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Re: Japanese use of tones
Sigh. Japanese and Korean do not use tones.
Nihongo wa chotto dekimasu ga, iken ga chigaimasu.
(I only understand Japanese a little, but I disagree.)
Japanese does have tonal qualities for the spoken language.
For example, there is a difference between HAshi (chopsticks),
haSHI (bridge), and hashi (edge). These words are of course
distinguished in the ideographic writing, but in the spoken
language (and when written phonetically in hiragana or romaji)
the words are distinguished only by tone and context. Naturally,
context plays the more significant role, since there are often
variations in tone usage in different parts of Japan, but there
is very definitely a tonal distinction, which you will find
described in many dictionaries.