So is there anyone here studying Japan.

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So is there anyone here studying Japan.

Unread postby Raven » June 24th, 2007, 7:45 am

I figured it would be a natural question here. So any folk here studying Japanese? If so then what is your method and why you're studying it?

I'm trying to learn through books that I can find, it has some rough point but I guess it's going ok enough overall. I'm addicted to many form of Japanese entertainment and it feels like waiting for the localization process is like waiting for a drop of moisture in the desert. Around the start of this year a few events pulled the final straw and I decided to give it a go, and so far I'm glad I did. :D
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Unread postby Eriol-kun » June 24th, 2007, 1:31 pm

I study when I have free time.

Which, sadly, is not much lately.

My method? First I learned the basic kana. Just review 'em a lot, in almost a week you'll know most of it. It's pretty easy in that aspect. Then, once you know the kana, you can go ahead and give Kanji a try. A really good program I found lying around recently in the internet was Renshuu... you can make your own words or download 'em. Good for beginners like me since it has the kana reading of the Kanji above the word (thus you can actually pronounce it without having to go through IMEs).

Other tools in my box are WaKan, the L&H Japanese Translators (English-Japanese and Japanese-English) and the Microsoft Japanese IME (good for drawing those kanji you can't get right).

Then try reading things you usually wouldn't. I started reading my manga acquisitions raw. And some light novels, haha. I believe games like F/SN are off my limit since I don't know that much kanji, hah.
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Unread postby Xavier » June 24th, 2007, 1:46 pm

Learning Japanese and mastering it is close to impossible.


But eh, I guess its all for trying to understand those darned untranslated h games. XD


I want to study Japanese but I'm already trilingual so its kind of hard to learn another language.
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Unread postby Raven » June 24th, 2007, 2:32 pm

My main tool is the Colloquial Japanese book set. I think it has a good mix for beginners, instead of delay it for later, the book mix Kanji and Kana from the get go. Although using it for some reason right now my problem is not with the kanji, but the Katakana is driving me up against the wall. I compliment it with a bunch of Grammar book. There is one book that I find quite good (although it's kinda beyond my level right now so the absorbing process is painfully slow), it's the Breaking into Japanese Literature by Giles Murray, it has several short stories in Japanese and a professional translation of the text, as well as vocabulary compliments and notes, oh yeah the Kanji also has Hiragana spelling too.



Learning Japanese and mastering it is close to impossible.
But eh, I guess its all for trying to understand those darned untranslated h games. XD
I want to study Japanese but I'm already trilingual so its kind of hard to learn another language.



I have a few Japanese friends and even them told me they don't know all about Japanese, through and up until highschool they said they learnt about 8000-9000 Kanji.
The good news is that for an average learners I think we can cap at around 3000 Kanji and can be fluent enough reading stuff with the help of the dictionary sometime.

I think you should give it a try, there is no doubt that it's very difficult to master but I think it's an easier language to pick up. Plus in the case of language, the more you study the easier the later becomes usually right? :)




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Unread postby Beowulf Lee » June 24th, 2007, 2:56 pm

When I'm bored, I look over Tae Kim's site. His approach to self study is purely grammatical. Boring, yes, but if you plan on seriously learning Japanese sometime in your life, I would think that it's the best approach.

http://www.guidetojapanese.org/index.html#contents
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Unread postby joddo » June 24th, 2007, 3:26 pm

I've been going through the books "An introduction to modern japanese" by Richard Bowring and Haruko Uryu Laurie. It comes in two parts, book one being grammar lessons and second having exercises and word lists for each 52 chapters in the book one. From what little I've read these books and done the exercises, I can tell that they are pretty good (even for self study); indeed, they were created as means to "learn Japanese enough to be able to read Japanese newspapers with just a dictionary in one year [assuming one chapter per week]."

The only bad thing I can think about is their price, but if you can afford it and really want some good books, go for it! :) :
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Unread postby haderach » June 27th, 2007, 7:58 am

Xavier wrote:Learning Japanese and mastering it is close to impossible.


