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Valkyrie
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So for the past 8 months, I've been studying Japanese. Fairly seriously, too. I'm probably averaging at least 3 hours of study time per day.

I first got started by reading the site All Japanese All The Time, by this guy Khatz, who taught himself Japanese to fluency in 18 months. In his method, you study the kanji first, then move on to studying tons of sentences, which you pull from anywhere. Books, TV, movies... anything. And the whole time, you expose yourself to as much spoken Japanese as possible, to sort of learn by immersion without actually being in Japan.

This method somehow made all kinds of sense to me. Especially because it focused so heavily on reading.

I've always wanted to know Japanese, but I rarely put any serious effort into learning it. The most I did was in the 2 months before I took a trip to Japan in '07. I studied my ass off, thinking the more of the language I knew, the more I'd get out of my time there. And I wasn't wrong. I still didn't know nearly as much as I would have liked, but what I did know was immensely useful.

But when I got back home, I didn't keep studying. And I slowly forgot much of what I'd learned.

So when I started back up, I did so as if I was starting from scratch. First, the kanji.

I learned them using the Heisig method. Using his book, Remembering the Kanji, I was able to learn the standard set of ~2000 kanji in 5 months. However, it only teaches you how to write the kanji. Learning their readings comes later.

Another key piece of the puzzle is an SRS (spaced repetition software) system. I chose a system called Anki. It’s basicly a flashcard program, which adjusts the frequency of repetitions based on how well you remember them. It’s immensely useful. And free, even :)

So after the kanji, and for the last 3 months, I’ve been studying sentences, while still reviewing the kanji daily. It’s slow going, but still incredibly effective! With each new sentence you study, you get a few small pieces of the much larger puzzle that is Japanese. Each one has something to learn. Grammar, vocabulary, kanji readings, etc. And so by studying more and more sentences, you slowly grasp more and more of the language.

Somehow, I never thought learning spoken Japanese would be impossible. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. But written Japanese was another story. The kanji always seemed like an enormous, impassible obstacle that I'd never be able to get around.

But after I’d learned to write (but not read) the kanji, I found that learning Japanese was a whole new experience from my previous attempts. By learning the vocabulary written in full kanji, it really helps you see the ‘flow’ of the language. You start seeing common kanji in unrelated words, and noticing that it gets pronounced the same way. And little by little, stuff just starts to click. The next time you see that kanji in an unknown word, you can make an edjucated guess as to how it’s pronounced.

Wow, that was pretty long-winded. And I still left a lot out.

The point of all that was, I’m wondering how many others here are also studying Japanese, with any degree of seriousness. I’d be quite interested to hear others’ methods, share resources, etc.

Wether you’re a beginner, or have learned to fluency, I’d love to hear from you!

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Well here is my point of view about learning Japanese. Just about everybody that has studied Japanese before living in Japan quickly finds out what you have learned is almost useless in present day formal and informal speaking. It works well for reading simple signs and meeting people for the first time (though you sound like somebody 45+ years old), but even then nobody in Japan will speak even close to the way it is taught in foreign learning Japanese book.

The fastest way to learn Japanese while living in Japan for guys is to get a Japanese girlfriend. Plus side is that you learn decent conversational Japanese fairly quickly with out having to ready many books, but the down side is you talk like a girl.

Still keep up with studying it can help with building a good foundation, if you are looking to become fluent.

This guy really sums up what "some" Japanese think of foreigners that try to speak Japanese.

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I been only living here in yokosuka japan for 2 months and I find its very true that a japanese girlfriend will be your best teacher in language. But no little or how bad you speak japanese, long as you try they are very impressed about it. Just there are times when its appriopiate to try to strike a conversation. on a train = bad :p, on the train station waiting for the train = good :), reponggi after midnight = very good :).

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I started learning Japanese from a couple of private tutors for about a year. Then I took a college Japanese class for a semester when I was in high school. I got a 4.0 GPA in that class, but it's been so long I have forgotten a lot of it. I can remember most of the kana and some phrases, but that's about it. I'll probably take another class next spring. I'll probably need to brush up before then.

This guy really sums up what "some" Japanese think of foreigners that try to speak Japanese.

I'm legitimately impressed when native English speakers can speak good English. :p

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I have to admit that my writing has gotten shockingly bad...my speaking's okay, my listening and reading are much better.

Even then, reading something like Macross Chronicle often takes a long, long time.

What I found when I was studying the language in college is that learning seemed to be done by intuitive leaps. We'd learn some new grammar, and it didn't matter how much I looked at it, I just didn't get it...until one day, suddenly, I did.

