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Old 2008-07-21, 09:33   Link #1641
Mueti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askia47 View Post
Heres a question, for those who have learned japanese, how long did it take you?
Every language takes a lifetime to learn.
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Old 2008-07-21, 10:21   Link #1642
askia47
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Originally Posted by Mueti View Post
Every language takes a lifetime to learn.
Perhaps i should rephrase it as how long did it take people to achieve fluency. i remember i posted in this thread months ago and i only knew 200+ kanji. Im doing Hesig right now and im almost up to 1300 kanji learned. sometimes i think i could be going faster, but im taking it as it comes.
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Old 2008-07-21, 11:32   Link #1643
Mystique
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hmm, depends on level of fluency.
I spent 18months at uni and had learnt about 400 kanji by then, and was on lower intermediate. That was enough for conversional stuff when I was in Japan and very basic reading, but for fluency...
That again depends on the talent of the person. My strengths are with reading and writing for languages whereas for others it's speaking and listening.

Fluency for reading, well in japan kids got 6 years to learn the 1945 kanji needed for basic reading, if you're on JLPT level 3then you're in okay ground.

For the 1300 kanji learnt means your vocab level is 4000+ words at the very least, your reading (and perhaps writing) should be business level (JLPT lvl 2 = 1000 kanji).
So if your speaking and listening level is as high as that 1300, you're like upper intermediate->advanced.

I've still got a long way to go, after uni I've not used it as much so I know my literacy is dropping real fast as we speak. All depends on how often you use it, learn it and are exposed to it

But technically you never stop learning a language, not even your native one
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Old 2008-07-21, 14:13   Link #1644
askia47
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I wish i knew all that vocab, i still need to learn all of the the majority of the On-Yomi/Kun-yomi readings.

I just asked becuase its only lately that ive finally gotten back up to speed with studying.
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Old 2008-07-21, 14:25   Link #1645
Vexx
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I seem stuck at around 200-300 kanji... not the same ones, mind you but a rotating mix.

I'm getting really good at looking kanji up quickly though :P

Its the daily requirement that is messing me up. Sometimes I'll let several days slip by without looking at a single kanji outside of the stuff in my kitchen.
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Old 2008-07-21, 14:34   Link #1646
matteas
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When you learn a kanji, do you memorize the onyomi reading too? Onyomi readings are the most difficult thing on kanji for me. I try to learn the onyomi reading by learning a word where the onyomi reading is used. Do you use any tricks to remember it?
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Old 2008-07-21, 17:47   Link #1647
Vexx
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I learn both readings.... but its most useful if I also simultaneously learn a couple of japanese words that use the kanji (the more associations the better).

I've found no particular tricks outside of frequent exposure.
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Old 2008-07-21, 19:00   Link #1648
raikage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askia47 View Post
Perhaps i should rephrase it as how long did it take people to achieve fluency. i remember i posted in this thread months ago and i only knew 200+ kanji. Im doing Hesig right now and im almost up to 1300 kanji learned. sometimes i think i could be going faster, but im taking it as it comes.
Depends on what you consider fluent.

After four semesters, I could have probably gone on a trip to Japan, on my own, and done okay.

I could not have read a newspaper.

1300 is freakin' incredible. At this point, my knowledge has likely deteriorated to where I probably know less than 150.
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Old 2008-07-22, 00:37   Link #1649
Samari
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Originally Posted by Ablle View Post
hi i was wondering it there a way to learn japanese other than the way im doing right now i am use a Japanese audio deluze pack i got from a book store that is about 10 cds and it teaches you a number of thing but i dont think its working because i dont know anymore now than i did before i bought it and i have had it about 2 months so any help would be great and at this point ill try anything.
Stumbled upon this a while ago. You should read it. It's quite useful:

Click here.
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Old 2008-07-22, 10:45   Link #1650
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteas View Post
When you learn a kanji, do you memorize the onyomi reading too? Onyomi readings are the most difficult thing on kanji for me. I try to learn the onyomi reading by learning a word where the onyomi reading is used. Do you use any tricks to remember it?
oppisite for me, the onyomi is actually easier to remember than the kunyomi (probably cause i've learnt so many kanji) x.x

The best thing...well I have 3 sets of kanji textbooks that teach 250 characters at a time. Within them, there are all kinds of exercises, tips and tricks to memorise and learn kanji quicker and faster. The thing with kanji (i probably just have a healthy masochisic love for it all, lol) is that it's like one big puzzle, each character made of other characters telling stories to give meaning.
Also the more you learn, the more patterns you begin to notice and you find in time it's not as daunting as originally thought.
Of course there are always exceptions to it all, many of them just cause you to have a 'wtf' reaction when you glance at them.

One favourite 'wtf' kanji one of mine has got to be this one:
凸凹 【でこぼこ(P); とつおう】 (adj-na,n) unevenness; roughness; ruggedness

I looked at the kanji and couldn't help but wonder if the creator of tetris of a past life had something to do with this 3000 odd years ago, lol
Former Russian influence, maybe?

Anyways back on topic, the best way to learn it is via context.
So if there's a new kanji, make a sentence with it with some other combinations of older kanji and simple grammar that you already know.

