Learn Survival Japanese
Wikivoyage users have collectively created a free Japanese phrasebook with the goal of making it possible for travelers to "get by" while traveling in areas where Japanese is spoken.
Wikivoyage phrasebooks are available in many languages and each one varies in depth and detail. Most of the phrasebooks include a pronunciation guide, a general phrase list, information about dates and numbers, a color list, transportation-related phrases, vocabulary for shopping and phrases for eating and drinking. Some are even more in depth, and all are free!
Japanese (日本語 [nihoŋɡo]) is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic (or Japanese-Ryukyuan) language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained unanimous acceptance. Japanese has a relatively small sound inventory, and a lexically significant pitch-accent system. It is distinguished by a complex system of honorifics reflecting the nature of Japanese society, with verb forms and particular vocabulary to indicate the relative status of the speaker, the listener, and persons mentioned in conversation.
The Japanese language is written with a combination of three scripts: Chinese characters called kanji (漢字), and two syllabic scripts made up of modified Chinese characters, hiragana (ひらがな or 平仮名) and katakana (カタカナ or 片仮名). The Latin alphabet, rōmaji (ローマ字), is also often used in modern Japanese, especially for company names and logos, advertising, and when entering Japanese text into a computer. Arabic numerals are generally used for numbers, but traditional Sino-Japanese numerals are also commonplace.
Japanese is spoken by a minority in South Korea and China, where some use it as a second language. The language is strongly influenced by Chinese though the two are unrelated; Japanese may be distantly related to Korean, although the written form uses a combination of Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji characters which were all derived from Chinese characters.