Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so Page 3

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  • Razz 24 Jul 2008 15:19:06 61,593 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    Razz wrote:
    You're welcome. Woah! The the small workbooks (tian zi ba) are for practising characters with a normal pen, NOT the caligraphy brush! :D The one's I sent you will be fine. :) I know it's a bit odd to send normal pens but they're my favorite pens for writing characters! Usually I will write 2 pages of the same character until it starts to look "normal". It's good to have someone that knows what is accepted as a good written standard of a character, i.e. a Japanese person. Though you should aim to copy printed characters verbatim, they sometimes vary slightly from their written counterparts.

    You need to write one character per square. The grid is to help you get used to writing characters in one size and how their sizes relate to eachother.

    Any old notepad will be fine for the calligraphy brush. Using the brush is great for practising and understanding stroke order in hanzis er... characters. I've got an A4 notepad in which occasionally paint characters of varying sizes. Experiment init. Enjoy!
    Cheers, will do :-)
    Let me know when you run out ink. And I'll send you the proper high quality dried Chinese ink.

    I know this sounds really corny, but I find it helps if I kneel at a low desk and put some traditional chinese harp music on while I draw hanzis with a brush. It really puts you in the mood. Some of my best written characters come from these sessions.

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    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
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  • Razz 24 Jul 2008 16:11:19 61,593 posts
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    Dude. I'd wear traditional Chinese clothing, grow a Manchu beard and wear a hat if I could. :D

    A bit like this but in cream and more stylish with super long ankle length sleeves.

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    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
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  • dr_swin 24 Jul 2008 16:55:28 4,907 posts
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    One_Vurfed_Gwrx wrote:
    which comment?

    I just found it odd that you felt your course was being limited by a focus on medical students. I was wondering what made you write that?
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 24 Jul 2008 17:41:39 633 posts
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    dr_swin wrote:
    One_Vurfed_Gwrx wrote:
    which comment?

    I just found it odd that you felt your course was being limited by a focus on medical students. I was wondering what made you write that?

    I meant theat because the Uni is heavily med student focused other subjects including my course get less teaching hours (not had more than 10 hours of a week of lectures/seminars for all running modules at a time in first 2 years (and not likely to in 4th year either) compared to the 20-25hr + a week med students get).

    In the pecking order BAs are at the bottom prioritywise for spending cash.

    But as I said the teachers have been good despite having to work within very restrictive teaching times.

    Ilmaestro: I thought Dr Cross was a good teacher, although some of the class couldn't see through her "serious" mode (which I always saw as a deliberate cultural lesson) and thought she was scary :) Not sure where she moved to after our 1st year.



  • ilmaestro 24 Jul 2008 22:58:42 32,472 posts
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    Yep, a little scary indeed, but then again, like you say, only if you don't work with what she gives you. She certainly wasn't overly harsh.

    4235

  • askew 24 Jul 2008 23:02:38 12,557 posts
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    Razz is Pai Mai AICMFP.
  • dr_swin 5 Aug 2008 18:58:17 4,907 posts
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    massive bump, I just saw you posting in another thread and it reminded me to look up your response. It's 10 years or so since I was at uni but hasn't it always been the case that arts degrees tend to have less didactic teaching time when compared to the sciences, and a heavier reliance on coursework/self directed learning.
  • uiruki 5 Aug 2008 19:05:38 3,726 posts
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    ilmaestro wrote:
    Didn't have Kasza though as he came into Durham as I was finishing-ish.

    He joined the academic year after we graduated. John says he's a pretty good guy, and I saw him at the 'goodbye' party last year.

    edit: erk, saw the date. As for Naomi Cross, didn't she do one of our 4th year translation classes? She didn't seem harsh or anything, but since I was on keeping of terms at the time I had to make sure I was coming into every lesson :p
  • FFS 5 Aug 2008 19:08:35 650 posts
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    Whilst waiting to return to university, I would love it if anyone has any self-teaching suggestions (not doing Japanese at uni in case that's confusing).

    Learning Japanese has been one of my ambitions for the last few years and all I've done to pursue it is look at a DIY website, bookmarked it and then forgotton about it! I'd love to travel there a fair old bit when I'm done with uni so I'm with Lesser on this one.

