Why Learn Japanese?
Japan has the 2nd largest economy on earth.  There are over 120 million Japanese people and even though they study English for 6 years in public schools many Japanese people cannot speak English.

I have been hired to interpret at such companies as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and even Disneyland International when they visit the United States.  There is tremendous opportunity for someone who is fluent in Japanese.

Japan and the western world have strong ties that won't easily be broken.  There is a saying in Japan that, "If America sneezes Japan catches a cold".  If you consider how much trade goes on between the United States and Japan it is easy to understand why learning Japanese has tremendous benefits.

Japan's International Appeal
In recent years Japan's influence on the world has been booming.  Movies, comic books (manga), animation (anime), video games are now a major part of Japan's offerings to the world.   It's not just cars and electronics anymore!

Why Not Spanish or French?
Spanish, French and German are fairly traditional languages taught in American schools.  Most companies teaching languages teach these languages by default.  It is a common misconception that Japanese is harder to learn than other language.  This misconception is fueled by the fact that Japanese writing is so foreign looking when compared to the European languages.  However Japanese grammar is MUCH more uniform and easier to grasp than the European languages.

It is of my personal opinion that Japanese is a much more lucrative language than French or Spanish.  Although granted Spanish is an important part of life in America, there are MANY people who can speak Spanish and not so many who speak Japanese.  Which one do you think is worth more money in a competitive world?

Crossover Language
Japanese grammar is almost identical to Korean grammar.  And Korea (not North Korea) is a very up and coming country that I believe will be just as important as Japan in the technology sector in years to come as companies like Samsung and Hyundai of Korea have become major players in the world.  So learning Korean after Japanese is also an interesting goal.  And again, in my opinion, much more interesting than knowing French and Spanish.  And also MUCH more lucrative.

Chinese grammar is nothing like Japanese grammar, however the writing system called Kanji used in Japan is actually based on Chinese kanji.  And although Chinese writing is MUCH more intense than Japanese writing your child will have a big advantage in learning Chinese if they already grasp Japanese.

©2006 George Trombley Jr. / Home School Japanese
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