Peep with Japan flag

Why I Love Learning Japanese

Everyone has their reasons for learning a new language. Whether for work, entertainment, travel – I think at one time all of these were reasons for me. In this post I’m going to try to explain why I’m fascinated with learning Japanese, and am finally pursuing this interest.

I’ve been interested in Japanese for most my life. When I was growing up, I was told it was the language to learn if you wanted to be successful in international business (my second degree was in business). It wasn’t as easy to learn back then as it is now though. Fast forward to now – where a plethora of learning tools are at our fingertips! Not only is it easier to teach yourself, but we have more motivation in terms of entertainment.

My reasons have definitely changed over the years for learning Japanese. Japanese culture has permeated our culture – through anime, manga, and games. Right now I’m watching anime and reading manga in English, but I would really love to be able to understand in Japanese, and without subtitles. This is a huge reason why many people are learning it now, the forums I frequent are full of people who love anime.

I love the culture, the history, and want to learn more. While I don’t see myself living and working in Japan, I will visit someday soon, hopefully several times in my lifetime.

I love the way languages in general open the world to me just a bit more.

But my biggest reason? I just enjoy learning it. I love listening to it, and speaking it. I think written Japanese just looks so awesome! I love the challenge, how it makes me think. The more kanji, vocab, grammar I learn, all the pieces fall together; it’s like a lifelong puzzle that I’m working on.

Going Forward

I know it’s going to be a long journey. I know most who take on such an endeavor drop it within the first year. Japanese is not easy, it is going to be painful at times. But now is the time for me to do this. I have no big distractions with school or work. I have the passion and motivation.

Peep with Japan flag

Peep with Japan flag

Hope to see you in three years! I hope to be actively blogging even then, and someday sharing photos of trips to Japan!

がんばります!

— Angela

How about you? If you’re learning a language, what are your motivations?

Finally getting serious

Well, I’m going to do it. I’m going to learn Japanese once and for all! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s one of those bucket list things that have never changed. I went to Japanese camp back in high school, but not until life slowed down a bit did I actually start learning on my own.

So probably starting three years ago, I learned my hiragana. I was so excited, because Japanese was so easy! One sound and one sound only for all 46 characters! I could read and write anything! Then I learn Katakana, another 46 characters, and thought nothing could stop me. I’m going to be fluent soon!

わたし は ティアモ です.

I knew about Kanji, but for some reason I thought I could get away with just knowing the kana alphabets – which just takes a few days really to learn, a few weeks to master. I was plugging away on my learning sites and books and then it hit me. I’m going to have to learn Kanji. I looked at some characters… and my enthusiasm drained away…

20170309_123107Come spring 2017 and I’m watching some anime with my daughter and I see so many tantalizing Japanese characters! I slowly try to sound them out, and I realize I wasn’t sure about half of them! And of course had no clue what any of the Kanji characters meant. Over the past few years I had forgotten them of course.

This made me very sad, remembering all my enthusiasm and the months I had spent practicing writing my characters and learning basic vocab and grammar.

Of course you know that by me starting this blog I was moved to action. This blog is a tool for myself to document my studies, share the resources that help me, and keep me motivated! My very next post will be the main inspiration that I think I can do it this time.

I hope this blog will be inspirational to other Japanese learners on our journeys!