I started studying Japanese because I'm Japanese, but grew up in the U.S. and haven't spoken it since I was about 8 or 9. Are there any other Japanese learners out there? I find that I still have some vague memories, and can understand children's Japanese, but I have trouble with vocabulary. Now that I'm old (at least older than most here), it's a real challenge! It's a good workout for the brain though.
btw, my kids are half Japanese, but so far they havent expressed much interest.
Hmm well initial reason was to be able to understand anime when they talk in japanese.
I took one of my summers taking verbal japanese for beginners, so I can understand basic beginner japanese, but can't read any characters.
Well I went to Malaysia last year and met quite a few Japanese friends there. I learned quite a few things from them, also they introduced me to my first Japanese drama, which now I'm addicted to. That got me really interested in the language, it's fun to learn it. Also the music and culture is really interesting and I like it a lot. I also like their writing a lot, so learning that as well.
For me it was my interest in Japanese video games mostly, followed my anime/manga.
I actually took a Japanese course in University many moons ago (I just had passing interest in Japan at the time) , but didn't really continue studying until recently. I pretty much had to re-learn everything.
Funny thing now I don't have much time play games since most of my free time is spent studying Japanese.
In year 7 all the students had to choose a language to study out of French, german and Japanese. I chose japanese and haven't looked back! I don't know how to explain it (much to the confusion of my dad's japanese colleagues ) but the way it is spoken, the written scripts and the culture completely sucked me in. I'm also a gamer
Learning japanese actually got me interested in anime, j-dorama and Jpop rather than the other way around!
Starting around 5th grade (I'm going to be in 11th soon) I became really addicted to manga and anime but I never really felt like i wanted to learn Japanese or anything. I am not really into manga or anime now but I still read the occasional manga. About a year or so ago, my sister was looking sites to read manga online and came across a korean drama and that was the beginning of my obbession with the korean culture (korean boybands, korean dramas/movies, korean music, korean food). So now i'm trying to learn korean.
Now you might be wondering, how is the world is this connected to Japanese? Well it just so happened that i discovered that the local college doesn't offer any korean classes but they did have Japanese so I thought, hey why not I should take that class. I did know that the sentence structure was similar between Japanese and korean so my thinking is if I learn some Japanese then taht will hopefully help me with my korean. It doesn't hurt that my favorite korean boyband is fluent in Japanese too =]
I find it funny that anime and Japanese video games are associated with sparking an interest in learning the language while it's korean dramas spark a desire to learn korean
I always seemed to latch onto Japanese things from a young age. Voltron, Transformers, Robotech were some of my favorite things. I liked the bits of Japanese culture that would come out of Ninja Turtles. Around 1999, the Internet finally happened for me, I connected with anime fans, got fansubs of Sailor Moon (my first real exposure to Japanese language), and it snowballed from there. Now, anime, JDramas, music, traditional culture like Go, whatever I can get ahold of I'll try.
I did the Pimsleur's thing, and got up to halfway through the third book of Japanese For Busy People. I'll finish that someday, I swear. It's just so... dry.
Unfortunately, having picked up so much from TV, when I speak I naturally want to use very casual speech. I had to consciously think about what I was doing when I went to Japan so I didn't come off sounding like a disreputable high school boy or something.
For me it was because I really wanted to understand what my favorite Johnny's Junior groups are saying in interviews and doramas and stuff like that. It seems like I've always been fascinated with everything about the Japanese culture. I love their honor and respect...and they have the studens clean the schools! XD I don't know, I guess there really isn't a valid reason for me to learn other than the curiosity and desire to learn a language I'm passionate about.
Oh, did someone say they like Korean boy bands? So do I! XD I love jpop and kpop boy bands. DBSK (TVXQ), Hey!Say!JUMP, and Ya Ya Yah are my all time faves. Chinen Yuri, Yuto Nakajima, Ryosuke Yamada, Keito Okamoto, Ryutaro Morimoto, Taiga Kyomoto, Shoon Yamashita, Yabu Kota, Hikaru Yaotome, Inoo Kei, Takaki Yuya, Daiki Arioka, Taiyo Ayukawa, and Kim Jae Joong = Much <3