    Right, now I'm going to read the thread...
  • Angel_Treats 5 Aug 2008 20:21:38 11,072 posts
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    Michel Thomas Japanese is out now

    I haven't tried this but I have used his other ones and found them very good.
  • ProfessorLesser 5 Aug 2008 20:23:01 19,407 posts
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    I haven't had any time to put into this recently, it's pissing me off. Too much damn admin to go through in other departments. FFS, fucking Life, stop shitting on my dreams! Bastard-cheese.
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 6 Aug 2008 01:56:32 633 posts
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    dr_swin: Yeah, it may have alwasy been the case but I still don't agree with it :)

    uiruki: I think they are/were both good teachers, and enjoyed classes with them (although as mentioned felt we don't get enough contact hours). Dr Cross has moved somewhere else, whereas Dr Kasza was our main teacher in second year (in our 1st year Dr Cross led the course but ran only one of the 4 hours a week of teaching).

    No idea about next year and it'll be another year until I'm back as got Kansai to survive next :)

    Still got no idea how to prepare luggage for 9 months away (especially in a 20 KG limit...)

  • Razz 6 Aug 2008 02:03:16 61,593 posts
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    askew wrote:
    Razz is Pai Mai AICMFP.
    Pai Mei :p

    Yeah, I wish. Uma's Mandarin in that scene was awful. Spoken with a complete disregard for tones. :(

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    Steam/PSN/XBOX: Razztafarai | 3DS: 1246-9674-8856
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  • Pirotic Moderator 26 Mar 2009 07:46:45 20,648 posts
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    NINJA BUMP!

    So, I got that ubisoft japanese coach game for the NDS as a joke surprise birthday present, and decided to give it a try at 9pm last night (in-front of everyone) just so I didn't look too ungrateful.

    Finally turned it off at 2am after learning about 20-odd words, and the most shocking thing is, this morning I still remember 18 of them! So maybe I'm not too old and decrepit to learn a new language after all.

    I figured I should give it a proper go and get a book on the written aspect of japanese as well, but don't know where to start. Ideally I'd love to eventually go over there and do some shopping, and also I play a fuck-ton of japanese imported games, so which type of writing should I learn first? They seem to have like 3 kinds, and it's bloody confusing.

    From what I think I know, Kanji is proper Japanese, katana is english written using japanese characters or something like that. But what type of writing do they use in the games etc? as I'd have imagined that's the best place to start seeing as I have a huge pile of games I can test myself on.

    Do any of our forum experts care to put me on the right track?

    Arigato!

    (how come ii is good, but iie is no, shouldn't iie be bad and dame be no, that'd of made it way easier to remember, so confusing)
  • FWB 26 Mar 2009 07:54:26 45,170 posts
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    Welcome to Japanese culture. Highly paradoxical.
  • twelveways 26 Mar 2009 08:00:50 4,126 posts
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    One_Vurfed_Gwrx wrote:
    Still got no idea how to prepare luggage for 9 months away (especially in a 20 KG limit...)


    Buy stuff when you get there.
  • mrharvest 26 Mar 2009 08:07:53 5,201 posts
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    Pirotic wrote:
    (how come ii is good, but iie is no, shouldn't iie be bad and dame be no, that'd of made it way easier to remember, so confusing)
    How come 'no' is no, and 'nob' is a cock? :)

    TG summarised quite well on the first page:
    Telepathic.Geometry wrote:
    A. Learn your hiragana and your katakana.
    B. Get yourself a decent book on Japanese. I have a few here, so I'll just recommend my personal arsenal:
    1) Japanese for College Students: Basic (three books in the series),
    2) Genki. An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (two books in the series),
    3) A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese (this is nothing more than a kanji book).
    Games aimed at younger population has the kanji written with so called 'furigana', which is small hiragana on top or next to the kanji. So if you learn hiragana you'll be able to start playing some games right away. You will also need katakana since it's used a lot, and not just for foreign words.

    After that it's just a long slog for getting the 1000-2000 kanji in.

    Imo reading manga is a good way to learn to read. You'll be rewarded for understanding what they say, there's plenty of contextual hints (i.e. the drawings), the vocabulary is usually fairly limited, you can progress at your own pace, etc.
  • Pirotic Moderator 26 Mar 2009 08:24:41 20,648 posts
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    So lets say, the Final Fantasy games, or more specifically the menu and item names, are they written in full on Kanji? for some reason I thought games used mostly katakana because of hardware restrictions in terms of how many characters they can have for the fonts.
  • FWB 26 Mar 2009 08:28:10 45,170 posts
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    Katakana is used for foreign words. Anything foreign will be written in that. Kanji is used but sometimes you get the the hirangana above it. I know that's the case in Zelda, for example. Depends on the game though.

