Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so Page 44

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  • boo 6 Oct 2011 08:48:42 13,334 posts
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    Sounds good!

    Personally, I'd wait until you've got both hiragana and katakana down cold before you start any serious study of kanji, but if you've got the time to do that as well, then don't let me stop you.

    Don't know if you have an iPhone / iPad, but if you do, I've found these apps very useful:

    Hiragana / Katakana reading and writing app

    Human Japanese. Just a good basic introduction that will reinforce what you learn in class. It's about 6.50, but worth it IMHO.
    Doh! I've given you the link to the US site, but it's on the UK site too!


    Japanese for Busy People 1. My course is based around this, so it was a no-brainer. You may be using something else. Good book either way. If you get it, don't be tempted by the romanised version. Get the kana version - it seems daunting at first, but you'll be surprised how quickly you get up to speed.

    Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary. You might not need this yet, but I can recommend it when you do. Uses the SKIP system for identifying kanji.

    Naoko Chino has written three small paperbacks which I'm finding useful:

    Japanese Verbs At A Glance

    All About Particles

    Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns

    Anyway - that's enough from me - I suspect plenty of other people will be able to suggest other helpful resources.

    Good luck!
  • Hog-lumps 6 Oct 2011 13:57:49 994 posts
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    boo, many thanks for taking the time to find those links! It is really appreciated.

    That 'japanese for busy people' looks to be a must buy for me - it sounds just what I'm after. I'll be sure to choose the Kana version as you suggest , I wouldn't want to limit my future development by only learning the romanji text.

    We don't have an I phone, but we do have an older generation touch - I'll have a look and see if any of those are compatable.

    I think a dictionary would be a good investment soon as you say. Not sure what you mean by skip system - I might have to google that :)

    Those kanji flashcards linked a couple of pages back sounds like a good idea too. I might invest in these to help me get to grips with kanji when we get to it.

    Thanks for the links, I'll let you guys know how we get on.
  • Kafeen 6 Oct 2011 14:13:01 565 posts
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    I also find Kotoba to be really useful. Its a free Japanese-English dictionary for iOS.
  • boo 6 Oct 2011 14:17:14 13,334 posts
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    SKIP System.

    Seems a bit of a mind scrambler at first, but it makes sense after an hour or so.
    Basically allows to you identify an unknown kanji by its pattern.
  • Genji 6 Oct 2011 14:55:43 19,682 posts
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    I prefer the 'Genki' books to 'Japanese for Busy People'. They're slightly harder, but imo ultimately more worthwhile.
  • Hog-lumps 14 Oct 2011 17:19:53 994 posts
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    Hey Guys, lessons are going well so far - still at the daunted stage but having fun nevertheless!

    Just thought I'd give you the heads up that there are rumours about the Japanese Tourist Board giving away free flights to Japan (as part of an intiative to kickstart tourism after the tsunami/earthquake disasters)

    From looking at the official japanese tourist board website there is the following statment;

    "Recently a number of media outlets have publicized reports about Japan offering 10,000 free flights to foreigners. However, this initiative to be carried out from April 2012 onwards is still under examination for government budgetary approval and is at this moment undecided. "

    source http://www.jnto.go.jp/

    with more information here;



    It might be worth keeping an eye on the tourist board website to see how you apply if/when the offer is opened up! Probably unlikely one of us will get 1 but might be worth a shot?
  • Genji 26 Oct 2011 04:35:26 19,682 posts
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    After the longest time, I'm back on the self-study. I've been very disciplined so far - going through a JLPT level 3 grammar textbook, a few lessons a day. My vocab still sucks, but I think grammar is more important for me at the moment.

