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Well, I'm no translator, but I'm an art history major and I studied Japanese art in college. In one of my books, there was an article about the Japanese language, so this is what I learned about it.
Since I thought it worked pretty well to explain the basics of the language, I decided to type it out here just as an introduction to the language and to save our translators the trouble of having to answer some common questions too often. Feel free to comment on it as you wish.
The Japanese Language
And in case you're interested in Japanese ways of naming in the old days, I'll add another article: just remember this may not be true anymore in today's Japan and that all this came from an art history book that was interested in discussing the old Japanese masters of sculpture, painting, etc. Still, it may be useful information to know to go with some manga you're reading.
Last edited by mikkih; April 27, 2011 at 02:13 AM.
sweet man that's some interesting stuff Thanks for taking the time to write it out
hmm... when the kanji was introduced in Japan it was mainly (probably only) men who used it, women had to developed their own written langugea thus Hiragana later on the men (or was it the monks) found out that they needed to know how to pronounce the kanji and developed katakana.
Anyway this is more or less what I can remember, can't guarentee it is right, but according to my teacher some of the oldest hiragana/katakana could be traced back to the shell of a turtle or something....
This is all very interesting... now we need someone to come here and teach
It'd be great if a japanese person came here (don't know why one would, but hey) and provided us with usefull information on Japan of today vs Japan of yesterday. Ok, I'll keep on dreaming
Whooo, sweet!! A great addition!!! Time to memorize the important parts!! Thx GK!!!You're da man!!
hello i'm new and and this summer i started to study japanese.
i can't teach you it for two reasons:first i'm italian so i'm finding very difficult to write everything in english,second i stopped studying it immediately.
i studied only hiragana and katakana;but if you want i can post those things.they're very useful:at school i writed on my desk some rules and nobody noticed it.
let me know if i can post these alphabets
ps excuse me for the various spelling mistakes
Go ahead, Chapel. It would be very useful. ( That reminds me, I had meant to get NJT to do that himself, but if you can do it, it would be appreciated. )
And yes, if anybody here is willing to teach Japanese ( Pazuzu, Nihongaeri, Hisshou, Ratfox, NJT... ) please come by and teach a few lessons.
here they are
these are the pure sound
and these are composed sounds
an example:byakugan in japanese is written biyakugan and the ya is written little but you read this byakugan.
chapel is the same chiyaperu with ya little.
Er, Chapel - might want to fix these links. Can't click on them to open new windows.
there are some problems.
i'm working on it
EDIT:yuhu did it.i don't know why but tags didn't work
Thanks! - Gold Knight
I'm looking to get back into studying Japanese. Yes I'm that impatient. I want to read the raws before a translation comes out. Anyways, I thought it would be great to make a list of sites on the subject and since so many people here are interested in Japanese this should be great. Here's what I've found so far please add what you've found helpful.
There's a site that I also admin at, that I posted a BUNCH of resources... enjoy ^^
Umm, are any purists around here that like me feel Japan's writting system is part of the magic of it? Personally I would never like a tatoo in the latin alphabet but I really like a -quite large at that- tatoo a guy at uni has, it's the chinese word for dragon, if I'm not mistaken "long" in pinyin.
Yeah, I love the kanji and kana as well. But that's here nor there - walkie & KOLE, don't make these type of discouraging comments here. (Deleted 'em.) If you want to learn, then come here.