Tell me your WHY!


It returned from hiatus shortly, but went back on hiatus again. The author isn’t a he. It’s Hiromu Arakawa, the author of Fullmetal Alchemist.


Wow! Your story sparked a similar memory within me that I’d long forgotten. Nearly two years ago, I was in a Japanese bookshop, selecting a few children’s manga which are (to this day) above my level… When a teenage girl walks in, clearly foreign like me, and starts talking to the shop owner in smooth Japanese. They have a long conversation that I can’t understand… The shop owner looks pleased when she walks out with the books he’s helped her to select… and I’m left standing there blushing, very impressed by that show of skill and embarrassed by my own level. At that point I was on fire :fire: with ambition to get to that place, someday! This is my very own Matt from Utah and I want to be in their place so badly. Thanks so much for helping me remember that moment, for it will surely motivate me a lot going forward :blush:


First post here in the community! Will probably get lost since this is a huge thread but this is more for me to get my thoughts out of my head and say “hi”.

Growing up I always associated anyone who liked “Japanese stuff” with (sorry for the derogatory term :cold_sweat:) “weebs” or the “weird anime kids.” As I grew up and matured I found out that sushi was amazing and not weird at all. Later I got into cyberpunk and anime has a wealth of content there. Subtitles and dubs were always available so I never considered learning Japanese.

Many years later I found NHK and started watching “Begin Japanology” and “Japanology Plus” and was absolutely enthralled with Japan and the Japanese way of thinking and doing things. It really resonated with me on a deep level and I became more and more interested. I found Japanese books and magazines about topics I’ve never seen written about in English and now I’m here.

Long story short, I feel bad for the thoughts of my past-self :sweat_smile: and I want to learn to read, speak, and listen in Japanese!


Ha! First post I’ve seen here mentioning vaporwave. Glad to see I’m not the only one here who appreciates it :stuck_out_tongue:


My reason is probably because I’m a linguaphile and a japanophile lol. I just loooooove languages and I don’t know why… I now can speak 4 different languages including Japanese and I’m just fascinated by alll the different languages and cultures that exist. I’m mostly interested in the Japanese culture (especially their food omg), not so much in manga and anime since I don’t have time to watch or read any (but J-RPG’s or games with Japanese Vooice actors are my favorite thing. I think that counts as anime)


I feel bad for the thoughts I used to have too. Hi and welcome :slight_smile:


Omg you’re pretty new here! Have fun learning kanji and just keep at it, even if it gets difficult from time to time. Everything is fixable with enough practice :wink:


I was into japanese media as a kid and what really sparked my interest were strange and poor translations of games and anime.

I was just so curious as to why they weren’t right and got lost in trying to find translation notes and explainations to understand better what I was consuming.

And through it i discovered all these langauge differences that meant literal translations were impossible and I just find that endlessly fascinating to the point that I want to try and learn the langauge myself and get swept away in these stories of another culture.

Its been a long time since that spark but it never quite went away. I still have this image of myself sitting on a bus or train and pulling out a tiny japanese novel to read and it’s time I made that happen


I’m a bit the same so I can watch anime instead of reading it


I had to choose a foreign language to study when I started high school, and Japanese sounded cooler than French, German or Italian (sorry European friends!)
It was a good choice, I went on student exchange to Japan, then studied it at university in Australia, then finally at a language school in Tokyo. About 6 weeks before the end of semester I unexpectedly discovered that the married classmate “N” who I’d had a crush on for months felt the same way about me. OMG, emotional rollercoaster, which ended when we returned to our respective countries and partners and moved on with our lives. We corresponded for a few years in our mutual language of Japanese, but it gradually petered out. I worked for Japanese companies for a while, but the concrete ceiling was frustrating, and between one thing and another, I stopped using Japanese altogether. I never expected to see N again.
Fast forward many years. N located me on Facebook about 7 years ago, but I had lost confidence in my ability to communicate in Japanese, so we didn’t say much.
Fast forward to July 2016. I live on the west coast of Australia, but was on the east coast on holiday visiting my in-laws when I saw a picture of N with his family on Facebook, in front of the Sydney Opera House. After collecting my jaw from the floor, I messaged him immediately and we met up the next day. I had wondered if it would be awkward after so long, but it was electrifying. However, he had worked for a Japanese company for the duration and was completely fluent, and I could barely string a sentence together.
So, to cut a long story short, I am on a mission to regain the language skills I need to correspond with one of the loves of my life. :blush: Everything beyond that is just a bonus.


