Japanese is spoken by 128 million people, mainly in Japan, where it is the national language. The linguitstic relations between Japanese and other major neighboring languages are either debated or unclear, making it largely a language isolate or the only widely known language of the Japonic languages family.
Though having no clear genealogical relationship with Chinese, it makes prevalent use of Chinese characters, or kanji (漢字), in its writing system, and a large portion of its vocabulary is borrowed from Chinese.
Japanese is offered at the 1st-4th year levels including graduate study at IU through the Japanese Language Program. Students who have completed the two-year language requirement should be able to function in daily situations in Japan. By the end of the third year (required for majors), students will be able to start to handle authentic materials. By the end of the fourth year, students are expected to have confidence when handling any modern materials. Additional resources can be found through East Asian Languages & Cultures and the East Asian Studies Center.