• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Language Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Minor code JPNS-MIN

Japanese is the national language of Japan, a nation that is not only one of Australia's major trading partners, but is also a country with which many young Australians have deep personal ties. Japanese is the most popular foreign language in Australian schools and universities and the depth of the ties between Australia and Japan mean that knowledge of the language will be a valuable asset for many years to come. Studying Japanese as a minor can have many linguistic and cultural benefits that reach well beyond the classroom.

Students in this minor can spend time studying at one of the twenty-plus tertiary institutions in Japan with which the ANU has ties. This can be done either through intensive in-country study in the summer break, or through the Semester in Japan program. Competitive scholarships are available to qualified students.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Use an active spoken vocabulary of around 600 items, and a passive vocabulary of around 1200 items;
  2. Use an active written vocabulary of around 300 kanji and a passive vocabulary of around 500 kanji;  
  3. Use grammatical points and constructions necessary to produce and comprehend various basic sentences in both spoken and written Japanese;
  4. Read and compose 1200 character long passages on topics including family, daily routines, interpersonal relationships, cultural traditions, and everyday life;

  5. Communicate in both writing and speaking using strategies to produce natural colloquial Japanese;
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of socio-cultural issues in past and present Japanese society, including such topics as social structures, traditional arts and crafts, and everyday life. 

Other Information

Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language proficiency assessment to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level. 


Relevant past experience includes:

  • Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example, but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)
  • Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend
  • Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken
  • The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)


Students who are not sure if they need to take a proficiency assessment should seek advice from the course or language convenor. 


Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may result in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.


Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convenor.

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This minor requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

24 units from completion of courses in the following list:

JPNS1012 Japanese 1: Spoken (6 units)

JPNS1014 Japanese 1: Written (6 units)

JPNS2003 Japanese 2: Spoken (6 units)

JPNS2005 Japanese 2: Written (6 units)

JPNS2012 Japanese 3 (6 units)

JPNS2013 Japanese 4 (6 units)

JPNS3001 Japanese 5 (6 units)

JPNS3002 Japanese 6 (6 units)

JPNS2024 Japanese Grammar and Expressions (6 units)

JPNS3005 Advanced Japanese: Issues in Contemporary Japan (6 units)

JPNS3006 Advanced Japanese: Language in Context (6 units)

JPNS3007 Advanced Japanese: Readings in Culture and Society (6 units)

JPNS3008 Advanced Japanese: Readings in Literature (6 units)

JPNS3012 Teaching Japanese: Content (6 units)

JPNS3013 Japanese - English Translation (6 units)

JPNS3014 Teaching Japanese: Method (6 units)

JPNS3023 Research Topics in Japanese: History & Society (6 units)

JPNS3024 Research Topics in Japanese: International Relations & Politics (6 units)

JPNS2525 Learning Language Locally: Japan (6 units)

JPNS3102 Debating Japan: Contemporary Intellectual Debates (6 units)

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