Japanese is currently spoken by 128 million people and it is among the top 10 languages spoken in the world. When we rank according to native language speakers, Japanese is the 9th language to speak in the world.
Japanese is the official language of Japan only and no exact connection was found between Japanese and other language groups and families in the world. Japanese is known as an isolated language in International Literature and it is accepted as the sole member of Japanese linguistic group. Some linguists believe that Japanese is from Ural Altaic linguistic family, whereas some other linguists claim that it has the same origins with Korean. Japanese author Arai Hakuseki has written articles about the similarities of Korean and Japanese in 1787. Even though other linguists have defended the same hypothesis in the following years; no evidence was developed until today.
One of the interesting characteristics of Japanese is that it was only a speaking language in the beginning. Although it is claimed to have a relationship with Korean, Japanese did not have an alphabet until the 5th century and "Kanji" writing system was developed in the end of 5th century with an inspiration from Chinese alphabet and it is still used. Kanji can be perceived as a symbol which is equivalent for a word. Therefore, Kanji is usually taught at advanced levels to those who wish to learn Japanese. "Hiragana" and "Katakana" are the most frequently used syllable alphabets used in Japanese after Kanji. That is to say that each symbol you see in Japanese is the symbolized version of a sound.
Hiragana Syllable Table
Hiragana tablosunun satırlarında Latin alfabesindeki tüm sessiz harfler bulunmaz. Eksik olan sessiz bazı harfleri de Dakuten işareti (“) kullanarak oluşturulur. K All consonants in Latin alphabet are not present on the lines of Hiragana table. Some missing consonants are generated by using Dakuten sign (“). For the smoothing of K-g, s-z, t-d, h-b; Dakuten sign is placed on the top right corner of the letter. If you put (“) sign on the top right corner of symbol that is equivalent to "ka" syllable in Japanese Hiragana table; it becomes "ga".
Another commonly used sign like Dakuten is "Handakuten". Handakuten is a small circle put on the top right corner and it is very similar to the symbol of "degree". Handakuten is used for the symbols indicating sounds that begin with "h" and helps to transform "h" into "p".
Katakana Syllable Table
Another syllable table like Hiragana is the Katakana syllable table. It has the same logic as Hiragana table and sounds are indicated with different symbols. Dakuten and Handakuten symbols are also used in Katakana syllable table. They have the same impact on sounds.
Hiragana and Katakana Syllable Tables
Both syllable tables are used in Japanese. Hiragana is used to write the words in Japanese. On the other hand, Katakana is usually used for writing the words taken from other languages. While there are some exceptional cases, it is something to be learned by experience regarding which one to use.