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Introduction to Japanese and the Top 5 Reasons to Study

In today’s All About Japanese lesson, we’ll share some background about Japan and its native language and boil it down to bring you the top five reasons to learn Japanese-not the least of which is the fact that Japan is the world’s second largest economy!

Background of the Japanese Language

  • It ranks in the list of the top ten languages based on number of native speakers, with around 130 million people speaking Japanese as their native language.
  • The most well-known dialect is Kansai-ben the “Kansai dialect,” which is spoken throughout the Kansai region of Japan. The Kansai region refers to an area in western Japan that includes major cities Osaka and Kyoto.
  • The Japanese written language consists of three alphabets: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and katakana are phonetic alphabets, with the latter being used primarily for writing foreign words. Kanji is a system of characters of Chinese origin used to represent various ideas.
  • The Japanese Ministry of Education has created a list of 1,945 jouyou kanji “common use kanji” made up of characters commonly used in everyday life. Japanese children will have studied all of these kanji by the time they graduate from junior high school.

Top Five Reasons to Learn Japanese

  • To communicate with Japanese people! Over 130 million people throughout the world speak Japanese, placing it in the top ten languages spoken in the world.
  • Japanese pronunciation is easy! Japanese is pronounced just the way it looks, so you can start speaking it right away.
  • You will learn more than just a language. Learning Japanese will give you great insight into the world of Japanese culture you just can’t get any other way. By learning how the language works, you’ll learn more about how the culture works.
  •  Japanese is fun! Japan has a lot to offer in the way of pop culture-fun and interesting movies, music, TV shows, comics, games-you name it! Learning Japanese will give you even greater access to the rich world of Japanese pop culture.
  •  Learning Japanese makes you smarter! Learning a second language also increases your memory and makes you stay sharper, helps your attention span, and sharpens your critical thinking skills.