Flowers in Japan

The Japanese Language

The Japanese language has itw own peculiar sentence structure and writing system and has little in common with other languages of the world. Although the theory that Japanese belongs to the Atlaic and Korean family of languages is widely accepted, this has never been substantiated.

Below are listed a few of the characteristic features of modern Japanese:

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Japanese writing system

There are three main types of written characters in Japan: kanji, hiragana and katakana. Roman letters are also used, but to a much lesser extent.

Kanji characters are ideograms which were brought in from China. On the basis of the Chinese and Japanese readings of these characters a system of phonetic manyogana characters was devised. This in turn was simplified int the hiragana and katakana systems in about the ninth century. The characters of the hiragana and katakana systems represent single syllables. Each system presently has 46 characters.

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