Who is/has taken some Japanese classes?

Talk about the culture and entertainment from Nihon.

Are you taking a Japanese class?

Yes, and I started taking Japanese b/c of doramas
12
19%
Yes, but it has nothing to do with Jdoramas
28
44%
No, but I've taken some classes before
23
36%
No, and I never will! Japanese is too hard >.<
1
2%
 
Total votes: 64

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whowhatme
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Who is/has taken some Japanese classes?

Post by whowhatme » Jul 25th, '06, 12:27

Just wondering :D

Im taking classes and started watching JDoramas cuz i was interested, but also because it helps me study Japanese... but now I'm hooked >.<

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Mitgott
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Post by Mitgott » Jul 25th, '06, 12:47

I started studying Japanese at university last year and came across JDoramas accidentally. First, I just watched them for fun but then I realized that it helped me great to get better in listening comprehension. ^^ I've come to understand a lot of things said in dramas in a short time. Now I'm watching because it's helpful for my studies and I'm addicted ^^;

vietxsweeti
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Post by vietxsweeti » Jul 25th, '06, 12:51

I took 3 years of Japanese in HS and 1 semester in College. Its pretty easy, if you are good at memorizing characters.

Spectr0
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Post by Spectr0 » Jul 25th, '06, 12:55

I'm taking a beginners course this fall, it covers mostly what I know already from learning by myself at home, but it'll give me the chance to converse with other people using very basic japanese. I'd love to take more classes later, in the meantime I should whatch more japanese drama instead of korean, it's just that koreans can act!

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Crazy Penguin
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Post by Crazy Penguin » Jul 25th, '06, 13:05

Personally, I think this part in the poll "No, and I never will! Japanese is too hard >.<" is a typical misconception. Grammar-wise, Japanese is quite easy. A lot easier than English, French or German (basically no plural, no articles like "la" and "le" (or the good old "der, die, das", which usually confuses the hell out of people who learn German), basically just past and present tense (since you can abuse present tense to indicate future), etc). The only big thing is learning the kanji letters. And that's doable, there are just some 2,000 to 3,000 (I have 2 kanji dictionaries, one features 2,000, the other 3,000), not THAT bad (especially not when compared with learning Chinese. 3,000 letters? That's just for warming up there!) Hiragana and kana are extremely easy.

I've been learning it professionally for a year by now. So I've finally left the beginners area in our course system here and can advance to the next area this fall.

ultrasoul
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Post by ultrasoul » Jul 25th, '06, 13:29

That's what i thought, too. Often people will react that way, when you tell them you are learning japanese. That it must be really hard with the kanji, the grammar and so on.
But compared to many asian languages I found japanese easy to begin with. The hiragana and katakana alphabets are easy to learn. Then you can read easy texts pretty quickly. And there isn't that difficult pronounciation like in other languages.

I began to learn japanese by self-studying because i didn't know any classes here. i began with hiragana and katakana. Then I could read manga, because they are written in furigana. That also helps learn a few kanji. For listening i have japanese anime, dorama and movies. For further studies I used a learning cd and books about grammar.
One day I want to take the jlpt 3. I think I'll pass it. Then I'll have some rewarding proof for my self-study efforts. :)

Besides japanese I have some other languages I want to get to at least to a basic comprehension level. That is korean, mandarin, thai, and I should fresh up my mother language vietnamese.

That will keep me busy I guess. :) If I think about the european languages I also like there would never be an end.

But i think it is never too late to learn new things, especially a new language, if you are motivated enough.

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Post by gixo » Jul 25th, '06, 14:07

@Crazy Penguin

are you kidding? Japanese is so much harder to learn than German, English or French.

especially the Japanese grammar is very hard. I studied Japanese for 4 years and lived some months in Japan and still think it's one of the hardest languages I've ever learnt. Oh, at the beginning it was ok, but when I left the beginner level. OMG. There are some grammar terms which have the same meaning in English but in Japanese their usage depends on the context. and when I asked some Japanese about that terms sometimes even they had problems to differentiate these terms and explain me the differences.
Talking about Kanji, it's not that hard to understand the meaning of a Kanji, but if you have to read a text loud it can become freaking difficult since the pronounciation of the Kanjis vary depending on the Kanji combinations. F.E the Kanji for "human". when you read it alone it's "hito", but if you say American the pronounciation changes to "America - "jin". And some of there Kanjis have up to 10 or more different pronounciations. I nearly wanted to give up and quit learning Japanese. But oh well, I like to watch Dramas and Animes too much, so ganbatte.

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ilot
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Post by ilot » Jul 25th, '06, 14:41

I think if you are learning Japanese to communicate. I think it's not that difficult. But when it comes to read, it might be difficult like GIXO said the pronounciation of the words different depends on the sentence's context.
When I learn Japanese, I always translate it to my native language then english. I found it easier to manipulate it that way.

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Post by gixo » Jul 25th, '06, 14:51

ilot wrote:I think if you are learning Japanese to communicate. I think it's not that difficult. But when it comes to read, it might be difficult like GIXO said the pronounciation of the words different depends on the sentence's context.
When I learn Japanese, I always translate it to my mother tongue then english. I found it easier to manipulate it that way.
Yeah, reading can become really difficult. Oh, I forgot to mention. My class wasn't simply reading some easy texts but some newpaper articles dealing about economy and politics. Maybe that's why I found it so hard. I mean you can pick up the daily-use-Japanese quite fast, but vocabulary about politics or economy is a tottally different matter. It's hard enough to read and understand stuff about share markets, economic crisis etc in your own language but when you have to read it in a language such as Japanese with all the Kanjis... :faint:

Oh, have you guys already learnt Keigo? Not that easy to use, too.

