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Should learning Japanese be mandatory for foreign workers in Japan? If you tend to stay in the country for a long time, you might be obliged to do so.

For people looking for long-term employment in Japan, should learning Japanese be included in their goals? Well, answering this question can be quite tricky. You might say, “No, it’s not necessary.” There is no problem with that, as long as you know how to get along with the Japanese”. But the follow up question here is, how can you get along with the Japanese if you can’t communicate with them effectively? If you are unable to engage them in conversation? Funny, huh?

It’s no secret that the majority of Japanese people solely speak Japanese. They have difficulty with English and other languages. Moreover, to further complicate things, Japanese use English in a Japlish manner or the Katakana style of English pronunciation. Native English speakers won’t understand this in the majority of cases.

Thus, if you intend to work in Japan, not knowing the native tongue of the people may provide difficulties for you. But before you get confused, let this post educate you. It will be all about the culture, customs, cuisine, language, and a lot more about the nation. You might even be inspired to learn the Japanese language right away so that you can take full advantage of what this wonderful country has to offer!

Should learning Japanese be one of your lifestyle goals?

Japan is undoubtedly one of the best options whether for vacations, holidays, honeymoons, and long-term employment. We couldn’t dispute Japan’s wealth of attractions. You name it: environment, food, tourist attractions, culture, language, movies, employment opportunities, and people –Japan is gifted with many lovely things. Simply put, a whole bundle.

But have you ever wondered why so many visitors are captivated by Japan’s natural beauty? And why are Japanese people regarded as having some of the friendliest personalities? Here’s why:

About Japan…

KONNICHIWA! Did you know that Japan is pronounced in Japanese as “Nihon” or “Nippon”? Yes, that’s true! And Japan is an island country in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Asia. There are roughly 6,900 islands in it. With Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu accounting for up to 97 percent (97%) of the nation, these are the most notable and populated islands. There are 47 prefectures with a combined population of 127 million among these islands, ranking 11th in the world. 

Although most of the nation is mountainous, the population lives along the coasts. Making it one of the regions with the highest density of people on Earth.

The Japanese environment is untamed, with mountains making up more than 45% of the country’s total area. There are active and dormant volcanoes, including Japan’s tallest mountain, Mount Fuji (Fuji-san). Even though the majority of the country is mountainous and generally has poor soils, abundant precipitation and warm temperatures have created a thick flora cover and allowed for the cultivation of various crops. Japan has a sizable population that is homogeneous and centered in the low-lying regions along Honshu’s Pacific coast.

Japanese Culture

China had a big impact on early Japanese culture. Japan followed a tight isolationist stance during the Edo period. Keeping all contact with the outside world to a minimum. Thus, a distinctive Japanese culture was fostered.

After that era ended in 1868, Japan turned this practice around by incorporating cultural customs from all over the world with those that had already been established during the Edo era. All facets of Japanese culture, including art, way of life, and cuisine, have been influenced by Western civilization over time.

Japanese Religion

Shinto and Buddhism are the two primary faiths of Japan. Unlike Buddhism, which was brought to Japan from China in the sixth century, Shinto is a Japanese religion. According to a recent survey, Christians make up 2.3 percent (2.3%) of the population in Japan. 3.9 percent (3.9%) for Shinto believers and 39 percent (39%) of Buddhists.

Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is one of the most well-liked worldwide. Encouraging foreigners to invest and appreciate their cuisine. But why do so many people so adore Japanese food?

Fish is the main food consumed by Japanese people nationwide. With its annual consumption of almost 12% of all fish captured worldwide, Japan is the world’s top fish importer.

Sushi, a dish made of fresh fish, seaweed, and lightly-seasoned rice, is the possible most well-known Japanese food. As part of their regular diets, Japanese people also consume beef, chicken, and pork.

Japanese Language

The predominant language used across the nation is Japanese, which serves as its official language. The first Japanese literature, the “Kojiki,” was composed in the early 8th century and was written in ancient Chinese characters. Between 1603 and 1868, during the Edo period, it was when modern Japanese culture emerged.

Three alphabets are used in contemporary Japanese:

  • Hiragana – a Japanese phonetic alphabet
  • Kanji – a logographic Chinese characters
  • Katakana – a phonetic alphabet used for foreign words. Katakana’s creation and widespread usage serve as an example of how recently Japan has assimilated Western languages, ideas, and cultures.

After reading this somewhat lengthy overview of some of its most important facts, I hope you have some idea of how awesome Japan is. Are you now considering relocating to Japan? Or are you worried about how difficult it will be to fit into their culture? Or supported the idea, “Should learning Japanese be a requirement for foreigners wishing to live in Japan?”

Is Japanese difficult to learn?

It’s not simple to learn a new language, especially Japanese. Learning a language even halfway well can take years. Because of this, it is impossible to answer the question of how difficult learning Japanese is. Everything depends on several variables, like your native tongue, how much time you spend studying each day, your ability to travel and become fully immersed in the language, etc.

