Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so Page 48

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  • MrSensible 16 Apr 2013 19:16:28 25,230 posts
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    JinTypeNoir wrote:
    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.
    I'm already in love with Doraemon, just from a quick Google! I'll pick up a couple of those methinks as it shouldn't be too long before we start picking up the pace in the class.

    At the moment she's only teaching us some basics, getting us to understand how sentences work, recognise characters, etc, rather than filling us with an endless list of words to parrot.

    But yeah, Doraemon is already looking good! I've heard it's a smart idea to pick up some kids books anyway like.

    I'm having a look at some apps and this one on Android seems good - it's 'Human Japanese'. Anyone have any experience with it?
  • boo 16 Apr 2013 22:05:21 11,845 posts
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    I've got Human Japanese on the iPad, and I think it's pretty good. It's not cheap by any means, but I found it useful. It covers a good amount of stuff, but doesn't assume that you know anything, so starts from scratch.
    Well worth picking up.

    Another vote for the Kana version of Japanese for Busy People (and if you can, pick up the Workbook too - no substitute for lots of practice).

    I've also got Minna No Nihongo, but it's a bit of a mind scrambler to start with - definitely something to be used with a bit of guidance from your tutor. If you're still studying in a year, pick it up then.

    Try not to concentrate purely on reading and writing. If you can, grab one of the CD based courses - the BBC does a couple, and there are any number of others out there. The important thing is trying to get your ear tuned in to the sound of the speech.
    Even watching anime with a Japanese soundtrack is good. Don't worry that you don't understand it - just listen to the sound of it. You'll gradually find that you recognise the odd word here and there.

    If there's one bit of advice I'd offer (which I failed to do), it's try and study little and often. I used to do nothing for a week and then cram the night before class.

    Ten minutes every day is better than 2 hours, once a week.

    Have fun!

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  • MrSensible 17 Apr 2013 07:53:26 25,230 posts
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    Thanks for the advice! I think I'll try Human Japanese... the cost isn't TOO bad and it shows you the stroke order for the characters in a really good way. Plus I like the idea of it reading words out to you just by clicking them.

    At the moment it's still new to me so I'm still all excited about it and doing little bits every day. For the time being we're only really learning 'how things work' as it were but it's still fun.
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 17 Apr 2013 12:45:52 610 posts
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    I seem to recall Gon having no words in it other than sound effects (or are there more volumes than the ones I read years ago?).

    I also enjoyed using graded reader sets for practice which are usually kids' books (with several different 'grades') so you can get some cultural stuff from them too (although a few in the sets I bought were translated foreign stories).
  • MrSensible 18 Apr 2013 10:47:23 25,230 posts
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    Well I've got my class and now, on top, I've downloaded three different apps to give a test run - Human Japanese, JA Sensei and Obenkyo. They all seem pretty good but I haven't had much time yet to go through. HJ and JA Sensei seem to have a lot of cultural stuff, which is good.
  • JinTypeNoir 23 Apr 2013 07:26:22 4,392 posts
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    One_Vurfed_Gwrx wrote:
    I seem to recall Gon having no words in it other than sound effects (or are there more volumes than the ones I read years ago?).
    Exactly, there are very few words in the entire thing, but the actions are so expressive that you can tell what is happening and I imagine he'll learn from the few words and sentences that are used in it. One way or another, its very, very easy to understand for someone who doesn't know Japanese very well yet.
  • boo 30 Apr 2013 21:31:07 11,845 posts
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    Quick one.
    Can anyone remind me of the verb 'to turn off', or 'to switch off', as in 'turn off the radio'?

    Cheers?

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • JinTypeNoir 1 May 2013 03:02:18 4,392 posts
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    Kesu, けす, 消す.
  • boo 1 May 2013 08:41:20 11,845 posts
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    Thanks, JTN!

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • zoolophage 13 May 2013 18:43:11 1,884 posts
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    Ok, so it looks like I too am learning Japanese! I fancy learning something that's challenging and will keep me busy for a few years. I already study Spanish fairly seriously and have learned how to learn a language on my own (basically you have to study almost every day / every other day or you might as well forget it), so I'm looking forward to getting started.

    My starting resources are:

    - Living Language Japanese (I like this series for Spanish, so snagged a 2002 edition with a couple of cassettes. Seems like the later editions of LL are slightly dumbed down).

    - Linguaphone Japanese (seems rather dated and formal language and it's all in romaji but 1980s Linguaphone courses are absolute language learning gold).

    - Remembering the Kanji

    - Remembering the Kana

    I figure that lot should easily keep me busy for the rest of the year. I will also look into getting Japanese for Busy People Kana edition and maybe Genki as well. Any tips / hint etc. will be much appreciated. I will be getting started once my books arrive later this week.

