I am the only Japanese who is living in Ballina-Killaloe in Co. Tipperary. Well, our kids are currently dual nationarities
at the moment.
Local people often ask me about Japan, language, culture, geography, economy, history etc...People, especially Irish are interested
in different culture or nationalities.
Then I have been considering what the best and easiest way to introduce my origin country Japan to Irish people and
other people. It is also very important for me to understand the contory and explain exactly what Japan is.
For the first, luckily I have my own website, I would like to introduce about Japan here one by one.
The contents about Japan.
Myself and my hubby normaly talk to our children in Japanese, then they talk back to us in English.
I have read some books about bilingulism. There is no easy method to raise bilingul children, but it worth try it.
There is no established theory as to which language family "Nihongo" linguistically belongs to. The structure is completely different from that of the Indo-European languages (English, French etc.).
Nihongo was formed within a comparatively stable community for a long time. That is why the Japanese (members of the community or group) could have understood each other without saying, and the form of abbreviating certain part of saying was developed. Also, Japanese avoid strong sertions, because they expect that the other person will realise what one wants to say. On this point, Western people sometimes misunderstand that Japanese do not clearly express their opitnions.
Japanese Characters (Moji)
Modern Japanese consits of three kinds of Moji. The ideographic Chinise characters known as KANJI and the phonetic characters known as HIRAGANA and KATAKANA. Originally, Japanese had no moji, but in the fifth century documents came to be recorded using Chinese characters. The Japanese devised the way of reading those Chinese characters in a Japanese way and based on Chinese characters, created the phonetic characters. The basis for phonetic moji was established in the Heian Period (794-1185), and it is with such moji that MURASAKI SHIKIBU completed the world's oldest novel, "Genji Monogatari" (The tale of Genji). Today, KATAKANA is mainly used for foreign words, and Chinese characters and HIRAGANA for composing sentences. In addition, it is possible to write only in phonetic characters, including Roman letters.
|Sounds, syllable (Oto, On)
The sounds in Japanese language exactly follow the "Japanese syllabary; chart of the fifty sounds" above (sorry! it is not completed!). It is possible to express all the Japanese words with these fifty sounds.