Japanese language

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Japanese ( 日本語 )

Spoken in

Japan , USA , Brazil , Palau
speaker 127 million native speakers
Official status
Official language in JapanJapan Japan Palau (on Angaur )
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3


Japanese ( Jap. 日本語 , Nihongo, rarely Nippongo ) is the official language of Japan . It is the mother tongue of around 99% of Japan's population . The large Japanese speaker groups in Brazil and the USA are descendants of Japanese emigrants. A special feature of the language is its complex writing system , which is a mixture of Chinese characters (more precisely Kanji ) and the syllabary scripts (more precisely Morse script ) Hiragana andKatakana is.


With around 127 million speakers and a share of 2.4% speakers in the world population, Japanese ranks 9th in the list of the most frequently spoken languages . Outside Japan, it is mainly used in the immigration country of the USA (approx. 200,000 speakers on the North American mainland, approx 220,000 speakers in Hawaii ) and in South America (approx. 380,000 speakers, mainly in Brazil). This is mainly due to the three major waves of emigration from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century .

Estimates assume that around 5% of all websites on the Internet are written in Japanese (4th place after English , Russian and German ). Despite this high proportion of speakers, Japanese is not considered a world language , as its 127 million speakers are almost without exception native speakers (comparison: German native speakers 105 million, second speakers but up to 80 million), the Japanese language, relative to the world languages, only a few second speakers and thus remains locally limited to Japan and the Japanese. The Japanese minority in Micronesia descends from immigrants during the colonial period, although they only partially speak the Japanese of their ancestors.


Map of Japanese dialects and accent schemes (blue: Tokyo accent (standard accent pattern), orange: Kyōto-Ōsaka accent, white: accentless)

Japanese also consists of a multitude of dialects that arose due to the settlement of remote areas in the mountainous landscape of the archipelago, the political fragmentation and thus the limited linguistic exchange of people from different regions. The long history of internal and external isolation of Japan also contributed to the emergence of this linguistic diversity. Dialects differ in their accent, their inflection , vocabulary and also in the use of particles. In a few dialects, the inventory of vowels and consonants also deviates from the standard language.

In Japanese dialects, a rough distinction is made between the eastern dialects of the Tokyo type ( 東京 式 Tōkyō-shiki ) and the western dialects of the Kyoto-Osaka type ( 京阪 式 Keihan-shiki ). The latter are mainly spoken in the central region, which is roughly composed of the Kansai region , Shikoku Island and western Hokuriku . There are numerous subgroups within each of these two main groups.

The dialects from the peripheral areas, for example from Tōhoku or Kagoshima , can be incomprehensible to speakers from other parts of the country. In addition, there are language islands in mountain villages and isolated islands, such as the island of Hachijō-jima , whose dialect can be traced back to the eastern variant of Old Japanese . In contrast, the dialects of the Kansai region are spoken or understood by many Japanese, and the dialect from Osaka in particular is associated with entertainment (see Kansai dialect ). In contrast, the dialects from Tōhoku and the northern Kantō region are regarded as typical peasant dialects.

The Ryūkyū languages , which are spoken in Okinawa Prefecture and on the Amami Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture , are so different that they are considered a separate branch of the Japanese languages : They are incomprehensible not only to native speakers of Japanese, but also among each other . For political reasons, however, contrary to linguistic opinion, they are often viewed as dialects of Japanese.

Historically, a Japanese language was spoken on the Korean Peninsula , which is also considered a separate language and not a dialect of today's Japanese.

The standard Japanese language, which is derived from the dialect spoken in Tokyo, is widespread throughout the country due to its diffusion through the educational system, its use in the mass media , an increasing mix of the Japanese population and economic integration.

Origin and classification

The languages ​​of the Japanese Ryūkyū family are traced back to a hypothetical Proto-Japanese on which today's languages ​​(or dialects) are based. Proto-Japanese is said to have its linguistic origin in south-eastern China or eastern China. At least since 1500 BC. Japonian is said to have been present in today's Korean Peninsula, where it was spoken by the people of the Mumun culture . From 300 BC BC Proto-Koreans immigrated from Manchuria to the peninsula and triggered the Yayoi migration to Japan. The remaining Proto-Japanese lived parallel to the newly arrived Proto-Koreans and were slowly assimilated.

