日本語 (Japanese Practice)

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Kizyr
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:15 pm UTC

Graagh wrote:Out of curiosity, and because I'd feel way too awkward asking my 先生, but what would be expected for a gay man's speech style, if anything? Right now I just try to avoid using really masculine or feminine things, but I was wondering if there was any sort of precedent to follow here. (On that note, what is the appropriate way to even say gay? My dictionary is being useless, and I'm afraid I can never get nuance right when I look in huge online ones...)

Joeldi's response is the proper neutral term to refer to a homosexual person. Popular usage, though, has 'homo' or other less-kind words.

As far as expected speech... there really isn't any, unless you're talking about how gay men are stereotyped. If you try to use women's speech patterns as a man, it is very likely to come across as if you have poor command of the language, and very unlikely to come across as intentionally stating some point. You could also try being overly-formal in every circumstance (which is an occasional stereotype), but since non-native speakers of a language are typified as being overly-formal anyway, it's not going to convey the same implication.

Honestly, I think gay men just use the same normal male speech patterns as anyone else. If someone happens to have more experience with the gay/lesbian community in Japan (not transvestite or transgendered though, because there actually are patterns of speech associated with them) then I'd be curious to hear about it. KF
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Cooking Utensil
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Cooking Utensil » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:06 pm UTC

I agree with Kizyr on this one. I've seen how gay people are "supposed" to talk, and really, the stereotype is pretty consistent across Japanese and Western cultures. My advice is to not go out of your way to sound gay... I mean, unless you really want to draw undue attention to yourself.

Another phrase I've heard is おかま, but I believe that refers more to the guys who are trying to be girls. See: Haruna Ai

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Graagh » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:08 am UTC

Ah, it's more curiosity than wanting a model to follow. I'm not really one of the flamboyant sorts in person anyway... I know how I'm "supposed" to talk in English, even if I'd only use it for irony.

QuestioningLead
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Not _REALLY_ native, but .... I can help

Postby QuestioningLead » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:46 am UTC

Pro tech translator and interpreter, here. Buncha years in Japan, not using English much at all (except for reading it at work).

OK! I love to feel useful:
-zo Commonly heard, very male, but not abrasive. いくぞ![Dude,] I'm outa here. (As in... we've been saying our goodbyes for hours here) is almost a set phrase, so sounds less abrupt. If used as a simple emphatic (e.g. I'm there, man! [I'm definitely going to that party/concert])いくぞ!is more like the default case of how -zo is used: very committed and final decision. That's what makes it male, mainly. "Don't even talk about it, man. I'm there, I'm tellin' you, there."
So a girl saying -zo in that context is just being boyish in her choice of how to emphasize her determination. I'd say, guessing the context (and depending on intonation having any emphasis on the A in "gambAru" beyond the mean): 1) "No quitting here-- watch me." (as in half cheering oneself on, w/ no particular emphasis on the A); or 2) "I'm on* it; I'm all over this" (with volume and emphasis on the A and in general through to the end."

The first of these is again set-phrase-ish, even for a girl, since she's talking to herself, she can show her決心in a 断言的なmanner. The second, again, is more standard-use "-zo" and less girlish, unless maybe as a cheer/leader of a team.

But anyway: just a "Dude: this is the way it is. Decided." kinda thing. That's what makes it male, and girls will use it if they feel like sounding like that. More girls on xkcd or the equivalent in Japan would be likely to say *"Dude, I'm all over that sh#t!" in a joking [or idiolectically-standard] way. But there are girls like that in Japan, too, thank god.

(* and * are supposed to be at about the same level RE the feeling of "-zo"... personal choice of English wording)


The main dif is that even suchfolk wouldn't say it around non-buddys or those older than, say a year or two above them + no more hierarchically above them than a 先輩in school.

When in mixed groups, it'd probably be”-わ” or "-わよ"


As for -ze, yes: abrasive. Only つけばん or bullies trying to freak out the little freshman girl they're about to beat up, willfully butch / gangsta-ish grrls, mainly on TV or in manga.

And one fried of mine;0

Otherwise, strictly male. And rare, outside the underworld. (If used constantly, it just sounds uneducated and the roughness is blunted... but I think that was just a はやり amongst the uneducated for a while ten years back... think "hella" but time-limited like "[That sh%t] is def [as f&ck]")

'Course, anyone can use a word self-consciously gangsta-ish, if they're being obviously ironic, from time to time.

