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The Nihongo Speakers thread, if you'd like to practice Japanese, here's your place!

Forums - General Discussion - The Nihongo Speakers thread, if you'd like to practice Japanese, here's your place!

Norris2k said:
VGPolyglot said:
RingoGaSuki said:

I'd highly recommend KanjiDamage (link in the first post), breaks down the Kanji into their radicals and makes them like an alphabet and so very easy to remember. Does it all humorously too, so that's even better! :)

I also must add that learning the stroke oreder is essential. It makes memorizing easier and teaches the proper way to draw a character.

If you (or anyone) can think about someone that had a significant boost to reach fluency by learning stroke order (except for natives), I'd be interested. If not... with due respect, I'd go as far as to say it's bullshit.

I spent quite a long time studying japanese, I've been working in Japan for 4 years, and I think the most difficult thing in japanese is the massive amount of vocabulary (1), the difficulty to remember it (2), and the fact that most of the meaning is conveyed by it (3).

(1) An English native graduate knows 20.000 words of English, a native Japanese graduate knows 40.000 Japanese words. Twice as much is really a lot more (it's certainly not a linear difficulty), but I think the difference is even bigger for the basic (everyday) vocabulary.

(2) a - 22 phonemes versus 36 in English, 37 in French, so a massive amount of words sounds like each other. b -  at least 2000 kanji versus 26 caracters. c - no passive vocabulary or basic understanding the way you have from a latin language to another, or from anything to English.

(3) A very simple grammar, a lot of sentences without subject, or (significant) verbs. And the tacit understanding (以心伝心). Every word count.

I think I got a very basic understanding of Japanese after 2000 words, a level good enough to start working, make me understood in basic conversations after 8000 words, and currently some kind of fluency with 18.000 words (if I read a book there is a word I don't know every 2 pages, it happens - rarely - I don't know how to say something). 18.000 words means 7 words new words every single day for the last 7 years.

So you have to spend a massive of time on that, you have to get a massive exposure, and that requires activities that :
- are enjoyable for years
- are possible in a train, in toilets, for 5 minutes, at lunch break, when you are tired or drunk, or have to be done
- benefit each others. For example, you read wikipedia, that gives you vocabulary to learn. Learning this vocabulary makes your reading faster and easier, so you get more vocabulary, etc.
- natural or necessary. Like "you need to be able to speak or to understand". It's natural to listen to music in the train.
- efficient and simple, like exposure to real Japanese, or 2 clicks in anki

So, that's what you get from watching drama (with japanese subtitles), listening to music (with lyrics), podcasts, reading manga, books, wikipedia with rikaichan, doing work, learning with anki (this one is a must), doing games, having a discussion. And that's what you don't get from stroke order. It's slow, you need focus, it's not necessary, other activities will not reinforce it, and as far as I'm concerned it's not fun.

日本に住んで漢字が書けないの様子はちょっと悲しい



   
   
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Norris2k said:
VGPolyglot said:
RingoGaSuki said:

I'd highly recommend KanjiDamage (link in the first post), breaks down the Kanji into their radicals and makes them like an alphabet and so very easy to remember. Does it all humorously too, so that's even better! :)

I also must add that learning the stroke oreder is essential. It makes memorizing easier and teaches the proper way to draw a character.

22 phonemes versus 36 in English, 37 in French, so a massive amount of words sounds like each other. b -  at least 2000 kanji versus 26 caracters. c - no passive vocabulary or basic understanding the way you have from a latin language to another, or from anything to English.

 

Actually we have 52 characters considering the capital letter of each form. So learning it is like learning Hiragana or Katakana. But reading Hiragana and Katakana is much easier than english with it being fully phonetic. Just because someone learns english doesn't mean they can read 'Phone' and know what says, or 'That' 'Pterodactyl' 'Name' etc, we have a million and 1 rules for reading, for natives it's fine but It'd say by the time you can read english fluently you'd know 2000 kanji doing a bit everyday.



ArchangelMadzz said:
Norris2k said:
VGPolyglot said:

I also must add that learning the stroke oreder is essential. It makes memorizing easier and teaches the proper way to draw a character.

22 phonemes versus 36 in English, 37 in French, so a massive amount of words sounds like each other. b -  at least 2000 kanji versus 26 caracters. c - no passive vocabulary or basic understanding the way you have from a latin language to another, or from anything to English.

 

Actually we have 52 characters considering the capital letter of each form. So learning it is like learning Hiragana or Katakana. But reading Hiragana and Katakana is much easier than english with it being fully phonetic. Just because someone learns english doesn't mean they can read 'Phone' and know what says, or 'That' 'Pterodactyl' 'Name' etc, we have a million and 1 rules for reading, for natives it's fine but It'd say by the time you can read english fluently you'd know 2000 kanji doing a bit everyday.

