11 Reasons Japanese people need to learn English


Japanese Student In An English Course

It may seem obvious, but the language of Japan is Japanese. Approximately 99% of Japan speaks Japanese as their first language , and it is the language you need to get by in daily life. So why do Japanese need to learn English?Why do Japanese learn English?
English is the native language of 378 million people, slightly over 5% of a world population of roughly 7 billion. While more than 3 times the number of Japanese speakers, this is still a small proportion of the world population. This figure, however, belies a dominant influence internationally in realms including science, media, and business.
There are almost 1 billion speakers of English as a second language.
Many Japanese students of English may ask themselves “Why do Japanese need to learn English?” Without a doubt, there are many reasons for Japanese people to learn English, some obvious, while some are not.
In this article, we look at some key reasons. Aside from providing information, hopefully, this will help to increase your motivation. Learning any language is a challenge. Despite what you may see on TV or read in the newspaper, no one learns a language in a day. Definitely, knowing your reasons for learning English can help.
There is a quiz at the end of this article – use it to test your English reading ability!

Business

Why do Japanese learn English? - for business
Firstly, English is the language of international business. At the same time, Japan is the worlds most complicated economy. It’s imports and exports total over $1000 billion every year. Furthermore, it involves customers from across Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and all over the world.
Of course, this international business is not carried out in Japanese because the most common language used for such meetings is English. Certainly, a business that exports only to China will want Chinese speakers, and a business that imports from Brazil will want Portuguese speakers, but what of multinational deals involving, for example, Vietnamese, German, and Ghanese businesses? In multinational business, English is the language of communication.

Universities and Academia

Why do Japanese learn English? - for higher education
Of the top world universities in 2020, all of the top 10 universities are in either the UK or the USA. Whereas of the top 20, only one is not.
To get the highest quality education, students need to attend the highest quality universities, which are mostly located in English-speaking nations. Alternatively, most high-quality universities not found in English-speaking nations offer international courses through the use of English.
Though of course you can get a high quality education in any country, the be able to choose from the largest possible group of high-quality universities, Japanese students need English.
Even in Japan, Japanese students can benefit from learning English. There is a huge amount of research available in English but not Japanese. There’s an amazing number of books and articles published every day in English from all over the world. Furthermore, there are international society of scholars and academics that hold debates and discussions in English. To join this discussion, Japanese people need to learn English.
Consequently, this leads onto the next point: science, research, and publishing in academia.

Science, Research, and Academic Publications

Why do Japanese learn English? - for research
Anywhere from 70% to 90% of international scientific publications are today written in English. National symposiums from Asia to Latin America are often held in a regional language. Nevertheless, it is in English that research findings are mainly published.
From medical professionals to material designers, the sharing of information, experiments, and conclusions is most often carried out in English. In order to know what is happening in your chosen field, you definitely need to read journals and publications in English.
Also, it is necessary in the scientific age that research be broadcast as widely as possible, for understanding, experimentation, and refutation. For this reason, we should not see English as a language-killing monolith. There have been numerous holders of the title “language of science,” such as Arabic and French. They are all used to transmit the ‘mental structure’ of scientific thought, and English is a further step in this path.
Clearly, to only read publications printed in Japanese is to miss out on the vast majority of information about your chosen topic.

International Communication

Why do Japanese learn English? - for international communication
The world gets smaller every day. New technology allows us to instantly communicate over thousands of kilometres. Evidently, nations and peoples are interacting on a scale never before seen. Thus, it is important to understand the cultures you are talking with. Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and fear of the unknown can have devastating effects.
Of the maybe 6909 languages known globally today , 23 dominate.  And of those 23, English is by far the most-widespread in terms of second-language speakers.
As we said before, there are almost 1 billion speakers of English as a second language. By some estimates, far more. It is the most widely spoken second language, and most widely taught.
Of course, all languages are valuable, and we should protect them. However, the reality is that the teaching and learning of English is a tool chosen across the world to communicate globally. Regionally, other languages will dominate, but English is the tool of worldwide communication.

Explaining Japanese Culture

Why do Japanese learn English? - for explaining Japanese culture and perspective
Japan has a unique and distinct culture. Overseas, this culture is described in various ways – as mysterious, as strange, as fascinating – even as scary. People often fear what they do not understand. It is important that different countries and people understand each other. To sum up, by learning English Japanese people can help to introduce Japanese culture to the world.
What is Japanese food? What are all the different festivals held around the country for? How about Japanese TV – what exactly is a “variety show?” What are the various temples and shrines dotted around the country, and what do they mean?
If a Japanese person learns English, they can explain all about the unique parts of Japan and Japanese culture, and help non-Japanese people understand the culture correctly.

Online Gaming

Why do Japanese learn English? - for online gaming
From working together as a team, to celebrating when you crush your enemies, online gaming is a far more enjoyable experience when you can play with people from all around the world. In order to win in Fortnite, triumph in League of Legends, or cooperate in Minecraft, you need English to really expand your world.
A typical online gamer will use the same phrases again and again, telling their teammates where the enemy is, where to go, or to ask for help. They will discuss what they want to build, what they want to do next, and how they want to do it.
As a Japanese person learning English, videogames and online gaming can be a great resource for learning real, natural English.
So don’t be the weak link in your team – join the world of international online gaming and be victorious!
Check out this excellent site for more English for gamers! (https://realenglishforgamers.com/ )

Your Own Future Possibilities

Why do Japanese learn English? - to open up their potential
When asked about what skills would be important for business employees in the future, the highest response was English. Almost 83% of businesses chose English as the most important skill.  At the same time, English was also felt to be the skill most lacking in Japanese employees, according to 67.0% of companies.
Businesses in Japan consider English to be a vital skill – an important reason why Japanese people should learn English. Many businesses in Japan require regular tests such as TOEIC. Employees must take these tests and the results can affect salary, promotion prospects, and the types of positions you can get.
If you want to work for an overseas office of your company, English or another language is what you will require. You cannot expect to be using Japanese in an office in France, America, or South Africa. Working overseas for an international company greatly enhances your experience and your CV, making you a more valuable employee.
Of course, you may simply want to work overseas. English opens a wealth of new possibilities, and with native-Japanese language skills, you are immediately an excellent choice for many international countries that trade with Japan.
While there is a general opinion that Japanese rank low in terms of English ability, this may not actually be true. Either way, an ability to use English well is a great boost to your career, one that allows you to consider working overseas, working in international departments, and being competitive in the race for promotions.

