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Where Did Japanese Come From

It is not absolutely known to which language group Nihongo (Japanese language) belongs. The structure of Nihongo is completely different from Indo-European languages such as English and French. This is why it is seen as a difficult language to learn from a western perspective.

It is known that Nihongo was developed within a reasonably stable (isolated) environment over a long period of time. As a result of this isolation, a form of conversation developed wherein commonly known matters are not spoken of. This has resulted in a presupposed understanding of what one is talking about, without strong assertions. Westerners, as a result, who are not properly versed in Nihongo, feel that the Japanese do not properly, or clearly, express their opinions.

Japanese tend to omit the subject or topic, which would be obvious from the context. This is especially prominent in Japanese conversation. "I" (watashi) is hardly ever used.

(Watashi wa) Nihonjin desu. I am Japanese.
(Watashi wa) Nihon ni ikimasu. I am going to Japan.

In both of the above example a Japanese person would omit the "watashi wa."
"You" (anata) is similarly omitted.

(Anata wa) gakusei desu ka. Are you a student?
(Anata wa) kono hon o yomimashita ka. Did you read this book?

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