Why study Japanese?

Dear all,

Today’s post is on why study Japanese?

Before any student gets to come into my classes, i would do an interview with them? What are some of the reasons why people study Japanese? After my various interviews with students, i gathered some of the common reasons below:

  • Want to understand what they say in anime/drama
  • Travel to Japan and be able to understand what is said, speak to the locals in Japanese
  • For work-related needs and job advancements
  • To learn a 3rd language makes it exciting
  • Because my friends are doing it, that’s why i am doing it.

For me, it was more of the 1st point and the and the 4th point. It had never occurred to me that i can use it for work-related purposes or job advancements, not to say to even teach Japanese. Nowadays, with the influx of foreign talents, learning a 3rd language improves your chance of getting the job, especially if the job requires you to communicate in Japanese. Having a degree no longer can guarantee that you get a job.

A lot of Japanese companies are moving to Singapore to find talents who can speak Japanese. Starting salary for a university graduate who can speak Japanese around N2 level is around $3500/per month whereas hiring a native Japanese in Japan can cost around $4000/per month. This article say it all.

With the issue of the ageing population in Japan and the time spent to interview a candidate in Japan is much more than the time spent to interview a candidate in Singapore, it is now hard to find good and cheap talents in Japan. The time taken to interview Japanese candidate and confirm his/her employment takes about 1 month, whereas the time taken to interview a Singapore candidate takes about 1 week. Before the employer even meets up with the candidate, the recruiter would have already done their job to sieve out the relevant candidates to get the job, because they also want to earn from their take. When schools publish the job notices on their pages, they might be doing it pro-bono or even taking a cut from what the recruiters earn.

Just a good guide for you in case if you would like to know how much i was earning previously.

IT Diploma+N2 cert (Call centre agent): $4000/per month last drawn + 13th month+bonus (gross)
IT Degree+N1 cert (Team lead in IT call centre): $5000/per month (gross)

However, a lot of students who are learning for work always forget the importance of learning Business Japanese and Keigo (N4) well, until they fail the interview and the recruiter tells them, your Keigo knowledge is not good enough.

I hope whoever is reading this article, ask yourself these questions before you even decide to take up learning Japanese.

  1. Why are you learning the language? For work? For travel related purposes?
  2. Are you prepared to fork out at least 4 hours a week to revise?
  3. Where do you see yourself 3 years down the road with the language skills acquired?
  4. Are the teachers capable enough to teach you what you need to know for your learning purposes? I personally know of some students who are from schools, can still tell me 公園に散歩します or 友達を会います。

I would say about 90% of my students follow me all the way through to N2. Most of them are very committed and they know what they want for themselves in life. So find your learning purpose and stay committed.

Good luck in your studies.


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