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Old 2009-01-06, 12:30   Link #1881
Guernsey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
I have a question for translators or other people who speak the language fluently to ask this question: How do you pronounce English, Spanish, French, German and other names from other countries and nationalities in Japanese? I had only seen a few shows (forgive me if I only based this off the anime I watch) but how would lets say a voice seiyuu pronounce them?

Edit: Forgive me, I didn't realize you guys were already doing that already but I have another question on how to discern certain Japanese dialects.
I just want to repeat that question as well as ask this: Can singiing along with a song in a different language helps you learn it better? Also, where do I find informarion on how to pronounce numbers in Japanese.
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Old 2009-01-06, 17:05   Link #1882
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
I just want to repeat that question as well as ask this: Can singiing along with a song in a different language helps you learn it better? Also, where do I find informarion on how to pronounce numbers in Japanese.
In Japanese.... song lyrics are "poetic" and often *terrible* grammatically. They stick words, motifs, and imagery together hodge-podge to create a feeling (often splashing Engrish in for coolness). Not a great place to learn the language, but not bad for "spot the word" gaming.
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Old 2009-01-06, 17:26   Link #1883
Guernsey
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What about this question here:


I have a question for translators or other people who speak the language fluently to ask this question: How do you pronounce English, Spanish, French, German and other names from other countries and nationalities in Japanese? I had only seen a few shows (forgive me if I only based this off the anime I watch) but how would lets say a voice seiyuu pronounce them?

Edit: Forgive me, I didn't realize you guys were already doing that already but I have another question on how to discern certain Japanese dialects.
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Old 2009-01-06, 19:30   Link #1884
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
I just want to repeat that question as well as ask this: Can singiing along with a song in a different language helps you learn it better? Also, where do I find informarion on how to pronounce numbers in Japanese.
In my case since this is the route I went (and presently going) I'd say 'yes'. While I was studying abroad I used to go karaoke every wednesday with another british exchange student to sing anime OP and ED only, lol.
Needless to say it really did help with my reading speed, my accents, pronounciation (and perhaps the best of all) reading and recognising new kanji every week that i was learning in class.
It's not the best way but one of the good ways to practice (most fun for me); also depends if you're in it for the singing or learning the language.
For me personally, it's both.
For a canadian woman, it was her dream to be a singer, so she performed and competed in animecons for near ten years, went to japan and won a talent show (alike pop idol) - she's now an anime OP/ED singer and obviously her accent is near perfect for singing in japanese.
(Speaking, i'm not sure but she's not absolutely fluent)
For others, they have a talent to listen and copy what they hear but aren't studying the language or know the meaning, so it depends. But at the end of the day, it's still practice with speaking in a different tongue, so it can't hurt.
As for sound with numbers, well, google search around for 'japanese 1-10 with sound' or something like that. I don't know of any websites, but there should be plenty of kids related ones or even learning japanese with sound ones around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
What about this question here:


I have a question for translators or other people who speak the language fluently to ask this question: How do you pronounce English, Spanish, French, German and other names from other countries and nationalities in Japanese? I had only seen a few shows (forgive me if I only based this off the anime I watch) but how would lets say a voice seiyuu pronounce them?

Edit: Forgive me, I didn't realize you guys were already doing that already but I have another question on how to discern certain Japanese dialects.
To pronounce foreign names in japanese, they use the foreign alphabet called katakana. It's still limited to the generic 50 sounds of the japanese language which means some names come off really weird (like mine)
Some spanish names fit pretty well I've noticed, but not just any seiyuu, most natives would pronounce gaijin names in the same way.

Mark = ma-ku マーク
you can use this website to translate foriegn names into katakana.

How to discern certain accents.
The best way if you're not in the country is to simply study it in theory
There are plenty of material in regards to grammar structure and vocab between different regions of japan, get the theory down and a good understanding of the language.
Then obviously, the next thing is to be immersed in listening to different media (or the natives) speak it and use the knowledge that you've studied to identify the differenences.

There have been some posts here on people writing about osaka-ben and tokyo-ben, the history and some examples of different sentences, but like any language, it's simply exposure to the various kinds that'll allow you to be able to tell the differeneces.
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Old 2009-01-08, 00:01   Link #1885
lixuelai
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Japanese grammar is not too complicated. It doesnt really get much harder than the basics. The hard part is enriching your vocab and memorizing Kanji. For vocab and Kanji two very useful tool is Furigana-injector and Rikaichan (both Firefox addons). Especially if you want to learn from song lyrics. Song lyrics are not much good for grammar but for Kanji and vocab it is alright. A sempai from my study abroad program learned from imitating Japanese comedy (he is Indian and speaks in Kansai-ben ). So you never know.

