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  1. #1
    Member Member
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    Default Studying Japanese

    Hello!!! I'm justing poking around here to ask for advice on how to study Japanese, speak and read it. I dunno where to start...I have the books and cd's and Internet (my favorite by the way... ...) None at all seems to really help me remember...I just look at words and sentences and memorize them...is that good? Anyways please help me out!!

    P.S
    I kinda lost my memory and can't remember what good Japanese sites are...*wink wink* Thanks alot!!
    '

  2. #2
    Member Member dancing alone's Avatar
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    well,its pretty easy for chinese people to study japanese...but not for westerners
    since its completely different types of languages,so its not only a matter of ur memory
    i think the best way to start is to watch japanese version of movies or animes...anything you can find
    listening first,and then reading...
    especially for japanese,they r all words telling the pronounciation not meanings
    the words r hard to keep in mind,after listening u will find it easy to learn
    がんばって~
    カヲル,きみよあいいしで...

  3. #3
    Member Member Cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancing alone
    well,its pretty easy for chinese people to study japanese...but not for westerners
    since its completely different types of languages,so its not only a matter of ur memory
    i think the best way to start is to watch japanese version of movies or animes...anything you can find
    listening first,and then reading...
    especially for japanese,they r all words telling the pronounciation not meanings
    the words r hard to keep in mind,after listening u will find it easy to learn
    がんばって~
    Yeah that's what I'm doing too. I noticed it's easier if you listen first if you want to learn Japanese . ha-ha I'm such a dumbutt!! I have a native language (Apache) that my family wants me to learn because I don't know it like everyone else on the reservation and yet I'm trying to defy the odds by learning Japanese! But it makes me feel good when I say something or understand something that my family doesn't get. 1 point for Cubby!!

  4. #4
    ~永遠& Member Sinbios's Avatar
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    ...take lessons? You can find a local Japanese school (y'know, like Sunday school, except for Japanese kids), or take it in high school/university.
    Manga-Mania

    - Love is a sin...
    - Happiness is found only in dreams...
    - Wisdom comes not with age, but maturity.
    - PATIENCE, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
    - People in the computer industry use the term "user", which to them means "dimwit".

  5. #5
    Not Angelic Admin Neko Koneko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancing alone
    well,its pretty easy for chinese people to study japanese...but not for westerners
    since its completely different types of languages,so its not only a matter of ur memory
    i think the best way to start is to watch japanese version of movies or animes...anything you can find
    listening first,and then reading...
    especially for japanese,they r all words telling the pronounciation not meanings
    the words r hard to keep in mind,after listening u will find it easy to learn
    がんばって~
    The only thing Chinese and Japanese have in common is the kanji, that's all. They are two totally different languages. Japanese has 63 different sounds in speech, Chinese has over 700. They are not related. Japanese is more related to Turkish than it is to Chinese (according to my teacher they belong in the same group of languages, there's only three of them in the whole world, Japanese, Turkish and another one, don't know which one though.)

    This should go in everyday chatter btw

  6. #6
    Sensible Insanity Member Asher's Avatar
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    I'm Chinese, I can speak it but learning to read and write is hhaaarrdd so many characters X_x Angelic's right, DIFFERENT, I know random Japanese like "hello" and "your ears are nice" but it's very different still...I don't make sense...

    But i think learning ANY language, the bast way is to have a teacher, like in person...yeah...


    Spiky aka, Roy Mustang is still my hubby ~~
    Inu-chan=Asher

  7. #7
    Not Angelic Admin Neko Koneko's Avatar
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    My teacher wrote the Chinese sentence for "I am your friend" and the Japanese version of that sentence on the whiteboard. They didn't have a single match, I believe even the grammar was different. The only advantage I see for Chinese speaking people is that they know some kanji (although this could backfire at them if they can't learn the Japanese meaning of certain kanji that have a different meaning in Japanese) and they are used to using symbols while western people are used to letters.

  8. #8
    Ronin Samurai Member dominate_ze_vorld's Avatar
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    Actually, there are a lot (over a thousand) of Japanese symbols that were borrowed from Chinese, so there has got to be some same things. Some of them, the meaning is the same but they say it differently.


    ^Made by DiamondSeraph

    "Never trust a rabbit's foot for luck because remember, it didn't turn out too well for the rabbit." - Anonymous

  9. #9
    Final Fantasy Member Blombrink's Avatar
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    I understand Japanese......just by seeing Anime´s I´ve learned.
    But I sure as hell can´t read Japanese.


    ME as Mister. Ichigo´s

  10. #10
    Ronin Samurai Member dominate_ze_vorld's Avatar
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    Blombrink- So you learned, by just listening to animes?


    ^Made by DiamondSeraph

    "Never trust a rabbit's foot for luck because remember, it didn't turn out too well for the rabbit." - Anonymous

  11. #11

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    The Chinese grammar sentance structure is more similar to English than it is to Japanese. Example: wo ai ni: wo = I, ai = love, ni = you. In Japanese, this sentance is [if you want to be exceedingly formal] "watashi wa anata wo aishimasu," where watashi = I, wa = subject particle, anata = you, wo = object particle, ai = love [same thing, borrowed from Chinese, the kanji is similar], shimasu = to do; Chinese for that sentance is Subject, Verb, Object; in Japanese, it's Subject, Object, Verb. You'll notice that for that simple sentance, the Chinese grammar structure is the same as English, where Japanese is closer to Korean.

