Why You Should Learn… Japanese
No. 9: Japanese
122 million native speakers, 123 million total speakers. Official language of Japan and spoken in expat communities all over the world.
Japan is one of the most innovative countries in the world – just take a look at how many technology companies come from Japan. The Japanese are also very keen tourists and travel in droves to spend the money earned back home in the world’s third-largest economy. Japan is another one of Asia’s booming economies, and as a business language, Japanese would be pretty useful. It’s also one of those hard languages that few Westerners speak, which can set you apart from the crowd.
I’ve never been to Japan before, nor have I tried to learn the language. But I have heard of students spending their Third Year Abroad in Japan, and of graduates participating in the JET programme, (the Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme) which places you in a Japanese school as an Assistant Language Teacher for a year. No previous knowledge of Japanese is necessary and it would be a good way to learn the language. Have you been to Japan and picked up a few words? Do enough people speka English to help you get around, or is there a big language barrier?
Top 5 Survival Phrases:
- もしもし ‘Moshimoshi’ – Hello
- ありがとう ‘Arigato’ – Thank you
- お元気ですか？ ‘Ogenkidesuka?’ – How are you?
- 私は日本語を理解していない ‘Watashi wa nihongo o rikai shite inai’ – I don’t understand Japanese.
- さようなら ‘Sayōnara’ – Goodbye
Next week I’ll be profiling your favourite languages that don’t make it into the top 10: French, Italian & German.
[You can still vote below for the languages you’d most like to learn]