What’s your motivation for learning Japanese?

Mine is to watch Korean dramas.

Wait a second…


Like most of you, I want to be able to read manga and understand anime. Back in the 80s, my best friend and I were as weeby as weebs could be in college in Mississippi. I’ve enjoyed anime since then, but he was a HUGE fan and voraciously consumed anime constantly. We’d have long conversations about the shows that he loved the most. He passed last August, and while he never tried to learn Japanese, I know he thought it was cool that I was. After he passed away, my motivation to learn the language exploded. I think it would make him happy if I could ever get through anime without subs.

I’m also a huge sake nerd and Japanese food is probably my favorite. I’m fortunate enough to live in an area (Seattle) with an abundance of proper Japanese restaurants. We also have TWO sake bars/stores. I want to be able to read the labels on my Sake bottles. lol

If this current plague ever ends, my wife and I have plans to travel to Japan. We finally have an empty nest, and I’d like to visit Japan yearly or every other year for as long as I can travel. I doubt this year will be the one, but hopefully next year will be! A huge motivation for me to learn Japanese is that I really want to be able to get around the country without worry about the language.


I had my manga / anime phase many many years ago. Did cosplay, went to conventions and saw what the fandom had to offer. Then I moved on.

Later I found the “Eat your Kimchi”-Youtube-Channel, which was a big deal. They were a Canadian couple living in South Korea and they documented all the oddities (from Canadian point of view). That brought me to the general idea of how different a culture that could be in asia.
They moved to Japan later, doing something similar in Japan, but they went on and developed in other directions… it is not the same anymore, and thus - not relevant.

That let me to view other youtube-channels of English speaking people in Japan doing everyday stuff or visiting beautiful locations, interviewing local people, showing culture, all that.
Then the thought appeared: If many things are different… they may have different concepts how to think about things. How to sort the world into words.

So even I thought I had no real chance, no use for the skill and did not plan on being such a fanboy or hipster to set the “oh, I want to visit japan!”-goal, I just started learning.
Japanese seemed like a mysterious language, in speaking and writing. I know some roman-based languages, but it is very different. Getting to understand this completely different system seems to appeal the most to me.

I want to look at those markings and think “this means blablabla!” instead of “oh… a box and some lines next to it.”
I also want to get the feeling of “newness”, when I see different structures of expressing thoughts and transporting meaning.

Japanese was a mystery language. Like the Matrix. I want to be able to understand the Matrix.


Yeah! I’m excited to get into some of the games more once I can actually read them, lol. I can’t say I recommend getting physical machines since there’s basically no end to the compatibility issues trying to get an ancient system from another country working here and now, but it’s been very rewarding every step of the way. I know some of the most popular games do have fan translations and it’s not too hard to set them up in an emulator. I’m going to burn the touhou games to some floppies and try them out soon, since most of what I have are JRPGs and VNs which are too text-heavy for me to endure at my current level of Japanese.


As for me, I’m learning japanese because I’d like to work with Japan and maybe read one manga or two. I know it’s a far shot, but I’m not in a hurry :durtle_tomato:


simping for vtubers.


My motivation for learning Japanese is because I’m aiming to go to Japan one day, and be able to read the signboards and understand natives and read Japanese books.

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so i can watch anime boobs without having to focus on subtitles

ok jokes aside, i just like learning, and when i imagine all the people i could meet while knowing this language, all the jokes i could understand, all the books i could read and all the boobs i could watch without having to focus on subtitles i just get excited.


It was anime and manga for me too. But my motivation comes from my aim to become a 3D artist at the Japanese anime industry. It has motivated me highly.


When I was 6 my Mum bought a tin of shrimps. I wanted to read the label. At school we had topic books and I always choose Japan. This became a continuing interest including the art and culture.

Fast forward. Retirement and covid lockdown gave me the time to learn how read the label and also get more out of anime.

I just like learning new things. Japanese is an amazing new thing.


For me, well, a friend introduced me to anime shortly before university, and that caught my attention. (I did know about anime before that, but the stuff I had seen my schoolmates watching just made me want to stay a mile away.) However, the real reason I started was just a random trip to Tokyo. I have a really good friend in Japan, and we both learnt foreign languages in school at the same time, his being Japanese. Because of that, I already had a Japanese textbook at home, with it being one of the languages I would learn ‘some day’. My friend was in Tokyo at the time, and so, partly to make navigating Japan easier, and partly to surprise him, I decided to see how quickly I could get through my Japanese textbook. That’s what got me started.

What gave me long-term motivation was a combination of two things:

  1. The first anime I chose to watch of my own accord just blew me away. I didn’t know anime stories could be so deep or touching. That made me want to give other anime a chance, and started me on a really long journey of hunting for and watching new anime. (No offence meant to anyone here, but my initial impression of anime was that it was really shallow.)
  2. I was really impressed by how well Tokyo worked on a day-to-day basis, at least from what I could see as a tourist. (Yeah, yeah, I know, maybe there’s some really irritating legal structure somewhere, or a mountain of paperwork I’ll have to do for something simple, but everyday facilities seemed pretty great.)

Anyway, so, that made me decide I should try studying and working in Japan for a bit, just to see if I like it there, so here I am. Japan has pretty great universities too, and there happens to be a course in English for international students that really interests me, so that’s what I’ll be working towards. (I intend to be fluent enough to take master’s degree classes in Japanese by the time I leave for Japan, but at least I’ll be able to fall back on the lectures in English if I don’t manage.)


I got such indescriptible attraction for Japan and its culture after reading James Clavell’s “Shogun” back at school in the 90s.

Then came anime (Evangelion) and RPG games (Final Fantasy VII)… And I decided to learn the language, by whatever means necessary :rofl:

After traveling there two times, I realized how far I was from fluency talking with natives and how important it was to be able to read Kanji so I tried on my own -without much success- with manga and Kanken books.

Thx god I found Wanikani after 18 years… At first glimpse I knew "this is gonna work! "

So in the end, it has become a personal Challenge. Is plainly something I need to do in my life :grin:


oh this is on my reading list. A friend of mine just moved and he knew I was into Japanese so he gave me a copy of Shogun. I sat down with a cup of tea and excitedly cracked the cover only to find that he only gave me volume 2. Very disappointing…

I always had a thing for languages, but besides of english, which is my second language other onces didnt interested me long enough. My puporse for learning japanese started another way.

I had a first vacation in japan in 2018 during spring with a japanese friend after he asked me to join him. Like everybody, one wants to see the full cherry blossoms trees, when he visits japan. My interest in japanese language was not that high during that time, as i wouldnt need it, because my friend was more like a guide for us since he has the only one speaking japanese.

On this vacation i met a girl. I stayed in contact with her and she visted me 1 year later in europe and we somehow became a couple, but she still lived in japan.

A few months later i had a second vacation in japan, still until this day with little to none japanese skills, i got to know her family and friends, when we travelled through kyuushuu together.

When i had back home i tried finding companys providing me with working visas. I was very picky for my job, but I took one shot and after beeing through the application program for 2 months i failed at the last company entrance test… a month later covid came and fast forward my world got screwed up.

My purpose for learning japanese or her is actually gone. Since you cant make somebody wait for that long time. In case of everything i still like japan and i already had my mind set only leaving my country at that time, but then i had to stay. I will give it now a really try, don’t rush it and learn japanese to may have a future there. If anything i got to know a language i can use with a difficult and so different writing system, that it keeps me interested. Good luck for all of you!