Also watching older, slice-of-life anime can be good for your listening comprehension as well as they generally speak normally.
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Old 2009-01-08, 00:20   Link #1886
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lixuelai View Post
Japanese grammar is not too complicated. It doesnt really get much harder than the basics. The hard part is enriching your vocab and memorizing Kanji.
Hahahahahahaaha, I beg to grossly differ on that point.
Japanese grammar summary
I got to the national JP government terms of 'pre-intermediate' at my old JP uni, saw the grammar structures there and was looking for a rope and chair
Intransitive verbs don't exist in the English lang as it's own genre, so having that extra to learn how to manipulate a verb in japanese is a royal pain in the ass, not to mention they're usually attached with 'ga' not 'wo'
(with the odd exception of 'ni')
And ooh, for conditional, let's stick in eba, ra, (I know there's more, but i cba to recall them, lol)
Because 'if' isn't truly an 'if' which in our sense, means something yet to happen.

And then of course, they couldn't stop at passive, or causative but figured 'hey, let's just mesh them together and get 'causative-passive' verbs too!
- And hey, just because it's too longwinded to say the verbs in that form, let's just chop out the odd sound and shorten it so it sounds almost the bloody same as a different verb conjunction.
No.. no...

Verb conjunction out of the grammar group were made to mentally kamikaze gaijin braincells
(Maybe westerners more so than asian languages)
Kanji is memorisation.
Vocab is memorisation, and those two intertwine anyways.
Utilising verbs in their correct conjunction and tense and neg/positive and depending on who we're talking to (masu/desu, plain form or keigo) vocally is hell.
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Old 2009-01-08, 01:13   Link #1887
lixuelai
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No need to scare people lol. I cant say how much Japanese I know. I took a look at the wiki page I know most of the stuff on it after taking 1.5 years of Japanese in college and some time studying abroad (good excuse to watch anime and say I am studying ). That said I never found any part particularly difficult. Keigo is probably the most annoying. Once you know hiragana, basic sentence structure (particles etc) and the basic conjugations (stem, plain, polite etc), rest is just building on that and more or less the same.
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Old 2009-01-08, 01:41   Link #1888
Mystique
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Originally Posted by lixuelai View Post
No need to scare people lol.
I do so with love, trust me.

It's weird, while we're in the midst of learning, you don't quite realise how much you've acheived...
Until you look at that wiki list and think:
'well... I'm too far gone to turn back now' xD

Quote:
I cant say how much Japanese I know. I took a look at the wiki page I know most of the stuff on it after taking 1.5 years of Japanese in college and some time studying abroad (good excuse to watch anime and say I am studying ). That said I never found any part particularly difficult. Keigo is probably the most annoying. Once you know hiragana, basic sentence structure (particles etc) and the basic conjugations (stem, plain, polite etc), rest is just building on that and more or less the same.
I admit, the patterns and rules once you hit intermediate level kinda have this sense of deja vu about them, (so do kanji past the first 1000, I've noticed) but methinks it takes a analytic mind (or someone who has a natural affinity to languages) so grasp and retain it.
Maybe you're of the latter, but grammar esp verb conjunction really has given me a run for my money.
My simple issue now is simply memorisation of the int/adv level stuff, memorisation of the kanji i've lost before I tackle new ones and to simply keep my brain active as much as i can.

I hope and doubt I've hit the glass ceiling point to be honest, I think I can attempt to grasp a lot more, but time will tell.

In the meantime since I'm so nice, here's a true advisory guide for those of you who are considering learning Japanese and a laugh of recognition for those currently studying.
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Old 2009-01-08, 02:28   Link #1889
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You know stuff can be a bit easier to deal with if you know how to use it but don't give it any names like "pre-indeterminate." I mean my teacher uses english terms like that and I usually am lost until she starts examples and then I'm like "pfft, I already knew that!" Yeah don't let that wiki seem the least bit complicated; Japanese is by no means easy, but it sure doesn't have to be that hard. My best advice is get a teacher, take some classes at your local university. Try to get a Japanese teacher, cause they say all their english L's like R's (no really, they're just super authentic to hear). My native language is actually quite similar to Japanese so that could possibly help more than if you have a pure english mindset.
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Old 2009-01-08, 11:28   Link #1890
Mueti
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Japanese grammar only seems so hard to us Westerners because it's so totally different from the thinking schemes that we're used to.
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Old 2009-01-09, 10:29   Link #1891
LiberLibri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
In Japanese.... song lyrics are "poetic" and often *terrible* grammatically. They stick words, motifs, and imagery together hodge-podge to create a feeling (often splashing Engrish in for coolness). Not a great place to learn the language, but not bad for "spot the word" gaming.
Agreed. Try to learn the language from anime songs, then you will get Hata-Akiese, not Japanese.

