A language of Japan


121,000,000 in Japan (1985). Population figure may include other ethnic groups. Population total all countries: 122,072,000.


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

Language Maps
Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.


Eastern Japanese, Western Japanese, Zu-zu-ben. Possibly related to Korean [kor]. Kagoshima dialect is 84% cognate with Tokyo dialect. Zu-zu-ben dialects unintelligible to other Japanese, and dying out as standard Tokyo Japanese takes over.


SOV; postpositions; demonstrative, numeral, adjective, possessive, relative clause, proper noun precedes noun head; adverb precedes verb; sentence final question particle; CV

Language Use

1,000,000 L2 speakers.

Language Development
Taught in primary and secondary schools. Fully developed. Bible: 1883–1987.
Braille script. Han, Hiragana, and Katakana scripts, primary usage.
Other Comments

Buddhist, Shintoist.

Also spoken in:

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