For example, a common phrase, ah okay, let's say this kanji is a new one -> 危
Kunyomi = 危ない 【あぶない】
Onyomi = キ or KI
English = (adj-i) (1) dangerous; risky; hazardous; perilous; precarious; (2) in danger; in jeopardy; critical; grave; at risk; (3) uncertain;

You hear this word used in anime alot:
危ない!車が来るよ!
abunai! kuruma ga kuru yo!
Watch out, there's a car coming!

だめ!危険だから行かないで!
dame! kiken da kara ikanaide!
Don't go! It's (too) dangerous.

So immeadiately you learn the two words 'abunai' and 'kiken' that are the onyomi and kunyomi associated with the kanji. In time, you'll learn all the readings kanji for the 'ken' of kiken but do so on another occasion. Just allow your brain to recognise the characters for 'kiken' which means 'dangerous', so that you'll be able to read it anytime you see a warning sign (pretty handy word)

Also with the onyomi (chinese readings), my personal trick (or personal finding) is that kanji with the same radicals, tend to have the same onyomi. If you can recognise part of a kanji and remember the onyomi from a simpler version of it, 70-80% chances are that the new kanji will also have the same onyomii reading.
For example, hmm... all the following have the onyomi of JI

= てら = temple
= とき = time
= しもがさ = hemorrhoids (libri, am i right in assuming that しもがさ isn't used casually? Medical term only?)
持ち = もち = hold, keep possesion, in charge

And the combinations of all can be seen as follows:
寺社 【じしゃ】 (n) temples and shrines
時間 【じかん】 (n-adv,n) time, (P)
痔疾 【じしつ】 (n) hemorrhoids
持久 【じきゅう】 (n) endurance, persistence, (P)

It's only the japanese meaning (kunyomi) and vocab where i kinda fail at remembering easily cause it's completely new and I can't relate it back to anything or link it to anything, so takes longer for me to memorise.
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Last edited by Mystique; 2008-07-22 at 14:04.
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Old 2008-07-23, 10:48   Link #1651
LiberLibri
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かさ is a general term to signify any wounds. For another example, かさぶた (a scab) is "a lid of wound". しもがさ is therefore "the desease of the lower part of body", which is an euphemism for haemorrhoids. Today nobody except those in historical dramas use the term. Simple "ji" is the usual word.

Provably Chinese members could explain better than I, but I was told in the calligraphy class that the kanji system has six kinds of characters. They are called 六書 Rikusho.

1. 象形 Shoukei / Hieroglyph
2. 指示 Shiji / Abstract Sign
3. 会意 Kaii / Semantic Compound
4. 形成 Keisei / Semantic and Phonetic Compound
5. 転注 Tenchuu / Diversion
6. 仮借 Kasha / Phonetic Equivalent

The category 4, Keisei, is important since it accounts for more than 70% of the total kanji body (approximately 50 thousands; I know less than 3 thousands). You create a letter by combining two parts, of which one is for the meaning and the other is for the pronunciation.

You know 工 is pronounced "kou" in on-yomi. Every of the following three has the same sound.

紅 : 糸 + 工 crimson (dyestuff)
江 : 氵 + 工 river
虹 : 虫 + 工 rainbow

The right part tells you how to pronounce it, and the left does the hint to interpret it. In the examples Mystique gave, you see the 日(day), 扌(= 手 hand), and 疒 (disease) convey the meaning of each letter, while 寺 is used as a phonetic sign.

Consequently, on-yomi can have some necessary relationship with the glyph. All Kun-yomi have no rule concerning the sound, because they are inherent Japanese words and have nothing with the continental characters in the origin. Some kun-yomi seem like jokes. 五月蝿い (urusa-i [noisy] / the flies in May are irritating!), 小鳥遊 (Taka-nashi [a family name] / little birds can play if no hawk is around there!).
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Old 2008-07-23, 11:01   Link #1652
richvh
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It's taken me about 3 years to reach a kanji vocabulary of 1100+ characters, and to be able to read light novels and manga with a fair level of understanding even if I don't look up unknown words. (This was after a hiatus of almost a quarter century since I took 2 quarter length introductory courses while stationed in Japan. By the time I left, I had managed to read one of the two children's books I had bought - the other one was beyond me, as were the manga and two SF books I bought (translations of books I had already read in English - Anne McCaffrey's "Get Off the Dragon" and one of the Perry Rhodan series that Forrest Ackerman had been having someone translate from the German and which were published by Ace when I was high school.)

What works for me? Lots of reading and writing - a lot of what I read I transcribe into text files, and words you see often enough go from "I have no idea what that is" to "That looks familiar, but I can't remember it" to "I think I remember that" to "I know that!" fairly quickly. Things you don't see that often... well, they aren't as important to remember. They'll come with enough time (or a switch of reading matter to something that uses it more often.) Writing a story in Japanese has also been very useful - but you need to get correction on the mistakes, and finding someone willing may not be easy. You're more likely to get corrections on something short than on something long.
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Old 2008-07-23, 19:36   Link #1653
khouram
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i so wana learn japanese not many people where im from are not into anime actually they dont know what it is but me and my freinds who live in my area we are all in to anime and the culture.
Me and my freinds are all trying to learn how to speak in japanese.
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Old 2008-07-24, 11:54   Link #1654
Yaoi_Daisuki
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any good dictionary to recommend? i bought this small dictionary from manga academy and sad to say its completely useless
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Old 2008-07-24, 12:26   Link #1655
richvh
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WWWJDIC
Eijiro on ALC
The former is primarily Japanese-English, the latter primarily English-Japanese, both can be used in the opposite direction.

