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Let's learn Japanese!

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angemon
Posted: Nov 28, 2007 12:22 am Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 15 May 2007 Posts: 1
well, about the "renai" stuff
ren is not written by the kanji meaning "person" but "love" too (a bit more passionate than "ai", I guess Tongue).
That kanji, when it stands alone, it is pronounced "koi"
 
pandaluvr
Posted: Dec 02, 2007 8:47 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 22 Nov 2007 Posts: 7
Wow. So complicated but so interesting! Smile
All the Japanese I know is from watching anime, like Fruits Basket and Bleach Laughing
 
sljinu
Posted: Dec 10, 2007 3:49 am Reply with quote
ユメクイ ユメクイ
Joined: 02 Aug 2007 Posts: 1203
Here's an interesting video that shows how the Japanese learn English...I wonder what would happen if the western civilisation decided to follow this example Laughing
 
ChocolateMesher
Posted: Dec 10, 2007 4:31 am Reply with quote
金魚花火 金魚花火
Joined: 31 Dec 2006 Posts: 141 Location: Makakilo, HI
HAHA wow. I wonder what the people who acted in that video felt like.

Oh man..
 
Chiri
Posted: Dec 12, 2007 4:39 am Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 18 Nov 2007 Posts: 21 Location: California (United States
how fun!!!
arigato for posting this up!
i am learning japanese from my best friend!
*time to learn some more japanese*
 
hightea_xx
Posted: Dec 17, 2007 8:21 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 Posts: 7 Location: Ottawa, Canada
october wrote:
I don't get when people say romanji instead of romaji, especially people who are supposed to be so advanced to know otherwise. >< Another thing I don't really get though, is how exactly to use teiuka (ていうか). It's been explained to me before, so I sort of get the meaning, but I don't get when and why it's so used in certain sentences.


っていうか is, from my personal understand, sort of like "about that" or "talking about that". It's a way of introducing a new idea that is connected to what you said before. Atleast that's how i interpret it.

Also i wouldn't say that romaNji is wrong. Romaji is how they say it in Japanese, but it stems from Roman and Ji (characters, letters), literally meaning "Roman Characters", or the latin alphabet as we use it in English. This, it would be technically correct to say "Romanji", even though it's not really the correct Japanese way to say it.
 
sljinu
Posted: Dec 17, 2007 8:28 pm Reply with quote
ユメクイ ユメクイ
Joined: 02 Aug 2007 Posts: 1203
^ I interpret it as "or rather" or maybe "or actually". What I have trouble with is なんて and なんてさ. Like, I can understand the feeling behind it but I haven't found a suitable way to translate it. Are there any suggestions?
 
hightea_xx
Posted: Dec 17, 2007 9:25 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 Posts: 7 Location: Ottawa, Canada
^ could you use both in an example?

I've also come to realize that there are things in Japanese than you can't verbalize in English. In fact, i'd say there are a LOT!
 
october
Posted: Dec 17, 2007 10:29 pm Reply with quote
大好きだよ。 大好きだよ。
Joined: 08 Oct 2007 Posts: 266 Location: America
hightea_xx wrote:
っていうか is, from my personal understand, sort of like "about that" or "talking about that". It's a way of introducing a new idea that is connected to what you said before. Atleast that's how i interpret it.

Also i wouldn't say that romaNji is wrong. Romaji is how they say it in Japanese, but it stems from Roman and Ji (characters, letters), literally meaning "Roman Characters", or the latin alphabet as we use it in English. This, it would be technically correct to say "Romanji", even though it's not really the correct Japanese way to say it.


But I sort of already understand the meaning. Someone also explained it to mean "speaking of that", "or rather", something along those lines. But I've seen someone use it in the beginning of a sentence without any other previous statements. It just...came out of the blue. I couldn't understand why it was there. A different time it was used as a modifier. In this case not tteiuka (even though I've also seen that, of course) but just teiuka. I'm unsure if it makes any big difference.

