Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so Page 42

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  • boo 14 Jun 2011 22:57:44 11,823 posts
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    Might need a bit of help over the next 24 hours, so apologies in advance if I keep chucking up stupid questions.

    I'm doing a presentation for class, so I've chosen 'My summer holiday', where I went to New York.

    At the moment, I'm trying to say:

    "I went with my wife, we went by plane to New York"

    I think it should be something like:

    Watashi wa tsuma to ikimashita, ??? hikouki de nyu-yo-ku ikimashita

    It's the 'we' bit I'm stuck on. Is it 'watashitachi'?

    Edit - also, I'm concerned about the repetition of 'ikimashita'. Is there a better way of saying it? Our tutor has impressed upon us the need to a) keep it simple, and b) try to stick to vocab that we've learned, so I'd rather use the above than replace it with some words / structure that none of us have used yet.

    Ta!

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  • Pirotic Moderator 14 Jun 2011 23:56:45 20,647 posts
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    Just bung it all together..

    Watashi wa tsuma to hikouki de xxx e ikimashita..

    Or spice it up a bit.

    Tsuma wo tsurete ikimashita (I took my wife long..)
    Tsuma to isshouni ikimashita etc (I went together with my wife...)

    You can use watashitachi but only if it's already implied that your talking about your wife, else it could be with friends or family etc.

    Oh and my usual disclaimer "I still suck at nihingo myself" applies to any help I give you so always double check :p
  • boo 19 Jun 2011 11:46:45 11,823 posts
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    Hi,

    Quick sanity check if someone's got a minute.
    For this presentation, my tutor's given it a quick once over and corrected a few things, but looking at part of it, I've got...


    きょねん の なつやすみ わたし は ニューヨーク いきました。
    and
    わたし は つま と ひこうき で ニューヨーク いきました.

    They both end 'ikimashita', not NI ikimashita.


    But further on, I have:

    わたしたち は タイムス スクエ に いきました
    and
    どようび わたしたち は グゲンヒム びじゅつかん に いきました。

    She's probably got 101 things to do, and may just have missed this when she checked it, but I'd like to be sure. Have I got two of them wrong? I'm thinking that the first two ought to end 'ni ikimashita'.

    Edit.


    Hmm - cut 'n' pasted from an email, so a couple of the characters didn't come across properly.

    First two should read :

    Kyonen no natsuyasumi watashi wa nyu-yo-ku ikimashita.
    Watashi wa tsuma to hikouki de nyu-yo-ku ikimashita.

    and then

    Watashitachi wa taimusu sukue ni ikimashita.
    Doyoubi, watashitachi wa gugenhimu bijutsukan ni ikimashita.

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  • Genji 19 Jun 2011 12:58:41 19,689 posts
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    Yes, you're right. There should be a 'ni' there.

    NI! NI!

    NU!
  • boo 19 Jun 2011 13:09:10 11,823 posts
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    Thanks Genji!

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  • siro 19 Jun 2011 15:24:23 1,828 posts
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    Seems to have been a nice holiday. :)
  • Pirotic Moderator 19 Jun 2011 20:21:25 20,647 posts
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    There is another particle just for marking destinations, へ ('eh' but written as he). Most of the time people use に (ni) as you have done, but I liked using へ as, well, に (ni) has so many uses that being able to off load one of them to a separate particle kept things more manageable until I had a better grasp of the language:

    e.g.
    ニューヨーク行きました。
    Nyuuwooku eh ikimashita.
  • boo 19 Jun 2011 20:47:45 11,823 posts
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    Cheers, Piro. Just sticking to what we've learnt so far though.
    :o)

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  • Pirotic Moderator 19 Jun 2011 21:08:37 20,647 posts
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    Hehe, I don't blame you ;)

    Could you give me a few details about your course please? like how often do you go and what results do they expect from it? I'm completely self taught so I'm kind of curious as to how much more effective going to a proper structured course would have been.. my understanding is solid now but due to lack of any sort of study partners my spoken Japanese is still terrible :(
  • boo 20 Jun 2011 00:15:24 11,823 posts
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    I do an evening class at the City Lit, just by Holborn tube. It's one 90 min session a week, and terms are 12 weeks, give or take.
    This is the course I'm doing. I'm currently on my third term, so doing module 3 at the moment. It's good fun, and useful for me as I simply don't have the self discipline to teach myself.
    It's also handy to have a native Japanese speaker teaching us for pronunciation etc.

