Background: So I am a professional in the advertising industry with a university degree behind me. I don't really want to forgo my career to learn Japanese, but after my last trip there, I would like would like to hone my skill so I could feel comfortable finding employment in Japan within the next 2 years.

I have done random little courses here and there, and already have a basic understanding of the language to a degree where I can talk about some basic things or ask simple questions if someone is willing to talk slower with me.

Root Question: What are some viable/intuitive methods for a person to learn Japanese when flexibility is important? I am willing to spend money, but I want it to be a good system to help me learn intuitively.

Thank you.

  • Hello, @gokujou! I'm afraid study method questions are off-topic; please see this meta answer or the FAQ. We do have a chat room where this sort of discussion is welcome, though :-)
    – user1478
    May 30 '13 at 6:46
  • Sorry, while the topic you linked mentions the 'main' site, it does not mention 'meta'. Being this question was about applying the learning of Japanese in a way not covered often elsewhere, I posted it here hoping to learn and provide a resource. I will look elsewhere for assistance.
    – gokujou
    Jun 1 '13 at 4:44

Two years to learn Japanese is doable (I've been learning Japanese for 3 years). I don't know what branch of advertising you do, but copy writing, graphic design, etc., are very different from what you might be used to.

For copy writing your Japanese needs to be better than an average native speakers (it's a language skill!) and that takes longer than two years. For graphic design, you will have to throw your sense of good design overboard and start from scratch, and that might also take a while. I answered a question on Japanese typography on this site, which has since been moved to graphicdesign.SE.

That said, there is probably room for advertising professionals in companies, which have some relation to foreign countries, which might be your way into Japan.

As for your actual question about learning the language, it really depends (of course), but I think living in the country is essential for learning any language well. Any time spent abroad, learning Japanese, is better spent living in Japan, learning Japanese. Once you buy your flight tickets, you can check whether you can do an intensive (residential!) course at a respectable language institute, which should prepare you for living in Japan.

Otherwise, start learning straight away ("alphabets", grammar, kanji, whatever you can keep up without losing concentration). We have a resources page here, which will prove very useful.

  • Thank you, I actually work on the technical side, helping guide/plan projects through execution, programming some, and etc.
    – gokujou
    May 29 '13 at 4:29
  • Also had to laugh a little as I had just read your answer about using の, んだ, and other sentence endings around rhetorical questions just before reading this. I will look into the opportunity as I think many of the agencies that match my current place actual do a large portion of their business in English in Japan (multi-national corps are a large share of our clients).
    – gokujou
    May 29 '13 at 4:36
  • You've only been learning Japanese for 3 years? Wow. :) May 29 '13 at 23:01

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