    Menus could be one or the other. Mario Kart DS, for example, uses a mix of English video-game words, e.g. "mini-game", written in Katakana, and Japanese words in hiragana. PES DS uses kanji.
  • Pirotic Moderator 26 Mar 2009 08:37:55 20,648 posts
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    Wow, so it's a real mish mash then? but in cases where they might be aimed at children they sometimes whack the easier to learn hiragana above it. So hiragana and katakana should get me tho most of the kiddy games then and they seem easy enough to learn.

    Cheers, I'll stick with that for now. I suppose once I know the hiragana it might make it easier to learn the words they come attached to.

    Any DS japanese game recommendations? Any which are entirely in either katakana or hiragana?
  • FWB 26 Mar 2009 08:43:28 45,170 posts
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    Pretty much. Even in the same game I find some menus easier to navigate than others. :)

    Yeah, might be why Zelda has the hiragana, cos it is also aimed at kids. I learned hiragana and katakana in about a week. Best method is to practise writing them. Will definitely help. My kanji is shite. You'll pick bits and pieces here and there.

    Recommend as in "to learn a lot" or that you'll be able to play? :)
  • Pirotic Moderator 26 Mar 2009 08:46:56 20,648 posts
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    Erm.. Ideally if you know of any good/classic games which are written entirely in one or the other (or failing that, just no kanji but with both). Just as a learning aid really. My main fear is that no matter what I'm going to pick up, be it manga, game or what-not, that it's going to have too much kanji for me to make any sense of it even if I learn both katakana and hiragana.
  • boo 26 Mar 2009 09:08:45 11,897 posts
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    I would imagine anybody who's trying to learn Japanese on here is probably already aware of Japanese on the DS. I'm planning on taking evening classes this year, but as a start, I picked up the BBC CD/Book Course, which is a fairly gentle intro to the basics.

    Edit!!

    Ah! The DS game/app would be the one that Pirotic mentioned earlier. A quick look on Amazon reveals that there's 3 or four similar things available.

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • Pirotic Moderator 26 Mar 2009 09:21:20 20,648 posts
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    It's pretty good once you find your way around the menus, I was looking for a japanese game I can put what I've learnt into practice on, ideally a game or manga written entirely in katakana or something.
  • boo 26 Mar 2009 09:41:27 11,897 posts
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    Pirotic - where are you?
    If you're anywhere near central London (hey! isn't everybody?), try downstairs at the Japanese Centre on Picadilly. A ton of manga in Japanese!

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • JinTypeNoir 26 Mar 2009 10:10:36 4,392 posts
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    Pirotic, nearly all Famicom games and some of the earlier Super Famicom and Mega Drive games are in purely hiragana/katakana, so stuff like early Zelda, Phantasy Star, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and so on. Back then the hardware restrictions did make it difficult to put kanji in games, but these days, it's not the case. Maybe the virtual console or an emulator would be a good place to start.

    Also games for children have very little kanji in them or none at all. Sometimes, like in the Japanese version of Chocobo Tales for the DS, you can choose whether you want the script written in kana or kanji. A lot of Nintendo's games are pretty simple too. Phantom Hourglass allows you to touch the kanji on the screen and get a reading of the kana.

    As well, there are any number of games geared to the Japanese for learning or practicing kanji, as that's a big entertainment thing over here, and you can set a good deal of them at the simplest or earliest level, so if you run out of content in that Ubisoft, keep in mind there's lots of Japanese ones you can pick up too.
  • CitizenGeek 26 Mar 2009 11:16:45 3,465 posts
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    Angel_Treats wrote:
    Michel Thomas Japanese is out now

    I haven't tried this but I have used his other ones and found them very good.

    The Niamh Kelly that authored that book is actually a lecturer at my university (DCU). Weird! :D Well, I assume it's her as the odds of there being two Niamh Kellys who are Japanese experts is relatively slim.

    Everyone seems to be giving out about kanji in this thread, but it's honestly the best way to read Japanese. I know about 250 now and I can't imagine reading entire sentences just in hiragana.
  • FWB 26 Mar 2009 12:59:29 45,170 posts
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    While most of my DS games are Japanese, none of them are storyline based, with the exception of that lawyer one. But that could be played in English anyway. Sorry I can't be of much help.
  • TakeTheVeil 26 Mar 2009 13:05:32 5,058 posts
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    Anyone ever used Rosetta Stone to learn a language. I'd love to learn a new language up-to a usable stage. From my travels, even attempting to use the local language a tiny bit is hugely benefical
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