The benefits of learning Japanese goes far beyond the knowledge of the language itself.
Japan has one of the world’s most fascinating cultures and history and learning the language is a way to peek through the window. With only 128 million people that speak Japanese, it’s an amazing accomplishment to have made such an impact culturally on a global scale.
They have popularized the food we eat on a regular basis from sushi to teriyaki, the entertainment we enjoy like anime, to the magical concepts that have us scratching our heads like hello kitty vending machines!
The hello kitty vending machines alone should be good enough reasons to learn Japanese!
Today, we’ve got 9 top benefits of learning Japanse that will be sure to motivate you!
The Japanese Language
Before we go further, we thought it’d be useful to give you a quick primer on the Japanese language. Feel free to skip this section by scrolling below to the major benefits.
Tracing back the history of the Japanese language, you’ll find that its origins root from using Chinese Characters, or what’s known as kanji. The vehicle that imported kanji to Japan was Buddhism. Over a thousand years later, the ‘modern’ Japanese language that we all appreciate today was formed during the Edo period (1603-1868). Edo, is now known as Tokyo today.
Today, Japanese speakers are spread throughout the world, especially after the large emigration period during World War II. Over 1.5 million Japanese speakers are located in Brazil, 1.2 million in the USA (13% of Hawaii residents speak Japanese), and many more are in Peru, Canada, and Argentina.
Despite this emigration period. you will notice that Japan as a culture is fairly closed off. According to EconomicNews, 72% of people aged 20-49 could not speak English or could only string a few words together. This lack of western influence is also applied to how the Japanese think, interact, and engage which is what makes the culture so unique and interesting!
9 Surprising Benefits of Learning Japanese
With that said, we’ll now share the many reasons on why you should learn Japanese this year.
1. Most people don’t speak English in Japan
Given what we shared above, this is likely not a surprise to you. With less than 30% of adults that can speak English in Japan, you’ll run into far more communication obstacles than fellow English speakers. Whether you’re visiting Japan, planning to date a Japanese girl or boy, or working with Japanese clients, do you want to take that risk?
In an information abundant world that we live in today, that says more about the desire of Japanese people than the lack of resources. As the ambitious person that decides to learn Japanese (even if it’s a little), you’ll be greatly welcomed by the Japanese people. This advantage will be even more apparent to help you…
2. Advance your career faster
Companies around the world are trying to tap into new geographical locations. Japanese consumers are very attractive to global organizations as they’re very well educated, tech savvy, and financially stable.
This demand to communicate with Japanese consumers is only going to accelerate as commerce and services are starting global first given the rise of the Internet. Perhaps more importantly, the business etiquette in Japan when compared to the United States is day and night. In Japan, it’s less about efficiency and transactional meetings, and more about easing into negotiations after getting to know someone for a lengthy time.
Bigger negotiations often start after multiple hour-long interactions, whereas other business cultures may start and complete the entire negotiation within thirty minutes.
No matter how advanced Japanese translator apps become, there is no replacing a trusted human that can communicate with you in real-time in Japanese. Relationships and human connections are everything to succeed in Japan.
3. Appreciate Japanese food and culture
Sushi, teriyaki, ramen. Our mouths are already salivating by visualizing some of these delicious dishes that originated from Japan.
Beyond the taste, the art and craft of Japanese cuisine is like no other. If you’ve seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it profiles a chef who spent a lifetime crafting the skills of making sushi. As a restaurant that can only seat a dozen or so people at a time, Jiro is the true epitome of prioritizing quality over quantity that’s spread through the Japanese culture.
You may not be full after a typical Japanese meal, but it’ll be one of the most unique and tasty cuisine experiences you’ll ever experience. Learning Japanese can help you appreciate the history and origins of the food you’ll be eating.
4. Gain the confidence to go live in Japan!
Most people defer going to do an exchange or working in Japan because of the language barrier and cultural differences. Both excuses will be eliminated when you learn Japanese. That’s because as you learn any language, you get to experience the culture of its language origins. This is especially true when you decide to learn Japanese with a private tutor versus a mobile app.
If you’re ready for a new and completely different chapter in your life, you have to live (or at least visit) Japan in your lifetime.
5. Understand the meaning behind Japanese entertainment
One of the major benefits of Japan not being influenced by western culture is the idiosyncracy it brings. Entertainment wise, Japan is the pioneer of popularizing anime and manga to inventing fictional characters like Hello Kitty.
There are whole communities online and offline that exist dedicated to what’s known as J-Pop (Japanese Pop music).
Sports is another beast itself. Sumo wrestling, a form of competitive contact sport, was formed during the Edo period. While it’s not an official Olympic sport, the uniqueness of Sumo wrestling is globally recognized around the world.
6. Open up job opportunities in Japan
Did you know that Japan has one of the top economies in the world? With a GDP of nearly $5 trillion in 2017, it’s a powerhouse to be reckoned with in Asia and globally. Just 50 years ago, their GDP was just 170 billion.
Some of the main drivers of this rapid growth are from innovative companies like Sony to transporation behemoths like Honda and Toyota. Beyond just the GDP contributor, these global brands are what put Japan on the map from a branding perspective.
If you want to find new opportunities in Japan or any of these successful Japanese brands, being able to speak Japanese to executive and fellow co-workers will help you gain an advantage. As we mentioned above, relationship building is everything in Japan.
Beyond the benefits of learning Japanese for new opportunities, speaking English alone will help you stand out in Japan. As one of the leading innovators in Asia, Japanese companies are constantly seeking English speakers to help them expand internationally as well. Of course, you can’t just rely on English speaking skills alone as there are million others that can do what you do. To stand out, you would need to learn Japanese.
7. Talk to Robots?
That’s right. Robots.
Japan is one of the leading developers of innovative robots. From personal assistants to dating mates (??), Japanese companies are at the forefront by pioneering the most intelligent human-like robots. Moving past the controversial conversation of robots taking human jobs and taking over Earth, there are clear benefits of robots. Whether we like them or not, they’re going to be an integral part of our lives in the very near future.
By 2020, a fleet of robots are being sent to space and many are being used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. These robots will be used to help carry food and drinks for fans, guiding them to their seats, and helping people requiring special assistance.
Given that not all of these robots are programmed to speak in English first, learning Japanese can help you speak to some of the most human-like robots.
8. Tap into a new market to shop
Whether you’re in Japan shopping, at a Japanese market in your local city, or shopping for Japanese products online, you’re in for a treat. Given the vast differences in culture and interest of Japanese consumers, you’ll discover products that can only be identified by the Japanese.
Some examples are samurai swords, green tea kit kats, and the most tasty, moist wagashi candies. You can thank us later.
9. Challenge yourself to learn something very different
This is especially true if you only know how to speak English. But it’s also applicable, not matter what you speak. Given the origins and modern developments of the Japanese language, it’s so different than any other language.
The make up of the language is also why it can be a difficult language to learn. Unlike Chinese, Japanese kanji does not have just one phonetic pronunciation per character. On the plus side, there’s not a lot of variance in the tones that’s used compared to English.
Your mind will feel challenged, confused, and you’ll be pushed to escape your limited thinking as you learn Japanese. Your mind will open up, learn magical words, and discover a beautiful culture that’s unlike any other.
Excited for the journey? So are we.
Rype now offers Japanese, where you can choose from a list of handpicked professional Japanese tutors to help you speak confidently. Try it out for free today.
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