Tokyo Dev

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Other languages besides English and Japanese and working in Japan


Hello Tokyo Dev community!
I talked with a few friends in Japan and I noticed that they mentioned knowing some other foreign languages, especially Mandarin Chinese, is a good asset to have. I also noticed that it’s quite common for my Japanese friends to visit neighboring, Mandarin speaking countries even if for holidays.

What would you say from your own experience, are there some foreign languages besides Japanese and English worth knowing when working in Japan? I will try to get employed in Japan in little less than 3 years from now on, going on working holiday visa. I could work as a developer, but I am also open to other positions and could find time to learn one more language :slight_smile:

I have a BSc in Computer Science, and will get a Master’s degree in Management on top of that in 2 years. I currently have JLPT N2 in Japanese, plan to get N1 soon and improve my oral and written skills. I am a native Polish speaker.


Being a fluent speaker of another language increases your possibilities. However, learning another language isn’t likely to offer a good ROI for landing a job in Japan, and you’d be better off investing the time in improving your Japanese ability instead.


Thanks for the answer Paul :slight_smile: I will just follow my interests then.


I’d also suggest as early as possible forming a plan of the kind of companies you’d like to join or the specific types of work you’d like to do when you arrive. Then work out what they value most and focus on ensuring your core and complimentary skills are nicely set so it’s easy for them to offer you a job.


Thank you Mark. That’s a great idea! I will look into it even now :slight_smile: