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Thread: How did you learn Japanese?

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    Senior Member Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz has a reputation beyond repute Zeokoz's Avatar
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    Default How did you learn Japanese?

    Hey, I was just curious as to how some of you learned Japanese?
    I have always been interested in learning it, but at my high school, they do not offer it, but they do offer Chinese, however, not enough people ever join to make the class happen. Is their any similarity between the two? I mean, I noticed that they look the same but as far as learning them, are they kind of the same?... Anyways I was just curious because I hope to learn it as well. I will be going to college after I graduate from high school so maybe I can take some classes there, but I don't want to spend too much obviously though...
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  2. #2
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    Chinese and Japanese are similar in writing only. This is because the Japanese borrowed the Chinese characters to add to their alphabet. But Chinese does not contain hiragana or katakana. The spoken language, however, is far apart. Chinese is a tonal language, Japanese isn't. And that's only what they sound like. If you were a native Japanese speaker, you could not understand any form of Chinese at all if you went to China.

    I highly highly recommend taking Chinese (I'm assuming Mandarin). Not only would it be a very useful language to know, but it would benefit you in learning kanji.

    I learned Japanese, at first, by myself. I then started taking Japanese II classes at a college during the summer. I will continue learning Japanese through classes now to hopefully prepare myself for the JLPT II. Japanese can be a tricky and difficult language, so learning in a class, unfortunately, is really the best way to learn once you go beyond the basics. I wish you lucky, and I hope that you're able to take a class.

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    I took 4 quarters of it at my college, though that was a couple of years ago and I've since forgotten a lot. But I still can read it and I can have a basic conversation. I recognize speech patterns better than vocab though. lol

    I highly recommend taking a Japanese class in college if it's offered and if it's something you really want to do. Learning a new language takes motivation (at least for me). You have to really apply yourself. Practice DAILY.
    Last edited by Capernicus; 06-11-2009 at 07:52 PM.


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    er i just joined right now so forgive this noob if he makes any mistakes.

    i could understand quite a lot of japanese thanks to one of my friends who was japanese, she`d talk a lot with her family and i just sort of picked it up as a kid. that kind of background is really important; real experience in japanese conversation otherwise you`re as good as a computerised direct translation.
    i guess after watching gintama i made an effort to watch RAWs and looked up whatever i didn`t know, so now i understand japanese pretty well. however i cannot write or read, neither can i converse well it takes a lot of time to think [and nervousness]. i can only translate if i`m given time i guess. i`m sort of lazy to upgrade but i will hopefully, later.

    if you want to really learn, you need that background. it`s best learning japanese like how a child picks up a language. otherwise, japanese not being similar to english at all will be really hard to learn even if it`s a college course.

    according to what a chinese friend told me, if you know chinese some of the rules will be easier to understand, it`s like how french can be learned well by english speakers because they are derived from the same language [latin] similarly, japanese had borrowed chinese to create their own language - using the same rules. so the fundamentals are the same, however it is obvious the words are quite different [ever heard them speak ;p] and kanji is chinese characters - so it will definitely clear out the problem of kanji

    in short you`ll only have a better understanding, why not just learn that understanding directly from japanese? saves less time.

    chinese is harder to learn than japanese; so good luck if you do ;D

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    From my own experience learning Chinese characters does not really benefit you for learning Japanese.First because in the Chinese language I have seen some characters that I never ever seen in the Japanese, second the rest were so called 'simplified characters', which often look completely different from their Japanese counterparts even when their origin in classical Chinese and/or meaning is the same.
    (The Japanese did simplify their symbols too to some degree, but they didn't totally cripple them like the Chinese did -_-)

    As to how to learn Japanese, don't really know....get an audio book or so and start from there maybe?

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    Hmm, yeah I will probably check out some audiobooks at the library or something, and then once I go to college, maybe take some classes also. Thanks for the advice peeps!
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    I never took any formal classes, I just sort of picked up on it over time. My sister took classes in college and ended up teaching English in Japan for a few years, although she's never taught me any I borrowed some of her books and began reading. I've also befriended a lot of Japanese persons living here and being immersed in conversation with them has been the best teacher.

    Currently I've been working on learning to read kanji.

