Talk about the culture and entertainment from Nihon.
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Post by natasjageill » Nov 18th, '06, 22:53

Hey there.

Does anyone here know a good site where i can learn Japanese for free?
I'd really really love to :-)
I'm already practicing some hiragana and katakana.

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Re: Japanese

Post by squall789 » Nov 18th, '06, 23:13

natasjageill wrote:Hey there.

Does anyone here know a good site where i can learn Japanese for free?
I'd really really love to :-)
I'm already practicing some hiragana and katakana.
I can think of a few.
but this is going to sound kinda obvious but you did search "learn japanese" in google right?
most of the stuff online is just written, you cant learn japanese just by reading it, i mean sure u can learn all the WRITTEN japanese like that but the spoken side you NEED to hear at some point because otherwise you wont knoe how words are prounounced.
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Post by Aulcard » Nov 19th, '06, 06:28

Not to mention that being able to listen and understand as well as speak in Japanese requires actual conversation practice.

For example I know some Japanese girls who have been studying english for 7 years and can read and write, but can barely hold a conversation and generally cannot understand much at all. Which is why myself and a couple of friends meet with them once a week so they can practice english.

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Post by jz87 » Nov 19th, '06, 09:09

Yeah i agree with they said. The key to learning a new language is practice. (and actually wanting to learn it)

The great thing is that it doesn't have to cost money, most of us learn our first languages for free just by being around people who speak it.

My suggestion is that if you really want to learn Japanese, get a Skype account (I'm assuming you have a fast internet connection) and get a language exchange partner who is either fluent or native speaker in Japanese in exchange for English practice. I remember there was a language exchange website for skype, you can Google it.

Ok course it also helps to be able to ask questions, I can probably help with that since I also learned Japanese as a non-native speaker. (PM me and I can give you my email). Of course you would have to be familiar with hiragana at least for me to help you.

One more thing, it would be really helpful to find a set of audio drills. Basically they are sets of sentence patterns like
I like milk
I like chocolate
I like butter
I do not like milk
I do not like chocolate
I do not like butter
You get the idea. You pickup on these patterns in everyday conversation if you are surrounded by native speakers, but since you are not, this is like a concentrated way to focus on specific sentence patterns. I think focusing on a few simple patterns and repeatedly drilling them is the fastest way to get your brain to the breakthrough point where you start processing Japanese natively and not try to translate everything into your native language.

The stages I went through when I learned Japanese:
1. Japanese is a stream of sounds, it was like listening to a river.
2. Conscious processing. I learned some basic grammar and hiragana. I would mentally try to pick out every syllable from the stream of sounds and put them together in my head to see if it matched any words I knew. So if someone said wakarimasen, I would try to grab wa, ka, ri, ma, sen from the stream of sounds (sometimes I would miss some), and try to assemble a word out of it. Gradually commonly heard suffixes/fragments like -masen, -nai, -da, -tai, -takunai I could process as a unit and not as individual syllables.
3. With more exposure to Japanese, gradually I was able to process longer and longer fragments as a whole unit and anticipate what's likely to come next, which made speaking and listening to Japanese much less mentally taxing. I started being able to process short words, then longer words and short phrases together. Somewhere along this point I no longer needed to translate into English, syllables by themselves don't have any meaning, but beginning with fragments like -tai, -nai, -masen (respectively, want to, not (direct form), not (indirect form)), I started associating meaning with groups of sounds, and by being able to process longer sound sequences in this way I was able to comprehend real time Japanese speech.

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Post by squall789 » Nov 19th, '06, 11:22

i didnt expect so many people to agree with me lol.
Sometimes people say "you can learn it all by words no need for sounds" in my opinion those people arnt gonna get very far in learning.
You could try Pimseur Japanese thats a good one, thats what i used and after doing all 90 im pretty good with the japanese language now.
but my hiragana and katakana and kanji arnt that good, i only know 120 kanji and i can recognise anoth maybe 100 at most i know half hiragana and 90% katakana.
The problem i encountered was that wehn watchign j drama the japanese id learned was mainly polite japanse and on tv its rare for people to speak so polite so i simply began to learnt he common versions for each word and inturn learned a lot of japanese street slang.
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Post by ianwarren » Nov 19th, '06, 20:08

If I can relate my experience learning Japanese:

I took some books out of the library, but I realised later I was mispronounciating so much... for example I didn't realise that words like 'wakarimasu' would drop the U sound at the end. Add to that I had literally no idea how to pronounce simple words like 'no' ('no' is iie - ee-ay , but I was pronouncing it like - eye-ee)

So really I actually learnt Japanese grammar and structure before I learnt to pronounce it. It wasn't until I downloaded a Pimsleur course I got the pronounciations down.

Basically I'd say if your serious about a) learning Japanese and b) not paying for it, then definately get some kind of textbook/online course as well as a book on tape.

Being as how this is being posted on a Torrent site I'm sure no-one will mind me mentioning that Pimsleur Japanese is pretty widely available on torrent on P2P. Plus you can find a load of online courses or e-books in torrent form.

Just don't expect to learn it from just a website/book because it's bloody impossible :D

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Post by Demz » Nov 19th, '06, 21:18

Search Youtube for Let's learn Japanese episodes. A bit old but I still found it good way to learn more Japanese.

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Post by jholic » Nov 20th, '06, 03:58

also learn to search our site. we have threads on this topic as well, and we also have 'learn japanese' torrents on our tracker.
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