Why is Japanese so popular?

r/German has 123k members, r/learn_arabic has only 25k. r/LearnJapanese has 230k. Why?

We can certainly say that, in the last 2-3 years, the community of Japanese learners has become larger and larger, perhaps too large for a language with only 128 million inhabitants. No, I am not absurd to say that a population of 128 million is not huge, but the wave for Japanese is far too large, given the much smaller number of learners of Arabic or Mandarin, for example. Why?

Japanese Culture

Anyone, regardless of their opinion of Japan, can acknowledge that the Japanese culture is unique and very interesting. Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Pokemon are just a few of the brands of Japanese origin. And, even if in the last decade, the video game industry in Japan is declining, it remains an important player on the world map. But the Japanese culture is not just about video games. It means the famous anime(s), manga, their weird J-Pop, karate and many, many more. People in Western Countries tend to have great respect and admiration for the Japanese, mostly for their exotic culture, but also for the respect that the Japanese have for us. I have heard many times that you can live in Japan for a few days without any money if you know Japanese. The Japanese tend to have great respect for those who learn their language. And it is precisely this respect that they have over us that brings us to the second reason, namely the

Career prospects

Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki, Nissan. Just a few of the car manufacturing companies in Japan. It is clear that although Japan is not among the top 5 economic powers, it has a very large industry. For this reason, knowing Japanese is important for pursuing a career in Japan, but it can also help if you work in Europe or America at a Japanese company, and you want to be promoted. I know people who don’t have any special skills, but because they knew German or Hebrew they reached important positions (for example, regional director at a large supermarket chain).

Embassies

I do not know what the situation is in your country, but in Romania the Embassy of Japan promotes and even financially supports Japanese language courses and programs to learn about Japanese culture. Which is very important, especially for a country with very intelligent but poor students, as is the situation in my country.

Japanese is cute

Sincerely, I do not understand why, but many think that Japanese has a cute and interesting pronunciation. I don’t think it’s cute at all. But I speak (among others) Romanian and German, which have no musicality whatsoever, so you shouldn’t listen to me.

Japanese is cool

This increasing (and, in my opinion, a little unfair) popularity has led to more and more people starting to learn Japanese, which has made it increasingly cool. No, there is nothing wrong with joining a trend, but it seems to me that the Japanese bubble is too big.

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