The JLPT Is a Much Bigger Deal than I’d Thought [Summary]

This is a summary of the debut post from Alex Farrell‘s blog, “The Kyoto Linguist“, discussing the Japanese language, translation, travel writing and more. The original article is here.


When Alex Farrell, a creative translator and travel writer based in Kyoto, Japan, recently posted on LinkedIn about having passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), the response from his network and the wider LinkedIn community took him quite by surprise. Within some 24 hours of uploading the post, it received about 17,000 views, over 300 reactions and more than 30 comments. Alex also got 50-plus requests to connect.

This doesn’t quite count as going viral, but it was a big deal to Alex because he is a fairly passive LinkedIn user whose profile typically gets only a couple views a week. The unexpected response motivated him to finally do something he’d been pondering for some time: start up a professional-looking blog to share his experiences, insights and lessons learned the hard way during his 16 years in Japan and 11 years as a freelance Japanese-to-English translator.

To supplement the blog, entitled “The Kyoto Linguist” and published through Svbtle (not a typo), he also started up accounts at Twitter and Instagram.

This first post by The Kyoto Linguist is the initial step toward gauging just how much interest there is in anecdotes about the profession of a Japanese linguist, language studies, travel in Japan and other relevant topics that may come up along the way.