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Japanese Area & Courses


We currently offer a minor in Japanese. We do not currently offer a one-language major track or certificate program in Japanese.  Upper-level Japanese courses may be used as the secondary language to complete the Two-Language major option, or in conjunction with the Language and Cultural Studies option.
Minor in Japanese Language and Culture (18 credits)

•  3 credits: one MLL core course (MLL 190, 191, 230, 301; note: MLL 230 and 301 must be taken at UMBC)
•  6 credits: two upper level Japanese language courses:

•  JPNS 301
•  JPNS 302

•   9 credits in JPNS or MLL electives (3 credits must be JPNS):

•  JPNS 309
•  JPNS 319
•  MLL 317
•  MLL 327
•  MLL 333

•  An MLL topics course (or course in another discipline) relevant to Japanese language and culture, with the approval of the MLLI department

Check the undergraduate catalog for further details.  See the Class Schedule for courses currently offered.  
JPNS 101
Elementary Japanese I
An introduction to Japanese language and culture. Focus on basic grammatical patterns to handle specific conversational situations and to read and write simple passages using Hiragana, Katakana and some kanji. After successfully complete this course, students are able to understand short, simple utterances in specific context, exchange greetings, name a number of familiar objects within their immediate environment, for example, daily life, family, etc.
JPNS 102
Elementary Japanese II
Continuation of JPNS101. Emphasis on 4 basic skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing within the context of students’ immediate surroundings, for example, comparing two or more items, expressing opinions, reasoning, informal speech and etc. Continue introducing new kanji. After successfully completing this course, students are able to understand short, simple utterances in specific contexts, respond to simple, direct questions, or requests for information.
JPNS 201
Intermediate Japanese I
Building on the grammar patterns and vocabulary covered through JPNS 102, this course focuses on language use in a wide range of situations, including polite expression in formal situations. Students will explore different use of language depending on the situation by speaking, listening, reading and writing as well as incorporating cultural concepts.
JPNS 202
Intermediate Japanese II
This is the second sequence in the Intermediate Japanese. Continued emphasis on complex sentence structures to prepare the students for expressing their opinions in Japanese. Students’ critical thinking is encouraged to understand Japanese culture and society deeply by introducing authentic materials on specific topics.
JPNS 301
Advanced Japanese I
This is the first of a two-course sequence for Advanced Japanese. This course focuses on further developing four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) with emphasis on expressing their views on a range of topics, including socio-cultural issues and current events. The course includes such activities as formal presentations, discussions, intensive readings, and report writings in Japanese as well as kanji practice.
JPNS 302
Advanced Japanese II
This is the second of a two-course sequence for Advanced Japanese. This course focuses on continuing development of four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) with emphasis on expressing their views on a range of topics, including socio-cultural issues and current events. In addition to regular oral practice, this course has an increasing emphasis on cultural aspect of the language use. The course includes such activities as formal presentations, discussions, intensive readings, and report writings in Japanese as well as kanji practice.
JPNS 309
Business Japanese
Students acquire advanced oral and writing skills along with specific terminology used in a diverse range of business fields in Japan. In addition to language use, students learn proper business etiquette and culture in specific situations by role-playing, mock interviews, formal presentations , intensive reading and descriptive writing. They are also required to think critically about the relationship between practice and perspective in Japanese business culture.
JPNS 319
Japanese Translation
This course prepares students for translating materials from Japanese into English. After learning translating techniques and terminology, students practice translating short documents covering many fields and disciplines. For their Final Project, they will choose a document in the discipline of their choice to translate.
MLL 317
Images of Society in Contemporary Japanese Films
This course examines various contemporary Japanese films by focusing on the relationship between the films and Japanese culture and society. It includes diverse genres and styles to enhance students¿ critical thinking skills. Taught in English. No Knowledge of Japanese required. Recommended preparation: MLL190, 191, 230 or 301.
MLL 327
Modern Japanese Culture
This course examines modern Japanese culture, including family structure, daily life, regional variations, interpersonal and intercultural communication, education from nursery school to college, the traditional arts still practiced in modern Japan and the development of popular youth culture. Students will deepen their understanding through cross-cultural role playing, hands-on experience with the arts and field trips. The course is taught in English.
MLL 333
Japanese Food Culture
This course examines many aspects of Japanese food culture, including history, cultural rules, special/religious events, environment, globalization, etc. The students will investigate how Japanese food illustrates the society and culture by critically analyzing various forms of food related texts. Throughout the semester the students will explore their own food cultures then compare and contrast them to Japanese food culture to hypothesize reasons for the similarities/differences among them. Recommended preparation: ASIA100 or any 100, 200 level of culture course.


Links for Japanese writing paper:
Beginner Writing Paper
Intermediate Writing Paper
Advanced Writing Paper
Furigana Writing Paper


For further information about the MLLI Japanese program, please contact Japanese area coordinator 
Dr. Tomoko Hoogenboom.