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Old 2004-07-09, 19:15   Link #81
AG3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GipFace
As for spoken language, I'm not quite sure about that.

Funny how most people underestimate English in terms of difficulty. "ough" has at least seven different pronounciations: through, bough, although, rough, trough, thought, and drought.

How about the "ay" sound combination? They, hay, straight, strait, eight, Aegean, plate, Satan ... whoops! The only way to master it is through sheer memorization.
Indeed. I find the difficulty of English to be from easy to medium, myself. I can't for the life of me seem to learn French properly, and German doesn't sit too well with me either, though I've had very little studying done with it.

Norwegians have English in school from 2nd or 3rd grade, and sometimes they keep learning English until they reach Universities. In addition, the sheer amount of exposition they get through English and American movies and TV series (and in later years computer and video games) ensures that almost all Norwegians understand English well, at least when it's spoken. The quality of reading/writing it varies much more, since that is more dependent on how much people have read, not listened too. The words above (and homonymes) are examples of words even native English people can struggle with. Not to mention the awful spelling some of them have, which are almost on-par with French. (like Liquorice. God, I love my Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary...)

English IS a difficult language, but many people don't realize it because of the amount of exposition they get over many years, much of it through entertainment. I'm pretty good at English, but when I consider that I've been learning it for almost 18 years, I get surprised over how badly I sometimes write, and how lacking my vocabulary sometimes is.

As for Japanese, I'm just slowly learning Hiragana and Katakana now, but so far it seems like learning the new writing systems (and later Kanji, God help me when that time comes) is the most difficult part of it. The grammar doesn't seem more difficult than that of many other languages. The "subtlety" compared to languages like English can be a problem, of course. As for pronounciation, that will be the easiest part for me. The vowels are pronouned almost identically to the Norwegian ones (except O which is pronounced like the Norwegian ), same with the consonants. The tone can be difficult to get depending on where in Norway one is from, since Norway has a lot of dialects for such a small country.
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Old 2004-07-09, 23:41   Link #82
jennwenn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
To my knowledge, I think it is writing the letter for "dragon" four times.

However, there was one person registered in our census back in the 1950s who had the name "Taito" which was written as: (one word)
Ugh! His parents were EVIL!!!!
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Old 2004-07-10, 05:59   Link #83
_Sin_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
To my knowledge, I think it is writing the letter for "dragon" four times.

However, there was one person registered in our census back in the 1950s who had the name "Taito" which was written as: (one word)
Does each part of the name "Taito" has a meaning of it's own or is it only there to make it more complicated? ^_^
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Old 2004-07-10, 10:58   Link #84
zalas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Sin_
Does each part of the name "Taito" has a meaning of it's own or is it only there to make it more complicated? ^_^
I'd be tempted to call that person kumo^3ryuu^3 or kumogumogumoryuuryuuryuu >.>;;;
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Old 2004-07-10, 11:28   Link #85
hunterx
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Don't be fooled by the American education system, it always sells itself short. Why is high school so easy? because they want more people with basic highschool as possible, you sort of need it to get any meaninful job. The higher education system is excellent.

Dunno why you ppl go on about how hard english is. Everyday english that people communicate with is not difficult at all. It has a simple alphabet that aids with learning the language because you can start reading and improving almost immediately. There are two major ways of learning language, either you are in a company of friends or in an environment where everyone speaks the language and you gradually pick it up, or you learn from learning materials mainly books and we all know kanji is like 10x harder than the english alphabet.

Not to mention you can butcher english a lot and still get your meaning across, but mess with japanese and everyone would be going wtf. Even japanese people would prefer to speak english to you than listen to your bad japanese.
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:19   Link #86
zalas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterx
Dunno why you ppl go on about how hard english is. Everyday english that people communicate with is not difficult at all. It has a simple alphabet that aids with learning the language because you can start reading and improving almost immediately. There are two major ways of learning language, either you are in a company of friends or in an environment where everyone speaks the language and you gradually pick it up, or you learn from learning materials mainly books and we all know kanji is like 10x harder than the english alphabet.

Not to mention you can butcher english a lot and still get your meaning across, but mess with japanese and everyone would be going wtf. Even japanese people would prefer to speak english to you than listen to your bad japanese.
Everyday Japanese that people use is not really that difficult at all either, compared to English. Japanese has a simple set of symbols (kana) that aids with learning the language because you can start reading and improving almost immediately (using furigana). Kanji IS much harder than the English alphabet, but it is not much harder than English vocabulary.

