"I am Japanese."
Go. 日本語 -> にほんご -> nihongo 語 means language. You can put go after many country names to mean their language. フランス語 -> フランスご -> furansugo -> French (language). English being a notable exception. England is イギリス -> igirisu But English is 英語 -> えいご -> eigo
I'm still learning so if I have anything wrong, please let me know.
Written Japanese usually has almost no spaces at all. The punctuation, like
。, have a built-in space to the right—they’re so-called “half-width characters”, which means they take just half of the box a kana or kanji does. (Native writers of Latin, Greek or Cyrillic alphabets learning Japanese often write kanji much larger than kana because of their greater complexity, but this is wrong—you should strive to make your kana bigger so they’re the same size as your kanji. Japanese doesn’t have “variable-width” characters like we do where i is much thinner than M—all kana and kanji are exactly the same height and width. At least, in terms of the space they take up—obviously, characters like the punctuation or the “little kana” take up less of the box with their smaller shapes! But they still take up a whole box—except for some very specific cases you don’t need to worry about as a learner.)
Written Japanese only puts two characters in a box when they’re both foreign characters, such as Latin letters or Arabic numerals. (But this is generally true only when writing left-to-right, the rules for vertical writing are different!)
So, if the font’s right here,
私の車はマツダRX-8です。 should show
-8 the same width as
の. Likewise, the
。 should have what looks like a space on its right, but there’s not one—it’s just that the character only takes up the lower-left corner of its box.
For foreign names, we put a center dot between the names:
バラック・オバマ. Again, the dot takes up a whole box.
Otherwise, the only spaces in Japanese text are for formatting purposes. Like in some styles, an author’s name might have two blank boxes before it, and paragraphs may start with a blank box, but this all depends on the style. Japanese schools have very specific styles for very specific kinds of writing, and sometimes, people will say these are the “correct” Japanese styles. But a newspaper or magazine will do it entirely differently, and that isn’t “wrong”, just a different style.
Like, American and Canadian students often learn the “3-2-8 paragraph style” in an English class—they’re taught that the body of essays should contain paragraphs that introduce three related ideas, with two sentences devoted to each, which, including introductory and concluding sentences, adds up to eight sentences total. That’s what they’re taught in school, but it isn’t “the correct way to write English”—it’s just a style.
p.s. Oh, if you were just talking about Duolingo and/or your keyboard: Duolingo ignores spaces unless the question writer specifically makes one mandatory or forbidden (for instance, if they want to be sure you wrote “darkroom” and not “dark room”). You could typeallyourEnglishanswerslikethis and Duolingo wouldn’t mark it wrong, just gently remind you to use spaces. In Japanese this is irrelevant, since there are no spaces. The breaks where word bank bubbles appear is totally arbitrary and has nothing to do with finished text spaces—for instance, in some languages, to-English exercises often have
’s bubbles so you can add a possessive, and those don’t get a space before!
Finally, if you’re using a Japanese typing system on a PC, the space bar has different functions depending on how it’s configured—it may cycle through different ways of interpreting what you’ve typed (different kanji/hiragana/katakana) or it may act as an “acceptor” to tell it “that’s good, moving on” so it doesn’t start trying combinations including kana that are already how you want them. On other systems, those keys are tab and enter. You have to learn what yours expects.