Tell me your WHY!


Thank you! I need to cultivate friendships :sweat_smile:


How do you find these magical unicorns :unicorn: ?

I mean, I know everyone’s everywhere on the interwebs, but do you have any suggestions for good places to look with the goal of striking up that kind of relationship with a native speaker in mind?


I ran into one coincidentally and sort of accidentally struck up a friendship with him.

If you’re specifically looking, though, I’d check somewhere like HelloTalk (which is an excellent place to practice, by the way.)


Cool, thanks! I’ll check that out!


When I was in Middle School (grade 5) My family hosted a young girl from Nagasaki I believe. This shy girl lit a fire in me that still burns well over 10 years later. So much so that I would love nothing more in life than to get a translation job or an ESL position.

I tried to go the conventional college route but found out the hard way that between my mental health issues and my psychical health issues, it was not the best thing for me. In fact, my doctors agree that it probably perpetuated the problems.

So now I am trying to find some way to learn everything that I can outside of that environment in a way that works best for me.


I’ve always wanted to be bilingual, but I’m really bad at languages, so I’ve never gotten far. I took four years of German in grade school, but never really got a grasp of the language. I then tried to teach myself a number of languages in college, but those didn’t stick either.

A few years later, my boyfriend decided he wanted to try learning Japanese since he’s a big anime and video game fan. I figured why not, I’ll try it too. I stumbled upon WK while looking for self-teaching materials, and got hooked immediately. Japanese is the first language that’s made sense to me and works really well with my brain, since I’m really good with symbols, but not words.

I’ve recently ended up having another reason for learning as well. I’ve been doing lots of research into Shinto and intend to begin practicing soon, which will be made much easier by knowing the language.


And then you start trying to practice your Japanese at work while everyone replies to you in
English anyway. :joy:

At least, that’s how it goes for me.


Let me see here…

Just a preface, this was written from the perspective of a character in a story. This is not me talking, so don’t take it to heart!

Page 1

Take that in whatever
fashion you want
what more can I say
I’m dead aren’t I

and if I’m not then
what are you doing here
seriously mate not cool

look if you’re reading
this now then all bets
are off
maybe I finally worked
up the guts to off
maybe I got in a car
probably my fault huh

Page 2

no matter what happened
you managed to find this
journal and considered
it worthwhile enough to
bother translating
with my key or without
i can’t say it was
worthwhile or even a
remotely good use of
your time
just see how much I
ramble haha

anuway [sic]
I may be dead
or whatever
but I assure you

And there ya go. Probably enough translation material to decipher another piece of script if you have the time and inclination.
This script is something of a syllabary, but not for English. It works with 6 (technically 7) vowels: AIUEO(W)Y and has all English consonants plus TH, CH, SH. There are additionally characters for single letters.

It originated out of another script I used to write in. That version “flowed” much more on the page, like cursive, and was primarily intended for a conlang I wrote for a tribe in a story I was working on. This is something of a reconstruction and adaptation for faster writing. Sometimes I write school notes in it, even!


I was in a train in Tokyo, and there was this guy sitting in front of me, middle-aged blonde guy, with a mustache and a little fat, probably american. Then, a japanese woman sat by his side and after a few seconds he started talking to her in perfect japanese! I guess we all have out Matt.


About a year ago a boy my age moved into my city, and we go to school together. Let’s call him “Ryan” for privacy. He’s fluent in Japanese and near-fluent in English - and he was born disabled. The doctors told his parents he would only speak one language, maybe, and that he would never be able to progress beyond that one language. We became friends shortly after he moved in, but at that point I still had no interest in Japanese.

Then, last summer, one of my long time friends told me to watch 君の名は。 and begrudgingly, I obliged. I wasn’t one to watch anime and I was extremely skeptical as to whether or not I would enjoy it. Well, that movie was the catalyst to my Japanese learning (and anime obsession), and I have never looked back (even though I haven’t come that far).

I don’t know whether or not I will use Japanese in a professional setting or what I will do, but I have been able to speak somewhat with Ryan and some other Japanese friends in Japanese and I cannot express how grateful I am to my friends who helped open my eyes to something that I never could have thought I would enjoy.


I’m inspired.

As for why I study Japanese, as of now it’s to be able to communicate with a part of my family that is only able to speak that language.