I think it also helps to find a normal TV show (i.e., some kind of variety show) that you like and watch that over and over again. For me, it was "Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy" (which of course is no longer airing). I can't tell you how much of what I learned got consolidated from watching that.

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I been only living here in yokosuka japan for 2 months and I find its very true that a japanese girlfriend will be your best teacher in language. But no little or how bad you speak japanese, long as you try they are very impressed about it. Just there are times when its appriopiate to try to strike a conversation. on a train = bad :p, on the train station waiting for the train = good :), reponggi after midnight = very good :).

Man, I hate Roppongi.

I was waiting for one of my friends in front of Almond once, and one of the African "Hey, come to my club, come to my club" guys walked up, trying to give me a flyer. I told him no thanks and he said, "What, you don't like titties?" and stood there glaring at me.

I told him I was meeting my girlfriend (untrue), and he finally left.

Hell, I pretended to be German to get away from those guys once...

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So for the past 8 months, I've been studying Japanese. Fairly seriously, too. I'm probably averaging at least 3 hours of study time per day.

I first got started by reading the site All Japanese All The Time, by this guy Khatz, who taught himself Japanese to fluency in 18 months. In his method, you study the kanji first, then move on to studying tons of sentences, which you pull from anywhere. Books, TV, movies... anything. And the whole time, you expose yourself to as much spoken Japanese as possible, to sort of learn by immersion without actually being in Japan.

This method somehow made all kinds of sense to me. Especially because it focused so heavily on reading.

I've always wanted to know Japanese, but I rarely put any serious effort into learning it. The most I did was in the 2 months before I took a trip to Japan in '07. I studied my ass off, thinking the more of the language I knew, the more I'd get out of my time there. And I wasn't wrong. I still didn't know nearly as much as I would have liked, but what I did know was immensely useful.

But when I got back home, I didn't keep studying. And I slowly forgot much of what I'd learned.

So when I started back up, I did so as if I was starting from scratch. First, the kanji.

I learned them using the Heisig method. Using his book, Remembering the Kanji, I was able to learn the standard set of ~2000 kanji in 5 months. However, it only teaches you how to write the kanji. Learning their readings comes later.

Another key piece of the puzzle is an SRS (spaced repetition software) system. I chose a system called Anki. It’s basicly a flashcard program, which adjusts the frequency of repetitions based on how well you remember them. It’s immensely useful. And free, even :)

So after the kanji, and for the last 3 months, I’ve been studying sentences, while still reviewing the kanji daily. It’s slow going, but still incredibly effective! With each new sentence you study, you get a few small pieces of the much larger puzzle that is Japanese. Each one has something to learn. Grammar, vocabulary, kanji readings, etc. And so by studying more and more sentences, you slowly grasp more and more of the language.

Somehow, I never thought learning spoken Japanese would be impossible. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. But written Japanese was another story. The kanji always seemed like an enormous, impassible obstacle that I'd never be able to get around.

But after I’d learned to write (but not read) the kanji, I found that learning Japanese was a whole new experience from my previous attempts. By learning the vocabulary written in full kanji, it really helps you see the ‘flow’ of the language. You start seeing common kanji in unrelated words, and noticing that it gets pronounced the same way. And little by little, stuff just starts to click. The next time you see that kanji in an unknown word, you can make an edjucated guess as to how it’s pronounced.

Wow, that was pretty long-winded. And I still left a lot out.

The point of all that was, I’m wondering how many others here are also studying Japanese, with any degree of seriousness. I’d be quite interested to hear others’ methods, share resources, etc.

Wether you’re a beginner, or have learned to fluency, I’d love to hear from you!

wow, you know kanji. i still haven't memorized my katakana and i'm slowin' forgettin' my hiragana.

somebody said get a gf. i say get on craigslist and post an ad in the "lessons" section. i switched from japanese to korean; i had japanese class in college but there were no korean classes available. so i posted an ad saying that i was looking for a korean class or private tutor and somebody replied to my message. so, i went from bein' stuck in chapter one of my korean book (the writing system is super easy, you can teach yourself it in less than a week) to learning a new chapter at every tutoring session (my teacher goes fast, hes off to next chapter before i can even memorize 25% of the vocab from the earlier chapter). well, i have a two book set and he only has 3 more chapters to explain to me out of the 2nd book (i'll know all the grammer rules like how to say a verb in polite form and how to say a verb to a close friend [informal form]).

