What language should I learn after Japanese (Maybe Korean?)

So I’m nearly done with Wanikani yay :slight_smile: My grammar is around N3, my vocabulary is getting there and now my Kanji is close to N2. I’m going to focus more on native texts like Satori Reader, Japanese TV, iTalki and Journal Writing. I’m also going to focus more time for JLPT.

As I have more free time, and I have always wanted speak 3 languages, which language would you recommend learning next? I tried learning Thai, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin but never got as far as my motivation was low. I’m thinking Korean, but learning another difficult language might make my brain explode. Plus I don’t want to lose my Japanese for Korean.

Recommendations / Opinions / Ideas

Background: I’m a Japanese Language Teacher, so having another language under my belt would help in scoring me a HOD job :slight_smile:


How about Ainu?


Hmmm I really enjoyed learning Arabic ( I’m a complete beginner just had a bunch of friends)
Spanish was highly spoken in my area so I tried that.
Is there a second language commonly used where you are?

But of course if you are getting drawn to Korean go that way.

If I could handle another language I’d choose Vietnamese because there are many Vietnamese people around my city these days.


How about Klingon? I hear the Guardians are hiring.


If you’re interested in Korean, go for it! I’m currently learning both, and I find it very enjoyable.

Korean is hard, not going to deny that, but if you’ve learned Japanese from scratch I see no reason to think that Korean is too hard. Just take the time to properly learn the pronunciation in the beginning (1st significant hurdle), and then you’ll be well on your way.

I also think we need more Japan-interested people who are able and willing to look beyond the Japanese islands. Japan did not become itself in isolation, nor can you really understand contemporary Japan completely if you ignore how that country is understood by its neighbors, I believe.


Well. I would say the same as what they said above

In that case i would say chinese or korean i see alot of people pointing out similarities. Kanji & Hanzi are quite similar i believe. japanese and korean grammer are also similar.

Where do you live?
Have you considered a native people’s language from your region, if it applies?


Hi! I think for motivation you should choose a language you want to consume content in, whether it be native content, dubs in your target language, books etc. I have always wanted to learn a second language but my motivation was lacking because I felt like I needed a reason to learn. My four years of French in high school led me to retain almost nothing because I wasn’t interested in using the language at the time, and I had no interest in French culture. I do sincerely regret not retaining any of my studies, because French is a beautiful language. Incidentally, there are a lot of things I could have done better at that time in my life…

But then I found Japanese. There is so much native content (anime and manga, to name a few) that I want to understand and comprehend that studying is fun and rewarding. The struggle is worth it.

So, I would say find a language where you are fascinated by both the structure, grammar, syntax etc. AND a language that produces native content you find interesting, because learning will be easy and rewarding.

Also, congratulations on reaching the level in Japanese that you have! I can’t wait to get there. :slight_smile:

Functionally, since you teach Japanese, Chinese would be a great language to learn because you have a wealth of Kanji knowledge under your belt so it will be easier to pick up. You’ll have to tackle those pesky tones though! But from what I have seen so far there are a lot of Chinese people who want to learn Japanese and vice versa!


People are suggesting a lot of languages but my question is - what would you want to learn?

You tried Mandarin too, which is similar to Japanese in terms of having Hanzi and people say it has easier grammar, so maybe you would want to learn a language that you have interest in (and in its media)? Considering you want it for your whole life :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I speak 5 languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French) and am also around N3 Japanese and B1 German. So, I’ve put quite some time into language learning :sweat_smile:

I’d say learn the language that you’re interest in or has an immediate effect in your life (e.g: learn Japanese because you live in Japan). At the end of the day you’re the one who will use the language and the motivation that you need to learn a new language will go away if you learn a language just because other people told you so. It’s better if you enjoy the process.

In my case, Japanese is “useless”. I don’t live in Japan, will not live there, don’t work in Japanese, etc. But I put enormous effort into learning it because I love the language and the culture.

So just as most people said on this post, do what you feel like its most interesting.


Well, you should probably go where your motivation takes you. I know for me I’ve never had any success with any other language, because there isn’t another language that I want to learn the way I want to learn Japanese.

When I wake up I want to study Japanese. When I’m working I want to study Japanese. Before I go to bed I want to study Japanese. While I’m sleeping I dream about studying Japanese. It’s easy to study when you want to study. It’s painful to study when you don’t want to.

So any time I’ve started studying a new language, I get bored pretty quickly because I just don’t have any particular reason to stay with it.


A year or so ago I bought a Japanese history book, partly as motivation for learning. I want to see what an off-the-shelf Japanese history book will tell us about the common perception of history according to Japan.

What would be as interesting, would be to read a Korean history book in Korean, especially in terms of what they have to say about Japan…


This is something that might be quite out there but it’s always the “language” that I regret the most not knowing and it’s definitely what I’ll be doing after Japanese.
I don’t know where you’re from but have you considered learning the local sign language? Maybe ASL if you’re from the states?
I think it would be quite enjoyable and would be something entirely new for your brain, if that’s something you’re interested in.


This is exactly what I wanted to say but said more eloquently.
I envy your writing.

1 Like

Mate, I wish I felt like that about anything… LOL

1 Like

Learning Japanese has made me realize how many parts of language that I took for granted are actually specific to certain language families and so if I were to learn a new language right now I’d want to pick one that’s very different from what I already know. In my crosshairs right now are Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Irish, Navajo, Persian, and Swahili. So I basically have my work cut out for me for the rest of my life.


Pro tip: Learn the language you are most interested in. :open_mouth:


Thank you for the kind words!

1 Like

I can’t wrap my head around it.

You said you’re learning Japanese, around intermediate level. So how is that you’re also a Japanese language teacher? Do you mean you’re studying to become a teacher?

Shouldn’t you spend even more time on mastering Japanese? Especially if you don’t seem to have motivation for other languages?


I’ve heard of a technique called lattering and that might help here. It means you would try learning your next target language from Japanese. It should strengthen your Japanese while learning a new language. I’ve never tried it though so your mileage may vary.

I would suggest Mandarin given the current economic trend. China will be the leading economy by around 2030 and it doesn’t look like it will be surpassed for a long time after that. I would think that language would open many more possibilities for your career than Korean. And since you mentioned an HOD job (assuming you mean Head of Department) whatever industry you work in the future (teaching?) will probably want to work with a Chinese counter part.

I would also suggest finishing up Japanese and then switching to a new language though. While lattering is a possibility and does sound kind of fun, it will probably take more time than learning one language after another. If you have the time and are just doing this for fun, latter away but if you have a time constraint in mind, sequential is probably better.