Japanese is a language spoken by more than 120 million people worldwide in countries including Japan, Brazil, Guam, Taiwan, and on the American island of Hawaii. Japanese is a language comprised of characters completely different from the western alphabet that makes up such languages as English, French, Italian, and German. If you are required to learn Japanese for business reasons, or if you are planning a vacation to the Asian island, it might seem intimidating to learn a language so different for your own.
If you are required to learn the Japanese language for your job, consider jumping into an immersion program. There are immersion programs that are available for enrollment that do not require you to travel to Japan, but are held in the United States. Master instructors who are native Japanese speakers will provide a short and highly intensive program in which you will live and breathe Japanese.
Do not be intimidated. Immersion programs are known to be highly effective in very short periods of time. You might surprise yourself with how much you learn in such a short period of time. Not only will you come away with a firm grasp of conversational Japanese, but you will also understand the alphabet, and gain a little insight into Japanese culture. At the end of your course, you might be tested on your newly acquired knowledge.
The Japanese government provides standardized tests that measure written and conversational understanding, the most common known as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). There is also a test available that measures comprehension of the language in business situations. It is known as the Business Japanese Proficiency Test (BJPT).
Learning the Japanese language will certainly help to enhance your career. If your organization has offices in Japan, or you do business with other Japanese firms, you will not only will be able to communicate with your Japanese business associates, but you will also be able to better represent your organization in your business travels there.
If you want to learn Japanese in order to vacation on the island, and if you have the time and the financial resources, you might opt to learn the Japanese language through an immersion program where you travel to Japan.
This way, you will not only learn the Japanese language, but you will also experience the fascinating Japanese culture. Learning Japanese where the language has its origins, you will plunge yourself into the life and culture, and you will learn the language quickly. You will learn the conversational and colloquial styles of the language. You will interact on a daily basis with indigenous Japanese people, who probably won’t be willing or able to communicate with you in English. You will be immersed into the everyday life of the island nation. You will grow to understand and appreciate the Japanese culture, including the history, the art, the architecture, the food, and the people. You will attend courses in which you will learn the alphabet, how to write it and read it.
Learning the Japanese language through immersion is a fun and ideal way to go.
Whether you want to learn the Japanese language for pleasure, or you are inclined to do so for work, learning to speak, read, and write Japanese gives you the potential to further develop you career by working abroad and make a good impression with overseas associates. Learning Japanese will also enhance your travels in that you will be able to appreciate the lives and culture of the Japanese people. Learning the Japanese language is an intellectually and personally enriching pursuit that will provide you with career opportunities as well as an awareness of a culture other than your own.