Japanese is the 9th most spoken language in the world but is not one of the six official UN languages. Almost 10% all Internet users are estimated to be Japanese with Japan boasting one of the highest literacy rates in the world of over 99%.
There are a number of immigrant communities around the world that speak the language due to historical emigrant migration to South Korea, Taiwan, parts of China, the Philippines, Brazil (which boasts the largest emigrant Japanese population with 1.5 million speakers), Peru, Argentina, Australia, Canada (Vancouver), and the USA (California and Hawaii).
There are also around 2.5 million people of Japanese origin, many of whom speak Japanese as their first language, living in Brazil and the rest of the Americas, particularly in the United States.
You’ll also find a sizeable expatriate presence in major cities such as London, New York and Paris.
The Japanese written language is considered to be one of the world’s most complex and difficult to learn languages which can put many potential learners off. However there are a number of attributes that will make learning the language a little easier; just like English Japanese has no gender and there is no differentiation between plural and singular.
The biggest and most obvious challenge when it comes to learning Japanese is learning the characters. These have no relation to languages of a Latin origin and therefore it really is a case of having to learn and memorise them.
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