Of videogames and languages... (Hi I'm new) - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


Original message (1308 Views )

Micky Kusanagi
2th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: n/a
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a

New Customer

"A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm new)" , posted Sun 1 Feb 00:17:post reply

Hi, I'm new here as a user, but I'm a long time lurker and I like this community's point of view about videogames.

I got a question. Short story: are there any free resources on the net to learn Japanese which have the same structure as an elementary/middle school foreign language learning book?

If you have time to read a lenghty post, here you are a bunch of clarifications...
For an example of the kind of resource I'm talking about, you can look for studyspanish on Google (I'll delete this piece of info if staff says it's spam). I tried to find an equivalent site for Japanese a lot of times to no avail...asking the MMCafe community is my last try before stopping such a search and apply for a Japanese course -one should start next fall in my city. I also know I'm still gonna need to buy books once I reach a certain level, but I'd like to try something free for the basics to see if I really have a penchant for learning this wonderful language. I don't wanna get in a situation where I spend quite a bit of money in books, only to realize I can't take full advantage of them.

I've already babbled enough, so I'm saving the games part of my topic for later. See you next gam...err, posts :D

(EDIT: I'm Italian)





Ore no...kachi da!!

[this message was edited by Micky Kusanagi on Sat 23 Jan 17:59]

Replies:

Professor
4222th Post



user profileedit/delete message

MMCafe Owner


"Re(1):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Mon 2 Feb 05:10:post reply

Hi Micky, and welcome to the BBS!

I think the closest site to StudySpanish would be thejapanesepage.com .
Also, nowadays it can be better to look for lessons on Youtube rather than web pages.

As for that site, these pages should be a good starting point, whether you want to start learning from text or audio.
Introductory video
Other videos
Grammar Points
Quick podcast lessons
Hiragana, the basic alphabet
Katakana, the secondary alphabet
Quick and useful phrases
Note: many of these sections have multiple pages which you can navigate with the left menu.



Personally I think languages are best learned through a hobby-- that way it can be a habit rather than feeling like an academic course. Of course it's still important to get some standard lessons too. I have a friend who talks like an anime character because he learned Japanese mostly from watching them.





[this message was edited by Professor on Mon 2 Feb 05:37]

Iggy
9859th Post



user profileedit/delete message

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Mon 2 Feb 05:58post reply

I don't have much to contribute to the topic as I had a human teacher before I knew I was interested in the language, but I'd say that in the long run you'll need a good (I insist: GOOD) dictionary, and a way to look up kanji you haven't learned yet.
For the dictionary, it depends on your mother tongue obviously. Kanji dictionaries can have several forms; back in my day we were using the big Nelson, but I'm sure that cheaper alternatives exist numerically nowadays.

Of course, that will be needed after you find a method that suits you and you have learned hiragana, katakana, grammar bases and a good hundred kanjis. But it will be needed for quite some time afterwards, regardless of the method you chose.





Ishmael
5083th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: Ishmael26b
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(3):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Mon 2 Feb 08:35post reply

Sorry, I can barely speak my mother tongue so I have nothing to add but I did want to say it's nice to see you.

quote:
Personally I think languages are best learned through a hobby-- that way it can be a habit rather than feeling like an academic course. Of course it's still important to get some standard lessons too. I have a friend who talks like an anime character because he learned Japanese mostly from watching them.

I do agree that making certain that something as time consuming as a language has some sort of hook to keep you interested is very important but getting actual academic lessons is important as well. I once knew a Japanese girl who learned most of her English from hip-hop albums and watching Love Connection. It pretty much worked out for her but sometimes the most interesting phrases popped out of her mouth.





kofoguz
1146th Post



user profileedit/delete message

Red Carpet Premium Member+




"Re(4):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Mon 2 Feb 10:40post reply

Since Japanese and Turkish came from the same family, and we have the same order and suffix system it's a shame for me not to learn it. Also I had solid excuses; there was no language course, I was lazy, didnt have guidance and I was lazy etc... To show you the similarity look at these sentences.

Cats eat mice.

ねこ は ネズミ を たべます。
neko wa nezumi o tabemasu.
cat-s - mice - eat
kedi-ler fare-ler-i yer.

In regular order we always have subject first, and verbs last. Most of the time we dont need pronouns because we have suffixes to refer/point pronouns.

