Why should someone start learning Japanese?

Mio - my first Japanese teacher - and I in May 2015, Brasov, Romania

I studied Japanese for two years in my city. I was lucky because my city and an important city in Japan were sister cities and there was an association conducting the lessons for free.

As a linguist (and a translator), I have always been drawn to languages. Different language families are opportunities to get acquainted with different sets of grammar rules. For instance, did you know that Japanese adjectives have tense? :-)

I made many friends while studying, I am still friends with my first Japanese teacher; she lives in Tokyo now, but she still travels, so she did visit some years ago. 

Learning more about this country's culture was also fun - it wasn't always about calligraphy and pronunciation. We would watch and discuss anime, take part in festivals, wear traditional Japanese clothing, and learn Japanese dances.

The same way travelling does, learning a new language opens you up, making you understand and accept a different lifestyle than your own.

I know that my Mom (who adored Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa) was proud of my Japanese studies and my exam results. The next step to take? Explore Japan and put what I've learnt to good use.