Is studying Japanese worth it?
In the years that I've studied Japanese, I can't count the number of times that I've thought this to myself.
Sometimes, the question took different forms.
Can I really learn Japanese?
Will I ever really learn Japanese?
It doesn't help that if you look these things up on Google, you find websites, comments, etc. that basically tell you, No, it's not worth it. Spend your time learning four Latin languages rather than just Japanese. Spend your time learning computer programming. Spend your time doing something practical.
Personally, I disagree. However, the basis for my disagreement is far from practical.
I managed to do something that I never dreamed I would be able to do.
It has given me confidence. And maybe confidence is not a measurable benefit, but it does make me a happier person in general.
It has helped me realize that doing what you love is always more important that doing what you're supposed to do. Well, 99% of the time, yeah?
In the years that I've studied Japanese, I could have reached a comparable level of fluency in at least three or four European languages.
But I don't love European languages. I love Japanese. So that's what I studied. Because it's pretty rare to regret giving time to the people and things that we truly love.
If you find yourself asking that question, "Is studying Japanese worth it?" then maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself two other questions, instead:
Why am I wondering if it's worth it?
For me, every time I wondered that, it was just because I was afraid. I was afraid that I couldn't do it. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough.
If fear is the reason you're asking yourself this question, then don't quit studying. You can do it. You are good enough.
Why do I want to learn Japanese?
If you want to learn Japanese for practical reasons, then you should quit now. Yes, there are many practical applications of Japanese. There are jobs, promotions, etc.
But based on the required time-commitment, I don't think that studying Japanese is worth it without a deep drive of some kind, a motivation that is not just surface-level.
If you want to learn Japanese because you love the language, because you love the culture, Tokyo, anime, manga--whatever--then you should not quit. Because doing things you love will make you happy.
Ultimately, though, it's your decision.
Much Love, Niko
p.s. If you do want to learn Japanese, check out NativShark.