Japanese Language Courses

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Students learning Japanese

Modern Japanese

Note: Students who have studied Japanese at another institution or have a Japanese language background must take the University of Iowa Placement/Proficiency Test for the purpose of placement in the Japanese language program. To take the test, please contact Claire Frances at claire-frances@uiowa.edu. Then, make an appointment with Professor Yumiko Nishi (Japanese Language Coordinator) to discuss the written report of your test scores.

JPNS:1001 First-Year Japanese:  First Semester    5 s.h.
GE:  World Languages.  Offered fall semesters.
No experience in Japanese is required.  This course is an introductory course in modern Japanese with emphasis on speaking, listening, reading and writing.  It focuses on developing skills in producing and comprehending modern Japanese.  The goal of the course is to master fundamental linguistic forms and function of Japanese.  Evaluation is based on a student's performance in class, homework assignments, quizzes and tests. There are daily homework assignments and frequent quizzes.

JPNS:1002 First-Year Japanese:  Second Semester    5 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:1001.  GE:  World Languages. Offered spring semesters.
This course is a continuation of the introductory course in modern Japanese with emphasis on speaking, listening, reading and writing.  It focuses on expanding skills in producing and comprehending modern Japanese.  The goal of the course is to master fundamental linguistic forms and function of Japanese.  Evaluation is based on a student's performance in class, homework assignments, quizzes, and tests.  There are daily homework assignments and frequent quizzes.

JPNS:1030 Japanese for Travelers    2 s.h.
Basic, practical language and social skills that travelers or visitors need in everyday situations, such as making self introductions, ordering food, asking for directions, and traveling by train; Japanese culture, manners and customs, major cities and tourist attractions; for students with no previous experience of Japanese who plan to travel in Japan or would like a practical introduction to the language and culture.

JPNS:2001  Second-Year Japanese:  First Semester    5 s.h.
Prerequisite JPNS:1002 or equivalent as demonstrated in written and oral examinations.  GE:  World Languages.  Offered fall semesters.
This course aims at continuous development of the four basic skills of communication.  While reviewing the basic grammar, expressions, and characters covered in the First Year Japanese, the course helps students expand their structural as well as sociolinguistic knowledge of the language.  Our goal is to establish the ability to be able to communicate everyday needs in common conversational situations and the ability to read and write simple memos, letters, and essays.

JPNS:2002 Second-Year Japanese:  Second Semester    5 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:2001 or equivalent as demonstrated in written and oral examinations. GE:  World Languages.  Offered spring semesters.
This is a continuation of the first semester of Second-Year Japanese.  It focuses on developing the fundamental skills in communicating in Japanese and the awareness of different styles and levels of speech.

JPNS:3001 Third-Year Japanese I    4 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:2002 or equivalent as demonstrated in written and oral examinations. 
Intermediate level Japanese; focus on speaking, listening, reading, writing.  Offered fall semesters.

JPNS:3002 Third-Year Japanese II    4 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:3001 or equivalent as demonstrated in written and oral examinations.  
This course is a continuation of JPNS:3001.  Offered spring semesters.

JPNS:4001 Fourth-Year Japanese I    3 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:3002 or equivalent as demonstrated in written and oral examinations.
Advanced level Japanese; focus on reading, writing,speaking, listening.  Offered fall semesters.

JPNS:4002 Fourth-Year Japanese II    3 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:4001 or equivalent as demonstrated in written and oral examinations.  
This course is a continuation of JPNS:4002.  Offered spring semesters.

JPNS:3500 Japanese for Professional Purposes I    3 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:3001 or permission of instructor.  Offered spring semesters.

Introduction to essential linguistic skills and practical knowledge needed to effectively communicate in Japanese in various professional contexts in socially appropriate manners; business-related expressions, vocabulary, honorifics; development of skills utilizing them in verbal and written notes; sociocultural knowledge associated with Japanese business context, including manners and customs; readings, films, discussions.

JPNS:3501 Japanese for Professional Purposes II    3 s.h.
Prerequisite:  JPNS:3500  Offered fall semesters.

