I started learning Japanese in 2003.
It was a cold and snowy winter day. I was trading Onimusha for Final Fantasy X with a classmate at the King’s College Karate Club after class. He mentioned he was also taking Japanese classes. He suggested I should take them, too. “They’re free!” he said several times. “All you have to do is help the girl out with her English.” This sounded like a good deal to me. I was already interested in learning Japanese, and this sounded a lot better than trying to remember random words from the English-Japanese dictionary I had. I agreed.
The teacher was a Chiba native. She was studying to be a Japanese teacher. She was in Halifax to improve improve her English and practice teaching Japanese. She was teaching people introductory Japanese, e.g., hiragana, katakana, self-introductions, and simple expressions.
After she moved back to Japan, I enrolled into Japanese classes at St. Mary’s University. I took them for two years. I got straight As and always went ahead in the class textbook. I made Japanese friends through several random connections, too. I had many chances to hear Japanese outside of the classroom. I was also watching about three hours of anime every day. I really wanted to get better.