Steve Kaufmann, a polyglot who learned Japanese in a year, claims that motivation is the most important aspect.

A person’s native language and how close it resembles the language they are trying to learn will be the most challenging for them to learn.

Here’s the concern, though. One of the most challenging languages to learn is Japanese. It differs significantly from English in terms of its writing system, vocabulary, grammar, and reliance on cultural context and knowledge.

The U.S. Foreign Services Institute lists Japanese as the hardest language for fluent English speakers to master. The institute rates the difficulty of a language according to how long it takes to learn it—the simplest takes 23–24 weeks, and the toughest takes 88 weeks. For instance, while the Japanese language has been labeled as one of the hardest for Americans to learn, Chinese people do not find it to be such.

Richard Brecht, director of the Center for Advanced Study of Language at the University of Maryland. He said that Japanese is difficult for native English speakers because it has a complex writing system unrelated to the A-to-Z alphabet. Japanese uses three separate alphabets: hiragana for spelling suffixes and syntax, kata-kana for emphasis, and the approximately 15,000 character-strong kanji alphabet.

Can language immersion help?

If you’re an English speaker, the number of hours it takes to learn Japanese might terrify you. You might also be interested in finding out how to pick up Japanese quickly. But, is it possible to learn? Still, it is a yes.

On the other hand, native Japanese speakers find it very challenging to learn English. Many linguists have noted that because the Japanese language does not discriminate between the l and r sounds, Japanese speakers find it difficult to distinguish between the l and r sounds in English.

The most effective way to learn Japanese is typically through language immersion. It is possible to get by in major cities with little to no Japanese language skills. You will miss a lot of what Japan has to offer and always find yourself in a difficult situation when attempting to communicate with Japanese coworkers or filling out paperwork at the city hall. Use Japanese learning apps or take a free course to learn the language. Another verbal-free method of communication exists in Japan.

We strongly advise enrolling in a Japanese language course if you reside or are about to reside in Japan to improve your fluency. To find the right course for you, look through the extensive selection of Japanese language schools – offline and online.

The Quicker Way to Learn Japanese for Beginners

Even being labeled as the hardest language to learn, it is still possible for you to learn it. But with dedication, you can speak Japanese sooner than you imagined. Here are the steps on how to learn Japanese more quickly:

Step 1: Identify Your Japanese Learning Passion

Let’s be honest here. Are you passionate enough about learning the Japanese language? Have you got a good “why” for learning it? Because, without this, you somehow don’t understand why you should still strive when situations are tough.

One great piece of advice is to immediately set your goals for learning Japanese. Find out the particular reason/s for your interest in Japanese. 

It might be that you have a lot of reasons why you should learn Japanese. Or might you love anime and want to quit viewing the low-quality dubbed versions? And watch the genuine Japanese version instead? Perhaps your ideal trip to Japan involves ordering ramen from every location and sampling the distinct flavors of each. Or deciding to live in Japan?

Find your “why” and put it in writing, whatever that may be. Your why should be all around you. Do what motivates you, make a picture of a sizable bowl of ramen as the wallpaper of your phone and laptop. Your vision board should include it. Do whatever it takes to keep seeing it every day, and remember why you started.

Step 2: Meet Native Speakers and Start Speaking Right Now.

Your neighborhood may have a Japanese-speaking population that you are completely unaware of. Find someone you can communicate with in Japanese and try speaking immediately. The most important and effective step you can take to learn a language is this one if you want to become fluent. You won’t advance very far in your studies if you can’t communicate in Japanese. 

Don’t let the lack of local language exchange partners discourage you from speaking and learning Japanese. You can chat with native Japanese speakers in a variety of methods, including:

  • italki – this is a language exchange website. You can locate Japanese speakers who want to learn English and practice with one another. You may also pay for classes because they have tutors who are very much affordable.
  • Tandem – this initially responds to your requests for a language exchange partner. This is the best and fastest among active Japanese users. Tandem is a free internet resource for language exchanges.
  • Hello, Talk – another free website to find Japanese speakers for language exchanges.
  • Meetup.com or CouchSurfing – this is also a great option if you are residing in a big city.
  • Social Media – Join social media now! Yes, that is accurate. Using social media to learn a language can be quite beneficial. You can search for users in Japan using Instagram’s Japanese hashtags or local Facebook groups. For practice, read the Japanese captions and then respond with what you understand.

Step 3: Concentrate First on the Simple Japanese Concepts.

Many people believe that learning Japanese is quite difficult. But, the truth is that you already have some knowledge and ideas of the language.

Konnichiwa and sayonara are the two most common Japanese greetings that you already know. Also, you probably already know about samurai, sake, karaoke, and tsunami. Consider the fact that you have already practiced speaking Japanese.

