Why I Chose Japanese

Why did you choose your major?

It was at the age of five when I noticed that not everyone was like me. I suddenly became aware of different customs, beliefs and of course foods. What really caught my attention, however, was language, and I started to explore worlds of new sounds. My explorations began with Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Japanese. I decided to pursue Japanese, initially, for personal reasons. Japanese appealed to me, not just because of its beauty or the challenge of learning an excess of about 4,000 characters. As a fourth generation Japanese American, I felt that understanding the language of my great-great-grandparents would help me understand the place they once called home, giving me a chance to discover more about my family history and therefore discover more about myself. In addition to that personal connection, Japanese is a language that has evolved over hundreds of years and boldly yet subtly expresses a rich culture with every syllable, and it is this quality that adds to its intrigue.

I began studying the Japanese language my sophomore year of high school. It was also around then that I decided what I ultimately wanted to do in life: become a teacher. I have always enjoyed learning and teaching. Since I loved language, the...

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