Possible further relationship

The Japanese languages ​​are generally considered to be a separate language family with no other relatives. However, there are some hypotheses regarding a further relationship. None of these are recognized by today's experts.

Altaic and Korean

Due to its agglutinating linguistic structure, the Japanese language shows parallels to the Altaic languages , the Austronesian languages , the Dravidian languages and Korean , but the origin and classification of the language are controversial. A reconstruction of the morphology of Proto-Japanese shows great similarities with Southeast Asian languages.

The first problem is that the oldest surviving Japanese written document, the Kojiki , dates from the 8th century AD, that is, from the time of the earliest Altaic written documents ( Orkhon runes , Kitan script). All knowledge about the Japanese linguistic history before this point in time are therefore linguistic reconstructions or transfers from archaeological or genetic studies.

The second problem is that although Japanese has striking morphological and syntactic similarities to Korean and the Altaic languages (only the northern Tungus languages ​​behave syntactically differently), there are no lexical correspondences. This causes many linguists to fundamentally doubt the genetic relationship, but most Altaizists regard the Korean and Japanese languages ​​as earlier splits from a common proto-language ( Macro-Altaic ) than the later splitting of Altaic into the Turkish, Mongolian and Tungus languages. The most important common characteristic of all these languages ​​is that they are agglutinating languages .

The latest findings of the Russian-American linguist Alexander Vovin refute the direct descent of Japanese from Korean, or a common origin. Similarities are attributed to prehistoric contact.


Some researchers support the relationship to the Austronesian languages , with which Japanese has strong similarities in the sound system (phonology). Old Japanese shows similarities with other Southeast Asian languages ​​in the area of ​​morphology and phonetics.

More recent findings support the origin of Japanese in southern China, but similarities with the Austronesian or Tai-Kadai languages ​​are attributed to language contact.

Language levels

The Japanese language can be divided into five language levels:

  • Old Japanese , also early Old Japanese, ( 上古 日本語 , jōko nihongo ) at least since the Nara period (up to the 8th century)
  • Classical Japanese, also Late Old Japanese, ( 中古 日本語 , chūko nihongo ) in the Heian period (without the Insi period) (9th-11th centuries)
  • Central Japanese ( 中 世 日本語 , chūsei nihongo ) in the Insei period, Kamakura and Muromachi period (12th-16th centuries)
  • Early New Japanese ( 近世 日本語 , kinsei nihongo ) in the Edo period (17th - 19th centuries)
  • modern standard language, also New Japanese, ( 現代 標準 語 , gendai hyōjungo ) since the Meiji period (since 19th century)

Language structure

The Japanese language developed largely independently. Although their grammatical structure corresponds typologically to Altaic and Dravidian ( agglutination , word order), the sound structure can be compared more with typical Austronesian languages (few consonant doublings, only one voiced final consonant "-n"). The numerous structural similarities between Korean and Japanese represent a special feature. These two languages ​​often have detailed similarities in the formation of a grammatical structure or sequence of particles etc., but almost no similarities in the vocabulary of some agricultural terms or Chinese loanwords apart. This, in particular, illustrates the difficulty of assigning Japanese to a larger language family.

The Japanese writing system uses the Chinese characters ( Kanji ) as well as two derived syllabary scripts (Kana), Hiragana (for the indigenous vocabulary) and Katakana (for newer loanwords). With the writing, many Chinese terms were also adopted into Japanese. But Japanese and Chinese differ fundamentally in pronunciation and grammar: unlike the Chinese languages, Japanese is not a tonal language and also has fewer consonants. Therefore, its syllable repertoire of around 150 syllables is much smaller compared to the (taking into account the tones) around 1600 of Chinese. In grammar, Japanese, in contrast to the isolating Chinese languages, is an agglutinating language , so it has a large number of grammatical suffixes - so-called particles and functional nouns - that have a comparable function to the inflections , prepositions and conjunctions of European languages.

