Japanese : Overview

Department of Linguistics

Contact Information

College of Arts and Sciences
609 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1030

Phone: 716.645.2177
Fax: 716.645.3825
Web Address: japanese.buffalo.edu
Jean-Pierre Koenig
Mitsuaki Shimojo
Program Director


This area of study is available as a special major through the College of Arts and Sciences. It is not a separately registered degree program. Refer to the Special Majors section (/1112/academicprograms/spma.shtml) for more information. For information on the minor, contact the department.

While English continues to be the primary language for international communication, the Japanese language is acquiring status as a major foreign language, particularly for those who aspire to pursue relationships with East Asia as well as Japan. The Japanese language is spoken by the entire population of Japan - about 125 million - and ranks ninth among the languages of the world in terms of the number of native speakers. It is also studied widely as a foreign language in East Asia. Contrary to a common belief that asserts the uniqueness of the Japanese language, it is a very typical human language with respect to grammatical structure.

The Japanese curriculum provides a solid foundation for an understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse culture of Japan. The language, culture, linguistics, and pedagogy courses offered are useful to students who aspire to an East Asia-related academic or professional career in education, government, communications, or business, as well as in other fields in the United States and abroad.

The curriculum of the Japanese program includes:
Courses designed to develop or improve competence in spoken and written Japanese through the advanced level;
Courses on Japanese culture, linguistics and pedagogy;
Courses that examine Japanese business culture and vocabulary, and science and technology topics in Japanese.

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:02:33 EST