    Though Japanese does have Chinese characters (yes, the infamous Kanji), the writing style is completely different. While Chinese uses these characters all the time, Japanese uses the Chinese characters in addition to two other alphabets (hiragana- used for particles and native Japanese words, and katakana, used for onomatapia and foreign words), each of which have 40 or so characters. Being literate in Japanese means knowing about 2,000 kanji, I think. I've been studying Japanese for 4 years in school and I only know about 120. There are around 1800 kanji used in the Japanese language.

    The kanji have different readings depending on context; a native Japanese reading, and a Chinese reading, though they are usually homonyms. Generally speaking, if the phrase is combined with hiragana, then one uses the Japanese pronounciation. If the phrase/word is all kanji, then one would generally use the Chinese pronounciation. For example: the kanji for sun; Japanese pronounciation is "hi" (hee), and the Chinese pronounciation would be "nichi" (neechee), as in NIhon, meaning "Land of the rising SUN," written by the kanji "nichi" and "hon," compared to "ohisama," which would be written o (hiragana, used to make it formal), hi (kanji), sama (hiragana, as in what you would call a respected person, like your boss), which is a really polite way of saying "sun."

    As for how to learn Japanese, I'd suggest taking a class somehow with a real Japanese teacher.

  12. #12
    Rally Vincent Member Anime_Girl_Jenni's Avatar
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    I took 3 comunity college classes on it. and according to my teacher Japanese evolved from Chinese which evolved from Eygyptian Hyroglyphs.
    "Well you didn't come to when I used the stun gun..."

  13. #13
    Rex Ars ex Inane Member M's Avatar
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    Speak and Understand: You can learn a lot from watching, but it doesn't complete the picture. I've been watching anime for about 5 years now in japaneese (more like my life was about Anime rather that my life was about school), and not once did I fully understand it's particles (ga, wa, o, no, ni, e, de, ka; I think that's all of them) and where to use them in a sentence. Sure, by watching you can learn how to pick up on some subjects and various actons (hitari=light, mizu=water, persocom=PC *points to chobits*, Sakura=cherry blossom (or cherry), exc...), but to actually form the sentence in your mind, is an entirely different story; not mentioning the approprate wording for the situation (whether or not to use the polite suffix mas, desu, Using Watashi, Boku, Ore (all mean I or myself), choosing slang or proper such as gokyodai/onee-san/Aniki (all meaining brother)) As much as you will pick up from watching and listening, you must also read and study (Piemur or some other book, I'd suggest a phrasebook that teaches you proper diction), or else you would speak a very choppy version of it. (Nothing worse than trying to explain that you are lost to a japaneese person and you keep saying it in subject-verb-object as opposed to subject-object-verb; and then figure out that you were using impolite words that are considered taboo in the region!)

    But one thing good from being around the language is that you come to understand what words are used when, how they are used, and you also learn the traditions of speech in the process. It'll feel more natural to speek it if you are around it (the whole total immersion theory for foreign languages).

    Reading it... How do you say... Seems kinda impossible. There are some odd 1960 Kanji used in a modern day japaneese newspaper (GT of 2230 entries in the Kodansha Essental Kanji dictionary). And learning to read them makes you feel like you have to give an arm and a leg just to figure out how to find a word in a kanji dictionary! Only by memorization and repetition can you learn to read and write kanji (at least the basic radical method x.x God I hate that method....). If you are in a situtation that you must know what a kanji charater says, check out Kodansha's Kanji Learner's Dictionary It provides a very easy look-up system (skip) that requires no form of memorization or previous knowlage, just the ability to count the number of stokes in a single charater.

    @.@.... It's a lot to do, but it is a reletivly simple language to speak, and most people whom speak english, with a little deducation, can eventually have a conversation with someone who speaks Nihongo (japaneese).

    One final note: if your going to be around younger people or more of a modern crowd, I would suggest in investing your money in a Slang dictionary as well; You would just be confused if you listened to some of the younger people today and all you knew was "text-book" japaneese. (a oddly funny example I found that would probibly be used by a 5-6 year old: Babatchii- Icki poo; You won't find that in a standard dictionary, and you would not likely learn it in a class.)

    I'm sorry if I mis-spelled any Romanji-ed japaneese words, but I am still learing myself how to do this. As you can see, even my english (primary language) isn't perfect yet
    Last edited by M; October 3rd, 2005 at 12:49 am.

    "No longer will you be looking from outside; you will be living it.
    "Today you will become a part of the Fantasia."

  14. #14
    Not Angelic Admin Neko Koneko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animeniac
    I took 3 comunity college classes on it. and according to my teacher Japanese evolved from Chinese which evolved from Eygyptian Hyroglyphs.
    That's only the kanji, not the actual language.

  15. #15
    future opwenac Member aznanimedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominate_ze_vorld
    Blombrink- So you learned, by just listening to animes?
    you learn a little bit, like me, i've watched ALOT of anime so i have a basic understanding when i watch anime, but i'm FAR from knowing how to speak japanese
    too cool for a sig
    or more like my sig doesn't follow forum rules D:

    <Gekkeiju> Azn can be my boyfriend if he likes.

    no i didn't post

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