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Lupin
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"Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 15:25:post reply

I am currious. Those of you who learned Japanese and it's not your first language, did you learn it at a particular nice school for it, or at regular old college, or..? Any recommendations?
Thank you





[this message was edited by Lupin on Fri 28 Jan 15:38]

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Grahf
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"Re(1):Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 16:20post reply

I took two semesters in college. In that time I was able to learn the basics: hiragana, katakana, simple sentences, assorted vocabulary, and a few kanji. Since then I've been able to expand what I know a good bit from watching subtitled anime: a LOT more phrases, and more realistic speaking styles (and some unrealistic).

A few times I have tried watching episodes of anime without subtitles to see how much I understand, and I'm able to follow along fairly well. Video games and Iggy's links usually give me a good chance to practice my reading too.





Iggy
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"Re(1):Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 17:32post reply

quote:
Any recommendations?

Come to my school !
You won't learn a lot about anything japanese that is less than 800 years old, but you'll learn a lot on the subject of verbal (and physical) abuse, especially by that spooky guy at the office.





「とにかく、それは愛のムチよ。
愛しいXXX先生は君を愛弟子として愛するがゆえの厳しさよ」だって。

Lupin
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"Re(2):Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 18:55post reply

quote:
Any recommendations?
Come to my school !
You won't learn a lot about anything japanese that is less than 800 years old, but you'll learn a lot on the subject of verbal (and physical) abuse, especially by that spooky guy at the office.

Sounds fun, except for the abuse.

If I learn all the stuff from more than 800 years old, then after I can learn the stuff from 1205-present, then stage three is learning stuff in the present.

When I took Japanese one time, my sexy Japanese teacher said that if I learn Japanese from movies I might use outdated words like locomotive.





Pollyanna
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"Re(2):Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 19:04post reply

My Japanese is mostly self-taught, so I can't speak it hardly at all. Uhm...that is to say, I don't have much experience in speaking it. If you take basic Japanese in college, it'll give you a good foundation for sentence structure and basic writing if you don't already know that.

I have very lop-sided Japanese knowledge as I can't write any Kanji and can barely form sentences, though I can understand a lot and read a fair amount of Kanji.

My roomate is a (graduated) Japanese major and can't understand quite as much as me, so if you only take 2 years worth of courses (many of them probably literature) it's only the beginning of what you need to start learning. Fluent people I've talked to said that you need to either live in Japan for an extended period and/or study for about 7 years. There may be colleges that have better programs, but out of the ones I've seen, there aren't any that can get you to fluency unless you do a lot of work on the outside.





Iggy
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"Re(3):Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 19:28post reply

quote:
Sounds fun, except for the abuse.

What do you mean ? Abusing people is the most fun I ever had in years attending to that university!
Oh, you mean "being abused".
Oh.

quote:
When I took Japanese one time, my sexy Japanese teacher said that if I learn Japanese from movies I might use outdated words like locomotive.

Not only your sexy Japanese teacher seemed to have an awful taste in movies, but that guy who abuses people at our office is actually quite sexy too, you know.

More seriously : as with all language, the best way to learn it is to go 2-3 years in a school to learn basic grammar and vocabulary, then to go to the country and live there for a few years (and by living there, I don't mean "stay in T˘ky˘ and only stay with fellow gaijin that go screw whores in Roppongi"). No university, even the best one, can teach you a living language.

On the other hand, there are freaks out there who can go to China without knowing a word, stay there 2 years, and come back completely fluent and able to write a 700 pages essay about whatever 11th century poet you ask them.





「とにかく、それは愛のムチよ。
愛しいXXX先生は君を愛弟子として愛するがゆえの厳しさよ」だって。

Lupin
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"Re(3):Japanese lessons" , posted Fri 28 Jan 20:06post reply

quote:
My Japanese is mostly self-taught, so I can't speak it hardly at all. Uhm...that is to say, I don't have much experience in speaking it. If you take basic Japanese in college, it'll give you a good foundation for sentence structure and basic writing if you don't already know that.

