Japanese, Korean, Chinese… What’s the Difference?
Japanese characters are originated from Chinese character for sure. about Korea, I wish we could pull up a table and swap Japan/Korea tidbits over beers. 'Hanzi and kanji: differences in the Chinese and Japanese character sets today' It refers to the Chinese characters that both languages make use of in their writing systems. Chinese is written But the pronunciation plot thickens! However. Japanese writing is clearly taken from Chinese, but the language itself (i.e. speech) is a mystery. The feature of Each kanji is a character that represents a meaning. . Below is _no's () chart illustrating vowel categories.
Consonant length gemination is also phonemic. The phonology of Japanese also includes a pitch accent systemwhich is a system that helps differentiate words with identical Hiragana spelling or words in different Japanese dialects. The stresses differentiate the words. Please help to improve this section by introducing more precise citations. November Main article: Japanese grammar Sentence structure Japanese word order is classified as subject—object—verb.
Unlike many Indo-European languagesthe only strict rule of word order is that the verb must be placed at the end of a sentence possibly followed by sentence-end particles. This is because Japanese sentence elements are marked with particles that identify their grammatical functions. The basic sentence structure is topic—comment.
The verb de aru desu is a contraction of its polite form de arimasu is a copulacommonly translated as "to be" or "it is" though there are other verbs that can be translated as "to be"though technically it holds no meaning and is used to give a sentence 'politeness'. As a phrase, Tanaka-san desu is the comment. This sentence literally translates to "As for this person, it is Mr.
In Japanese, the subject or object of a sentence need not be stated if it is obvious from context. As a result of this grammatical permissiveness, there is a tendency to gravitate towards brevity; Japanese speakers tend to omit pronouns on the theory they are inferred from the previous sentence, and are therefore understood.
In the context of the above example, hana-ga nagai would mean "[their] noses are long," while nagai by itself would mean "[they] are long. In addition, since adjectives can form the predicate in a Japanese sentence belowa single adjective can be a complete sentence: While the language has some words that are typically translated as pronouns, these are not used as frequently as pronouns in some Indo-European languages, and function differently.
The real relationship between Japanese and Chinese
In some cases Japanese relies on special verb forms and auxiliary verbs to indicate the direction of benefit of an action: Here, the in-group includes the speaker and the out-group does not, and their boundary depends on context.
Such beneficiary auxiliary verbs thus serve a function comparable to that of pronouns and prepositions in Indo-European languages to indicate the actor and the recipient of an action. Japanese "pronouns" also function differently from most modern Indo-European pronouns and more like nouns in that they can take modifiers as any other noun may. For instance, one does not say in English: This is why some linguists do not classify Japanese "pronouns" as pronouns, but rather as referential nouns, much like Spanish usted contracted from vuestra merced, "your [ flattering majestic plural ] grace" or Portuguese o senhor.
Japanese personal pronouns are generally used only in situations requiring special emphasis as to who is doing what to whom. The choice of words used as pronouns is correlated with the sex of the speaker and the social situation in which they are spoken: When used in different social relationships, the same word may have positive intimate or respectful or negative distant or disrespectful connotations. Japanese often use titles of the person referred to where pronouns would be used in English.
This is because anata is used to refer to people of equal or lower status, and one's teacher has higher status. Inflection and conjugation Japanese nouns have no grammatical number, gender or article aspect. Where number is important, it can be indicated by providing a quantity often with a counter word or rarely by adding a suffix, or sometimes by duplication e. Words for people are usually understood as singular. Thus Tanaka-san usually means Mr. Words that refer to people and animals can be made to indicate a group of individuals through the addition of a collective suffix a noun suffix that indicates a groupsuch as -tachi, but this is not a true plural: A group described as Tanaka-san-tachi may include people not named Tanaka.
Verbs are conjugated to show tenses, of which there are two: For verbs that represent an ongoing process, the -te iru form indicates a continuous or progressive aspectsimilar to the suffix ing in English. For others that represent a change of state, the -te iru form indicates a perfect aspect. For example, kite iru means "He has come and is still here ", but tabete iru means "He is eating".
In the formal register, the question particle -ka is added. Some simple queries are formed simply by mentioning the topic with an interrogative intonation to call for the hearer's attention: Negatives are formed by inflecting the verb. Plain negative forms are actually i-adjectives see below and inflect as such, e. The so-called -te verb form is used for a variety of purposes: The word da plaindesu polite is the copula verb.
It corresponds approximately to the English be, but often takes on other roles, including a marker for tense, when the verb is conjugated into its past form datta plaindeshita polite. This comes into use because only i-adjectives and verbs can carry tense in Japanese. Two additional common verbs are used to indicate existence "there is" or, in some contexts, property: For example, Neko ga iru "There's a cat", Ii kangae-ga nai "[I] haven't got a good idea".
