People always ask, why learn Japanese?
If you are thinking the same, or maybe, you’re already on your way to Japanese mastery then here are 8 great reasons that will keep you motivated.
1. Understand Japanese culture
With a population of 126 million people, Japan has a unique and beautiful culture that blends ancient traditions with modern technology.
Japanese culture and language are deeply linked. By learning Japanese you will get a glimpse into how they think about dating, happiness and life in general.
You’ll understand why Japan is so unique and wonderful at the same time… because let’s be honest, some of the craziest things come from Japan – like the tradition of eating KFC at Christmas.
I had to book this 1 month in advance – it’s that popular.
Knowing Japanese will give you a new lense to see the weird, unique and beautiful world of Japan.
2. Make new friends
Whether you’re visiting or living in Japan, being able to speak with Japanese people is one of the best reasons to learn Japanese. It is rare to find Japanese people who can hold a conversation in English. Unless you’re extremely lucky, if you want to talk to Japanese people you are going to have to speak Japanese.
In Jonathan Haidt’s book Happiness Hypothesis, he talks extensively about how having relationships is the single most important factor in contributing to someone’s happiness.
Quality relationships will make you more happy than status, background, race or even money.
So why learn Japanese? Because who doesn’t want to have more friends and be happier?
3. Business opportunities
Amazingly, Japan has the world’s third-largest economy in the world. With such a flourishing economy, Japan is a fantastic place to do business. It is the technological hub of the world and is at the forefront of innovation.
There is a huge opportunity to work with global brands, such as Toyota, Honda, and Panasonic. With a 3.7% unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the world, you can be confident that you will find a job.
But why learn Japanese when doing business?
Because doing business in Japan is difficult if you cannot speak Japanese. There are many cultural insights that you must know in order not to offend and appear foolish. But after you have overcome this, making connections in Japan can be really powerful. Japanese people are known for their honesty and trustworthiness so it is beneficial to have them as business partners.
4. Enjoy Japanese entertainment
Why else should you learn Japanese? Because Japanese entertainment is one of the best in the world. Imagine how great would it be to enjoy Japanese art and TV shows in their native form. Even with subtitles, some things are lost in translation. If you love to watch anime, Japanese drama or movies, then you would appreciate it in its native form, without all those annoying subtitles or an English dub.
If you love music, then you’ll fit right in as Japanese people are very passionate about their music. This passion is what makes the Japanese music market the 2nd largest in the world. Music shows are common throughout Japan, and on any given night, you can experience live performances by artists ranging from professionals to rising talents.
One thing Japanese people love more than listening to music is to sing it. They really do. If you had the lucky opportunity to go karaoke with them then you will know how crazy and fun it can get. Because there is no better feeling than belting out your favorite AKB48 song.
5. Become an interesting person
Learning Japanese will make you a more interesting person. Your friends will be impressed by your deep understanding of Japanese culture and language. People will see you as clever and educated because it is rare for a non-native Japanese to know Japanese.
Personally, I find it is so satisfying when I can help other people to learn and grow (the reason for this site). You too can help other people learn Japanese and make new friends (see point #2). You can share with them why you learn Japanese, your journey to learning it and help them on theirs. Being immersed in the Japanese language and culture will provide you with plenty of unique experiences, which means more interesting stories for you to tell.
6. Fun and challenging
Learning Japanese is incredibly fun and rewarding but at the same time, it is challenging.
Japanese is, in fact, one of the hardest languages to learn because it is so different from English.
Let me explain why.
In English, you would say “I ate an apple”. But the same sentence in Japanese is “I apple ate”. It is backward! The verb comes after the object. When I first saw this I considered it witchcraft (and I still do).
It gets better. In natural Japanese speech, you omit the subject “I”, “he” or “she” as this is implied from the context. For example, an English sentence would be “Today I ate an apple” and the same sentence in Japanese is “Apple today ate”. BUT… this could also mean he/she/I/they ate an apple. Context matters a lot.
Now imagine an entire language based on these rules. This is why learning Japanese is so interesting and challenging.
7. It makes you smarter
Bilingual are smarter, better at conflict resolution, have more focus and less likely to have age-related diseases according to studies.
Better at resolving conflicts and increased focus
When you know multiple languages, all the languages are active at once. When you hear a word, your brain will try to assign it to one of the languages and ignore the rest. This constant mental workout is what gives you an edge for conflict resolution and allows you to focus on things for longer.
Makes learning additional languages easier
If you want to learn another language after Japanese it will even be easier, according to another study. Your brain becomes more flexible as it learns different rules of another language. This flexibility will help you learn additional languages.
Improves memory and fights age-related diseases
Learning another language improves memory and fights against age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer. There is nothing that will strengthen your brain more than learning thousands of new words, hundreds of new phrases, and an entirely different grammatical structure.
8. It’s easier than ever to learn Japanese
So why else should you learn Japanese? Because there is no better time to learn Japanese than now.
We live in a unique period of time where we have access to the internet. It can be used for more than browsing YouTube videos or scrolling through your Facebook feed, as addictive as that can be. The internet is an incredible learning tool that provides you with countless resources that can help you achieve Japanese mastery.
No longer do you have to sit in a classroom with 20 other people repeating the phrase “This is a pen” over and over again. You have access to a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. You can learn on the train, on the bus, or when you’re waiting in line for coffee, all at your own pace! This is why you should learn Japanese today.
With these 8 reasons why you should learn Japanese…
Now is the perfect time to get started. Now that you understand why you should learn Japanese, it is time to ask how do I learn Japanese. Sign up to the newsletter and get started.
What are your top reasons for learning Japanese? Comment below and share with others.