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onigiriman
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Post by onigiriman » Jul 25th, '06, 15:17

Take classes? I teach Japanese classes. :D

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Sukairain
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Post by Sukairain » Jul 25th, '06, 15:29

I'm taking Japanese classes because uh I was forced to so I could transfer to the school I'm going to. >< My class goes pretty slow though (I was taking Japanese 1). I think Japanese 2 goes faster though. As of right now I can't understand anything in my jdoramas except for a few a phrases. Maybe I'll understand later. *sigh*

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Crazy Penguin
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Post by Crazy Penguin » Jul 25th, '06, 16:03

@gixo

I think it's a lot easier than German. German grammar is usually confusing the hell out of people (just take our "der, die, das", I have yet to see a German non-native speaker getting those right within just a few tries, I'm used to "der Auto", "die Haus" or "das Schuh" by now). And then the lovely little issues with ß and s (like in "ist" and "ißt" (and yes, I refuse to use the new spelling, it sucks)), now add the useless new way of spelling things. Utter confusion (even among German native speakers, thanks to the great brainfart by some German nuts). Ok, German sucks as language, sorry, but that's the way I see it. We should start using English instead.

In Japanese there's a neat little feature. Depending on how you write it in kanji you have different meanings.

Take "aki" for example:
あき
明 (I know it's primarily read as "aku")
亜貴 
亜樹 
亜季 
阿木 
安岐 
亜紀 
空 
開き 
空き 
飽き 
厭き 
アキ
etc, etc...

And then those nifty little different pronunciations. Take "chi" チ, you can pronounce it as "sen"

I really love such things. *apply "giddy-like-schoolgirl" mode*

Besides, I've learned to be some 90+% fluent in English (at times I know the English word, but not the German translation; and I type faster and with less typos in English than in German by now), so I'll manage it with Japanese, too (and luckily the kanji follow a certain concept).

On the list after this task... Korean. I won't bother with Chinese, a Chinese friend of mine always makes fun of me when I try to pronounce it. That's extremely discouraging! *POUT!*

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whowhatme
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Post by whowhatme » Jul 26th, '06, 03:55

Crazy Penguin wrote:@gixo

On the list after this task... Korean. I won't bother with Chinese, a Chinese friend of mine always makes fun of me when I try to pronounce it. That's extremely discouraging! *POUT!*
but on the other hand, if ur not chinese and u have decent pronounciation, ALL chinese ppl will be completely freaked out and amazed and praise u to death :P

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Post by Kakihara » Jul 26th, '06, 04:29

Been studying off and on for 18 years at different levels of intensity. That is, none, in class, trying to speak only Japanese at home, stay in Japan for extended periods of time.

As for the dramas, they are great. About 2 months ago Azumi was watched. This website was found by accident while researching just who Azumi was. Had to get more of that actress (Ueto Aya). What do you know? Lot of good dramas here. And my wife, who is native Japanese, is also very appreciative to get new stuff. She likes Kurosagi, Nurse Aoi, Tokyo Love Story, etc. But also she likes Ueto Aya. We've watched all of Attention Please, Attack No. 1, Ace wo Narae, and on ep4 of Koukou Kyoushi.

The dramas in just 2 months have significantly improved my Japanese.

But's here's the catch. I can only understand 50-80% verbatim still. So the subtitles are cool to get 100% understanding. But with subtitles, the tendency is to filter out the audio portion. Pick 2 out of Video, Audio, Text. So, the real gains come when no subtitles are used. Then later, without annoying anyone, go back and re-watch the parts you really want to know exactly with the subs turned on.

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AngelicLayer
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Post by AngelicLayer » Jul 26th, '06, 11:09

I have been studying Japanese by myself for one year now! I´m dissapointed, because it doesn´t work as I wanted to. I must admit that Japanese is the most difficult language I´ve ever learnd. Even French is much easier!:-) I´m also trying the Katana but I able to write only a few, maybe about 60 marks.
So, there´s not much I can improve my Japanese JDoramas with....maybe after a long stay in Japan and hard work...but I first of all have some other stuff to learn, namely maths for my school-leaving exams, so there´s not much time to learn Japanese. Maybe I should start searching for an pan-friend from Japan! Is anybody interested?

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siangsaolong
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Post by siangsaolong » Jul 26th, '06, 11:45

Japanese is hard. Much harder than English because there are too many form of verbs and of course Kanjis.
Japanese grammar and English is not the same
English Subj.+verb+obj.
Japanese Subj.+obj.+verb.
According to my Japanese teacher who graduated from Todai, there are more SOV languages than SVO languages in the world.

Anyway I have to live in Japan for another 5 years.
gambarimasu

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kaname
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Post by kaname » Jul 26th, '06, 14:51

I am blessed and cursed. My wife is also a native Japanese and she and my in-laws have been trying to teach me for years (sometimes while rolling on the floor over my pronunciation). I take private lessons now as well as work on Rosetta Stone. I do this because I want to be able to converse with family in Japan and not be left out of conversations here. Of course it is great to actually understand the dramas without subs but I still miss a lot of it. I am actually picking up the lesser alphas fairly quickly but the kanji is a lost cause... :-( . I was actually trying to learn prior to my sister-in-law turning me onto the dramas which in turn lead me here.

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whowhatme
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Post by whowhatme » Jul 27th, '06, 11:50

kaname i know how u feel!

when people talk to me in japanese i can usually understand what they're saying, but when i try to listen in to two or more japanese ppl talking amongthemselves, i have little to no idea what they're saying. >.<

it's like japanese and japanese japanese are two different languages or something :P

but my japanese friend says that she feels the same for english... we talk really fast and use slang when we talk to each other. so maybe it's the same for all languages!

the sad thing is i *might* be getting better at japanese than mandarin. even tho i'm chinese >.< that's so sad lol.

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Kimmy07
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Post by Kimmy07 » Jul 30th, '06, 01:26

I've been teaching myself Japanese for a while and I actually think it's one of the easiest languages I've studied. But I watched anime and doramas in Japanese for about 6 years before trying to learn the language so I'm assuming that has something to do with it being easier for me.

