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Old 2004-06-30, 12:56   Link #1
Blue*Dragon
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japan an difficult language? or not (place your comment

Well the most of the people says, that japan is 1 of the most difficulty language that there is next to china. However for me is it not difficult. It is just having a good memorie and long time for learning it.

So do you think also Japan is 1 of the most difficulty language or not?

[Place your reply]
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Old 2004-06-30, 13:18   Link #2
Mr_Paper
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I don't think that Japanese is the most complex language out there.

I find the language rather simplistic, no offense implied. Every sound is pronounced for equal lenght and pronounced the same no matter where it occurs in a word. While there are some fairly complex grammar stuctures the entire language as a whole isn't that complex.

Many people come to believe its the hardest langauge because of it's structural differences from most European and Western languages. Japanese is a Subject-Object-Verb language while most other languages are Subject-Verb-Object based. This leads to some difficulty in learning the language since the syntax is different. However, if you can speak English, than there is no reason why you can't learn Japanese. Every phonetic sound in Japanese is widely used in English, so pronuncation isn't an issue, and there are many similar grammar structures between the two (particals aside).

By far, the thing that makes learning the language hard is the large amount of assumed information during conversations and the unusually high levels of ambiguity in word meanings.
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Old 2004-06-30, 13:28   Link #3
7thMethuselah
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easy parts of Japanese

- very structured : it takes a little while to get used to the structure since it's different from the european languages, but once you grab it, it becomes very easy
- logical grammatics with few exceptions to the rules : basically there are rules for every type of construction, follow those and you'll never have any problem.
- compared to european languages verb conjugation is relatively easy : verbs are classified into groups and conjugated accordingly. European languages often have more exceptions to a rule than verbs that follow it.
- pronounciation is easy : most sounds are the same, only the r sound is pronounced slightly different and the hu/fu sound is difficult, the rest is easy.

difficult parts


- vocabulary : apart from the loan words, the words make no sense at all to europeans (or americans)
- politeness/respect levels : knowing which level of respect you have to use in conversation is not easy to figure out. Rule of thumb is peak lowly of yourself and you family (unless they are present)and highly of others. But it gets more complicated than that. However these are issues for more advanced learning
- Kanji : reading japanese is HELL: you can understand every single kanji and still not being able to make head or tails of a text. Knowing which pronouciation to use and which meaning is in effect takes alot of practice. Above all reading is the most difficult part.
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Old 2004-06-30, 13:34   Link #4
Joe Dalton
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I would say english is giving you a harder time.

Anyway the reason allot of people say that... here comes a shocker so be ready... its completely different from western languages. So they have nothing to compare it to.

I realise that this is a big shock and you will need some time to let it sink in.
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Old 2004-06-30, 13:41   Link #5
hunterx
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many people will say it is easy, but they can't speak it. Imho english is easier to learn than japanese
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Old 2004-06-30, 13:46   Link #6
Mr_Paper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterx
many people will say it is easy, but they can't speak it. Imho english is easier to learn than japanese
I never said it was easy, just possible.

Learning to understad the language is the easiest part since it's so rigidly structured. Learning to speak the language is completely different. I, for one, have all but given up ever trying to speak Japanese since I cannot properly intone the language.

... I've been told I sound like a drunken Osakan.
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:21   Link #7
Termina
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Japanese is an old and inferior language.

The only reason people are intrested in learning it (on these forums) is because they have a fetish when it comes to all things Japanese.

Now I'm not saying it's a bad thing, atleast not completely.

I'm just saying that the Japanese language and culture is inferior to ours. And by ours, I mean Americans.
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:31   Link #8
7thMethuselah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termina
Japanese is an old and inferior language.
Just exactly in what way would it be an inferior language? In case you didn't know englisg is quite an old language as well, so are most languages of the world. All languages are constatly evolving due to new cultural phenomenons appearing, new technologies, new items, interference with other languages and so on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Termina
The only reason people are intrested in learning it (on these forums) is because they have a fetish when it comes to all things Japanese.
SO what? We all have things we are fascinated by, some like sports, some like books, some like going out, and some of us are into other cultures and anime, it's pretty normal to have an urge to learn japanese. When fascinated with a certian aspect we humans will always submerge ourselves in it, the only difference between humans is the object that fascinates us!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Termina
I'm just saying that the Japanese language and culture is inferior to ours. And by ours, I mean Americans.
I tend to completely disagree, The Japanese culture is thousands of years old while the american culture exists for only some 250 years. the Japanese culture has a rich tradition, a long and complex history, many aspects which don't eve,n exists in other cultures;

The American culture only exists for some 250 years and is no more than a mix of mostly european cultures some native american, and some asian stuff as wel. Most american cultural issues are originally not even american but british french or spanish. Only in the more recent years have typical american cultural events started to form.

