Why Learn Japanese?

Learning another language is like entering a nursery school. You need to start from scratch including one language's pronunciations and characters to build new words and sentences provided with correct grammar patterns and usage. Before all that cramming process of learning a new language, there a big question mark on what language will you start learning?

Rather than the universal language English, there are several languages that ranked the most famous and most used language in the world. Japanese is one of those language that is recognized by the world. Even though Japan is the only country that the primary language is Japanese, many people in the world are fond of learning the language for many purposes. Source: Unmei Nihongo Center, 2014

You may ask yourself why start learning Japanese, a language which at the first sight appears very hard, almost impossible to learn. However this is not true, as the Japanese language is not very difficult to learn and if you think about it, there are numerous reasons for which you should learn it. You should know that Japan has one of the most influential economies in the world and there and many of the largest companies in the world are situated in this country. More and more western companies have offices in Japan and if you are to work there for a period of time, not knowing the language may be quite frustrating.

You should see Japan from other aspects as well, not only the economical ones. It is a country with an extremely rich culture and history and the Japan's natural beauty is overwhelming for any visitor. Everyone who had visited Japan agree that is a magnificent country. There are other reasons for which people learn the language. Many elements of the Japanese culture, both modern and classic, found their way into the western culture. Japanese cartoons and video games are very popular in today's society and many people, especially young ones, enjoy reading and playing them. There are numerous video games that do not reach the western countries and in order to play them you need to know the language.

Japan is known for setting quite a few trends and by knowing the language enables you to read Japanese websites and newspapers and you will be ahead of your friends in setting the newest trend. Knowing another foreign language can have a major impact on your personal life. Most people ad on their resume their Spanish or French knowing abilities, but very few people can prove that they know this exotic language. An employer who has Japanese business partners can be highly interested in you and your multilingual skills if you know the language.

You can later use the Japanese knowing skills for getting a better job in a large multinational company. Just imagine working and living in Japan for some time.

The Japanese culture is one of the richest in the world. If you are interested in foreign cultures, you will be able to better understand their habits, way of life and traditions. And you will see that Japan has ones of the most beautiful traditions in the world. Source: Street Directory, 2014

10 Reasons Why You Should Start Learning Japanese

  • Japan has the 2nd largest economy in the world.
  • Japan is a prosperous country and has the most diverse economy in Asia. With a GDP of $4.9 trillion in 2005, Japan's economy is 2nd only to that of the U.S. The leading Japanese companies are among the largest, most efficiently run, and most well-known firms in the world. Familiar names like Sony, Toshiba, Sanyo, Casio, Canon, Minolta, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and many others have infiltrated the world market in a variety of sectors.

    Whether you're in the field of business, engineering, manufacturing, research, economics, or politics, chances are you will be competing with, if not working for, a Japanese entity.

  • Knowing Japanese brings business opportunities.
  • Japanese consumers spend 100s of billions of dollars each year on consumer goods and services like food, clothing, travel, and entertainment. The typical household has over $100,000 in savings and a disposable monthly income of $3,800. With all of that cash to spend, it is perhaps not surprising then that the United States exports more goods and services to Japan than any other overseas destination. In 2004, exports to Japan accounted for $54 billion of the U.S. GDP. In addition to these exports, 1000s of U.S. companies have successful branches in Japan. In 2004 alone, U.S. businesses spent $78 billion in direct investment in Japan.

    Being able to communicate with potential customers in their own language is key to winning their business. In addition, when you learn Japanese, you become not only proficient in the language but also gain an insider view of the culture. Understanding the Japanese work ethic, their business etiquette, and knowing which cultural faux pas to avoid can often make or break an important business deal.

  • Japanese is a gateway to other Asian languages & cultures.
  • Throughout its history, Japan has been shaped by the influence of Asia's great civilizations: India, China, and Korea. While the cultures of these Asian countries do differ, Asian cultures together share many similarities that differentiate them from Western ways and norms. So a study of Japanese can open your perspective on the values that other Asian nations share with Japan, including religious beliefs, ethics, and aesthetics. A familiarity with Asian cultures also allows you to step outside the culture you live in and see it from a fresh, new perspective.