Learning Japanese is simple because of these:

  • There are no gendered words in Japanese! Japanese nouns never have a gender, unlike Spanish and other closely related languages.
  • The way to read Japanese kana is consistent at all times. No exceptions apply. The kana are always pronounced the same once you have mastered reading them.
  • Japanese lacks tonal qualities. In contrast to Chinese, you hardly use pitch to distinguish between words. Learning appropriate pronunciation and comprehending others when you’re listening is much simpler.
  • There are thousands of borrowing terms in Japanese. They will be written in katakana, the writing system usually used for foreign words modified for Japanese, making them simple to identify.
  • When you get stuck, kanji can be helpful. In English, kanji correspond to complete words. How does it help? For instance, 水 is the kanji for “water.” Even if you cannot read kanji, you will still be able to understand the complete word since you are aware of its English meaning.
  • There are just two irregular verbs, and the verbs do not always have to agree with the subject. Yes, once you master verb conjugation, you need to be aware of two verbs. They are “to do” (suru) and “to come” (kuru). And because they are utilized so frequently, you will quickly master those irregularities.
  • Japanese grammar is comparatively simple. It differs significantly from English, yet it contains fewer exceptions to the rules. You’ll probably always use a grammatical pattern the same way once you learn how it functions.

That hardly covers the basics. So don’t think that learning Japanese is difficult! Just focus first on the easy parts of Japanese, and you’ll eventually learn.

Step 4: Create Your Own Little Japan at Home to Absorb Yourself in Japanese

To learn Japanese, you don’t have to move to Japan immediately. However, you must encircle yourself with it. Making your home into an immersion environment where you are constantly exposed to the language is the greatest method to do this for any language.

Although initially learning how to accomplish this may be challenging. Once you are aware of the resources and actions to take, it becomes simpler.

Here are a few pieces of advice:

  • Make use of your smartphone. A Japanese language setting should be selected. The same thing is possible with a computer. It’s okay if you find that challenging at this point. Get exposed to it through downloading Japanese-language applications, games, etc. 
  • Facebook is one of the fantastic programs for making the initial changeover because it is still simple to use while being bilingual.
  • Listen to Japanese radio stations, music, and podcasts. For instance, you can listen to Japanese NHK News. Alternatively, check out JapanesePod101, a great podcast for learning languages. Now, several services allow you to watch Japanese music by singers like One Okay Rock and Utada Hikaru. 
  • YouTube is another fantastic resource for finding music! Using a program like LingQ, you might also like to read some Japanese articles.
  • Start watching Japanese television programs, films, anime, and other media. Netflix is a terrific place to start because it now contains many Japanese shows.

You have it now! The current best way to speak Japanese. You will be conversing in Japanese in no time if you follow these instructions. Everyone will be in awe of how quickly you picked up the “hardest” language! 

Remain optimistic and open-minded, believing that learning Japanese is simple and that you can succeed. You can do this. Faito! Last, JapanesePod101 is a great location to start learning Japanese. They offer classes with a wide range of engaging subjects and lessons, from absolute beginners to advanced.

Learning Japanese Before Working in Japan: It’s Important!

The quick explanation is that most Japanese people are illiterate in English. According to certain statistics, one in fifty Japanese people can speak English. As a result, you must adjust to the culture and learn the language as you move to Japan to work there.

You can’t expect the Japanese to speak English and adjust to you if they can’t. We are the ones who must adapt so that you can communicate effectively with your Japanese employers in Japan, where you are employed. We must do our best to improve our Japanese.

Before working in Japan, learning Japanese is required. Since the majority of employment agencies demand that successful candidates spend several months studying Japanese before they can enter the nation.

Also, there are several benefits to learning basic Japanese before going to Japan. You have no clue about the many opportunities waiting for you in that nation. Therefore, preparing for them is like warming up to protect yourself. 

If language isn’t an issue any longer, you can adjust quickly. You can comprehend your surroundings. Because of this, learning Japanese is a requirement for international employees in Japan. Not only learning their language is necessary for your job there, but it’s also for your own sake.

Foreign Workers Should be Taught Japanese

The main difficulty you might encounter if you move to a country with a different language from your own is a communication barrier. As a result, mastering the language is essential. It can also provide benefits in your career, such as career advancement opportunities.

To sum up, the conclusion is that foreign workers should learn Japanese before residing in Japan. Learning Japanese or any other language should be a prerequisite for any foreign worker trying to apply to a country. It is very applicable for the workers to learn and speak the native language to converse freely. As well as to learn the dos and don’ts of the nation, they chose to live in (respectively their culture). It is also a great way to show respect to the country if you plan to stay there for a long period. 

Thus, those who are moving to Japan should educate themselves! Please don’t believe it’s difficult. You can apply to many schools and take advantage of a ton of online training. Best of luck on your journey! Arigato Gozaimasu!

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