I am coming to park.
(Ben) park-a gel-i-yor-u-m.
(I) park-to come--ing. (i and u is the added sounds to make it work m is the suffix for referring pronoun)

Since geliyorum is exclusive for first person we dont really need to use "Ben/I"

Geliyorum (Ben/I)
Geliyorsun (Sen/You)
Geliyor (O / He-She-It- Polly)
Geliyoruz (Biz/We)
Geliyorsunuz (Siz/You)
Geliyorlar (Onlar / They)

Well shameless plug of my mother tongue. If you can learn Japanese and got used to pile of rules in your language (I'm looking at you French) you can easily learn Turkish. Plus we borrowed words from Farsi, Arabic and French, so similarities make it easier.





nobinobita
1376th Post



user profileedit/delete message

Red Carpet Executive Member




"Re(1):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Mon 2 Feb 14:04post reply

quote:
Hi, I'm new here as a user, but I'm a long time lurker and I like this community's point of view about videogames.

I got a question. Short story: are there any free resources on the net to learn Japanese which have the same structure as an elementary/middle school foreign language learning book?

If you have time to read a lenghty post, here you are a bunch of clarifications...
For an example of the kind of resource I'm talking about, you can look for studyspanish on Google (I'll delete this piece of info if staff says it's spam). I tried to find an equivalent site for Japanese a lot of times to no avail...asking the MMCafe community is my last try before stopping such a search and apply for a Japanese course -one should start next fall in my city. I also know I'm still gonna need to buy books once I reach a certain level, but I'd like to try something free for the basics to see if I really have a penchant for learning this wonderful language. I don't wanna get in a situation where I spend quite a bit of money in books, only to realize I can't take full advantage of them.

I've already babbled enough, so I'm saving the games part of my topic for later. See you next gam...err, posts :D



Welcome to the cafe!
Everyone here has already given you fantastic advice. I just have one thing to add. Learn your kana first. It will make everything else much easier. You'll never question how to pronounce things and you'll be surprised at how much you'll be able to read immediately (even if it's just phonetic, it's still really reassuring).

The way I learned Kana is that I downloaded some simple apps and practiced reading and writing for maybe 15 mins a day. Basically any time you feel like checking your phone, just practice your Kana and you'll pick it up in no time.

This is the app I ended up using the most:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hiragana-katakana-complete/id385817288?mt=8

It's not necessarily the best app, just the one that ended up being the most convenient for me. Download a bunch and see what works for you.

Oh, my Japanese coach for the DS is also very good (much better than the app version):
http://www.amazon.com/My-Japanese-Coach-Nintendo-DS/dp/B001BZ8EX8

I've had friends tell me that My Japanese Coach was about as helpful as 2 years of taking Japanese courses in college.






www.art-eater.com

nobinobita
1377th Post



user profileedit/delete message

Red Carpet Executive Member




"Re(4):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Mon 2 Feb 14:06post reply

quote:
I once knew a Japanese girl who learned most of her English from hip-hop albums and watching Love Connection. It pretty much worked out for her but sometimes the most interesting phrases popped out of her mouth.



My brother had a Chinese friend who taught himself English via hip hop albums. His English was great cos he actually had a passion for it. He'd often surprise people with his colorful fluency. He once interrupted a professor in the middle of a lecture exclaiming "yo teach, that ain't right!" (this was at Oxford)






www.art-eater.com

karasu
1469th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: robotchris
XBL: robotchris
Wii: n/a

Red Carpet Executive Member




"Re(5):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Tue 3 Feb 02:29post reply

Hi Micky, welcome to (posting at) the Cafe!

I'm far from good at Japanese, having just barely graduated from understanding the very specialized Japanese used in 2D fighting games of the 90's to being able to read about 30% of a basic manga, but I can offer some suggestions as someone who's actively trying to improve at the moment. I should mention that these were tips passed on by some very kind Cafe patrons in the past (you know who you are, you awesome people!).

For learning Katakana and Hiragana, I've been very successful with James Heisig's "Remembering the Kana" a cheap book that had me recognizing kana easily in about a month.

Once you have that under your belt, you can move on to the Kana edition of "Japanese for Busy People", which I've had great success with. The Kana version is important to specify since there is also an English language version, which I've been told is not a great way to go.

Anyway, hope that helps, and again, welcome!





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.

Gojira
3090th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: Gojira_X
XBL: Gojiraaa
Wii: n/a

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(6):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Tue 3 Feb 02:56:post reply

Welcome you!

I can't recommend any online courses since I took my Japanese at a college. Of course any beginner course will teach you hiragana and katakana and you should go for that. When it comes to kanji (which is troublesome for many), I've gotten a fair amount of supplementary use out of this website. It's just a basic practice website but the options can be tweaked to whatever level you think you are.

Also there's rikai.com if you ever need some quick online translation help without Google's translatormajig gibberish. Doesn't work with every site (and obviously not images) but whenever you see text kanji that you've forgotten it's a decent way to remind yourself. As long as you don't abuse it or rely on it too much it's a good thing to have bookmarked.

