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Discussion on: Working in Japan: Myths, Realities, Compensation, Culture (By A Software Engineer)

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Rob Sherling Author

Is japanese being treated like a subject?

It's taught as a subject in schools, people study and take tests for it, so I would say that by any reasonable definition of the word "subject", yes. Yes it is.

For me, language is nothing more than a tool to communicate so if I can manage conversation in Japanese easily would it be good enough????

This hit kind of a sore spot for me, so I'm going to try hard not to be mean about this:

I understand that, in some multi-lingual countries, certain languages might not be tied to particular cultures. But in Japan, Japanese language and culture are so heavily tied together that I think you would be doing yourself a serious disservice to think of it as "nothing more than a tool to communicate."

As for the rest of what you said, I don't know what "manage conversation in Japanese easily" and "good enough" mean because those metrics vary by person, but I think that conversation skill alone would not be enough to have a highly functional life here.

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