The Japanese language is spoken by 127 million people, most in Japan and Japanese immigrant communities around the world.

Japanese is written with a combination of three different types of characters: Chinese characters (called kanji), and two syllables, hiragana and katakana. The Latin alphabet (called romaji) is often used in modern Japanese for company names, advertising or computer use. Arabic numerals are generally used, but traditional Chinese / Japanese numerals are also common.

Japanese vocabulary has been heavily influenced by borrowings from other languages. A large number of words are derived from Chinese or created according to Chinese standards, over a period of at least 1,500 years. From the end of the 19th century, Japanese borrowed quite a large number of words, mainly English.