So you ask “I learned Japanese. Now what?”

But of course you have to also reflect on the fact that you can never finish learning any language, even your own native language. Aren’t you always learning more about your native language, or for that matter, any topic? So the question might be rephrased as “I learned Japanese. Should I keep learning it?”

The answer is “YES” because having a foundation means you have the tools to keep learning. When you learn the past tense, it means you can talk about what you did yesterday. When you learn the te-form, it means you can make requests. When you learn 10 kanji characters, it means you can use the elements of those to understand the building blocks of other kanji characters.

Continuing to learn Japanese also gives you an understanding of the culture. The set phrases you say before beginning a meal, as well as the one you say when you finish a meal, incorporate giving thanks to all involved in getting the food to your plate. This is all expressed when you say those phrases.

by Ellen Bearn

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