Japanese also has a huge number of compound verbs to express concepts that are described in English using a verb and an adverbial particle e. There are three types of adjectives see Japanese adjectives: The rentaishi in Modern Japanese are few in number, and unlike the other words, are limited to directly modifying nouns.
They never predicate sentences.
From west to east, these include: BurushaskiKusundaand Nihali. The Vedda language of Sri Lanka is likely an isolate that has mixed with Sinhalese. Great Andamanese and Ongan ; Sentinelese remains undocumented to date, and hence unclassified. Language isolates and independent language families in Arunachal: Numerous additional families are spoken in Indonesian New Guineabut this lies outside the scope of an article on Asian languages.
Creoles and pidgins[ edit ] Main articles: For example, they share all 5 common vowels, as well as the attributes of open syllables and no diphthongs Komatsu These traits and others show a remarkable correlation between Japanese and languages of the isles of the sea, and linguistic contact probably would have been geographically possible. However, I feel this overlooks the historical 8-vowel system of Old Japanese.
None of these theories seem quite as feasible as Korean or Ural-Altaic. Based on my own limited experience, Korean is my personal choice for a closest relative to Japanese.
They just sound so similar! And beyond that, scientific evidence supports their relationship: For example, word order is so similar that translation requires little rearrangement.
Also, neither Japanese nor Korean has an article, but both have postpositions as opposed to prepositions or inflections to indicate grammatical function.
- Outline of Japanese Writing System
- The real relationship between Japanese and Chinese
- China–Japan relations
There is even a historical parallel between the phonology of the two languages: Because of all these similarities, nearly all theories incorporate Korean into the equation, even if their main thrust is another language group. The majority of scholarly opinions point toward the Altaic family as the home of Japanese. For example, Altaic languages include many cases of vowel harmony, like that found in Finnish.
Also, like Japanese, Altaic languages have no grammatical distinction of number, nor of gender. On and on trails the list of similarities between Altaic and Japanese. I find the sheer volume of evidence to be convincing by itself.
But even more than that, the Altaic family shows the most promise because of the quality of the evidence. Many of these characteristics are not very typical in other language groups, especially Indo-European. The probability of Japanese and Altaic sharing an unusual trait is not very high, and when so many of them are combined, the probability plunges.
So I see the abundance of improbable evidence as significant support for the relationship between Japanese and the Altaic languages. The connection between Japanese and Altaic has been refined somewhat since it was first suggested almost years ago. Since that time, linguistic research has split that group into the Uralic and the Altaic families.
Japanese language - Wikipedia
Most Western scholars have dropped the theories that maintain Uralic in the family tree of Japanese, so that Altaic remains in the forefront. As support, he cites the vowel harmony among Japanese, Turk, and Old Korean, as well as other languages.
Moreover, vowel harmony fuels the Altaic theory just as well. And adding further doubt to the Uralic connection, he quotes an objection to his own cause: The Uralic half of Boller's theory has given way to the Altaic. But how is it possible that the language of Finland in Northern Europe can be related to the language of a Southeast Asian island chain?
The distance is a daunting obstacle.
Japanese, Korean, Chinese… What’s the Difference?
Miller believes so strongly in the Altaic connection that he has written a book entitled Japanese and the Other Altaic Languagesas if there is no question regarding its classification. He reaches a compromise between most of the languages that can be tied to Japanese in one way or another by comparing to some Indo-European languages that we are more familiar with.
The key, he says, is to understand that Japanese is not a "hybrid" language any more than English is English is a Germanic language, despite heavy influences from two Italic languages, French and Latin, and from other languages more closely related to it Norse. Likewise, advocates Miller, Japanese is an Altaic language, although its history includes heavy influence from a variety of sources.
He says that speakers of the Altaic and Uralic groups had some "close association," and therefore "early linguistic contact"53but whether that implies actual linguistic ancestry or merely mutual influence is not critical. Although there is somewhat of a general consensus in the West that Japanese is an Altaic language, that we cannot be absolutely sure where Japanese comes from.
Numerous conflicting theories are still advocated, both here and in Japan. Japanese and Korean still are each usually classified independent of any other language. Because of both the government's efforts and modern communication, other dialects are becoming homogenized so that nearly everyone can understand and speak it.Can Japanese Actually Write Japanese Kanji?
Inthe government implemented a simplification of the writing system. This action reduced the number of kanji necessary for literacy, and simplified existing kanji.
The list includes characters for use in gradeschool curriculum. Despite the lingering complexity of Japanese writing, Japan maintains one of the highest literacy rates in the world.