Let’s not chat about why you should learn a new language, and there are plenty of reasons why you should. Brain health comes to mind first, but let’s save that topic for another day. I would like to know why you are personally learning a new language or are thinking about starting a new language.
Why did I really want to learn Japanese? I don’t think there was ever one defining point but rather small steps or insights into why I might want to learn Japanese.
One reason was that a friend of mine who was really into music had in his possession a CD from some Japanese rock music group. It was 100 percent Japanese language and the music to me was super cool. I really enjoyed listening to that band a lot. He let me borrow the CD and it was in constant play at my home. Those guys in that band really rocked, but I couldn’t understand what they were “rocking” about. I also had a friend at the time who was Japanese by nationality but didn’t speak the language. I was hoping she could translate the lyrics page of the CD so that I could “rock” along with the band. All she could tell me was that she recognized the typed words as Japanese but she really couldn’t read them. That may have been one spark in my interest in Japanese.
Another thing that somewhere in my timeline placed a stepping stone towards attainment of Japanese language was Godzilla movies. As a kid I absolutely loved these type of giant monster movies. I was watching these movies on television and they were all English dubbed. I can’t help to think that these movies somehow also sparked my interest in Japanese.
Back in the day before cable, the only television we could watch at home was what was coming over the airwaves. People used to have antennas on their roof and there was only like 3 channels and a couple of local channels. Our television set had another dial for a whole other set of channels on a different type of frequency. Every now and then I would check out some of these channels and one day I stumbled on a Japanese cartoon and it was awesome! I totally loved checking out the animation, it was like nothing I had seen on regular t.v. before. One time I also got to check out a live action superhero show in Japanese and that was also super cool! I was just a kid and had no clue what was being said but I was enjoying every second of it. Somewhere in the recess of my mind a seed was planted here as well.
Truth be told I enjoy horror movies, though not as much as when I was younger. Guess which country had some of the craziest horror movies I had ever seen, yup Japan. I watched a handful of these in subtitle form. Maybe here was another starter link in my language journey.
I had an interest in martial arts, and come on aren’t ninjas cool! Let’s not forget about the samurai and that code of honor that they had. It made me think about Japanese culture in general. They seemed to be a people who respect group loyalty, and thinking about others and not just yourself. It was something that I had a perception of and always admired about Japanese people. You are bound by honor, my word is my truth, these were just ideas that I had about Japanese in general. A part of a culture that I really admired.
This type of admiration made me want to learn more about them. I am not a fanatic or wholly obsessed but I really enjoy learning about all the festivals Japan has to offer. I am intrigued by the assortment of foods they have. One way that I feel I can get close to experience the Japanese culture is by learning their language.
Hard to say what exactly made me want to learn Japanese. I know it was not just one thing, it was a smattering of instances in my life that made me decide on wanting to learn. If I sat here longer I bet I could come up with other points in my life that helped spark an interest. Maybe we will revisit this blog.
Why do you think you want to learn or are learning a new language? Let me know and let’s chat about it.