Japanese, or 日本語  (nihongo) is the national language of Japan. The use of the language is becoming more widespread however, due to the penetration of popular Japanese culture. Japanese is spoken by 130 million people. Japan is the only country where Japanese is the sole official language. Japan has steadily developed for many centuries and, unlike many other cultures, has not been seriously affected by any major invasions until recent times. A substantial part of the vocabulary, though, has been borrowed over the years from Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, German, French, and most recently English.

Japanese is written mostly using three writing scripts, kanji, hiragana and katakana. Kanji are Chinese characters that were first introduced to Japan in the 4th century. Unlike Chinese, Japanese is a highly inflected language with words changing their ending depending on case, number, etc. For this reason, the hiragana and katakana syllabaries were created. The hiragana serve largely to show the inflection of words, as conjunctions and such. The katakana are mainly used for loan-words from other languages.


The Japanese Language Nat-Test Is An Examination That Measures The Japanese Language Ability Of Students Who Are Not Native Japanese Speakers. The Tests Are Separated By Difficulty (Five Levels) And General Ability Is Measured In Three Categories: Grammar/Vocabulary, Listening And Reading Comprehension.

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test or JLPT, is a standardized criterion-referenced test to evaluate and certify Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers, covering language knowledge, reading ability, and listening ability. The test is held twice a year in Japan and selected countries (on the first Sunday of July and December), and once a year in other regions (on the first Sunday of December).

Number of Times Held


NAT-TEST Six times per year
JLPT Twice per year
Exam Format
NAT-TEST Levels 1 and 2:
1) Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary, grammar), Reading Comprehension [120 points]
2)Listening Comprehension [60 points]
Levels 3, 4 and 5;
1)Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary) [60 points]
2)Language Knowledge (grammar) [60 points]
3)Listening Comprehension [60 points]
JLPT Same as above

Hours of Study

NAT-TEST Level 5: 200 hours
Level 4: 400 hours
Level 3: 600 hours
Level 2: 800 hours
Level 1: 1000 hours
JLPT Not publicly disclosed by The Japan Foundation

Exam Pass Criteria

NAT-TEST 1) Scoring more than 25% on each individual section and 2) Achieving an overall score that exceeds the passing score for the exam (typically around 60%).
JLPT The Japan Foundation announces the pass criteria for each specific exam.If you want to know more information regarding NAT kindly visit this website:



If you want to know more information regarding JLPT kindly visit this website: http://www.jlpt.jp/e/about/merit.html