Why Am I Learning Japanese Anyway?

How many hours have you put in to studying Japanese?  (The truth is, you probably don’t want to know, because the answer would only depress you.)  I was thinking about this yesterday.  I had managed to squeeze in my Kanji reviews but nothing else.  Then the work day hit.  Then the family decided to drive to the big city for dinner at a restaurant they like and this was to be followed by that most dreaded of all adventures:  the wife and daughter going shopping.

I brought my tablet with me.  When the great shopping expedition started, I was able to bow out and head for the bookstore where I bought a copy of Team 7-11:  How an Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took on the World – and Won by Geoff Drake and Jim Ochowicz.  Yes, that’s a really long title.  No, it has nothing at all to do with Japanese.  Japanese isn’t actually my life, even if it sometimes feels like it.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah…where I bought a book and a chai latte and found a table.  There I put my lovely and intriguing new book aside and broke out the Japanese and got the rest of my studying done.

And I was doing this because I have decided to learn Japanese.  But when someone asks me why, I just pass it off with a joke.  “Oh, because I’m stupid.”  “Because I’m crazy.”  “I want to stop the old brain from going soft.”

The real reason is the infinitely simpler but harder to explain:  because I want to.  Why do I want to?  Because it interests me.  Why does it interest me?  Because it’s cool.  What makes it cool?  I don’t know.  I’m just doing it because I want to.  I don’t expect to actually get anything out of it other than personal satisfaction, but that’s enough for me.

So why are you learning Japanese?


2 thoughts on “Why Am I Learning Japanese Anyway?

  1. I’m doing it for similar reasons, to “learn something new”/prevent my brain from getting soft. About a year ago I started learning Portuguese but I stopped because it was too similar to languages I already know (French, English, Spanish) so it wasn’t a real challenge.
    Also, I’m planning to go to Japan next year and I want to enjoy my time there and for me it means to understand what’s around me and communicate with the locals.


  2. Nice. Yeah Japanese is a real break from western languages, but that’s what makes it fun, right? Enjoy your trip to the Far East!


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