I have very lop-sided Japanese knowledge as I can't write any Kanji and can barely form sentences, though I can understand a lot and read a fair amount of Kanji.

My roomate is a (graduated) Japanese major and can't understand quite as much as me, so if you only take 2 years worth of courses (many of them probably literature) it's only the beginning of what you need to start learning. Fluent people I've talked to said that you need to either live in Japan for an extended period and/or study for about 7 years. There may be colleges that have better programs, but out of the ones I've seen, there aren't any that can get you to fluency unless you do a lot of work on the outside.


I took a little Japanese in college and I don't know basic structure. Well I sort of know what they taught except that I forgot most of it, and it wasn't enough anyway.

I actually felt like I knew Japanese better when I used to watch Japanese animation very very often, during that wonderful period when you don't have to have a job and you can scam your highschool into letting you only take 3 classes one year on account of you being so smart or something, plus one where you're a teacher's assistant, but then you talk him into letting you take the papers home to grade instead of doing them in class and getting stuck helping stupid underclassmen mix chemicals and operate gas burners, also you ask him at the begining of class if he needs anything today and if he hasn't thought of anything yet you leave before he does, and you can do that for several days ahead of time too.

Oh um, language.... Of cource then I could sort of understand it but not speak it.

Also I am reminded of my surfer friend took Spanish in school for 10 years starting in middle school, and he can only barely actually speak it though.





KTallguy
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"Re(4):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 00:56post reply

Careful learning stuff from Anime... it's VERY dangerous, because it's maybe 90% of the time very worthless and weird speaking that no one uses. Despite what you'd like to think, the majority of the people in Japan do not sound like Naruto.

I would recommend watching mainstream dramas for relatively common conversation. It's a good way to learn actually. Next, I wouldn't read manga as much as I would try to read more mainstream stuff. The Hiragana Times is good from what I hear.

Other than that, the studying 3 years living here for another 3-6 is probably the best way. Since I've come to Japan, I've learned quite a bit, but learning that bit has made me realize how little I really know! Speaking and daily conversation (日常会話) is not a problem... but complex conversations are harder... depending on the subject.. reading and writing is improving very slowly... but only because I'm trying to work at it...

Living here is great though, if you have the opportunity... come! I'm really contemplating not going back....





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Bata kun
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"Re(5):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 01:39:post reply

Before, I used to learn from anime. Now, I just try to pick up some words here and there. I'm able to read and write kana thanks to the two courses I took, but kanji's a different story. I'm real poor there and I can only work with a few of them.

Like what K.T. said who had a good way to get 500, don't rely heavily on anime and manga. My teacher told me this. So, I should know. Dramas, which she recommended too, are no problem, as I have some of those on television. (Honestly, I've enjoyed watching dramas on television more than watching subbed/raw anime on television [when they were still on television] in my place.)

However, I can't find a "Hiragana Times" anywhere, unless I have to go to San Francisco or Los Angeles. I know there are Japanese papers, but they have kanji and of all of the forms of written or typed works you deal with every single day, newspapers have the most kanji. Obviously, they can't help me.

So, until then, I have to heavily rely on furigana if I want to recognize kanji. If you're going for this method, I can't tell you every series that has furigana. I can tell you that some companies like Ribon have furigana.

Oh. Being in Japan doesn't hurt either. I probably won't be visiting there for another three years or so.





[this message was edited by Bata kun on Sat 29 Jan 01:39]

Catalyst
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"Re(1):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 01:39post reply

quote:
I am currious. Those of you who learned Japanese and it's not your first language, did you learn it at a particular nice school for it, or at regular old college, or..? Any recommendations?
Thank you



I learned Japanese through High School but through my personal experience I had a bad one since usually the class wouldn't give the teacher any respect and keep going off the wall on animes and so forth. Not to say that anime is bad I just had a hard time learning and studying since no one really didn't shut up technically. Even though our teacher is Japanese and teaching directly from the book I found it easier learning the verbs and sentence structure first before doing anything else.