But eh, I guess its all for trying to understand those darned untranslated h games. XD


I want to study Japanese but I'm already trilingual so its kind of hard to learn another language.


why is it impossible? Saying that something is impossible is just a way to avoid doing the thing by lying to yourself, nothing is impossible.
I'm "almost" trilingual, i speak french, English and i can read and understand a good amount of Arabic but can't really speak it. In fact i find it easier to learn a new language when you already know a few because your brain can not only assimilate new grammar rules better and faster (at least for me) but already know the tricks for remembering vocabulary.

Anyway i started learning Japanese about a week ago (vacations started), I'm almost done with the hiragana then I'll start the katakana.
I use human Japanese, it's very good because it guides you step by step throughout the learning from the very beginning to the end without making you feel lost. It also gives you tips on how to pronounce and draw the characters and there's a test at the end of each lesson.
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Unread postby darckense » June 27th, 2007, 8:43 am

Hi hi !

Well, I'm currently studying japanese. 2h lesson twice a week... :lol: The reason is that I'm currently working in Japan, so... it's kind of a survival skill.. :roll:

Anyways, I started to learn by myself before coming in Japan. Learn Hiragana and Katakana first. This is easy, and this is the prerequisite to seriously start to study japanese. After that, I started with the "Minna no Nihongo" first by myself, after when I started to take lesson back in France, and now in Japan.

If you want to seriously learn, you need a method to learn grammar and the way to speak japanese. "Minna no Nihongo" is a good method. "Japanese for Busy people" is also popular. There are certainly other good methods too. And you will also need a teacher, at least for the beginning, it helps greatly...

In the "Minna" there is two book. The main book in japanese, and a second book with translation and gramatical notes, available in differents language. Dont use the romanized edition and prefer to use the kana one, it's better (because now, you know how to read kana...).
For kanji、there are several websites mentionned above, there is also some book with method to learn them. Personnaly, I use the "Minna no nihongo Kanji book", but...

In theory, there are "only" 1945 official kanji, recommended for use in administrative letters, newspapers and so on... There is more kanjis than that that exists (someone says 8000-900, maybe more...), but it's rare or literally kanjis so it doesnt really matter if you dont know them (and it will take you some times to know the first 1945 by the way...)

However, I warn you that it will take you some time to be able to read japanese game in the text, or to read manga. It's not so easy... But, learning japanese is really interesting, so...

がんばって!

じゃ、また。
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About Manga and Anime

Unread postby darckense » June 27th, 2007, 8:51 am

I forgot to add, but... if you try to read mangas, and watch a lot of anime, you may learn a several set of expression and vocabulary this way. But... this is not very "formal" japanese to use to speak with other people. :roll:

So if you try to speak using anime expression, you may be corrected by people who said : "Nah ! It's not the way of talking..."...

After, if you have a female teacher (90% of japanese teacher are female...), you may speak like a women, but well, this is another step !! :twisted:
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Unread postby Eriol-kun » June 27th, 2007, 5:44 pm

lol indeed.

You should try to get some sort of penpal/friend that is a native speaker. Luckily, I already had a couple of international friends that could help me with the informal/formal speak.
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Unread postby Xavier » June 27th, 2007, 6:34 pm

haderach wrote:
Xavier wrote:Learning Japanese and mastering it is close to impossible.


But eh, I guess its all for trying to understand those darned untranslated h games. XD


I want to study Japanese but I'm already trilingual so its kind of hard to learn another language.


why is it impossible? Saying that something is impossible is just a way to avoid doing the thing by lying to yourself, nothing is impossible.

Lol, I guess you forgot the "it is CLOSE to impossible". =)
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Unread postby Silverman » June 27th, 2007, 8:18 pm

I can't really say I am studying Japanese, I'm just memorizing the pronounciation of the Kanjis so far...
I got a little advantage of learning Japanese though... I am a Chinese :D ! So I don't have to learn how to write kanji and pronounciation is easier for me! But the grammar is killing me (lol)
Those websites are cool, thanks!
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Unread postby Xavier » June 27th, 2007, 11:16 pm

Silverman wrote:I can't really say I am studying Japanese, I'm just memorizing the pronounciation of the Kanjis so far...
I got a little advantage of learning Japanese though... I am a Chinese :D ! So I don't have to learn how to write kanji and pronounciation is easier for me! But the grammar is killing me (lol)
Those websites are cool, thanks!