ローマ字 literally means Rome characters though, doesn't it? Maybe it sounds better in English to say Roman character, but if that's so, why not just say "Roman character" or romanisation? Technically? Maybe, but I still think it's wrong. If it's not said that way in Japanese then why say it that way? If you were to write ロマン字 most people would call you wrong, wouldn't they?
 
hightea_xx
Posted: Dec 18, 2007 1:22 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 Posts: 7 Location: Ottawa, Canada
^ I think can also sort of be used to start a conversation. You know how some people speaking of ___? It's sort of like that, except no one was speaking of anything. Japanese as i've come to know it is... very open ended, ambiguous and never always complete. I end a lot of my sentences with ____ndesukedo. Like when i'm explaining something about myself (if i like something, if i've been somewhere, blah blah blah) and i personally don't know WHERE it came from, but my friend said it's very Japanese. I just do it naturally now, without even thinking about what is supposed to come after the "kedo"... For me that's how it is

As for ローマ字 it does mean Rome characters. And technically, it isn't right, speaking according to Japanese standards. I don't disagree with you on that point in the least. I just think romanji in... romaji (if you that makes sense) is wrong form a foreigner point of view. it's like... gaijinben (as i like to call it) lol.


side note: weeeeeek wins at life
 
sljinu
Posted: Dec 18, 2007 9:44 pm Reply with quote
ユメクイ ユメクイ
Joined: 02 Aug 2007 Posts: 1203
hightea_xx wrote:
^ could you use both in an example?


Well, I guess it really is up to context. In some circumstances it can mean that I guess. It's not the only interpretation that can be used...the expression has no definite english meaning. I'll try and make an example

やあ、まいったな。。。僕の試験の成績はけっこう悪いなぁ。。。ていうかそんな酷くないけど、ただもっといい結果を欲しかっただけ。

Mind you, I'm not proficient at using this phrase so my example may be wrong. But I'm sure my understanding of it is correct.
 
hightea_xx
Posted: Dec 19, 2007 2:11 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 Posts: 7 Location: Ottawa, Canada
lol i meant なんて and なんてさ
 
sljinu
Posted: Dec 19, 2007 5:10 pm Reply with quote
ユメクイ ユメクイ
Joined: 02 Aug 2007 Posts: 1203
Oh it doesn't matter anymore. I found out a suitable means of translating it XD
 
Shibo
Posted: Dec 20, 2007 9:07 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 05 Nov 2006 Posts: 28 Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Hey all! This is a great thread, I've learned a lot here, definitely. I've been trying to learn Japanese on and off for probably close to ten years now.. But, life always seems to get in the way. I thought I'd tell a bit about myself, the methods I've used, and what I'm going to try now in my neverending quest to figure all of this stuff out. I'm open to suggestions from everyone to help me improve! I'd encourage the other learners/masters in this thread to tell us a bit more about how you came to study Japanese, and the methods/books that you used.

First, some background on me. I'm 31 years old, and I hold down a full time (40-50 hour per week) job. I have a wife and a son who's about to turn three years old. Time is very, very precious to me, and very hard to come by. I've been interested in Japanese language and culture for many years. I started with anime and manga and have branched out from there. I'm a jpop lover, of course, but I guess I'm interested in all aspects of the culture, especially the language.

I've only taken one formal beginner's Japanese course. This was about ten years ago at the Boston Language institute. I took it with a friend, and while I enjoyed it immensely, I never really followed up on it, for monetary reasons mostly. About two years later, I picked up a book called "Japanese In 10 Minutes a Day", and that same friend and I began studying together, using that book. I had dreadful luck with the kana in my class, and I was thrilled to have a book that didn't use kana at all. The book was dreadful when it came to grammar, but it had a ton of vocab. I studied it off and on for about 3 years, through a relocation across the country, marriage, and several different positions in the company, all of which managed to throw me off track for months at a time. My friend was and is a very unreliable study partner, and since I've always felt I needed a good partner, my studies over the years have suffered.

