Tell me your WHY!


I started making video games as a hobby when I was in middle school, and I kept with it through high school. In high school, our only two choices for language were French and Spanish, but I wanted to learn Japanese. Why? I wanted to make a career out of making video games, so learning Japanese, home of Nintendo and the Playstation, seemed like the best choice. Well, nothing came from it until my third year of college. In my third year of college, I took two semesters of Japanese, and taking Japanese classes and hanging out with my new Japanese friends that semester had some of the best memories of my entire college career. Now, post-college, I’m studying Japanese on my own, and I want to vacation to Japan this upcoming summer.

So in summary, because it’s fun, has good memories attached to it, and is a good goal for this summer. But boy, oh boy, it is seeming more and more ambitious, lol.


My Croatian friend was like “Americans are stupid” and he was a pervy weeb who was learning Japanese so I decided to try it, I continued because I figured things could go two ways, I’ll get jobs easier or i’ll be called to try to move Japan out of that >1% christian slot, since then I’ve worked a lot through tae kim’s grammer guide and I recently found this site, anime was pretty fun for a while and now I only watch one show per season except for Daganronpa


Originally, I started learning Japanese because I wanted to play those awesome Japanese video games that aren’t translated to English. Then as I learned more and more, I fell in love with the culture and basically anything and everything that is Japan (and food!!!). I still want to play those video games, but now I’m also here just because I absolutely love the language and culture. My favorite part is actually the kanji because I just think it is so pretty and now I’m thinking that once I’ve gotten comfortable with Japanese, I may try Korean or Chinese (leaning towards Korean) afterwards!


I’m learning Japanese because I wanted to do my Master’s degree abroad as there aren’t a lot of good opportunities for study in my field in my home country. So I took a semester of Japanese and I found Japanese difficult but interesting and fun. I’m enjoying anime now as well.

Now, I’m one year through my master’s in Japan, but my japanese is still at a beginner level despite interacting with my lab mates every day. I could probably pass the N5, but I’ve been too arrogant and have instead tried the N4 twice. What I lacked most the second time was kanji, so here I am. So far I’m breezing through these first levels with the Kanji l already know and I’m excited for the rest. I’m going to study more outside of my classes now as well, since we only meet once a week.

Even though I’ve been able to survive with my limited Japanese, I want be able to have meaningful conversations with my friends in their own language. Also, I see how much effort they put into learning English, so I want to repay their efforts in kind. This is my why, communication. :heart:


Because I choose to!


I first became interested in learning Japanese about 10 years ago due to manga. I remember being 13 and finding a raw manga online that I REALLY wanted to read… And that same day began teaching myself hiragana. Of course, for a self-learning 13 year old, the resources back then were kinda limited, which is why I haven’t really gotten serious about it until now haha.

Anyway, nowadays, I have a better reason - I have two Japanese friends, and while we can talk just fine in English through text, at this moment in time, communicating verbally would be too difficult. I hope to learn to speak Japanese well enough to hopefully be able to meet them someday :slight_smile:


As a part of my university degree, I have to learn two languages, a main one (from a choice of five) and a minor one (there’s a bigger choice, and I haven’t made mine yet…). The other main languages were ones that were commonly taught at school, all indo-european ones, and I felt like trying something different.

And then I fell in love with the language. pshh don’t tell my husband It both scares and fascinates me. It’s a huge challenge, but one I face voluntarily. There’s so much to discover, and every little discovery makes me happy, whether it’s recognising a kanji somewhere or learning about aizuchi. So instead of just going to class twice a week and being content with what I learn, I hang around on WK and related sites and try to gather as much additional knowledge as I can.


Well, she never tried to convince me, probably that’s why she succeeded :wink:

When I looked back at what I wrote, I realized that the text is already one year old (wow, time flew!) and I suddenly became aware of all the stuff that had happened in that period:

  • That December, I passed N5 at a narrow margin (I took it in Stuttgart which is closer to my hometown)
  • The following July, I sat N5 again (this time in Düsseldorf) - of course I wanted to accompany my daughter who took N2, and at that time N4 would have been impossible for me, so I decided to take N5 once more. I passed again, this time with a better score.
  • Shortly thereafter, I went to Japan for the first time, for holidays and language school.
  • Last month, I took N4 while my daughter had her first shot at N1. Now we’re both eagerly awaiting the results :slight_smile:
  • Last week I actually started to read the first page or so of a Haruki Murakami book in Japanese - of course with lots of help and lots of confusion, but still fully enjoying it.
  • And maybe there are even plans on the horizon for an extended stay in Japan (fingers crossed!)