They have in common the "don't use in polite company / hearing" thing.

-------
I haven't liven in Japan for a year.... but I can't imagine these things changing at all, unless there's like some J-Pop star that's owned one of these, and people are mimicing her broadly or something. I'd probably[?] know, anyway....

Anyway. That's the standard for these past dozen yrs or so.

Explicit = long. But sentence particles are nuance particles, basically, and intonation-poor = particle-centric.
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit.と書いてあったので、無論こんなことになる。俺ってこんな奴、ってことか。How do you spell the ka in 自己組織 か. I am the emergent narrator. Pay up, and take your turn at the wheel. (無限会社)

QuestioningLead
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Going on one more didactispasm before bed

Postby QuestioningLead » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:53 am UTC

I shouldn't be doing this as a delurk. Oh well. I'll shut up for tonight soon. I'm just going through the few posts in 2010, in order. (And I don't have much to say about how what gay men flame or don't flame with or are/n't expected to flame with in Japanese. (I grew up in the Castro, though, so I can tell ホモの人about how it works here).
------------
初めまして。 私はジョンです。Awseome. I'm glad you left out the 「の名前」
高校の最初の年
Perfectly grammatical, but you're advanced, so I'll go for "natural" too. This is like "in the first year of my high-school time" as opposed to "my Freshman year" or "my first year of high-school" thus ==> 「高校一年生のとき」から、最後の年 <==here they might not know if we have a three-year or four year system, so that's not a bad way of dealing with it (「四年生のとき」「卒業」 までwork, too) 日本語を勉強しました(or「していました」)。
でも、大学に行って(yeah, 入ってis better)からは(the -wa of
"on the other hand")、
日本語をあまり使わなかったので、ぶんぽと*ことばを忘れました。 教養課程の[のためにorで]、ふたつ四半期this sounds like fiscal quarters, since there is a word for semester/quarter specific to schools==>二学期 but even if you had used the original, there would need to have been a 「の」after the 「ふたつ」「ほど」or「ほどは」idiomatic. the にin this context would be... more of an in/at (e.g. in semester/quarter number two) 日本語のクラスを取りました。 今、クラスを取っていませんですけど、日本語を忘れたくありません。 そのため(with the にthis is "in order to do that" w/o it, it's "because of that")、
漢字を勉強したり、漫画を読んだり、日本語による**[b]ゲームをしたりしています。
今、ス[b]ー
***パーマリオRPGをしています。I'm not really comfortable with this for some reason. But me = not really totally native. I'd go with 「を楽しんでいます」or more likely the less formal but fine 「をやっています」
たくさん漢字たくさんありませんから、勉強としては一番いいゲームじゃ****ありません。 でも、大好きだから、とても楽しい(the -no- of "it's a matter of it being that") です。

*since you used a perfect mix of Kanji words vs kana, this should be 文法. I'm also strangely pretty sure that the とshould be a やjust for casual-naturalness' sake, even though there really isn't much beyond grammar and vocab that you're likely to have forgotten. If you put [....] in between, like you were really thinking and had come up with the conclusion that it was indeed only those two things that you'd really forgotten, とwould prolly be fine. {{ネイティブの人が正したかったら、ご指導ご鞭撻を乞います}}

**I put in the extra 3 kana on the assumption that you didn't mean Japanese-language-study games, but games in Japanese. Otherwise, leave em out.
スパーマ*** means sperm, actually.
****This is a contraction that doesn't match your "uncontracted-ish" style throughout. (I'm not totally sure about my "correction" of ga to ha @ [/s]漢字, since Kanji were mentioned previously. But I think not contextually-closely enough). LiveJournal's group ROCKS, though, in terms of native-speaker contributions, so you could cut-and-paste to a community there.

どうぞよるしくおねがいします!

So... yeah. AWESOME job. basically a couple of missing の's and some naturalishness.

Forgive the over-enthusiasm. I think it's that xkcd meetup tomorrow.