so try craigslist. my tutor is from korea. i tutor him in english for free while he tutors me in korean for free. i also saw some ads for chinese and japanese classes and they were cheap (approx. $5-20 an hour). i didn't want to continue my japanese 'cause my japanese friend/tutor moved out of state and i have nobody to speak japanese with, but i know lots of koreans .

it's easier to learn a foreign language in groups. i get 3x5 index cards and i make my own flash cards (i even found my flash cards for tryin' to learn katakana) for memorization. but some words i know just 'cause my tutor has told me the translation of it so many times (he makes me read sentences that my book didn't translate in english and then he translates it for me).

and look at it this way, japanese is easier than korean (my opinion, i've studied both languages) , it only has 5 vowels (A, I, U, E, O) compared to korean (A, E, AE, I, O, EO, U, EU, UI, ect.). and if you know kanji, than you can switch to chinese or korean easily (ok, maybe not that easy). the kanji means the same thing in all 3 languages (i think) but they have different pronounciations (chinese characters in korean in called hanja). my tutor is always pointing out words that come from chinese and then he draws the chinese character for me (i don't know any hanja and the only kanji i learned was the one from japan/nihon/nippon).

good luck on the japanese. kanpei (spelling?) means cheers in japanese and korean. i've been told that the two languages share alot of words (they are from the same language family. chinese is from a different language family).

this is my immersion plan. i play nothing but korean hip hop (and some r&b) in my car. that's just for my listenening comprehension so that i get used to them talking fast. i finally bought some korean movies to help with my listening comprehension (all of my dvd's were japanese movies like ringu, ringu 2, ringu zero , ninja scroll, ghost in the shell, akira, ect. [plus the anime that i have that is not on retail dvd format, lol, i still buy the real dvd set when i have the money]). i can still pick up words whenever i watch anime but now i can try repeating japanese words that are longer than 3 syllables.

right now, i can't decide if i should pick japanese back up after i semi-fluent in korean or if i should try to learn mandarin chinese. i really leaning towards trying to pick up both (not at the same time) and learning how to say the chinese characters in 2 languages. chinese characters are being used less and less in korea as time goes by so i really do need to learn hanja (my book doesn't even mention it, my tutor tells me which words are also spelled in hanja).

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wow, you know kanji. i still haven't memorized my katakana and i'm slowin' forgettin' my hiragana.

somebody said get a gf. i say get on craigslist and post an ad in the "lessons" section. i switched from japanese to korean; i had japanese class in college but there were no korean classes available. so i posted an ad saying that i was looking for a korean class or private tutor and somebody replied to my message. so, i went from bein' stuck in chapter one of my korean book (the writing system is super easy, you can teach yourself it in less than a week) to learning a new chapter at every tutoring session (my teacher goes fast, hes off to next chapter before i can even memorize 25% of the vocab from the earlier chapter). well, i have a two book set and he only has 3 more chapters to explain to me out of the 2nd book (i'll know all the grammer rules like how to say a verb in polite form and how to say a verb to a close friend [informal form]).

so try craigslist. my tutor is from korea. i tutor him in english for free while he tutors me in korean for free. i also saw some ads for chinese and japanese classes and they were cheap (approx. $5-20 an hour). i didn't want to continue my japanese 'cause my japanese friend/tutor moved out of state and i have nobody to speak japanese with, but i know lots of koreans .

it's easier to learn a foreign language in groups. i get 3x5 index cards and i make my own flash cards (i even found my flash cards for tryin' to learn katakana) for memorization. but some words i know just 'cause my tutor has told me the translation of it so many times (he makes me read sentences that my book didn't translate in english and then he translates it for me).

and look at it this way, japanese is easier than korean (my opinion, i've studied both languages) , it only has 5 vowels (A, I, U, E, O) compared to korean (A, E, AE, I, O, EO, U, EU, UI, ect.). and if you know kanji, than you can switch to chinese or korean easily (ok, maybe not that easy). the kanji means the same thing in all 3 languages (i think) but they have different pronounciations (chinese characters in korean in called hanja). my tutor is always pointing out words that come from chinese and then he draws the chinese character for me (i don't know any hanja and the only kanji i learned was the one from japan/nihon/nippon).

good luck on the japanese. kanpei (spelling?) means cheers in japanese and korean. i've been told that the two languages share alot of words (they are from the same language family. chinese is from a different language family).

this is my immersion plan. i play nothing but korean hip hop (and some r&b) in my car. that's just for my listenening comprehension so that i get used to them talking fast. i finally bought some korean movies to help with my listening comprehension (all of my dvd's were japanese movies like ringu, ringu 2, ringu zero , ninja scroll, ghost in the shell, akira, ect. [plus the anime that i have that is not on retail dvd format, lol, i still buy the real dvd set when i have the money]). i can still pick up words whenever i watch anime but now i can try repeating japanese words that are longer than 3 syllables.

right now, i can't decide if i should pick japanese back up after i semi-fluent in korean or if i should try to learn mandarin chinese. i really leaning towards trying to pick up both (not at the same time) and learning how to say the chinese characters in 2 languages. chinese characters are being used less and less in korea as time goes by so i really do need to learn hanja (my book doesn't even mention it, my tutor tells me which words are also spelled in hanja).