About three years ago, I decided that I really needed to get back to my Japanese, as when I'm studying, I'm normally very focused, motivated, and happier in life. I began using Pimsleur audio lessons to and from my work commute, and they were great. I also purchased James Heisig's "Remembering The Kana", which is an amazing book. I learned the hiragana and the katakana in a week apiece, without the need to write them a million times each. I decided that romaji was a crutch that I'd better stop using, so I bought Japanese For Busy People, the kana only book. That's when I learned - very, very quickly, I might add, that being able to recognize each individual kana and actually using a text with no romaji to fall back on are two very different things.. I was very intimidated, I never made it through chapter one, and then my wife got pregnant with my son.


Two relocations and two different states later, I'm living here in South Dakota.. My boy is a bit older, I have a very slight bit of free time, and I'm tired of wishing and dreaming about learning Japanese. My goal is to take JLPT Level 4 next year. I'd like to take it in San Francisco and hang out in Japan Town while I'm there, but we'll see. Chicago is closer and cheaper. ^^ Anyway, with the JLPT as my short term goal and fluency as my long term goal, I sat down and made a detailed study plan. I usually have no more than two hours a day to use for studying, very often only an hour, so I need to use my time very wisely. I thought about my big weaknesses, which have been the kana and will eventually be the kanji. I thought about what has worked for me and what has not, and this is what I came up with:

Speaking: I'm in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Even the people who own the Japanese restaurant are from HK. I have no spare time to speak of at this point in my life, other than late at night, at home, after the baby goes to bed.. So, how am I gonna learn to pronounce properly? Pimsleur Audio lessons. There are 90 in all, I'll move along at my own pace and re-adjust as necessary.

Kana/Kanji: Heisig's "Remembering the Kana" is *amazing*. Learning the hiragana and katakana in two weeks shouldn't even be possible, but it's ridiculously easy with that book. I'll use that book to refresh my kana memory, then move to kanji. But, how should I learn the kanji? Brute memorization and constant repetition does not work for me.. Heisig wrote "Remembering the Kanji". So, I did some research on that method. Here's what I learned:

In "Remembering the Kanji 1", Heisig teaches all 2042 general use kanji, and their english meanings. There is, however, one *huge* catch. You will learn all of the english meanings, but *no Japanese readings*. There are 56 chapters in this book, so for me, it would be one lesson per week, with the complete set of characters to be learned in a year.. Then, "Remembering the Kanji 2" teaches the on and kun readings for all of the characters in the previous book.. So, for me, this would be a two year commitment. I decided to do it, because of the time factor, and the fact that I had a lot of success with Heisig's kana book. These books use imaginative memory to aid memorization, which requires little to no repetitive writing in order to learn the characters. The other catch is that you need to learn them all, as heisig presents the characters in a very specific order that does not even remotely match up with the way they're learned by the Japanese. For those who think this method sounds repulsive, I'd encourage you to check out the foreward to the book, which is printed in its entirety on amazon.com. Heisig explains it far better than I ever could, and his arguments are very persuasive.

Grammar/Vocab: Hoooo, boy.. This was a problem for me. I failed miserably with Japanese for Busy People last time, so what on earth was I going to do? In the end, I decided to stick with Busy People again. I decided that I just wasn't working hard enough last time, and that if I couldn't beat my kana problems, I couldn't learn Japanese. I mean, I could learn the kana, but it took me too long to read sentences..

Anyway, those were my choices.. Pimsleur, Heisig books, and Busy people textbook. I started my plan in Mid-November. Here's how it's gone so far:

Pimsleur has been great. I've been doing one new lesson per day for most weeks, once every other day if my schedule gets hectic. I'm up to lesson 27 now, so far so good.

Heisig's kana book was great and easy, I re-read it and once again had the characters down in two weeks. Surprisingly, the Kanji book has been just as good. I'm up to 70 kanji now and while I'll admit they're random as hell, I remember them very easy and can recognize them no problem. One lesson a week has been a good pace, and I may even pick that pace up if it stays this easy.

