This study investigates the possible differences between Danish and Japanese university students in reported motivation to study English and in the sources of motivation, and how these factors may lead to different language learning outcomes. Specific emphasis was placed on the value of English for future employment. A Likert-scale survey, with two additional open-ended questions, was administered to both populations in a classroom setting in their respective home countries. Mann Whitney U tests revealed statistically significant differences between the two samples in general motivation and in several sources of motivation. Additionally, participants' answers to open-ended questions revealed very different experiences both in past language classes and in daily life, which may have been motivating for the Danish population and demotivating for the Japanese population.