Chinese is really, really difficult, thanks to the vowel tones. If you get the wrong tone, people won't know what you're saying...unless the word is a long one, and the context is obvious.

But a lot of words in Mandarin are very similar to Japanese. Toshokan/Tushuguan, Tensai/Tientsai (not sure if I've got the pinyin right on those...I'm going by ear), and countless others. Going from Japanese to Mandarin is like going from English to German...there's a lot you'll miss, but sometimes you'll hear a word or two that is almost exactly the same, and you'll be very pleased with yourself that you can actually understand a bit.

Then you'll try to reproduce the sound and fail utterly. ^_^

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Chinese is really, really difficult, thanks to the vowel tones. If you get the wrong tone, people won't know what you're saying...unless the word is a long one, and the context is obvious.

But a lot of words in Mandarin are very similar to Japanese. Toshokan/Tushuguan, Tensai/Tientsai (not sure if I've got the pinyin right on those...I'm going by ear), and countless others. Going from Japanese to Mandarin is like going from English to German...there's a lot you'll miss, but sometimes you'll hear a word or two that is almost exactly the same, and you'll be very pleased with yourself that you can actually understand a bit.

Then you'll try to reproduce the sound and fail utterly. ^_^

lol. that was me in japanese, spanish and french class; always mispronouncing words.

i didn't know that the chinese characters meant the same thing until i watched "my wife is gangster 3". there was a korean guy and a chinese lady who wanted to talk to each other about the chinese girl marrying the korean guy's son. so the korean guy started talking to her by writing chinese characters in the sand and she would reply by writing her response in the sand. i was like "i should have known that they mean the same thing in different langauges".

Well here is my point of view about learning Japanese. Just about everybody that has studied Japanese before living in Japan quickly finds out what you have learned is almost useless in present day formal and informal speaking. It works well for reading simple signs and meeting people for the first time (though you sound like somebody 45+ years old), but even then nobody in Japan will speak even close to the way it is taught in foreign learning Japanese book.

The fastest way to learn Japanese while living in Japan for guys is to get a Japanese girlfriend. Plus side is that you learn decent conversational Japanese fairly quickly with out having to ready many books, but the down side is you talk like a girl.

Still keep up with studying it can help with building a good foundation, if you are looking to become fluent.

This guy really sums up what "some" Japanese think of foreigners that try to speak Japanese.

i have heard the opposite thing about korea. koreans know learning korean is really really hard and they see it was a sign of respect and honor for somebody to learn their language (i hear just learning the alphabet will impress somebody)

I have to admit that my writing has gotten shockingly bad...my speaking's okay, my listening and reading are much better.

Even then, reading something like Macross Chronicle often takes a long, long time.

What I found when I was studying the language in college is that learning seemed to be done by intuitive leaps. We'd learn some new grammar, and it didn't matter how much I looked at it, I just didn't get it...until one day, suddenly, I did.

I think it also helps to find a normal TV show (i.e., some kind of variety show) that you like and watch that over and over again. For me, it was "Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy" (which of course is no longer airing). I can't tell you how much of what I learned got consolidated from watching that.

yea, that's how it works for me. or sometimes, i can sorta remember what the word means if i go over my flash cards but i always forget how to say the word once my friend asks me "what new stuff have you learned in korean".

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Well here is my point of view about learning Japanese. Just about everybody that has studied Japanese before living in Japan quickly finds out what you have learned is almost useless in present day formal and informal speaking. It works well for reading simple signs and meeting people for the first time (though you sound like somebody 45+ years old), but even then nobody in Japan will speak even close to the way it is taught in foreign learning Japanese book.

The fastest way to learn Japanese while living in Japan for guys is to get a Japanese girlfriend. Plus side is that you learn decent conversational Japanese fairly quickly with out having to ready many books, but the down side is you talk like a girl.

Still keep up with studying it can help with building a good foundation, if you are looking to become fluent.

This guy really sums up what "some" Japanese think of foreigners that try to speak Japanese.

