Japanese is the national language of Japan where it is spoken by 125 million people, making it the 9th most spoken language in the world. It is also spoken by small communities of the Japanese diaspora, notably in Brazil, Hawaii, and North America. Japanese is part of the Japonic language which includes the Ryukyuan languages of Okinawa. Though widely debated, it is believed by many linguists that Japanese is distantly related to the Altaic (Turkic) language family. Japanese has also been heavily influenced by Chinese in its adoption of Chinese characters and in turn many Chinese words.
Japanese is written with four writing systems. In addition to Chinese characters, it is primarily comprised of two 46-character syllabaries: ひらがな(hiragana) for Japanese words and カタカナ(katakana) for loanwords from other languages. Roman script is also used, albeit in limited situations. Numbers are represented both by Arabic numerals (0-9) and Chinese numerals.
Links to get started with learning Japanese:
Typing in Japanese is surprisingly easy. Follow these guide to learn how to enter Japanese on your PC, Mac or mobile device.