Asian here too but not one of teh "nese"s. =p

It's hard for me because I speak a twisted form of Spanish. :(
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Unread postby Eriol-kun » June 27th, 2007, 11:23 pm

Pinoy?

lol. Well, I guess you just have to get used to the sharp, simple pronunciations instead of the slurry-kinda form of English... hah, dunno how else to describe it XD
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Unread postby darckense » June 28th, 2007, 12:04 am

Eriol-kun wrote:lol indeed.

You should try to get some sort of penpal/friend that is a native speaker. Luckily, I already had a couple of international friends that could help me with the informal/formal speak.


Good for you. :)
But friends tends to speak informal, and in fact, you always have to speak formal when you talk to other peoples than your friends.
I think that learning how to speak formal or informal is quite a difficult task in japanese...
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Unread postby darckense » June 28th, 2007, 12:06 am

Silverman wrote:I can't really say I am studying Japanese, I'm just memorizing the pronounciation of the Kanjis so far...
I got a little advantage of learning Japanese though... I am a Chinese :D ! So I don't have to learn how to write kanji and pronounciation is easier for me! But the grammar is killing me (lol)
Those websites are cool, thanks!


He, chinese will help you a lot with kanji ! Lucky guy... :D
However, it's true that japanese grammar is hell sometimes.

But prononciation should be good. It's very easy in japanese compared to chinese... :lol:
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Unread postby Raven » June 28th, 2007, 12:55 am

I don't think the grammar in Japanese is hard, it's just too weird comparing to the regular grammar structure. :P

I also have a Japanese friend and I usually check up with him on things I'm not clear on (quite a few of them are embarrassing), too bad the guy is leaving after summer though. :(

My goal right now is to write and read, that's why I'm doing the script. As for speak and listen, I think unless I can practice everyday, it's going to suck. Even now the pronunciation that my friend uses is too different from the academic tone that I know.

Example: I still say 学生as : ga-ku-sei. But he made it sound like gak-sei, I can barely make out the "u" even if I pay very close attention.


As for practicing through manga and anime ... hehheh, that was where most of my informal English came from, and they are the very reason (along with games) I'm studying Japanese. This is a pure hobby :D
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Unread postby darckense » June 28th, 2007, 4:42 am

Raven wrote:I don't think the grammar in Japanese is hard, it's just too weird comparing to the regular grammar structure. :P

Example: I still say 学生as : ga-ku-sei. But he made it sound like gak-sei, I can barely make out the "u" even if I pay very close attention.


That's it. It's not hard, it's just that you have to learn it...

For prononciation, there is also local accent wich enter in consideration. Just for です : you will usually say des-, but some people says de-su, so... I dont think this is a problem.
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Unread postby Raven » June 28th, 2007, 4:56 am

darckense wrote:That's it. It's not hard, it's just that you have to learn it...


For most Latin languages (well, at least the ones that I know) have a similar structure. Like example:

Subject + Verb + Object.

Even my language is the same (an Asian language). The problem I have right now is that Japanese does not use that pattern, ala Subject + Object + V, even then the Subject is almost always absent and I have to guess. But that's it, it doesn't feel hard to me, just have to get used to. If there is something I think hard in term of complication, it will be French Grammar :P


For prononciation, there is also local accent wich enter in consideration. Just for です : you will usually say des-, but some people says de-su, so... I dont think this is a problem.



it's not a problem if we want to speak, because both pronunciations are correct. But it's a problem if we want to listen if we're used to one and the speaker use another, especially the former is the easy - slow one, while the latter is the fast - skipping one.
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Unread postby hawthorneluke » July 2nd, 2007, 1:25 pm

I've been lucky enough to of been able to take japanese for the last 2 years of high school :D
but if i put myself up against everyone else that took japanese with me, i excell over them by far, thanks to being immensly interested in learning it and so i think about a lot of random stuff in japanese all the time, or try :P and talk (or more like type) japanese when i can to other people i knew that are learning or talking with japanese people on an online game :D
although i do have to look up kanji and words often of course
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