It's useful at the work place where everything is a bit formal. I mean I used to end my sentences in "desu/deshita" or "masu/mashita" but when you go outside tend to be a little bit different. Well it's also useful for bargaining (mou yasuku narimasen ka... hehe).

I haven't met anyone yet who speaks like Kenshin Himura though. That would freak me out :p

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Long story short: learning Japanese is the same as learning any other foreign language. It takes effort. It takes practice. It takes time. And there's no one proven method that works for everybody.

I encourage any student of the language (or any language, for that matter) to experiment with different ways of learning the language. With luck, you'll stumble on the one that works best for you.

Most importantly, get yourself a target or goal. Without it, you'll probably aimlessly study, and wind up with a smattering of esoteric knowledge but won't be able to stitch together a basic sentence. With it, even when your motivation is low, you'll still have something that keeps you going.

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Long story short: learning Japanese is the same as learning any other foreign language. It takes effort. It takes practice. It takes time. And there's no one proven method that works for everybody.

I encourage any student of the language (or any language, for that matter) to experiment with different ways of learning the language. With luck, you'll stumble on the one that works best for you.

Most importantly, get yourself a target or goal. Without it, you'll probably aimlessly study, and wind up with a smattering of esoteric knowledge but won't be able to stitch together a basic sentence. With it, even when your motivation is low, you'll still have something that keeps you going.

yea. i read on some u.s. gov't website that one needs about 6 months of practice/class/study to switch from english to another language in the same romance language (spanish, french, italian, ect.). but the same website said that it recommended 9-12 months for japanese and korean. the website said that one should be able to hold a conversation after a year of study (some govt website that told ppl info about going overseas and teaching english to foreigners).

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Long story short: learning Japanese is the same as learning any other foreign language. It takes effort. It takes practice. It takes time. And there's no one proven method that works for everybody.

I encourage any student of the language (or any language, for that matter) to experiment with different ways of learning the language. With luck, you'll stumble on the one that works best for you.

Most importantly, get yourself a target or goal. Without it, you'll probably aimlessly study, and wind up with a smattering of esoteric knowledge but won't be able to stitch together a basic sentence. With it, even when your motivation is low, you'll still have something that keeps you going.

Yes...I'm lucky in that I have a long-term goal that I'll probably never reach: translating the Tale of Genji.

Macross is merely a stepping stone to that end point. B))

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(...)

i have heard the opposite thing about korea. koreans know learning korean is really really hard and they see it was a sign of respect and honor for somebody to learn their language (i hear just learning the alphabet will impress somebody)

(...)

It's not that hard, especially if you've learned Japanese. Heck, any Altaic language will help, but Japanese is probably the closest (pun intended.)

Anyhow, yes, knowning Hangul impresses Koreans, AND Japanese. I've had more than my fair share of double-takes on both sides of the East Sea/Sea of Japan. :lol:

Korean isn't that much harder to learn (if anything, it's less hard, because of the reduced amount of hanja (kanji) used. However, both are difficult for an English native speaker to learn, simply because they are agglutinative.

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yea. i read on some u.s. gov't website that one needs about 6 months of practice/class/study to switch from english to another language in the same romance language (spanish, french, italian, ect.). but the same website said that it recommended 9-12 months for japanese and korean. the website said that one should be able to hold a conversation after a year of study (some govt website that told ppl info about going overseas and teaching english to foreigners).

Misleading information, if you ask me.

Here's why: the minimum number of words needed to talk at a basic level:

Japanese: 200

English: 400

In other words, it'll take half as long (or half as much effort) to get the same result. ;)

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For Chinese, according to my teacher, about 1,000 characters to be considered literate (though I'd say 600-700 range to be "functional"). Well hopefully, my character investment will give me a leg up for Kanji when I finally decide to seriously study Japanese.

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Yes...I'm lucky in that I have a long-term goal that I'll probably never reach: translating the Tale of Genji.

Macross is merely a stepping stone to that end point. B))

That's some ambition there! :blink:

Classical Japanese scares me, though I've admittedly never done a focused attempt at learning it. My strenghts have always been listening and dialouge, which of course are of little use there. My limited exposure to last century material (or seeing as we're nearly a decade into the 2000's, last last century) felt difficult enough, and Genji in comparison is a millenium old.

I wish you good luck!

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That's some ambition there! :blink:

Classical Japanese scares me, though I've admittedly never done a focused attempt at learning it. My strenghts have always been listening and dialouge, which of course are of little use there. My limited exposure to last century material (or seeing as we're nearly a decade into the 2000's, last last century) felt difficult enough, and Genji in comparison is a millenium old.