Yahoo Japan has a selection of dictionaries, including Japanese-English, English-Japanese and Japanese-Japanese.
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Old 2008-07-24, 13:02   Link #1656
matteas
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Oh, my, that's great! I have noticed the fact that the left side of kanji tells you a little about the meaning (f.e. 氵usually has connection with some liquid), but it never occured to me that the right side tells you how to read it. Thanks a lot for all the ideas and hints, Mystique, LiberLibri.
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Old 2008-07-28, 16:38   Link #1657
bungmonkey
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I've been steadily trucking along with the help of the genki books but I have a question with the quoting particle since it didn't go into anything other than really easy sentences which I can do fine. I can't type in kana atm.

How would you go about saying something like this?

X said that Y said that Z is good at swimming.

I get confused on the particles to use after Y and Z. can you use "ga" twice? (and again for oyogu no ga) and I really don't know how you would go about saying X said that Y said. Anyway, I think this will help me get a much better understanding if I can see how this would be phrased.

Also, in the genki books when saying X said they use ~~~to itteimasu while saying I think they use ~~~to omoimasu. Why do they have iu in the te form? Wouldn't ~~~to itteimasu be "is saying" rather than "said"?
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Old 2008-07-28, 23:32   Link #1658
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bungmonkey View Post
How would you go about saying something like this?

X said that Y said that Z is good at swimming.
Z は およぐ の が とくい です。

Z は およぐ の が とくい です,と Y は いいました。

Z は およぐ の が とくい です,と Y は いいました,と X はいいました。

If you like quotation marks,
「 『 Z は およぐ の が とくい です 』 と Y は いいました 」 と X はいいました。

Quote:
Originally Posted by bungmonkey View Post
I get confused on the particles to use after Y and Z. can you use "ga" twice? (and again for oyogu no ga) and I really don't know how you would go about saying X said that Y said.
You may use more than one time in a sentence.
X Y を すき だ と いう こと は だれ も しって いる。(Everyone knows the fact that X likes Y)
However, you should avoid packing two GAs within a phrase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bungmonkey View Post
Also, in the genki books when saying X said they use ~~~to itteimasu while saying I think they use ~~~to omoimasu. Why do they have iu in the te form? Wouldn't ~~~to itteimasu be "is saying" rather than "said"?
Yes. The simple forms are "ii-masu" (present), "ii-mashi-ta" (past). Statements of "-imasu" type like 「いって います」「おもって います」 can be translated into progressive forms in English.

いる [iru / imasu] means existence. わたし は ここ に いる can be read as "I am here". て [te / tte] connects verbs, so 「X は ~~ と いって いる」 signifies literally that "X exists, saying that ~~", consequently interpreted as "X is saying ~~". However, Japanese speakers use the progressive form in wider context than in English. The speaker meant by "いって います" that X said so and he/she has not changed his assertion. Another example: かれ は アメリカ に いって います (he went to America and he has not returned yet.) The status of "saying" or "going" is considered to keep continuing.
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Old 2008-07-29, 17:25   Link #1659
nausicaa1000
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i'm lerning japanese at school. we have a class every monday^_^
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Old 2008-07-30, 02:51   Link #1660
Takeru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askia47 View Post
Perhaps i should rephrase it as how long did it take people to achieve fluency. i remember i posted in this thread months ago and i only knew 200+ kanji. Im doing Hesig right now and im almost up to 1300 kanji learned. sometimes i think i could be going faster, but im taking it as it comes.
If you want to go by fluency, I've been taking it as a class for 4 years and can only make good conversations with classmates. When I was in japan, the best I could do without screwing up or getting lost was ordering food and answering very simple questions. I'm better at reading it than speaking it.

Other than that, I can get a basic understanding of what's going on when reading untranslated manga or watching anime raws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique
For example, a common phrase, ah okay, let's say this kanji is a new one -> 危
Kunyomi = 危ない 【あぶない】
Onyomi = キ or KI
English = (adj-i) (1) dangerous; risky; hazardous; perilous; precarious; (2) in danger; in jeopardy; critical; grave; at risk; (3) uncertain;
I saw that one a lot when I was in japan. Mostly on the back of trucks to inform you that it's carrying hazardous cargo (ex: gasoline)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaoi_Daisuki View Post
any good dictionary to recommend? i bought this small dictionary from manga academy and sad to say its completely useless
The best one I have found is the Random House J-E/E-J one by Seigo Nakao. It's over 600 pages, has a black cover with what looks like a woodblock print on it. I've had it for over 2 years and it has yet to fail me.
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Last edited by Takeru; 2008-07-30 at 03:02.
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