Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Learning Japanese…

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  • #2109
    John Hoare
    Participant

    …I think I’m learning Japanese, I really think so, etc.

    Anyway, yes, I am doing this. Got a starter pack in Smiths the other day, and I plan to go to classes sometime this year. I’m doing this because I’m very interested in Japanese culture, and not because I want to play Final Fantasy in its native language, oh no.

    Anyone else here had a CRACK at this?

    #119127
    Phil
    Participant

    No, but I’m reading Mother Tongue right now, which is the Bill Bryson book about the evolution of the English language, and from what he’s told me about Japanese it seems to have developed along a completely different logic to most other living languages. I’d imagine that’s going to make it extremely difficult to master, as you’re going to be coming at it with an idea of what you think language is, and how it works, and Japanese is going to sorely disagree with you on both counts.

    Of course, Japanese students manage to master English without too much trouble, but that’s owing at least a small amount to the fact that they start learning it in school immediately.

    #119131
    Dave
    Participant

    >No, but I?m reading Mother Tongue right now

    I read that a couple of years ago, what are the ridiculously named products he singles out?

    #119133
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Yeah, in all seriousness, I’m aware that I’m going to find it INCREDIBLY difficult. And if I ever want to become even vaguely competent at the simple stuff, it’s going to take masses of time and effort.

    I’d LOVE one day to be able to go to Japan and make myself understood. A holiday there can be my reward if I ever get good at it.

    On the plus side, whilst you’re absolutely right that with English as my first language, and it’s going to be weird approaching language from a completely different direction – I was never into languages when I was younger, and never worked hard at school with them. So I don’t have the preconceptions about learning another language that a lot of people do.

    #119134
    Dave
    Participant

    Knee How Ma?

    #119135
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    Yeah, I’ve had a go, at one point I knew the pronunciation of all the Katakana (for Romaji words) and Hiragana (for proper, but easy to read japanese words). kinhda pointless if you don’t understand the MEANING of the words. SO i kinda stopped. I tried so hard to learn it too. I just feel that being taught it directly in a class was probably the best way, And I am still attempting to do it someday, life’s kinda hectic at the moment.

    #119138
    Mr Flibble
    Participant

    Some (very clever) friends of mine did a module at university, and they found it exceptionally hard. Not trying to put you off, just trying to give you an idea of how much of a bastard it is.

    #119141
    Phil
    Participant

    Yeah, I should stress that I’m not trying to put you off either. I went to high school with a kid who took Japanese and college and did great at it…despite the fact he was a big fat idiot slob loser. Also, he ended up dating a girl far hotter than anyone else in my circle of friends ever got. And he’s still with her to this day.

    I hate him. Fuck you for bringing it up.

    #119146
    listerssock
    Participant

    I wish to learn it a bit more just so I can understand the film Battle Royale a lot more! I was learning Karate during my younger youth days and became very good at basic Japanese but the only thing I remember now is counting from 1 to 10 :-/

    #119149
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I heard that basic Japanese grammar isn’t so difficult, also it has a lot of short words and consequent pronounciation rules. If not for the different writing as well, I think it wouldn’t be all that hard to learn.

    It’s all down to your motivation, I tend to start with a language and then stop again when the time comes that you really REALLY have to revise a lot of vocaulary. Boo.

    ( …. If I were to choose any language to learn now, I must say I would find Japanese a bit of a boring choice (what’s up with the Japan fetish currently going on?!) Of the Asian languages, how about Malayan or Vietnamese, or Korean (just because reading/writing Korean letters is immense fun). If I had more time, I’d focus on Finnish and Icelandic though, with a little Kiswahili on the side ;) or with a LOT of time, Hindi. Because (in my humble opinion) those are a lot friendlier to the ear than any far-east Asian languages. …. )

    #119150
    Turk Thrust
    Participant

    > Yeah, in all seriousness, I?m aware that I?m going to find it INCREDIBLY difficult. And if I ever want to become even vaguely competent at the simple stuff, it?s going to take masses of time and effort.

    I think that if you work at it then you should be able to learn to speak it to a reasonable standard without ‘that’ much trouble. Once you get into the swing of it, it’s quite easy to pronounce Japanese words because there are only 5 vowel sounds. Pronouncing English is probably more difficult.

    Also, if you ever do visit Japan then people will appreciate you speaking any Japanese and respond politely.

    #119151
    Turk Thrust
    Participant

    > I went to high school with a kid who took Japanese and college and did great at it?despite the fact he was a big fat idiot slob loser. Also, he ended up dating a girl far hotter than anyone else in my circle of friends ever got. And he?s still with her to this day.

    You mean a Western man found a hot Japanese girlfriend? Hardly a challenge.

    #119152
    Phil
    Participant

    No, she wasn’t Japanese. I said she was hot, remember.

    #119154
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Teach Yourself Japanese? How pretentious.

    #119156
    Andrew
    Participant

    > You mean a Western man found a hot Japanese girlfriend? Hardly a challenge.

    > No, she wasn?t Japanese. I said she was hot, remember.

    Yep, that’s it, I’m offended. Again.

    #119159
    Turk Thrust
    Participant

    > No, she wasn?t Japanese. I said she was hot, remember.

    Apologies. I misinterpreted what you wrote. My Mistake.

    > Yep, that?s it, I?m offended. Again.

    I’m not sure why. It’s hardly a revelation that lots of Japanese women have a fetish for Western men. Not all by a long way but lots. Similarly plenty of Western men have a thing for Asian babes. Hardly groundbreaking stuff.

    #119161
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    And I’m pretty sure Phil was being deliciously ironic in his comment. Well, being Phil he’s always deliciously *something*.

    Good luck with this, John. Next time you see Julian you should talk to him about it, as he spent a month in Japan learning the language, so I’m sure hes full of helpful pointers.

    #119163
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Pretentious, watashi?

    #119166
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    > Pretentious, watashi?

    THANK YOU.

    #119172
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Y’know, I think some people here – and I’m not naming any names – get some kind of weird sexual pleasure out of seeing people post semi-obscure Red Dwarf quotes.

    #119173
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    Ian DOES get sexual pleasure out of seeing people post semi-obscure Red Dwarf quotes.

    DJ is messy.

    #119331
    peas_and_corn
    Participant

    I took japanese in high school and I remembered a little when I went to Japan earlier this year (I remember when I got lost I asked in incredibly bad Japanese “Where hotel are?”). Japanese is, especially first up, a quite mathematical language. Once you learn hiragana and katakana, you’l find that it’s very structured. wa desu. there are grammatical markers with ‘wa’, ‘o’, ‘desu’, etc etc. Once you understand this, it gets easier.

    It’s good to hear that you’re trying to learn a language. I’m going to start learning arabic this year

    #119364
    Seph
    Participant

    I’m in my first year of Japanese right now at university and the ‘basics’ of the language are pretty easy to grasp, learning kana/kanji is the most time consuming part.
    The only real hurdle i’ve noticed amongst English speakers is pronunciation.

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