I wish you good luck!

i've been the opposite in any foreign language that ive taken. my strength has been in reading and writing the language and my weaknesses were listening comprehension and responding to my teacher/sensei/seonsaeng(nim)/professeur/profesor with the correct phrase.

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It's not that hard, especially if you've learned Japanese. Heck, any Altaic language will help, but Japanese is probably the closest (pun intended.)

Anyhow, yes, knowning Hangul impresses Koreans, AND Japanese. I've had more than my fair share of double-takes on both sides of the East Sea/Sea of Japan. :lol:

Korean isn't that much harder to learn (if anything, it's less hard, because of the reduced amount of hanja (kanji) used. However, both are difficult for an English native speaker to learn, simply because they are agglutinative.

You should put a disclaimer... it's only impressive if they think/know you're not korean. If you are ethnically korean, and they know this and you don't speak fluently, even if, say, you were born in a foreign country... it's very possible to have conversations like this while taking a cab ride:

cabbie: koreans who can't speak korean are race traitors

you: excuse me?

cabbie: worse than the koreans (spit) who helped the japanese occupy their own country

you: worse than that?

cabbie: far worse.

:lol:

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Wow, I didn't expect this thread to get this kind of response!

Well here is my point of view about learning Japanese. Just about everybody that has studied Japanese before living in Japan quickly finds out what you have learned is almost useless in present day formal and informal speaking. It works well for reading simple signs and meeting people for the first time (though you sound like somebody 45+ years old), but even then nobody in Japan will speak even close to the way it is taught in foreign learning Japanese book.

But you see, that's why the AJATT system works. By studying from 'real' Japanese in TV shows, movies and such, you can learn how people really talk, in addition to textbook grammar and all that.

Yes...I'm lucky in that I have a long-term goal that I'll probably never reach: translating the Tale of Genji.

Heh, actually, I have a similar goal. One day, I want to be able to translate the Yukikaze novels. But I know that goal is a long way off.

There's a novel translation project going at http://www.baka-tsuki.org/, and I'm hoping to be able to contribute to it someday.

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Cool thread title. 10/10

Taksraven

One of the weirder moments of on one of my visits to Tokyo was standing in the great toy shop just across the road from Ueno station and hearing the original source start playing over the store music system. :)

Good luck, Valkyrie - I'm always impressed and also slightly envious of people who learn another language. :)

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Wow, I didn't expect this thread to get this kind of response!

But you see, that's why the AJATT system works. By studying from 'real' Japanese in TV shows, movies and such, you can learn how people really talk, in addition to textbook grammar and all that.

Heh, actually, I have a similar goal. One day, I want to be able to translate the Yukikaze novels. But I know that goal is a long way off.

There's a novel translation project going at http://www.baka-tsuki.org/, and I'm hoping to be able to contribute to it someday.

yes indeed. i use yesasia (they have free gifts for when you buy 3 dvd's from the same country), dvdasian, hkflix and hanbooks. sundevildvd sells bootlegs. i know there's crunchyroll and animemangafun but sometimes you just want to see it in high quality.

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Gubaba, since you're a Genji afficionado, you might want to take a look at Egawa Tatsuya's manga version that's currently being published. Art is pretty good, and the cool thing is that it has both classic and modern language in it, as well as come really cool reproductions of some of the illustrated scrolls. It's rather risque, but well, so was Genji.

I'm pretty damn out of practice in my Japanese as well, though I have been getting back into it thanks to the whole trying to figure out the whole Ohnogi/Mac F mystery. Thanks to that tofugu dude I found rikaichan, which I'll be testing promptly, as well as smart.fm, which has some awesome vocabulary learning tools. Vocab has always been my bane, I relearn grammar and stuff pretty quickly (though when I speak I have a tendency to subconciously add extra particles for some godforsaken reason.) but I swear, vocab will go through me like a sieve. I technically know a few hundred Kanji, but I can't write most of them any more, and while I recognize a lot of 'em, it can take me a while to remember what they mean.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back into this stuff more hardcore over the summer. If I want to go for my PhD, I'm gonna NEED to be at a better speaking and reading level than I am now.

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Yes...I'm lucky in that I have a long-term goal that I'll probably never reach: translating the Tale of Genji.

Macross is merely a stepping stone to that end point. B))

Wow, I didn't expect this thread to get this kind of response!

But you see, that's why the AJATT system works. By studying from 'real' Japanese in TV shows, movies and such, you can learn how people really talk, in addition to textbook grammar and all that.

