Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so Page 47

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  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 13 Nov 2012 11:14:20 645 posts
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    Yup, San nen mae ni ... mashita.
  • boo 19 Nov 2012 22:15:16 11,928 posts
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    And another one...

    One of the books that I read pretty early on drilled into me that the verb always goes at the end of the sentence.

    Which is fine if it's a simple sentence.

    But what if there are two verbs? So for example, I'm trying to translate :

    I really enjoy playing the drums.

    There's a verb : to enjoy, and there's a second verb : to play.

    I'm guessing I'll end up doing something like :

    Watashi wa doramu daisuki desu.

    But can anyone enlighten me on how you decide which verb goes last if there is more than one?

    Thanks!

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  • boo 19 Nov 2012 22:31:54 11,928 posts
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    And another one.

    I can find plenty of examples of 'I like (noun)', e.g. I like sushi, or I love jazz.

    But I can't find out how to say 'I like / don't like (verb).

    For example, I like walking, or I don't like flying.

    I'm sure it's not that complicated, but it's driving me nuts!

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  • JinTypeNoir 20 Nov 2012 11:28:07 4,392 posts
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    boo wrote:

    One of the books that I read pretty early on drilled into me that the verb always goes at the end of the sentence.
    This is not true. Not at all.

    Which is fine if it's a simple sentence.

    But what if there are two verbs? So for example, I'm trying to translate :

    I really enjoy playing the drums.

    There's a verb : to enjoy, and there's a second verb : to play.
    I think its a good idea to stop thinking about direct translations and start thinking about it in terms of not how you want to say something you would say in English and more about how you would express a similar concept the Japanese way. In this case, the problem you are thinking of the term "suki" as a verb meaning to enjoy, which is not the case. Something closer to "enjoy" that is actually is a verb is "tanoshimu," but you wouldn't use either "suki" or "tanoshimu."

    So in your example, something more natural would be like doramu ga tokui yo, or going closer to your sentence, doramu ga daisuki da. Keep in mind, if you are a man, you need that da at the end if you don't want to sound like a six-year-old schoolgirl to us.


    But can anyone enlighten me on how you decide which verb goes last if there is more than one?
    Depends on what you want to say, there are many different grammatical formations, each with different meanings -- and don't let anyone tell you that the difference in meaning is slight, they often aren't to us. I'm not sure where you are right now, but it sounds like you are near the beginning of your studies. I think its best to just not worry about it and learn them one at a time.

    In the meantime, ditch the idea that the verb always goes at the end of the sentence, because it is absolutely false.
  • JinTypeNoir 20 Nov 2012 11:36:28 4,392 posts
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    boo wrote:
    And another one.

    I can find plenty of examples of 'I like (noun)', e.g. I like sushi, or I love jazz.

    But I can't find out how to say 'I like / don't like (verb).

    For example, I like walking, or I don't like flying.

    I'm sure it's not that complicated, but it's driving me nuts!
    An easy way to do it and the way it usually goes to convert the verb into a noun by adding "no" or "koto" to it. So in your examples, "aruku no ga suki janai" or "aruku no ga shindoi," for I don't like walking. Keep in mind it is slightly unnatural, but that's probably okay for now. For I don't flying, "hikouki ni noru no ga suki janai/kirai/nigate."

    A second way to do it is to replace the verb with a noun. So for walking, if it is walking to destination, "toho" will do, if it is the hobby or act of walking for pleasure, then "sanpo" or "wookingu" is the ticket. (Note, with the word "toho," the whole sentence structure and word choice will have to change too.) For flying, you can just use the airplane (hikouki) and that will stand for the act of flying by itself.
  • boo 20 Nov 2012 22:49:41 11,928 posts
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    Thanks JTN, that's really helpful!

    Yes, I would class myself as a beginner. I do an evening class once a week (and not nearly enough homework), so although I've just started year 3, I'm still stumbling over lots of things.

    More practice needed!!

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  • senso-ji 3 Dec 2012 20:14:20 6,038 posts
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    I have a reading and writing assessment in my Japanese beginner's class tomorrow and I would appreciate if people told me if the following was correct:

    きのうえきのとうきょうにいきました

    or is it:

    きのうとうきょうのえきにいきました

    The test will involve writing out short sentences out like the one above (given the english). Our teacher gave us some practice ones and I'm wondering whether the positioning of the 'no' particle is correct (as well as the rest)?
  • boo 3 Dec 2012 20:44:26 11,928 posts
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    I'd wait for some confirmation, but looking at those two, I believe that neither of them is quite right. If I remember correctly, when referring to stations, you don't need the の.
    So Tokyo station would be とうきょう えき。

    とうきょう の えき would be 'a station in Tokyo'.

    Edit - Fixed spelling as per TG's advice

    Edited by boo at 09:12:46 04-12-2012

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  • Telepathic.Geometry 4 Dec 2012 08:17:25 11,554 posts
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    Yup, I've never used or heard 'no' stuck in between the place-name and the station. boo speaks truth... Except it's "toukyou", not "toukyo". ;) (Sorry for the romaji, EG doesn't like my hiragana or kani for some reason...)

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  • senso-ji 4 Dec 2012 16:33:02 6,038 posts
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    Thanks guys; I asked a Japanese guy here at work and he confirmed that if you use the 'no' particle in this instance, you're describing any station in Tokyo, rather than one called 'Tokyo station'.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 5 Dec 2012 02:24:41 11,554 posts
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    Nice, another mystery solved gang! d--(^-^)--b

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  • MrSensible 26 Mar 2013 23:54:41 25,353 posts
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    Starting a Japanese class in a couple of weeks... bit scared tbh as I've never studied a language before (being forced to do French at school doesn't count).

    I might get on with this a lot more than other languages though as I'm obviously into Japanese culture already: I like Japanese movies, games, food, history, etc.

    Still it's just a chilled out kind of deal I think, it's not at a Uni or anything, so it will hopefully be something I can cope with.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 27 Mar 2013 06:10:46 11,554 posts
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    Fair play to ya man. I think that in the beginning it's really interesting to get into the writing side of it (very basic kanji and kana) and the basic strangeness of the grammar. But it's very exciting, enjoy!

    And also feel free to chime in any time with questions...

    THE COLLECTIVE'S GOT YOUR BACK!

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  • senso-ji 27 Mar 2013 06:30:24 6,038 posts
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    @thefilthandthefury

    I agree with TG; its exciting to learn a new language. I started Japanese classes on October last year and in 6 months I went from knowing zero Japanese to writing a 300 word assessment about my day. As long as your tutor is good and helpful (and I'm sure they will be) then it shouldn't be too difficult to learn.

    My one piece of advice is to practice everyday, even if its just for a few minutes, as languages are easily forgotten if not practiced regularly.
  • MrSensible 27 Mar 2013 07:49:17 25,353 posts
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    Thanks guys! The teacher seems like a good option. She's one of the heads of the Japan Society North West and they organise regular events and whatnot in the area (mostly Manchester though). One of the people on her course told me they sometimes go out for meals and have to order and speak to the staff solely in Japanese so that'll be good - hoping to go to Tokyo next year and that was one of the things I was worried about actually doing!

    In the past I've been a notoriously lazy student but this is the first time I've ever actually WANTED to do something, something I'm interested in, so I'm going to keep that in my mind to focus myself and make sure to at least do SOMETHING every day, as you suggested.

    I want to get to the point where I can stick a movie on and try to understand it!
  • Telepathic.Geometry 27 Mar 2013 09:16:39 11,554 posts
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    Understanding everything in a movie will be a long time coming, but you'd be surprised how satisfying even in the beginning it is to notice "Oh, he said okay" or "Ah, that was a question" or "A-ha! That was past tense and negative!"

    It's a lovely language too. I'm almost jealous of you. I speak Japanese almost exclusively most of the time, so it's becoming almost boring for me now.

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  • boo 27 Mar 2013 10:15:24 11,928 posts
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    Good stuff Filth (is that an acceptable shorting of your username?). Don't be put of by hiragana and katakana. As other say - do a bit every day, and you'll be amazed how quickly it starts to sink in. But do do a bit every day. Leave it a few weeks, and it all starts to fade away again. As I've found to my cost...

    Edited by boo at 10:17:28 27-03-2013

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  • MrSensible 27 Mar 2013 11:48:51 25,353 posts
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    That is fine for a shortened name, haha. In retrospect, picking a film title for a name wasn't so smart.

    Anyways, thanks for the encouraging words! I'm actually looking forward to the hiragana and katakana to be honest! It's so different to anything I've dealt with before and it just nice to look at!

    I know I won't be able to understand a full film or anything for a loooooong time, but it's kind of a personal goal. I'm very goal-based!

    I'm hoping to spend a bit of time in Japan in the future so not only will learning this be fun (hopefully!) but practical too. I spend half of my free time reading up about culture, history, etc as it is anyway... this can be an extension of that.
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 27 Mar 2013 23:11:13 645 posts
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    And as people have said, the key difference for studying etc is that this is something you want to study, not something you're being forced to. I am terrible at studying but managed to get into Japanese study well in my first year or so (although I got lax after getting to higher levels, mainly due to lack of time with work etc) (I am also lazy with studying Korean despite living here, as I know the key stuff to get by and a bunch of grammar but going through vocabulary acquisition again seems like a chore and I feel I should be doing it for my Japanese too ;)

    EDIT - As an aside, learning Japanese in an evening class did turn out to be the impetus to finally get back into education and get a degree, as it was the best way to continue at the time. So for me, I have that aspect too, even if it isn't the most useful language on the job market.

    Edited by One_Vurfed_Gwrx at 23:13:07 27-03-2013
  • Telepathic.Geometry 28 Mar 2013 00:43:49 11,554 posts
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    @filth: If you find yourself in Hokkaido, give me a PM. I'll take care of ya...

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  • MrSensible 28 Mar 2013 13:31:18 25,353 posts
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    Thanks! I'm hoping to do the usuals first - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka... but after that a bit of travelling about! This is all assuming the finances work out the way I'm expecting though, of course.
  • boo 12 Apr 2013 15:52:45 11,928 posts
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    Hello peoples!

    We started the last term of my 3rd year Japanese class last night, and just before we finished up, our tutor said that she was going to be running a set of three evening classes over the summer, geared up to the JLPT N5 exam. That, plus our Year 4 first term in Sept (and all we've done up until now) should cover everything we need for the exam. She's suggesting we take the December test.

    Has anyone taken it?

    I'm tempted, but I know full well that I struggle quite a lot (largely due to an allergic reaction to homework). I guess if I buck my ideas up, then I've got 8 months, more-or-less, so I ought to be able to do it.

    Just wondered if anybody had tried it, and could give me a precis of what it entails? Written? Listening? Kanji etc.

    I'll have a google tonight, but there's no substitute for hearing it from someone who's done it.

    Arigatou gozaimasu!

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  • MrSensible 12 Apr 2013 18:41:07 25,353 posts
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    Forgot to mention - had my first lesson on Monday! It was great! Obviously didn't learn loads, being a first class and all, but I feel like I've made progress already. I learnt formal introductions and whatnot and we took a look at ten hiragana. I can remember them already, which isn't bad I guess! Can't wait for this coming Monday to do more and get into the swing of things.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 13 Apr 2013 01:27:19 11,554 posts
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    I've never taken N5 but I've taken N4, N3 and N2. I'll tell you right now that N5 is a complete piece of piss. After about two weeks of study, I bought a sample test and got about 98% on it.

