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Learning Japanese in Japan

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Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby Poe » Fri 07.07.2006 12:14 am

I figure the best place to learn Japanese is in Japan. The fact that I've always wanted to go there is a bonus. The only problem is I know virtually no Japanese or even how much I should know before leaving. If anyone could tell me the minimum I need to get by or maybe point me in the direction of a good language school I'd greatly appreciate it.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby Kates » Fri 07.07.2006 11:26 am

I would definately know hira and kata backwards and forwards before leaving. Also a lot of basic kanji (probably 200) would get you through the day without too many headaches. And, if you know what area you'll be in, learn the kanji for the cities in your area--that'll be a big help if you have to travel on the trains and things.

Uhm... but, grammar-wise, I don't know if I could say "how much" is good to know... being able to express yourself in a very basic sense...? I would just start learning and get as much done as you can before going... >_>

A language school in Japan, you mean? I've only heard of the Meguro Language Center (http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/) which is in Tokyo. I've never attended, just use their online resources.

I DID attend a Michigan State U-affiliated school in Hikone, Shiga, Japan... but if you aren't a university student able to study abroad, then it's probably not for you. Here's info anyway, though (cuz I could be wrong about them not accepting non-college students).
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Last edited by Kates on Fri 07.07.2006 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby Poe » Fri 07.07.2006 12:11 pm

I can manage that much on my own at least. So far I've got Hiragana and about 50 or so kanji down. I'll have plenty of time to learn more while I'm saving up money. Thanks for the help.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby AJBryant » Fri 07.07.2006 2:59 pm

There are many "immersion" programs in Japan run by both private schools and universities. For example, ICU, Sophia, Temple, and Takushoku Universities all have year-long programs that are essentially five days a week, four to six hours in-class Japanese language programs. You'll be pretty fluent at the end of one of those. :)


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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Fri 07.07.2006 10:21 pm

AJBryant wrote:
pretty fluent


I never thought I'd hear you say that phrase :D
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby Justin » Fri 07.07.2006 11:14 pm

If you plan on going to one of those private language schools, keep in mind that you'll need around $20,000 USD to pay for school, and also to keep you afloat while you're there to study. You can work for around 20 hours a week on a student visa (once you've been there for three months and have acceptable grades), but before they'll hand you over a visa in the first place, they want to make sure that you won't become a burden during your stay due to lack of money.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby Poe » Sat 07.08.2006 10:07 am

Yeah.. the money is definately going to be a bit of a problem. All the more affordable programs are for High School students or University students/grads.

It seems to me like finding work would be really hard. Would that be a correct assumption?
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Sat 07.08.2006 9:50 pm

Poe wrote:
It seems to me like finding work would be really hard. Would that be a correct assumption?


Is finding word hard? No. Is finding DECENT work hard? Probably.

Most students end up working in the kitchens of restaraunts for 8 bucks an hour.

The best bet would be teaching English, but that can be difficult if you're a student. Kind of depends on how lucky you are with what's available in your area.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby Poe » Sat 07.08.2006 11:48 pm

It's hard to find ANY work here for even $6 an hour and I can barely communicate with the people here too so that sounds fine to me. Thanks.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.09.2006 12:49 am

I didn't mean to make it sound easy :D

For a normal (restaraunt) job, you'd have to compete with Japanese high schoolers who speak Japanese fluently. My friends from school all managed to find jobs, but they also went through a lot of rejection simply because they are foreigners.

So really teaching English is the best bet, but that can take some time to get started. And, something people seem to overlook a lot, you have to actually understand WHY English works the way it does. If you don't speak Japanese very well, you will be stuck with advanced students who will ask difficult questions but won't understand difficult answers.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 07.10.2006 10:32 am

keatonatron wrote:


If you don't speak Japanese very well, you will be stuck with advanced students who will ask difficult questions but won't understand difficult answers.


even if you know japanese well, some advanced students still are diffucult. i think this is because they like to be difficult.. to question the sensei who cannot answer. i used to get that alot.. until i asked a few questions in japanese they could not answer, that pertty much squared up who was the sensei and who was the student.
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RE: Learning Japanese in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Mon 07.10.2006 11:17 am

two_heads_talking wrote:
even if you know japanese well, some advanced students still are diffucult.


But if you know Japanese, you get all the beginner students because there is a shortage of teachers who can speak Japanese. I always thought that was kind of wierd: I devoted a major chunk of my life to learning Japanese, hoping it would further my career, and it just made my job more basic! Usually the more teachers learn, the more advanced material they are allowed to teach. The more I learn, the more I get stuck teaching the easy stuff!
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