Gnight!
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit.と書いてあったので、無論こんなことになる。俺ってこんな奴、ってことか。How do you spell the ka in 自己組織 か. I am the emergent narrator. Pay up, and take your turn at the wheel. (無限会社)

Cooking Utensil
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Cooking Utensil » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

Seems there are a couple pros on here, so I'll throw this one out: What are some tips for internalizing kanji?

I'm still working on the 常用漢字. Don't get me wrong, I *like* kanji, and I find them to be incredibly useful for accelerating my learning and understanding of the language, I just find myself forgetting them pretty frequently.

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Jamotron
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Jamotron » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:25 am UTC

Cooking Utensil wrote:Seems there are a couple pros on here, so I'll throw this one out: What are some tips for internalizing kanji?

I'm still working on the 常用漢字. Don't get me wrong, I *like* kanji, and I find them to be incredibly useful for accelerating my learning and understanding of the language, I just find myself forgetting them pretty frequently.

Have you done much reading for leisure in Japanese? Try and pick up a novel or something aimed at young adults, or maybe something specifically for 2nd language learners.
Other than that, the best way for me to remember Kanji is to attach some abstract picture or thought to it.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Lioness » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:09 pm UTC

Jamotron wrote:Other than that, the best way for me to remember Kanji is to attach some abstract picture or thought to it.


Yeah:

興味

Stereo system ftw. With, like, an antenna-tree attached.

I like making up abstract pictures for my kanji.

maycelestia
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby maycelestia » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Hi again everyone!

At the moment I'm having real trouble with the placement of quantity words in sentences more complicated than something like 『………本がたくさんあります。』As far as we learnt in class and from the textbook, they go after the particle. For a roleplay in class we learnt a construction like: 『__をひとつと___をひとつください。』(ordering at a restaurant) That was simple enough.

When I'm practising writing, however, I keep running into situations where I am less sure where to put it. I came up with this the other day (neglected to bring a decent print dictionary on holiday with me so the word choices are a bit awkward):『私はアジアの鳥やたかやフラミンゴなどたくさんを見ました。』 Intended meaning, "I saw lots of Asian birds, hawks, flamingos and so on" or such. (Sidenote, are the birds mentioned too varied to list with など, or maybe アジアの鳥 is too general to list that way?)

Based on the construction we learnt for ordering food, should this instead be something like: 『私はアジアの鳥をたくさんやたかをたくさんやフラミンゴをたくさんなど見ました。』Is this heading in the right direction at all? The textbook hasn't really answered this and I'm having trouble working out a steady pattern to use. It is very frustrating :x

Sorry if this is a bit confusing...

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Jamotron
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Jamotron » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:13 am UTC

maycelestia wrote:Hi again everyone!

At the moment I'm having real trouble with the placement of quantity words in sentences more complicated than something like 『………本がたくさんあります。』As far as we learnt in class and from the textbook, they go after the particle. For a roleplay in class we learnt a construction like: 『__をひとつと___をひとつください。』(ordering at a restaurant) That was simple enough.

When I'm practising writing, however, I keep running into situations where I am less sure where to put it. I came up with this the other day (neglected to bring a decent print dictionary on holiday with me so the word choices are a bit awkward):『私はアジアの鳥やたかやフラミンゴなどたくさんを見ました。』 Intended meaning, "I saw lots of Asian birds, hawks, flamingos and so on" or such. (Sidenote, are the birds mentioned too varied to list with など, or maybe アジアの鳥 is too general to list that way?)

Based on the construction we learnt for ordering food, should this instead be something like: 『私はアジアの鳥をたくさんやたかをたくさんやフラミンゴをたくさんなど見ました。』Is this heading in the right direction at all? The textbook hasn't really answered this and I'm having trouble working out a steady pattern to use. It is very frustrating :x

Sorry if this is a bit confusing...