You can butcher Japanese a lot and still get your meaning across, because otherwise all the Japanese students visiting Japan would be totally confused. If I knew as much Japanese as the typical Japanese student taking English, I'd also want to talk to them in Japanese since sometimes Engrish is indecipherable.

(Sorry to mimic your post, but it seems your argument can be applied to the other side of the argument almost perfectly ^^; )
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:46   Link #87
Melazoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
To my knowledge, I think it is writing the letter for "dragon" four times.

However, there was one person registered in our census back in the 1950s who had the name "Taito" which was written as: (one word)
Holy crud! I seem to recall a Chinese character where you basically stack three characters of "turtle" or "tortoise" in a similar fashion
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Old 2004-07-10, 14:39   Link #88
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I failed GCSE Japnese in my college here inthe UK because it was hard for me. I guess if you're good at remembering characters and things it's easier and my memory's like a sieve
Apparently only a select few students have ever passed the advanced level in my college...easiest way to get to be fluent is to actually get out there and pick it up as you go along.
But yeah, it's a really hard language in my opinion, though pretty easy up to the point of Kanji, then you start getting scrambled
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Old 2004-07-10, 17:39   Link #89
TronDD
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Problem with Japanese is that you can go to Japan and become fluent and still be completely illiterate. I don't think being there would make the written language any easier.
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Old 2004-07-10, 22:59   Link #90
AG3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
Problem with Japanese is that you can go to Japan and become fluent and still be completely illiterate. I don't think being there would make the written language any easier.
And learning all the 1,948 or something Kanji decided by the Ministry of Education (I think?) will take a while... If you learn 1 new kanji per day, it'll take over 5 years... Daunting.
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Old 2004-07-11, 08:49   Link #91
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Quote:
And learning all the 1,948 or something Kanji decided by the Ministry of Education (I think?) will take a while... If you learn 1 new kanji per day, it'll take over 5 years... Daunting.
*nods* Combining Hiragana and Katakana characters to make Kanji charcaters was really confusing me...I mean I can't remember hardly any Kanji ever since I was kicked off the course..
It makes you think that the Japanese are trying to keep us outta their country XD, with their incredibly hard language they can keep the population low on the small country
If I'd had longer to learn the language, I might have passed (not to mention given myself a kick up the backside to actually open that HUGE book of Kanji every so often too )
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Old 2004-07-11, 13:42   Link #92
abubo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
To my knowledge, I think it is writing the letter for "dragon" four times.

However, there was one person registered in our census back in the 1950s who had the name "Taito" which was written as: (one word)
wa.. sugio... it's not the one I know but it is impressive. I guess Japanese do invent kanji.

the dragon 4 times is a common answer, but it's close but no cigar. The massive dictionary compiled by the Emperor KangXi of the Qing Dynasty listed a character which is basically the character 4 x stacked together. The stroke count is 64 and it's the official Chinese (in a real dictionary) with the most stroke count. The pronounciation is "Zheng4" which is the same as the Zheng4 in "politics". Same meaning too.

The 4 x dragon is pronounced "Hong1" in Chinese. It's the sound of a cannon firing; same as the character with 3 x 車. It only has 52 strokes though.

I can't believe I told people about this again... it's like one of the most archaic trivia ever.
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Old 2004-07-11, 13:59   Link #93
abubo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronDD
Problem with Japanese is that you can go to Japan and become fluent and still be completely illiterate. I don't think being there would make the written language any easier.
Well, there's plenty of illiterate people in the US as well.. they function just as good as everyone, except that they can't read. They exist in every country.

As for making the langauge easier, well, I believe they have narrowed down the number of kanji learned in school and reduced stroke count on some complext kanji's. Like the kanji zawa which is not nearly as complicated as the Chinese original. Yes I know all about the simplied form in Mainland China... that's a very personal issue for me and basically I don't recongnized their efforts as being legit (I believe it's more brainwashing). I'm talking about the Chinese used for over 2,000 years. But I digress.

I don't think Koreans even use Kanji anymore but strangely when I read some print material they seemed to include Chinese characters in brakets next to some words. Plus people's names were still in kanji... but I wonder, why would people want to keep their names in a written language they purposefullly discard and no longer teach in school? It's really too bad the Koreans ditched kanji... I know many Chinese would love to learn Korean, if they've only kept it. I know a lot of Chinese started learning Japanese basically since most of them can understand 50% of any newspaper article right of the bat.
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