Also, I think the frame of mind you go into learning the language has something to do with it. For me, Japanese is a gorgeous language that I can't get enough of. The other languages I'm told I should know but I really have no interest in are almost impossible for me to get, but Japanese has been fairly easy for me.

The kanji is the most difficult part, but even that to me is not that bad since, to me, kanji is really gorgeous. I think if you see the writing as a bunch of meaningless lines you have to memorize it will be difficult, but if you see it as an art it'll be easier to recognize and remember, not to mention less stressful.

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Post by peachytwinkle » Jul 30th, '06, 02:06

yup yup! starting this fall i will be my 3rd year of learning japanese in college. japanese class is my favorite! :cheers: :cheers: :thumright:

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6502inside
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Post by 6502inside » Jul 30th, '06, 06:13

I studied on my own for two years. (All I really did during that time is read half-way through a textbook and play Super Robot Taisen a lot.) Then I went to a class at a university for two semesters, and it has been 1.5 years more of studying on my own since then. Overall I still suck but at least I can watch raw jdorama and have an adequate understanding.

I took Spanish in high school but didn't have much interest in it and have forgotten most of what I learned by now. It's too bad we couldn't have done something interesting in class like watch Spanish TV shows once in a while. All I remember doing toward the end is writing out verb conjugations. I spent so much time writing them that when I finished I couldn't remember the difference in meaning from one form to another anyway. It was probably easier than Japanese though. I'm glad to be a native speaker of English because even if the language itself isn't the hardest, matters are complicated by the fact that a lot of English speaking people just don't make sense :P

I think learning any language is really difficult, at least as difficult as learning ten programming languages. I might never master a 2nd and won't attempt a 3rd (spoken languages that is, not programming languages).

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Post by Tyrane » Jul 30th, '06, 06:18

I took some when I was 12-13 in my first year of high school, but then our teacher left and then we had to learn French instead :(

Didn't get to learn much Japanese due to the large ammounts of losers in the class and the teacher spending most of the lesson trying to make them shut up.

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Post by hacksign » Jul 30th, '06, 06:33

I studied Japanese for three years in high school though it wasn't necessarily due to any drama addiction back then. A little bit of anime addiction maybe, but I would say it was primarily because I didn't want to learn Spanish or French. Don't know how smart that choice turned out to be seeing as how we only had one teacher and she was a little... eccentric.

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uezurii
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Post by uezurii » Aug 2nd, '06, 08:02

AngelicLayer wrote:I have been studying Japanese by myself for one year now! I´m dissapointed, because it doesn´t work as I wanted to. I must admit that Japanese is the most difficult language I´ve ever learnd. Even French is much easier!:-) I´m also trying the Katana but I able to write only a few, maybe about 60 marks.
So, there´s not much I can improve my Japanese JDoramas with....maybe after a long stay in Japan and hard work...but I first of all have some other stuff to learn, namely maths for my school-leaving exams, so there´s not much time to learn Japanese. Maybe I should start searching for an pan-friend from Japan! Is anybody interested?
What's with people who take French taking Japanese too. Personally I think that French was harder! The Japanese teachers are better. You actually speak in class too.

I recommend Genki I & II as a textbook. Also I'd recommend not going the typical route that many Anime/blah blah fans do - get excited about taking the language but not realizing how much effort it is going to be and giving up quickly.. take the language because of the CULTURE not because of your obsession with the product. My two cents.

Personally I hate Anime... but love J-doramas. Found J-doramas because of a non-language Asian culture class.

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Post by MoonKnight » Aug 3rd, '06, 17:26

Hi, everyone!

I have just recently started studying Japanese again. I took Japanese 101 in college about 2 1/2 years ago. I picked it up pretty quickly. We didn't learn any kanji, though. I would have continued with Japanese 102 the following semester, but only one time was offered, and it did not fit my schedule so I didn't take it. With the fact that I don't watch anime and had no Japanese influences around me, I started to forget a lot of what I learned.

Cut to present day. I've recently started watching Japanese dramas by pure accident. I was on the Internet and ran into something callled アヤかのとつげき英会話 and it got me interested in learning Japanese again. I'll be taking Japanese 101 again this Fall.


Oh and about the French thing, that's funny. I took French for three years in high school. I thought French was very easy, although that might just be me. I tend to pick up languages quickly.

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Karo
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Post by Karo » Aug 3rd, '06, 17:44

I'm taking Japanese lessons since 2 years now... ^^
But ehre.. you have to take private lessons, cause there is no other alternative around... So... I envy all the popele who say things like: I entered Japanese class because I didn't want to learn this or that language... I'm sooo envious!!!
hehehe... ^^ But now... I'm happy, I can learn it. ^^

Japanese Drama really help a lot. Since you get to hear some words and memorize them. As well as practicing your ear for the language... ^^
So... In lesson, I understand more than the others I'm learning with. Also my vocabulary is a bit better... ^^
So... watching drama as practice really helps a lot... ^^ I think...
I'll keep on watching... yay!!! ^^

Japanse is just a great language!!! ^^

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minikui
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Post by minikui » Aug 4th, '06, 20:29

Maybe every language has an easy and a difficult part (except english which is easy in every way XD ), else even native speakers wouldn't be able to learn it ;D

It's true that Drama, Anime or Manga helps you a lot with learning ... just as normal books would do the same, works for every language .... if you want to learn french buy mangas in french :lol

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Post by mt877 » Aug 5th, '06, 00:03

NHK has free online Japanese lessons right now. It appears the lessons are at various stages, many of the first lessons
are no longer available to listen to, but the lesson text for each language is available. The lessons are in Real Audio format, so
you must have Real Player or equivalent installed. If you have audio stream capture software, you can capture the audio.
I think VLC can do this, but I haven't experimented with that. The earliest English Japanese lesson is 5, with each new
lesson an old one will be dropped.

