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Thread: Learning Japanese ^^

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    Default Learning Japanese ^^

    I have been doing just what the title says! I think I have hiragana mostly mastered (I always mix up re and wa (I think re is the one with the curl), and ha and ho (I'm pretty sure ha is the one with one line and ho is the one with two), and I can never remember nu, but all others I have down) and know how to conjugate verbs and adjectives and attach sentences with demo and soushite. I do have a bit of a hard time with complex sentences, but I'm sure I'll get better with practice~

    I tried looking at the Japanese Test on Animelyrics, but I really don't know kanji except for hito and ichi, so I don't think I could pass it. If someone could help me with that, I would be grateful, since I would love to be able to translate lyrics and help out the site.

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    It's a test, so what made you think we would condone cheating? :P

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by animeyay View Post
    It's a test, so what made you think we would condone cheating? :P
    This.

    If you want to do well on that test, you better learn kanji, or at least learn how to write them so that you may look them up (either by IME or by looking them up by stroke count). Then, if you really do understand the structure of Japanese, you can fit the words into the formula given by the grammar, and thus can pass the test. I don't necessarily know how to read everything in Japanese (3 years university study, 3 years personal study), but I can most certainly write down an unknown word to look up so that I may use it correctly.

    If you cannot transliterate the test text (aka write the Japanese out yourself in a personal word document), then I don't really think you're ready to pass this test either.

    Your will to help is awesome! But, enthusiasm is best tempered with caution.
    Last edited by Vixen Argentum; 11-25-2012 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Forgot to say something

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    I managed to learn quite a few kanji from Nihongo o Narau and Tae Kim's grammar guides, but compounds are still a weak spot. Do you know of any good sites for learning them?
    Also, something that confused me a bit: Are da and desu the same, with desu being the polite form, or are they different words? Most places say they have the same meaning, but Tae Kim's guide said that desu is only a polite word to add to the end of a sentence, giving an example of desu ka being acceptable but da ka affirming and questioning at the same time and therefore being incorrect.
    Finally, what is the meaning of replacing the final u sound in a verb with an e sound, as in "Me o samase" (in the lyrics to again by YUI) and "Todoke! Motto mabushii love shine!" (in the lyrics to Love Shine by Riyu Kosaka)? They aren't the te forms of the verbs, and that's the only reason I could think of for a verb to have an e sound at its end.

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    Superficially, desu resembles a polite form of da, but they are not casual/polite forms of each other.
    For example, the casual form of "oishii desu" is simply "oishii", whereas "oishii da" would be erroneous.
    So da and desu are really not different forms of the same word, as they actually have different grammtical functions.


    Replacing the u with e changes a consonant-stem verb from the indicative mood to the imperative mood.
    I.e., it makes the sentence into a command. A command is more forceful and less polite than a request (the te form):

    Me o samasu. = I/you/etc. wake up.
    Me o samase. = Wake up!
    Me o samashite. = Please wake up.


    A word of caution: vowel-stem verbs and irregular verbs do not follow this rule:

    Gohan o taberu. = I/you/etc/ eat.
    Gohan o tabero. = Eat!
    (In this case, tabere would be incorrect.)

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    To master hiragana reliably, my recommendation is realkana.com . The basic premise is utilizing and honing your hiragana/katakana flash recognition (your ability to recognize the image instantly). For kanji, it is easiest to memorize them as you encounter them; use a program like anki and add them to your deck each time you find a new word. Eventually, you'll recognize the most common ones with ease, and with time, the less common ones. Otherwise, I recommend that you read, read, read. Writing kanji does occasionally make it easier. Learning a language is about far more than simply studying it; you have to use it. As far as that goes, sites like lang-8.com are excellent for receiving corrections, but you can do the same here as well. For reading/translating skill, my best recommendation is that you get a hold of manga in japanese and 'translate' the pages until such a point as you can read them without solving them like a puzzle.

    Good luck, and if you keep at it, I know you can learn japanese. The only limits are the ones you imagine. 頑張ってください!

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    Wa Declares the topic right?

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    Default Re: Learning Japanese ^^

    I'd say that you're on the right track, Jeroen. Just keep in mind that the topic (specified by は) may not be the (grammatical) subject of the sentence (specified by が). Both can be used in the same sentence, such as, あの車は、ガソリンがないんだ。 ("Ano kuruma wa, Gasoline ga nai n da."). Literally it would translate to "About that car (topic), there is no gasoline. (Gasoline being the subject of the sentence.)"

    However, in English, we would change it around and say "That car has no gas." (Almost the same thing, but Japanese has some different ways of saying "Something/Someone has something". It's weird.)

    Hope that doesn't confuse the issue too much. Needless to say, は= Topic, and が= subject.

    My 2 yen,

    Akiosama

    EDIT: Sorry for the threadomancy - didn't see the original date of the last reply. Still - in case the question didn't get answered.... see above.
    Last edited by Akiosama; 07-30-2013 at 09:29 PM.

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