Maou
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"Re(5):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 05:42post reply

The KTALLguy has it there, people should definitely be careful about where their primary form of vocab is coming from--romance or real life drama would be more helpful than samurai pieces and giant robots, of course.

I'd bet about three years of intense college could get you to a level you could learn a lot by living there, which should help your accent and ability to think in another language a lot. At that point, you should know enough words and kanji to READ. A lot. Think about where your native language's advanced vocabulary comes from--it's in all the books you've read and school you've taken. Or you can study ancient Japanese sex stories like Iggy in the back parking lot/at school. The choice is clear.





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Pollyanna
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"Re(6):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 07:34post reply

You guys are missing the point on why NOT to learn from anime. The subtitles RARELY match what the characters are actually saying in a way that you could take to a conversation. You may be able to figure things out well enough to sort of understand what's going on, but -never- use that kind of stuff in a conversation, because if you don't look it up, you won't even know what you're really saying.

As someone who watches fansubs and knows decent Japanese, I can say "you can't trust them" and as a writer for an ADV I can say "you can't trust them." After all when I do a script, I have to consider the lip flaps as well...and while I try to stay as close to the Japanese as possible, at the end of the day, I have to choose whatever sounds best. This isn't necessarily a shortcoming of official release anime, but...it's something to consider.





Bata kun
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"Re(7):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 07:49:post reply

quote:
as a writer for an ADV


To me, that sounds like you write the scripts of adventure games like "Gyakuten Saiban". =P





[this message was edited by Bata kun on Sat 29 Jan 07:53]

KTallguy
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"Re(6):Japanese lessons" , posted Sat 29 Jan 10:40:post reply

Haha, I didn't even notice my post count =) Woo hoo =)

Kanji is really the biggest hurdle of all, honestly. I haven't really gotten to the point where I can read fluently yet. However, putting effort into reading books (even textbooks) helps. There's a point in both speaking and writing, where once you've gotten there, with speaking you can start communicating a lot with Japanese and you'll drasticlly improve, or with writing you'll start reading a ton and improve a ton. The speaking point has been reached but the reading point is still a little far off for me =)

I think the three years of study I did in college is valuable... the foundation is very important, so if/when you come to Japan you can just hop right in. You can decipher and make sense of grammer quickly, rather than just route memorization of phrases, which really isn't practical in the long run.

I also second Pollyanna's post... subs in Anime are often not a very great translation, but they usually work with the film so the whole package flows better. I don't usually watch subtitled anime but when I do, I pick out (maybe intentional) mistakes a lot. It's kind of like how all of us have watched Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon with English subtitles, but we REALLY don't know what it means ... the Chinese language is too deep to express with so little English in certian parts of that film...

Edit: Spelling Pollyanna's name wrong...





"手前がやくぶそくなんだよ!"

[this message was edited by KTallguy on Sat 29 Jan 10:41]

ONSLAUGHT
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"Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kakate!" , posted Sat 29 Jan 10:50post reply

I tried to learn english from videogames, and thanks to SNK, all I can speak now is engrish...

And now you're telling me that I cannot learn japanese from anime? this is bullshit!

By the way, my aim is kawaiisugoibakagaijin_kewl_and_kywt. Yeah, it's a bit long, but it's worth to having me in your AIM list.





Maou
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"Re(1):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Sat 29 Jan 11:07post reply

quote:

kawaiisugoibakagaijin_kewl_and_kywt



GHAHAHAh you forgot to put a "neko" and a "chan" in there somewhere. And people thought that only Japanese think random words in foreign languages are "cool."





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

ONSLAUGHT
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"Re(2):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Sat 29 Jan 11:23post reply

quote:

GHAHAHAh you forgot to put a "neko" and a "chan" in there somewhere. And people thought that only Japanese think random words in foreign languages are "cool."


Nekochan_nipponichi is my msn address...





