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Old 2009-01-31, 22:44   Link #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Suburban DC
Careers for Japanese Majors

Hey you guys and gals out there.

I'm one of those young, wide eyed college students who is toiling away at an undergraduate degree in a country where the economy is hiccuping....violently (yea it's the USA).

I have heard from many people around me that if I continue with a japanese major, I would have a good chance of getting a job. The only problem is WHAT KIND??

Now I know what you are saying, "Translation, ya DOOF!". That is obvious but that seems to be a broad area. I hear many different firms could use translators in different capacities.

As for roads that I wish to walk down, I would LOVE to translate for manga/anime. But you don't excactly go to a Liberal Arts college to learn how to interpret the musings of a young mahou shojou who is troubled alternatively with saving the world and getting the schoolyard hunk to give her a passing glance.

I was wondering what other Japanese majors out there have done after undergraduate school and what they recommend. Other general advice is good too, thank you.
solomon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-01-31, 22:59   Link #2
Gundam Boobs and Boom FTW
Join Date: Dec 2005
You could always take up the Wall Street banks of their mantra of "we hire liberal arts majors too!"

Other than that...well...


(Seriously, what did you expect?)
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Old 2009-01-31, 23:14   Link #3
Pretentious moe scholar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 31
Originally Posted by Demongod86 View Post
You could always take up the Wall Street banks of their mantra of "we hire liberal arts majors too!"
Not like we could fuck it up any worse then they did.

Sorry, I know it's off topic... but I had to say it.
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Old 2009-02-01, 00:05   Link #4
Evil Little Pixie
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: bleeghhh
Age: 30
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Here's a useful link:

As a Japanese major myself, I intend to pursue further schooling in Japan and eventually becoming a researcher.

To become more competitive as a translator, I'd recommend studying more Japanese in Japan (via language school or otherwise..).
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Old 2009-02-01, 01:13   Link #5
Honyaku no Hime
Join Date: May 2008
Location: In the eastern capital of the islands of the rising suns...
Work to become bilingual and then you can work in any field that's involved in globalisation. Mainly the financial and IT field are most common for Japanese/English employees, but basically the higher your proficiency, the more doors that'll open for you as a bilingual, the world will become your oyster.

So rather think about which field you want to apply your language skills in.

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. - Van Wilder
"If you ain't laughin', you ain't livin'." - Carlos Mencia
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Old 2009-02-01, 06:07   Link #6
~La-la Land~
*Graphic Designer
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle
Age: 31
Another link you may want to try out for working in Japan is

I would highly consider teaching if I were you. I'm actually thinking about it myself. You can check out the Jet Programme. Basically, you have to already have a college degree. There are three different positions: Assistant language teacher (the most popular one, and the one I hope on doing for a little bit), Coordinator for International relations, and sports exchange advisor (pretty difficult to get).
You don't have to really do this for a long time, but I think it would be good experience: teaching Japanese kids English, and improving your own Japanese in the mean while. It would also look good on your resume for if and when you apply to an American Manga/anime company for translating or any other position.
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Old 2009-02-01, 08:24   Link #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philippines
Age: 41
Apart from the anime and manga distribution companies needing help for translation work in subbing and dubbing, and financial groups for trans-Pacific business cooperation, the software and computer gaming industry (despite the cutbacks in labor) sometimes also look for assistance in the localization of j-games, and, vice-versa, software and games for the otherwise elusive Japanese market.

It's a career plus if one knows the 1945 characters that comprise kanji.

(Sidenote: a translator for a fansub group I know of recently got hired for a console game magazine in Singapore, and thus get to fly to Tokyo for exclusives).
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Old 2009-02-01, 15:03   Link #8
Chicken or Beef?
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Seattle
Age: 35
Professional Translator. That's really the only Job I can think of. There are many fields that requires a translator so, its not so bad.

You can have a minor in another field to broaden your horizon though.
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