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View Poll Results: if you understand japanese but you don't live in japan - how did you learn?
Learned from parents/relatives 3 9.38%
formal university or college program in japanese 5 15.63%
took some courses 3 9.38%
self-study (books, tapes, cds) 20 62.50%
hired a tutor 1 3.13%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-10-13, 00:02   Link #1
Happy_Chip
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How did you learn japanese?

Hi there,

I am interesting in getting some insight from those of you who speak japanese, but who don't live in japan: how did you learn the language? from parents/relatives, formal study (university or college program in japanese language), less-formal study (ex. a college or high school course or two or three), informal study (books, language CDs), or private tutoring (paying a teacher or native speaker to instruct you)?
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Old 2009-10-13, 00:18   Link #2
Po99okie
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I have just started to speak Japanese from a high school course. My sensei was born and raised in Japan so English is her second language. Learning so far is a bit hard because my class and i are focusing on writing Hiragana, Katakana, and then Kanji first instead of speaking. Otherwise classes are very cool.

Did you make this thread because you speak Japanese?
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Old 2009-10-13, 00:23   Link #3
Tsuyoshi
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I'd like to speak Japanese too tbh. There seems to be a lot of people around here who're able to at least read it so it would be good to know how they learned.
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Old 2009-10-13, 00:31   Link #4
mg1942
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All I can say is learn the kanas before enrolling in college level JPN course.
That's exactly what I did and JPN 101 didn't turn out to be as stressful as my accounting classes


I have a gripes about (some) kanjis though. I kinda wish the kanji was further simplified like what the mainland china is using right now...
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Old 2009-10-13, 00:36   Link #5
LusterFlare
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
I'd like to speak Japanese too tbh. There seems to be a lot of people around here who're able to at least read it so it would be good to know how they learned.
Yeah, I wish could speak Japanese too.

I'm wondering if anyone learned how to speak fluently from watching anime alone.
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Old 2009-10-13, 00:49   Link #6
Tsuyoshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LusterFlare View Post
Yeah, I wish could speak Japanese too.

I'm wondering if anyone learned how to speak fluently from watching anime alone.
I'll admit, I learned a few things from watching anime, but not nearly enough to actually speak it.
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Old 2009-10-13, 08:28   Link #7
Happy_Chip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Po99okie View Post

Did you make this thread because you speak Japanese?
I only speak a handful of words. I started this poll because it seems, there are many websites addressing japanese pop culture (anime & manga reviews, video game reviews, drama reviews, general pop culture discussions, fansubbers, etc.). It's obvious that these are set up by people whose first language is english. But, it makes me wonder, how did they learn japanese?
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Old 2009-10-13, 11:26   Link #8
Vexx
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I took some courses, self-study, AND hired a tutor at various points. So the poll doesn't let me answer that way...

But I haven't *learned* Japanese (past tense)... you spend your entire life *learning* language, even your native one. If you aren't, then there's something seriously broken upstairs. Language is a life-long study
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Old 2009-10-13, 12:45   Link #9
Alchemist007
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College courses. Wish there were more than 4 semesters worth though.
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Old 2009-10-13, 13:26   Link #10
HayashiTakara
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Mostly from my mom yelling at me while growing up

Never learned written language though, my parents were immigrants and wanted us to be as intergrated into american society as possible so that we won't have hardships. So i spent a large portion of my childhood doing reading comprehension cards and such... bleh.
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Old 2009-10-13, 13:49   Link #11
Haladflire65
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I lived in Tokyo for a year and went to a normal public school there. The only surefire way to learn languages, as my parents say, is to live in the country and immerse yourself in its culture. It was a great experience and I can talk like how other Japanese teenagers talk normally. I was in the exact same classes everyone else was in and made a ton of friends.
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Old 2009-10-13, 14:20   Link #12
HayashiTakara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haladflire65 View Post
I lived in Tokyo for a year and went to a normal public school there. The only surefire way to learn languages, as my parents say, is to live in the country and immerse yourself in its culture. It was a great experience and I can talk like how other Japanese teenagers talk normally. I was in the exact same classes everyone else was in and made a ton of friends.
Doing it at a young age is good, as your mind naturally absorbs information better. Doing that as an adult will take a lot longer.
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Old 2009-10-13, 14:38   Link #13
Haladflire65
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Originally Posted by HayashiTakara View Post
Doing it at a young age is good, as your mind naturally absorbs information better. Doing that as an adult will take a lot longer.
Yeah, I agree with that. But there's one thing about being an adult - you have more self-discipline so you study harder during the time you're there. I honestly goofed off for most of my time in Japan, so my Japanese could've been better. My younger brother picked up the language really fast, though, because, well, he's young.
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Old 2009-10-13, 14:52   Link #14
-KarumA-
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Originally Posted by LusterFlare View Post
Yeah, I wish could speak Japanese too.

