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Teaching Japanese in India?
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Michael188



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Teaching Japanese in India? Reply with quote

Hi,

I know its a strange title for ESL web forum. I hope some ESL Teachers, or someone working in the software industry ,in India might know the lay of the land in India with regards to language instruction.

I live in Japan. I am looking for a change. My Japanese girlfriend wants to come with me where ever I go. I suggested India. She likes the idea, but has no idea what she can do there. She scored over 800 on TOEIC. She speaks English everyday at her two jobs. I suggested that she might be able to teach Japanese to software engineers in India. She is a certified Japanese Language Instructor.

I just wonder if this option is possible. Why do I think it might be an option? Well, I see more and more Indians in Tokyo and other cities in Japan. A good number have to be working in the IT field. I know I should talk with them and I will, but I hope some in India, working in the software industry or teaching English, might be able to help concerning the possibility of teaching Japanese there.

Thanks for any help.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why on earth would certified software engineers in India want to learn Japanese?
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on the following listing, there are probably very few native Japanese speakers teaching Japanese in India. I'd say the demand would be quite strong in places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, and other rising business and technology centres.

http://www.language-school-teachers.com/default.asp?selx6=30&selCountry=44

In India there are not only people who want to learn Japanese for business. There are increasing thousands of young professionals with lots of new disposable income. Some of my colleagues in Bangalore and Hyderabad spend lots of time (and money) learning foreign languages as well as (for example) salsa dancing and Western musical instruments. They do it for cultural and personal enrichment rather than professional necessity.

http://www.nihongobashi.com/educational_services/educational_services.html

Tell her to give it a go!
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Michael188



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help.

As for software engineers learning Japanese it would seem like a good idea that they do because Japan is an untapped software market. I can give an example. In 2005 Toyota contracted a Indian software company to re-write some of its purchasing and ordering software. The total number of engineers involved topped 150. If only one could speak Japanese it would have gone a long way to creating a better business relationship. Remember, Japan has the second largest economy in the world, so there is a lot of money here.

Mike
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed.

And the quality of technical writing and documentation (in Japanese as well as in English) in Japan leaves much to be desired. Hence the outsourcing to places like India, Singapore, the Philippines and elsewhere. Those outsourced writers and software developers do need to know about the Japanese language to create usable software for Japanese markets.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're talking about software for Japanese markets then you are dealing with the question of internationalization. There is a vast amount of documentation on the matter and Microsoft is the leader in the field.

It is false to say the programmer needs to know Japanese; even the person doing the internationalization for the Japanese market doesn't need to know that. As for software specifically written for the Japanese market, I would presume most of that would be written in Japan itself.

The translation of Japanese technical documents into English is often woeful. However, India is certainly not the place I would chose to do this, not for the next twenty years at least.
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medusa



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 50
Location: France / India

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

You are doing quite a bit of research on behalf of your girlfriend's options once in India, but I am very curious to know what you plan on doing here too.
I assume from your profile that you'd like to continue teaching. Have you researched the positions available? Have you already got a contact here or do you know the 'right' person in India?

I don't want to be a wet blanket, but because so many people already speak English, positions with a western pay are difficult to come by.
Henry was right, that Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune are your best bets. I would totally agree for both of you.
However, because there are so many fluent English speaking Indians, well trained (most with MBA's for example) demand for a US or UK Native speaker is quite low.

Your best bet is to gain a position working for a multinational but based in India. That way, you get an expat salary, all of the perks, and a contract that means something.

I currently work in the north for a French company. My clients run language schools and all of the teachers and trainers are Indian. You would have difficulty finding one that is prepared to pay the demands of a non Indian when they have so much choice available.

In the larger cities, as mentioned, your girlfriend may find options to teach the well off but don't be under any illusion. India is a VERY difficult place to live. Nothing is easy. It is wonderful, and a great place to be and experience, but I stress : very hard to live in.

I suggest you check out this site:

www.indiamike.com

It is THE best website for anything concerning India. Ask your same questions there, and you'll have many more specific answers.

If you do come to India, enjoy!!!
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen, there is plenty of "localization" going on right now in India for Japanese markets. I think that's the term you want (rather than "internationalization"). Localizers do indeed need to know the target language and culture, and they need to know how to carry out usability testing among the target audience.

