So the question is, is it worth it to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test?
As it turns out, the nearest location where it is offered is about 6 and a half hours away, and I figured that simply wasn’t worth it in either time or money. If I got a job benefit out of it, then, sure, but I’m really learning Japanese just for the fun of it. (Don’t laugh. It really is fun.)
Then my wife said that we could make a fun date weekend out of it, spend a couple of nights in a hotel, see the sights and so on.
The only advantage to me of taking the test would be to give me a solid sense of where I’m at in my language studies.
The advantages of having a nice date weekend with my wife in an interesting location speak for themselves.
So now I’m wondering if I should do it…
For anyone who doesn’t know: The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験 Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken), or JLPT, is a standardized criterion-referenced test to evaluate and certify Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers, covering language knowledge, reading ability, and listening ability. The test is held twice a year in Japan and selected countries (on the first Sunday of July and December), and once a year in other regions (on the first Sunday of December). (I just lifted that from Wikipedia, in case you’re wondering.)
The lowest level is the N5. Which covers:
The ability to understand some basic Japanese.
- ・One is able to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji.
- ・One is able to listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and is able to pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.
(I lifted that from the official JLPT website.)
There is also a apparently grammar component, such as multiple choice select-the-right-particle questions. To make it more interesting, as far as I can tell, there don’t seem to be official lists of the vocabulary, Kanji and grammar that are required, but there are plenty of websites out there that make reasonable guesses.
So, has anybody taken the JLPT or does anyone plan to take the JLPT?
Obviously, I don’t need it, but, hey, you never know, I suppose. There might be some future date when being able to document Japanese proficiency might be helpful.