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Japanese is the national language of Japan and is a Japonic language. It is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, and a lexically significant pitch-accent. Japanese is a subject–object–verb language with complex sentence structure.
Japanese has a complex writing system with multiple scripts. Japanese is a member of the Japonic language family, which includes the Ryukyuan languages. The closest living relatives of Japanese are the other Japonic languages: the two Ryukyuan languages and the Ainu language.
Japanese is an mora-timed language, meaning that the length of a word or syllable is not as important as the number of moras (units of sound). This is different from languages like English, which are stressed-timed. In Japanese, each syllable is pronounced for an equal amount of time, regardless of whether it is a single mora or multiple moras.
There are three main scripts in Japanese: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and katakana are both phonetic syllabaries, which means that each character represents one syllable. Kanji are ideographic characters, which means that each character represents a concept or an idea.
Japanese also has a large number of loanwords from other languages. Loanwords are words that have been borrowed from another language and incorporated into the Japanese language. The vast majority of loanwords in Japanese come from Chinese. Other languages that have loanwords in Japanese include English, Portuguese, Dutch, and Korean.
The Japanese language is spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and by over 10 million people in other countries.
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