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Japanese language

In process of the translations it needs to remember that in the Japanese language the booky way of speaking and conversational speech are clearly distinguished, the various functional styles are distinguished, graduation of speech in order of politeness is developed, there are colloquialisms and jargons.

Ph. Linn
26 October, 2017

японский язык, преподаватель

From an etymological point of view, the vocabulary of the Japanese language can be divided into three layers: vago, i.e. the native Japanese words, kango, i.e. the words of Chinese origin, and gairaigo, i.e. the lexical borrowings from other languages.

The basic mass of the Cango was adopted by the Japanese language in a period of about VII to XIII, but the many lexical items related to this layer, have been created from Chinese roots in a much later time already in Japan. The earliest Gairaigo were entered into the Japanese language as a result of contact with the Portuguese and Spanish missionaries in the XVI-XVII, as well as with the Dutch traders in the XVII-XIX, accompanied by a translation of treaties and trade agreements.

The different literary languages coexisted in Japan for many centuries. Approximately in VII, when the country had borrowed the Chinese form of government and the Buddhist religion, the classical Chinese language, "Far East Latin", has spread in the Japanese society, which was called kambun in Japan, literally "Han (i.e. Chinese) script". However, already in the VIII, an extensive texts and translations on the actual Japanese (for example, the fragments of the set of myths and legends "Kojiki", a poetic anthology "Man’yoshu").

By the middle of the XIX, the differences between the literary language (received in this era name bungo, letters. "written language") and non-codified conversational speech represented a variety of dialects, have formed.

In the course of modernization of Japanese society in the last third of the XIX, the social movement for the "unity of speech and writing" was developed in the country, thanks to which, the kambun native speakers were practically disappeared to the end of the century. The modern Japanese literary language in the grammatical point of view is based on the kongo norms (more precisely, on the norms of of conversational speech of the residents of wealthy areas of Tokyo in the the end of the last century), and has absorbed all the richness of linguistic forms developed over the centuries within kambun and bungo, in the lexico-phraseological respect. However, the kambun and bungo have not disappeared completely, they are studied today within certain limits, primarily for the purpose of reading and translation of classical literature, and are used in some of the genres of poetry, for the performance the religious cults, etc.


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tags: Япония, японский, Chinese, Japanese, language, native speaker

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