Seems like you're over complicating it a little bit. たくさん etc can actually fit just about anywhere in the sentence, but after the particle is probably the most common.E.g 本がたくさんあります 
たくさんの本があります Is also perfectly acceptable and quite a common construction.
私はアジアの鳥やたかやフラミンゴなどたくさんを見ました。

This is too clumsy, try seperating it into two clauses. E.g “私はアジアの鳥をたくさん見ました。たかやフラミンゴなどを見ました。”
『私はアジアの鳥をたくさんやたかをたくさんやフラミンゴをたくさんなど見ました。』

You wouldn't use たくさん after every word in a list liek that, it sounds very unnatural.
Hope that helps.
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maycelestia
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby maycelestia » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:33 pm UTC

Jamotron wrote:Seems like you're over complicating it a little bit. たくさん etc can actually fit just about anywhere in the sentence, but after the particle is probably the most common.E.g 本がたくさんあります 
たくさんの本があります Is also perfectly acceptable and quite a common construction.
私はアジアの鳥やたかやフラミンゴなどたくさんを見ました。

This is too clumsy, try seperating it into two clauses. E.g “私はアジアの鳥をたくさん見ました。たかやフラミンゴなどを見ました。”
『私はアジアの鳥をたくさんやたかをたくさんやフラミンゴをたくさんなど見ました。』

You wouldn't use たくさん after every word in a list liek that, it sounds very unnatural.
Hope that helps.


Thanks very much! This is a big help and it's all pretty clear now. I do tend to overcomplicate things if I don't pick them up fast enough :P

WillKemp
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby WillKemp » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:46 am UTC

Hey there,

Lived in Japanese for 10 years. My wife is Japanese.

I loved Japanese, the culture and language when I was young and single.

Now, I can't escape it. My advice would be to learn the culture, not so much the traditional culture, but the
modern everyday culture of Japan. It will amaze you.

勉強がんばって

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morjax
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby morjax » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:25 pm UTC

I've always been into Japanese culture. I took up taiko a year ago and love it! I recently began self-teaching Japanese. I know it's going to be slow going, but I think it's better than nothing. I picked up the Genki 1 textbook and have been listening to audio lessons as a supplement.

Any tips for the noob, just starting their journey into Japanese? Any good online study resources? I've found smart.fm to be extremely helpful so far.

Keitama
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Keitama » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:02 pm UTC

May as well chuck my hello in here too:

私はデービッドです。イギリスですんでいますが、二年前千葉県にすんでいました。大学生でしたから。でも、今ももちろん日本語勉強しています。日本語練習頑張って、ね?よろしくお願いします。ー_ー

Boy do I ever miss Japan. Ah well.

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Jamotron
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Jamotron » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:00 am UTC

morjax wrote:I've always been into Japanese culture. I took up taiko a year ago and love it! I recently began self-teaching Japanese. I know it's going to be slow going, but I think it's better than nothing. I picked up the Genki 1 textbook and have been listening to audio lessons as a supplement.

Any tips for the noob, just starting their journey into Japanese? Any good online study resources? I've found smart.fm to be extremely helpful so far.

A great way of remembering Kanji is using flash cards, you can use a computer program like mnemosyne to save you having to cut out and make all the cards yourself.
For a dictionary you can't go past http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi- ... dic.cgi?1C
If you have a DS I'd highly reccomend this piece of software too http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-9g- ... -198v.html
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Keitama
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Keitama » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:25 am UTC

Cooking Utensil wrote:Seems there are a couple pros on here, so I'll throw this one out: What are some tips for internalizing kanji?

I'm still working on the 常用漢字. Don't get me wrong, I *like* kanji, and I find them to be incredibly useful for accelerating my learning and understanding of the language, I just find myself forgetting them pretty frequently.



Not sure what the reception to this will be on here, but here goes...

Try Remembering the Kanji by James Heisig? If you haven't heard it it's well worth a good go. I struggled for ages trying to learn the readings and writing of kanji in an order specified by a textbook of commonly used words (Kanji in context), but I now feel the other way around is definitely better. Learn reading first = why bother writing practice? Learn writing first, and you already know how to write with basic meaning.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby morjax » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

Jamotron wrote:
morjax wrote:I've always been into Japanese culture. I took up taiko a year ago and love it! I recently began self-teaching Japanese. I know it's going to be slow going, but I think it's better than nothing. I picked up the Genki 1 textbook and have been listening to audio lessons as a supplement.

Any tips for the noob, just starting their journey into Japanese? Any good online study resources? I've found smart.fm to be extremely helpful so far.