Advanced linguistic skills needed to become an effective communicator in various professional settings; develop a deeper understanding of Japanese business culture; improve intercultural communication and problem-solving skills; for students interested in working in Japan or using Japanese at work.

Classical Japanese

JPNS:3107 Classical Japanese: First Semester    3 s.h.
Prerequisite: JPNS:3002.  Consent of instructor required.

Introduction to the basic grammatical and stylistic elements of classical or "literary" Japanese through close reading of literary texts. Substantial emphasis is placed on mastery of the grammatical system, but students also gain insight into the historical development of the writing system, narrative conventions, and syntax of Japanese that are helpful in further study of the modern language.  Especially recommended for students interested in teaching Japanese.  Readings include selections from various tests, primarily of the Heian and Kamakura periods.  Requirements of the course include regular attendance, several in-class exams during the course of the term, and a final exam.

Japanese Linguistics

JPNS:3128 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics    3 s.h.
Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics; enhanced understanding of basic structural features of the Japanese language. Prerequisites: 39J:008, 39J:009, and 39J:010.

JPNS:3401 Language in Japanese Society    3 s.h.
Students develop a basic knowledge of social-cultural aspects of the Japanese language and try to see through the stereotypes and myths of Japanese culture in order to better understand both Japanese culture(s) and their own.

JPNS:3402 Japan: Culture and Communication    3 s.h.
Introduces aspects of Japanese culture and communication to students interested in Japanese studies, languages, or international studies.

Japanese Literature and Culture

JPNS:1506 Asian Humanities: Japan    3 s.h.

JPNS:3201 Japanese Literary Translation    3 s.h. 
Workshop in translation from Japanese to English, with emphasis on literary translation; issues in theory and practice of translation; special features of Japanese as a source language for translation. Prerequisite: JPNS:1103 or equivalent.

JPNS:3202 Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation    3 s.h.
From seventh century to early modern times.

JPNS:3203 Modern Japanese Fiction in Translation    3 s.h.
Nineteenth century to present. Same as CL:3203.

JPNS:3204 Topics in Japanese Literature in Translation    3 s.h.
Content varies. May be repeated.

JPNS:3205 Major Authors in Modern Japanese Literature    3 s.h.
Soseki, Ogai, Kafu, Tanizaki, Abe, Oe; major works in English translation.

JPNS:3206 Warriors' Dreams    3 s.h.
Images of the warrior in traditional Japanese literature, from poetry of the eighth century to romances of the 19th century; readings in English.

JPNS:3207 Japan Illuminated: Lit & Visual Culture    3 s.h.
 

JPNS:3208 Japanese Film    3 s.h.
 

JPNS:3210 Japanese Theater    3 s.h.
 

JPNS:3601 Contemporary Japanese Culture    3 s.h.
 

JPNS:4201 The Tale of Genji    3 s.h.
Close reading in English of Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji; literary and social contexts; later reception.

Other Japan-related Courses

JPNS:1115 Japanese Religions    3 s.h.

JPNS:2175 Japanese Society and Culture    3 s.h.
GE: foreign civilization and culture. Same as ANTH:2175.

JPNS:2250 Introduction to the Art of Japan    3 s.h.

JPNS:2360 Japanese Religion & Thought    3 s.h.

JPNS:3135 Postmodern Aesthetics & Japanese Culture    3 s.h.

JPNS:3260 Japanese Painting    3 s.h.
Same as ARTH:3260.

JPNS:3601 Contemporary Japanese Culture    3 s.h.
Cultural texts and practices in contemporary Japan: literature, film, television, manga.

JPNS:3700 Topics in Global Cinema    3 s.h.

JPNS:4610 Japan - Age of the Samurai    3 s.h.

JPNS:4615 Modern Japan    3 s.h.

JPNS:4620 Japan-US Relations    3 s.h.

Individual Study for Advanced Students

ASIA:4301 Honors Tutorial    arr.

ASIA:4506 Senior Honors Thesis    arr.

ASIA:4508 Asian Studies    arr.
May be repeated.

JPNS:5902 Individual Japanese for Advanced Students    arr.
May be repeated.