  • Japanese-speakers are the Internet's 3rd largest language group.
  • The Japanese make up the third largest language community on the Internet, after only English and Chinese speakers. An estimated 88 million Japanese, or 9.6% of the world's online population, are connected to the Internet. Knowing Japanese can connect you to these people in an instant. They may just be future friends or acquaintances, business associates, or even the market that you or your future employer hopes to target.

  • The Japanese are innovators.
  • Considering that Japan is geographically isolated island nation that is densely populated and poor in natural resources makes the strength of the Japanese economy seem even more impressive. The Japanese have relied on their creativity and scientific know-how to succeed not only economically but also in ecology- and effiency-oriented ways. The Japanese are known as high tech leaders in fields such as optical media, semiconductor manufacturing, industrial robotics, and fermentation processes. Their drive for innovation has made the Japanese the world leaders in patent filings at 420,000 applications annually.

  • Japanese cultural exports are exploding.
  • From anime to sushi bars, karaoke to manga, bonsai to origami, Japanese culture has become part of international culture. A knowledge of the language will give you direct access to Japanese film, animations, and comic books, give you insight into the special terminology used in your favorite martial art, help you understand the cultural basis for kamikaze training and the origin of the samurai warrior, and develop your ability to order sashimi like a native at your favorite Japanese restaurant!

  • Knowing Japanese will set you apart from the crowd.
  • The majority of people who learn a foreign language choose a European language like Spanish, French, German, or Italian. Choosing a less commonly learned language will pop out on your resume and differentiate you from the crowd.

  • The Japanese are international tourists.
  • The market for Japanese tourist dollars is strong. A knowledge of Japanese can gain you entry into that market. Of course, knowing Japanese will make your own visit Japan both easier and much more enjoyable.

  • It's not as hard as you think!
  • It's true that Japanese has a much different system of writing than English or any other European language. However, foreigners can get by with learning the 44 or so hiragana or katakana characters that represent sounds in much the same way as the English alphabet does.

    In addition, the grammar of Japanese is in many ways simpler than that of European languages. Japanese nouns have no genders, plural forms, or accompanying articles to learn. The language also has only two verb tenses, present and past, and includes very few irregular verbs. Spoken Japanese has only 5 vowel sounds and spelling is phonetically consistent, making the language relatively easy to pronounce.

  • Japanese is a stepping stone to learning other Asian languages.
  • Like other languages of Southeast Asia, Japanese is a highly analytical language, relying heavily on function words rather than extensive systems of inflection to denote linguistic properties. These languages also share a similar subject-predicate sentence structure. Though Southeast Asian languages are distinctly different among themselves, as a group they are clearly differentiable from geographically more distant language families, such as Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages.

    In particular, the grammar of Japanese is very similar to that of Korean and both languages have an equally advanced system of honorifics for showing respect. And Japanese takes its kanji writing system from the Chinese system of ideographs. Learning Japanese brings you a step closer to taking on Korean or Chinese because many of the concepts underlying the language are similar.


    Read more at: http://www.vistawide.com/japanese/why_japanese.htm

    2015 VistaWide. All rights reserved.

2016 July JLPT Exam

The Next JLPT Examination will be conducted on July 03, 2015 | Sunday at the De La Salle University, Taft, Manila. The registration will start on March 09, 2016 to April 08, 2016 only. Kindly secure your test vouchers and read the guidelines at the JLPT Website.

Proceed to the JLPT Site»

Japan's Most Visited Prefectures

Shimane prefecture, Japan's second-least populated prefecture, has self-deprecatingly decided to advertise itself in Tokyo as the "47th most famous prefecture in Japan," according to Japan Today. Of the 47 prefectures in the country, Shimane considers itself the most overlooked, located in the west of Honshu on the north coast facing South Korea.

Continue Reading at CNN Travel»