On one hand, formal education of lyrics making in Japan has collapsed into formalism so much that today it brings only pedantic 歌人, song-people literally, though they make only highly sophisticated poems without melody for literature lovers. On the other hand, people who actually compose lyrics for songs often lack appropriate techniques to translate their emotions and feelings into modest sentences. They just rely on powerful words and exclamations. Bipolarisation of aestheticism and commercialism, as in any other cases.
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Old 2009-01-09, 14:37   Link #1892
Mueti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
In Japanese.... song lyrics are "poetic" and often *terrible* grammatically. They stick words, motifs, and imagery together hodge-podge to create a feeling (often splashing Engrish in for coolness). Not a great place to learn the language, but not bad for "spot the word" gaming.
This might be true for most commercial music. But that's about it; it's a sweeping generalisation, really.
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Old 2009-01-09, 15:08   Link #1893
oompa loompa
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Originally Posted by Mystique View Post

In the meantime since I'm so nice, here's a true advisory guide for those of you who are considering learning Japanese and a laugh of recognition for those currently studying.
haha that certainly did give me a good laugh of recognition.. bah, i get the feeling that while japanese is tough it isnt as tough as people make it out to be ( notice i didnt say something like 'its nowhere near as tough as people make it out to be'. I donno.. i'm still young when it comes to the japanese language.. and the road ahead certainly does look a bit tough..
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Old 2009-01-09, 20:36   Link #1894
lixuelai
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Lol @ the Katakana part. During my study abroad there was this ramen place called "ラーメン". The sign looked like "5 - メン" so a friend of mine kept exclaiming how good the "5 men" was (a she too). Katakana often gets annoying since you try to puzzle out the sound of it but lots of times you dont remember some characters cuz they are rarely used...

Anyway as long as you have the drive you should be fine. My goal was and still is to watch anime without subtitles. Lame yes. But hey it keeps me going
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Old 2009-01-10, 05:59   Link #1895
Mystique
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Originally Posted by lixuelai View Post
Lol @ the Katakana part. During my study abroad there was this ramen place called "ラーメン". The sign looked like "5 - メン" so a friend of mine kept exclaiming how good the "5 men" was (a she too). Katakana often gets annoying since you try to puzzle out the sound of it but lots of times you dont remember some characters cuz they are rarely used...

Anyway as long as you have the drive you should be fine. My goal was and still is to watch anime without subtitles. Lame yes. But hey it keeps me going
Couldn't have said it better myself
Same goes for you oompa. The reason I posted the guide was first for laughs (but the guy's canadian iirc meaning his brand of irony is very close to British humour which is usually too harsh for most, lol)

Secondly I'm not one to sugarcoat, so if i scared/offended some people with the wiki or advice post (which i have from the neg rep point I got, lol) then good. It wasn't my initial intention, but if it's enough to confirm your resolve then good.
If after reading them, digesting it and you still have the drive to study it, no matter what the reason then all the more power to you.
Ledgem mentioned a fact to me about attitudes of anime fans and those wanting to learn Japanese recently which I wasn't aware of and he said in short, sometimes there's this superficiality in America as to why people take to learning Japanese. So much so that if people apply for the JET program, any mention to popular culture, especially anime/manga is frowned on, you're likely to be rejected.

At the end of the day it's a language, and like many other languages, it requires a lot of hard work and constant persistence, and unlike English to a degree, Japanese ties in very very closely to it's culture, so you'd be taking on more than just semantics.
Short of having a gift for languages, a lot of days, you'll bang your head on the wall, if not with the language then sometimes with the culture and mentality/attitude of Japanese natives.
In my case, it's a mix of blood, sweat and tears sadly, helps to be a masochist.

Thirdly, because beyond the exaggeration of his posts, he did base the fundamental facts on absolute truth. His stereotypes, I have come across them, they exist but of course with all stereotypes, they're not the be all and end all.
Japanese is rewarding and a fun language to learn, naturally for those native to western languages especially English, because the thought process is completely and utterly different, if you're not bilingual (like me), you enter this completely unknown way of having to construct sentences and create logic in a way you've never have had to do for your entire existence... I've lost a few good brain cells that way, lol.

As for your reason lixuelai, it's not lame at all. It's an amazing rush to go to the cinema and watch bleach, naruto, FMA or any other movie adaptation and understand most of it without subtitles. Definitely is a confidence booster and just as good as many other reasons for learning.
As long as you persevere and focus, you'll be okay.
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Last edited by Mystique; 2009-01-10 at 06:19.
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Old 2009-01-10, 08:07   Link #1896
pilipok
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watch more animes to increase exposure
try dl mkv subs.. and off the sub see hw much do u understand it
listen to op and ed esp wif karaoke
from there u can catch kanji revise kata/hira
plus u enjoy the show yasashii desho ka lol
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Old 2009-01-11, 05:12   Link #1897
Doraneko
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Well I would say Japanese is one of the easier languages to learn as a second language even if it may not be the easiest to some. But don't get scared by the Wiki entry on Japanese grammar.

Japanese grammar is highly structured with only a very limited number of exceptions when compared to the European Languages. (Damn I have been spending over 20 years on English as a second languae and still fall into its grammatical traps every single day...) The only hurdle is maybe the vocabulary. But I still remember the amazing sense of achievement of understanding 70%+ of the words in a PS2 driving simulator game (mostly technical parts and brands in katakana) by just spending two hours to swallow the katakana list.

After that, I took a weekend-3-hour-course for two years and got my lv 1. By now I can already work in a normal Japanese office where no one can speak English at all.

No, you don't need to get to the Shakespearean-level of English to survive in UK/US or enjoy their TV shows (although your English teacher may suggest otherwise ). The same applies for Japanese. Don't get too stressed with the language as most likely you will only use it for travel and anime. Think of it as an opportunity to take a break from your dull, meaningless daily school/work and give you some kind of realistic goal. You can also make friends with people who are as interested in the Japanese culture as you by taking language classes (and many of them maybe anime fans too!).

IMO the key is to learn at your own pace for your own leisure (instead of for the JLPT, for bragging or for some sort of future income stream), find good study buddies, and enjoy the ride as well as the sense of achievement on the way. You will realize how much and how quick you have learnt when you look back after two years.

For the wiki entry on Japanese grammar, although I basically know everything it tries to convey, it still makes me go all dizzy. It only serves to scare away those who knows little about Japanese, and for those who do know (you may grab a native Japanese for a test), they will still get utterly confused by the mumbo jumbo of meta terms like indeterminate non-volitional whatever. Leave it to the linguists and grammarians. A good teacher and textbook is all you need.

My advice to those who are interested is go straight to find a native as your tutor or take a community college course. You will know whether the language is suitable for you in one month. Even if it turns out that you hate it with a passion, you will still have your katakana list in your head, that can be extremely useful for gaming or other purposes.

Last edited by Doraneko; 2009-01-11 at 05:50. Reason: Added some advice for inspired learners as well as attempting to fill some of the English grammar pits :P
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Old 2009-01-12, 10:59   Link #1898
Guernsey
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I will try that, thanks! And also can link to the post where hiragana, kanji, romanji and katagana are explained in detail by the way?
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Old 2009-01-12, 11:31   Link #1899
Doughnuts
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Wikipedia is pretty informative.
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Old 2009-01-12, 16:07   Link #1900
lixuelai
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Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
I will try that, thanks! And also can link to the post where hiragana, kanji, romanji and katagana are explained in detail by the way?
Romaji isnt really Japanese. If you memorize hiragana and katakana you know romaji

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilipok View Post
watch more animes to increase exposure
try dl mkv subs.. and off the sub see hw much do u understand it
listen to op and ed esp wif karaoke
from there u can catch kanji revise kata/hira
plus u enjoy the show yasashii desho ka lol
Not all anime works though. A lot of anime has vocab you will never/rarely use (hashinshimasu!). Generally slice of live anime works better. IMO J-drama is better than anime in this regard. People actually talk like humans. Also songs are nice but often you learn words like "dakishimete" or "me wo tojite" before anything useful
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