EddyT
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"Re(3):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Sat 29 Jan 17:55:post reply

Anyone hear about the JET Program? http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/index.html

I applied for that program for 2005... still waiting for any word on getting an interview. It was something I decided to take a chance on because...

a.) Being a graphic artist/illustrator sucks financially, and there's no job stability. I don't regret getting my degree in it, but I'm a little worried that I won't be able to make a living off of it.
b.) Never been outside of the USA, and what a great place to go for a first-time out.
c.) I took almost 10 semesters worth of Japanese here and there, but never had it stick in my head because I never practiced it. It's about time I did something about that.
d.) The never-ending quest to discover hot Japanese girls, and ogle at them longingly while making retarded kissy-faces at them.

I dunno... I figured that it was a good idea to try it out.





[this message was edited by EddyT on Sat 29 Jan 17:56]

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"Re(4):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Sat 29 Jan 18:47post reply

quote:
Anyone hear about the JET Program? http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/index.html

Yes, the JET program is a good thing... if you aren't interested in anything beside mordern Japanese and Japanese girls. (sneezes scornfully and comes back to his story of the dog and his two mistresses from the 12th century).

Also, if anyone wants to apply this year, you're late of a week and you''l have to try next year.





「とにかく、それは愛のムチよ。
愛しいXXX先生は君を愛弟子として愛するがゆえの厳しさよ」だって。

Pollyanna
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"Re(5):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Sat 29 Jan 19:12post reply

I don't think I've ever heard someone mention the JET program without saying something about Japanese girls. I know a few arrogant otaku types that knew lots of Japanese, but were shot down because they didn't have the right personality for the program. It kinda makes me sick, the kinds of people who end up going over there, though.





EddyT
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"Re(6):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Mon 31 Jan 02:36:post reply

quote:
I don't think I've ever heard someone mention the JET program without saying something about Japanese girls. I know a few arrogant otaku types that knew lots of Japanese, but were shot down because they didn't have the right personality for the program. It kinda makes me sick, the kinds of people who end up going over there, though.



A lot of people have told me the same thing... that they don't choose anyone who is otaku. They want people who don't know that much about Japan, but have a modest interest in living there. Otaku usually know way too much without having been there. I don't think I'm anywhere close to otaku, so I think I'll do okay if I get an interview.

In all seriousness... I really hope I will be chosen because of the fact that I really need some major change in my life. That, and I'm hoping that this may help me start a different career, if my art career doesn't take off. Now that I've applied to the JET, it's given me something to be really excited about. And I think that's a great thing.





[this message was edited by EddyT on Mon 31 Jan 02:36]

kikkoken
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"Re(7):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Mon 31 Jan 04:20post reply

I first wanted to try to learn it by capilary action with Iggy. But then I taught myself from books, it is less ...wet. Of course, I still need Iggy's corrections here and there, but on the whole I handle Japanese very well now, gambare gozaimas'.





Maou
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"Re(7):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Mon 31 Jan 06:11post reply

quote:
Now that I've applied to the JET, it's given me something to be really excited about. And I think that's a great thing.



Awesome, and I've heard really good things from people who have been over. And it's true, that actually a good amount of people who go over there didn't even know Japanese before, as I recall, and they seem to have a blast. Good luck! I don't think that they'd totally disqualify those who were great or native speakers, but it's not necessary. So-called "otaku" (whatever non-Japanese mean when they use that word, usually less negatively than in Japanese?) might be avoided just because they think they know everything about Japanse language and culture, but likely know more dysfunctional than useful stuff and might not be very people-oriented.


...it's true though, capilary action is the best route of all, of course. That or merging with Iggy to become the Iggy Perfect Body. Then you only speak in 9th century koten Japanese and the language of love while trying to take over the world.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

EddyT
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"Re(8):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Wed 2 Feb 05:43post reply

I got a letter from the JET Program today... I didn't qualify for an interview. I'm bummed out right now, but at least now I know for sure what I have to do for my future. Going to be even more aggressive with the job search.

My uncle has a friend who may help me get overseas... she has a niece who lives in Singapore, and they need graphic designers in her company. Going to talk to her tonight and see what I can do to get my foot in the door.

