17 Nov 2019

  • French (France)
  • Dutch
  • English (UK)
  • Japanese
Question about Dutch

Could you please help me with this ? :) I have to express 5 specifities of the Japanese language. A piece of cake in English, a struggle in Dutch.

The Japanese language has :

- no singular nor plural forms for nouns : for example, "犬" means both "a dog" and "dogs".
- no conjugation in the way we know it in French : a verb conjugates depending on rather it expresses a past, a present, a negative idea and so on. No matter the subject of the action.
- no future tense : to express a future action, it uses present tense and expressions which refer to the future like "tomorrow", "in an hour", "soon",...

In order to count in Japanese, the language uses suffixes which are called "counters". These counters express ideas such as "small animal", "flat object", "big animal", "person". If you want to say "I have a dog", you would say "I - dog - one small animal - have".

The Japanese language uses four writting systems. You could write the entire language with each of them but they tend to come together in a sentence :

The kana

- hiragana : a 46 letter writting system basically used for grammar purposes and words which do not originate from foreign languages.

- katakana : a 46 letter writting system (identical to hiragana in the way they sound but not in the way they are written) basically used to write words which come from other languages.

The Kanji

- Kanji are chinese symboles used in Japanese. There are about 2150 of them. They can be read in multiple ways depending on the word they are used in.

The Rômaji

- These are letters from our alphabet. Rômaji is only used in a few borrowed words such as "T-shirt" but also to transcribe kana and kanji and to write acronyms.

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