|Countries (spoken in):
|Japan, Brazil, Singapore, United States, Peru, Australia, Taiwan, Philippines, Guam, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Guadalcanal, Palau
|130 million speakers
Japanese language - is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is related to the Ryukyuan languages, but its overall relationships with other languages remains controversial.
It is an agglutinative language and is distinguished by a complex system of honorifics reflecting the hierarchical nature of Japanese society, with verb forms and particular vocabulary to indicate the relative status of speaker and listener. The sound inventory of Japanese is relatively small, and has a lexically distinct pitch-accent system.
Japanese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by loanwords 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. Since the late 19th century, Japanese has borrowed a considerable number of words from Indo-European languages, primarily English.
Japanese word order is classified as Subject Object Verb. However, unlike many Indo-European languages, Japanese sentences only require that verbs come last for intelligibility. This is because the Japanese sentence elements are marked with particles that identify their grammatical functions.
Chinese writing system was introduced to Japan by way of Baekje before the 5th century.
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