Posts on Japan
TL;DR previous two posts:
1. There are tons of opportunities to learn Japanese and travel there without financial difficulties to worry about.
2. You don’t learn Japanese culture by watching anime and Japanese dramas. You have to know the people who live there to know the culture.
It’s as easy as that.
I’ve loved watching anime for much of my life (since around five years old— I’m 20 now) and I’ve been a big fan of Nintendo and Sony throughout my life, but up until college those were pretty much all I had going for me.
I couldn’t get myself motivated to learn the language until I made the jump to take the class.
Anime, video games and music from Japan are great products of their culture, but just as you won’t learn very much about America from watching Frozen or playing Halo, I learned that I won’t learn the culture unless I study it or socialize with natives. College has offered me a fantastic opportunity to do that! I have a few Japanese friends and even some Korean ones! My one friend, her name is Asuka, helps me out with my Japanese while I help her out with her German (class) and English.
I encourage any of you interested in learning Japanese to do so.
There are many resources on Tumblr that I could link, but I’m currently posting this en route to my next class.
The language is fantastic. Unlike English, the written language is phonetically pronounced (in Hiragana and Katakana at least) and it isn’t a confusing jumble of languages- English has too many influences from others.
I’m in my first year of learning Japanese and although there are ups or downs (depending on the day) I love every day of it. The language is expressive and beautiful, the people are brilliant and gorgeous, and I am looking to be a part of a summer program perhaps next year that takes place over in Japan.
Money, regardless of your income, isn’t an issue. I went to Italy, Greece and Turkey on a mix of saved money and abroad funding assistance- if you want to go to Japan many opportunities for funding assistance exist as well.
You can teach English in public schools in Japan, you can coach a sports team, you can learn the language here and be a paid translator for businesses in the future… All of those offer financial assistance regarding getting there and housing.
If you are in high school here, look into participating in a Home stay program or studying abroad at a high school there!
I love Japanese pop culture and even the culture of the people- they tend to respect the deceased a lot more than we do, Japan has a rich cultural history of innovation and they also begin honing dexterity and coordination from an early age (through games and the like as kids)