A great way of remembering Kanji is using flash cards, you can use a computer program like mnemosyne to save you having to cut out and make all the cards yourself.
For a dictionary you can't go past http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi- ... dic.cgi?1C
If you have a DS I'd highly reccomend this piece of software too http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-9g- ... -198v.html


Thanks for the tips. I'll look into these =)

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kcaze
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby kcaze » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:28 am UTC

thread がながいから、くわしくよまなかった。also,ごめん、ubuntuつかいでかんじをにゅろくするほうわからない。

Anyways, reading hiragana is probably going to annoy anyone here.

I've been trying to just watch anime and pick up Japanese that way but I find that it isn't really efficient. In fact, despite what AJATT says, I found that I learned a lot after taking one year's worth of Japanese lessons (private tutor once a week). But I don't have a tutor anymore and I'm hoping to self-study Japanese. It's pretty hard to make time though since I'm still in high school and homework + other commitments take up quite a bit of time.

So I was wondering what's the most efficient way of improving my Japanese? Anime's good since it's mostly spoken Japanese but I find that I don't really learn much new information, just reinforcing what I already know. Plus, most animes are pretty overwhelming and I can only catch at most 20-30% of what's being said.

Help fora? :D

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Jamotron » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:34 am UTC

So I was wondering what's the most efficient way of improving my Japanese?

There is really only one answer to this and that is using it. So go and find a Japanese person and befriend them. Shouldn't be too hard, there's a good 120 million of them out there!
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Kizyr
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:43 pm UTC

久しぶり!こちらで長い間ポストしなくてごめんね。これからよくポストしようとする。しかも、英語に頼らずにポストしよう。

さあ、数年前JLPT2級を合格して、去年日本へ旅してから、日本語をあまり勉強していなかった。ちょっと下手になちゃったおそれがある。(本やビデオゲームの台詞を読むのは適当な「勉強」じゃない・・・と思う。)

ところで、誰かがドラゴンクエストIXをやっているか?去年日本版をかって、現在毎日よくやっている。(プレイタイムはもう105時間・・・)

kcaze wrote:I've been trying to just watch anime and pick up Japanese that way but I find that it isn't really efficient. In fact, despite what AJATT says, I found that I learned a lot after taking one year's worth of Japanese lessons (private tutor once a week). But I don't have a tutor anymore and I'm hoping to self-study Japanese. It's pretty hard to make time though since I'm still in high school and homework + other commitments take up quite a bit of time.

So I was wondering what's the most efficient way of improving my Japanese? Anime's good since it's mostly spoken Japanese but I find that I don't really learn much new information, just reinforcing what I already know. Plus, most animes are pretty overwhelming and I can only catch at most 20-30% of what's being said.

問題は、アニメの台詞は普通の日本語とよく違う。スレッドの4pではアニメの利用について話し合っていた。読めば助かると思う。アニメの代わりに、バライエティとかドラマの方がいいと思う。そして、日本語が話せる方とよく話すのは最高だ。KF
(trans.)
Spoiler:
The problem is that anime dialogue really differs from regular Japanese. We discussed the utility of anime (in learning Japanese) in Page 4 of this thread. I think it'd help if you read that. In place of Anime, I think variety shows and dramas are the way to go. Also, the best way is still to speak often with someone who can speak Japanese.
Last edited by Kizyr on Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:19 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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ElwinRansom
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby ElwinRansom » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:54 pm UTC

New guy chiming in here. :) I work as a TSO at a South Carolina airport, been self-studying for about 7 months now. So far I have hiragana and katakana down to the point that I can read and write them without having consult my books (though I'm horrendously slow), and have got most of the more basic verb forms down. The Barron's pocket language series has been great (grammar and vocabulary), but I'm starting to feel kind of directionless. Any suggestions on how to structure self-study? I'm about to make my first Kanji dictionary purchase and I'm really afraid of getting overwhelmed, especially since I don't have as much time to study as I'd like.

As a side note to a lot of people here asking about learning Kanji, though, a book that's at least been a good start for me is A Japanese Reader: Graded Lessons for Mastering the Written Language. The presentation is really dry, but the selections are really diverse and written in "real" Japanese- newspaper articles, religious texts, speeches and such. The book is pretty dated, though- I think it was published in the late 60's.