Even in today's Japanese, “old Japanese” and Chinese elements are separated from each other. When it comes to characters, a distinction is made between On 読 み (On-yomi) and 訓 読 み (Kun-yomi) . On-yomi is the Sino-Japanese reading, a transfer of the Chinese reading (mostly from the Song or Tang times ) into the Japanese sound stock, in the Kun-yomi an "original Japanese" word was combined with the meaning of the character. Some sound figures can only be found in one of the two areas. Japanese verbs and adjectives derived from Chinese , which, like all Chinese words, cannot be inflected, also function grammatically differently than their inflected "original Japanese" counterparts.



In Japanese, the five vowel phonemes / a, i, u, e, o / are distinguished. / a / is used as [⁠ a ⁠] or [⁠ ɑ ⁠] , / e / as [⁠ e ⁠] or [⁠ ɛ ⁠] , / o / as [⁠ o ⁠ ] or [⁠ ɔ ⁠] , / u / as [⁠ ɯ ⁠] and / i / as [⁠ i ⁠] realized. The Japanese / u / is the unrounded "variant" of the German u and sounds like a hybrid between German u and ü. / e / and / o / tend to be pronounced open as short vowels and closed as long.

Long vowels and diphthongs can be viewed as two consecutive vowels. In the foregoing vowel tend / i / and / u / to weaker than [⁠ j ⁠] and [⁠ w ⁠] to be articulated. These two phonemes are often completely weakened between voiceless consonants or at the end of a word, so that devocalized (silent) vowels [i̥] and [ɯ̥] are realized there. So z. B. し て い ま す (/ shite imasu /: "just doing") realized as [ɕi̥teimasɯ̥] or even [ɕi̥temasɯ̥].

The two semi-vowels [⁠ j ⁠] and [⁠ w ⁠] are restricted in their distribution. [j] only occurs before / a, u, o /, [w] only before / a /, which is why in today's Japanese there are only corresponding kana symbols for these half-vowel-vowel connections: や [ja], ゆ [ju] , よ [jo] and わ [wa]. The kana を, which actually stands for [where], is always implemented as [o] in modern standard Japanese and is only used for the accusative -o . Only in modern foreign words, mostly borrowed from English, can [j] also appear before / e / and [w] also before / e, i / (not before u).


Japanese has the following consonants :

  bilabial alveolar alveolo-
palatal velar uvular glottal
stl. sth. stl. sth. stl. sth. stl. sth. stl. sth. stl. sth. stl. sth.
Plosives p b t d         k G     ʔ  
Nasals   m   n           ( ŋ )   ( ɴ )    
Taps / flaps       ɾ ~ ɺ                    
Fricatives ( ɸ )   s z ( ɕ ) ( ʑ ) ( ç )           H  
Affricates     ( ʦ ) ( ʣ ) ( ʨ ) ( ʥ )                
Approximants               j   w        

Some of the consonants form allophones as described in the following table.

phoneme Allophone Environmental condition example
/G/ [ŋ] optional, inside a word か ぎ / kagi / = [kaŋi] "key"
[G] otherwise, even inside a word 外人 / gaiziɴ / = [gaiʑiɴ] "foreigner"
/ s / [ɕ] before / i / or with the following / j / 死者 / sisya / = [ɕiɕa] "dead"
[s] otherwise 住 む / sumu / = [sɯmɯ] "live"
/ z / [ʑ] before / i / or with the following / j /; at the beginning of the word also [ʥ] 時期 / ziki / = [ʑiki] or [ʥiki] "period"
[z] otherwise; at the beginning of the word also [ʣ] 蔵 相 / zoosyoo / = [zoːɕoː] or [ʣoːɕoː] "Minister of Finance"
/ t / [ʨ] before / i / or with the following / j / 地 中 / tityuu / = [ʨiʨɯː] "in the earth"
[ʦ] before / u / つ つ / tutu / = [ʦɯʦɯ] "pipe"
[t] otherwise 多 々 / tata / = [tata] "a lot"
/ d / [ʑ] before / i / or with the following / j / ぢ ゃ / dya / = [ʑa] "Well!"
[z] before / u / 続 く / tuzuku / = [ʦɯzɯkɯ] "last"
[d] otherwise 同 大 / doodai / = [doːdaj] "same size"
/H/ [ç] before / i / or with the following / j / 表皮 / hyoohi / = [çjɔːçi] "epidermis"
[ɸ] before / u / 夫婦 / huuhu / = [ɸɯːɸɯ] "married couple"
[H] otherwise 方法 / hoohoo / = [hoːhoː] "method"
/ ɴ / [m] before / m, b, p / 散 歩 / saɴpo / = [sampɔ] "walk"
[ŋ] before / k, g / 参加 / saɴka / = [sɑŋka] "participation"
[ɴ] in the final 自然 / sizeɴ / = [ɕizɛɴ] "nature"
[~] before / s, h, j, w / and vowels Nasalization of the preceding vowel 繊 維 / sen'i / = [sɛ̃i] "fiber"
[n] otherwise 洗濯 / sentaku / = [sɛntakɯ] "laundry"

