The site definition of JL&U on Area 51 says:

Beta Q&A site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language.

It's easy to see how students can benefit from asking questions and getting answers on the site, but what about for teachers and linguists? What will be the elevator pitch to attract them to our community?

Here are some I can think of, but not sure if it's really true/appealing/appropriate:

  • A central place to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language.
  • Altruism: help others learn.
  • Learning: teaching is also a process of learning.
  • Academic: find your research topic from among the questions.
  • Career: demonstrate your knowledge and writing to your prospective employer.

3 Answers 3


I can only speak for myself, but for me, writing about things (here or anywhere else) helps me organizing them in my mind.

Other than that really, there really isn't any great benefit right now as a linguist. I've learned many nice things (both important and trivia) about Japanese, but it's not exactly related to linguistics. Maybe in the future things would change and more linguists will frequent this site, but as the things stand, I've a lot to learn here, but as a normal rank-and-file learner, not as a linguist.

As for finding a topic research or career here - sounds like a lot of wishful thinking to me. That may happen (everything's possible after all), but the chance is not high enough to be the sole (or even just a major) motivation for linguists to be here.

Altruism is nice though.

Also, this place is fun. :D


The jury's still out for me, but as someone who wants to make a career out of teaching Japanese as a second language, I find this site to be excellent practice for organizing my thoughts (as Boaz mentioned), explaining concepts concisely and clearly, and researching topics to make sure I can back up what I say. I help out at local study groups for the same reason: to improve my teaching ability. (And along the way I do learn a lot when a particularly difficult question challenges my knowledge and forces me to hit the textbooks for a definitive answer.) So more than the reputation points or the warm fuzzies from helping others (which is all fun), I'm hoping I can translate this experience into a benefit for my future career.


I think all of your points except your last one, Career, are valid. I think while this site may show vast knowledge of the language it may not show an actual command of the language.

For linguists, this site also gives some insight into language acquisition as particular cultures learn japanese differently and have different issues with the language than others. (though this is going to be limited since it seems we'll be mainly getting english speakers here.)

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