    In general, Level 3 is a bit easy for me, but as I've not really studied for the test before there are some grammar things in there that I haven't learned yet. And it's always good to brush up, even on the stuff I already know!
  • Pirotic Moderator 10 Dec 2011 13:45:35 20,640 posts
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    Hi all, it's been a while ;)

    Not sure how to phrase this question, but seeing as I spend hours on forums and social networking pages when I should be studying, I figure I should just try to merge the two together and find some nice Japanese forums, social networks to sign up for and participate in, ideally a gaming forum similar to this one..

    Only problem is, the social networks seem to lock out people without Japanese mobile phones, and I can't find any decent forums - looked on the usual magazine websites to no luck.

    Any recommendations? I'd mostly lurk and just teach myself some of the casual net slang to begin with so don't worry about me spamming the place up.

  • Angela7F 12 Dec 2011 10:40:44 16 posts
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    Thats very true... Most Japanese SNS needs a invite.
    however, facebook seems to be experiencing a surge in Japanese users these days, so you can also start from Facebook.
    For Japanese gaming forums, try http://toro.2ch.net/famicom/ this is mainly PS3 xbox type platforms.

    There are also the following:
    RPG http://toro.2ch.net/gamerpg/
    FF& DQ http://kohada.2ch.net/ff/
    general gaming http://toro.2ch.net/gsaloon/
    SKYRIM and other onlines http://anago.2ch.net/game/

    You will probably be able to find more sub categories when you venture in.
    Soooo much slang, but will be good fun to take a look.

    Good luck!!!
  • Pirotic Moderator 28 Dec 2011 21:03:49 20,640 posts
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    Forgot to thank you for your reply. I didn't think of checking 2ch :)

    So I have a weird question for everyone, I've been making a Japanese study iPhone/iPad app in the evenings for the last couple of weeks and want to ask if you lot have any suggestions or ideas for features?

    the AppStore has a ton of pretty good apps already, but most of the jishou's seem to be made by the Japanese for the Japanese and just rebranded for the international market to look more like learning tools, but never really designed for learners.

    For example my favorite (and the most expensive one!) only lets you search by the 'Start' or 'End' of a word - which sucks when I only recognize the middle Kanji.

    I don't want to drag on too long as I'm not sure of how much interest this is to you guys, but so far I've got jDict, KanjiDict2 and Tanaka Campus example sentences all integrated, and have a search system designed for learners which makes it far easier to find stuff. Also got the usual study list and flash card functionality. Worked a lot on getting it running stupidly fast, so everything is cross referenced showing which words the kanji appears in, example sentences containing that kanji/word etc without any delays. So it's pretty interesting just randomly drilling down and discovering the relationships between the words and kanji.

    (It doesn't have kanji stroke orders, can't find a good free source for this data yet)

    I'm now working on kanji recognition so I can take a picture of a kanji and it'll find it in the dictionary for me, got it 'kind of' working but it's very font dependent - but that'll hopefully be the killer feature once done.

    Then I'm out of ideas, so please let me know if you guys can think of anything!

    (I'll chuck up a bunch of redemption vouchers here when I'm done if anybody is interested).

  • ilmaestro 29 Dec 2011 02:43:16 32,679 posts
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    I would definitely be interested in giving it a look when you're done, sure.

    Is it as crazy as it sounds in my head to ask if you can add a wiki-like facility to it, for people to add common "non-standard" (ie. colloquial or jargon-specific uses) meanings of words/kanji/phrases?

    Have you tried contacting this guy to ask if he has kanji stroke order stuff? It's where wwwjdic credits for providing them with their animated stroke order pics.
  • Pirotic Moderator 29 Dec 2011 17:12:28 20,640 posts
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    Thanks for the link, I'll drop them an e-mail and find out. Was holding off on any writing functions as I was hoping to build the official Heisig app but they didn't want to put the kanji stories within the app, which to me defied the whole point of getting Heisig's name on it.. in the end somebody else made the generic app with his name attached to it which is a shame as you still need the book, in which case you might as well just get paper and pencil instead of the ipad :p

    Wiki is a cool idea, shared notes would be sweet but it'll depend on how well it does as it'll either be a wasted feature, or require time for moderation. I was toying with a flash card app idea for a while using collaborative decks - I got pretty excited about the prospect of using all that data from the various users in order to calculate which cards are easier, which are harder, and which are likely confusing/inaccurate etc. A kind of self maintaining wiki flash card system where you have tags instead of decks, and can choose what you want to study that day by selecting the tags etc.