The allophones to the phoneme / ɴ /, also written as / ñ /, refer to the syllable ending nasal written with the kana . This phoneme is in opposition to the / n / written with the kana from the n-series, which is always realized as [n]. / taɴi / [tani] 'valley' vs. / taɴi / [tãi] '(measure) unit'.

Syllable or Morse structure

Japanese words can be divided into units of equal length, so-called moras . Each mora consists of a vowel, a half vowel (= y or w ) + vowel, a consonant + vowel or a palatalized consonant ( ky, sh, ch etc.) + vowel (see yōon ). Exceptions are the syllable nasal (which counts as a single mora) and double consonants. In the Japanese syllabary scripts ( Hiragana and Katakana ) each Mora is represented by a character:

Vowels yōon
a i u e o ( ya ) ( yu ) ( yo )
ka ki ku ke ko き ゃ kya き ゅ kyu き ょ kyo
sa shi see below se so し ゃ sha し ゅ shu し ょ sho
ta chi tsu te to ち ゃ cha ち ゅ chu ち ょ cho
na ni nu no no に ゃ nya に ゅ nyu に ょ nyo
ha hi fu hey ho ひ ゃ hya ひ ゅ hyu ひ ょ hyo
ma mi mu me mo み ゃ mya み ゅ myu み ょ myo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro り ゃ rya り ゅ ryu り ょ ryo
 wa (  wi ) (  we )  o (where)
ga gi gu ge go ぎ ゃ gya ぎ ゅ gyu ぎ ょ gyo
za ji to ze zo じ ゃ yes じ ゅ ju じ ょ jo
there (ji) (to) de do ぢ ゃ (yes) ぢ ゅ (ju) ぢ ょ (jo)
ba bi bu be bo び ゃ bya び ゅ byu び ょ byo
pa pi pu pe po ぴ ゃ pya ぴ ゅ pyu ぴ ょ pyo

In the table, the moras in a row are always formed with the same consonant or semi-vowel, the moras in a column with the same vowel.

The table also clearly shows the allophones of the respective consonants.


Japanese has a melodic accent (cf. word accent ), in which the accent is not accentuated by a greater volume and intensity, as in German, but by a change in pitch. However, Japanese is not a tonal language , as words do not have a fixed, meaningful tone, as is common in typical tonal languages ​​(e.g. Chinese , Vietnamese , Thai ). However, the accent varies from dialect to dialect and sometimes regionally within a dialect, with the dialects of Northeast Kantō , South Tōhoku and Central Kyūshū using an accentless pronunciation ( mu-akusento ). In the following, the accent of the standard Japanese language will therefore be considered, unless otherwise stated.

Morse accent

In Japanese, the pitch is not assigned to individual syllables, but to so-called Moras , which represent uniform metric units of measurement.

Basically one can say that each kana also represents a single more, whereby only the small , and do not form their own more, but form a more with the preceding kana.

The sentence (here only written in Kana) は じ め に そ う い っ て く れ れ ば だ れ も し ん ぱ い し な い の に ( transcribed in Hepburn : Hajime ni sō itte kurereba dare mo shinpai shinai noni at the beginning would have said, “ Haven't you? need to do ") can be divided into Moren as follows:

ha | ji | me | ni | so | o | it | - | te | ku | re | re | ba | there | re | mo | shi | n | pa | i | shi | well | i | no | ni

Each of these moras is either high or low.

In the standard language, two types of accents are distinguished, the unmarked and the marked.

The unmarked accent

In the unmarked (or flat) accent, the first more is low and all other mores up to the last particle of the sentence member ( bunsetsu ) are high.