Oh, and a quick question: while it's rare to have a Japanese come through the airport who doesn't speak English, on occasion it does happen. In those instances when I have to ask them to do things (take out liquids and computers and such), is the -te +kudasai form appropriate for someone in a security/customer service position to use, or is it too abrupt? I'd really rather not give a bad impression of TSA; we have enough of that already.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:49 am UTC

ElwinRansom wrote:Any suggestions on how to structure self-study? I'm about to make my first Kanji dictionary purchase and I'm really afraid of getting overwhelmed, especially since I don't have as much time to study as I'd like.

ようこそ!残念ながら、初歩的なレベルなら、クラスに限ると思う。 でも、自分で勉強するのは無理なわけじゃない。 特に、「Power Japanese」を進める。使うと、文法やカナが勉強できるけど、漢字ができない。

漢字なら、JLPT-Kanji.com は助かるかもしれない。レベル4ではじめるべきだ。
Spoiler:
Welcome! I'm sorry, but I think that at the beginners' level, there really is nothing better than a class. But, that doesn't mean self-study is impossible. In particular, I recommend using "Power Japanese". Using it, you can learn grammar and kana, though not kanji.

If you want kanji, then JLPT-Kanji.com might help. You should start with Level 4.


ElwinRansom wrote:Oh, and a quick question: while it's rare to have a Japanese come through the airport who doesn't speak English, on occasion it does happen. In those instances when I have to ask them to do things (take out liquids and computers and such), is the -te +kudasai form appropriate for someone in a security/customer service position to use, or is it too abrupt? I'd really rather not give a bad impression of TSA; we have enough of that already.

たぶん、「-てくれませんか」のような話し方はもっと丁寧だろう。でも日本じゃないので、「-てください」はじゅうぶんだ。KF
Spoiler:
Maybe, '-te kuremasenka' might be a more proper way of speaking. But, it's not Japan, so '-te kudasai' is sufficient. KF
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

Double-posting because it's been a while and there's something that I totally missed last time:

ElwinRansom wrote:As a side note to a lot of people here asking about learning Kanji, though, a book that's at least been a good start for me is A Japanese Reader: Graded Lessons for Mastering the Written Language. The presentation is really dry, but the selections are really diverse and written in "real" Japanese- newspaper articles, religious texts, speeches and such. The book is pretty dated, though- I think it was published in the late 60's.

I actually had that book. I found it to be really unhelpful and actually, in general, recommend that folks not even bother with it. It purports to be a beginners' level book, but the presentation is at times too advanced, and at other times just too inefficient. The dated nature of the material also means that you're spending extra time learning older patters of speech that are less frequently used now (I think there's even some prewar stuff in there, if I recall)--I do recommend that folks learn to understand how the language was written in the 1940s and earlier, but only after gaining an adequate understanding of modern Japanese. (It makes about as much sense as assigning 18th-century literature in a beginners ESL class. It's good to learn that, but later on when one's gotten a good grasp of the basics.)

I haven't found a very good substitute book that focuses specifically on reading at the beginners' level, but then again I rather disagree with his approach to begin with. At the beginning, I generally recommend people either take classes, and/or opt for self-study materials that concentrate on all aspects of the language (reading, writing, speaking, listening) instead of just one. KF
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby wbarnes » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:50 pm UTC

はじめまして。Willです。

I am midway through my first quarter of Japanese and am enjoying it so far. I am hoping to get some practice in here in both reading and writing Japanese. Currently I only know Hiragana, and my vocabulary is limited to the most basic greetings. For the most part I am looking to get semi-regular practice in sentence construction as well as building my vocabulary. I'll toss out a thank you in advance for any help I get, and apologize for randomly posting what I think are translations of other people's posts.

どうぞよろしく。

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:33 am UTC

私 は vaguelyhumanoid です!
I just recently started Japanese class at my school, but I've been studying on my own for a while. I'm still a little behind, though, since I got a late start to the class.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby joeybutterz » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

I worked in a Japanese company and I want to learn Japenese. Give me an idea what to do first? Thanks

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby ohtobeagiant » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:51 am UTC

I've been studying Japanese independently for probably about three years. (As in COMPLETELY ALONE, so it's been pretty sporadic.)
Unfortunately, I've only been using the "Living Language" conversational Japanese learning book from some time in the 90s so I haven't been able to get much speaking experience.
[takusan no anime wo mita koto ga arimasu]~
I have watched a lot of anime (that's what got me interested) but I barely watch any anymore. The good thing about it is that it gave me a better idea about pronunciation than I could have gotten from just reading.

