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Japanese Language Facts

If you’re thinking about learning Japanese it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Japanese language facts:

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5 Interesting Japanese Language Facts

1. Japanese has mysterious origins and there are numerous theories on how it emerged

The oldest known from of Japanese is Old Japanese, which was recorded when Chinese writing was first introduced in Japan. Chinese substantially influenced Japanese until the 12th century. Later, European traders and explorers introduced European words which were incorporated into Japanese.

2. Japanese is the ninth most spoken language in the world

Japanese is spoken by 125 million people, mainly in Japan, and nearly 4 million people are studying Japanese as a foreign language worldwide.

3. The world’s first novel is still a landmark of Japanese literature

The world’s first novel is sometimes considered to be The Tale of Genji (源氏物語), written in the 11th century by Murasaki Shikibu, a noblewoman. Today, it has influenced modern authors such as the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges.

4. A number of Japanese words have been incorporated into everyday English

This is thanks to the popularity of Japanese culture in Western countries, including in the UK and the US. Examples include anime, bonsai, karaoke, origami, sudoku, tofu, tsunami and tycoon.

5. Japanese is one of the world’s fastest spoken languages

Not only is Japan home to one of the most famous bullet trains, the Shinkansen (新幹線), but Japanese is also one of the world’s fastest spoken languages. Japanese has an average rate of 7.84 syllables per second, compared to 6.19 syllables per second for English and 5.18 syllables per second for Mandarin, according to a study performed by the Université de Lyon in France.

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Frequently asked questions

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.

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Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

Do I receive a qualification or certificate?

At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)

Do I need a course book?

You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.

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