Tell me your WHY!


Best of luck to you! I’m sure it’s not an impossible goal, but I’ve been told by many native speakers that his books are hard to read. I’ve never tried myself, but I found it a bit strange as they’re not particularly hard in English. I imagine he doesn’t write in the typical fictional narrative style (for Japanese), uses lots of idioms etc.


Originally, my job. I work for a company that isn’t Japanese itself, but has a close relationship with a major Japanese company.

At this point, though, I’m beyond learning for work and now my motivation is internal: I speak some Spanish, but I wouldn’t say I know it, and otherwise I’m monolingual. I’ve long wanted to learn another language, and I’ve been most interested in exotic-but-practical languages, because if I’m going to learn a language I’d rather learn one that doesn’t have a lot of bilingual speakers with English. Japanese fits the bill. That it dovetails with my work is even better.

Now that I’m God-only-knows how many hours deep in language study, there’s no backing out now. I’m in this until I know it. (Which for me I’ve defined as being able to handle the relevant business functions entirely in Japanese, as well as being able to read the Yomiuri Shimbun and trade papers.)

I’m happy to see the variety of replies in this thread. Sometimes I think I’m the only English learner of Japanese that’s not an otaku of some sort. (Honestly, I hate anime and manga.)

Good luck to all of you!


I just like to learn stuff. A natural language is a nice change considering that I spend most of the time with formal* ones.

*formal as in well-defined (most programming languages are formal), not like in law or smth.


And while I don’t think languages really change how people think,

Not sure If I agree with you there, I feel like it has changed my thinking process quite considerably.
And I feel like it’s made me more respectful towards other countries, so quite frankly I feel less racist and more accepting of other cultures.


Indeed, our language has a significant impact on how we view just about everything.


I’ve always liked the language, but did not really start studying it properly before I met a Japanese girl in Brussels while doing an exchange program and we became best friends :slight_smile: she encouraged me to start learning so I took it up at my university! I’ve now been studying for almost 2 years: I visited Japan last summer, and met my friend there too :slight_smile: In the future, I would like to work in an area where I could use my language skills (not just Japanese, I’m a language student) and I feel that’s a very reachable goal.


I first started learning Japanese 2 1/2 years ago because of school. I enjoyed it so much, I chose it over learning French the next year (even though I had been learning French for 8 years prior).

Eventually, I realised our Japanese classes weren’t getting me very far. I wanted to learn how to speak naturally, instead of only using the ultra-polite form of a sentence. I wanted to learn kanji so I wouldn’t just be writing everything in hiragana. I wanted to find out how the grammar actually worked instead of going along with the fill-in-the-blanks sentence structures we were taught.

That’s why I started WaniKani, and why I self-study Japanese outside of school.


I have often thought about this concept, actually. I have wondered about the thought pattern differences between English and Japanese as well as the gender thing when studying German. Thank you for sharing this! I enjoyed it