The Holy Grail of language study is, of course, learning to think in that language without translating everything from your native tongue in your head first. It seems like an impossibly difficult goal, but just as with learning to read your first non-Roman writing system, be it hiragana or the Hebrew alphabet or whatever, it can be quite exhilarating when things click into place. What I find interesting about language is the way you develop separate personalities when speaking different languages, and my Japanese self is quite different from my English side, probably more considerate of others, able to apologize more honestly if I screw something up, and so on. I happened to see an article that tested problem solving when using other languages, and the result was that some problems can be tackled more effectively by considering them in another language. It seems some errors of judgement we may be prone to making our native language are lessened when we approach the problems using a second language.
Solving problems by thinking in another language.