Microsoft "documentation" has nothing to do with the issue.

And whether you would choose to do so or not, huge amounts of IT work will continue to be outsourced to India, Singapore, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe. The market has spoken -- and is speaking -- loudly and clearly.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean by localization? If you mean adapting software so that it works in another language and another script, then the normal phrase is internationalization, as a world-wide program will need adapting to varying languages and scripts and there are plenty of pitfalls involved.

If you mean producing a version of the software that is specifically adapted to use in a particular culture (that is to say changing the GUI and even the site map to be more appropriate for different circumstances) then localization is the correct term.

You can get MS Office in Japanese. It would be wrong to talk about localization however. The software is the same as the English version, it has just been modified to work in the Japanese language. As I said, this has been going on for nearly twenty years, and the standard term is internationalization.

Quote:
And whether you would choose to do so or not, huge amounts of IT work will continue to be outsourced to India, Singapore, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe.
I am not talking about the outsourcing of software development. I was talking about revising the English documentation of Japanese products in India. The general consensus of opinion amongst software developers I know who have dealt with Indian programmers is that the documentation is the weakest point.
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen, you need to get your definitions clear.

I still maintain that plenty of Japanese localization jobs are outsourced to India. I in fact have worked with IT people in India who do this very type of work. And they do have to know Japanese (and Japanese culture) to produce high-quality work.

What's the difficulty?
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eclectic



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 1122

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

henry cowell wrote: "Some of my colleagues in Bangalore and Hyderabad spend lots of time (and money) learning...(for example) salsa dancing and Western musical instruments. They do it for cultural and personal enrichment rather than professional necessity."


I would be inclined to agree (chuckle, chuckle), if one's colleagues in those Indian cities were confined to yuppie status. the likes of which... certainly are not representative of the average Bangalore or Hyderabad citizen.

I believe Japanese, as one colleague of mine who lives in New Delhi and happens to be a VP of Citigroup India says, is much more in demand in New Delhi where big government lies, or in Bombay, where everything lies--sort of like Hanky Boy. Laughing
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to visit Bangalore several times to get a current view of what's happening there. The "average" citizen of most Indian cities is not going to pay money to learn Japanese -- just like the average American citizen is not going to pay money to learn Japanese.

Again, what's the difficulty? There's indeed a market in certain Indian cities for Japanese lanauge instruction, especially by native speakers. That is the answer to the OP's question.
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eclectic



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 1122

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have in fact been thrice to Bangalore, good lad. And you are quite wrong.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Stephen, you need to get your definitions clear.
I'm the one who's got the definitions clear.

Internationalization is writing software that is trivial to port to another language. That means using Unicode, checking their won't be any problems in shifting from left to right or right to left, or vertical layout, assuring that dates and times are trivial to change, and not hard-coded into strings, and a slew of other stuff. The guru on this is Michael Kaplan.

In his blog one of his latest entries says this:
"I had the opportunity to hear from Mike (the one behind the Windows Speech Recognition language support in Windows Vista on speech @ microsoft) about some of the back-story behind the Vista speech recognition feature I was talking about in We're confusing internationalization and localization, AGAIN.
Here's the link to that article
http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2007/09/01/4693025.aspx
here's a link to another
It's not localization really
http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2005/09/08/462765.aspx
and here's a link to another:
Internationalization versus localizability
http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2005/09/09/462862.aspx

It is quite possible that software specifically targetted at the Japanese market is written in India, and you would need at least one member of the team fluent in Japanese, though normally it would be better for that person to be an English-speaking Japanese from the client company.
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a market for a native Japanese speaker -- especially one who is a certified Japanese language instructor -- to teach Japanese in many cities in India. There are few native Japanese doing this.

The audience includes IT professionals (who definitely need it for certain jobs) as well as those interested in pursuing foreign language study for personal and cultural enrichment. The field of IT professionals is MUCH bigger than merely "software engineers."

Nobody has proven those statements wrong.

To the OP: Tell your friend to check the links that I provided much earlier in this thread (before my club of followers arrived).

Please PM me if you'd like additional information and links.
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