16 comments on “Real Life Tension Sheet

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  • Anybody, anytime, anywhere can ‘poochi poochi’ as the ad says. Who wouldn’t want one of these?

  • Oooh, speaking of Japanese, I may well take a beginners course in it this autumn.

    So I can play Final Fantasy in its original language.

    I am a cunt.

  • I’ve seen far worse John. I’ve known many people who have started 4-year university degrees in Japanese just because they like to dress up as anime characters. They normally last about 3 months before they quit.

    I’m ignorant of Final fantasy but does it require you to speak Japanese or to read it? Speaking is pretty easy but reading can be impossible. If you have to read kanji then I wouldn’t recomment it because it would take several years before you would be able to read enough to play the game properly.

  • Just read it. But I’m being slightly facetious – I’m really interested in learning Japanese because the whole culture just fascinates me.

  • John- Have you considered going to Japan to learn about the culture?

    Oh, yeah, absolutely – that’s what I plan to do. But I don’t want to go over there without knowing some of the language first.

  • Be warned–it’s much more difficult than it may seem at first, if the experiences of this guy, who used to teach English to Japanese students and still lives in Japan, are any indicator. (Check out his latest article about the Japanese language in particular, and also the stuff on his old site, Outpost Nine.)

  • I haven’t read much of what that guy has written but anybody who goes to japan and tries to argue the rights and wrongs of the atomic bombings is a fool. Japanese people don’t want to hear a balanced discussion on that subject any more than people do in America (where discussion of it has been banned in places in the recent past).

    Visiting Japan on holiday or for a fairly short term stay as I guess john was talking about is dead easy and learning enough Japanese to make conversation with people isn’t too difficult either.

  • I think any attempt to speak the native language of the country you’re visiting is seen as polite, even if the inhabitants then have to switch to English to ask you what you actually meant the attempt will still be appreciated.

    Ah Japan, the scent of the cherry blossom, the sight of sunset over Mount Fuji, the schoolgirls, the ninjas and giant robots…

    Never been there, all I know is from watching Shogun and being a complete otaku. Would recommend you try to get to the Studio Ghibli Museum if you do go over on holiday though John. Think you can get tickets through a couple of travel agents in London, perhaps the Japan Centre in Picadilly.

  • I absolutely love the Studio Ghibli films. i’m currently in the process of getting them all on DVD, as well as Fullmetal Alchemist, but that’s a different story.

  • I got as far and getting all the Hiragana and Katakana on a grid on my wall, but it’s all well and good being able to decipher the little symbols, but if you dont understand what the hell it’s saying it’s pointless. It’s like knowing all the greek letters and not knowing Greek.

  • yeah, but it’s a good start. Really get to know the katakana; english is taking Japanese over, so there is heaps of katakana everywhere. Plus, reading the symbols gives you the word anyway, because it’s a transliteration of the english word anyway!

  • It’s not always that easy to decipher stuff though. For example if you see the katakana which reads ‘jaman’ then it’s pretty difficult at first to see that it means ‘the man’ in English.

    Thankfully English isn’t taking over that much in Japan, if at all, and most people only know English grammar without being able to put it into any sentences.

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