Self-confidence, anxiety, and lack of inhibition

Why do Japanese learn English? - for confidence
There is a positive correlation between successful language learning and students who are self-confident, risk-taking, adventuresome, imaginative, empathetic, and tolerant of ambiguity.
Confidence is key to language learning, and learning a language increases confidence! This may seem strange, because many students of English find speaking in front of other students terrifying. It can be very difficult to take a chance in front of students. This nervousness is often noted by teachers of Japanese learners of English.
So why should Japanese people learn English? Because you have to learn to feel comfortable looking “foolish.”  Mistakes are natural. Mistakes are good! You are not expected to get it right at the beginning. You have to make mistakes, so you can “get it right in the end.” You have to learn to stop your fear of making mistakes preventing you from using English.
Japanese learners of English must learn to be confident. They must learn to be less anxious, must learn not to worry about mistakes. This is a lesson you can take into every area of your life: from business to family, to love to travel. Confidence is key to learning a language, and indeed, learning a language can give you confidence.

America

Why do Japanese learn English? - for the relationship with the USA
Without a doubt, the United States of America is the world’s sole Superpower, its largest economy by far, and a key ally of Japan. It should go without saying, then, that the ability to understand what America is saying and thinking is crucial to Japan: economically, politically, and militarily. Economically, trade with the world’s largest economy is vital to keep Japan wealthy and maintain its high standard of living. Politically, Japanese opinions must be clearly explained and American opinions and demands understood without mistakes in nuance.
Finally, it is a fact that  Japan is home to the largest number of United States military forces in the world, outside of combat-deployed forces and within the US itself. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments ) Japan is militarily tied to America in a way many nations are not. The country’s ability to communicate with these forces can only be beneficial.

World Englishes

Why do Japanese learn English? - to understand global forms of English
But English is not just the language of the USA, or the UK. Certainly, Japanese people should learn English to understand the huge variety of English around the world. More than 50 nations have English as an official language.
The term “World Englishes” describes multiple forms of English identifiable around the world. Each comes with unique features and widespread usage. These forms include varieties used in nations where English is an official language, and where it is a foreign language. Some of these forms are also well-known and often taught in English classes in Japan. For instance, there are British English, American English as well as Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English, Malaysian and Singaporean English, and South African Englishes.
Of course, such terms are themselves simplified: Britain, for instance, has a wide variety of dialects and accents across the country. Also, there are “black” varieties of both British and American English.
The important thing is that Japanese learners of English learn there is no “correct” form of English. Moreover, they find out that language is used and owned by speakers all around the world. There are a large number of forms to explore and learn about, all benefitting the learner.

Tolerance of the “Different” and “Other”

Why do Japanese learn English? - for a better world
Indeed, Japan is a peaceful, civilised nation that prides itself on its hospitality. Yet, the fear of the “other,” the foreign or different, can also lead to tensions in any nation. Studies suggest that the learning of foreign languages can increase tolerance and understanding towards immigrants and foreign visitors . Therefore, it is a must to speak another’s language as it can reduce intercultural friction. Furthermore, it can encourage foreign people to learn Japanese in return.

Why do Japanese People need to learn English Quiz:

Review the article and find the answers to the questions below!
1). How many native speakers of English are there?
a) over 6909          b) over 378 million           c) over 1 billion
2). How many speakers of English as a second language are there?
a) over 6909          b) over 378 million           c) over 1 billion
3). What is the total value of Japan’s yearly imports and exports?
a) over $378 million        b) over $100 billion           c) over $1000 billion
4). How many of the top ten universities in the world are in the US or UK?
a) 5                 b) 7                 c) all of them
5). What percentage of scientific publications are in English?
a) 20% – 25%                 b) 70% – 90%                     c) 100%
6). How many language are there used in the world today?
a) over 6909                 b) over 23                            c) over 1
7). What do Japanese businesses believe is the most important skill for the future?
a) Programming           b) Management                c) English
8). How many nations use English as an official language?
a) 12                                 b) over 50                           c) All nations
9). Why do Japanese people need to learn English?

Answers:

1). How many native speakers of English are there?
a) over 6909          b) over 378 million           c) over 1 billion
2). How many speakers of English as a second language are there?
a) over 6909          b) over 378 million           c) over 1 billion
3). What is the total value of Japan’s yearly imports and exports?
a) over $378 million        b) over $100 billion           c) over $1000 billion
4). How many of the top ten universities in the world are in the US or UK?
a) 5                 b) 7                 c) all of them
5). What percentage of scientific publications are in English?
a) 20% – 25%                 b) 70% – 90%                     c) 100%
6). How many language are there used in the world today?
a) over 6909                 b) over 23                            c) over 1
7). What do Japanese businesses believe is the most important skill for the future?
a) Programming           b) Management                c) English
8). How many nations use English as an official language?
a) 12                                 b) over 50                           c) All nations
9). Why do Japanese people need to learn English?
Why do you think? Do you have any other ideas? Share your ideas in the comments!

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