Despite being a difficult language to learn, Japanese is still a popular foreign language to learn.
I had never thought deeply why so many people were interested in studying my native language until I started tutoring Japanese. I would like to share some of reasons why my students are interested in learning Japanese.
Love Japanese culture and the people
Japanese culture is one of the most unique in the world. Study the language and have fun immersing yourself in the food, fashion, culture, martial arts, and history. Characteristics of Japanese people are polite, punctual, respectful, honest and clean so generally, people have a positive image toward Japanese.
Japan’s economy ranks third in terms of nominal GDP. Therefore, Japan is a such a big market. Many large international corporations have branches overseas. If your dream job involves working at a big company like Apple or Honda, learning a second language like Japanese can create more job opportunities. As someone who is fluent in both English and Japanese, you’ll have more career choices than someone who only speaks English. For example, my husband is bilingual speaker of English and Japanese, he works for a global organisation as a software developer and used to deal with Japanese clients.
Travel to Japan
Learning Japanese language basics is essential for anyone interested in traveling to Japan. While you don’t need to be fluent, you’ll have a much easier time making your way around if you can communicate. Plus, the Japanese people will appreciate your effort to learn their language. If your goal is to travel, you better start studying Japanese right now. I can provide customized key phrases and essential vocabulary for your travel plans. This is the studying materials that I always give to my students before they travel to Japan.
The popularity of Manga and Anime
Manga is the Japanese term for comics. The popularity of anime and manga has helped westerners gain a broader understanding of Japanese culture. Fans now collect their favorite anime series on DVD or online. These format gives fans the options of watching the original Japanese language show with subtitles or the English-dubbed version. I remember my former female student asked me `Kore iruka? (Do you want this?)’ She learned the sentence from Anime. I pointed out to her that this usage of ‘Ka’ whilst grammatically correct, it sounded unnatural coming from a young woman and helped her to phrase it in a way that would sound more natural for her.
Anime and Manga are great resources to learn from and very entertaining, but imagine for a moment
meeting someone who learned all their English by watching the Simpsons. You might feel a bit odd
talking to someone who sounds a lot like Homer Simpson. Lessons can help straighten out some of these things so that your speech comes off more natural to native speakers.
Because It Is Interesting
It is fun to learn a different language! In Japanese, three types of character sets – Hiragana, Katakana and kanji (Chinese characters) are used in a mixed way. Hiragana and Kanji are used widely to form a sentence. Katakana is used mostly for foreign loan words. Japanese is especially fun because some words sound funny and I remember one of my students laughed about `Kuruma(car)`sounds like `Kumara’ and another mentioned the word “tokidoki (sometimes)”, it sounded like “okidoki!”. Japanese contains a lot of onomatopoeic words as well, so you will never get bored learning Japanese 🙂