    You get out what you put in. Module 1 was 'fun'. By the end of module 2, if you weren't doing a few hours self study every week, you'd start to struggle.

    I'm in it for the long haul - another couple of years at least. It might not be for everybody, but I enjoy it. I want to visit Japan in a few years time, and the intention is that I can get about without the need to resort to sign language etc.

    Just need to start working on that kanji!

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  • Pirotic Moderator 20 Jun 2011 07:40:40 20,647 posts
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    Cool, thanks for info.
  • boo 26 Jun 2011 23:04:26 11,823 posts
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    Hello again!

    Can anyone figure this out?

    neko wa me ga arimasen ga onna no hito me ga arimasen


    It's an exercise whereby there are a set of pictures, and a set of descriptions - you have to translate the descriptions and match them with the correct picture.

    In this case, it a woman playing a piano, with a cat on the floor in front of her.

    Neko is cat, me (I think) is eye, onna no hito is woman.

    It seems as though it's something like "the cat's eye is not the woman's eye"

    Is it supposed to be "The cat is not looking at the woman."?

    Ta!

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  • ilmaestro 27 Jun 2011 03:48:15 32,465 posts
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    First thing I think when I read a sentence like that is that it's a play on words between "me ga arimasen" (lit. "has no eye(s)") and "me ga arimasen" ("[person] wa [thing] ni me ga nai" means [person] can't resist [thing]. "[ilmaestro] wa [Limited Editions of JRPGs] ni me ga nai"). But tbh I can't quite understand your post - what do you want us to figure out? Where has the Japanese sentence in your third line come from (you or the exercise book)? Are the other pictures similar? What are the other potential sentences to pair up?

    "The cat is not looking at the woman" would be something like "neko wa onna no hito wo miteinai".

    4235

  • boo 27 Jun 2011 08:53:26 11,823 posts
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    Sorry - to clarify...

    I have an exercise to do whereby I have 6 pictures, and 5 descriptive paragraphs in kana.
    The idea is that I translate the paragraphs, and thus identify which paragraph relates to which picture.
    I've been able to identify the picture in this case, by translating the first two sentences, so I know what the answer is, but I'd like to be able to translate the third sentence as well - it's the only bit of the whole exercise that's stumping me.

    So basically, my question is:

    What does neko wa me ga arimasen ga onna no hito me ga arimasen mean?

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  • boo 27 Jun 2011 15:30:43 11,823 posts
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    bump in case anyone's around

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  • Pirotic Moderator 27 Jun 2011 18:44:37 20,647 posts
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    Hi, I can't really make much sense of it to be honest. I know all the words but.. it's just.. weird..

    The cat has no eyes but the girl eyes are not.

    lol, are you sure you've read/written it correctly?
  • boo 27 Jun 2011 23:24:29 11,823 posts
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    Checked it out with a classmate tonight. The picture is a sort of 'Modern Art' thing, and we think that it means 'The cat has eyes, but the woman does not.', which would tie in with the picture. The cat has big eyes, the woman appears to have a beachball for a head...

    Thanks for the suggestions!

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  • ilmaestro 28 Jun 2011 00:24:54 32,465 posts
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    Is the Japanese sentence actually "neko wa me ga arimasu ga onna no hito wa me ga arimasen"?

    4235

  • Genji 28 Jun 2011 00:28:23 19,689 posts
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    That's a... really weird sentence. But I suppose it makes sense in a modern arty kind of way!
  • boo 28 Jun 2011 08:42:38 11,823 posts
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    ilmaestro wrote:
    Is the Japanese sentence actually "neko wa me ga arimasu ga onna no hito wa me ga arimasen"?

    I'll double check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure that's what it was.

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  • siro 28 Jun 2011 14:35:40 1,828 posts
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    boo wrote:
    Checked it out with a classmate tonight. The picture is a sort of 'Modern Art' thing, and we think that it means 'The cat has eyes, but the woman does not.', which would tie in with the picture. The cat has big eyes, the woman appears to have a beachball for a head...

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I'd say this translation is just perfect.
  • boo 29 Jun 2011 15:44:57 11,823 posts
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    So I'm dipping a toe into the wonderful world of kanji.
    It's daunting, but do-able, I think (the basics, anyway).

    The thing that I find frustrating is that each kanji doesn't have a name, or a label.
    For example. Back in the day, if Prince had a new album out, you could walk into HMV (not sure how much longer you'll be able to do that), and say 'I'd like to buy that new Prince album, please. The one by Prince.'