Edit: Found a site that is hosting the complete English Japanese lessons in mp3 format.

NHK Links:

Arabic Japanese Lessons, Bengali Japanese Lessons, Burmese Japanese Lessons, Chinese (Mandarin) Japanese Lessons, English Japanese Lessons, French Japanese Lessons, German Japanese Lessons, Hindi Japanese Lessons, Indonesian Japanese Lessons, Italian Japanese Lessons, Korean Japanese Lessons, Malay Japanese Lessons, Persian Japanese Lessons, Portuguese Japanese Lessons, Russian Japanese Lessons, Spanish Japanese Lessons, Swahili Japanese Lessons, Swedish Japanese Lessons, Thai Japanese Lessons, Urdu Japanese Lessons, Vietnamese Japanese Lessons

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NaTsUmE_MaYa
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Post by NaTsUmE_MaYa » Aug 7th, '06, 12:10

i took japanese language for 6 months during my second yr in university. I practiced and improved my vocabulary by watching anime and lots of RAW j-dramas. It really helped. I got an impressive result at the end of the semester for that particular course. (^_^) Currently i work as an international marketing executive for Japan market. Pretty good for a 6 months learner. :D

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Post by thebazel » Aug 7th, '06, 13:46

I agree with the concensus that Japanese is not one of the easiest languages to learn, but it isn't as hard as some make it out to be. The comment about the difficulty of being able to read a Japanese business newspaper didn't make much sense to me. You either know the words written or you don't. Yes, kanji have different readings depending on the word they're used in, but it isn't a guessing game cycling through the readings till you get the right one. Sure, 人 is hito alone, but in 人工 it is jin and in 人間 it is nin. And by the way 間 is aida here, 間違う ma here, and 時間 kan here. How do you know? Because you know the word. Kanji shouldn't be studied connecting picture to phonetic sounds, but rather connecting kanji to words. So your reasoning doesn't really work. Yes, you can phonetically read Je m'appele in French because it is letters you understand, but if you don't know the meaning it isn't any different than reading jinkou like this or like 人工 this. Is it a lot more work than a roman language? Of course..but if you want to learn the language you persevere.
It's hard enough to read and understand stuff about share markets, economic crisis etc in your own language

And I won't even comment on this.. :roll

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Post by gixo » Aug 7th, '06, 15:43

thebazel wrote:I agree with the concensus that Japanese is not one of the easiest languages to learn, but it isn't as hard as some make it out to be. The comment about the difficulty of being able to read a Japanese business newspaper didn't make much sense to me. You either know the words written or you don't. Yes, kanji have different readings depending on the word they're used in, but it isn't a guessing game cycling through the readings till you get the right one. Sure, 人 is hito alone, but in 人工 it is jin and in 人間 it is nin. And by the way 間 is aida here, 間違う ma here, and 時間 kan here. How do you know? Because you know the word. Kanji shouldn't be studied connecting picture to phonetic sounds, but rather connecting kanji to words. So your reasoning doesn't really work. Yes, you can phonetically read Je m'appele in French because it is letters you understand, but if you don't know the meaning it isn't any different than reading jinkou like this or like 人工 this. Is it a lot more work than a roman language? Of course..but if you want to learn the language you persevere.
It's hard enough to read and understand stuff about share markets, economic crisis etc in your own language

And I won't even comment on this.. :roll
I didn't intended to make it out to be that hard. And it really isn't that hard if you go for the daily use only but it can become hard if you are aiming for a higher-level Japanese

If you don't know the meaning in French etc. you can look it up quite easily in the dictionary. but as for Kanjis, it can take you quite some time to look it up. And if you have to do that in a test paper where you have a time limit you can guess how desperate I was. And what I meant about reading economy newspapers, was that though I lived in Japan and studied Japanese before in my country it's still hard, coz in university and in Japan you get to know the daily Japanese which is quite easy to learn, but to understand newspapers etc. you have to know quite a lot of Kanjis + the grammar and phrases are more sophisticated than the normal, daily Japanese. So as I said before it's not that hard to learn the daily Japanese, so you can watch Dramas etc but hard to read newspapers and texts written by some Japanese economy professors. But I think this is the same in every language, that newspaper articles and articles written by some experts are written in a better style. So what I meant, for me personally Japanese is one of the hardest languages I ever studied coz the niveau in my class was higher than the typical Japanese class I guess. and I did some internships in Japanese companies and they expect you to use Keigo etc while speaking to customers. And Keigo is quite different from the Japanese I learnt from my Japanese friends (who all uses slang etc.)

And about the different pronounciations. Sure it's better to learn a Kanji connecting to words, but sometimes I just know the Kanji and the other Kanji it is paired with but don't know the pronounciation of the combination. So I can kind of understand the meaning, but I am not so good in Japanese that I know ALL vocabulary and the pronounciation of each word, especially words which were invented by some profs and can't be found in the dictionary. So if your prof asks you to read the text aloud it's not that easy. That's why I prefer Chinese. Each Character has only 1-3 pronounciations, mostly only 1 and the pronounciation is normally the same alone or in combination.

I still like the Japanese language but sometimes I was at the point of nearly giving up. hmm... maybe it had to do sth with my teacher who was a cool Japanese person. But getting explanations from a Japanese teacher about grammar etc. is not really that great. You ask her about a problem you have and she don't understand your problem coz for her there is no problem coz all makes perfect sense for her.

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Post by minikui » Aug 7th, '06, 16:43

gixo is right when she says that words made of more than one kanji are difficult to pronounce or rather it is difficult to remember all the different pronounciations possible .... even japanese people don't know all the pronounciations (while they can guess the meaning)

that's why in anime and drama you'll find many jokes about misunderstandings between the characters because one of them pronounced a word in the wrong way

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Post by thebazel » Aug 7th, '06, 18:15

That still doesn't change the fact that if you know the word, there is no problem. If you don't know the word, you learn it/look it up just like any language. Again, you're making it sound as if kanji all have multiple readings from which you have to guess when you see a word you do not know. Yes, knowing multiple readings for a kanji can help greatly when coming across a word you do not know. Knowing that 復 is fuku from 復習 can help greatly when you see 復活 in terms of meaning and pronunciation - but it stil doesn't let you know the word. The same is true for say the word "onomatopoeia". You've seen all those letters before, but if you do not know the word, it is still difficult to pronounce and know the meaning off.

