…We really think so! We have a great record in teaching Japanese at la Academia, and it is one of the languages our students enjoy the most. It has a reputation for being difficult to learn, but we feel that’s not justified.
Learning Japanese pronunciation is easy
There are a couple of consonants which can be tricky for a student of Japanese, such as the sound which is not a “l” and not a “r” – it’s hard to explain, you’ll have to try it to understand! The problem is tougher for native Japanese speakers, who really struggle with “rice” vs “lice” and who also have to contend with “er” and “th” which do not approximate to anything in Japanese. In fact British English has 16 vowel sounds to 5 in Japanese – this makes it easier to use a sound you are already used to making and be pretty accurate in your pronunciation. There are no tones like in Chinese – Japanese is quite a flat-sounding language.
Japanese language skills are rarer
People are impressed if you can speak Japanese – much more so than if you can speak a European language. After all, Japanese sounds very different and is not taught in many UK schools. If you’re chatting in Japanese it’s hard for an English speaker to guess any of what you’re saying, which makes it especially impressive. Why not stand out from the crowd by choosing a more unusual language – by learning Japanese?
Japan is an amazing country to visit. But it can be very disorientating being functionally illiterate. All the signs are squiggles that have no meaning – having some Japanese language skills makes a visit to this fascinating and historic country even more fun.
Japanese people really appreciate foreigners making an effort to learn their language. They tend to ask the same questions “Where are you from?”, “Why are you in Japan?” and “Do you like raw fish? So once you’ve learned a few standard questions and answers you can chat away to anyone. Oh, and it’s important to learn to recognise “Your Japanese is really good” as the Japanese will compliment your efforts, however faltering!
Improve your Job prospects
Research shows your job prospects improve if you speak any foreign language, however Japanese is a language that will really make you stand out. One of our interpreters who speaks several European languages says that it’s always the mention of Japanese on her CV that is commented on in interviews – even when the job requires no knowledge of Japanese. And if you are interviewing for a job with an international company that does have Japanese suppliers, customers or offices, so much the better! – You’ll be in line for any company dinners with Japanese visitors or trips to Japan!
The only way to really get to grips with Japanese is by having a native speaker tutor and this is where la Academia can help you – give us a ring on 0161 491 1444 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll have you chatting in Japanese in no time!