Heh, actually, I have a similar goal. One day, I want to be able to translate the Yukikaze novels. But I know that goal is a long way off.

There's a novel translation project going at http://www.baka-tsuki.org/, and I'm hoping to be able to contribute to it someday.

i have a smaller goal of subbing music videos like these. i have lots of vids on my playlist with no subs. sorta like these...

drunken tiger - i want you

drunken tiger - good life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14xY5OfX9YM

drunken tiger - is ack hizay

drunken tiger - because i'm a man

drunken tiger - thumb

drunken tiger ft. t (tasha) aka yoon mi rae & dynamic duo - isolated ones, left foot forward

drunken tiger - 8:45 Heaven

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpK3BVUe2tg

drunken tiger ft. t (tasha) aka yoon mi rae - convenience store

t (tasha) aka yoon mi rae - black happiness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDdNNWtsn8I

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Wow, I didn't expect this thread to get this kind of response!

But you see, that's why the AJATT system works. By studying from 'real' Japanese in TV shows, movies and such, you can learn how people really talk, in addition to textbook grammar and all that.

Yes and no. Watching some Japanese movies can help especially with pronunciation but it is a film with actors. These actors are not acting like typical Japanese people in daily life even in simple dramas. I work in a Japanese office and it is nothing like how it was in Shall We dance or Densha Otoko. Every place is different and certain phrase are used in totally different meanings than in the books. I wish people acted more like actors in Japanese films, the only ones that ever act different are Japanese that have lived at least 7 months in other countries and went back to Japan with a different view of people and the world.

Still studying of any sort will work to different degrees, hope you reach what ever goal you have set.

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Densha otoko should never EVER be an example of how Japanese is spoken IRL. :lol:

That said I plan to learn up Japanese formally this year. Goal: Talk to Shouji Kawamori while having some coffee and cakes. ;)

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Man, I hate Roppongi.

I was waiting for one of my friends in front of Almond once, and one of the African "Hey, come to my club, come to my club" guys walked up, trying to give me a flyer. I told him no thanks and he said, "What, you don't like titties?" and stood there glaring at me.

I told him I was meeting my girlfriend (untrue), and he finally left.

Hell, I pretended to be German to get away from those guys once...

I have a similar story, me and my buddy was out walking around harajuku then some guy pulled us to the side and said "come to my store, cheap prices" so we follow the guy back to the store and it started to look a bit odd, the price was cheap but the items just didn't seem right. Plus we was the only customers in the store while like every store we went into was packed full of people.

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Very impressive how the OP puts in so much time in self study. Well done, don't think I could keep up that pace.

Personally I'd like to be able to read Japanese sources directly, for research, as a lot of economic material never gets translated. However that is a long term plan.

First I'm trying to understand the spoken language from television and movies. Text books etc. are usefull, for understanding grammar and special conventions, but for me to listen to the actual spoken language works best. I got some books, recordings and a dictionary from a friend, who studied the language at Leiden university. She has been a great help.

It's a bit like the way I learned English when I was a kid, from an (un)healthy dose of Tranformers, Robotech and GI-Joe... ^_^

Anyway, one funny thing I learned from my past experiences. Talking to native speakers became harder the closer I got to fluency. When you get to the point where the person you speak with no longer is constantly aware of you being a foreigner, it just opens up a whole new world of possible misunderstandings.

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Very impressive how the OP puts in so much time in self study. Well done, don't think I could keep up that pace.

Well, in all fairness, I get a lot of my daily studying done in my free time at work. If you break it down into small chunks, it really isn't too bad.

Becoming fluent is a lofty goal, to say the least, and I won't be surprised if I never make it. But then again, I said the same thing about the kanji. I never thought I'd learn 2000 kanji. It just seemed impossible. I fully expected to hit a wall at some point, and just give up. But it never happened, and 5 months later I knew them all, much to my amazement.

So I'm taking the same approach to learning the rest of the language. All I can do is keep on running in the direction I'm headed, and see how far I can get.

Bottom line is, if I can do it, anyone can. I'm not special (and those who say otherwise are just being smartasses ^_^ ) All it takes is the right amount of effort and perseverance.

Personally I'd like to be able to read Japanese sources directly, for research, as a lot of economic material never gets translated. However that is a long term plan.

Yea, reading is the bulk of my motivation. I want to be able to read what I want to read, without having to rely on others to translate it for me. And with the stuff I'm into, that usually isn't likely. Like the Yukikaze novels. I'm fairly confident they will never be translated, unless I do it.

