0

Google translate says 日本語 means Japanese.

It also says:

  • 語 means "word"
  • 本 means "this"
  • 日 means "day"

So how do you get "Japanese" out of these three kanji?

0

2 Answers 2

15
  • 語 is the suffix which means 'language'. Unlike English which needs two different nouns for a country and its language, in Japanese, you can simply add 語 after the name of a country to mean the language spoken in that country. (e.g. ドイツ = Germany, ドイツ語 = German, フランス = France, フランス語 = French)
  • 日本 is one word made of two characters, meaning 'Japan'. Etymologically it can be further analyzed (日 (Sun) + 本 (origin) => the rising Sun), but no one cares about that in everyday life.
1
  • 2
    By the way, 本日, pronounced honjitsu, actually means 'this day', or 'today'.
    – naruto
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 3:18
4
  • 日 Can also mean "Sun"
  • 本 Can mean "Origin"
  • 語 Can mean "language"

If you look at the Japanese Flag ,you will notice there is a big red circle. That is a sun. The sun is a very important object in Japanese folklore. Another thing is that 日本語 refers to the Japanese language which we often just refer to as Japanese

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .