Are you jumpin' to learn Japanese? IMSA's aiming' to please!!
While it can be said that Japanese is only spoken in Japan, and therefore not by that
many people, Japan's population in 1985 was 120.75 million people, making it the seventh
largest country in the world. Knowing Japanese will put you in a relatively exclusive
group, but not one that is as small as is commonly thought.
Japanese is one of the languages that are considered "Critical", meaning that the
supply of speakers not as great as the demand. So, if you can develop fluency in Japanese
there will be many opportunities available to you.
With $315 billion dollars in total exports, Japan is the third largest export country
in the world behind the United States and Germany.
Japan's economic competitiveness continues to be tops in the world. In 1993 Japan was
recognized as the most competitive nation in the international markets.
For native speakers of English, Japanese does take longer to learn than almost any
other language - nearly three times longer than French or Spanish, for example. Students
who don't start studying Japanese until after they finish high school, face the almost
impossible task of becoming fluent enough to work or study in Japan in only four years. It
makes sense to start early.
While Japanese might take longer to learn, students in Japanese 1 do not have the same
course expectations that students in German or French might have. It would be unrealistic
and unreasonable to expect Japanese students to progress at the same rate, so new ideas,
vocabulary and materials are introduced so that students have every opportunity to team,
practice and master them before moving on to the next concept.
Japanese language is different from English because Japanese society does not function
the same way that American society does. Studying Japanese is a great opportunity to try
something completely different, and to learn about another very different way to perceive
the world. Japanese may be completely different, but it is not just gibberish. It has a
logic and a sensibility all its own.
Japanese and Japanese culture may be different, but in fact, as of 1985 there were
482,670 Americans living in Japan.