Why study Japanese? Looking for some compelling reasons? Here are ten career opportunities after learning the Japanese language in India.
In today’s globalized world, we all need to be skilled language learners, so why not start learning a new language that fascinates you?
There are multiple incentives for learning a new language.
The career scope in languages is undoubtedly the most important motivator.
If you’re wondering which foreign language to learn, then picking the Japanese will immediately set you apart from the crowd.
Among East Asia languages, it is the most popular choice.
- Overview of Japanese Language
- Is Japanese a difficult language to learn?
- Benefits of Learning Japanese Language
- 1. A Vivid, Vibrant & Unique Culture
- 2. The Competitive Advantage
- 3. Higher Studies in Japan
- 4. Career Opportunities in Japanese
- Conclusion: Should You Learn Japanese?
Overview of Japanese Language
The word “Japan” is roughly translated to “Land of the Rising Sun.”
It is called にほん (Nihon) or にっぽん (Nippon) in Japanese and Kanji and written as 日本.
Unlike most of the other dialects, Japanese is acknowledged as “a language isolate.” It means it is not related to any different language.
The Japanese, along with Ryukyuan languages, are spoken in the Ryukyu Islands of Southern Japan.
Several defunct and other vernacular languages and dialects are widespread in different parts of Japan belongs to the Japonic language family.
Japanese, also known as Nihongo, is spoken by around 130 million people around the world.
Almost 98% of the native Japanese speakers live in Japan.
It is also the native language of a small portion in the US, Philippines, China, Korea, Brazil, England, Canada, etc.
Japanese is the 9th most-spoken language globally, and it’s the sixth-largest on the Internet, according to W3Techs.
There are several distinct local languages, and sometimes dialect is still spoken in different parts of Japan. Some of them are incomprehensible.
They are mutually intelligible to people from other parts of the country.
However, nearly all citizens can communicate using a standard form of the Japanese language.
Is Japanese a difficult language to learn?
In a word, YES.
Learning Japanese takes effort and money, but more importantly, it takes time.
It has three alphabet systems (Hiragana — Native Japanese words, Katakana — Foreign words, and Kanji — adopted Chinese characters).
You can also speak at the elementary level with Katakana, Hiragana, and Rōmaji (Romanized Japanese).
Suppose you aim to achieve a higher level of competence to acquire a high-paying Japanese specialist job. In that case, you need to learn approximately 1,500 to 2,000 Kanji.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Japanese?
A few years back, I was studying Japanese at Mosai. My native Japanese teacher told me if I devout 15 hours every week with the correct method and proper guidance, I can clear JLPT N1 in 4 years!
Well, I believe it!
Most people I’ve interacted with were very keen to learn Japanese.
Then after a few months, it dawns on them that it’s a much bigger task than they were led to believe.
A vast majority of them eventually stopped.
Unlike Romance languages, Japanese nouns have no genders, plural forms, or articles about studying.
It has only two tenses (Past and Present) and very few irregular verbs. Moreover, the pronunciation is not very hard to understand.
There are three caveats.
- Different and Unique (means prior knowledge of other languages won’t help),
- Kanji Script (there are too many), and
- Lengthy (it will take years to master due to complexity).
Once you start adding some efforts and practice to the overall perspective, you will start catching up within a short while, especially with the help of your Sensei (Japanese teacher).
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
Benefits of Learning Japanese Language
What are the first few things that come to your mind when you think about Japan or Japanese?
For me, it often evokes the vibrant culture and Japanese design and precision.
For some, it might be flavorsome sushi or tempura or mellifluous language or one of the highest-paying language jobs.
Whatever the reason may be, learning Japanese is downright fun and an accomplishment in itself!!
If you’re here, you’re probably already learning Japanese or thinking of choosing Japanese of all the foreign languages.
Here are four great reasons to learn Japanese in India that will keep you motivated.
1. A Vivid, Vibrant & Unique Culture
Do you love Japanese culture?
I’m sure you do.
It is one of the prime reasons why people learn Japanese. After all, the Japanese give you an exclusive insight into this culture and customs.
Japan is a lovely country with a diverse, vibrant, unique, and long history.
It’s a mélange of traditional and modern practices. As a result, the country has plenty of historical places and some of the friendliest people in the world.
There is hardly anyone that doesn’t know sushi, karaoke, manga, Pokemon, bonsai, origami, Nintendo, and many more.
All of these had accelerated people’s interest in learning the Japanese language.
