In Australia, community colleges are non-profit institutions that provide courses, often in the evening or on weekends, that run at most for a couple of months. This is the one I started learning Japanese at.

How would I describe such a college, or the courses it runs, in Japanese?

  • Community college って文化センターみたいなところですよね…資格講座とかやってる… Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 5:43
  • 1
    In Western Australia at least, I only know of one major "community college" and when talked about in Japanese it usually becomes 専門学校 not unusually because it offers High School level bridging courses and then equivalent University level classes. It is of note that depending on the course studies, these credits are redeemable at universities (at least within WA). Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 0:07
  • @TheWanderingCoder should I change it to "Japanese for NSW-style community colleges", and add a tag of ニューサウスウェールズ弁? :O
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 1:21
  • I wouldn't call it a dialect, just a different way the same word is used. I would change the explanation to "In New South Wales (Australia), ..." rather than Australia as a whole. The rest of the question is fine. Of course the changes are up to you. I was just pointing out that this isn't an Australia-wide usage. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


If the courses offered at Australian "community colleges" are accredited and the credits earned at those schools are transferrable to other "normal" universities, then Japan does not have a counterpart for such schools.

If the courses offered at such schools are not accredited in Down Under, then we have at least somewhat "similar" schools (even though we do not consider them to be real schools).

The names differ from one town/area to another, but those are commonly called 「[生涯学習]{しょうがいがくしゅう}センター」、「[文化]{ぶんか}センター」、「文化サロン」、「コミュニティーセンター」, etc. Many are publicly run and some are privately run. 

To be honest, I have little knowledge of Down Under myself, but I have a feeling that your "commuinity colleges" might probably be more "serious" and/or "academic" than the places in Japan for which I just introduced the names.

When you want to talk to Japanese-speakers about your community colleges, I might suggest that you use 「コミュニティーカレッジ」 and add a little explanation. In your explanation, you might want to say something like 「日本でいう『生涯学習センター』のようなところです。」. That way, you could best avoid misunderstanding.

  • As background, community colleges are like those in the second paragraph, not like those in the first paragraph.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 6:48
  • Even if they don't provide credits, I would still doubt they are as informal as the ones I've seen in Japan.
    – virmaior
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 7:59
  • I think you need to specify by state because it sounds like we have a drastically different model over West. In WA it is definately more like the first paragraph. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 0:30

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