Over the last year I've been studying Japanese.
It started last year when I suddenly had the urge to learn something new. I had a fairly stable job and I thought it will be great if I can get an MA degree attending a part-time evening class. My first choice was writing and I found quite a few places that first perfectly with my busy schedule. But it was already too late and all the spaces were filled including a lenghty waiting list. So that had to wait for next year (actually I should probably be applying over the next few weeks).
But I still wanted to learn something new.
At that time our company started establishing ties with Square-Enix, one of the world's most famous Japanese game developers. I was always fascinated by Japanese culture: movies, comics, animation and the language in general and I also always wanted to learn a new language from scratch. So all the arrows pointed in the same direction: Japanese.
I found a great course in King's College and joined it with my partner. We always look for things to do together (sadly I can't get him on World of Warcraft) and this guaranteed us one evening a week of quality time. While he liked it, he didn't like it enough and dropped out near the end of the first term. The Japanese language is extremely complex and you can only go for it if you're really enthusiastic about it. One lesson away from the end of the second term, I'm still motivated and excited about the whole thing. There's even a good chance I'll continue into the second year, though I don't know if I can do both Japanese and Writing while working full time (and overtime often).
I don't want to just learn how to speak the language, but also how to read and write at the same level as native Japanese people, Otherwise what's the point? Like many other things, this is the sort of thing I started because I was just too stupid to know how complicated and intimidating it was going to be.
Hopefully in a few years I'll be controlling four languages very well: English, Hebrew, Russian and Japanese. It's nice to know stuff.
The whole thing makes me wanna cry sometimes. I bought a few comics and other easy reading material and I can't even read simple Pokemon stories at this stage! Though I can say this: Keko o tabemasen ka*?
* Wouldn't you like to eat cake?