Japanese created some of the most globally successful characters like Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Mario, Sailor Moon, Goku, Pikachu, Dragon Ball Z, Astro Boy.
From J-pop to enthralling Movies to help you learn Japanese, beautiful house of worship to entertaining sumo, delicious cuisine to mesmerizing mountains, lively animation to enjoyable comics.
The list is virtually infinite!
Proficiency in Japanese can open your perspective on etiquette, values, discipline, customs, religious beliefs, ethics, manners, traditions, and aesthetics.
If you are in love with Japanese culture, customs, history, and tradition, you need to learn Japanese.
2. The Competitive Advantage
The majority of people in India who learn a foreign language choose one of the famous European languages.
Japanese is not always the first choice for people looking to learn a foreign language in India.
But maybe it should be.
Choosing a less commonly taught language will pop out on your CV and differentiate you from the crowd.
Studying Japanese isn’t easy, and it will take time.
It’s probably fair to say the average learner needs a commitment of a minimum of 3 to 5 years, and possibly more.
Of the hundreds of people, I’ve seen learning Japanese over the past 14 years, only about 5% succeeded in achieving the Japanese language with a higher competency level.
There are thousands of people who are learning Japanese in India.
But, the truth is, very few people reach advanced level proficiency like N1/N2 of the international JLPT exam.
The number of Japanese speakers in India is quite limited.
Thus, there is less competition for positions with Japanese-speaking applicants. As such, your chances of becoming the “anointed one” for the job is almost, if not a guarantee.
3. Higher Studies in Japan
Japan is one of the famous study abroad destinations for Indian students who want to venture overseas.
With approximately 1,000 universities and educational institutions from which to choose, the academic options for international students are nearly endless.
The Japanese people always respect learning and support, sharing their language and customs with international students and visitors.
Japan is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Ranking third overall in the globe in the economy.
The small country is a world leader in innovation and R&D in Science and Technology.
It is no surprise that Japan has the highest number of Nobel prize winners in Asia, thanks to its extraordinary and exemplary academic tradition.
It will enable you to a high-quality higher education opportunity steeped in the relentless pursuit of knowledge and progress.
Although Japan is an expensive place to live, there are many good institution options at an affordable price.
Traveling would become more comfortable for you by the time you have started speaking Japanese.
You can check the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
It is an incredible resource for international students planning to study in Japan!
4. Career Opportunities in Japanese
For many people, the name Japan evokes technology.
Most Indians indeed see Japanese as the most important and popular of all the languages in Southeast Asia.
Japan is among the most influential investors in India. It is a powerhouse in many sectors of the global economy.
They lead in consumer electronics, automobiles, infrastructure, shipbuilding, semiconductor, optical media, and more.
Many Japanese companies are operating in India. You can put down your name among the high-paid employee registers in these companies.
The Japanese language can boost your professional value.
Therefore, here are some career possibilities you can accomplish with your expertise in Japanese.
1. Translation & Interpretation
Translation and interpretation are some of the most famous career choices for people that speak Japanese.
Now, you have to know this; translation is different from interpretation. That’s right!
When working as a translator, your work will be to “take materials written in Japanese and convert them into English” and vice versa.
On the other hand, working as an interpreter will mediate between two speakers of two different languages.
Both of you MUST understand — and translating the two tongues to each of the parties involved.
Many companies in the private and public sectors require these services.
While you may get employed to work as a translator, the position demands that you work as both translator and interpreter. So have that in mind.
The average salary for Japanese translators is quite lucrative.
2. Japanese Trainer / Teaching
Japanese are ridiculously shy when it comes to learning another man’s language. It is one reason why the majority of their companies in India are hunting for trainers.
As a Japanese language speaker in India, you can apply to work as a trainer for any Japanese company to train potential candidates for an outstanding opportunity.
Or maybe help train their staff on how to deal with clients and businesses from a different nature.
Again, numerous job opportunities for language teachers in the educational sector offer a career for people who want to add value by teaching Japanese.
When you take a teaching career, you will also help to sharpen your language skills and inspire future generations of Japanese speakers.
Many schools and colleges, institutions, and corporate buildings/offices have openings for Japanese teachers in India.
3. Jobs in BPO & KPO
In India, some BPOs deal with Japanese clients. Hence, they are always looking for a candidate who can render them language support services.
Your fluency in Japanese can give you a job in BPO and KPO. Plus, it pays well, and there are other extended opportunities attached to a position of this nature.
One of the jobs you can offer for such companies in need of voice support services is voice coordinator.
