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Working at the foreign companies in Japan

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Japanese language proficiency

My question is very simple: I got a M.A. in Japanese literature from a Japanese university, I can read novels and newspapers quite quickly but I have no technical background.
Q: Is it possible to be hired by any company just knowing the language very well?
 

dreamer

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I have a friend who did something similar but in Germany.
He was hired by a german company as translator but was still re-localized in France. Other carreers that you might consider are probably related to the journalism or the editorial field.
 

Glenski

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Matteo,
I'm sure it's possible, but you haven't given us anything much to go on. What is your work experience, and what sort of job do you want?
 
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My onlly work experience is an office job (+some translations) at a Japanese tour operator in Venice(one year and a half). After that I got the 文部科学省 2 year scolarship and came to Osaka university where I had my scolarship extended, took a MA in Japanese literature and entered a phd course in the same field. I wanted to start an academic career in Japanese studies in Venice but after knowing a bit more about the depressing reality called "Italian university" I changed my mind. I would like to stay in Japan after my visa and 奨学金 expire (march 2010) and I was wondering whether it`s possible to get a job (apart from language teaching) at a publishing house or maybe a trading company that has strong connections with Italy. I have no practical experience, just got 日本語能力試験一級 and BJLT (A). Working now on the translation of a novel from Japanese into Italian.
Please give me some advice if you can. (For example useful information on how foreigners are selected or what kind of tests big companies use to check 新卒`s skills) Thank you
 

Glenski

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Personally, I think you are really only qualified for some entry level translation work and perhaps some more tour work. Your 1-kyu Japanese ability is definitely an asset, but it's not considered 100% fluent, and with no other real experience, what do you have to offer a company that a local Japanese person can't do? See if some Italian companies have branches here and work the reverse route back to Italy if that is where you are headed, or see if their Japan branches are hiring, instead of looking up Japanese companies with branches in Italy.

Ads in The Japan Times (online and paper editions are different) pop up occasionally for translators/rewriters. They are competitive, of course, but if you don't try, you will never know.

See what Terrie Lloyd has to say at www.daijob.com .
 
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thanks for replying

Of course I know I can`t aim at anything but an entry position with almost no work experience. I actually know two people in my same condition that managed to enter Japanese companies (Daiwa shoken 大和證券 and Panasonic) last year (and are still there:) just following the 就職活動 procedure: applying for entry tests, going for interviews etc. Well I`m aware of the fact that the only thing I can actually do at the present stage and the Japanese can`t is translating from Japanese into Italian, and there must be other Italian translators out there...still I doubt there are so many people with an A in the business Japanese test and a 2級 in the Kanji test (japanese college student-japanese employee kanji knowledge standard) Btw I`ll start looking actively for something. Thanks
 

Chidoriashi

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Personally I find for most Japanese, effectively being able to translate J>E is quite a rare talent. The person best qualified to translate J>E, is a native English speaker fluent in Japanese, hands down.
 

tokapi

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The person best qualified to translate J>E, is a native English speaker fluent in Japanese, hands down.

.... include fluent bilingual Nikkeijins 日系人 grew up in US or English-speaking countries,I have met one ( language exchange partner ) possesses such talent.
 
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.... include fluent bilingual Nikkeijins 窶愿コナ地ツ人 grew up in US or English-speaking countries,I have met one ( language exchange partner ) possesses such talent.
But, wouldn't that mean they were in fact an English native speaker?

Just like the other way around, if a foriegner was to grow up here from birth or a very early age, that would make them a native Japanese speaker.
 

tokapi

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Hmmm ... there is unspoken prejudice,people often doubt proficiency nativeness of Asian-background English speakers as it always prevails.
 

orochi

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.... include fluent bilingual Nikkeijins 窶愿コナ地ツ人 grew up in US or English-speaking countries,I have met one ( language exchange partner ) possesses such talent.

Ethnicity is irrelevant. The issue is language ability, and whether you're a native or not.
 

uchimizu

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Hi,

while working in Japan, I met many japanese people who went to the US/UK as a college student, and, as a result, can speak good English, and certainly translate J>E and E>J well enough for most company tasks. They can also interact efficiently with both Japanese and English people.

So I am not sure Japanese language skills would be enough to base a career on.

Ethnicity is irrelevant. The issue is language ability, and whether you're a native or not.
 

JerseyBoy

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If you want to earn above the average Japanese workers, you would need to bring something valuable to the employers. Typically, Japanese companies don't offer the good salary when you are young. The non-Japanese companies tend to offer you a better benefit as they evaluate their workers based on performance and future potential. In that case, a foreign language skill (such as speaking English fluently) is a given in Japan. As long as you have the Japanese language skill at the high school level, I think you are on par with your competition in Japan.
 

JimmySeal

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(For example useful information on how foreigners are selected or what kind of tests big companies use to check ツ新窶伉イ`s skills)

The main test for ツ新窶伉イ applicants is called the SPI. It originally tested ツ坂?佛津ェ and 窶板敘地(math, physics, logic, etc.) but now includes sections for social studies, English, creativity, and other things.
Many companies also require tests on ヒ?ェ窶敕環湘ュナスツッ, basically the five main academic subjects (Social Studies, Math, Science, Japanese, English).
You can find a plethora of SPI and ヒ?ェ窶敕環湘ュナスツッ prep books in the ツ就ツ職 section of any bookstore.

You may find that a lot of companies are only willing to take on ツ新窶伉イ that are literally ツ新窶伉イ (that is, graduating in March 2009), and the application process for those would have begun about a month ago. Seems like a very myopic way of thinking to me, but that's the way it is.
 

JerseyBoy

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You may find that a lot of companies are only willing to take on ツ新窶伉イ that are literally ツ新窶伉イ (that is, graduating in March 2009), and the application process for those would have begun about a month ago. Seems like a very myopic way of thinking to me, but that's the way it is.
Even in this age of global competition, many traditional Japanese companies are still practicing that. When I came back to Japan after years of my overseas living, I did not even bother to consider joining a Japanese company. I went to straight to a foreign-owned company in Japan. I did not take that elevator a typical Japanese college grad takes when he/she enters the corporate world in Japan.
 

furio

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Hi, me and my girlfriend are seriously considering leaving Belgium for Japan.
We both graduate this year (I'm in PR, Marketing..., she's a nutritionist).

I have a strong computer literacy (I always been on it + I did 2 year in college but then I decided that I couldnt do it all my life) I can program in delphi.
Work experience.. well aside stuff like waiter,... I used to sell pension plans, I did many internships (also in the Belgium Japan association), some with excellent reviews about my skills and potentialities.

I speak fluently French Italian Spanish English and I know some Dutch German and Japanese (I intend to improve up to conversation level)

My girlfriend speaks French, Italian and a bit of English. she's willing to improve her English and take intense classes of Japanese before leaving. She's ready to start as a waitress or language teacher before finding something in her field (like some kind of medical assistence...).

So, I please ask your opinion and experience about this:

Do I have any chance to find a good job from here? so I can leave with a proper visa, a guarantor to find a place and a good income?

Or We should just leave with a working holiday thing and some money in our pockets (like after working a year here) and hope for the best?

We really don't wanna get stuck in teaching jobs.
 
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