If career improvement is your goal,
Japanese language proficiency
can provide mind blowing advantages.[This text in this section is taken from an article written by Ameya Patki (Japanese Language teacher & translator - DJLS). The article was originally published in educational supplement ‘Future’ of central India's leading newspaper ‘The Hitavada’, Nagpur. Date: 7th August 2012. Copyright protected with author.]
About Japan, Japanese Language
In this age of globalization, learning foreign language has become a necessary tool to broaden one’s horizons in respect of career, as well as to gain better understanding of other cultures and people. In India, the students have been studying many foreign languages, especially western languages like German, French and Spanish. But the language of an East-Asian country like Japan – unfortunately, has not been seen as a broad way towards career development. Approx. 140 million people speak the Japanese language around the globe, and it is among top 10 languages spoken on the Earth. Being the official language of Japan, it is the first language of 99% of Japanese population.
Japan is the first country in East Asia to tread the path of economic modernization and become a major global power. Japan has the world’s third-largest economy by nominal GDP and fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world’s fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer.
The successful partnerships between the Indian and Japanese industries have further opened up tremendous job opportunities for Indian youth armed with knowledge of Japanese language. Relations between countries cannot be sustained on economic terms alone. It is the people-to-people contact that works as a catalyst in building trust and opportunities. Let us discuss in detail, the opportunities available for the persons with knowledge of Japanese language.
Why should 'I' learn Japanese Language ?
I am a STUDENT-
Japan can be a good destination for your higher studies. Many of the Top-class Japanese universities provide courses in English medium. Some well known names are- University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Waseda University, Kobe University, Kyoto University, Nagoya University etc.
A large number of scholarships are available for foreign students willing to carry out their studies in Japan. The Government of Japan, as well as some private and social foundations provide the scholarships on merit basis. For many of them, you are expected to undergo at least an elementary course in Japanese language, so that you can easily survive in Japan.
You can start learning Japanese language in early ages, and combine with your learning. Students always show a fast progress.
Most students who want to learn a foreign language chose Spanish, French, or German – only European languages. Learning Japanese will definitely set you apart from the crowd, and it will be like a feather in your cap.
I am a PROFESSIONAL-
Japan offers lots of job opportunities for qualified professionals. Be it an IT company, or an automobile factory, a pharmaceutical laboratory, or a chemical research institute. Japan requires thousands of professionals every year for working there. Being fluent in Japanese is a part of prerequisite for working in Japan.
Japan is a world giant in automotive sector. With big-wigs in the industry such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Yamaha etc.; Japan is the world’s second largest vehicle manufacturer.
Further, it is dominant in engineering sectors like heavy machinery, electronics & communication, power and construction. If you are a professional from these industries; and knowing Japanese language, new avenues of employability in international arena are likely to open up for you.
Japan is facing population decline over the years, and they require young, talented work force to continue the current development pace. Japanese knowing professionals are preferred in all domains like automobiles, pharmaceuticals, IT, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Pure Sciences, Telecommunications, Law & Finance etc.
‘Can speak Japanese’ looks great on a resume, no matter what your line of work is. Knowing any second language helps, but Japanese will definitely have a greater effect on an employer.
I am a BUSINESSMAN-
Japanese market is huge. Japan is the world’s fourth largest importer of consumer goods and services like food, clothing, travel, and entertainment.
Being able to communicate with potential customers in their own language is a key to winning their business. You will understand the Japanese work ethic, their business etiquette, and a huge market will open up for you, if you are able to communicate with your clients in Japanese.
Japanese people are very loyal partners for business, and your partnership with them can become fruitful.
Japanese companies are looking to outsource a large number of jobs in some other countries. Providing quality solutions for them in Japanese will be a good paying opportunity.
I am a RESEARCHER-
Japanese people are innovators. There are many researches and innovations being carried out in the fields of robotics, telecommunications, semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, food processing, construction techniques etc.
Japanese government and other organizations provide grant/aid for research projects. Japan welcomes foreign research scholars to carry out their research in Japan. This has made the Japanese world leaders in patent filings at approx. 4,20,000 patent applications annually.
I am a HOUSE WIFE / RETIRED PERSON-
Learning Japanese is quite interesting. You can utilize your spare time in learning a great language. It will be helpful for you to gain a better understanding of a fascinating culture.
Along with learning the language, you can deepen your knowledge about traditional Japanese culture. From anime-manga to sushi bars, karaoke to bonsai, origami to calligraphy, doll-making to ikebana; Japanese culture has become a centre of attraction. Knowledge of the language will give you direct access to such cultural aspects of Japan.
By working as a freelance translator, you can have lucrative returns, even sitting at your home.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES after learning Japanese
Not only in Japan, but you can also work in India with applied knowledge of Japanese. As more and more investment flows in from Japan, the career opportunities are opening up like never before, and the demand for Japanese-knowing professionals is increasing.
Translator: Many companies as well as government departments require translators to help understand their communication with their Japanese counterparts. Such jobs can be regular, full time or part-time. Many translation agencies are also there which employ personnel knowing good Japanese. Apart from this, you can also work as a freelance translator. The jobs are good paying and a quality translator can earn monthly 6 digit returns.
Content writer/field-specific translator: A content writer works as key personnel for writing contents in websites, documentations, reports, projects, manuals etc. in Japanese language. Field-specific translators are required for translations which include technical words of a particular field. For e.g. translation of Machinery manuals, Legal documents, commercial reports, scientific research projects, software localization, etc.
Interpreter: With the advent of new technology like teleconferencing and video-conferencing, it is now possible to hold conferences and meetings between personnel from India and their counterparts in Japan without having to actually travel between the two countries. Almost always, such meetings require a person with the knowledge of not just Japanese but also of the Japanese manners and etiquette.
Tourist guide: Japanese people are international tourists. Thousands of Japanese tourists visit India every year, and require persons who will guide them through Japanese language. You can make a very nice amount per hour, by guiding them and it will be beneficial for you to become a means of cross-cultural exchange.
Local project Coordinators: As the business between Japanese and Indian companies increases and more and more projects are launched, there is a need for people who can coordinate the projects and communicate between the two teams in India and Japan. You will be the only means of communication for them. The knowledge in a particular field of project will be an added advantage in that case.
Animators: Japanese animation industry is top-most in the world. Japanese cartoons, video and computer games, Manga, anime etc. are very popular globally. Good animation skills with Japanese language knowledge can prove a boost for enthusiastic people to work in the animation industry, not only as an animator, but also as a translator, and sound artist.
Other avenues: Apart from those mentioned above, good opportunities are available in MNCs and Foreign Banks; Hotel Industry & catering; Airlines; Call centers and BPOs; Japanese subsidiaries and joint ventures in India; as a foreign news correspondent in Japanese media; historian; Consulates, Trade commissions & Cultural Institutes etc.