So whose culture would you call superior???

Just because America won WW II and is dominating the world on the military and political scale doesn' mean their culture is superior.


About the language : give me 1 (one) reason why the english (or american) language would be superior to the japanese? I'm really curious about your answer
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:32   Link #9
killmoms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termina
Japanese is an old and inferior language.

The only reason people are intrested in learning it (on these forums) is because they have a fetish when it comes to all things Japanese.

Now I'm not saying it's a bad thing, atleast not completely.

I'm just saying that the Japanese language and culture is inferior to ours. And by ours, I mean Americans.
This character is obviously a troll. Don't feed it. I can't believe that anyone could be this ethnocentrically ignorant and judgmental.

--Cless
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:43   Link #10
HoboGod
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eh, he is just expressing his opinion. are you saying that he doesn't deserve to have an opinion?

i for one think western cowboys make more interesting movies than a samurai would. i also agree that some pathetic anime fans are too influenced by anime. i also think that the english language and roman alphabet are better. does that make me ignorant too? just because he has an opinion that contridicts your own doesn't mean he is wrong.
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:43   Link #11
Termina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thMethuselah
Just exactly in what way would it be an inferior language? In case you didn't know englisg is quite an old language as well, so are most languages of the world. All languages are constatly evolving due to new cultural phenomenons appearing, new technologies, new items, interference with other languages and so on...
English is old, but not as old as Japanese. It was also undergone vast changes.

Japanese is a military language, and as I understand it, is a bitch to translate because of this.

They teach english in schools, I'm just suggesting they switch over to english. ^_^

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thMethuselah
SO what? We all have things we are fascinated by, some like sports, some like books, some like going out, and some of us are into other cultures and anime, it's pretty normal to have an urge to learn japanese. When fascinated with a certian aspect we humans will always submerge ourselves in it, the only difference between humans is the object that fascinates us!
I'm saying that this is the only reason many of the people here are intrested in learning it, and I do not feel it is a valid reason. (This is a part of my original point). They do not learn it because it is a good language, nor very useful. They learn it because they see it on TV (Or when they pirate anime)


Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thMethuselah
I tend to completely disagree, The Japanese culture is thousands of years old while the american culture exists for only some 250 years. the Japanese culture has a rich tradition, a long and complex history, many aspects which don't eve,n exists in other cultures;

The American culture only exists for some 250 years and is no more than a mix of mostly european cultures some native american, and some asian stuff as wel. Most american cultural issues are originally not even american but british french or spanish. Only in the more recent years have typical american cultural events started to form.

So whose culture would you call superior???
I'd say the culture that kicked the ass of another culture is superior. They try to copy out culture (especially black culture), what does that tell you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thMethuselah
Just because America won WW II and is dominating the world on the military and political scale doesn' mean their culture is superior.
Ah, as I said above. I would have to disagree with you there. The strongest is always the greatest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thMethuselah
About the language : give me 1 (one) reason why the english (or american) language would be superior to the japanese? I'm really curious about your answer
*points up*

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessAlvein
This character is obviously a troll. Don't feed it. I can't believe that anyone could be this ethnocentrically ignorant and judgmental.

--Cless
Forgive me for having my own opinion. I'm sure you hate freedom and free speech as well as others having an opinion.
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:46   Link #12
Qiannian-Hu
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...Come on. surely the guy wasn't serious. what a stupid idea to compare "cultures" anyway. "culture" is that kind of thing, you know, it has it's way to very effectively defy every definition that you can come up with. Even when people claim to "share" a set of values or behave according to a certain pattern, it usually seems to be quite superficial, and quickly disappears as you get to know the individual better.

as for Japanese, as a student of Chinese language, I have to say it is probably really easy!... compared to Chinese! =^_^=
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:52   Link #13
Melazoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termina
Japanese is an old and inferior language.

The only reason people are intrested in learning it (on these forums) is because they have a fetish when it comes to all things Japanese.

Now I'm not saying it's a bad thing, atleast not completely.

I'm just saying that the Japanese language and culture is inferior to ours. And by ours, I mean Americans.
Let's not feed the troll, 7th Methuslah and everyone . Cless may be right, this character is most likely a troll as demonstrated on this thread and this thread
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Old 2004-06-30, 14:56   Link #14
7thMethuselah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melazoma
Let's not feed the troll, 7th Methuslah and everyone . Cless may be right, this character is most likely a troll as demonstrated on this thread and this thread
Hmmm, you're right. however I just had to react to his post.
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Old 2004-06-30, 15:00   Link #15
HoboGod
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i don't really see why that post is such a big deal. he is just saying what he thinks. if you don't agree with it, just ignore it, don't gangbang his personal opinion.
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Old 2004-06-30, 15:12   Link #16
Mr_Paper
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Alright... Drop it.