Another example. How about "pronunciation" (which by the way drops the o from pronounce) Made up of the prefix "pro" the word "n(o)un" and the suffix "ation". But this "pro" is not the same as in "product" or "proper" but it is the same as "professional".

From your last post I see your qualm is more with the difficulty of looking up a word you do not know because of having to look up the kanji without phonetic help. Hence why there is a radical system in place. Do you have to learn the radical system to use it properly? Of course, it takes effort, but once you do it is basically the same except with a lot more "letters". :whistling:

As for your comment on the difficulty of language pertaining to the topic, isn't that how language works? No matter what language, there are informal, casual, and formal versions of the language. Japanese definitely has a few more "versions", but again if you study the language, you learn that. Of course professional documents will utilize the full extent of the language, but that should be more of a motivation than a deterance to studying.


I know you're only stating your opinion on your personal experience with the language, which I completely understand and respect - I was just trying to correct the (inadvertent maybe) inference that the Japanese writing system was a big guessing game. Yes, it is harder than English's 26 letters but it is by no means any more intuitive or incapable as any other language. Symbol X = Idea Y.

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Post by gixo » Aug 7th, '06, 18:59

thebazel wrote: Again, you're making it sound as if kanji all have multiple readings from which you have to guess when you see a word you do not know.

From your last post I see your qualm is more with the difficulty of looking up a word you do not know because of having to look up the kanji without phonetic help. Hence why there is a radical system in place. Do you have to learn the radical system to use it properly? Of course, it takes effort, but once you do it is basically the same except with a lot more "letters". :whistling:

As for your comment on the difficulty of language pertaining to the topic, isn't that how language works? No matter what language, there are informal, casual, and formal versions of the language. Japanese definitely has a few more "versions", but again if you study the language, you learn that. Of course professional documents will utilize the full extent of the language, but that should be more of a motivation than a deterance to studying.
yeah, looking up words are terrible. I know that there is a radical system, thank heaven for it. But if you get a bad copy of a text, full of tiny, tiny Kanjis it's hard to look them up. I mean if you have seen the Kanji before it's no problem for you to look it up, but if you haven't :-( it's much faster to look up letter-words than Kanjis.

But I still think Kanji's are pretty difficult. When you see words written in letters, you can kind of pronounce them even though you don't know the meaning. (maybe not super-correct but still understandable) But that's not possible for Kanjis. And as minikui pointed out, even Japanese has problems with Kanjis sometime. I never said that you have to guess the right pronunciation, all I said was that 1 Kanji can have a lot of different pronunciations. And sometimes you simply don't know all of them hence you make mistakes. And all I meant was that it can be quite confusing to remember which proncunciation you have to chose for which case. FE. 強国 (kyoukoku) and 強情 (goujou). why is it "kyou" and then "gou"? That's what makes Kanjipronunciation so hard for me. Or what do you think about this word 色紙 ? It can be pronounced as shikishi (calligraphy) or irogami (coloured paper). Don't you think that can be confusing sometimes?

Btw. I don't get your point about the whole pronunciation thing (btw. do you realize I spelt it correctly this time :lol ) I said nothing about splitting up words into their basics. I just said that if I have a Kanjicombination, I can kind of guess the meaning (sometimes) though I don't know the pronunciation. FE. 強国 strong nation. But I have to confess that doesn't always work. So if I would have seen 強情, I would have guessed strong feeling instead of stubbornness.

you just said yourself that Japanese has "some more versions" than other languages. I agree, and that's why I think that Japanese is really tough. It definetely has more informal, casual, and formal versions than English or any other language I've learnt before. And I think that's the case for most of the people here.

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Post by minikui » Aug 7th, '06, 19:34

argh, I know that situation very well .... trying to search the vocabulary of a text where you can't even read the kanji because it's a bad copy or printed too small XD
But even with a good copy it still takes me hours to look up all the new words of a text that's like 4 pages long .... as thebazel said "the same except with a lot more letters" and that makes a lot of difference considering the time you need when searching a word, at least to me

But gixo, the reason that there are so many different ways of pronouncing one kanji is all the fault of chinese and its many dialects (as is the fact that there are kanji anyway ) ;D Because japanese imported the chinese words from different dialects (of the different dynasties) and since in every dialect they pronounce a kanji a bit different, the japanese pronUnciation also changed more or less =)
And of course there are words using the corean or even english/french/portugese etc pronunciation (while most of them are now being written in katakana)
But you probably knew that already oO

PS: I'm sure that in China and Japan there are much more people that need glasses while reading than over here :mrgreen:

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Post by gixo » Aug 7th, '06, 19:40

minikui wrote: But gixo, the reason that there are so many different ways of pronouncing one kanji is all the fault of chinese and its many dialects (as is the fact that there are kanji anyway ) ;D Because japanese imported the chinese words from different dialects (of the different dynasties) and since in every dialect they pronounce a kanji a bit different, the japanese pronUnciation also changed more or less =)
And of course there are words using the corean or even english/french/portugese etc pronunciation (while most of them are now being written in katakana)
But you probably knew that already oO
I know, i know, but that doesn't make it easier to learn, does it? At least for me it's really frustrating sometimes. Anyway, I am out of university. all I am reading now are Manga :D

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Post by minikui » Aug 7th, '06, 20:03

Well, since the japanese are becoming unable to use Kanji maybe in a few years they'll be gone? ;D Almost during every lesson I can see my teacher struggling to remember how to write a word in kanji and she keeps warning us "even I'm forgetting Kanji now, so you better don't even start using a PC" .... you can still hope =D

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Post by kapompom » Aug 8th, '06, 02:44

i've taken some classes back in 1999. it has nothing to do with anime/dorama etc tho. just started to get hooked on dorama 2 years after that.

currently i've been continuing my nihongo study on my own. everything seems to be good, i think. and watching dorama + anime & reading raw manga does help a lot.