Really good story. :slight_smile:


My entry into Japan was Paper, then Pens, then Buddhism, then Poetry, then Sumo.
These things have followed me for decades.
Japan is the common thread.
Now, I find Manga, Anime, Kanji.


Needed a hobby, and I wanted something that was both difficult and potentially useful. So I thought I’d start learning languages, beginning with one of the hardest.


I’ve been wanting to learn for years. My husband and I were drawn to the food when we were dating, then our daughter fell in love with manga and anime. After Rosetta Stone didn’t work for me a few years ago (i like to know the “why” for why things are) I tried on my own. I’ve since gotten a tutor and over the last year have improved a lot but still don’t read much Kanji. Heck, I’m still scared to put a sentence together most of the time. I love that my husband and I are doing this together even though my kids have no interest because it’s so daunting. I’m hoping they’ll change their minds after we go to Japan for three weeks in April. I’m in love with J-rock like One OK Rock, Amazarashi, Radwimps, and Man with a Mission. It would be great to listen to their songs an not have to translate.


My wife is Japanese. We met at college (in the US). I honestly had little prior interest in Japan, the Japanese language, or Japanese culture. But when graduation came around, she needed to return to Japan. And being a person of grand gestures, I followed.

I found a job teaching English to car parts engineers, where I parked myself for several years. The language and culture came hard and fast. I became pretty conversational in Japanese. However, most of my learning came through informal conversation, preparing for specific situations, constantly asking questions, etc. I never learned how to read beyond hiragana/katakana.

We’ve since married, moved back to America, and spawned two kids. My daughter is coming to the age where she’s beginning to read, and I don’t want to be the scrub who responds, “Sorry, can’t help you read that, too lazy, resuming Netflix now, ask Momma.” So that’s what brings me to Wanikani. I need to really learn how to read kanji, alongside formalizing and firming up my understanding of the rest of the language (via other materials, of course), because I don’t want to be a deadbeat gaijin-spouse.


I was on a mission for my church and my companion got really sick. We’re supposed to stick together, so that meant that I couldn’t leave the apartment either. And there’s only so many hours of scriptures study I can do before it becomes boring and unproductive. So another missionary dropped off a kana chart and I started working on that for some variety. (I’d mentioned to him that I’d seen some anime and read some translated light novels, so he thought I’d appreciate a kana chart). Then, I was later in a position where I was serving in a library and had a lot of down time (my mission wasn’t the typical knock-on-doors-and-teach-the-gospel mission) and found a kanji book. So I decided that I’d already learned the kanas, I might as well start on kanji too (after all, there’s only so much scripture study I can do yadda yadda). And it’d be fun to look at the composition of a character system instead of an alphabet. And then later on I was moved to a different position in the library where we dealt with a lot of international guests, and I was encouraged to start learning a language, so I picked Japanese and got permission to use the internet for WaniKani. And when my mission was done and I went back home, I figured “wow, I’ve come a lot further than I expected…I don’t want that to go to waste!” So I made the decision that I was going to keep it up until I am able to read fluently.

So, to summarize, my “why” is that I learned a little bit on accident and I didn’t want it to be an “if only I’d kept going” thing later in life.


To play a Vita VN that already has a fan translation.


As a kid, I watched a lot of anime, and thus got introduced to the language. I picked up a few things here and there but it was really when the little slogan on my dvds came on that announced “To get any closer to the source, you’d have to read Japanese.” And I thought that- yes, I want to learn so much about the country and what it has to offer and how if I didn’t know that language I’d have to depend on translations for everything. Also, I’d already decided that one day I’d like to visit the country.

Fast forward to today, I do live here, so it’s to take care of my business in the language. But growing up I had also discovered a passion for language in general, and I still think that Japanese is a beautiful language so I am still learning it (still so much to learn T-T), as well as Korean…


Like most I got to know about this magnificent language through Manga and anime. I’m completely fascinated with the Japanese culture and language. I’m learning the language by myself but I’m dead serious about it. I’m planning to travel to Japan in about three years to study the language there. Since I’m a freelancer translator, I want to reach a level where I can expand my work professionally and translate from Japanese to English too. That’s way ahead of course because I’m still learning but it’s my final goal.


Everyone starts at zero, so I’d say you’re well on course! Great to hear you’re reaching for your dream, too. :+1: It sounds a little dramatic, but when I realized we only live once and this is my one shot, I also decided to just go for it and start working towards my goals. Yay for us! :crocodile::crab: