Author Topic: Trying to learn japanese!  (Read 8859 times)

Offline doorknob

Trying to learn japanese!
« on: January 12, 2016, 09:49:41 AM »
ON MY OWN! Dang near impossible!

Some one told me english was the hardest language well I disagree! There are just as many exceptions to the japanese grammar rule of thumb as there are in english! How am I suppose to remember all this?

any one have advice or excellent resources would be appreciated. Any other person out there learning or already fluent in japanese? Or am i the only idiot trying to master something like this!

Offline doorknob

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 09:52:42 AM »
the most hilarious thing I've run across so far

"Suru is a very useful verb thingy.  It is used where no other verb dares to go! (Foreign words, nouns, and other scary things...) Think of it as "to do..."
ジョギング する jogingu suru - to (do) jogging
ショッピング する shoppingu suru - to (do) shopping
サイン する sain suru - to sign (autograph) "

Yes some one describing suru as "a very useful verb thingy" has my vote for being a genius at teaching!

oh yeah that was found here

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« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 09:54:13 AM by doorknob »

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 11:19:28 AM »
English is the hardest language?! LOL who said that? All its brilliance is that it is NOT a hard one.

'the wise man does not seek enlightenment, he waits for it. so while ı was waiting, it occurred to me that seeking perplexity might be more fun.’ - lu-tze

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 11:30:22 AM »
Japanese is rather easy once you stop trying to translate it in your head. My technique for learning a language is that I try to think in that language as soon as possible. I haven't spoken a word of it in like 3 years, but I got pretty fluent for awhile when I was still using Rosetta Stone and taking classes on a regular basis.

If anything, the language I have the most trouble with is Spanish, because it has like a billion conjugations for every word. Japanese has... I dunno, 3, maybe 4.
"Existence is beautiful, if you let it be. Life is not a question. There does not need to be an answer."
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Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 11:41:20 AM »
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...that I try to think in that language as soon as possible. ...

Honestly, I don't think there is another way. The more he interacts with the culture the better.
'the wise man does not seek enlightenment, he waits for it. so while ı was waiting, it occurred to me that seeking perplexity might be more fun.’ - lu-tze

Offline doorknob

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 12:03:36 PM »
I agree immersing one's self in any culture is the fastest way to learn any language. But I don't have access to that, all I have are books that I'm trying to translate.


Ironically it is the kanji that is the easiest to translate. the words in katakana and hirigana are like a jigsaw puzzle.

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 12:31:48 PM »
Any language that isn't phonics based is going to be difficult for me. I tried mandarin a few years back - speaking some of it wasn't too bad, but the variations in inflection were very difficult for a limey like me.  As for written mandarin.... no chance.  :017:

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 01:01:49 PM »
Japanese is hard lol. I have pimsleur, via recommendation from Wolf. It's actually quite good and I got the knack of it quite quickly, all things considered. (I've always sucked at learning new languages)

You can probably find a download of it somewhere.

Offline doorknob

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 01:18:39 PM »
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Any language that isn't phonics based is going to be difficult for me. I tried mandarin a few years back - speaking some of it wasn't too bad, but the variations in inflection were very difficult for a limey like me.  As for written mandarin.... no chance.  :017:

the hirigana and katakana are the phonetic parts of the language! I still can't figure them out!

The kanji the symbol part is easy. You just look it up in your kanji dictionary (which takes a minute to master but once you learn to use it, it's easy) and it means what it says it also lists compound words and so forth so finding it is easy!


Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, 01:59:56 PM »
I was on a bus in Berlin back in the '70s and sitting behind two young ladies who were practicing their English on each other. At one point they were stumped for a word and frantically looking through their school books. I leaned forward and made a suggestion that they liked. A minute later they were stuck again. One of them turned to me and in a very grumpy voice said (paraphrased) "Do they really teach this stuff to children?"
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, 02:08:24 PM »
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I was on a bus in Berlin back in the '70s and sitting behind two young ladies who were practicing their English on each other. At one point they were stumped for a word and frantically looking through their school books. I leaned forward and made a suggestion that they liked. A minute later they were stuck again. One of them turned to me and in a very grumpy voice said (paraphrased) "Do they really teach this stuff to children?"

 :rotflmao:
'the wise man does not seek enlightenment, he waits for it. so while ı was waiting, it occurred to me that seeking perplexity might be more fun.’ - lu-tze

Offline Baruch

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2016, 06:51:21 PM »
I have studied languages off and on since elementary school.  I have studied Japanese off and on for 50 years now ... and I am just finishing up on a one year self paced review.  Before that I did a three year self paced review of Chinese.  Get better at any language each time I try.  It is very hard to do more than one at the same time ... but if it is two you already know fairly well, I can make it work.  I reviewed Biblical Hebrew over the last month, for Hannukah, while I am finishing up with Japanese.

There are four different skills, and depending on your circumstances, some may be difficult to practice.  Reading/writing is a pair, as is speaking/hearing.  Pedagogy and motivation are a big difference.  I was motivated to review Japanese, because I had decided to study a book of the history of haiku.  It has about 1000 short poems in it.  I was motivated to study Chinese also because of poetry.  Just memorizing grammar or vocabulary is no fun, and it is hard to stay motivated if you aren't having fun.  I have studied to shallow or deeper extent, over 20 languages, because I treat them as a pastime like others do crosswords.  And I usually study the history and culture at the same time ... again to increase my motivation.

According to some, Japanese is the hardest modern language to read/write ... because of using four different writing systems at the same time.  Chinese only uses one system ... but I find it harder to speak/hear.  Chinese people have the same problem, there are several major forms besides Mandarin, and there are a lot of regional dialects the farther you get from Beijing.  Similarly, in the far boonies, Japanese deviates from the Tokyo standard.  I am mostly interested in the reading part ... but with E Asian systems, you really have to learn to write it (by hand, not by computer) so you get kinesthetic learning along with visual learning.  Full immersion of course would add aural learning.  Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu are hard to say/hear because they have more consonants.  Chinese and Vietnamese have tones ... Cantonese being unintelligible as speech to a person in Beijing, but they can write to each other.  Portuguese vs Spanish I am told is a problem, one side can understand the other's speech, but the other can't reciprocate.

My advice on reading Japanese, is you have to diagram your sentence ... the Japanese don't use much punctuation anyway.  Of course Americans are usually unwilling to study a foreign language, let alone diagram their own English.  Once you have a good system, it is just practice, practice.  But if your system is bad, you simply repeat the same mistakes over and over.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 06:54:36 PM by Baruch »
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline doorknob

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2016, 07:13:51 PM »
Thanks baruch

sorry I was in special ed because I had add so bad as a child so I didn't learn how to diagram sentences in english let alone japanese. There's a lot of things I didn't learn in school. But I am good at book learning or I use to be. So I'm hopeful.

I'm just going over a lot of information in one sitting which is probably a bad idea. I have a little note book that I'm writing notes in because there is no way I'm going to remember all of that right away. I am slowly learning though just slowly. Translation really is an art form I'm finding out.

At any rate I do write out the sentence before I try to translate it. It's bringing back memories of things I learned when I was younger but have forgotten. I've tried to translate before with great difficulty.

I just think it's funny that every one claims English is so hard yet I feel like Asian languages are so different from European languages your looking at a whole new animal.

Offline Baruch

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2016, 07:24:55 PM »
Review basic English grammar ... if you haven't already.  If you aren't an ace with indirect objects and subordinate clauses ... you won't be able to do that in any other language.  You will be stuck with "See Jane catch the ball".  Not that there is anything wrong being at an elementary level.  You have to start somewhere.

Use example sentence patterns, using simple ones first.  Then substitute in different nouns, verbs, adjectives etc.  This is basically a structured way a child learns.  With paradigms.  Vocabulary is secondary, provided you start with good grammar.  Don't memorize conjugation tables either.  Just learn to do one thing at a time, really well (lots of practice).  Then it will become natural.  But short of immersion in a Japanese elementary school, you really can't do it how they do it.

As I pointed out ... at first regular Japanese is too hard, because of where you are starting from.  Try using your paradigms, with added vocabulary to write your own dialogs or short stories.  Going thru a whole book, will familiarize you with the material, but no mastery.  It isn't a bad idea, but it is just a first step.  Eventually repetition will make it so familiar, that you won't have to look things up (if you keep it simple).

English is hard in a different way ... because of the many arbitrary grammar exceptions ... but then most languages have that.  Japanese has some of the simplest grammar around, if you have good pedagogy.  I love hard things, but also easy things.  Spanish is relatively easy, Mandarin is relatively hard.  I love both.  The trick with E Asian languages is the writing.  You may have to stick with roman letters for quite some time ... then move to characters later.  I don't recommend doing characters in a beginning study ... but you could just study characters and not worry about the language.  Doing both is too hard.  Doing Japanese at character level ... is intermediate level, not beginner level.
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline Nonsensei

Re: Trying to learn japanese!
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2016, 07:34:29 PM »
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English is the hardest language?! LOL who said that? All its brilliance is that it is NOT a hard one.



People learning it have a horrible time understanding things like the following. "They're going over there in their car."
And on the wings of a dream so far beyond reality
All alone in desperation now the time has come
Lost inside you\'ll never find, lost within my own mind
Day after day this misery must go on

 

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