    3DS: 2019-9957-3472

  • Razz 22 May 2013 15:03:36 61,400 posts
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    Hey all you wierdo Japanophiles, how do you feel about this article?:

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2012/05/01/issues/yes-i-can-use-chopsticks-the-everyday-microaggressions-that-grind-us-down/#.UZzKoLXrwW6

    PErsonally, in my limited experience, it really hits the nail on the head.,

    Edited by Razz at 15:08:21 22-05-2013

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  • uiruki 22 May 2013 15:13:14 3,708 posts
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    Yeah, bunch of weirdos, they should use metal chopsticks like the coreans do. Just because Debito's crippling Asperger's causes him to resent small talk with strangers doesn't mean that it is at all uniquely Japanese.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 22 May 2013 15:16:22 11,404 posts
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    Personally, in my extensive experience, it really hits the nail on the head.

    || PSN Barrysama || NNID Barrysama ||

  • MrSensible 8 Jun 2013 20:08:53 25,230 posts
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    Been doing my class for about eight weeks now and been loving it! It's very chilled out as it's only once a week, which is a shame as I'd love to dedicate more time to it, but it's been great nonetheless.

    I've got all the hiragana down pat, it took me no time at all, but I'm notoriously TERRIBLE at actually knowing the vocabulary - as in, what the bloody words actually mean!

    I've been advised that simply sitting with the list of words from class and making my own Flash Cards (making them myself being the key) will help me a lot, so I've started doing that this week. It seems to be working but I'm not sure I'm really doing it right, as this is the first language I've ever really learnt.

    Does anybody have any other suggestions of things I could try to learn more vocab?

    I'd like to start learning some katakana soon as well, so I can better understand the 'Japanese For Busy People' book I just bought yesterday!

    Edited by thefilthandthefury at 20:10:20 08-06-2013

    Edited by thefilthandthefury at 20:14:36 08-06-2013
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 9 Jun 2013 14:56:20 610 posts
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    Razz wrote:
    Hey all you wierdo Japanophiles, how do you feel about this article?:

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2012/05/01/issues/yes-i-can-use-chopsticks-the-everyday-microaggressions-that-grind-us-down/#.UZzKoLXrwW6

    PErsonally, in my limited experience, it really hits the nail on the head.,
    Meh, you get pretty much the same base questions in Korea too, with a few minor variations (stranger asks you your salary upon meeting). Although to be fair in Korea most of the questions get asked to new Koreans too (bar the "Can you eat kimchi/spicy food/ with chopsticks?" types). you also get the "big businesses" with their "No foreigners!" rules that would get shut down or fined in the west (such as night clubs).

    And to stay on topic, learning vocabulary was always my worst part of language learning. What I did was learn kanji and associated words for each character and compound, mainly using pen and paper notebooks. I keep planning to try and setup Anki cards to get back into study but the preparation time puts me off. But, as you said you are still working on your kana my method may not be too helpful... In my notebooks I tried to have separate sections for verbs, nouns and adjectives (with subsections for the verb and adjective types) so I could study one type of vocabulary at a time.
  • JinTypeNoir 9 Jun 2013 15:35:03 4,392 posts
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    Razz wrote:
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2012/05/01/issues/yes-i-can-use-chopsticks-the-everyday-microaggressions-that-grind-us-down/#.UZzKoLXrwW6

    PErsonally, in my limited experience, it really hits the nail on the head.
    No, no it doesn't. It is a profoundly retarded article.

    For instance, this line "Now we have a word to describe why it gets discomfiting when people keep asking if you can use chopsticks (the assumption being that manual dexterity is linked to phenotype)," no, the assumption would be for non-Asians that they don't usually use chopsticks, but knives, forks or other utensils and so they're not probably not used to our way. This article doesn't consider the many Asian foreigners who live here, which is hilarious because they are the majority of the foreigners.

    We have dozens of these things for dozens of different groups of people, Japanese or foreigner, it isn't meant to keep you in your place, its meant as a fishing line to see if you are comfortable talking to me, because the great majority have polite responses that can be given if its clear you're not interested and open up for a more unique response if you are. If you think about it, while your culture may not have the same protocol, conversation across the world tends to operate on similar "opening line" principles no matter where you go.

    To give an example among Japanese, we often comment to very young children with えらい! when they can tie their shoes by themselves or hold their chopsticks well or balance on something. This is not because we think they are retarded, but because they are young and inexperienced. OBVIOUSLY. We ask tall or athletic-looking people if they play a sport. This is not because we think they are too dumb to be an architect, writer or engineer, but because their frame may hint that they are into heavy exercise. OBVIOUSLY. As you read this, parallels probably come to mind in your country, culture or language.

    If the person in the article listened to the way we talk and treated us less like specimens to be analyzed because we don't do things the way they are used to, you might find a little secret in the way we talk. Hint: all of our common questions and remarks are there to prompt the person receiving it into giving us a unique response.

    Here you can play along at home.

    A: "Wow! You can use chopsticks!"
    B: "I actually like to use them for spaghetti too."
    A: "Heeee~, some people I know do that too."
    B: "Do you ever find anything hard to eat with chopsticks though?"
    A: "Hmmm, it can be hard to cut meat sometimes, so you really need a knife."
    B: "Do you like steak?"
    A: "I love steak."
    B: "Have you ever had~" and now mention a steak you've had an accessible restaurant or made in a certain way and look you're now on the inside of the conversation!

    Look how easy it is if you're not a social retard!

    It's just another one of those completely annoying, "Oooh, I've figured it out all out about a whole nation of over 120 million people and now I'm going to let you in on it with pseudointellectual diarrhea."

    The only people making themselves feel like outsiders are the morons who think that coming to a country with 95% born-and-raised native population and ethnicity are not going to be curious or tend to obey the social rules we've been taught.

    I just realized that was the Japan Times, because I immediately scrolled down to read the article at first and didn't see the header. Why did I even waste my time? Japan Times must be one of the top 10 worst news sites in the world.

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 15:37:48 09-06-2013
  • Telepathic.Geometry 10 Jun 2013 06:27:11 11,404 posts
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    Jin, when you have been living in Japan for a little over 5 years like I have, and people are still amazed that you can use chopsticks, still amazed that you can read katakana or write hiragana (which I learned how to do about 5 years ago in the space of a week or two), when you say "excuse me" to someone in the bathroom and they yell "しゃべった!" (He spoke!) you start putting more weight on that guy's link.

    Whenever I am trying to make a point in a debate in Japan, the old line of "you're not Japanese so you don't get it" or worse again "your opinion is like that because you're a foreigner" is trotted out.

    I love Japan, and I love my life here, but it has to be said Jin, Japan is a deeply racist (and sexist) country. I'm sure we won't all agree, so I won't labour the point.

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  • twelveways 10 Jun 2013 08:45:10 4,069 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!
    In English, the thing that you enjoy doing is a gerund, not a verb. It is treated like a noun. Not sure if that helps with Japanese though.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 10 Jun 2013 08:56:36 11,404 posts
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    If you mean in general, I know a couple of ways to say it:
    「歩くのが好きです。」= Arukuno ga suki desu. = I like to walk.
    「歩く事が好きです。」= Aruku koto ga suki desu. = I like to walk.

    The negative of the same thing would be just to replace the "desu" with "deha arimasen" or to replace the "suki" with "kirai" to say "I dislike walking.". Hope that helps. Sorry for not noticing it earlier by the way.

    || PSN Barrysama || NNID Barrysama ||

  • Nazo 10 Jun 2013 08:58:47 372 posts
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    @JinTypeNoir
    Actually the article is spot on and any foreigner who has lived in Japan for an extended period of time will recognize much of what is written there. Unfortunately your defensive and aggressive reaction pretty much demonstrates exactly what the author is talking about: here is someone talking about his own experiences of living in a foreign country and you, part of the majority of that country, are shouting him down and telling him he is wrong. How dare this uppity foreigner criticize my country when we are just trying to be nice? I think most of us recognize, as does the author, that there are good intentions behind the questioning, which is what makes it so difficult to deal with at times.

    You seem to have read it as an attack on Japan and the Japanese but I don't think it was, it's more of a commentary on a general social phenomena, framed through the author's own experience of it, which happens to be in Japan. My Japanese wife experiences many of the same things living in the UK, and his comment about being accused of being over sensitive really hot a chord with me regarding the media coverage of some of the minorities in this country. However Japan's homogeneity and ingroup / outgroup based culture tends to make the phenomena even more pronounced in my experience and it's not easy to live somewhere where you are constantly reminded 'you are not one of us'.
  • JinTypeNoir 10 Jun 2013 09:22:50 4,392 posts
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    "Oh he was just trying to state his utterly moronic opinion, and you shouted him down as the majority, oooh boo hoo."

    The Japan Times, that person and anyone who agrees with him are subscribing to such aggressively moronic opinions that it's a wonder they can live here. Your argument is so stupid it does not deserve to be acknowledged. Your kind of black hole logic always resorts to this type of mischaracterizing anyone who disagrees with you. Of course any foreigner is allowed to live here, even with ones with dumb misconceptions, but I don't think they should be surprised if no one likes them is they have such douchey attitudes.