It means you will be helping to extend language support and effective communication outreach in BPOs and teleconferences.
4. Embassies & Government Jobs
Indian Government entities like External Affairs Ministry, Indian Embassy in foreign countries, Ministry of Tourism, and other Ministries like Education, Commerce, Science & Technology, Agriculture, Textile require Japanese language experts.
While the number of the opening is quite limited, if you are not a government employee, you will still grab a job opportunity with these government entities.
When we say “Language Jobs in Embassies,” we refer to a supportive staff or officer posted in India or abroad to serve at embassies or consulates.
Alternatively, you can work as a staff for the Japanese embassy in India.
The second option is very much possible since most Japanese rarely learn another man’s language.
Japanese-speaking diplomats do their jobs in embassies /consulates across Japan, meaning you should prepare to relocate.
5. Flight attendant & Aviation Sector
Here is a career opportunity that requires just a bachelor’s degree. You can apply for this job by focusing on your Japanese ability and your English/native language.
A career as an international flight attendant tends to be fun and rewarding.
It will also encourage you to hone your Japanese language skills in the area of customer service relations.
You could also have better chances of promotion.
6. Sales executives in Export-Import
Since the Japanese economy is export-driven, most of their companies rely on sales representatives or service agents.
It helps communicate with foreign clients, data entry, answering telephones, advance the company’s objectives, and other administrative tasks.
You can use your Japanese language skills (alongside your primary qualifications, say MBA in marketing) to work as a sales representative here in India.
Or on behalf of Japanese businesses and clients back and forth between India and Japan. The number of jobs in the import and export industry is endless!
7. Travel, Hospitality & Tour guide
Suppose you’re looking for careers involving languages and travel. In that case, the broad spectrum of travel, tourism, leisure, and hospitality industries is a great option.
The hospitality industry is one huge area where you can look for career options in some events, establishments, travel companies, hotels, and many more.
You can even decide to go solo and work as a tour guide.
As we said earlier, the Japanese economy is mainly driven by export, and India is a major destination for Japanese goods and services.
So, there has been a steady rise in the number of Japanese visiting India each year.
You can function as a tour guide for Japanese tourists or a visiting group of students or researchers touring India for one or more reasons.
Conversely, you can also work as a tour guide/consultant for Indian students or groups visiting Japan for one or more purposes.
8. Work at a Japanese company
There are branches of Japanese MNCs doing business in India. You can become an employee of one of these companies.
According to the Embassy of Japan and JETRO, the number of Japanese companies registered in India is 1,441. Japanese establishments are 5,102, as of October 2018.
Depending on your primary skills, you can work in Japanese MNCs like Toshiba, Honda, Suzuki, Sony, Toyota, Canon, Yamaha, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Casio, Daikin, Fujitsu, and more.
The position on offer will also vary according to the company.
The good thing is that once you have the primary qualification required for such jobs.
For example, an engineering degree, an MSc in IT or MBA in finance, or a simple graduate for various assignments.
Your Japanese fluency will put you far ahead of others who cannot speak the language but have better qualifications.
You can also work for companies having a business relationship with Japanese MNCs in the automobile, engineering, information and technology, animation, or gaming sectors.
9. IT sector
The majority of the Japanese MNCs and their Indian counterparts doing business in the country and beyond prefer potential employees with technical skills and solid Japanese proficiency.
Most of their clients and customers are Japanese.
Thus, it is sensible to have someone in system admin, Data management, developer, Programmer, System Analyst, etc., who knows Japanese. And also understands the work ethic.
If you have these technical skills, your Japanese proficiency will be an added advantage to get employed.
10. Work in Japan
Learning the Japanese language in India will certainly help to enhance your career.
You have the opportunity to travel and work in Japan once you have attained an advanced level of Japanese.
Many companies in Japan are willing to employ someone who can speak Japanese and English fluently, not to mention the additional skills prerequisite for the job.
Japanese companies and businesses will be glad to have someone with such versatility.
If your organization has offices in Japan, or you do business with other Japanese companies.
You will be able to communicate with your Japanese business associates or clients and represent your organization better in your business travels there.
Conclusion: Should You Learn Japanese?
Without any doubt, there is a tremendous scope when it comes to career and job opportunities in Japanese. Moreover, from all indications, it is going to grow further in the future.
The career options mentioned are not exhaustive, but they represent ideas of what you can benefit from your Japanese proficiency in India.
Think about it and reach out to us if you need any form of assistance.