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Exposure to Japanese language and culture opens doors to one of the world's most exciting countries. In this course, you will learn to speak the Japanese language while developing an understanding of the cultural context for communication. You will be immersed in the language and culture within the classroom setting so you can develop some degree of comfort in speaking and comprehending. We will discuss cultural facets to be aware of when communicating in Japanese, and nuance in various communication settings, an excellent skill whether traveling or doing business. The main focus of this course is to enable you to obtain basic information necessary to communicate in everyday situations. Therefore, vocabulary, expressions and sentence patterns are carefully selected so that the language learned can be put to immediate use in conversational situations. Rather than stressing rote memorization or grammar translation, instruction will emphasize the development of communicative competence in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere. You will participate in various classroom activities, such as: role-plays, turn-and-talk, small group discussions, surveys, etc., to improve your communication skills. Listening and speaking skills are emphasized, although you will also be introduced to Hiragana characters. The class is designed for true beginners. No previous knowledge of Japanese is required.

What You Will Learn:

  • An introduction to the basics of Japanese including: action verbs and the phonetic syllabary called, “Hiragana.” 
  • Standard greetings, numbers, dates and currency, and how to utilize basic verbs in conversational Japanese.
  • Simple present tense; how to introduce yourself and others, ask the prices of items, and talk about when, where, and how you will go somewhere.


Hear from students


Learning to communicate in a Foreign Language can be fun. UC San Diego Extension's Foreign Language students share their insights and reasons for learning a foreign language from us.


Quarters Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer | In-class
Course Fee: $320
Prerequisite: None
To Continue Progress in this Series: Japanese for Communication II

Contact: For more information about this course, please email:  

Course Number: LAJA-40000
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)

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