Ancient Japanese Language By: Florence, Brithney, Carlos, Julius Japanese Language Background The Japanese only had a spoken language at first. Of course, they used the Chinese characters (which they called kanji) to write down information. The Japanese got their writing system from the Korean scholars, who taught them Chinese, but it was very difficult because the Japanese needed to learn two languages to record their information. By the 900’s, the Japanese invented kana , meaning borrowed letters, (originally hiragana, but kana is a simplified meaning.) because that’s basically what they were. The Japanese took the Chinese characters and simplified them to represent the syllables of the Japanese dialect. Even though the Japanese writing system is now kana, the ancient Japanese texts showed that their language is influenced by the Chinese grammar, such as the word order. (For example, placing the verb after the object) Over time, the phonetic usage of Chinese became more and more frequent until kana was born. (The grammar system didn’t change, though.) About The Language ~*^*~ The Japanese writing comes from the Chinese, but no one really knows where the dialect came from, because it’s not nearly related to any other countries’ languages. Some people say they got it from the Yayoi and Japonic cultures, but where did the Japonic culture get the dialect? The theory that appears to be the most credible is the theory that wet rice farmers from Korea brought the early language that we know as Japanese today. This seems the most plausible, because of the fact that language travels with agricultural technology. ~Kanji~ Kanji is a type of Japanese writing that originated from Chinese characters. You can only write kanji, kanji is not able to be spoken. o Kanji can be spoken it is only able to be written/drawn out. Kanji Background Kanji came from a student named ‘Wani’. He combined Confucianism and Chinese characters. It started off from the Chinese language but they mixed stuff up to make kanji. They adapted this to have their own writing system. Kanji was introduced to the Japanese in the 5 century. Alphabet There’s no confirmed answer but there are about 13,000 characters. People pronounce it differently just because of the way they speak. ~Kana~ Kana means borrowed letters. In the 900’s, kana was developed as a Japanese writing. Kana allowed the Japanese to spell out the sounds in their own language. (Syllables) Kana allowed the Japanese to write freely on their own. Alphabet There are two different types of kana scripts: modern cursive hiragana(ひらがな), modern angular katakana (カタカナ). END! Some questions for you to answer: *Where did the Japanese written language originate from? *Where did the Japanese dialect originate from? *What is kanji? *What is kana? *Where do they think spoken Japanese language came from?