    And then he went and changed his name to that squiggle thing, and (until someone came up with the tafkap acronym) at that point you were stuffed. 'Can I have that album by... by...' etc

    So for any given kanji, I can point to it, and say 'There. That one.', but I can't verbally identify it. All I can do is refer to it as a component of a longer word, and when you do that, there's no consistent pronunciation. In one word it's 'hito', in another it's 'ichi'...

    I realise they represent ideas and concepts, rather than a sound, but at some point it must have occured to Chinese / Japanese scholars, 'You know what? This is a bit stupid.'

    Of course, once I've mastered a few, I'll think it's the neatest idea ever, and will laugh at those who just 'don't get it'.

    For now - frustrating.

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  • Genji 29 Jun 2011 15:50:19 19,689 posts
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    There is *some* consistency with some of the Chinese readings. Like, one character with a certain radical on the right will have the same Chinese reading as a character with the same radical.

    No such luck with the Japanese readings, though!

    The book Remembering the Kanji is apparently very good for memorizing the English meanings of individual kanji.
  • boo 29 Jun 2011 15:52:26 11,823 posts
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    And another thing!

    If I see a word I don't know in English (or indeed Hiragana or Katakana), then I know how to pronounce it.
    However, if I see a word made up of, or containing, kanji, then I have no idea how it's pronounced unless someone tranlates it into kana, or I hear it.
    That strikes me as a pretty fundamental flaw for a language.

    /is instantly proved wrong by several thousand years of people managing quite well

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  • Cadence 29 Jun 2011 16:10:17 1,693 posts
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    I tend to refer to a lot of kanji with their "kun yomi" reading. The "on yomi" reading, from what I've learned so far, is often the pronunciation you get when you combine kanji together to form compounds so on it's own doesn't mean much. But then there seem to be lots of exceptions to that rule. It's all quite confusing :)
  • boo 29 Jun 2011 16:24:32 11,823 posts
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    All part of the fun I guess.
    And I've learned more Japanese in 10 months at college (doing 90 mins a week) than I did doing French in 5 years at school!

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  • Pirotic Moderator 29 Jun 2011 20:03:27 20,647 posts
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    There is a reason denki jishou (electronic dictionaries) are so popular over in Asia, because as you point out - if you don't know a kanji then you REALLY don't know the kanji.

    The one redeeming thing about Kanji are that they are built out of a set of common components, heck - a lot of the beginner kanji are single components and so you probably already know a few of them (人,十 etc).

    If you see a Kanji you don't know, as you learn more of these components you can start to figure them out for yourself. For example (the forum will screw this up no doubt)..



    On the left we have 女 which means 'woman', and on the right we have 未 which means 'not yet'. 'Not yet... woman?' Bingo! It's the kanji for imouto (younger sister).

    Anyway back to my point, a denki jishou lets you search by component - so even if you don't know the kanji, and don't know enough components to guess it - you can filter by the components you do know and get a list of 20,000 possible kanji down to half a dozen or so.

    Remembering the Kanji by Heisig is pretty awesome at teaching you the components, and then creating a story for each kanji to help you remember it. By learning this way you'll also be able to write them with no real additional effort because in your mind they are already broken down into smaller elements rather than one crazy complex kanji.

    first 100 page sample

    As for the Jishou, get yourself an iPad or an iPod Touch - they are seriously amazing learning gadgets and have a lot of pretty cheap kanji learning apps and denki jishous so you can search/save/study the ones you don't already know. 'Japanese', 'Anki' and 'Sticky Study' are all fucking awesome and worth the pick up price for the device itself.

    Sorry for ranting, as you can tell - I enjoy Japanese ;)
  • boo 29 Jun 2011 23:14:24 11,823 posts
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    Cheers Piro!
    I do indeed have an iPad (all hail our Lord Steve!), and I've got a kana app that helped me no end.
    I've picked up a set of Kanji flashcards, and the Kodansha Kanji Learners dictionary - one way or another, that stuff's going in!

    I'll take a look at the apps though - cheers!

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • Genji 30 Jun 2011 02:08:38 19,689 posts
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    The most useful kanji learning thing for me has been on the DS. The touch screen makes it so very awesome. The only significant downside is that the software is designed for Japanese speakers.

    So yeah, I am very much interested in the possibilities of the iPad.
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