I do not want to take your precious time.
Those who are interested in languages alone need to read this.
I am learning Japanese language by fits and starts.[from 1983!]
My friend Dr.Uchida Norihiko, KOBE, Japan has provided me some Japanese books for learning. Recently only, I am able to visit your website.
The controversy whether a particular language is a distinct language or the dialect of a particular language is everywhere.
Nearly for more than 200 years, the controversy between 'Konkani is the dialect of Marathi' and 'Konkani is an independent language' is going on in India. Of course, now Konkani is recognized as a separate language.
Similarly my mother tongue Saurashtram [also SOURASHTRAM] spoken in South India is now recently categorized as a dialect of Gujarati spoken in Gujarat State. Earlier in 1971 Census returns it was shown as a separate language. But in 1991 Census returns, it is clubbed under Gujarati as a dialect.
Some authoritative study is yet to be undertaken to decide its status.
What I wanted to say is if the Nihongo is understood by Okinawa people and Okinawa language is understood by Japanese people, then it can be treated as dialect [variation due to difference in pronunciation and corruption in the spelling]
I have ventured to translate Japanese into Tamil Language, a Dravidian language spoken in South India. Already someone has published something comparing Japanese with Tamil Language.
If you are aware of this, kindly let me know the same.
This is my feedback given to Teach Yourself Japanese site.