The reasons why people sign up for various Japanese courses in Singapore are quite varied–some are motivated by the opportunity for international employment, others are trying to get into a prestigious university in Japan, while some are simply doing it to gain a new set of skill. Regardless of what your reason may be, learning the language spoken in the Land of the Rising Sun will merit you a bunch of advantages and benefits that you can enjoy.
When you are learning and trying to be proficient in Japan’s tongue, you might find yourself interested in a few interesting facts about their language which may be helpful in your learning journey. Read on as we tackle some linguistic trivia about Japan’s language.
1. Japan’s language is independent
Most languages spoken around the world are derived from other languages. English, for example, is laced with influences from Spanish, French and German language. While Japanese, on the other hand, is not. This is why Japan’s native language is classified as a language isolate which means that it is completely unique and it stands on its own.
2. Verbs in Japanese are not conjugated
When you are trying to learn Japanese, you’ll be glad to know that verbs in their language are not conjugated at all. There is no need for you to familiarize yourself with a bunch of derivatives once you have mastered the base verb. This is one of the many reasons why linguists believe that Japanese is fairly easy to master in comparison to other languages.
3. Japan dominantly follows three different writing systems
Alphabets in the Japanese language have three different classifications–hiragana, katakana, and kanji which is based on Chinese characters. New and aspiring Japanese speakers would think that these classifications don’t go together, but they actually complement each other. Kanji and hiragana are used to form words and sentences, and katakana is used to emphasize something as well as for words borrowed from foreign languages.
4. Plural forms don’t exist in the Japanese language
When you are proficient in English, you are very much familiar with the difference between singular and plural forms and their significance in specificity. But when you are learning Japanese, you might find that there are no plural forms for nouns in Japanese.
5. A sentence can comprise only of verbs
English standards call for a subject-verb-object flow in order to form a sentence. In simpler terms, a sentence has to be comprised of a complete thought. Linguistic standards in Japanese calls for subject-object-verb order for sentences, but you can freely omit the subject and object and still manage to form a complete sentence. As a matter of fact, a full conversation without mentioning the subject is very much possible in Japanese.
6. There are different levels of formality
The culture that is followed in Japan places much significance on respect and formality, which is why Japan’s public transportation is known for always being on time. Their respect transcends even to their language. In the country, polite language is classified into three primary forms–kudaketa, teinei, and keigo. ‘Kudaketa’ is a plain and simple form. ‘Teinei’, on the other hand, is still simple but polite nuances are incorporated. Lastly, ‘Keigo’ is the highest and most advanced polite form of speaking.
Apart from these, Japanese people also use honorifics wherein they add various suffixes to specific words to show varying degrees of respect.
When you sign up and take part in Japanese classes in Singapore, you will most probably learn the fundamentals of the language spoken in Japan and its varying in’s and out’s. If you are looking for a language school that can help you be proficient in Japanese, we at Japanese Explorer offer a variety of classes tailored for different learning levels. Give us a call at +65 6528 7918 to learn more.