Japan continues to be recognized as one of the world’s leaders in the global arenas of economics, politics and renewable energy. Studying Japanese is a wise career-building strategy. Many CSU alumni with a Japanese minor have been hired by well-established companies such as Woodward, Sumitomo, Mitsubishi, Oppenheimer Funds, etc. because of their Japanese language ability. More and more Japanese companies are hiring non-Japanese who are fluent in the Japanese language.
The study of Japanese language offers unique insights into Japan’s fascinating national culture. Studying Japanese greatly enriches the study of Japan’s national culture, which boasts a rich heritage in the fields of native craftsmanship, performing art, visual art, music, film, and food.
Learning Japanese helps students gain an enhanced perspective of their own language and culture.Through studying Japanese, students have an opportunity to compare Japanese with their own language and culture. Many aspects of their own language and culture are more appreciated when students realize the differences and similarities among different cultures. Moreover, students of Japanese become eligible for opportunities to travel and/or study abroad.
Studying Japanese builds brain power! Once you study Japanese, you can handle any foreign language. This goes beyond being able to order sushi in style! Study of a challenging foreign language like Japanese fosters key analytical and critical thinking skills. Learning to write Japanese characters not only improves observation skills and dexterity but also stimulates the front cortex. For Westerners Japanese is the most difficult language among less commonly taught languages.
Japanese language education in the world continues to grow. In the US, 4.2% students population that is learning a foreign language take Japanese. According to a survey by the Japan Foundation, in 2012 a total of 3.98 million people in 136 different countries/regions were studying Japanese, up 9.2% from 2009.
Japan is increasingly emerging as a point of origin for American pop culture as anime, manga and other Japanese cultural exports hit U.S. airwaves and store shelves: “In cultural terms… Japan has become one of a handful of perfect globalization nations (along with the United States ). It has succeeded not only in balancing a flexible, absorptive, crowd-pleasing, shared culture with a more private, domestic one but also in taking advantage of that balance to build an increasingly powerful global commercial force. In other words, Japan ‘s growing cultural presence has created a mighty engine of national cool.” (Douglas McGray, “Japan’s Gross National Cool,” Foreign Policy Magazine, June 2002).
In summary, for students, studying Japanese can be an asset in the job market, a spur to personal and intellectual growth, a source of increased self-esteem, and of course an enjoyable experience. Nihongo o benkyo shimasho! (Let’s study Japanese!)
A Colorado State University Japanese class is a great place to make new friends, have awesome senpai (upper-classmen) and find a community!
Colorado State University offers a number of study abroad opportunities in Japan. After graduation, many CSU students apply to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program which grants graduates the opportunity to work with local Japanese government organizations to enhance English language education in public and private junior and senior high schools all over Japan.
The Colorado State University Japanese Program has a truly unique program through which native senior Japanese helpers come to CSU and help students learn Japanese in and outside of the classroom. Since its inception in 1998, the Senior Volunteer Instructor Program has thrived with more than 100 volunteers participated, helping students of Japanese in and outside of the classroom. Having native speakers who are from Japan in class creates an authentic atmosphere and an environment that is conducive to learning.
The Japan Club, the Ramnime club, and calligraphy club and affiliation with the CSU Japanese Student Association all offer great opportunities to make new friends, explore Japanese cultural activities, participate in field trips and have fun. CSU’s Japanese courses feature a highly collaborative learning environment that often sparks long-lasting student friendships.