Japanese Language Program

Japanese language instruction was introduced to Columbia University in the late 1920s. Our program enjoys a long-time reputation as one of the best in the US, and it has produced many accomplished Japanologists. In line with changes in Japan’s cultural constructs, the linguistic constructs of the Japanese language have also been shifting. The program enables students to master the practical language skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing as well as apply cultural knowledge and intercultural communication skills. To this end, the program emphasizes both accuracy and creativity in the use of language. Classes are learner-centered and highly interactive.

 Japan has played a leading role in science and technology, specifically in areas of research such as electronics, robotics, energy, transportation, and biomedicine. Students in the Japanese Language Program now come from Columbia’s various graduate, undergraduate, and professional schools. To address their diverse goals and needs in an increasingly globalized world, attention is paid to developing linguistic skills and strategies necessary for their future careers.

 Japan is also noted for its rich traditions and creative contemporary culture such as anime, games, and J-pop. Studying Japanese will thus give you access not only to the Japanese literary tradition but also to contemporary culture. It will provide you with new perspectives and change how you see your place in the world.