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Why did you start learning Japanese?

Learn more about the community and how they are learning Japanese and about Japan. Do a little listener-to-listener chit chat. Keep it civil, and everything else goes.

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Posts: 11
Joined: October 27th, 2006 7:31 pm

Postby MexicanHat » June 2nd, 2007 5:52 pm

First I just chose it because it was a 101 subject. Then when I gradually studied it WOW I was impressed. I've liked it ever since. Also it is part of my goal as I want to speak at least 4 languages besides English.

Been Around a Bit
Posts: 38
Joined: June 13th, 2007 12:36 am

Postby nandemoii » June 16th, 2007 11:44 am

My story is rather unusual.
I was terribly ill, about to die, actually.
A friend of mine gave me a few films by Takeshi Kitano. I knew nothing about him.
I watched one movie, then another, then another, six in all in one day!
I understood Japan was where I should have been born.

I decided to do something enjoyable before I die.
Every day I dragged myself out of the bed, I started listening to Rashomon by Akutagawa.
And then I discovered haikus by Bashou. I was in heaven.

I found somewhere in the net:
Jisei is the farewell-poem of a poet/samurai/zen monk before his death.

The Jisei of Matsuo Basho


Tabi ni yande
yuma wa kareno o

I dont have at hand any "official" translation, but the meaning roughly is:
"Falling sick on a journey, my dream goes around above withered fields."

Los meses y los días son viajeros de la eternidad.
月 日は百代の過客にして行かふ年も又旅人也。

And instead of dying here I am.

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Posts: 55
Joined: June 21st, 2007 1:01 am
Location: 横浜

Postby TheProfessorOne » June 24th, 2007 8:23 pm

Hey great thread:

Well, I came to Japan 10 years ago when I was in the US Navy. In the one year I was here, I left the base only a couple times. I didn't have a chance to experience the culture or really Japan at all.

After leaving, I found I had a new interest in all things Japanese. I took up eating Sushi where in lived in L.A. California. I started playing a game called Final Fantasy XI Online. The game is in located in Japan even though the version I was using was English. Most of the players were Japanese and communication was hard.

Later in life, I married my beautiful wife. She is Philipino but works in Japan teaching English. So when we married, I returned here. Since my return in 2006, I have battled with starting to learn Japanese. 2 months ago I officially began my long road to learning the Japanese language. I am here. So that's my story and I'm stick'n to it. :x
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Been Around a Bit
Posts: 26
Joined: April 13th, 2007 5:44 am
Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Postby Shumiston » July 27th, 2007 1:18 pm

I started learning Japanese because of all the japanese games i love. Some of them were only released in Japan, so that's one good reason. I also love anime and manga and was really into a lot of japanese stuff. so that's why.
Email me with different things to help me with reading and writing. The language speaking is easy with me, but the Japanese writing system is hard for me.

New in Town
Posts: 6
Joined: August 16th, 2007 9:40 pm
Location: New Zealand

Postby KK63b » August 17th, 2007 2:59 am

Why did i learn japanese.....

I met 3 Japanese snowboarders in New Zealand and we were all staying at the same backpackers....
Well we become friends and they told me that Japan had really awesome powder...
i had to go an check it out myself... however.... i couldnt speak japanese....
So i jumped on podcast, an found this site, an crammed for the next 2 months concentrating on the Beginner Lessons an Survival Phrases with the Culture Classes throw in also as i didnt want to offend anybody while i was in Japan...
Went to Japan for 4 months at first, spent 2 months backpacking around (living off the Lonely Planet ;) and of course to JP101) an the last 2 months snowboarding in Hakuba Mountain Range (2006 - 2007)
And i must say..... This Podcast really really REALLY saved my butt while i was in Japan... and now i have really fallen for the place so much that i visit Japan every 9 weeks, and have made many friends....
Good news.... Japan's winter is coming up again :D
stay safe

New in Town
Posts: 3
Joined: November 24th, 2007 6:09 pm

Postby neknek » November 27th, 2007 6:04 pm

well.. i really became interested in japan from watching 'oh tokyo' as a kid..
but i got really interested with the language when i started watching anime..

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Joined: September 30th, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: Half Japanese???

Postby Zenkai » November 29th, 2007 9:05 am

Saori wrote:Hi,

Just curious..any other half Japanese people on this site? I would expect some people started learning Japanese because of this.. My mother is Japanese and my father is Dutch. They always speak Japanese and I was fluent at it too, until they (and I)decided I did not need it the age of 9!!! Soon I couldn't speak the language anymore, just understood passively, so I decided I needed to study it again.

The study was interesting, but for you people who get married and (will) have children, please raise them's such a shame if you don't!!!!

