Let’s Learn Nihongo! (日本語)

March 13, 2013 in Japanese

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts by our volunteers that aims to inform and excite you about some of our many diverse language sessions! We hope you enjoy reading them!!

Did you know there are studies that show that those who learn or know another language are not only happier but are also found to be more attractive and sexier? Aside from the benefits of being able to overcome a language barrier, adding a new language to your repertoire opens a vast window of opportunities for you, ranging from making new friends to working abroad. With these compelling facts, who wouldn’t want to learn a new language? The question is, which one should you take?

If you want to experience a new culture that has a variety of unique festivals, an exciting history and bizarre sub-cultures or if you just want to be able to communicate in another language for business purposes, we strongly suggest Japanese for you.

Culture

There will always be something new and exciting to see, learn, and experience in Japan. With a diverse number of cultural activities ranging from participating in a tea ceremony and visiting Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples, to trying the trendy and modern subculture fashions and shopping in the busy, crowded Akihabara, these are a few things that makes Japan so unique. By being able to communicate in Japanese, it will allow you to step out of the box and open opportunities for you to explore new areas and participate in new things beyond the usual tourist attractions.

Business

Japan has one of the largest economies in the world and it’s still growing! As the world advances towards more new and innovative technology, Japan’s international recognition for research and development in the fields of science and technology will further promote the influence of Japan on a global scale. With a Japanese language skill, your career options will expand with the possibility of working for some of the most influential companies in the world, as well as being able to significantly expand your network to a wider horizon. The ability to effectively communicate with potential employers, co-workers, and clienteles in their own language will give you an advantage in helping you succeed in the business world.

Entertainment

These days it’s not unusual to find someone who has heard of anime or manga, if anything, Japan is probably most famous for these two means of media and entertainment. With Japan’s influence in the media and entertainment industry on an international scale, you may have already learned a few Japanese words or phrases so why not go the extra mile and refine this language skill? You’ll not only be able to watch the raw episodes of your favorite anime and read the latest manga chapter, but you’ll also gain the satisfaction of being able to apply your newly acquired Japanese language skills to sing along with the latest J-Pop song or reading the latest Japanese novel.

History

History is always an important subject to learn in order to truly understand a culture and their references in stories, idioms and art. Japan has one of the longest and most intriguing history in the world, and because of that there are many cultural references that stem from the past. Samurai, the Meiji Restoration, bushido, ukiyo-e, and so on, all these are examples of what influenced and shaped Japan to what it is now. Learning Japanese will give you a bit of the cultural perspective of Japan and look into historical texts and documents only available in Japanese.

With Japan’s growing influence in business, successfully introducing their culture on a global scale, and being one of the world’s most spoken languages, you can see the benefits and advantages you may have by learning Japanese.

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: Marc Veraart

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: Marc Veraart