.
- The Japanese language has extensive use of honorifics ( Keigo ), which means adding suffixes to words to order to show various degrees of respect. The suffixes are different for peers, children, elders, colleagues, teachers, and others.
- Japanese is the fastest spoken language with 7.84 syllables per second according to a recent study that compared the speed (in syllables per second) to English which is comparatively slow (6.19 syllables per second).
- Japanese is not a tonal language. When the language is compared to English then it is referred to as monotonous. The majority of East Asian languages are toned in nature such as Mandarin and Thai majorly rely on tone to convey the message. Like other languages, the Japanese language does have a certain rhythm and cadence to its words and sentences. For non-native Japanese speakers, learning cadence may sound difficult and challenging but with practice and vigorous training, you can easily combat such challenges.
Japanese Culture: Customs & Traditions
It is common for Western observers of contemporary Japan to emphasize its great economic achievement without equal regard to cultural attributes. Yet Japanese cultural distinctiveness and the manner in which it is developed are instructive in understanding how Japan came to be the first non –Western country to attain great-power status.
Initially, Japanese culture was predominantly influenced by China. When the Edo era came into existence, the strict isolationist policy was exercised, closing its doors to all relationships with the outside world which cultivated a distinctly Japanese culture. Post the fall of the Edo era in 1868, Japan started adopting cultural practices from all over the world. Over the years, Japanese culture has also been greatly influenced by Western culture in terms of art, lifestyle, and food.
There are two main religions in Japan: Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto is a Japanese religion whereas, Buddhism was borrowed from China.
Some Interesting Facts About Japan
- Japan has one of the world’s lowest crime rates
- Japan has the highest number of vending machines
- Japan consists of 6,582 islands
- Over a thousand tame “Sika deer” roam the streets of Nara, Japan. The Sika deer (Spotted deer) is now revered as a national treasure by the Japanese community. The deer can be seen bowing to tourists in exchange for crackers that are sold on-site. It adds to the cultural heritage of Japan.
- From the 12th century to the demise of feudalism in the 19th century, the samurai was a powerful warrior class in Japan. Samurai essentially had a license to kill, with the authority to strike down any commoner who compromised their honour.
- A bow is an important form of greeting in Japan. The depth of the bow is significant –lower bows indicate more respect.
- The Kimono is a traditional Japanese garment worn by both men and women. It consists of a long robe-like dress that is wrapped around the body, with the left side always covering the right. The Obi is the belt that keeps the Kimono secure. A single Kimono can cost over $10,000.
- Japan is home to the Japanese Macaque or Snow Monkey, which lives in a colder climate than other primates. The Nagano prefecture is known for its macaques, which bathe in hot springs in the winter.
- The world’s largest seafood market is the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The market employs over 60,000 people and opens at 3.00 am most mornings, with its famous wholesale tuna auctions beginning at 5.00 am.
- Japan is famous for its immaculate gardens, which are meticulously planned and maintained and are considered high art. “Borrowed Scenery” from outside its boundaries, such as mountains, to form the backdrop.
WHY CHOOSE LANGMA SCHOOL OF LANGUAGES FOR LEARNING JAPANESE?
- Langma School of Languages is the best foreign language institute offering Japanese language programmes globally. Our institute is a pioneer of Japanese language training. Our dedicated teachers help students to prepare “Japanese Language Proficiency Test” (JLPT) and NAT Test. JLPT is conducted by the Japanese Government throughout the world on the first Sunday of July and December every year. NAT Test is conducted by Senmon Kyouiku Publishing House, Tokyo.
- Our native teachers are proficient to help you succeed in the exams. Our institution has successfully helped thousands of students to attain their goals. Learning the Japanese language would open doors for you to various career options throughout the world.
- Japanese consist of three character sets- Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. The language also can be written in two different ways: Western-style (horizontal row) and traditional Japanese style (vertical columns). Our Japanese language programme focuses on both styles.
- Langma School of Languages follows the levels ranging from N5 (beginner) to N1 (proficient). The learner of the Japanese language varies from students, businessmen, employees who wish to relocate to Japan. Japanese classes at Langma are based on all the four parameters of the language: reading, listening, writing, & speaking.
- Langma School of Languages is the best institution to learn Japanese since our teachers are native and have a sound knowledge of English. The programme of Japanese language includes plays, audio-visuals and workshops which can further enhance the accuracy and usage of the language. Our teachers ensure the classes are interactive and students get enough time to participate in any spoken task.
- Since its establishment, Langma School of languages offers an excellent platform where students can study and choose the programme at their own pace. Our teachers assist the students throughout the programme and help them to attain a certain level of proficiency.
- Using Live Studios, Langma offers a seamless virtual learning environment for the learners. Irrespective of the country of origin, students can access our classes live according to International standard timings (IST).
- Langma has received letters of appreciation/recognition from members of the Indian Army and Navy, British High Commission, government ministers, MPs, and foreign embassies like the Embassy of Czech Republic, Embassy of United Arab Emirates, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Embassy of the Republic of Benin, and the Embassy of the Republic of Congo.
- Langma School of Languages is equipped with audio/visuals and computers with a Wi-Fi facility. Langma School of Languages’ programme offers an insight into the history, literature, culture, movies, and other interactive activities.
- Langma School of Languages emphasises developing a well-rounded personality to produce top-quality individuals with an additional skill-set, which can open doors for them to a wide range of career opportunities.
BECOME A MASTER IN THE JAPANESE LANGUAGE WITHOUT LEAVING HOME
Langma School of Language has been offering Japanese online courses since its inception. No matter whether you live in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa or Australia – our online programme is developed to cater the needs of an individual and forget the time zone. You can be with us with your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
We provide online Japanese language training facilities for those who cannot make it to our school due to time constraints. The timings will be as per the convenience of the student that matches with the particular country’s timings.
Experience professional and authentic Japanese classes with our Qualified Native-Speakers
All of our Japanese language teachers at Langma School of Languages are native-speakers and highly qualified, each with specialist and cross over training credentials, with years of experience and abilities in all areas of training. Langma School of Languages not only ensures that you receive quality teaching but also acquire authentic Japanese dialect and terminology.
One can gain theoretical knowledge from books. However, gaining practical speaking experience can only be attained in the classroom to be prepared for future endeavours. Our teachers at Langma School of Languages encourage extracurricular practice and it is envisaged that spoken Japanese skill is taken beyond the formal teaching environment and into the students’ daily lives. Teachers provide written exercises and presentations, role-play, group discussion, and extempore to keep students engaged and consistently using the words and phrases they learnt.