Japanese language, one of the world’s major languages, ranking ninth in terms of the number of speakers. It is primarily spoken throughout the Japanese archipelago; there are also some 1.5 million Japanese immigrants and their descendants living abroad, mainly in North and South America, who have varying degrees of proficiency in Japanese. Since the mid-20th century, no nation other than Japan has used Japanese as a first or a second language.
Old Japanese (the Kojiki, dates to the early 8th century-the end of the Nara period in 794) Early Middle Japanese (Heian period (794–1185)), Late Middle Japanese (1185–1600), Early Modern Japanese period (early 17th century–mid-19th century) the dialect changed from the Kansai region to the Edo (modern Tokyo), the end in 1853 of Japan's self-imposed isolation, the flow of loanwords from European languages has increased significantly. English loanwords in particular have become frequent, and Japanese words from English roots have proliferated.
Japanese has no official status, but is the de facto national language("in practice but not necessarily ordained by law"). The form in use is hyōjungo , meaning "standard Japanese", or kyōtsūgo, "common language".
Japanese dialectologists agree that a major dialect boundary separates Okinawan dialects of the Ryukyu Islands from the rest of the mainland dialects. The latter are then divided into either three groups—Eastern, Western, and Kyushu dialects—or simply Eastern and Western dialects, the latter including the Kyushu group.
The earliest attempts to write Japanese involved the use of not only Chinese characters but also Classical Chinese grammar, as is evident in the preface to the 8th-century Kojiki. Within some 50 years, by the time the Man’yōshū was completed, the Japanese had begun to use the sounds of Chinese character names to write Japanese phonetically.
Agency for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Education of Japan
Japanese language on websites
Japanese language on websites ranks on 7th on its content available on net and it is 4.2% in terms of percentage.
It has about 125 million speakers in the world.