Varieties of Standard German

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Varieties of Standard German

The national and regional standard varieties of German.[74]
In German linguistics, German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German. The varieties of standard German refer to the different local varieties of the pluricentric standard German. They differ only slightly in lexicon and phonology. In certain regions, they have replaced the traditional German dialects, especially in Northern Germany.

German Standard German
Austrian Standard German
Swiss Standard German
In the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, mixtures of dialect and standard are very seldom used, and the use of Standard German is largely restricted to the written language, though about 10% of the Swiss residents speak High German (aka Standard German) at home, but mainly due to German immigrants.[75] This situation has been called a medial diglossia. Swiss Standard German is used in the Swiss education system, whereas Austrian Standard German is officially used in the Austrian education system.

A mixture of dialect and standard does not normally occur in Northern Germany either. The traditional varieties there are Low German, whereas Standard German is a High German “variety”. Because their linguistic distance to it is greater, they do not mesh with Standard German the way that High German dialects (such as Bavarian, Swabian, Hessian) can.

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Japanese Phonology

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Japanese phonology

Spoken Japanese
All Japanese vowels are pure—that is, there are no diphthongs, only monophthongs. The only unusual vowel is the high back vowel /ɯ/ About this sound listen (help·info), which is like /u/, but compressed instead of rounded. Japanese has five vowels, and vowel length is phonemic, with each having both a short and a long version. Elongated vowels are usually denoted with a line over the vowel (a macron) in rōmaji, a repeated vowel character in hiragana, or a chōonpu succeeding the vowel in katakana.

Some Japanese consonants have several allophones, which may give the impression of a larger inventory of sounds. However, some of these allophones have since become phonemic. For example, in the Japanese language up to and including the first half of the 20th century, the phonemic sequence /ti/ was palatalized and realized phonetically as [tɕi], approximately chi About this sound listen (help·info); however, now /ti/ and /tɕi/ are distinct, as evidenced by words like tī [tiː] “Western style tea” and chii [tɕii] “social status”.

The “r” of the Japanese language (technically a lateral apical postalveolar flap), is of particular interest, sounding to most English speakers to be something between an “l” and a retroflex “r” depending on its position in a word. The “g” is also notable; unless it starts a sentence, it is pronounced /ŋ/, like the ng in “sing,” in the Kanto prestige dialect and in other eastern dialects.

The syllabic structure and the phonotactics are very simple: the only consonant clusters allowed within a syllable consist of one of a subset of the consonants plus /j/. This type of cluster only occurs in onsets. However, consonant clusters across syllables are allowed as long as the two consonants are a nasal followed by a homorganic consonant. Consonant length (gemination) is also phonemic.

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Japanese Grammar

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Sentence structure
Japanese word order is classified as subject–object–verb. Unlike many Indo-European languages, the only strict rule of word order is that the verb must be placed at the end of a sentence (possibly followed by sentence-end particles). This is because Japanese sentence elements are marked with particles that identify their grammatical functions.

The basic sentence structure is topic–comment. For example, Kochira wa Tanaka-san desu (こちらは田中さんです). kochira (“this”) is the topic of the sentence, indicated by the particle wa. The verb de aru (desu is a contraction of its polite form de arimasu) is a copula, commonly translated as “to be” or “it is” (though there are other verbs that can be translated as “to be”), though technically it holds no meaning and is used to give a sentence ‘politeness’. As a phrase, Tanaka-san desu is the comment. This sentence literally translates to “As for this person, (it) is Mr./Ms. Tanaka.” Thus Japanese, like many other Asian languages, is often called a topic-prominent language, which means it has a strong tendency to indicate the topic separately from the subject, and that the two do not always coincide. The sentence Zō wa hana ga nagai (象は鼻が長い) literally means, “As for elephant(s), (the) nose(s) (is/are) long”. The topic is zō “elephant”, and the subject is hana “nose”.

In Japanese, the subject or object of a sentence need not be stated if it is obvious from context. As a result of this grammatical permissiveness, there is a tendency to gravitate towards brevity; Japanese speakers tend to omit pronouns on the theory they are inferred from the previous sentence, and are therefore understood. In the context of the above example, hana-ga nagai would mean “[their] noses are long,” while nagai by itself would mean “[they] are long.” A single verb can be a complete sentence: Yatta! (やった!)”[I / we / they / etc] did [it]!”. In addition, since adjectives can form the predicate in a Japanese sentence (below), a single adjective can be a complete sentence: Urayamashii! (羨ましい!)”[I’m] jealous [of it]!”.