Bye, Saori

Here I am...
I'm Half italian.. my father is japanese.
Unfortunatley I never learned Japanese, but now I decided to study it, hopefully this time a little bit more committed on it.

By the way since I met other Haafu, I felt really attracted to them, I think is the same feeling you have when you meet a 'paisano' (ppl from the same country) while you live abroad.

So saory please contact me!

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Posts: 562
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Location: 江戸城

Postby markystar » November 30th, 2007 3:22 am

hey man, i'm not italian, but i used to live in italy. it's such a great place!!

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Postby Zenkai » December 1st, 2007 3:14 am

nandemoii wrote:My story is rather unusual.
I was terribly ill, about to die, actually.
A friend of mine gave me a few films by Takeshi Kitano. I knew nothing about him.
I watched one movie, then another, then another, six in all in one day!
I understood Japan was where I should have been born.

I decided to do something enjoyable before I die.
Every day I dragged myself out of the bed, I started listening to Rashomon by Akutagawa.
And then I discovered haikus by Bashou. I was in heaven.


And instead of dying here I am.

That's a really nice story.
Yes it's heaven when you find something that makes you feel like life is worth to be lived.

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Posts: 1
Joined: December 20th, 2007 3:32 pm

Postby chamekke » December 20th, 2007 5:25 pm


I've been studying Japanese tea ceremony for ~3 years. I'd really like to be able to communicate more easily with my tea sensei, and also (this part is tougher) to be able to read enough Japanese so that I can pick my way through related texts!

Now I'm not of Japanese origin and have never been to Japan (yet). It's just that I came into contact with tea ceremony, fell in love with it and - through that - became deeply fascinated with Japanese culture in general.

New in Town
Posts: 10
Joined: March 7th, 2007 3:29 am

Postby leke » December 26th, 2007 5:04 am

because i'm bored, want to speak another language and its the language i feel comfortable speaking and listening to for some reason. in the age of the internet i've sampled all the major languages and japanese is my pick.
i am also into taiji and buddhism which are linked into asian culture (buddhism at the very least).
i'm not sure that i would enjoy a visit to mainstream japan. i love the countryside and prefer it to the city. if i ever came for a holiday i would like to go on a hikeing holiday or maybe do some work in the fields! 8)
Maybe i was a japanese buddhist in my past life :lol:

Been Around a Bit
Posts: 15
Joined: January 14th, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: 米国ワシントン州

Postby DaemonForce » January 20th, 2008 3:48 am

I'm finding myself exposed more and more to the language. One thing that really kills me is when I find some popular comic that has no hope of being translated(at least for many many months) and then I find myself at a loss of comprehension.

The turning point was when I couldn't read the label on the best imported candy I've ever had. I started on charts...Couldn't figure out what I was doing...Gave up.

I'm here after 4 years of not touching the basic material. This really took off because of a favorite visual novel that Capcom announced would NOT be translated to English. Going back and forth over the Systran translator was okay for a few lines, then it just wouldn't work. I decided to make a real effort by learning the language.Now I can finally figure out some of the words and phrases but most kanji stops me faster than a line outside of KFC on Christmas day. :niwatori:

I don't hope to go to Japan. If so, not on a Holiday or weekend. Reading more than speaking leaves something to be desired by most but not me.

Established Presence
Posts: 95
Joined: January 10th, 2008 4:09 am
Location: Paris, France

Postby プチクレア » January 26th, 2008 10:22 pm

I took up japanese in my first year in high school as I needed a 3rd language , and there were over 40 people in the italian class; besides, I had grown uo on japanese anime, manga was becoming all the rage in France, and I figured learning italian by myself would be much easier then japanese. By the time I graduated from high school, there were only 4 students left in the japanese class (we started out at 16), one of whom is one of my 2 best friends and went to study japanese in college (he's now a linguist, specializing in 宮古島dialect).

I kept studying a little bit in med school, and really went back to serious study as I was working for the french equivalent to USMLE. I needed to do something outside of medical cramming, or I guess I would have gone mad !
さっぱり分からない !...

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Posts: 4
Joined: February 7th, 2008 1:03 am
Location: Japan

Postby blueheat » February 7th, 2008 1:44 pm

I'd always been interested in Japan and Japanese, but had never taken the plunge with regards to learning the language. However, now I'm living in Japan (teaching English) and studying everyday, and it's by far the most enjoyable language I've ever studied. I think now my biggest incentive for staying in Japan is to learn as much of the language as possible.

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Posts: 2
Joined: December 16th, 2007 8:28 am

Postby mrivera26 » February 9th, 2008 8:43 am

I always wanted to learn another language. Since most of my family is hispanic I tried to learn Spanish first. The problem was I found it to be boring and a chore learning it so I quit. I don't know much about Japanese culture but it seems pretty interesting so I'll give it a shot.

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