The image of the need for foreign languages, such as English, tends to be preceded by the international crown, as in “international” political science and “international” relations.
As a matter of fact, I would like to summarize my opinion on whether foreign languages are essential when studying international relations.
1. Information on international relations is better in foreign media
Many people may use Reuters or Yahoo News to gather information about international relations.
However, I think if you actually gather information, I think that you know, but because the “information volume” is insufficient, it is difficult to determine what caused the event in the article content to occur.
This is not limited to articles on international relations, but only “events” and “results” are plainly written, so in the end, we can not understand the background is not in another source .
If this is the case, it is more efficient to access the media with rich information from the beginning.
Unfortunately, in the media written in Japanese, we can not find any details of international relations in detail (To overcome this, this site is “Japan’s information on international relations” Aims to be a well-developed media).
As far as I know, the media with sufficient information is “BBC.”
The BBC is like NHK in the UK, and covers a wide range of information from the international relations in Europe, as well as the situation in the Middle East, the situation in Africa, and the situation in Asia.
Although there is also a Japanese-language version of the BBC website, please be aware that not all BBC articles are translated here.
The ability to read BBC articles can improve the quality of information gathering.
Of course, BBC does not say everything. However, at present, there is no media that has more international news than BBC (and it can be viewed free of charge), so we can not but rely on this.
2. Get information from local media
For example, when examining the relationship between Spain and Italy, it is good to use the BBC to obtain information, but if information on local media is available, it will dominate the information war.
Taking Japan as an example, if you look at the foreign policy of the Abe Cabinet, you can get quite detailed information if you read the Japanese newspaper.
Get “local” information and use it for “global” analysis.
Now that the accuracy of Google translation has improved, the outline of the information can be obtained just by applying the translation, but to understand subtle nuances, knowledge of foreign languages is still required.
If you are researching in a particular country, you should always be able to read the language of that country. This is not limited to those who have studied international relations and international politics.
I think that there are various opinions in the acquisition of foreign languages.
In my own opinion, when I study international relations and international politics, I think that learning is essential because I can not collect information properly without knowledge of foreign languages.
However, it depends on what level oneself seeks.
If you don’t feel comfortable with self-studying, you may spend time learning foreign languages.
Depending on whether you can read a foreign language, it can be asserted that “the amount of information that can be obtained is different”, this is 100% fact.