友 達 が tomodachi = ga "the friend": THHH = H

The highlighted accent

The last high-pitched more within the sentence is considered to be marked, all following moras are low-pitched. If the first more is not also the last (only) high more, it is also always low in the highlighted accent. All moras from the second to the highlighted are definitely high-pitched.

There are three types of markings:

  1. Falling accent: The first more is marked.
    命 が ínochi = ga "life": HTT = T
  2. Rising accent: The last more of the word (not the part of the sentence) is marked.
    お 正月 に oshōgatsú = ni "on New Year": THHHH = T
  3. rising-falling accent: neither the first nor the last more are marked, so all remaining options
    お 巡 り さ ん が omáwarisan = ga "the policeman": THTTTT = T

Certain, otherwise homophonic words can be distinguished by their accent markings. An example of this would be 日 が (“the day”) and 火 が (“the fire”). Both are pronounced hi = ga, in the first case the accent is T = H (unmarked), in the second H = T (falling).

However, since inflection , emphasis, speaking speed or dialectal variances (some dialects, such as the one in Kumamoto , are even without accent) lead to shifts in the accent marking anyway, the accent is usually not taught in Japanese classes; it is not a necessary means of differentiating meanings.

For foreigners, correct accentuation is most likely to result from imitating the typical speech melody.


Main article: Japanese grammar

The sentence order in Japanese is SOP, subject - object - predicate . This means that the predicate always comes at the end of the sentence or subordinate clause .

Japanese is an agglutinating language . Grammatical forms are created by expanding or changing the ending of the verbs; other parts of the sentence are modified by particles.


Nouns cannot be changed in Japanese; their function in the sentence is marked with the help of attached particles. In contrast to German, Japanese has no grammatical gender (gender), no articles and no plural (plural).


see also: Particle (Japanese)

In the Japanese language, case (cases) and prepositions are expressed using particles added to the noun. The German equivalents are roughly given:

eki ga the / a train station (subject, concerning the train station, if not sentence topic )
eki wa the / a train station (subject, concerning the train station or direct object, if sentence subject)
eki no of / a train station (or concerning the train station, possessing for train station)
eki ni the / a train station or (to the / an, on the / an, in the / an) and in the direction (similar to he). Place of an object.
eki (w) o the / a train station (direct object, if not sentence subject)
eki (h) e in the direction of a train station
eki de in the / a train station (instrumental or locative: place of an action)


The function of the respective particles is in square brackets:

kare ga kuruma de eki e iku
he [subject] car [middle] station [direction] go
German: He drives to the train station / in the direction of the train station.

A second group of particles is added to sentences. It serves as a sentence connector or changes the meaning of a sentence:

atsui desu It is hot.
atsui desu yo It is hot! (on the condition that the addressee does not yet know this).
atsui desu ka It is hot?
atsui desu ne It's hot isn't it?


Since the 3rd century , Japanese along with the Chinese script adopted numerous Chinese loanwords that were adapted to the Japanese pronunciation. A large part of today's Japanese vocabulary consists of these harmonized terms.

With the arrival of the Jesuit Francisco de Xavier in 1549, direct European-Japanese cultural contacts began. Until 1639, the exchange took place mainly through Portuguese missionaries and merchants, which led to the adoption of some Portuguese vocabulary. These include pan ( パ ン , from pão, German “bread”), botan ( ボ タ ン , from botão, German “button”) or tempura ( テ ン プ ラ , vegetables and fish fried in batter, from Latin tempora, [fasting] times ).

The Dutch East India Company had had a trading post in Japan since 1609 - initially in Hirado . After all other Europeans had been driven out, the station was moved to Nagasaki in 1641 . Until the 19th century, the exchange with the West took place through the medium of the Dutch language, which also had linguistic effects: kōhī (from koffie, dt. "Coffee"),

As in China, these foreign terms were reproduced phonetically using Chinese characters, e.g. B. 珈 琲 (kōhī) , but the dominant use of the Katakana syllabary can be found in manuscripts of the 17th century .

With the opening of the country in 1853 and the beginning of the Meiji period in 1868, a wealth of new concepts and terms poured into the country, some of which were incorporated into the vocabulary in the form of loan words, but also in the form of loan translations : e.g. B. minshushugi ( 民主主義 , democracy), jidōsha ( 自動 車 , automobile), tetsudō ( 鉄 道 , railway). Some of these loan translations written with Chinese characters also found their way into the Chinese language.