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Post by MirroredSoul » Jan 3rd, '07, 07:14

Anime made me want to learn Japanese but then dramas became an addition for the learning desire. I believe the classes and the anime/drama complement each other very nicely. I watch anime/dramas and can discern quite a number of words and some simple sentences. It may not sound grand but since I'm doing a beginner's course in Japanese I think it's an achievement for me. I'm improving quite a lot in a short amount of time, my basic knowledge of Chinese also helps me with the kanji, especially when writing the characters out and understanding a passage in Japanese that contains kanji.

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Post by Keymaker » Jan 3rd, '07, 08:56

Just saw this thread now, but for the people who say that English is a very easy language to learn...I'll be nice to them and just say that they're absolutely wrong. Wow, this thread got a nice recent bump, haha.

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Post by quashlo » Jan 3rd, '07, 19:47

I think Keymaker made a good point... :lol English is a very interesting language because it is used so widely across the world, so perhaps maybe that is why native speakers underestimate it's difficulty... So many people around the world can get by with basic English, so it must be easy, riiiiiight? :lol

I also would like to add though that the perceived difficulty of a language also depends on your own language background... As a native English speaker, learning Spanish in middle school was a piece of cake because everything was so similar... Writing system, pronunciation, etc. But in high school I switched over to Japanese, and it's definitely much more difficult. With respect to kanji, it's like a love-hate relationship... It's extremely powerful in the sense that you can instill a lot of meaning with just a few characters, but it makes the learning curve incredibly high. Your teacher might say there's only "two" readings of a character, the on-yomi and the kun-yomi... But there can be variation in the on-yomi (方言 vs. 伝言) and the kun-yomi (行く vs. 行う)... Not to mention the glorious world of ateji, where a Japanese pronunciation is applied to a series of Chinese characters based on their meaning (強請る or 躊躇う), and nanori, pronunciation of characters for names, which kind of mixes everything together.

But I think the difficulty is partly why I like learning the language so much... To be honest, Spanish was fun, but I was never motivated enough to learn outside of the classroom. Difficulty is not a bad thing... I think studying a language that is completely different from your native tongue is much more rewarding. Just my two cents, though.

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Post by marie_23 » Jan 3rd, '07, 20:01

I will be learning Japanese this upcoming fall...and I'm happy about this and at the same time nervous that it might be very hard :blink I tried learning Spanish but was not really into it that much at the time...However, for some reason I've fallen in love with Korean culture and want to learn more about it...right now the only thing being offered around my area is Japanese...So, I'm kind of interested in Japanese and thought it would be okay to start off with until a korean class is located...

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Post by Pekana » Jan 3rd, '07, 23:35

Hey, where's the option of "No, but I would like to take some Japanese classes in the future"? :-(

I have never had any Japanese classes, but I would like to learn Japanese. Sadly, right now I have neither the money, nor the possibility. There aren't that many choices for someone who wants to take Japanese over here in my country. I 've always liked studying languages, so any grammatical, phonetical or other difficulty wouldn't deter me. If I could tackle German grammar, then Japanese shouldn't really be that scary. At least I hope so :lol

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Post by camui_alexa » Jan 5th, '07, 23:40

Hello!
It's great to see that so many peolpe are trying to learn a foreign language.
I love languages and their study. My native language's spanish... leared english by myself, studied Japanese and now I'm beggining with Mandarin Chinese. Oh, by the way, I'm half Chinese born in Mexico XD
As I study my university career, I'm also working part time, and my part time job happens to be language teaching.
I've teaching English since I was 15 and it's been already a year since I started teaching Japanese classes. So, if anyone has any questions and I may be of help to those studying Japanese, don't hesitate to ask ^_~

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Post by angelcoolz » Jan 5th, '07, 23:50

camui_alexa wrote:Hello!
It's great to see that so many peolpe are trying to learn a foreign language.
I love languages and their study. My native language's spanish... leared english by myself, studied Japanese and now I'm beggining with Mandarin Chinese. Oh, by the way, I'm half Chinese born in Mexico XD
As I study my university career, I'm also working part time, and my part time job happens to be language teaching.
I've teaching English since I was 15 and it's been already a year since I started teaching Japanese classes. So, if anyone has any questions and I may be of help to those studying Japanese, don't hesitate to ask ^_~
u can help with japanese??? how cool..maybe u can give me some guide then..yoroshiku..

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Post by camui_alexa » Jan 5th, '07, 23:55

Of course!!
Anytime!
BTW, I'm not sure if I can come to the forums very often once I start semester, but you can always reach me at my email. I check it everyday.
ash_biam@yahoo.com.mx

Sore ja!

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Post by angelcoolz » Jan 5th, '07, 23:59

camui_alexa wrote:Of course!!
Anytime!
BTW, I'm not sure if I can come to the forums very often once I start semester, but you can always reach me at my email. I check it everyday.
ash_biam@yahoo.com.mx

Sore ja!
hontouni arigatou gozaimashita...i might bothered u every single day..is da gonna be ok???hontouni..domou..

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Post by eternalstar » Jan 6th, '07, 00:03

I lived in Japan for 3 years and went to an international elementary school, but we had to take Japanese class as part of the curriculum. When I moved back the U.S., I took 4 years of Japanese in high school (I didn't consider it intensive enough at all). I'm now in college and I've had about 4 semesters worth of Japanese. I'm going back to Japan after I graduate to go super hardcore with the language. My goal is to be just as fluent in Japanese as I am in English and Korean. I usually watch dramas to help with my listening comprehension.

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Post by unclehock » Jan 6th, '07, 01:27

haha it appears i'm the only one who took japanese because of doramas! but i'm not embrassed by it :D

i was only introduced to doramas sometime in may this year by a friend who was watching ichi rottiru no namida, and before i knew it, i was hooked! and if you consider that the second one i watched was nobuta wo produce, there's is no end to it!

it was whilst watching that i realised how beautiful this language can be, and i felt totally motivated to do it. have taken about one semester of classes now, and i can foresee myself continuing till the end of school here : )

i'm can't wait to go to japan!!!!! :mrgreen:

to all the experts out here, yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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Post by akirachan » Jan 9th, '07, 01:57

unclehock: you may not be the only one taking japanese because of dramas.=)

I have been taking 1.5 years of college Japanese, and my dream is one day to attain native fluency level, or at least somewhere close to it. Herein lies the problem. I realise how important it is to immerse oneself completely, and that means going to Japan. However, the nature of my occupation makes it very difficult for me to just move to Japan for a while. Also, now that I am married, the two-bodied problem is more difficult to solve.

So my question is, how important do you think living in Japan is to learning Japanese? I'm wondering if I could ever get to a decent level without having ever 'lived' there.

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Post by camui_alexa » Jan 9th, '07, 18:09

You can have a pretty decent level without living in Japan.
Now, there are three points which I always tell to my students:
1) About Kanji: read as much as possible in japanese. You can get magazines or children's books for starters.
2) Listening: I guess you won't have any problems in doing thisXD : watch a lot of anime, movies or dorama spoken in Japanese and try to understand it without subtitles. After a little practice, you'll get to be uncomfortable with subs, for they usually have a few mistakes, or they don't translate literaly because of idioms and things like that.
3) Pronunciation: sing. There is no better way to perfect a language. Get a singer or band that you like a lot, get their lyrics and sing along. It doesn't matter if you sing awfully, after all, you're practicing a language, not rehearsing for an audition.

Unbelievable as it may sound, it can take you to a great level. Fisrt time I was in Japan, many japanese I met asked me how many years I had been living there. It was fun to see their faces as I told them I had just arrived a few days ago.
Of course, if you live in Japan, you will learn faster and will learn many idioms and stuff that you would otherwise have a hard time to learn. But gaining a good level without being there is not impossible.
Last edited by camui_alexa on Jan 9th, '07, 18:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by arabian » Jan 9th, '07, 18:13

I wish if i can..

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Post by Lifo » Jan 9th, '07, 18:24

Japanese is not hard at all, if u try at least to learn it,
it'll turn out really easy and as vietxsweeti said, if U're good at memorizing characters, it's a peice of cake =) !!

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Post by sparkleandglitter » Jan 9th, '07, 18:50

I started studying Japanese because I am half Japanese and I couldn't speak my second mother tongue properly and knew hardly anything about my mother's culture. Got into dramas properly because of my best friend in my first year. Am now in my second year and watch dramas 'for educational purposes' :P It does help actually, gotta love soft subs and raws to test your comprehension.

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Post by hisa » Jan 11th, '07, 18:39

@camui_alexa: good advice!! Watching dramas definately do help in practicing tghe language...haha...I just started takin Japanese this past fall semester...it's been my intention for a while because I don't feel comfortable traveling there without knowing how to speak the language and I really do hope to travel there soon, maybe study abroad for a semester or two...
oh! If anyone's done study abroad in japan for college, itd be cool if you could share your experience! ^^v

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Post by Hydrangea » Jan 11th, '07, 18:59

I love taking Japanese at my university. I started studying it a few years ago by myself. I think it's fun to learn. I don't think it's terribly difficult either. I have a passion for learning different languages, and I would love to learn Chinese and Korean after I have mastered Japanese to the best of my ability.

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Post by reynardine » Jan 12th, '07, 11:29

I had the opportunity to take a class a while back, but now I have to study by myself. I have to say I learned a lot quicker in a class! Raw dramas help a lot with listening comprehension, I've found. I don't read well yet, but am getting better. Kanji is so interesting that it's fun to study.

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Post by hikkichan » Jan 13th, '07, 09:25

Lifo wrote:Japanese is not hard at all, if u try at least to learn it,
it'll turn out really easy and as vietxsweeti said, if U're good at memorizing characters, it's a peice of cake =) !!
Not neccessarily... I've taken Japanese classes for almost a decade/minored in University... aced all of the classes, and yet my Japanese is still crap... I can watch TV and get around alright in Japan, but it's not easy... I'm better at reading stuff than anything else... so, the memorizations of characters doesn't really help with the acutal use of the language.

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Post by wakaba » Jan 13th, '07, 10:56

I've been taking Japanese at my school since last fall and so far, it's been quite exciting. The first course generally concentrated on the verb "to be", the use of adjectives and some basic phrases, and in addition to course two, I'm also taking "Introduction to Kanji" this spring. The courses launch next week, and I'm definitely looking forward to them. Even though it's said that Japanese and Finnish have quite a bit in common, I still find the language hard unlike anything else I've studied. However, prononciation-wise, my mother tongue helps a lot.

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Post by camui_alexa » Jan 15th, '07, 20:50

Specially for angelcoolz:
I've been having some trouble with my email, so I haven't been able to answer yours. Hope it will get fixed soon.
Ja!

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Post by terence_hideyoshi » Jan 16th, '07, 03:03

Hi ppl! Din't notice this thread till now. Well, I'm currently taking Japanese over here in Singapore. I do find it hard. But I think it is still manageable as certain of the kanji look as to chinese characters (I know that kanji are chinese char, just that certain kanji just have the same meaning as the chinese).

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Post by karin-chan » Jan 21st, '07, 07:19

i wiLL take japanese classes after i graduate coLLege so could concentrate...