I'm wondering if anyone learned how to speak fluently from watching anime alone.
Not entirely fluently, there are so many words that anime doesn't use
I learned the majority of English from watching cartoons as a kid, I can have basic conversations in Japanese but don't ask em to spell anything out or write/read anything, anime doesn't teach you that. I still learn a lot of new words but just not from anime, watching the news every day is a good learning start as well random shows on TV. It feels like learning English again all over but ti took at least 4 years before I could say anything decent I watch TV with a good dictionary XD
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Old 2009-10-13, 15:23   Link #15
HayashiTakara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -KarumA- View Post
Not entirely fluently, there are so many words that anime doesn't use
I learned the majority of English from watching cartoons as a kid, I can have basic conversations in Japanese but don't ask em to spell anything out or write/read anything, anime doesn't teach you that. I still learn a lot of new words but just not from anime, watching the news every day is a good learning start as well random shows on TV. It feels like learning English again all over but ti took at least 4 years before I could say anything decent I watch TV with a good dictionary XD
Most immigrants in the U.S learn how to speak english from watching T.V. the same theory can apply to any language as long as you're actually putting in the effort to actually learning whats being said.

With that said...

I remember when I was really young, I didn't know how to say Aluminum foil.. I still don't... and I needed some for a class project. My mom doesn't know english very well so the best I was able to say was "Metal Paper" in japanese and she was freaking lost as hell... needless to say it was frustrating lol
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Old 2009-10-13, 15:24   Link #16
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LusterFlare View Post
Yeah, I wish could speak Japanese too.

I'm wondering if anyone learned how to speak fluently from watching anime alone.
Be very careful with that idea.... anime speak is very rude and far too casual in most cases. Fast way to alienate people...
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Old 2009-10-13, 15:43   Link #17
mg1942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LusterFlare View Post
Yeah, I wish could speak Japanese too.

I'm wondering if anyone learned how to speak fluently from watching anime alone.

u can watch some of their doramas like this
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Old 2009-10-13, 16:03   Link #18
HayashiTakara
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Be very careful with that idea.... anime speak is very rude and far too casual in most cases. Fast way to alienate people...
Its all situational really.

You can get away with it dealing with friends and family. But you wanna be more formal when dealing with work. It's like english or any other language for that matter, you don't use street talk and ebonics at work, its for private conversational usage.
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Old 2009-10-13, 16:17   Link #19
Ansalem
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Be very careful with that idea.... anime speak is very rude and far too casual in most cases. Fast way to alienate people...
While it's true that most dialogue in anime is informal (or even vulgar), in my experience most Japanese people accepted whatever crazy things may have come out of my mouth as being because I'm foreign, rather than taking offense. Unlike in America, where everyone expects everyone to be fluent, I feel Japanese are often impressed you can speak any at all. >>

In any case, dialogue from TV can be good if you keep it in context. If friends are talking, that's how you would talk with friends. The way a student speaks to a teacher or a worker speaks to his superior is generally how you would talk when being more polite. Just keep in mind that the less realistic the show is, the less reliable an indicator it is of how people actually talk.
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Old 2009-10-13, 18:01   Link #20
Alchemist007
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Yeah I heard they're super easy going on foreigners but if you look Japanese (read east asian), and ask the same things, they'll look at you like you're mad.
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