- Language: Japanese
- Alternate names: Nihongo, Nipongo, 日本語, にほんご
- Language code: jpn
- Language family: Japonic
- Number of speakers: 122433899
- Script: Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana
Japanese is a language spoken in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. 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 the speaker, the listener, and a person mentioned in conversation.
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. Because of the special trade relationship between Japan and first Portugal in the 16th century, and then mainly the Netherlands in the 17th century, Portuguese and Dutch have also been influential.
The Japanese language is written with a combination of three different types of scripts: modified Chinese characters called kanji (漢字), and two syllabic scripts made up of modified Chinese characters, hiragana (平仮名) and katakana (片仮名). The Latin alphabet, rōmaji (ローマ字), is also often used in modern Japanese, especially for company names and logos, advertising, and when entering Japanese text into a computer. Western style Indian numerals are generally used for numbers, but traditional Sino-Japanese numerals are also commonplace.
Japanese verb conjugation is the same for all subjects, first person ("I", "we"), second person ("thou", "you") and third person ("he/she/it" and "they"), singular and plural. The plain form of all verbs ends in u. There are very few irregular verbs.
Japanese Verb Conjugation
歩く - aruku
|Imperative||INFORMAL I||歩け||aruke||歩く な||aruku na|
|INFORMAL II||歩きなさい||arukinasai||歩きなさる な||arukinasaru na|
|INFORMAL III||歩いて ください||aruite kudasai||歩かない で ください||arukanai de kudasai|
|FORMAL||お歩き なさいませ||oaruki nasaimase||お歩き なさいます な||oaruki nasaimasu na|
| Presumptive |
|INFORMAL II||歩く だろう||aruku darō||歩かない だろう||arukanai darō|
|FORMAL II||歩く でしょう||aruku desyō||歩かない でしょう||arukanai desyō|
|FORMAL|| 歩きませば |
| arukimaseba |
|歩きません なら||arukimasen nara|
|Informal Past (~ ta Form)||歩いた|
|Informal Past Negative||歩かなかった|
|Formal Past Negative||歩きませんでした|
|~ te Form||歩いて|
Grouping of Japanese Verbs
Group 1: ~ U ending verbs
The basic form of Group 1 verbs end with "~u". This group is also called Consonant-stem verbs or Godan-doushi (Godan verbs).
Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs
The basic form of Group 2 verbs end with either "~iru" or "~eru". This group is also called Vowel-stem-verbs or Ichidan-doushi (Ichidan verbs).
Iru ending verbs
Eru ending verbs
Group 3: Irregular verbs
- All about verbs Japanese verb groups
- Romaji to Hiragana Converter
- Japanese Verb Conjugation Table
- Tanimori, Masahiro. Handbook of Japanese Grammar. Tokyo, 1994.
- Lange, Roland. Japanese Verbs. Barron's Educational Series. New York, 1991.