Japan is a country that is surprising, striking, and full of fascinating contrasts. It is a mixture of modern cities and technology with ancient traditions and crafts and, for many people, Japan is a perfect destination for travel, education, and business. Spending time in this vibrant and dramatically unique country can change your life and your perceptions.
Many people automatically assume that Japanese will be impossible to learn because it is so different from English, but it really isn’t that difficult, and in order to really appreciate the special beauty of the Japanese way of life, learning the language is crucial.
In this article, we will explain 7 reasons to take on the challenge of learning the Japanese language.
1. It’s Easy To Learn
At first glance, Japanese is a language that looks complicated, but contrary to popular belief, it is a lot easier to learn than English speaking people may realize. With only 5 vowel sounds, no gendered nouns and easily understandable pronouns, basic grammar and structure, and plus there are many apps available for help with learning Japanese. The only thing that can be troublesome is Kanji, one of the three Japanese writing systems. This is the writing system that came from Chinese and so, like Chinese, there are many characters to learn.
2. Business Opportunities
As a diverse and prosperous country which is ranked very highly in terms of global economic power, Japan has deep economic ties and is a close ally to many powerful nations around the world. With Japan’s excellent finance and technology sectors, its fortunes are only going to increase and so this is the perfect time to start learning Japanese and open the door to new opportunities for your business.
Being able to communicate with potential Japanese customers or partners without the assistance of a translator can be the difference in helping you make or break an important deal.
3. A Gateway Language
As one of the world’s ancient civilizations, Japan shares many similarities with other Asia cultures but also blends in its own individual traditions that are very different from the western world. Therefore, learning Japanese will give you an insight into Asian history and cultures, and you will gain a new admiration for the Land of the Rising Sun and its people. Japan is one of the easiest Asian countries to get around in and can act as a great gateway to the rest of Asia.
4. You Can Study Abroad
Leaning towards countries where English is the native language is obviously a trend within the international student community because of the global dominance of English. Adequate communication is an important factor, but it does not tell the whole story, and by shying away from countries like Japan just because of the language, is a huge missed opportunity. Therefore, do your research, learn Japanese, and look into possible education opportunities in Japan.
5. Japanese Culture
The beautifully vibrant Japanese culture is always a subject of fascination for visitors to Japan. A deep understanding of any culture always starts with learning the language because they are inextricably linked, and with Japanese, traditions from anime to sushi widely spreading across the globe, understanding more about Japanese culture is very valuable. More knowledge and insight of Japan will be gained in the process whilst it will also give you a new perspective on your country’s own traditions and habits.
6. Be Unique
Choosing a new language to learn is not easy and most English speaking people tend to choose another European language like Spanish or French. Stepping out of your comfort zone is an excellent way to set yourself apart and will also really stand out on your resume. Whatever your career goals are, having a language like Japanese in your back pocket will be extremely beneficial and can be a deciding factor during future career opportunities.
7. Japan Is Great For Traveling
In big cities, many signs and shops will be written in both Japanese and English so language will not be a problem in getting around the cities. But to interact with other people, order meals, ask directions or find accommodation can be a frustrating experience for you without the knowledge of some Japanese fundamentals.
If you want to elevate your experience of Japan above the normal level of a tourist, learning the language before you go can make a huge difference. Japanese people who you will meet on your travels will be pleasantly surprised to see that you have made the effort to learn.
Learning Japanese presents many challenges that are as unique as the nature of the language itself. But do not let these obstacles stop you from achieving your Japanese learning goals. There are many great reasons to learn Japanese, and there is no time like the present to get started.
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