The Importance of Learning Japanese
Information on Technical Intern Training
All of you technical intern trainees have probably studied Japanese intensively before and soon after coming to Japan. Naturally, some of you may be good at studying Japanese, and some of you may not. However, it is necessary and important for you to learn Japanese, because knowing and not knowing the language could make a great difference in your life in Japan. Why do you think this is so?
First of all, if you cannot understand the explanations and instructions given by your supervisor at your implementing organization, you cannot fulfill your goal of acquiring skills in Japan. In order to carry out your work, you need to acquire basic Japanese skills, as well as learn technical terms related to your line of work. You also need to gain an understanding of words that signify danger by listening and watching, and memorize words that ensure safety.
Furthermore, since you are staying in Japan for a certain period of time to acquire your skills, you are likely to go shopping, go to the doctor’s at times, ride public transportation, eat out, and use the bank and post office. At times such as these, the ability to carry on a simple conversation in Japanese or to read notices and signs would not only be convenient, but it would also give you peace of mind.
Moreover, when Japanese is the common means of communication with people at your workplace or in your local community, not being able to fully understand what others are saying and not being able to convey what you really want to say could lead to misunderstandings and other types of problems.
Being able to communicate smoothly with your superior and colleagues at work, your neighbors, salesclerks, and various other people will expand the scope of your knowledge and activities and enrich your lives.
Learning Japanese thus has great meaning in making sure you lead a comfortable life as a technical intern trainee in Japan.
Here are some things you could do to improve your Japanese :
Studying Japanese is not only about sitting at your desk and poring over textbooks and dictionaries.
For example, a shortcut to improving your Japanese conversation skills is to speak and listen to a lot of Japanese every day. If you wish to speak Japanese but do not know how to start a conversation, you could begin by perhaps asking a question about the meaning of a Japanese word that you have been wondering about. You could also ask a question about Japanese culture or customs. When conversing in Japanese, you are apt to come across words that you do not know. Do not hesitate to ask on the spot what they mean. Ask, “…ってなんですか.” If a Japanese person is speaking too quickly for you to understand, say, “すみません、ゆっくりいってください.” Most people will try to speak so that you can understand.
Watching TV, reading cartoons, and singing songs are good ways to learn Japanese while having fun. If there are words you do not know, look them up in the dictionary or ask someone who is Japanese. You could also keep a diary, but it would be even better if you have a Japanese person look at it. These activities will help you learn new words, as well as give you some ideas for starting a conversation.
In addition to the above, you could take free Japanese language lessons offered by volunteer instructors in your community, or if you have access to the Internet, you could study Japanese through a website for Japanese language learning. If you wish to test your skills, you could challenge yourself to achieve a specific goal, such as to pass a Japanese proficiency test. Achieving your goal will boost your confidence in yourself, as well as contribute to shaping your career when you return to your home country. Daily efforts are essential in learning a language. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”