    Just because you live in a country for five years does not make you an expert on those people. We have a lot of problems here and surely one of the most insidious is aggressively stupid people feeling their experiences entitle them to come to faulty conclusions and push absolutely toxic ways of thinking. Social phenomena my ass, it was an appallingly racist article and there's no two ways around it.

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 09:25:16 10-06-2013
  • uiruki 10 Jun 2013 09:37:57 3,708 posts
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    I'm surprised that people here aren't more familiar with Debito. He used to be much more reasonable (but always a bit "out there" in terms of interpreting as much stuff as possible as a personal, racial insult). It looks like years of making a living through hypersensitivity and petty infighting amongst other white activists in Japan have taken their toll, though.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 10 Jun 2013 09:46:18 11,404 posts
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    :) I saw this coming...

    Rather than discuss, or engage, it's just "you guys are stupid/douches/over-sensitive!" I'll be honest, if it weren't so hilariously predictable, it would be sad.

    You can disagree. I'm sure some people think that it's not racism, and fair play to them. I might argue with them, but I'm not just gonna dismiss them out of hand as arseholes or crybabies or idiots or whatever other slur you used up there Jin...

    Bad form.

    Edited by Telepathic.Geometry at 09:52:00 10-06-2013

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  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 10 Jun 2013 13:03:54 610 posts
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    I've encountered Debito's stuff before over the years and he does get a bee in his bonnet about things. My comparison with Korea wasn't an attack or a defense, merely saying that you will get similar things here too, and mostly from people trying to be complimentary.

    Then again, if we wanted to tangent further off-topic with this we can talk about positive discrimination, which I have encountered both in Korea and Japan where you will get treated better because you are a foreigner (obviously trying to make a good impression or be genuinely kind). Some people complain about that too. I just deal with things as they come.

    Now, this is the point where I should have some language related question to bring us back on topic but my studies have been minimal recently...
  • Telepathic.Geometry 10 Jun 2013 15:10:09 11,404 posts
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    I don't think anyone is gonna say that racism is exclusively Japanese, that'd be crazy. I've heard Irish people comment on how black people are a very musical people, and refer to all non-Irish people as foreigners rather than, say, Polish or French or something.

    Emm, here's my addition to the language element of this thread.

    Normal Japanese: 言わないで!
    Kochi Dialect: 言わんといて!

    Normal Japanese: 構わないからさ!
    Kochi Dialect: かまんきや!

    Edited by Telepathic.Geometry at 15:22:46 10-06-2013

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  • Nazo 10 Jun 2013 16:02:45 372 posts
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    @uiruki
    I remember him being a fairly controversial figure when I was there and that's going back 10 years. He seems a bit of a Stallman type: though I agree with him broadly he often goes too far and expresses things in unhelpful terms.

    @Telepathic.Geometry
    Kochi rocks! I never could pick up the dialect though.
  • MrSensible 10 Jun 2013 18:11:39 25,230 posts
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    One_Vurfed_Gwrx wrote:
    And to stay on topic, learning vocabulary was always my worst part of language learning. What I did was learn kanji and associated words for each character and compound, mainly using pen and paper notebooks. I keep planning to try and setup Anki cards to get back into study but the preparation time puts me off. But, as you said you are still working on your kana my method may not be too helpful... In my notebooks I tried to have separate sections for verbs, nouns and adjectives (with subsections for the verb and adjective types) so I could study one type of vocabulary at a time.
    Thanks, I'll give it a try! I think my problem is that no matter how much I try to do on my own, I'm going into it all a bit blind. I wish the class was more often than once a week tbh, I'm the sort of person who'd benefit from more regular classes.

    Been cramming the vocab we learnt last week before I head out tonight. Spent all weekend on it too. I can guarantee I'll forget about 85% of it when I'm sat there though. It's a bit depressing and disheartening.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 11 Jun 2013 04:31:23 11,404 posts
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    @filth: If you wanna practice your Japanese on gmail chat or something, I don't mind doing it once in a while. Romaji or hiragana or kanji, whatever suits you. Let me know. If you really wanna learn, I'll help you.

    || PSN Barrysama || NNID Barrysama ||

  • MrSensible 11 Jun 2013 07:39:44 25,230 posts
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    @Telepathic.Geometry Ah thanks! Not a bad idea at all. My class ends in a couple of weeks before we go back to start more advanced stuff in September, so I'll probably contact you in-between my classes if possible. I'm not planning on leaving it alone while we're not attending - got a book and a few apps to help me out to keep me learning.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 11 Jun 2013 07:53:24 11,404 posts
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    @thefilthandthefury Cool beans. My e-mail address is in my profile, so let me know whenever you wanna practice. d-(^-^)

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