My job is technically in Japanese too (though I am by myself 90% of the time, so I don’t get so much practice in the end).

The thing that really made me think about learning the language happened maybe 20 years ago? Someone (can’t remember who) was reading a manga called ハッピーデイス. I asked what the title was, and she replied “happy days”. So I went “no, what does it says in Japanese”. “Happy days. It’s in katakana.” “What’s katakana?” And she looked at me like I was retarded or something.

Didn’t have much chance with my studies of the language beyond the basics until I moved to the country.


For me it started as a love for Manga and games but I don’t think I would have stuck with it for so long if it were only that. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about Japan and their traditions and I thought that learning so many Kanji would be painful but it’s really been enjoyable.

As time has gone on it’s also become something my daughters and I share as an experience. Every night I teach them a few new words and they love running around to tell people what they’ve learned. My oldest daughter loves running around telling people that she likes cake :slight_smile:

I also like the idea of being able to write things down that no one around can read, especially at work. It’s also a personal challenge for me. I’ve tried learning languages before but always stopped. This time I’m very determined to make this happen.


strictly to speak to Japanese women
but seriously


I took Japanese in high school and a little more in college, but it never really stuck. Then a few years ago I started reading a lot of novels by Japanese authors, starting with Murakami and ending up with Soseki, Abe, Kawabata, and many more. There was one Soseki novel in particular, Kusamakura, where I was reading the introduction and started to feel that I was really missing out by not reading this book in the original. Later I heard about Tofugu and Wani Kani, and decided to make it a personal goal to read Soseki in the original Japanese. Here I am about three years later, and I think this year I will finish all the levels of WK, but I am probably still years away from my original goal.


My why? Seeing as I live in Tokyo, and can communicate w/the locals through my limited speaking ability, I figured its about time I fully learn the language.

So here I am - finally learning to read kanji after all these years, and all this time in Tokyo​:sweat_smile::sweat_drops:


My reason may be a tad weird, maybe.

My maternal language is Dutch, and I am very sensitive to sounds in languages. For example, “I bleed” in Dutch is “Ik bloed”. The “oe” is basically the English “oo”, like in “book”, but with the mouth more wide open, followed by a T-sound. Anyhow, I have always HATED the “oet” sound, and we have a lot of it. It got so bad that I constantly mispronounced it, which cost me points at school. I hate a lot of sounds in Germanic languages. Those Germanic throat sounds aren’t my cup of tea (no offence to those who like those sounds, tho!)
Anyhow: I went to find a language that, in my ears, has no ugly sounds. Twelve year old me did loads of research into languages, and along came Japanese!
I really, really like the way it sounds.
Chinese and Korean come in close too, tho. East-Asian languages ftw!


Well, you know the quote “It’s chinese to me” when you don’t understand something. It’s like chinese would be the hadest thing in the world to know. So I thought I learn it. Well…I don’t like chinese that much so I chose something that resembles it and I like…TA DA it’s japanese :smiley: (and of course animes, and whatnot, but i don’t want to use it in my life, just fun to learn it)


Hi, I am Why. Nice to meet you.


“WHY”? For me, J-Pop culture really influenced me alot when I was in elementary school. I used to wake up early especially on the weekends to watch Anime and I would also stay up late to watch Anime like Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho, D.N Angel, Naruto etc. I decided I wanted to start studying Japanese in middle school because I wanted to understand Anime without subtitles. I actually remember trying to self teach myself the alphabet except I didn’t have the IME and I didn’t realize so I legit was just copying squares into a book lol.

Anywhos my “WHY” changed around highschool. I live in NYC and I was lucky my school had Japanese language classes available the year I began. Since I took classes, I was able to speak some Japanese. When I went to my first ComicCon, I was lucky to win tickets to see a private screening of “Bonds” one of the Naruto movie’s. On my way out, I was able to see and speak with Junko Takeuchi, the Japanese voice actor of Naruto in Japanese. Before that moment, all I really thought about was just going to Japan someday and I wanted to have the ability to understand Anime without subtitles. However a language is a tool that connects us with one another. After that experience I really felt a desire to learn more about Japan, meet people and make friendships in Japan. I also want to be able to think in Japanese and really understand the language so I hope to study abroad as well.


Shoving it in games face when I know more than him.