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Is speaking Japanese worth it?


Speaking Japanese has become popular among people who are interested in learning a new language. However, is it worth the time and effort to learn a language that is not spoken widely around the world? In this article, we will explore the benefits of learning Japanese and provide an insight into why it may be worth it.

Cultural Significance

Japan has a rich culture, dating back thousands of years. Learning Japanese allows you to immerse yourself in this culture by understanding their art, literature, traditions, and customs. Additionally, speaking Japanese helps you to connect with people from Japan and understand their way of life.

Japanese Snack Box

Business Opportunities

Japan is one of the largest economies in the world, and many international businesses have a presence in the country. Being able to speak Japanese can give you an edge over others when applying for jobs or doing business with Japanese companies. It shows that you are willing to make an effort to understand their language and culture.

Ease of Travel

Japan is a popular travel destination for people around the world. Speaking Japanese makes traveling within the country much easier as many locals do not speak English. It also allows you to communicate with people in rural areas that may not have many tourists.

Higher Education Opportunities

Japan has some of the best universities in Asia, and learning Japanese can give you access to higher education opportunities in the country. By studying in Japan, you can acquire knowledge and skills that are not available in other countries.

Language Learning Benefits

Learning any language improves cognitive abilities such as memory, problem-solving, and multitasking. Studies have also shown that multilingual individuals are more empathetic, creative, and have better decision-making skills. Learning Japanese can provide these benefits and more.

Music and Entertainment

Japan has a thriving music and entertainment industry, producing popular anime, manga, and J-pop music. Learning Japanese allows you to enjoy these forms of entertainment in their original language and connect with the culture that produced them.

Technological Advancements

Japan is known for its technological advancements, from robotics to video games. By learning Japanese, you can access information about these advancements that may not be available in English.

Language Difficulty

Japanese is known to be a difficult language to learn, with three writing systems and complex grammar rules. However, with dedication and practice, anyone can learn Japanese. The challenge of learning the language can also be rewarding and satisfying.

Connection to Family and Friends

If you have Japanese family or friends, speaking the language can help you connect with them on a deeper level. It also shows that you respect their culture and are willing to communicate with them in their native language.

Personal Growth

Learning a new language can be a fulfilling personal growth experience. It challenges your mind and allows you to step outside your comfort zone. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can understand and communicate in another language.


In conclusion, speaking Japanese is worth it for many reasons. From connecting with the culture to business opportunities and personal growth, learning Japanese provides numerous benefits. Although it may be challenging, the rewards of being multilingual are well worth the effort.

Should I learn to speak Japanese?

If you plan on traveling to Japan, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the Japanese language. You don’t need to be fluent, but being able to communicate will make your travels much smoother. Additionally, the locals will appreciate your attempt to learn their language.

Is learning Japanese worth it for jobs?

Learning a new language can offer many benefits, including improved career opportunities. If you’re considering which language to learn, selecting Japanese can give you a competitive edge as it is the most commonly chosen language among East Asian options.

How long does it realistically take to learn Japanese?

As per the US Department of State, Japanese proves to be one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to master. Its structure bears little resemblance to that of English, so achieving fluency requires an estimated 88 weeks of study, or 2200 hours.

How many Americans can speak Japanese?

The total number of Japanese speakers in different regions/countries is as follows: 124,550,000 in East Asia (mostly in Japan), 664,000 in North America (mostly in the USA), 429,000 in South America (mostly in Brazil), and 3,000 in Micronesia (mostly in Guam).

Should I learn Japanese if I live in America?

Having proficiency in Japanese is useful, but it is necessary to be highly fluent in the language to secure a job. Someone who is fluent in Japanese can work as a translator. I know someone who had their own publishing and translating company before retiring, and they were quite successful.

Is it expensive to learn Japanese?

The cost of tuition for courses varies depending on the duration of the program. A three-month full-time program typically costs between 150,000 to 200,000 yen. In addition, most schools charge a registration fee ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 yen and an insurance fee of 10,000 yen per year for long-term programs.

Traveling to Japan

Japan is a country that offers a unique and exciting experience for travelers. From the bustling cities like Tokyo and Osaka to the serene temples and natural landscapes, there is something for everyone in Japan. By learning Japanese, you can make your trip more enjoyable by communicating with locals, understanding their customs, and discovering hidden gems that may not be in tourist guidebooks.

Understanding Japanese Culture

Japanese culture is known for its emphasis on respect, discipline, and harmony. Learning the language allows you to understand the nuances of Japanese culture better. You’ll be able to understand their social etiquette, values, and beliefs. This knowledge can help you interact with Japanese people and avoid misunderstandings.

Connecting with Japanese Communities

Learning Japanese can help you connect with Japanese communities around the world. Japan has a significant diaspora community in countries like the United States, Brazil, and Peru. Knowing the language can help you build relationships with these communities and learn more about their history and culture.

Opportunities to Teach Japanese

There is demand for Japanese language teachers around the world. If you become proficient in the language, you can teach it to others who are interested in learning. Teaching Japanese can also be a way to immerse yourself further in the language and culture.

Learning from Native Speakers

When learning a language, it’s essential to practice speaking with native speakers. By learning Japanese, you’ll have opportunities to speak with Japanese people who are native speakers. You can practice your skills with them, learn new vocabulary and phrases, and gain insights into their daily life.

Access to Japanese Literature and Media

Japanese literature has a rich history dating back centuries. By learning Japanese, you can access classic works of literature from authors like Murasaki Shikibu and Natsume Soseki in their original language. Additionally, you can watch Japanese movies and TV shows without the need for subtitles, which allows you to appreciate the nuances of the language and culture.

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