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Languages of Japan

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Japan, Nippon. 127,897,000. National or official language: Japanese. Immigrant languages: English (70,000), . Also includes Chinese (150,000), Philippines languages (36,000), Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia (300,000). Information mainly from M. Shibatani 1990; S. Wurm and S. Hattori 1981. Blind population: 256,700. Deaf population: 317,000 to 7,585,237 (1998). Deaf institutions: 131. The number of individual languages listed for Japan is 15. Of those, all are living languages.
Ainu

[ain] 15 in Japan (1996 A. Vovin). Ethnic population: 15,000 in Japan. Kuril Islands (Tsishima), Hokkaido. Alternate names: Ainu Itak.  Dialects: Sakhalin (Saghilin), Taraika, Hokkaido (Ezo, Yezo), Kuril (Shikotan, Tsishima). There were at least 19 dialects.  Classification: Language isolate  Nearly extinct.
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Amami-Oshima, Northern

[ryn] 10,000 (2004). Northwest Okinawa; north Amami-oshima Island. Alternate names: Northern Amami-Osima, Oosima, Oshima, Osima.  Dialects: Naze, Sani. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn].  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Northern Amami-Okinawan 
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Amami-Oshima, Southern

[ams] 1,800 (2004). North Okinawa; south Amami-Oshima, Kakeroma, Yoro, and Uke islands. Alternate names: Southern Amami-Osima.  Dialects: Inherent intelligibility low with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn].  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Northern Amami-Okinawan 
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Japanese

[jpn] 121,000,000 in Japan (1985). Population total all countries: 122,080,100. Widespread. Also in 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. Dialects: Western Japanese, Eastern Japanese. Possibly related to Korean [kor]. The Kagoshima dialect is 84% cognate with Tokyo dialect.  Classification: Japonic 
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Japanese Sign Language

[jsl] 317,000 (VanCleve 1986).  Alternate names: Shuwa, Temane.  Dialects: Related to Taiwanese and Korean sign languages.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Kikai

[kzg] Ethnic population: 13,066 (2000). Northeast Okinawa; Kikai Island. Dialects: Onotsu. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible or very difficult with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn].  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Northern Amami-Okinawan 
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Korean

[kor] 670,000 in Japan (1988).  Classification: Language isolate 
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Kunigami

[xug] 5,000 (2004). Central Okinawa; central and north Okinawa Island, Iheya, Izena, Ie-jima, Sesoko islands. Dialects: Nago. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, of other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn]. Ryukyuan languages are 62%-70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese. Ryukyu languages are 62%–70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese.  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Southern Amami-Okinawan 
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Miyako

[mvi] Ethnic population: 67,653 (2000). Southern Okinawa; Miyako, Ogami, Ikema, Kurima, Irabu, Tarama, Minna islands. Dialects: Miyako-Jima (Hirara, Ogami), Irabu-Jima, Tarama-Minna. Not intelligible with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn]. Dialects listed have noticeable differences, but communication is not impossible.  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Sakishima 
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Okinawan, Central

[ryu] 984,000 (2000). Ethnic population: Total ethnic population of Okinawan is 1,200,000 (2000 Yukio). Central Okinawa; southern Okinawa Island, Kerama Islands, Kume-jima, Tonaki, Aguna islands, islands east of Okinawa Island. Alternate names: Luchu, Okinawan.  Dialects: Shuri, Naha, Torishima, Kudaka. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn]. Ryukyuan languages are 62%-70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese. Ryukyu languages are 62%–70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese.  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Southern Amami-Okinawan 
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Oki-No-Erabu

[okn] 3,200 (2004). North central Okinawa; Oki-no-erabu Island. Dialects: East Oki-No-Erabu, West Oki-No-Erabu. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn]. Dialect differences are noticeable, but communication is not impossible. Ryukyuan languages are 62%-70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese. Ryukyu languages are 62%–70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese.  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Southern Amami-Okinawan 
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Toku-No-Shima

[tkn] 5,100 (2004). Northern Okinawa; Toku-no-shima Island. Dialects: Kametsu. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn].  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Northern Amami-Okinawan 
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Yaeyama

[rys] Ethnic population: 47,636 (2000 WCD). Southern Okinawa; Ishigaki, Iriomote, Hatoma, Kohama, Taketomi, Kuroshima, Hateruma, Aregusuku islands. Alternate names: Yayeyama.  Dialects: Ishigaki, Kabira, Shiraho, Taketomi, Kohama, Hatoma, Sonai, Kuroshima, Hateruma. Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn].  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Sakishima 
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Yonaguni

[yoi] 800 (2004). Southern Okinawa; Yonaguni Island. Dialects: Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn].  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Sakishima 
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Yoron

[yox] 950 (2004). North central Okinawa; Yoron Island. Dialects: Inherent intelligibility is generally impossible, or very difficult, with other Ryukyuan languages and Japanese [jpn]. Ryukyuan languages are 62%-70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese. Ryukyu languages are 62%–70% cognate with Tokyo dialect of Japanese.  Classification: Japonic, Ryukyuan, Amami-Okinawan, Southern Amami-Okinawan 
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