What is the difference between the Japanese, Chinese and Korean languages?

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A very common mistake of people who do not know or study Asian culture and language, is to think that Chinese and Japanese are all the same language. Or you can't tell the difference between each one. The fact is that languages ​​are completely different from each other, both in writing and speaking. In this article we will know and see the difference of each language.


The Chinese language is written only with Ideograms called hanzi, and there are 2 types of writing, the traditional one that uses the original Ideograms, and the simplified one that uses simpler ideograms with fewer strokes.

Chinese grammar does not have inflections, so words typically have a single shape. It is difficult to define a Chinese alphabet or the number of phonemes it has.

About Mandarin, it is just a dialect of the Chinese spoken Beijing region and the whole of China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that different tones can change the meaning of a word, even though the pronunciation and spelling are identical. It is the Chinese who usually find it difficult to speak the "R" and end up speaking the "L".

Below is an example of a Chinese text: 


Pinyin (Romanized): 

Bùzhī xiāng jī sì
shù lǐ rù yún fēng
gǔmù wú rén jìng
shēnshān hé chù zhōng
quán tīng yàn wēi shí
rì sè lěng qīngsōng
bómù kōng tán qū
ān chán zhì dulóng


Japanese is a syllabic language, composed of only 106 syllables, easily pronounced in our Portuguese. The Japanese are not used to saying the "L" so they end up saying the "R" = Furango Pasuteru. Thus concluding that the bad joke works only with Chinese.

Japanese grammar is simple, verbs have a simple conjugation, and phrases usually end with desu, masu, nai, masen, ta, yo, da because of these conjugations.

Japanese writing is divided into 3 systems, Hiragana which is a syllabary of 46 characters, used to write words in Japanese. Katakana is a syllabary of 46 characters used to write words of foreign origin or names of people. The Kanji, which are Ideograms of Chinese origin, complement and organize all comprehension of the Language, which has a very small amount of syllables.

Hiragana: あいうえおかきくけこさしすせそなにぬねのはひふへほまみむめも


Kanji: 人女男犬猫好五自分妹力車天空色山右左

Below is an example of a Japanese text: 


Romaji (Romanized): 

Kagami ni utsutta anata no sugata
sore wa watashi no mottomo utsukushī uta
shikashi sore wa amarini hayaku kiete shimau
sore wa watashi no saigo no `Aishiteru '


The Korean writing system is called hangul, which is distinguishable by the large amount of circular and oval shapes and straight lines. (example: 안녕하세요).

The Korean alphabet consists of 24 characters, five double consonants and eleven double vowels. In Korean, there are no masculine or feminine nouns. Furthermore, there are no articles, and verbs are also not usually flexible.

Below is an example of a Korean text: 

담쟁이는 서두르지 않고 앞으로 나간다.
한 뼘이라도 꼭 여럿이 함께 손을 잡고 올라간다.
푸르게 절망을 잡고 놓지 않는다.
저것은 넘을 수 없는 벽이라고 고개를 떨구고 있을 때
담쟁이 잎 하나는
담쟁이 잎 수 천 개를 이끌고
결국 그 벽을 넘는다.

Hangul (Romanized):

damjaeng-ineun seoduleuji anhgo ap-eulo naganda.
han ppyeom-ilado kkog yeoleos-i hamkke son-eul jabgo ollaganda.
puleuge jeolmang-eul jabgo nohji anhneunda.
jeogeos-eun neom-eul su eobsneun byeog-ilago gogaeleul tteolgugo iss-eul ttae
damjaeng-i ip hananeun
damjaeng-i ip su cheon gaeleul ikkeulgo
gyeolgug geu byeog-eul neomneunda.


In the article we saw that the differences between these 3 languages ​​are really big, they are completely different languages, with a new grammar, writing, pronunciation and etc. And it is easy to distinguish the difference between each one.

Korean is the most different of all because it has its own writing, Japanese also has many simple and rounded characters in the middle of the ideograms, while Chinese is only composed with complex ideograms.

In pronunciation and speech, Japanese is what differentiates it from all others, besides being easy to understand and speak because it has syllables that we already use in our Portuguese. Meanwhile, Chinese and Korean have their own phonemes that change words with just the tone.

Finally, we will leave a video showing a dialogue in each of the 3 languages.