Oh and if you don't have yourself a denshi-jisho you should look into getting one. They average about $200, but they're worth the investment.





[this message was edited by Gojira on Tue 3 Feb 02:56]

Iggy
9860th Post



user profileedit/delete message

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(7):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Tue 3 Feb 07:24post reply

quote:
Oh and if you don't have yourself a denshi-jisho you should look into getting one. They average about $200, but they're worth the investment.

That's what I was wondering: is it still useful in this day and age?
I never got one because I was too poor (hence the paper dictionary) and all of a sudden I had internet and stuff and the denshi jisho seemed entirely obsoleted. I was so happy to find a dictionary for DS (useful with the touch screen!) for 2000 yens, but in the end I seldom used it.
In the rare case where I can't read a kanji, I'll just fiddle with the awful Microsoft thingie and draw my kanji with the mouse (I can't be bothered to go look for my touch devices anymore) and that's it.

(As for online dictionary, the one I use most is the Yahoo! one, http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/ ).

Important advanced advice: in any language, once you're able to understand simple sentences, try to navigate away from bilingual dictionaries and move to unilingual (native) dictionaries. That helps tremendously.





kofoguz
1147th Post



user profileedit/delete message

Red Carpet Premium Member+




"Re(8):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Tue 3 Feb 08:45post reply

quote:
Important advanced advice: in any language, once you're able to understand simple sentences, try to navigate away from bilingual dictionaries and move to unilingual (native) dictionaries. That helps tremendously.

That's exactly true and a great advice. That was my way when I was at high school I still use that 17 year old unilingual dictionary (it is in two pieces now, without a cover). I make my pupils buy one immediately.





Gojira
3090th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: Gojira_X
XBL: Gojiraaa
Wii: n/a

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(8):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Tue 3 Feb 08:56post reply

quote:
Oh and if you don't have yourself a denshi-jisho you should look into getting one. They average about $200, but they're worth the investment.
That's what I was wondering: is it still useful in this day and age?



Sure. Well, it might be a hard sell getting someone to understand that they need one these days, but I still recommend owning a dictionary over trying to do everything on your computer or laptop. For the most part it just helps eliminate doubt. You don't really want to be unsure about anything when you're learning, and to be frank I don't think the internet is a stable enough resource to be depending on 100%. Why take chances, I say.





karasu
1470th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: robotchris
XBL: robotchris
Wii: n/a

Red Carpet Executive Member




"Re(9):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Wed 4 Feb 03:09post reply

quote:
Oh and if you don't have yourself a denshi-jisho you should look into getting one. They average about $200, but they're worth the investment.
That's what I was wondering: is it still useful in this day and age?


Sure. Well, it might be a hard sell getting someone to understand that they need one these days, but I still recommend owning a dictionary over trying to do everything on your computer or laptop. For the most part it just helps eliminate doubt. You don't really want to be unsure about anything when you're learning, and to be frank I don't think the internet is a stable enough resource to be depending on 100%. Why take chances, I say.



I've been getting by with a Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which I find to be pretty decent and easy to navigate, once you understand the means by which you have to look things up. The downside: it's fairly big and heavy.

Gojira, I'm curious if you think a denshi-jisho is worth it if I've already got such a paper beast in hand. I'll admit, I'm overcome with some sort of gadget-lust when I start looking them up (odd little pseudo-laptops that they are), but the learning curve for using one seems a bit steep.





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.

Maou
2735th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"A tale of languages, eternally retold" , posted Wed 4 Feb 03:44:post reply

You may find some smart phone applications useful substitues for the more expensive hand-held counterparts. Their sample sentences in both languages and hand-drawn input options are useful for speakers of both languages.

Midori is good, and the slightly more expensive Daijisen is a well-known dictionary in its print form.





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...

[this message was edited by Maou on Wed 4 Feb 03:48]

Gojira
3091th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: Gojira_X
XBL: Gojiraaa
Wii: n/a

Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(10):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'" , posted Thu 5 Feb 02:22post reply

quote:

Gojira, I'm curious if you think a denshi-jisho is worth it if I've already got such a paper beast in hand. I'll admit, I'm overcome with some sort of gadget-lust when I start looking them up (odd little pseudo-laptops that they are), but the learning curve for using one seems a bit steep.



All I can say is that when I was just getting started I tried toughing it out with just a dictionary, but it took me forever to look stuff up. After a couple of years of this I finally got what passed for a denshi-jisho back then and in spite of an unwieldy interface it really made looking things up a lot easier. That said, if you can find things quickly with this "paper beast" then it's probably good enough for you.





