Why study Japanese? Need some reassurance or compelling reasons? Here are 10 career options and job opportunities after learning 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 you are interested in and passionate about? Although there are multiple benefits of learning foreign language In India. The career scope in foreign language is undoubtedly the most important motivator. If you’re wondering which foreign language to learn in India then picking Japanese will immediately set you apart from the crowd.
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 language and in Kanji, it is written as 日本. Unlike most of the other languages, Japanese is consider as “a language isolate”. It means it is not related with any other languages. The Japanese along with Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Ryukyu Islands of Southern Japan, and several defunct and other languages and dialects spoken in different parts of Japan belongs to the 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. Besides, it is the native language of a small portion of the population in the US, Philippines, China, Korea, Brazil, England, Canada, etc. Japanese is the 9th most-spoken language in the globe, but it’s the sixth-largest language on the Internet according to W3Techs.
Even though there are several distinct local languages and sometimes dialect is still spoken in different parts of Japan. Some of which are largely incomprehensible and 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 one word “Yes”. Learning Japanese takes your 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). While you can also speak the elementary level with the help of Katakana, Hiragana and Rōmaji (Romanized Japanese), if however you want to achieve higher level of competence to acquire a high-paying Japanese specialist job, you need to learn approximately 1,500 to 2,000 Kanji.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Japanese?
Few years back when i was studying Japanese at Mosai, my native Japanese teacher told me if i study 15 hours every week with right method and proper guidance, i can clear JLPT N1 in 4 years! Well, i believe it!
While most people i’ve interacted were very keen to learn Japanese, and then after few months it dawns on them that it’s a much bigger task than they were led to believe. A significant majority of them eventually stopped. As per my own experience, only about 5% succeeded in reaching advanced level.
Unlike Romance languages, Japanese nouns have no genders, plural forms, or articles to study. 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. Armed with right approach and regular practice, you can surely clear N1/N2 of the Japanese language proficiency test in India in 3-4 years.
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Benefits of Learning Japanese in India
What are the first few things that come to your mind when you think about Japan or Japanese?
For me, it often evokes vibrant culture and Japanese design and precision and for some, it might be flavoursome sushi or tempura or mellifluous language or high paying foreign language jobs in India. 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 4 compelling and great reasons to learn Japanese language in India that will keep you motivated.
1) A Rich, Vibrant, Colorful and Unique Culture
Do you love Japanese culture? I’m sure you do. Who doesn’t? This is one of the primary reason why people learn Japanese. After all, Japanese gives you a special insight into these culture and customs.
Japan is a incredibly beautiful country with a diverse, rich, unique, and long history. It’s a mélange of traditional and modern practices. The country has plenty of historical places and it has the 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.
Some of the most globally successful characters like Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Mario, Sailor Moon, Pikachu, Goku, Dragon Ball Z, Astro Boy were created in Japan. From J-pop to enthralling Movies, 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 the etiquettes, 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 of Japanese Language
The majority of people in India who learn a foreign language choose a European language like French, Spanish, or German. 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 definitely take time. How long? 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 higher level of competency.
Although there are thousands of people who are learning Japanese in India. The truth is, very few people reach advanced level proficiency like N1/N2 of international JLPT exam in India. Since the number of Japanese speakers in India are limited are quite limited, there is less competition for positions with Japanese-speaking applicants, and 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 popular study abroad destinations for Indian students who want to venturing abroad. With approximately 1,000 universities and educational institutions from which to choose, the academic options for international students are nearly endless. Additionally, The Japanese people always respect for learning and support sharing their language and customs with international students and visitors.
Japan is one of the most prosperous country in the world. Ranking third overall in the globe in economy. The small country is a world leader in innovation and R&D on Science and Technology. No surprise that Japan has the highest number of Nobel prize winners in Asia thanks to 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 tons of good institutions options at an affordable price. Traveling would become easier for you by the time you have started speaking Japanese. You can check the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). It is an incredible resources for international students planning to study in Japan!
4) Career Benefits And Job Opportunities In Japanese
For many people, the name Japan evokes technology, and this much is true when you consider that most Indians sees Japanese as the most important and popular of all the languages in Southeast Asia.
Japan is among the biggest investors in India. It is a powerhouse in many sectors of the global economy. They lead in consumer electronics, automobile, infrastructure, shipbuilding, semiconductor, optical media, and more. There are ample amount of scope and job opportunities after learning Japanese language in India.