Incidentally, the computer I am currently using does not display kana, so I feel like I'm trapped in a hell of blank white boxes.
romaji ga hoshii desu...

Since I haven't been taking any legit Japanese classes, I only know a few kanji anyway (but I understand hiragana and katakana.) Another drawback is that I'm horribly behind on vocabulary. I know some apparently pretty advanced grammar, but I'm struggling with maintaining actual words.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Rilian » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:55 am UTC

I have two different sources for japanese and they are telling me contradictory things. Just one of them is this:

Kore wa ookiku arimasu. (This is big.)
Kore wa ookii desu. (This is big.)

Which of these is right? Or are they both? Or neither?
And I'm -2.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:07 pm UTC

Rilian wrote:I have two different sources for japanese and they are telling me contradictory things. Just one of them is this:

Kore wa ookiku arimasu. (This is big.)
Kore wa ookii desu. (This is big.)

Which of these is right? Or are they both? Or neither?

Both are grammatically correct; the second is more likely to be used/heard though.

Ookiku = adverb form, so it modifies the verb "arimasu" which refers to the subject.
Ookii = adjective form, so it refers to the subject itself

Anything of the form "X wa Y desu" is basically just stating a relationship between X and Y. Most i-adjectives retain the i at the end; na-adjectives drop the na. (Some i-adjectives, such as colors, can drop the i at the end, since words such as 'ao' and 'kiiro' are able to function independently as nouns.) KF
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby cntrational » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:04 pm UTC

I thought you guys would get a laugh out of this:

http://hanzismatter.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... gital.html

For two hours, Becker interpreted an endless stream of Mandarin symbols. But each time he gave them a translation, the cryptographers shook their heads in despair. Apparently the code was not making sense. Eager to help, Becker pointed out that all the characters they'd shown him had a common trait-they were also part of the Kanji language.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Zohar » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

I studied Japanese for about a year and a half, until early last summer when I sort of lost interest. Before I was studying with a private tutor. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a Japanese-teaching TV show that could be useful?
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby MessioticRambles » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:17 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I studied Japanese for about a year and a half, until early last summer when I sort of lost interest. Before I was studying with a private tutor. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a Japanese-teaching TV show that could be useful?


I'm tempted to point you in the direction of Hannah Minx's various series for "learning Japanese" on Youtube. But I won't because they are not really relevant and I seriously doubt her abilities to speak Japanese anyway.

I don't know about tv shows, but you could always try www.japanesepod101.com for learning material. Plus you can get torrents filled with books on Japanese.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Mapar » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

Hey, I'm currently learning Japanese, my fourth language (not counting the ones I never mastered), and so far I've done some basic grammar (VERY basic), and studied around 160 kanji (and all kana, of course). I don't feel confident enough to write in Japanese just yet, but that 'll come soon enough, I guess. I'll finish high school a few months in advance, so I'll have three months of free time to waste then. Plenty :D

By the way: for the kanji, I currently focus on their meanings, because my grammar book is telling me that readings depend on context. I'm not speaking the language for now, so that makes more sense to me. Am I doing something terribly wrong?
Hi.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC

Mapar wrote:By the way: for the kanji, I currently focus on their meanings, because my grammar book is telling me that readings depend on context. I'm not speaking the language for now, so that makes more sense to me. Am I doing something terribly wrong?

Readings depend on context, and meaning also depends on context.

Focus on both reading and meaning. Try to learn them one reading at a time (or as part of a common word), rather than trying to memorize every single reading for a given character. And, practice speaking, even if it's only talking to yourself.

Speaking from experience, if you forge ahead in one thing (such as meaning of kanji) without keeping up all aspects of language (such as reading, speaking, etc.) then you hit a point quickly where your studying becomes rather inefficient, where you're memorizing a lot but getting very little in terms of actual understanding out of it. I made the same mistake with focusing on reading almost exclusively while my listening/speaking abilities really suffered, and it wasn't until I honed up on those that I was able to learn at a better pace. KF
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Mapar » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:14 pm UTC

Kizyr wrote:
Mapar wrote:By the way: for the kanji, I currently focus on their meanings, because my grammar book is telling me that readings depend on context. I'm not speaking the language for now, so that makes more sense to me. Am I doing something terribly wrong?