    Anyhow, I always get over ambitious which is why this time I'm making a pretty modest but helpful Dictionary app, hopefully it'll do well and I can add the other stuff to it later on.

    Hoping to submit it to the store before I return to work, so I'll keep you posted. I'm finding it more helpful than the other dozen apps I already downloaded so hopefully that's a good sign, much quicker at finding things based on partial readings of the words.. (or maybe I'm just biased?!?)

    Edited by Pirotic at 17:14:59 29-12-2011
  • ilmaestro 29 Dec 2011 17:21:24 32,679 posts
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    Pirotic wrote:
    Wiki is a cool idea, shared notes would be sweet but it'll depend on how well it does as it'll either be a wasted feature, or require time for moderation.
    The second item is definitely the main issue that came to my mind, I suppose it could be something to add if the app became successful enough.
  • Pirotic Moderator 3 Jan 2012 21:15:47 20,640 posts
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    Bumpity :)

    Going to submit to the store this week, Delayed it a bit so I could add some new features.

    The best new feature is the search system, did some low level coding to get it running faster than a greased whippet, the result it is can now do near-instant wildcard substitution searches on the entire dictionary (including kana version and alternative variations on each word).

    To give you an example, if I see a word but can't read it, I'll probably know a few of the Kanji. So I write what I do know and replace the rest with '*' and instead of the usual 100 results to wade through, I tend to just get the 1 I actually want.

    Dead excited about releasing it, drop me a PM and i'll send you a voucher code once it's approved (2 weeks time maybe?).
  • ilmaestro 4 Jan 2012 05:58:36 32,679 posts
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    Adding a good wildcard function is definitely is a good idea, an important tool in denshi-jisho. PM on its way, quite looking forward to trying it out as I really need to buy a new one and this might save me the hassle!
  • Pirotic Moderator 7 Jan 2012 16:45:33 20,640 posts
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    Ohh the excitement (for me anyway) - just submitted my first (non-work related) app to the store, I called it Japanese Study Kit - mostly because all the obvious names were already taken.

    Will take a few days to be approved, but if you want a free copy just drop me a PM and i'll hook you up with a redeem code once it's up (tell me what region your iTunes account is in please, as the codes are region locked).

  • Pirotic Moderator 13 Jan 2012 23:43:58 20,640 posts
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    Yay, approved. Here are some redeem codes for you lot:


    Feedback very welcome, Thanks.
  • boo 15 Jan 2012 12:35:37 13,334 posts
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    If you've put all that effort in, it seems a bit mean to grab it for free, so have bought a copy.
    Will give you some feedback once I've had a play with it.
    Incidentally, how much of the 1.99 do you actually see?

    And a question...

    I must have have missed a fundamental lesson somewhere along the line, as regards verbs.
    We've been given a list of 40-odd verbs to look up for homework. Virtually all of them are of the form :


    For example:


    I've tried looking these up in my Kodansha Japanese-English Dictionary, on [link=http://www.eudict.com/">Eudict and
  • Pirotic Moderator 15 Jan 2012 13:04:42 20,640 posts
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    Ohh I can answer this one ;)

    For u-verbs - to make the masu form, you get the last character from the dictionary form, and change it from the u-stem to the i-stem. く becomes き、 む becomes み etc.

    ru verbs are much easier (たべる;) in that you just knock the る off and add ます.

    Your logic is fine for ru verbs, in that if you change the ます into る it'll take you back to the dictionary form. But the verb you are after is a u-verb, So you need to knock the masu off, then switch the last character from i-stem back to u-stem.