Anyway, one funny thing I learned from my past experiences. Talking to native speakers became harder the closer I got to fluency. When you get to the point where the person you speak with no longer is constantly aware of you being a foreigner, it just opens up a whole new world of possible misunderstandings.

Yea, I can see that, actually.

Kinda reminds me of people posting on the 'net with bad grammar, horrible spelling, etc. The all-text medium adds a lot of ambiguity, and I can't help but wonder "Is English not this guy's first language, or is he just an idiot?" :ph34r:

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Well, in all fairness, I get a lot of my daily studying done in my free time at work. If you break it down into small chunks, it really isn't too bad.

Becoming fluent is a lofty goal, to say the least, and I won't be surprised if I never make it. But then again, I said the same thing about the kanji. I never thought I'd learn 2000 kanji. It just seemed impossible. I fully expected to hit a wall at some point, and just give up. But it never happened, and 5 months later I knew them all, much to my amazement.

So I'm taking the same approach to learning the rest of the language. All I can do is keep on running in the direction I'm headed, and see how far I can get.

Bottom line is, if I can do it, anyone can. I'm not special (and those who say otherwise are just being smartasses ^_^ ) All it takes is the right amount of effort and perseverance.

Yea, reading is the bulk of my motivation. I want to be able to read what I want to read, without having to rely on others to translate it for me. And with the stuff I'm into, that usually isn't likely. Like the Yukikaze novels. I'm fairly confident they will never be translated, unless I do it.

Yea, I can see that, actually.

Kinda reminds me of people posting on the 'net with bad grammar, horrible spelling, etc. The all-text medium adds a lot of ambiguity, and I can't help but wonder "Is English not this guy's first language, or is he just an idiot?" :ph34r:

i compare it to how i learned english and that makes it easier for me to relate my educational progress. you go through approx. 12 years of english in school (add 1-4 mores years for college). so, i'm only 12-16 years behind a native speaker. i still rate my educational level as below the kindergarten level. but, i've only been studying since october. plus, i have to remember that i work now (if only i had started this when i was in college and had more free time) and sometimes it's hard to find time in-between work, running errands and going out with my friends. so, i just can't study, study, study like i did in school and college. i'm not sure if i can make it to college level, but i can at least aim for middle school or high school level. but, i also have to remind myself that alot of american high school graduates and g.e.d. graduates can't read and write at the 12th grade level (my boss [also a prof./teacher in her 2nd job] always complains about students being 2-4 years behind their grade level reading and writing potential [a 9th grader with a reading level of a 6th grader. damn ppl who don't want to learn anything in school]).

lol, i do the same thing when i see bad grammar on the net. if he is a foreigner than i say "he knows more of my language than i know his". but if he is not, than i just say "america is getting dumber and dumber. everybody wants to be athletes, singers and actors and nobody cares about school".

Edited by DJ Loe Kee
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Something that has been mentioned a couple time is to get a Japanese girlfriend. I disagree that this is the best way to learn japanese, due to the differences in masculine and feminine forms. You dont want to end up talking like a girl.

So obviously you should find guys to talk to on a regular basis. Ideal place would be to work in an environment that is mostly men, who do not use english at all. Ive worked in a couple Japanese factories and learned tons of stuff I would have never learned otherwise, slang for tools, troubleshooting terms, shorthand for long technical jargon, what to scream(in a manlyman voice of course, not a girlygirl morning musume wanabe squeal:) when your thumb gets caught in the kensamaetoretoridashiisaisohosei.

When guys come over to Japan a common thing for them to do is to teach english to earn a living, this IMHO is a big mistake if you want to learn Japanese. One of my friends here has been living here longer than me, but is clueless on speaking japanese because he uses english day in day out both at home and at work teaching english.

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i compare it to how i learned english and that makes it easier for me to relate my educational progress. you go through approx. 12 years of english in school (add 1-4 mores years for college). so, i'm only 12-16 years behind a native speaker. (...)

Keep in mind that language acquisition starts inside the womb - hearing the mother's and father's voices. I'm not sure how it applies to Japanese (as words are generally non-stressed), but with English there is a clear distinction between content and function words. Tests have shown that newborns respond to content words much more than function words.

Therefore, years in school only counts towards reading and writing, IMHO. Actual speaking begins around the end of 1 or middle of 2. Listening begins earlier. So, if you're 20, you're 20 years behind a native speaker AND at a disadvantage because you're not immersed in the language (if you're not in Japan, that is).

(example content words: tree, run happy. example function words: a, of, or.)

Edited by sketchley
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