Japanese is an agglutinative language like Turkish and spoken over 128 million people worldwide. Japanese is actually the official language of Japan. In the past, the standard Japanese literary language, Bungo, was different from the colloquial language. Bungo was the basic method of writing in Japanese until about 1900; then kōgo gradually expanded its influence and these two methods were used together until the 1940s. Today, Bungo is used in history, literature and law. Kōgo is the dominant method for speaking and writing in Japanese today while Bungo grammar and vocabulary are still used for effect at times.
Japanese has a complex honorific system that reflects the hierarchical nature of the Japanese society, with its verb forms and specific vocabulary which indicates the relative state of the speaker, the listener, and presence, or absence, of the person mentioned in the conversation. The sound inventory of Japanese is small compared to other languages, and it has a lexical pitch-accent system. Moreover, words and syllables in Japanese always end in the consonant ‘n’ (ん).
As a natural language (language isolate) with no relationship with other languages, it is one of the languages of Japan together with Ryukyuan languages. There are some theories that Japanese can be related to Korean. It has also been suggested that the Austroasiatic languages and the Ural-Altaic language family/Altaic languages are related to Japanese. However, none of these theories are academically accepted.
Japanese is written using three different types of scripts: the Chinese characters called Kanji, and two syllabaries adapted from Chinese characters, Hiragana and Katakana. Today, the Latin alphabet, rōmaji, is also used frequently in Japanese, especially in company names, logos, advertisements, and for typing Japanese texts on the computer. For numbers, Western style numbers are generally used; however, use of traditional Sino-Japanese numerals is also common. Japanese vocabulary is considerably influenced by loanwords from Chinese and English.