    つきます > つき > つく

    Without the kanji I can't tell you for certain what that means, as there are shedloads of verbs which are つく, e.g. 着く is to arrive, 点く which is to be lit.

    Is there a fail proof way of telling if it's a u or ru verb from the masu form? Nope. But chances are if after you've removed the masu it ends with a 'i' stem final character (き、ぎ、み etc) it's most likely a u-verb.

    Hope that helps!

    Oh and cheers for buying the App, tbh it's only a v1 so I haven't invested too much time in it yet. But I plan to, I'll be sure to add conjugation searches into it at some point.
  • Pirotic Moderator 15 Jan 2012 13:05:40 20,640 posts
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    lol, why does writing hiragana followed by a ) create a smiley face?!? :D
  • boo 15 Jan 2012 15:15:04 13,334 posts
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    Thanks Piro, I'm sure that'll help.

    Good luck with the app!
  • boo 15 Jan 2012 20:54:31 13,334 posts
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    Trying to do some translation, and I've got a photographer who's describing his room and he's saying he lives and works there.
    I've now got the sentence :

    しょくじ もします

    Literally, that would be 'meal also to do', so would I be right in thinking that he means something like 'I also eat there' or 'I also cook there'?

    If it's 'eat', then surely it would involve tabemasu. Maybe 'to do meal' is cook.

    The more Japanese I do, the less I understand...


    Edited by boo at 20:54:43 15-01-2012
  • boo 15 Jan 2012 21:52:44 13,334 posts
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    And one more...

    Nihon no seikatsu wa dou desu ka.

    Something to do with living in Japan, or making a living, but my brain's getting a bit befuddled now.
  • Pirotic Moderator 15 Jan 2012 22:08:18 20,640 posts
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    Hi, typing this on iPad so excuse shortness

    The first is pretty common in Japanese, a noun and suru behaves much like a verb. I've yet to have a good explanation as to what the difference is, I'm sure there is a nuance but my friends all swear it's just a choice. 駅の前で、しょくじをしました. Remember taberu is a transitive verb so you need an object to say you ate, whereas with the above you can just say you ate without mentioning what was eaten.

    The latter, 生活 means living or way of living. So it's "How is the Japanese way of living"
  • boo 15 Jan 2012 22:12:08 13,334 posts
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    You're a star!

    Cheers, mate!
  • ilmaestro 16 Jan 2012 00:15:00 32,679 posts
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    My own fault (obviously), but I haven't upgraded from iOS 3 on my phone (issues with the Nike+ app), so I haven't had a chance to try out the app yet. :(
  • Pirotic Moderator 21 Jan 2012 20:50:53 20,640 posts
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    Hmm, I didn't think that people may not have updated to iOS5 tbh. I best put a warning in the description, I figured I'd aim straight for iOS5 as the devices which don't support it are probably a bit too slow for the type of search this app uses.

    Working on a new feature at the moment, Rikaichan style web-browser - just wish the 'copy' text mechanic on the built-in browser didn't suck so badly. Hopefully I'll find a word around.

    (If I copy anything to clipboard, it pops up a modal dialog showing either the kana reading and meaning, or if it can't find the word - the kanji meanings).
  • ilmaestro 21 Jan 2012 21:12:19 32,679 posts
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    My phone supports it, but some stuff doesn't work as well on it for my liking (Nike+, mainly, as mentioned).

    Edited by ilmaestro at 21:12:56 21-01-2012
  • JinTypeNoir 30 Jan 2012 22:02:00 4,392 posts
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    しょくじ implies a meal, sit down and eat moment. たべる can be anything from a snack to OMG! she ate a spider, it wriggled and squiggled inside her, perhaps she'll die!
  • Pirotic Moderator 1 Feb 2012 21:17:47 20,640 posts
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    That makes sense.. cheers for the explanation.
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