    There're three parts. The last part is listening, but it's incredibly basic, so there's nothing to fear here. The first part will be kanji and vocabulary, and at N5 you're looking at the first 100 kanji only, which are really pretty easy to remember and impossible to confuse. Maybe population 人口 (jinkou) and entrance 入口 (iriguchi) are easy to mix up but, I can't imagine you'll have too much trouble. The third part is reading comprehension, but again, do some sample papers and you won't have any probs.

    And N4 will be relatively straightforward too, and in fact the N4 grammar (when you come to learn it) is INCREDIBLY useful. You could go very far in everyday conversation, and express a lot of what you want to say on that alone.

    Good luck man, I don't know if that helps, but if it doesn't just give me a shout. :)

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  • MrSensible 16 Apr 2013 13:37:59 25,353 posts
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    Does anybody have any general study advice or book/website recommendations for a beginner? Only had my second class last night but would like to crack on with some stuff on my own also.

    We've only really started the hiragana, so I only know about 14 characters at the moment. I can also introduce myself and inform you that kinō ginko e ikimashita :D

    There's probably mountains of stuff mixed throughout this thread like.
  • Mola_Ram 16 Apr 2013 13:51:33 8,243 posts
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    Get the rikaichan plugin for your browser. Basically, it lets you mouse over Japanese words on news sites and the like, and get a hiragana reading and English translation of words, instantly. Of course, it won't really help you with grammar, but it's never too early to start with vocab!

    Also, some of the major Japanese news sites have English sections with tips on improving Japanese. Yomiuri Online used to have a regular column called Perapera Penguin, focusing mostly on conversation topics. Unfortunately they seem to have been taken down, but this site seems to have most of them archived.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 16 Apr 2013 15:04:04 11,554 posts
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    @filth: I'm in the throes of 1999 mode right now, but if I get a chance, I'll give you my advice on good books for beginners. It's in this thread somewhere already, so if you get tired waiting, dig in man. :)

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  • senso-ji 16 Apr 2013 15:29:18 6,038 posts
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    @thefilthandthefury

    As far as books go, then my course uses 'Japanese for Busy people' (make sure you get the Kana version of the first book), which is pretty good. I also use 'Minna no Nihongo', which is entirely in Japanese, but helps a lot with practicing reading Kana and a few Kanji. I also recommend '501 Japanese verbs'. This is incredibly useful for practicing sentences and looking up the different verb conjugations.
  • MrSensible 16 Apr 2013 17:47:52 25,353 posts
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    @Mola_Ram - thanks for all that! Really great ideas actually. Sites like that are just what I was looking for and I didn't even consider anything like a browser plug-in. The site will be especially handy for me after a couple more lessons as I still only really know a couple of key phrases.

    I learnt how to ask for a name, that's how basic I am right now! (Sumimasen ga o-namae wa nan desu ka?). After only two lessons I'm kind of still at the stage where I'm just repeating things like a parrot though.

    @Telepathic.Geometry - I'll try and have a poke around but yes, any links would be most welcome... if 1999 mode doesn't drive you too up the wall!

    @senso-ji - Thanks for the recommendation! I'll definitely check that book out, I remember hearing of it before actually. I know you mentioned the kana version of the book, but is mostly Hiragana, yeah? We will eventually add the rest of the kana but we're still only working through the start of Hiragana. I might advance on myself tbh and try to learn it my own way.

    Edited by thefilthandthefury at 20:23:59 16-04-2013
  • JinTypeNoir 16 Apr 2013 17:55:50 4,392 posts
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    As for books you could read and enjoy, I really recommend the Doraemon manga. Seriously, if you're a kid at heart (as all people should be) you will enjoy it even as an adult. The stories are so creative and so much fun. Obviously, just about everything in the stories is written in hiragana, and there are many pictures, so its easy to understand.

    A long those lines, A Penguin's Troubles, Gon and Famous Detective Conan are also recommended.
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