Readings depend on context, and meaning also depends on context.

Focus on both reading and meaning. Try to learn them one reading at a time (or as part of a common word), rather than trying to memorize every single reading for a given character. And, practice speaking, even if it's only talking to yourself.

Speaking from experience, if you forge ahead in one thing (such as meaning of kanji) without keeping up all aspects of language (such as reading, speaking, etc.) then you hit a point quickly where your studying becomes rather inefficient, where you're memorizing a lot but getting very little in terms of actual understanding out of it. I made the same mistake with focusing on reading almost exclusively while my listening/speaking abilities really suffered, and it wasn't until I honed up on those that I was able to learn at a better pace. KF

OK, thanks for the advice, I'll try and keep that in mind!
Hi.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby chezhead » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:11 am UTC

I've been learning Nihongo for about one semester of school now, and I must say it is my favorite class.

Anyways, I signed up here just to give you guys this link that I've found quite helpful:

http://kanji.sljfaq.org/ (Link seems legitimately helpful, so allowing it in the user's first post. - gmalivuk)

You just write the kanji in with the mouse and it recognizes it. Great when having problems reading something from paper or an image.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Maarsch » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:41 am UTC

Hi, I have a question.

I was in Ginza last week and the street was just lined with taxis. Both sides of the street, for blocks and blocks.
My comment to the taxi driver was:
タクシはたくさんです
To which the taxi driver replies
はい、タクシは多い

I was once taught that たくさん is used for inanimate objects whereas 多い is used for animate objects.
So why did the taxi driver go for 多い? Did he refer to the drivers in the taxis? Is it a taxi driver thing? Or have I been mis-instructed on the difference between the two?

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:53 am UTC

Maarsch wrote:I was once taught that たくさん is used for inanimate objects whereas 多い is used for animate objects.
So why did the taxi driver go for 多い? Did he refer to the drivers in the taxis? Is it a taxi driver thing? Or have I been mis-instructed on the difference between the two?

The latter, I'm afraid. There's no association between something being inanimate/animate and using 多い or たくさん. 多い is an adjective, so 「タクシーは多いです」 makes sense. たくさん functions as an adverb (たくさんの works like an adjective), so 「タクシーはたくさんあります」 sounds more correct; 「~たくさんです」 sounds a bit unnatural. KF
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby zmatt » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

Hi all, I've taken a few semesters of Japanese at the college level (currently not at a pc with kana enabled) and am 1 class away form my Japanese minor. I haven't taken a formal class since spring of 2010 and I feel my skills rapidly fading. I still have my study materials from class and I intend to go back over them, however I found the text books (yookoso) to be extremely unhelpful. I have been Genki is better. I have been watching a lot of anime the last few weeks but as others have said it isn't very representative of normal Japanese. My biggest weaknesses were always vocabulary and Kanji. I could memorize a great deal in a short period of time for a test and do very well, but the next day i would forget them. One method I have been told and want to try is to buy flash cards and then tape them to the objects they represent IRL. I'm a very visual learner so I think that's right up my ally.

I also know German and I use my proficiency with German as a yardstick for Japanese. Currently my vocab isn't that sharp either (haven't spoken to any Germans in quite some time) however I am able to understand it just fine. I can watch Inglorious Basterds with no subtitles and not miss anything (except for the French bits). On the other hand I can't watch Gundam (I'm assuming similar levels of informal speech) and get it. I can get bits but it's mostly trivial bits like Yokai, Ikuzo, Hayaii etc.


edit:

what do the senpai's think of this?
http://www.amazon.com/Kanji-Cards-Vol-T ... 095&sr=8-3
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Kizyr » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:what do the senpai's think of this?
http://www.amazon.com/Kanji-Cards-Vol-T ... 095&sr=8-3

I recommend against it. Make your own flash-cards: you can choose what to put on them as visual cues/reminders, and the process of making them is an additional step to help your memory.

Plus, you can always print out free ones from:
http://www.jlpt-kanji.com/
They even have them organized by school and skill level, allow you to do online drills, and have customized lists that you can create and print out -- for both kanji and vocabulary. KF
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