In 2009, UNESCO announced that 2,500 of the world's 6,000 or so languages are in danger of disappearing. Eight of these languages are in Japan. The Ainu language of Hokkaido had been reported to be in danger of disappearing before the 2009 announcement, but the other seven languages were newly added at that time. Six of the seven languages are from the entire Ryukyu Islands (i.e., Amami and Okinawa): Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama, and Yonaguni. And the remaining one was, to my surprise, Hachijo, spoken on Hachijojima and Aogashima in the Izu Islands, Tokyo.
The reason why Hachijo dialect was included is that Hachijo language has richly preserved the characteristics of the Jyodai Togoku dialect spoken in and around Kanto in the Nara period (Jyodai refers to the Nara period, Togoku to the Kanto area, and is found in the Azumauta and Sakimorinouta of the Manyoshu). The language of the people around the Kanto region in the Nara period must have been so difficult for the Nara people to understand that they were said to be like "Chicken crows". In general, it is said that older words are preserved in the periphery area compared to the center area. If older Japanese survived in the Kanto area than in central Nara, it is possible that the Hachijo language is older than the Nara language of the Nara period, in other words, the oldest language in Japan. Let's take a peek at the characteristics of Hachijo dialect.
Some of the questions will be taken from "Ikita Kotoba of Hachijo Dialect" (Kasama Shoin) and some from the Nanami online course "Hachijo-go, a language in danger of disappearing from Japan.
Japanese honorifics include honorifics that elevate the other person's action and humble terms that lower one's own action. In addition, in relation to the listener, there is the polite way of saying things as opposed to the normal way of saying things. In spoken Japanese, the polite form of honorific expression is used.
At work or part-time jobs, there will be many occasions when you will talk with customers or superiors. It is impolite to speak to a superior as if you were talking to a friend, especially if you use "honorific" and "humble" words in reverse. The relationship between "uchi" and "soto" in Japanese differs depending on the situation. If you can visualize this relationship well, you are a master of honorific expressions. At Nanami Japanese Language School, we place special emphasis on the Japanese language used at work, especially "keigo" (honorific speech). We also offer online training programs that incorporate business manners into the basics of Japanese language.
Cushion words are magic words that can be added to conversations and sentences to make them "mutually" kind. Cushion words are words of mutual respect and care for others. Use cushion words to build better relationships.
Language is a communication tool. Those who can make good use of this tool (tool) can be said to be good communicators.
And on the other hand, did you know that more than 90% of a speaker's impression of others is determined by things other than words, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures (movements)? Based on this, don't just rely on words, but also pay attention to facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures.
An idiom is a word in which two or more words are combined to express the meaning of another word that is different from the meaning of the original word. Idiomatic phrases have been widely used in Japan for a long time, and even today, idiomatic phrases are often used in everyday conversation. They also appear in many novels and other reading materials. Mastering idiomatic phrases will increase your enjoyment of conversation. At Nanami Japanese Language School, we hope that communication in the workplace will be smooth, and we have prepared a series of frequently used idiomatic phrases.
The term "furoshiki" (wrapping cloth) originated in the Edo period (1603-1868) with the spread of bathhouses, and was passed down through the Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei, and 2025 eras.
The "old and new furoshiki" has been attracting attention from various perspectives, including increasingly serious environmental issues, Japanese culture popular around the world, and its use in times of disaster, and in recent years it has even been included in elementary school moral education textbooks.
The name "furoshiki" has been used since the Edo period (1603-1867), and the culture of furoshiki has been handed down since the Nara period (710-794), the origin of the furoshiki. Nanami Furoshiki Lecture and Nanami Online offer furoshiki lectures for the next generation and for people outside of Japan.
If you come to Japan from a foreign country to stay temporarily or live in a culture where chopsticks are used, it is useful to know how to use chopsticks and their manners. You will be able to go to business dinners with confidence.
*If you have difficulty holding chopsticks, please ask the restaurant to lend you a fork, and you can borrow one.
It is also important for Japanese children to know chopstick etiquette from an early age as part of Japanese culture. This will be useful in situations such as cross-cultural exchanges.
Nanami Japanese Culture offers courses on dining etiquette, including how to hold chopsticks, to foreigners.
You may be invited to the wedding of a colleague or a friend in Japan, and you may be anxious about what manners are involved. Wedding invitations will arrive about a month in advance, so be prepared and celebrate. You can also look forward to exchanging information with your seniors, colleagues, and friends at work who are close to you and preparing for the day of the event. This test will help you learn the manners so that you will not be in a panic whenever you are invited to a wedding or a reception party. This test is the Kanto version of wedding etiquette. Incidentally, there are some points in Japan where customs differ depending on the region you live in, such as the Kanto region and Kansai region. Even in the Kanto region, there are some points that differ slightly from region to region. Don't be shy to ask people around you if you don't understand something.
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