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The Japanese Alphabet

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Hiragana – ひらがな
The first step to learning the Japanese language is to learn the alphabet. Or, at least, to learn the sounds that exist in the language. There are absolutely no “tones” in Japanese like in many other asian languages and there are only 2 exceptions within the alphabet which will be explained later. The Japanese alphabet does not contain letters but, instead, contains characters and, technically, they are not alphabets but character sets. The characters in the chart below are called Hiragana. Hiragana is the main alphabet or character set for Japanese. Japanese also consists of two other character sets – Kanji (Chinese characters), which we will get into later, and another alphabet/character set, Katakana, which is mainly used for foreign words. Katakana will be covered in Lesson 2. Don’t wait to move on until you have all Hiragana characters memorized – learn them as you continue to go through the other lessons.

There are 5 vowels in Japanese. (a), pronounced “ahh”, (i), pronounced like “e” in “eat”, (u), pronounced like “oo” in “soon”, (e), pronounced like “e” in “elk”, and (o), pronounced “oh”. All Hiragana characters end with one of these vowels, with the exception of (n). The only “consonant” that does not resemble that of English is the Japanese “r”. It is slightly “rolled” as if it were a combination of a “d”, “r”, and “l”.

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What is my name in Japanese?

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What is my name in Japanese?

You might be wondering “what is my name in Japanese?” or “how do I say my name in Japanese?”. If so, this lesson should be able to help. Once you know your name in Japanese, we will also teach you how to introduce yourself in Japanese.

There aren’t direct equivalents of foreign names in Japanese but foreign names can be sounded out using the sounds in the Japanese language creating a “closest pronunciation equivalent”. It doesn’t matter how the name is spelled but only how it is pronounced. Below are a number of common names sounded out in Japanese. Foreign names are written out in Katakana which is covered in Lesson 2. The ー character (called a “bou” ) elongates the vowel sound of the character in front of it. Remember, these are not actual Japanese names. Please don’t name your son “ma-ku” because you love Japan and the name “Mark”.

Note: You may notice certain combinations (such as シェ (she) or ティ (ti)) that aren’t part of the standard Katakana character set. These are special exceptions for foreign names only.

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Studying Japanese

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Japanese is considered a difficult language to learn. This is certainly true for native speakers of European languages, such as English, because Japanese is fundamentally different from European languages.

One of the biggest difficulties of the Japanese language is its complex writing system. Unless you are already familiar with Chinese characters (kanji), many years of study are necessary to achieve complete literacy. Japanese students learn about 2000 kanji until the end of junior high school and continue to learn more until the end of their school careers. The two syllabaries Hiragana and Katakana (together about 100 signs), however, can be memorized within a short period of time.

Another difficulty of the Japanese language is the fact that a person’s speech can vary depending on the situation and the person. A student of Japanese has to become familiar with Japanese society and customs in order to understand the detailed rules of the different levels of speech.

Compared to many European languages, basic Japanese grammar is relatively simple. Complicating factors, such as gender articles and distinctions between plural and singular, are almost completely absent. Conjugation rules for verbs and adjectives are almost entirely free of exceptions. Nouns are not declined at all, but always appear in the same form. These facts make the language relatively easy for starting students.

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Italian-Present perfect tense

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Present perfect (Il passato prossimo)
The present perfect is used for single actions or events (stamattina sono andato a scuola “I went to school this morning”), or change in state (si è arrabbiato quando gliel’ho detto “he got angry when I told him that”), contrasting with the imperfect which is used for habits (andavo in bicicletta a scuola ogni mattina “I used to go to school by bike every morning”), or repeated actions, not happening at a specific time (si arrabbiava ogni volta che qualcuno glielo diceva “he got angry every time someone told him that”).

The past participle
The past participle is used to form the compound pasts (e.g. ho lavorato, avevo lavorato, ebbi lavorato, avrò lavorato). Regular verbs follow a productive pattern, but there are many verbs with an irregular past participle.

verbs in -are add -ato to the stem: parlato, amato;
some verbs in -ere add -uto to the stem: creduto;
verbs in -ire add -ito to the stem: partito, finito;
other verbs in -ere are irregular, they mutate the stem and add -o, -so, -sto or -tto to the stem: preso /ˈpreːzo, ˈpreːso/ (from prendere), letto /ˈlɛtto/ (from leggere), rimasto (from rimanere);
fare and dire do exactly the same thing: fatto (from fare), detto /ˈdetto/ (from dire). Compounds from the root -durre similarly have -dotto /ˈdotto/;
venire has venuto and bere has bevuto;
stare and essere both have stato.

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Italian conjugation

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Italian conjugation
Italian verbs have a high degree of inflection, the majority of which follows one of three common patterns of conjugation. Italian conjugation is affected by mood, person, tense, number, aspect and occasionally gender.

