Is Japanese your first, second or third foreign language?

Japanese would be my first foreign language. Being from India I am fluent in 2 languages (English and Hindi), which for most part, most Indians are fluent in nowadays. I can also speak a local language “Garhwali” as it’s my mother tongue. I also had Sanskrit in middle school but I didn’t had any interest in learning it at that time sooo… now I can just read and maybe understand few words here and there.

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I have learned three Indian Languages growing up along with English (in school). So in a way my first time learning a foreign language, not counting English as one …

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Italian is my native language. When I was 6 yo my grandma taught me a bit of Russian (I can only listen to it now, can’t even talk properly).
Here in Italy we are taught English from elementary school to high school (doing my third year out of five).
In middle school we learn a third foreign language other than English and that can be French or Spanish, and I did French in those 3 years.
So, summarizing, I “know” 4 languages (which 2 I can only understand a bit) and Japanese is my fifth.

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That’s why I asked about your FIRST FOREIGN language. Your first language is your native language. Your second language, or first foreign language, is English for many of us here (since if English is your first/native language it’s not a foreign language to you). Second foreign language for most Europeans is another European language (French, German, Spanish). Japanese is usually the third, fourth or more foreign language for Europeans. I though it would be interesting to see what languages the international members of WK knew!


the poll results are interesting ^^ i didn’t expect fully half of the respondents to be on their third (or more) foreign language. though considering how international WK is, it shouldn’t be surprising…

you also managed to draw out a lot of first-time posters!

welcome all you new posters! i hope to see you all around the forums! :smiley:


That’s a very good point! I’d not derail a thread just to welcome one person, but ten…

\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

@MaineJ, @CatUribe, @NrkoChouchou, @alexandraidv, @Aemilii, @milvmak, @MetaMorForz, @mxhoward, @Maraakis, @Maharetina

Even if you may have been a member for a while and aren’t really new hehe
welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already…
…which you may have been diligent and awesome enough to do!

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you…
…that you’ve likewise probably already seen, but it still worth mentiioning!

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resource List
The New and Improved List of API and Third-Party Apps

I hope that you continue to enjoy WaniKani that your worship of the Crabigator is eternal!


ありがとう! How kind of you to notice us!


Have been lurking for a while, but I’m quite shy haha. Seemed to have gotten a confidence boost yesterday :joy:


I see a lot of natively bilingual people here too so it’s hard to say where English would fit. I listed it together with my native language since I don’t remember learning either of them. I just grew up knowing both.

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Native English here :wave:
Is it easier to learn additional foreign languages after you’ve done the first one, because your brain is used to learning in that way? I did French and Spanish (briefly) at school, and have been mixing them up even since so I feel I’d just get confused.


It happened a lot to me when I was a child, I was always confusing English and Russian.

Second foreign language.
Native German, obviously English second and Japanese third.
I don’t think I’m interested in another one :sweat_smile:

Technically Japanese is my fifth foreign language.

I grew up listening to Welsh, but I can’t speak it which I’d say is my second language. I learnt French, Spanish, and German in school and college but I never used them.

But Japanese is the only one other than English I’m any level of proficient in.

Edit: turns out I can’t even speak my first language xo

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I mixed Japanese and Spanish when I was in high school (could not read Japanese) and i already knew English by that point. I think it is easy to mix until you have a good understanding of the new language, i have never mixed English and Japanese. personally I only think that it is more easy to learn a new language if you have studied similar languages before.

ありがとうございます !

Similar to @MaineJ, I decided to start getting involved instead of lurking yesterday :rofl:


My native language is English. French was compulsory at secondary school, but I never actually learnt the language, so I wouldn’t count it as my first foreign language. I do like how the French language sounds, but I had absolutely no interest in learning it and barely remembered any of it while I was at school. As soon as I walked out of that final exam, I never used it again and forgot what little of it I did know lmao. So now, Japanese is my first and only foreign language.

Yes, hugely easier.

I have a slightly different take on this.

Learning multiple languages cures you of the assumption that there will be a one-to-one correspondence between vocabulary in two different languages. You are on the alert for different senses of words, different ways of expressing things, and different grammatical forms.

You will never again assume that the same word will be used for ‘play’ when you play a game, play an instrument, or play a trick on someone, or for ‘know’ when you know a person, know a fact, or know how to do a skill, or for ‘tell’ when you tell a story, tell someone how to behave, tell two things apart, or tell a lie.

Learning multiple languages increases your personal inventory of grammatical concepts, so you are not caught unawares when you need to distinguish between, say, transitive and intransitive verbs.

It also deepens your understanding of the grammar of your native language. There are many features of English grammar that I learned from studying foreign languages: direct and indirect objects, active and passive voice, indicative and subjunctive mood, participles and gerunds, etc.

Knowing multiple languages trains your ear to recognize foreign sounds, such as voiced or unvoiced consonants (and whether they are aspirated or unaspirated, velarized or palatalized, etc.), and front or back vowels (and whether they are rounded or unrounded, oral or nasal, etc.). It opens your mind to new systems of phonology that you never dreamed of, such as vowel harmony and consonant gradation.

Learning a tonal language trains your brain to control the pitch contours of your voice. It is easier to learn to hear and produce pitch accent in Japanese if you can already hear and produce the tones of Mandarin Chinese.

In my experience, the more languages you learn, the easier it is to learn another language, even if it is unrelated.


I’m Norwegian too! And, of cause, English is my second.
I had German in school for a year, can understand no more than basics, so don’t count it as a “language I know”
At the same time I can read full books in Swedish and Danish and hold conversations with them (though I don’t try to speak their words, even though I know some) so doesn’t count either, unless wishing to claim polyglot! :crazy_face:
In all seriousness I only count Norwegian and English as languages I know, Japanese as one I am learning, the others as “related so I happen to understand some” :wink:

Because of my one year + being a related language and some exposure I might be on same level in German and Japanese at the moment (mostly cause Japanese is so far from my own and German so close)
If reading a Japanese text vs a German I would probably catch about the same ^^;

It’s my 1rd language


Japanese is my first and I’m nervous to start learning another before I “perfect” my Japanese which will actually never happen. I’ve dabbled in Tagalog but apparently I pronounce things “with a Japanese accent” lol. Would love to start learning Spanish or Arabic.