Professor
4224th Post



user profileedit/delete message

MMCafe Owner


"Re(2):Re(10):A tale of games and languages..." , posted Thu 5 Feb 08:29:post reply

quote:

All I can say is that when I was just getting started I tried toughing it out with just a dictionary, but it took me forever to look stuff up. After a couple of years of this I finally got what passed for a denshi-jisho back then and in spite of an unwieldy interface it really made looking things up a lot easier. That said, if you can find things quickly with this "paper beast" then it's probably good enough for you.



Just my two cents on this-- Even Japanese elderlies need to actually look up Kanji dictionaries when they want to make sure they have a word written correctly. A denshi-jisho/digital helper can help reduce time significantly as long as the person can handle the controls, which often times isn't the case for the older generations. But for those who are, they find it pretty convenient. I think Maou's suggestions seem good btw, they're digital editions of relatively respected dictionaries.

The only problem with many Denshi-jishos is that they have pronounciations for English words but not Japanese. For that, I recommend this site. Just copy-and-paste words or sentences.
http://www.ai-j.jp/





[this message was edited by Professor on Thu 5 Feb 08:31]

Digitalboy
777th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: n/a
XBL: SupplyPigeon8(automatednamecreatedbyXBL)
Wii: n/a

Red Carpet Regular Member+



"Re(1):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Fri 6 Feb 06:38post reply

Hello and welcome!
quote:
Hi, I'm new here as a user, but I'm a long time lurker and I like this community's point of view about videogames.

I got a question. Short story: are there any free resources on the net to learn Japanese which have the same structure as an elementary/middle school foreign language learning book?

If you have time to read a lenghty post, here you are a bunch of clarifications...
For an example of the kind of resource I'm talking about, you can look for studyspanish on Google (I'll delete this piece of info if staff says it's spam). I tried to find an equivalent site for Japanese a lot of times to no avail...asking the MMCafe community is my last try before stopping such a search and apply for a Japanese course -one should start next fall in my city. I also know I'm still gonna need to buy books once I reach a certain level, but I'd like to try something free for the basics to see if I really have a penchant for learning this wonderful language. I don't wanna get in a situation where I spend quite a bit of money in books, only to realize I can't take full advantage of them.

I've already babbled enough, so I'm saving the games part of my topic for later. See you next gam...err, posts :D







I don't know how to live
But I've got alot of toys...

Oroch
1137th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: Alpha-Class
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a

Red Carpet Premium Member+




"Re(1):A tale of games and languages...(Hi I'm" , posted Thu 12 Feb 09:28post reply

quote:
Hi, I'm new here as a user, but I'm a long time lurker and I like this community's point of view about videogames.

I got a question. Short story: are there any free resources on the net to learn Japanese which have the same structure as an elementary/middle school foreign language learning book?

If you have time to read a lenghty post, here you are a bunch of clarifications...
For an example of the kind of resource I'm talking about, you can look for studyspanish on Google (I'll delete this piece of info if staff says it's spam). I tried to find an equivalent site for Japanese a lot of times to no avail...asking the MMCafe community is my last try before stopping such a search and apply for a Japanese course -one should start next fall in my city. I also know I'm still gonna need to buy books once I reach a certain level, but I'd like to try something free for the basics to see if I really have a penchant for learning this wonderful language. I don't wanna get in a situation where I spend quite a bit of money in books, only to realize I can't take full advantage of them.

I've already babbled enough, so I'm saving the games part of my topic for later. See you next gam...err, posts :D




Duolingo should be finishing off their japanese course load soon, it may be a few months away. Do keep an eye on it duolingo has a pretty decent way of teaching languages.





Micky Kusanagi
2th Post



user profileedit/delete message

PSN: n/a
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a

New Customer

"...better late than never. LOL" , posted Sat 23 Jan 17:56:post reply

Sorry everyone, I got this bad habit of introducing myself to a community and suddenly disappear, which can reach abysmal proportions in cases like this one.

Due to a number of presonal issues, not only I didn't get active here, but I could only start learning Japanese -ie. reading some preliminary notions and writing hiragana down like an elementary school kid xD- this week. I'm writing some hiragana right now...ah, the "joys" of being unemployed.

I took a break from my writing practice to come back to the Cafe, I skimmed through your replies to my message and...oh my, how much stuff did you suggest me. So supportive. Thank you!! I wasn't mistaken about how great the Cafe is. Besides memorizing my kana, I'm definitely checking those resources carefully.

Before I go back to my practice, I see I had forgot to say I'm Italian.

I'll try and show up again sooner than a year after this reply LOL





Ore no...kachi da!!

[this message was edited by Micky Kusanagi on Sat 23 Jan 21:12]