The original poster did not want to know your views cultural superiority, world history, ego or other wise. The question posed was simple enough, "Is Japanese the most difficult language to learn?" Do him, me and everyone else unfortunate enough to wade through this small mountain of off topic posts the favor of not having to do so.

Please keep it on topic.
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Old 2004-06-30, 15:33   Link #17
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue*Dragon
Well the most of the people says, that japan is 1 of the most difficulty language that there is next to china. However for me is it not difficult. It is just having a good memorie and long time for learning it.

So do you think also Japan is 1 of the most difficulty language or not?

[Place your reply]
I believe it is the same as learning any other subject - 100 people will have 100 different strengths and weaknesses.

Some people excel at math, some people are more talented in music. Same holds true within learning a new language. Some might find Japanese to be easy. Others may find Spanish to be a more accesible language.

So let's go back to when you were school. Have any of you learned a second language during those periods? In Japan, we take six years of English in our curriculum over the course of middle and high school. There are several students that get the hang of English in a snap - they find it to be interesting and eager to learn more. On the other hand, most of the other students cannot hold the grasp of learning a different sentence structure from their own language. As one had said, our language is on the SOV form, which takes a while to get used to the English's SVO form.

Then, we come to the issue of what languages are more accesible to learn in comparison to your home language?

Let's face the facts. Most Japanese people cannot speak English very well - even taking into account we learn six years of it during our course of education. Perhaps it is the reason that our language is in the SOV form that makes it difficult to re-structurize the Japanese sentence into English's SVO form. Perhaps then saying that Japanese people might be better suited if they learn a language that identifies the same SOV form...such as Korean, Latin, Basque, Farsi, and Turkish. Unfortunately, our educational system is highly regulated by the Ministry of Education. Students have no choice in which language they learn except for English.

On the other hand, perhaps students that easily grasped English might actually having trouble communicating in their own home language as well? A student might be living in a place where the SOV (Japanese) form is the standard, but form reason his mind might be involuntarily reacting to the surrounding sentence in the SVO form? It might be an interesting study to do this.
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Old 2004-06-30, 15:36   Link #18
anime_luver
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I suppose that it could be difficult. But depends on what your background is. By that I mean, what your native language is. For example, I am pretty sure Chinese is much harder than Japanese writing wise. Speaking- wise, it is not so hard. English is pretty hard when you think about it. There are so many rules that someone foreign would have a hard time getting down. So I would say it is hard for a person with a Euro-background language. Oriental/Asian languages? That might be a little easier. As for Middle Eastern and African, I don't know. I've never known much about these languages.

English becoming taught all over the world has already happened. But make them switch?? Your comment is laughable. Why don't we just bomb the rest of the world and forget their cultures and everything they did to make the world what it is today. After all, the world revolves around the U.S. right? I'm sorry Mr_Paper, it is just this guy is just so....i can't even put this into nice words. So I won't say it at all.

Sorry. Back on topic...
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Old 2004-06-30, 15:45   Link #19
7thMethuselah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
Let's face the facts. Most Japanese people cannot speak English very well - even taking into account we learn six years of it during our course of education. Perhaps it is the reason that our language is in the SOV form that makes it difficult to re-structurize the Japanese sentence into English's SVO form. Perhaps then saying that Japanese people might be better suited if they learn a language that identifies the same SOV form...such as Korean, Latin, Basque, Farsi, and Turkish. Unfortunately, our educational system is highly regulated by the Ministry of Education. Students have no choice in which language they learn except for English.
only one additional language, and you're obligated to take english. that's a shame really. Our schools teach 4 different languages starting aroung the age of 10. So by the time kids graduate high school (at 18) we can speak 3 languages more or less at a reasonable level while having grasped the basics of 1-2 more.

During my student years I had dutch french english latin german and greec. Last year I started Japanese as well. Not that I excell at all these languages, in fact i've forgotten all the greec and latin since i never ever use it, so I'm down to 3 well known and 2 languages in the learning fase.

I think learning other languages really enriches the education you get. You get introduced to other people's culture and ideas. Also after studying for many many years and finally graduating from university I realised that in work the only usefull thing I ever learned in school where ... languages, I rarely use anything they taught me apart from that.
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Old 2004-06-30, 15:51   Link #20
Ending
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I have studied chinese a bit, and I guess japan isn't that far off. Based on that, I'd say it seems like an easy language to learn once you get a hold of how they pronounce the words. Of course, asian letters are a HUGE barrier for the learning, as every word has a different symbol -it's like learning two languages at the same time.

But then there are some that think finnish is a difficult language.

Ihan väärässä on, helpostihan tämä sujuu. (Pronounce that like japanese )
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