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Japanese

Photo Courtesy of Athena Mathis

Quick Facts

 

Total Worldwide Speakers: 122,080,100

 

Language Family: Japonic

 

Spoken in:
 
Japan, American Samoa, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

 

 

History:
 
Before the 4th century AD, the Japanese had no writing system of their own. During the 4th century they began to import and adapt the Chinese script, along with many other aspects of Chinese culture, probably via Korea. Over time a writing system emerged in which Chinese characters were used to write either words borrowed from Chinese or Japanese words with the same or similar meanings. Chinese characters were also used for their phonetic values to write grammatical elements and these characters were simplified and eventually became two syllabic scripts, hiragana and katakana.

Modern Japanese is written with a mixture of hiragana and katakana, plus kanji. Modern Japanese texts may also include rōmaji, (Roman letters), the standard way of writing Japanese with the Latin alphabet, eimoji (English script), non-Japanese words written in their own script and various symbols known as kigō.

 

 

Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Books

 
English Pronunciation for Japanese Speakers

 
Author: Paulette Dale, Lillian Poms
Publisher: Prentice Hall Regents
Copyright: 1994
ISBN 978-0130-3437-27
No of Copies 1

 
Genki I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese I

 
Author: Eri Banno
Publisher: Prentice Hall Regents
Copyright: 1999
ISBN 978-4789-0100-16
No of Copies 1

 
An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese

 
Author: Eri Banno, Yutaka Ohno, & Yoko Sakane
Publisher: The Japan Times
Copyright: 1999
ISBN 4-7890-0982-3
No of Copies 1

 
An Invitation to Contemporary Japanese

 
Author: Yasu-Hiko Tohsaku
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Copyright: 1994
ISBN 0-07-072291-9
No of Copies 1

 
Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary

 
Author: Unknown
Publisher: Shogakukan
Copyright: 1986
ISBN 4-09-510251-9
No of Copies 1

 
Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese: Learning Through Content & Multimedia

 
Author: Mayumi Oka, Michio Tsutsui, & Junko Kodo
Publisher: Kurosio Publishers
Copyright: 2009
ISBN 978-4-87424-447-0
No of Copies 1

 
TOEFL Test iBT

 
Author:  Jim Knudsen,   Namai Kenichi
Publisher: NAN'UN-DO Publishing Co.
Copyright: 2010
ISBN 978-4523-2649-41
No of Copies 1

DVDs

 
Armitage: Dual Matrix

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 90 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
The Cat Returns

 
Audio Tracks English, French, & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 75 min
Rating G

 
Chushingura

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 207 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Dersu Uzala

 
Audio Tracks Russian
Subtitles English
Running Time 140 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Devils on the Doorstep

 
Audio Tracks Japanese & Chinese
Subtitles English
Running Time 139 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Doing Time

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 93 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Dreams

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Thai, & Korean
Running Time 120 min
Rating PG

 
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Mandarin (Traditional), & Cantonese
Running Time 101 min
Rating PG-13

 
Grave of the Fireflies

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 88 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Hula Girls

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 120 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Ikiru

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 143 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Kikujiro

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Running Time 116 min
Rating PG-13

 
Love and Honor

 
Audio Tracks Japanese, English
Subtitles English
Running Time 125 min
Rating PG-13

 
Millennium Actress

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English, French
Running Time 87 min
Rating PG

 
Nobody Knows

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 139 min
Rating PG-13

 
Paprika

 
Audio Tracks Japanese, English, French, & Spanish
Subtitles English, French, & Spanish
Running Time 90 min
Rating R

 
Ping Pong

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 114 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Princess Mononoke

 
Audio Tracks English, French, & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 134 min
Rating PG-13

 
Ran

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 160 min
Rating R

 
Rashomon

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 88 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Rhapsody in August

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English, French, & Japanese
Running Time 98 min
Rating PG

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 1

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 100 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 2

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 100 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 3

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 100 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 4

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English, French, & Japanese
Running Time 98 min
Rating PG

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 5

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 100 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 6

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 75 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
Samurai Champloo: Volume 7

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 75 min
Rating 16 & Up

 
Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 120 min
Rating 17+

 
Sanjuro

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 96 min
Rating PG-13

 
Sevin Samurai

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 203 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Shall We Dance

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 119 min
Rating PG

 
Spirited Away

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 125 min
Rating PG

 
Steamboy

 
Audio Tracks English, Japanese, French, Spanish, & Portuguese
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, & Portuguese
Running Time 126 min
Rating PG-13

 
The Taste of Tea

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 143 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Throne of Blood

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 109 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Tokyo Sonata

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 119 min
Rating PG-13

 
Tokyo Story

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 136 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Train_Man: Densha Otoko

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 102 min
Rating Not Rated

 
The Twilight Samurai

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 129 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Unlucky Money

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 106 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Vampire Hunter D

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 80 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 105 min
Rating R

 
Waterboys

 
Audio Tracks English & Japanese
Subtitles English, Chinese traditional & simplified
Running Time 91 min
Rating Not Rated

 
Yojimbo

 
Audio Tracks Japanese
Subtitles English
Running Time 110 min
Rating Not Rated

Software


Rosetta Stone Audio Companion - Japanese Level 1

Need to learn a language but don't have time to use a computer program? The Rosetta Stone Audio Companion is an audio CD that you can bring anywhere to develop your language skills. Each CD contains several different units that help reinforce pronounciation, voabulary, and basic phrases. Unlike the software component, the Audio Companion can be taken out of the lab.


Tell Me More - Japanese

Whether you're a beginner or just looking to improve your vocabulary, Tell Me More is a great tool to help you develop your language skills. With hundreds of hours of language practice and thousands of exercises, you'll be on your way to learning a new language in no time.

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.

 

Powerspeak Logo Includes a combination of scored online activities, exercises, lessons and games. Course activities include an adventure story containing graphics, audio, video and an intuitive way to track learning progress. Learners are also challenged to practice speaking and writing in a variety of interactive modules designed to simulate real conversations with native speakers.

For assistance with Powerspeak, please see the Getting Started with Powerspeak guide.

 

Saint Michaelís is now offering online accounts to use Rosetta Stone, a leader in language learning software. While the LLRC still has Rosetta Stone software available in the lab, this software can be used anywhere, anytime! Interested in learning more? Click here to get started.

 

 

Interested in learning Chinese and Japanese characters? Sign up for a free Skritter account! Please see our Getting Started with Skritter Guide for detailed instructions on creating an account. Email Kellie Campbell with any questions or comments.

 

Web-Based Links

 
BBC Languages — Japanese

BBC Language is an online base language learning software that offers resources for Chinese, Spanish, French, English, and many more languages. Learn the basics of 36 different languages and the culture as well!

 
Global Road Warrior

Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.


How to Compute in Japanese

Powerpoint presentations detailing how to write in Japanese on a computer.


Learning Japanese

A helpful site with links to online dictionaries and other language learning resources.


Skritter

Skritter is designed to help you learn how to draw Chinese and Japanese characters. Email Kellie Campbell to get a free trial account.


Study Japanese

Flash cards, lessons, reference material, articles, and more.