In Grade 11 I was faced with the decision, learn Japanese, French or German. I was leaning more towards learning Japanese because my family and I were moving to Japan. My home country is Ecuador, and the spoken language is Spanish, and from prior knowledge, I knew that learning French was going to be the most comfortable choice since both Spanish and French languages belong to the same family of Romance languages (derived from Latin); both languages have similarities in grammar and in vocabulary. On the other hand, I was considering learning German since I am familiar with the language. When I moved to Colombia, I attended a German school, and I learned German for four years. Although I cannot fluently speak German anymore, I am familiar with the language.
Furthermore, I decided to take Japanese since I was moving to a Japanese-speaking country. The benefits of learning Japanese would essentially help me communicate with the locals and understand more about the Japanese culture. A significant step into learning about Japanese the culture includes understanding the language. Also, I want to challenge and prove to myself that I can learn an Asian language, which in my opinion can be intimidating. Although learning Japanese has not been easy (especially learning Kanji), I am proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and trying to learn a completely different language from all the languages I already speak (Spanish, English, and Portuguese). Being able to go to a cafe or a restaurant order food, or ask for help in the train station in Japanese has made me realize I can tackle a difficult language!