Thanks for your good wishes, and same to you! :blush:


That’s a part of my motivation. In my fourth semester of French in college we were assigned a play to read, and I read it during my subway commute, and it felt awesome to be just reading a normal book in another language. We can both look forward to doing that in Japanese (:


This is my ultimate goal. And I really cannot wait :slight_smile:


I am so excited to see this topic is still going. I LOVE reading everybody’s responses. I think it’s so neat to see what drives people. I’m impressed and so encouraged by all of you! みなさんがんばってね!


I have always liked studying languages and also watched a lot of anime during junior high school, so why not studying Japanese? Kanji looks so fun, right? (Disclaimer: I was wrong, lol)

5 or 6 years later and a lot of friends made at the Japanese language school who kept me motivated to study Japanese, there was this nice scholarship for studying in Japan, full tuition fees and living expenses…

6 years and a college degree later, here I am in Shizuoka working for a Japanese company. I guess life is like that? (And now I have no choice but studying the not-fun-at-all Kanji, lol)


Like most people I was interested in anime, video games and Japanese music. I started studying Japanese and learned more and more about Japanese culture and media. The more I learned the more I loved it…util I hit the reality cliff. I started to learn some of the negative sides. I also I thought that being translator would not be a good career choice and I didn’t want to teach english. At this point I slowed down in my studying. For the next 15 years I studied off and on, but didn’t make much progress. Two years ago a friend decided to start learning Japanese and it lit a fire in me. Life got in the way, but I eventually enrolled in a school. Now I’ve been studying for about a year and finally I’ve moved beyond the furthest I had gone previously. Last week I decided to give WaniKani a shot. I think it provides more value than what I was doing before. I also felt like I was getting stuck and mixing up similar looking kanji.



I’m learning as my wife is from Japan and I want to understand Japanese on my trips. Pretty straightforward. :slightly_smiling_face:


I like learning foreign languages, but I couldn’t find the one that would stick with me. In my last year of high school I started to watch anime, listen to Japanese music so after some time naturally I wanted to try this language as well. And it seems that this is the one.


Basically. this started out as me being overly attached to the SAO Light Novels and being really irritated that the series of fan translations I was reading was incomplete.

Now, though, the story arc is complete, the official translations are catching up with the fan translations (which are slow), and I’m kind of just… here.

I still want to be able to read Japanese, no doubt. I would gladly go back through all of those novels again. But I think at this point, my “Why!” is essentially: I will never forgive myself if I give up on learning Japanese now, not after over a year invested and as much progress as I’ve made.

I’ve always wanted to be bilingual (or at least be able to understand two langauges) since I was child, but lacked the motivation or discipline to do so. I tried to learn Spanish in high school, but realized very quickly that I had no interest whatsoever in learning any of the European or romance languages because they were just too similar to English (in my eyes) and, more importantly, I found them beyond boring.


Because I am a half-Japanese idiot who couldn’t be bothered to learn while her mom was still around. I put in some effort, knew quite a bit of vocab just from being the daughter of a Japanese woman, and watched anime like most here, but in my younger days we didn’t have the multitudes of resources at our fingertips like we do now, so I was lazy if I had to study with just a textbook. Mom is gone now and at the age of 50 I struggle to keep up the contact with our family in Japan. My mom used to be our translator for phone calls and letters. Now it takes me forever to compose messages to my cousins on Line. Ultimately I want to be able to call my favorite Japanese aunt and uncle on the phone (they have no internet or computer or cell phone) and talk to them at least a few times a year, and write them actual letters as well. And of course be able to talk to all of my family in person when we visit.


I started learning Japanese in 1991-2 and used to work in a Japanese bookstore, but my kanji is still really poor. I want to understand enough kanji that I can read the books I have to my little boy without relying on furigana. Right now I mostly read でておいでよゼニガメクン。It would be good to make better use of the rest of my manga and regular book collection.


I guess my why is because I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my young life and having something to calm my brain really helps and I find that calm in learning japanese. It’s fun, soothing, and hey, maybe I’ll go to japan someday and finally break out of my shell and meet someone special. That’d be awesome!


Most of my why is because I enjoy the process of learning a language. It’s like a computer game with infinite content. And while I don’t think languages really change how people think, it is neat to see how differently things can be expressed, so how different Japanese is from English is a plus.

Japanese media doesn’t dominate my consumption and I’m satisfied with translations, so it’s not a reason to learn Japanese by itself, but it is something I enjoy enough to pick Japanese over other languages. I’ll never run out of good things to read in the original. It’s especially convenient how manga is a nice step on the learning curve.