The three classes of verbs (patterns of conjugation) are distinguished by the endings of the infinitive form of the verb:

1st conjugation: -are (amare “to love”, parlare “to talk, to speak”);
2nd conjugation: -ere (credere “to believe”, ricevere “to receive”);
-arre, -orre and -urre are considered part of the 2nd conjugation, as they are derived from Latin -ere but had lost their internal e after the suffix fused to the stem’s vowel (a, o and u);
3rd conjugation: -ire (dormire “to sleep”);
3rd conjugation -ire with infixed -isc- (finire “to end, to finish”).
Additionally, Italian has a number of irregular verbs that do not fit into any conjugation class, including essere “to be”, avere “to have”, andare “to go”, stare “to stay, to stand”, dare “to give”, fare “to do, to make”, and many others.

The suffixes that form the infinitive are always stressed, except for -ere, which is stressed in some verbs (e.g. vedere /veˈdeːre/ “to see”) and unstressed in others (e.g. prendere /ˈprɛndere/ “to take”). A few verbs have a misleading, contracted infinitive, but use their uncontracted stem in most conjugations. Fare comes from Latin facere, which can be seen in many of its forms. Similarly, dire (“to say”) comes from dīcere, bere (“to drink”) comes from bibere and porre (“to put”) comes from pōnere.

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Italian alphabet

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Italian alphabet
The Italian alphabet is typically considered to consist of 21 letters. The letters j, k, w, x, y are traditionally excluded, though they appear in loanwords such as jeans, whisky, taxi, xenofobo, xilofono. The letter ⟨x⟩ has become common in standard Italian with the prefix extra-, although (e)stra- is traditionally used; it is also common to use of the Latin particle ex(-) to mean “former(ly)” as in: la mia ex (“my ex-girlfriend”), “Ex-Jugoslavia” (“Former Yugoslavia”). The letter ⟨j⟩ appears in the first name Jacopo and in some Italian place-names, such as Bajardo, Bojano, Joppolo, Jerzu, Jesolo, Jesi, Ajaccio, among others, and in Mar Jonio, an alternative spelling of Mar Ionio (the Ionian Sea). The letter ⟨j⟩ may appear in dialectal words, but its use is discouraged in contemporary standard Italian.[72] Letters used in Foreign words can be replaced with phonetically equivalent native Italian letters and digraphs: ⟨gi⟩, ⟨ge⟩, or ⟨i⟩ for ⟨j⟩; ⟨c⟩ or ⟨ch⟩ for ⟨k⟩ (including in the standard prefix kilo-); ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or ⟨v⟩ for ⟨w⟩; ⟨s⟩, ⟨ss⟩, ⟨z⟩, ⟨zz⟩ or ⟨cs⟩ for ⟨x⟩; and ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩ for ⟨y⟩.

The acute accent is used over word-final ⟨e⟩ to indicate a stressed front close-mid vowel, as in perché “why, because”. In dictionaries, it is also used over ⟨o⟩ to indicate a stressed back close-mid vowel (azióne). The grave accent is used over word-final ⟨e⟩ to indicate a front open-mid vowel, as in tè “tea”. The grave accent is used over any vowel to indicate word-final stress, as in gioventù “youth”. Unlike ⟨é⟩, a stressed final ⟨o⟩ is always a back open-mid vowel (andrò), making ⟨ó⟩ unnecessary outside of dictionaries. Most of the time, the penultimate syllable is stressed. But if the stressed vowel is the final letter of the word, the accent is mandatory, otherwise it is virtually always omitted. Exceptions are typically either in dictionaries, where all or most stressed vowels are commonly marked. Accents can optionally be used disambiguate words that differ only by stress, as for prìncipi “princes” and princìpi “principles”, or àncora “anchor” and ancóra “still/yet”. For monosyllabic words, the rule is different: when two identical monosyllabic words with different meanings exist, one is accented and the other is not (example: è “is”, e “and”).

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Italian language

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Italian is by most measures, together with the Sardinian language, the closest tongue to vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City and western Istria (in Slovenia and Croatia). It used to have official status in Albania, Malta and Monaco, where it is still widely spoken, as well as in former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa regions where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia.

It has official minority status in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Romania.[9] Many speakers are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.[10] Italian is a major European language, being one of the official languages of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe. It is the third most widely spoken first language in the European Union with 69 million native speakers (13% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 16 million EU citizens (3%).[1] Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland and Albania) and on other continents, the total number of speakers is around 90 million.

Italian is the main working language of the Holy See, serving as the lingua franca (common language) in the Roman Catholic hierarchy as well as the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Italian is known as the language of music because of its use in musical terminology and opera. Its influence is also widespread in the arts and in the luxury goods market. Italian has been reported as the fourth or fifth most frequently taught foreign language in the world.

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