Many Japanese companies are operating in India, and you can put down your name among the high-paid employee registers in these companies. Ability to speak Japanese will boost your professional value. Therefore, here are some career and job opportunities you can achieve with your expertise in Japanese.
1. Translation & Interpretation
Translation and Interpretation are one of the most famous career opportunities for people that speak Japanese.
Now, you have to know this; translation is different from interpretation. That’s right!
When you are 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, when working as an interpreter, you will be mediating between two speakers of two different languages (both of which you MUST understand) and translating the two languages 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, most times, the position demands that you work as both translator and interpreter. So have that in mind. The average salary for Japanese translator in India is quite lucrative.
2. Japanese Trainer / Teaching
Japanese are ridiculously shy when it comes to learning another man’s language, and that is one reason why the majority of their companies in India are hunting for trainers. As a Japanese language speaker, you can apply to work as a trainer for any Japanese company to help in training potential candidates for an outstanding opportunity or help train their staffs on how to deal with clients and businesses as well of a foreign nature.
Again, numerous job opportunities for foreign language teachers in the educational sector offer a career opportunity for people who want to add value by teaching Japanese. When you take a career in teaching, you will also help to sharpen your language skills, and as well inspire future generations of Japanese speakers. Many schools and colleges, institutions and corporate buildings/offices have openings for Japanese teachers in India.
3. Outbound process/ Voice coordination
In India, some BPOs deals with Japanese clients and they are always on the look for a candidate who can render for them language support services. Your fluency in Japanese can give you a job in BPO and KPO. This pays well and there are other extended opportunities attached to a job of this nature.
One of the jobs you can offer for such companies in need of voice support services is voice coordinator. This means you will be helping to extend language support and effective communication outreach in BPOs and teleconferences.
4. Jobs in Embassies and Government sector
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 opening are quite limited if you are not a government employe, still you will be able to grab a job opportunity with these government entities.
When we say “Foreign Language Jobs in Embassies,” we are referring to a supportive staff or officer that is 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 majority of Japanese rarely learns another man’s language. Japanese-speaking diplomats do their jobs in embassies /consulates across Japan, meaning you should prepare to relocate.
5. Flight attendant and Jobs in Aviation Industry
Here is a career opportunity that require just a bachelor degree. You can apply for this job by making sure you focus on your Japanese ability and your English/native language. A career as an international flight attendant tends to be fun and rewarding, as it will also help you to hone your Japanese language skills in the area of customer’s service relations. You could also have better chances of promotion.
6. Sales representative / Service agent / Export sector
Since the Japanese economy is export-driven, most of their companies rely on service agents or sales representatives to help in communicating with foreign clients, data entry, answering telephones, advancing the company’s objectives and such 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 for or on behalf of Japanese businesses and clients back and forth India and Japan. The number of jobs opportunities in import and export industry is endless!
7. Hospitality Industry / Tour guide
If you’re looking for careers involving languages and travel. Then the broad spectrum of travel, tourism, leisure, and hospitality industry is one such 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 who are touring India for one or more reasons. Conversely, you can also work as a tour guide/consultant for Indian students or group visiting Japan for one or more reasons.
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 Embassy of Japan and JETRO, The total number of Japanese companies registered in India is 1,441, and that of Japanese business establishments is 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, e.g., an engineering degree, or Msc in IT or MBA in finance, or a simple graduate for various kinds of jobs, 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 that have a business relationship with Japanese MNCs in the automobile, engineering, information and technology, animation, or gaming sectors.
9. IT sector
Majority of the Japanese MNCs and their Indian counterparts doing business in the country and beyond prefers potential employees with technical skills and strong Japanese proficiency.
Since most of their clients and customers are Japanese, it is only sensible that they have someone in system admin, Data management, developer, Programmer, System analyst, etc., who knows the Japanese language and understand the work ethic. If you have this 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. Once you have attained an advanced level in mastering Japanese, you have the opportunity to travel and work in Japan. Many companies in Japan that are willing to employ someone 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 not only will be able to communicate with your Japanese business associates or clients, but you will also be able to better represent your organization in your business travels there.
Conclusion (Final Words)
Without any doubt, there is a huge scope when it comes to career and job opportunities in Japanese, and from all indications, it is going to grow further in the future. The jobs and career options mentioned are not by any means exhaustive, but they represent ideas of what you can benefit from your Japanese language proficiency. Think about it and reach out to us if you need any form of assistance.