An Introduction To Basic Grammar

Japanese is a unique language. Despite decades of research and investigation, Japanese has not been demonstrably proven beyond a doubt to be related to any other language on Earth, with the sole exception of the minority Ryukyuan languages spoken in Japan. Other than that, the language that comes closest to Japanese grammatically is probably Korean, which some linguists at one point believed might possibly be a distant relative of Japanese, as part of the Altaic Language Family Hypothesis, which has since been discredited. No genetic relationship between the two languages has ever been conclusively proven.

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Pronunciation – Plosive Consonants

Plosive consonants, what are they? Plosives, also known as stops, are consonants that when articulated, block your vocal tract and constrict airflow.

In Japanese, these are the sounds <k>, <g>, <t>, <d>, <b> and <p>. Although these phonemes sound similar to their English counterparts, there are a few key differences to keep in mind in order to improve your pronunciation.

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Writing System – Kanji

The third and final script used in Japanese is Kanji. The word Kanji itself means Chinese Characters. Kanji are a system of logograms that were originally borrowed from China and retrofitted to meet the needs of the Japanese language. Logograms are characters that are used to represent words and morphemes directly. For example, the words ひと (person) and みず (water) can be written in kanji as 人 and 水。

At first glance this seems pretty straight forward. However, Japanese is a language that is fundamentally different from all varieties of Chinese, and this has severely complicated the way kanji have been adopted into Japanese.

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