Japanese for busy people is a challenge, but it's been fun. I solved the problem of reading my kana too slow in a week. This is how I did it:

I mentioned the Pimsleur lessons. Well, they're a half hour apiece. The instructor talks, asks questions, you answer them. Well, every time the instructor talked, I would transcribe everything he said in hiragana. I did that for 3 days, a half hour lesson each time. then 4 days of transcribing all in katakana. I never forgot another character after that and it's a lot easier to recognize them after all that repetition.

Getting through chapter one was huge for me. Reading only in kana was a lot easier after all that transcribing, and the lesson itself wasn't so bad once I could actually read it. This week I'm on lesson 3 of busy people. This lesson has been slow going, mostly because it teaches all the days of the month, the days of the week, and time all in the same lesson. it's a challenge with no romaji for a crutch, but I've been having a blast.

I'm not sure that I'll be able to take the JLPT in December next year.. My feeling is that my grammar and my vocab will be up to the task, but because of the kanji method I've chosen, I might not be up to speed on the 120 kanji that I'll need to know by then. The good news is that I'd have all 2000+ by 2009.. Well, we'll see. I'm gonna keep working hard and who knows, maybe I'll take that test in December of 2008 if I can stay focused and committed.

Does anyone have any feedback/suggestions for me? I am going to pick up Japanese Step-By-Step and All About Particles per recommendations in this thread. I'd love to hear from the rest of you about your study methods, and what's worked and what hasn't worked for you. I'm still just starting out, but I'm really motivated and I know I can do it. It feels great to be able to read the kana well, and to know some kanji. Sorry about the long post, I hope a few of you enjoyed it!
 
hightea_xx
Posted: Dec 21, 2007 2:25 pm Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 17 Dec 2007 Posts: 7 Location: Ottawa, Canada
^ In regards to your long post, I think that some of your sources are good, but I personally dislike the Busy People series. I've used a couple of different text books, and the one i prefer is Genki. It's easy enough in it's progression, and then picks up pace as you learn more and more. It covers a lot of the useful tools you'll need for basic communication, and it's not too bland or boring. It does start off with romaji in the first book, but it slowly takes it away and the second book is completely in kana and kanji. It also has a kanji section in both books that are very good, in my opinion.

In regards to your decision about kanji, i personally am strongly against using that method of learning kanji. It's the type of learning where you associate the characters as pictures representing what they mean, am i correct? I think that that is a good place to start, because kanji have some origin in pictures. However you have to be careful of using this just as one would use romaji. It is, in the end, a crutch if over used. There are a lot of good instances where associating the different radicals (pieces of the kanji, or usually the... "defining" piece of the kanji) is a good place to associate meaning, but there are some kanji that you can't draw a picture of or associate purely based on the radicals that compose said kanji. Eventually you will have to leave that behind, so it's important not to get too used to that system, in my opinion.

Also, in regards to learning the kanji but no learning it's readings... that, in my opinion, is terrible. Of course in the end, it is about deriving meaning from the characters, but personally speaking, not knowing the readings is a terrible disservice for your learning. It's knowing the readings that help you formulate patterns, especially in the on readings. Kun readings are sort of up in the air, but on readings can have a sort of pattern to them, especially in conjunction with the aforementioned radicals. For me, Japanese is a game of patterns. It's not always completely clear, but more times then not there is a way you have figure out new things you've never seen if you have the right tools, which develop by learning the language in it's entirely.

That's my personal take anyways. I've been studying for about 7 years now, and am currently a teaching assistant for 3rd and 4th year Japanese classes at my University. I don't think that makes me an expert, but I have encountered many different teaching styles, different text books and make different ways of looking at the language. I wish you luck on your goal of JLPT. You might be stuck on the kanji section, but you should know that it is a multiple choice based test. It is more, in my opinion, a test of your proficiency in recognition and knowledge of textual and listening based Japanese. It is, in no ways, a good representation of one's communicative ability in my opinion. That's why you might see me bashing the JLPT a lot.

Anyways, I hope any of the things here help you in your studies. All the best.
 
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