Other words were transferred phonetically. Their share of the Japanese language is now around 10-15% and varies depending on the subject. Today, the syllabary Katakana is used almost exclusively for rendering, but with the exception of 'n' it is not suitable for representing individual consonants. So 'k' is always written as 'ka', 'ki', 'ku', 'ke' or 'ko', e.g. B. in the case of the German word “sick” as kuranke . In addition, there are differences in the phonemic system, which means that 'l' and 'r' are represented with the same syllable characters ('ra', 'ri', 'ru', 're', 'ro') because Japanese do not Separation of these phonemes knows. Sometimes other solutions are found. For example, “tower” is written and spoken as タ ワ ー tawā, “towel”, and towel as タ オ ル taoru .

Long foreign words are often shortened. The English personal computer became the word pasokon パ ン コ ン , rabuho ラ ブ ホ stands for Love Hotel .

Even German loanwords are found in Japanese (z. B. arubaito アルバイト of work, in terms of part-time job ). From the middle of the 19th to the 20th century, Japanese medicine was based on German. German vocabulary, some of which has become established in everyday language, was therefore teeming with medical training and clinical practice, and medical reports were written in German in Latin script. Therefore, many terms have been preserved, especially in medicine (e.g. karute カ ル テ , patient card ). Also in philosophy (e.g. geshutaruto ゲ シ ュ タ ル ト , shape; idē イ デ ー , idea) and in mountaineering (e.g. shutaikuaizen シ ュ タ イ ク ア イ ゼ ン , crampons, ēderuwaisu エ ー デ ワ イ ス , German Lehnweiss ); Law and the military are other areas.

Since the mid- 19th century , Japanese has been adopting large amounts of words from English , and most of the terms used in “modern life” fall into this category in Japanese today. In particular, the areas of business, technology, computers, pop culture, media and advertising should be mentioned.

As in all languages, one often observes a change in the meaning of the terms adopted in Japanese. In addition, there are numerous sham Anglicisms in Japanese (e.g. naitā (nighter), baseball game late at night).

Language example

Universal Declaration of Human Rights , Article 1:

す べ て の人間に ん げ んは 、ま れ な が ら に し て自由じ ゆ うで あ り 、 か つ 、尊 厳そ ん げ ん権 利け ん りと に つ い て平等び ょ う ど うで あ る。人間に ん げ んは 、理性り せ い良心り ょ う し んと をさ ずけ ら れ て お り 、た がい に同胞ど う ほ う精神せ い し んを も っ て行動こ う ど うし な け れ ば な ら な い。
subete no ningen wa, umarenagara ni shite jiyū de ari, katsu, songen to kenri to ni tsuite byōdō de aru. ningen wa, risei to ryōshin to o sazukerarete ori, tagai ni dōhō no seishin o motte kōdō shinakereba naranai.
All people are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should meet one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Language traps: false friends

The following articles deal with the typical mistakes that can occur when learning and translating the Japanese language:

See also

Spoken language




  • 大野 晋 日本語 の 起源 ( Ōno Susumu: Nihongo no kigen = The Origin of the Japanese Language), Tokyo 1957.
  • Association for Japanese-Language Teaching: Japanese at the pace 1 university edition with Kana and Kanji. Doitsu Center Ltd., Tokyo 2002, ISBN 4-9900384-5-2 (textbook officially used at German adult education centers).
  • Jonathan Bunt: The Oxford Japanese Grammar and Verbs . 2003, ISBN 0-19-860382-7 .
  • Detlef Foljanty, Hiroomi Fukuzawa: Japanese intensive. 3 volumes. 1998, ISBN 978-3-87548-137-2 .
  • Bruno Lewin : Outline of the Japanese grammar based on the classical written language . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1959.
  • Christine Liew : Japan 2.0 - A reading tour through social media and other worlds. Buske, 2012, ISBN 978-3-87548-625-4 .
  • Roy Andrew Miller: The Japanese Language. iudicium, Munich, ISBN 3-89129-484-0 . (current edition 2000)
  • Keiichiro Okutsu, Akio Tanaka: Japanese. An introduction to grammar and vocabulary. Julius Groos Verlag Tübingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-87276-883-4 .
  • Jens Rickmeyer: Japanese Morphosyntax . Groos, Heidelberg, ISBN 3-87276-718-6 . (1995 edition)
  • Eriko Sato: Japanese Demystified. 2008, ISBN 978-0-13-135838-6 (good introduction to Japanese language and writing for beginners).