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    I'm still learning the language. Unfortunately, Japanese classes are only offered at my college maybe once every two or three years. So for now, all I can do is study some of the books and vocab cards I bought from a local language book store. I can also ask my boss at work for any assistance or correction to make sure I'm doing things right. Unfortunately, he isn't very good at teaching certain aspects of grammer, so I'm at a loss.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengin-san View Post
    Japanese can be a tricky and difficult language, so learning in a class, unfortunately, is really the best way to learn once you go beyond the basics.
    I beg to differ, however the circumstances of my self teaching method are quite different, I think once you get though with all the basics Japanese becomes a much easier language to learn. Mandarin Chinese is one of the more difficult languages to get and I don't know if you've even dabbled in Korean but that is flat out impossible for me.

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    By watching hundreds of subbed anime episodes

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    浸透によって知識が自然的に頭の中に入り込んだwwwww

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    Quote Originally Posted by 久里寿 View Post
    I beg to differ, however the circumstances of my self teaching method are quite different, I think once you get though with all the basics Japanese becomes a much easier language to learn. Mandarin Chinese is one of the more difficult languages to get and I don't know if you've even dabbled in Korean but that is flat out impossible for me.
    Everyone learns differently and has different techniques to teach themselves. I, too, taught myself Japanese. Also, it depends on what you view as the "basics". All languages are tricky if you are learning them for your first time. Like I said, everyone learns differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrancar Grimmjow View Post
    By watching hundreds of subbed anime episodes
    I dont actually know enough to have a proper conversation but I picked most of it up the same way ... just by watching subs. Also I have a few friends who take classes and they actually spent quite a bit of time trying to teach me.

    p.s. watching pandora hearts? I like it quite a bit too (:





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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengin-san View Post
    Everyone learns differently and has different techniques to teach themselves. I, too, taught myself Japanese. Also, it depends on what you view as the "basics". All languages are tricky if you are learning them for your first time. Like I said, everyone learns differently.
    Basics for me is common nouns and verbs, hira/kata, and the 400 or so kanji that any 8 year old in Japan can read. A lot of it came out of book study and some audio lessons I downloaded off of Apple. Those lessons got boring (and I couldn't stand listening to the host's annoying voice) and the best practice is going out and meeting Japanese and talking to them.

    I've contemplated going to a class, and god knows I've got a few to choose from around here, but I've gotten so much engaging in conversations with the Japanese that some of my friends don't think I need it. I was also curious about how other people learned, what they thought were the tough parts.

    Kinda thought that's what this folder was about. Kind of disappointed when I saw all it was is 'translate this and that'. I think this is a very good topic, too bad this folder isn't very active.
    Last edited by AF SUCKS; 06-19-2009 at 10:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dabura667 View Post
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    I found this post marvelous hilarious, particularly the bits about osmosis and your textbook making a good pillow. I remember those long nights... とてもむずかしい、ですね。。。-___-;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke0990
    Hey, I was just curious as to how some of you learned Japanese?
    I have always been interested in learning it, but at my high school, they do not offer it, but they do offer Chinese, however, not enough people ever join to make the class happen. Is their any similarity between the two? I mean, I noticed that they look the same but as far as learning them, are they kind of the same?... Anyways I was just curious because I hope to learn it as well. I will be going to college after I graduate from high school so maybe I can take some classes there, but I don't want to spend too much obviously though...
    Through pain and suffering. I had to climb Mt. Fuji so I could talk to the spirit at the top. The spirit gave me Japanese powers. XD

    Joking aside, if Japanese isn't offered in your HS, take it at a college, talk to your counselor and ask him/her to give you a permit. Japanese is a difficult language, so it's kind of a risk if you take it.

    If you fail Japanese at college, it will ruin your record.

    Simple Breakdown:

    Japanese: Three writing systems, two of which are syllabries, and one which is borrowed from China. Grammar involves in a mostly reversed sentence, with the verb usually at the end. You have to learn levels of politeness. It's very difficult, but everyone is different, it may be easy for you, it may not be for the guy next to you.

    Japanese is easy for me.

    Chinese: I don't know Chinese. I heard it's difficult to pronounce, and even harder to write. Chinese is composed of two sub-languages: Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin is the most used, and it's considered one of the most difficult languages in the world.

    I'm scared of Chinese. [The language.]

    How I came around to learning Japanese:

    I'm not finished learning. I still have a lot to learn. I use flash cards, I bought audio CDs, watched Anime [RAW] listen to Japanese music, and just general practice writing/typing.

