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?