Japanese and Korean:

  • Barbara E. Riley: Aspects of the Genetic Relationship of the Korean and Japanese Languages . Ph. D. Thesis, University of Hawaii, 2003.

Japanese and the language of Koguryo:

  • Christopher I. Beckwith: Koguryo - The Language of Japan's Continental Relatives . 2nd ed. Brill, Leiden u. Boston 2007.

Japanese and Austronesian:

  • Paul K. Benedict: Japanese - Austro-Tai . Karoma, Ann Arbor 1990.
  • Shichiro Murayama: The Malayo-Polynesian component in the Japanese language . In: Journal of Japanese Studies . Vol. 2/2, 1976, pp. 413-436.
  • Alexander Vovin: Is Japanese related to Austronesian? In: Oceanic Linguistics . Vol. 33/2, 1994, pp. 368-390.

Language certification

  • JLPT - Japanese Language Proficiency Test
  • T.JL - Test of Japanese as Foreign Language
  • JETRO-Test - Business Japanese Proficiency Test

Web links

Wiktionary: Japanese  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Japanese  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Japanese words  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: Japanese  - Learning and Teaching Materials
Wikibooks: Wikijunior languages ​​/ Japanese  - learning and teaching materials
Commons : Japanese language  - collection of pictures, videos, and audio files


  1. Usage of content languages ​​for websites
  2. Alexander Vovin: Origins of the Japanese Language . In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics . September 26, 2017, doi : 10.1093 / acrefore / 9780199384655.013.277 ( oxfordre.com [accessed July 21, 2019]).
  3. Alexander Vovin: Out of Southern China? ( academia.edu [accessed July 21, 2019]).
  5. Sean Lee, Toshikazu Hasegawa: Bayesian phylogenetic analysis supports an agricultural origin of Japonic languages . In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences . tape 278 , no. 1725 , December 22, 2011, ISSN  0962-8452 , p. 3662–3669 , doi : 10.1098 / rspb.2011.0518 , PMID 21543358 , PMC 3203502 (free full text).
  6. Alexander Vovin: From Koguryo to Tamna: Slowly riding to the South with speakers of Proto-Korean Korean Linguistics. 15 (2), 2013, pp. 222-240.
  7. ^ John Whitman: Northeast Asian Linguistic Ecology and the Advent of Rice Agriculture in Korea and Japan . In: Rice . tape 4 , no. 3 , December 1, 2011, ISSN  1939-8433 , p. 149–158 , doi : 10.1007 / s12284-011-9080-0 .
  8. ^ J. Marshall Unger: The role of contact in the origins of the Japanese and Korean languages. University of Hawaii, Honolulu 2009
  9. Alexander Vovin: Origins of the Japanese Language . In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics . September 26, 2017, doi : 10.1093 / acrefore / 9780199384655.013.277 ( oxfordre.com [accessed July 21, 2019]).
  10. Alexander Vovin: Proto-Japanese beyond the accent system . In: Current Issues in Linguistic Theory . ( academia.edu [accessed February 7, 2017]).
  11. ^ Javanese influence on Japanese - Languages ​​of the World . In: Languages ​​of the World . May 9, 2011 ( languagesoftheworld.info [accessed July 25, 2018]).
  12. Alexander Vovin: Is Japanese Related to Austronesian? In: Oceanic Linguistics . tape 33 , no. 2 , 1994, p. 369-390 , doi : 10.2307 / 3623134 , JSTOR : 3623134 .
  13. Alexander Vovin: Out of Southern China? ( academia.edu [accessed July 21, 2019]).
  14. hayeschr: dohlus.pdf - Institute for Asian and African Studies. Accessed December 30, 2019 .
  15. Complete recording of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an audio file ( OGG ; 11.4 MB) at LibriVox .