    Flash cards & audio cds. They really help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrancar Grimmjow View Post
    By watching hundreds of subbed anime episodes
    That absolutely does not work. =]
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    I'm taking a class for it this semester and I am hopeful that I will someday be able to cross the lnguage off my "Languages to Learn" list. So far, Spanish and English are done, after Japanese there is Mandarin.

    Yep, halfway there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Nobody View Post
    I'm taking a class for it this semester and I am hopeful that I will someday be able to cross the lnguage off my "Languages to Learn" list. So far, Spanish and English are done, after Japanese there is Mandarin.

    Yep, halfway there.
    Cuanto espaņol sabes? Cuatro idiomas? Para que tanto?

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  19. #19
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    I was born and raised in Japan.

    It helps a bit.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsundere Works View Post
    Cuanto espaņol sabes? Cuatro idiomas? Para que tanto?
    Mi mi! Eliges mi por favor XD! Cuatro idiomas... puedo mas o menos comprender.

    (Just so the mods know, I said "Me me! Pick me please! 4 languages... I can kind of understand.")

    Spanish is a beautiful
    language, Mr. Nobody. I'm happy to see more people taking it :3!

    I learned Japanese through hard work and determination. Actually, I'm still learning. I think I'll be learning until the end of time :/. It's one of those languages. It's fun though. When you finally get beyond the basics and realizing that you can actually speak it, it's really satisfying. I skipped Japanese I through self-study, and I think certain people can do that too. You have to be willing to go the extra mile though. I don't have enough passion to do that with French or Russian, because I'm not all that interested in the languages.

    Overall, if you have enough patience, it's possible. There's lots of drills involved, and even frustration sometimes. There will be some things that take you forever to understand, but just try your best. Unlike Spanish or French, you've got to learn several alphabets, so writing won't come to you very easily.

    Sorry for my inconsistent post :/. I'm still a little tired. I hope that helped. Maybe if you want some good resources you could PM and I'd be happy to share.

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  21. #21
    Senior Member Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works is infamous around these parts Tsundere Works's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengin-san View Post
    Mi mi! Eliges mi por favor XD! Cuatro idiomas... puedo mas o menos comprender.

    (Just so the mods know, I said "Me me! Pick me please! 4 languages... I can kind of understand.")

    Spanish is a beautiful
    language, Mr. Nobody. I'm happy to see more people taking it :3!

    I learned Japanese through hard work and determination. Actually, I'm still learning. I think I'll be learning until the end of time :/. It's one of those languages. It's fun though. When you finally get beyond the basics and realizing that you can actually speak it, it's really satisfying. I skipped Japanese I through self-study, and I think certain people can do that too. You have to be willing to go the extra mile though. I don't have enough passion to do that with French or Russian, because I'm not all that interested in the languages.

    Overall, if you have enough patience, it's possible. There's lots of drills involved, and even frustration sometimes. There will be some things that take you forever to understand, but just try your best. Unlike Spanish or French, you've got to learn several alphabets, so writing won't come to you very easily.

    Sorry for my inconsistent post :/. I'm still a little tired. I hope that helped. Maybe if you want some good resources you could PM and I'd be happy to share.
    I speak Spanish and English fluently. Right now, I'm working on Japanese, I've only been studying it for a year. [Kanji's difficult!]

    Seems like you really like learning languages. That's good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pengin-san View Post
    I learned Japanese through hard work and determination. Actually, I'm still learning. I think I'll be learning until the end of time :/.
    The way I see it, we're always learning our languages. First, though, we got to get used to them.

    Good luck with your studies!

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  22. #22
    Rising Falcon! Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody has a reputation beyond repute Seņor Nobody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengin-san View Post

    Spanish is a beautiful language, Mr. Nobody. I'm happy to see more people taking it :3!
    Spanish is my first language. English came after. I'm rather proud of my english, it is rather difficult to master yet master it I did.

  23. #23
    Senior Member sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san has a brilliant future sugoi-san's Avatar
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    I learned Japanese through a combination of immersion through living in Hokkaido for a short time and Rosetta's Stone. It's pretty effective.
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  24. #24
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    I learned japanese autodidact
    I started to learn romanji.... and then I started to learn hiragana and katakana... but I can't understand kanji T_T


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  25. #25
    Senior Member Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa has a reputation beyond repute Erisa's Avatar
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    I don't know japanese but i'd like to learn
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