sunset at Kiyomizu Dera Pagoda Temple

The Japanese Associates in Arts from Bakersfield College is a two-year program that provides students with the opportunity to gain proficiency in the Japanese language, as well as an understanding of Japanese culture and society. Through a combination of language classes, cultural courses, and elective options, students will develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in Japanese. In addition to language skills, students will also gain knowledge of Japanese history, literature, and social practices. Upon completion of the program, students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to communicate effectively in Japanese and navigate the complexities of Japanese culture in a variety of contexts.

japanese lettersWhat is Japanese?

Japanese is a language that is primarily spoken in Japan and is also used by communities of Japanese speakers around the world. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which also includes the Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Ryukyu Islands. Japanese is known for its unique writing system, which combines Chinese characters (kanji) with two syllabic scripts (hiragana and katakana) and is used for both written communication and as a visual art form. The language is characterized by a complex grammar system, honorifics, and a wide range of dialects, making it a challenging but rewarding language to learn for both linguistic and cultural exploration.

Is Studying Japanese Right for Me?

A Japanese degree can be beneficial for a wide range of individuals who have an interest in Japan and its culture, as well as those who wish to pursue careers in fields such as business, education, international relations, translation, or tourism that require proficiency in the Japanese language. People who enjoy studying foreign languages and have a passion for learning about other cultures and societies may also find a Japanese degree to be a fulfilling academic pursuit. Additionally, individuals who are interested in pursuing graduate studies or employment opportunities in Japan or with Japanese companies may find that a Japanese degree provides them with a competitive edge in the job market.

There are several key traits and skills that would make someone a good fit for studying Japanese, including:

  • Interest in Japanese culture
  • Strong work ethic
  • Attention to detail
  • Open-mindedness
  • Good memory
  • Good communication skills

Japanese Degree

Japanese writing on a piece of paper

The Associate in Arts in Japanese degree provides a linguistic study of the language and an in-depth look into the culture of the Japanese world.

BC students walking and talking on campus
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Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji in the spring with cherry blossom tressJapanese Careers

A Japanese Associate in Arts can prepare individuals for a variety of careers that require proficiency in the Japanese language and knowledge of Japanese culture, including:

  • Translator/Interpreter: Translators and interpreters work to translate written and spoken content between Japanese and other languages for various industries including business, government, media, and more.
  • International Business: A Japanese degree can lead to careers in international business, including sales, marketing, and management, especially if the company has operations or partnerships in Japan.
  • Education: Graduates with a Japanese degree can teach English in Japan or other countries or teach Japanese as a second language to non-native speakers.
  • Tourism: Individuals with a Japanese degree can work in tourism-related industries such as hospitality, travel, and tour companies, as well as work in roles that support Japanese tourists traveling abroad.
  • Cultural Exchange: A Japanese degree can lead to careers with cultural exchange programs that bring Japanese and non-Japanese people together for cultural immersion experiences.
  • Government and Nonprofit: Graduates with a Japanese degree can work for government agencies, nonprofits, or non-governmental organizations that specialize in Japanese affairs, such as international diplomacy, policymaking, or advocacy.

Transfer Pathways

Graduates with an Associate in Arts in Japanese from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Foreign Language

Career & Learning Pathway: Arts, Communications, and Humanities (ACH) Pathway

Courses: Japanese (JAPN)

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