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Post by HYD5599 » Feb 3rd, '07, 08:41

I took 3 years of Japanese in college. I kinda got bored of the classes since the manner of teaching always involves the same topics (family, hobbies, school...) I kinda lost all my vocab but recently watching jdramas will hopefully make me remember! :D

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Post by aatm » Feb 5th, '07, 06:57

i've wanted to learn ever since i was 6 i think. and i honestly don't know why. just something about the language and the culture just really draw me in. so now i'm taking classes at the CC in Irvine, and it's going pretty well. i'm excited...and yeah, i'm watching more doramas now to help me comprehend native speaking...sure i can figure it out if it's in a book if i try hard enough and sound out each syllable, but i want to be able to listen and understand as well...you know? =)

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Post by karin-chan » Feb 6th, '07, 14:52

Like aatm, ever since i was young i also wouLd Like o Learn nihonggo, i was an anime addict then... but after watching jdramas, iam not desperately want to!!!

HYD5599 >> is is reaLLy that hard? so are you make the most out of what you Learn now?

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Post by Kitsuchi » Feb 6th, '07, 21:00

I'm currently studying Japanese in school. It's only basic though, since we've started recently. Only had a few lessons yet. Though almost everything we've been learning up until now, I already have knowledge for. I've watched alot of anime and Jdorama, which taught me all the Japanese I'm able to speak today (which isn't even much).

What I want to say is that, if you want to learn Japanese, then anime or/and Jdorama is a very good start for you. Preferably of course Jdorama. You start from understanding zero when they talk until you understand like 2/5 of their talking, as for me. It's a good self-studying lesson for learning hearing and understanding Japanese.

I'm currently aiming and dreaming, of course, of speaking and understanding both spoken and written Japanese almost fluently.

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Post by blue_lizzard » Feb 6th, '07, 21:15

Mitgott wrote:I started studying Japanese at university last year and came across JDoramas accidentally. First, I just watched them for fun but then I realized that it helped me great to get better in listening comprehension. ^^ I've come to understand a lot of things said in dramas in a short time. Now I'm watching because it's helpful for my studies and I'm addicted ^^;
same here
and i totally agree to gixo's post about the difficulties of learning japanese^^

じゃね

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Post by BijinDatta » Feb 6th, '07, 21:27

I'm in my third year of studying Japanese at high school. Last summer I went on a home stay program and I was able to stay with a host family for six weeks in Japan. So I've had quite a bit of language exposure and training. Still - it's hardly enough to understand 4/5ths of everything in a dorama, since Japanese uses so many onomatopoeia and expressions - almost more than any other language I know of. But yeah, I watched dramas like crazy for the first time last summer before I went on my home stay and while it didn't necessarily help me tremendously language-wise, it did give me something to talk about when I went there. They loved that I wasn't so American-centric, but rather liked Japanese things too.

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Post by surrealistic-destiny » Feb 8th, '07, 16:25

I used to self teach myself.. ^^;;

However, have taken it formally once I got into uni. So am majoring in it at the moment ^^ Sometimes. the tenses and verbs get to you though. And the kanji.. >.>;; sometimes its so easy to forget the readings for it and how one character can mean so many different things.

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Post by hikki2me » Feb 10th, '07, 02:06

i cant vote coz none is describe me...
i learn japanese bymyself... buy books and watch japanese drama.... but i think i learn how to speak japenese only coz to read japanese is quite hard....kanji words is hard to me... :cry:

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Post by choco_kinoko » Feb 14th, '07, 14:08

I've been studying Japanese for... errr... 3 years now? And while I learned a lot of grammar, I couldn't really speak more than hello and goodbye until I actually moved here. I'm a bit better now, and it gets a little bit frustrating when I can't understand or respond to what people are saying to me... but learning Japanese is so much fun :)

And learning Japanese as a native speaker is one of the most difficult things a person can do. And vice versa for the Japanese. The languages are just so different, but that's part of the fun, ya know...

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Post by rikki » Feb 15th, '07, 01:21

surrealistic-destiny: haha! Just what I used to do and am currently doing...

Bit of self taught during my latter high school years and now I am starting my semester of Uni and currently selecting Japanese as my language major (with Korean or Chinese as my secondary). Just a week away until my uni semester starts.

I am currently trying to self-teach myself the Elementary Kanji, but is gonna take me a long time to get thru it. Nearly on Grade 2 Kanji :P

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Post by choco_kinoko » Feb 15th, '07, 04:29

rikki wrote:surrealistic-destiny: haha! Just what I used to do and am currently doing...

Bit of self taught during my latter high school years and now I am starting my semester of Uni and currently selecting Japanese as my language major (with Korean or Chinese as my secondary). Just a week away until my uni semester starts.

I am currently trying to self-teach myself the Elementary Kanji, but is gonna take me a long time to get thru it. Nearly on Grade 2 Kanji :P

Good luck. Kanji is really difficult for Japanese people too. But I think it's so much more fun than English :D

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choco_kinoko
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 12th, '07, 13:59
Location: Gunma-Ken, Japan

Post by choco_kinoko » Feb 15th, '07, 04:42

Ah, I just found this really helpful site for learning and reviewing kanji: http:\\www.japanese-kanji.com

It arranges based on the JLPT level (4 being the easiest, 1 the hardest) I wish I would have seen it before I took the JLPT last December... it would have made studying so much easier...

Misfit
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 20th, '07, 08:46
Location: NC, USA

Post by Misfit » Feb 20th, '07, 09:06

Sadly, I cannot click any options on the poll. I am learning Japanese all by my lonesome. I immigrated to the US from the UK, and for around five years I've had a lot of ups and downs and I am still not through it all yet :-/ It also means I actuall cannot attend classes of any kind in the US. Which is a pain since I now know, after years of major depression, what I want to do with my life. That is to be a translator or English teacher. Someone working with the people and the language :-D

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