I'm still happy I applied to the JET... it gave me a better sense of direction, and now I know that I have an ambition to go to somewhere overseas. I really hope things will work out better for me... it's been a really trying two months.





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"Re(9):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kaka" , posted Wed 2 Feb 08:13post reply

quote:
I'm still happy I applied to the JET... it gave me a better sense of direction, and now I know that I have an ambition to go to somewhere overseas.

Not to sound rude or anything (WARNING : this is a non-Iggy post. Don't try to see evilness in there, or I'll bite your ass) but don't make long term projections about living in countries you've never been to. It especially applies to China's coast and Honshű as a whole (I've never lived / don't know anyone who lived long enough in the rest of China and Japan to talk about them) : many people fantasize about these places, and are suddenly heart broken when they discover how they are in reality. It can be very dangerous.

One of the many good points about studying 11th century is that you know you study a fantasy realm that doesn't exist anymore and can't be crushed by reality.
A little like those morons who think dragons really existed in Europe, except our fashion sense is so superior it can crush their father's nuts while playing the koto and giving orders to prepare the car immediatly, because our fashion sense is going to the parlement.
Yes, we people who study 11th century Japan have a fashion sense that does all those things. It can also make light bulbs explode, and I'm fairly sure it can create tapenade and lemon wine as well. At least mine does.





「とにかく、それは愛のムチよ。
愛しいXXX先生は君を愛弟子として愛するがゆえの厳しさよ」だって。

ONSLAUGHT
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"Stop the press!" , posted Wed 2 Feb 09:11:post reply

quote:

A little like those morons who think dragons really existed in Europe


WHAT? Now, let's wait a couple of minutes to clear this one off... So, basically you're saying that Dragons DIDN'T exist in Europe???
I hope you're joking, because my heart could not resist anything of this magnitude. Damn, first the Magic Kings and the Tooth Mouse, now this? what's next? are you going to say the Yeti is a myth as well?





[this message was edited by ONSLAUGHT on Wed 2 Feb 09:12]

KTallguy
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"Re(1):Stop the press!" , posted Wed 2 Feb 10:56post reply

At least we can see Nessie's cousin in RE4 =)





"手前がやくぶそくなんだよ!"

Pollyanna
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"Re(2):Stop the press!" , posted Wed 2 Feb 11:35post reply

The JET program also often sends people to the countryside of Japan. Which is good for some people, but probably not what most applicants are looking for. I wouldn't want to live in the countryside, myself.

Some days I think "I need to stay away from Japan. They don't want me there and I don't speak the language" and other days I get misty-eyed because I miss Tokyo so much.

Oh, and I heard that character means the most in the JET program. Do they look at extracurricular activities and such?





Iggy
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"Re(3):Stop the press!" , posted Wed 2 Feb 17:21post reply

quote:
I wouldn't want to live in the countryside, myself.

I would, especially if it's in Saitama.





「とにかく、それは愛のムチよ。
愛しいXXX先生は君を愛弟子として愛するがゆえの厳しさよ」だって。

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"Re(10):Sumimasen minna san hontou ni ware kak" , posted Wed 2 Feb 19:06post reply

quote:
Not to sound rude or anything (WARNING : this is a non-Iggy post. Don't try to see evilness in there, or I'll bite your ass) but don't make long term projections about living in countries you've never been to. It especially applies to China's coast and Honshű as a whole (I've never lived / don't know anyone who lived long enough in the rest of China and Japan to talk about them) : many people fantasize about these places, and are suddenly heart broken when they discover how they are in reality. It can be very dangerous.



That could be true... I never thought about it in that aspect. I guess I should stick with visiting first... or going there on a temp basis. I can imagine being very miserable if I was stuck out in a country I hated, and there was no way out in sight.

I think doing JET would be the best way for me to experience Japan... if I ever get the chance to go. At least I can call it off after a year if I'm not happy. I guess it's just me thinking how things would be such a great adventure, since I've never been outside the US.