It was my overall opinion about the efficiency of learning stroke order for western people, when the real challenge is to learn vocabulary. So the way I put "26 versus 2000" seems like a comparison, but I mean remembering words that are a combination of  2000 kanji is a magnitude harder than to learn another set of rules for the same limited, life long known set of characters.

I learned both English and Japanese, and as a french guy I can tell you learning English spelling was effortless (even if my level is not very high). For example, "pterodactyl". In French, we say "pterodactyle", because dinosaur names are common in most western languages, and anyway there is this greek feeling that make the spelling pretty straight forward. "pterodactil" or "Pterodhactil" would make your eyes bleed.   And what about "Phone" ? The word is learned for free, even if it was not in iPhone, anyone knows it even before learning English, and even it was not the case... french say "telephone" and german say "telefon". Learn 電話, that's a whole new world.

Also, your comparison about reading English/Japanese has a fundamental flow. When you talk about English, in fact you talk about getting the right pronounciation from your reading of words. When you talk about reading Japanese, you don't talk anymore about words nor about their pronounciation... you just talk about understanding the characters (kanji) in themselves. Just understanding the characters in English is free. Only 26 and I already knew them.

And for details,  compared to 26 kanji to learn, learning capital letter is like getting used to another font. I mean... Vv, Xx, Yy, Mm, Tt, Ss... 漢字!



Norris2k said:
ArchangelMadzz said:
Norris2k said:
VGPolyglot said:

I also must add that learning the stroke oreder is essential. It makes memorizing easier and teaches the proper way to draw a character.

22 phonemes versus 36 in English, 37 in French, so a massive amount of words sounds like each other. b -  at least 2000 kanji versus 26 caracters. c - no passive vocabulary or basic understanding the way you have from a latin language to another, or from anything to English.

 

Actually we have 52 characters considering the capital letter of each form. So learning it is like learning Hiragana or Katakana. But reading Hiragana and Katakana is much easier than english with it being fully phonetic. Just because someone learns english doesn't mean they can read 'Phone' and know what says, or 'That' 'Pterodactyl' 'Name' etc, we have a million and 1 rules for reading, for natives it's fine but It'd say by the time you can read english fluently you'd know 2000 kanji doing a bit everyday.

It was my overall opinion about the efficiency of learning stroke order for western people, when the real challenge is to learn vocabulary. So the way I put "26 versus 2000" seems like a comparison, but I mean remembering words that are a combination of  2000 kanji is a magnitude harder than to learn another set of rules for the same limited, life long known set of characters.

I learned both English and Japanese, and as a french guy I can tell you learning English spelling was effortless (even if my level is not very high). For example, "pterodactyl". In French, we say "pterodactyle", because dinosaur names are common in most western languages, and anyway there is this greek feeling that make the spelling pretty straight forward. "pterodactil" or "Pterodhactil" would make your eyes bleed.   And what about "Phone" ? The word is learned for free, even if it was not in iPhone, anyone knows it even before learning English, and even it was not the case... french say "telephone" and german say "telefon". Learn 電話, that's a whole new world.

Also, your comparison about reading English/Japanese has a fundamental flow. When you talk about English, you talk about getting the right pronounciation from your reading of words. When you talk about reading Japanese, you don't talk anymore about words nor about their pronounciation... you just talk about understanding the characters (kanji) in itself. Just understanding the characters in English is free. Only 26 and I already knew them.

And for details-  compared to 26 kanji to learn, learning capital letter is like getting used to another font. I mean... Vv, Xx, Yy, Mm, Tt, Ss... I mean... 漢字!

I was more thinking of the perspective of a 日本語の人 learning english. Not a person with a roman/german native tongue :) 





ArchangelMadzz said:
Norris2k said:

It was my overall opinion about the efficiency of learning stroke order for western people, when the real challenge is to learn vocabulary. So the way I put "26 versus 2000" seems like a comparison, but I mean remembering words that are a combination of  2000 kanji is a magnitude harder than to learn another set of rules for the same limited, life long known set of characters.



I was more thinking of the perspective of a 日本語の人 learning english. Not a person with a roman/german native tongue :) 



In this perspective I agree. It's very hard for Japanese people to get spelling and pronounciation. I even have the impression that a lot of Japanese can't see a mispel, something similar to dislexia, perhaps because they are used to these big blocks of strokes surrounded by hiragana/katakana.





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Norris2k said:
ArchangelMadzz said:

I was more thinking of the perspective of a 日本語の人 learning english. Not a person with a roman/german native tongue :) 



In this perspective I agree. It's very hard for Japanese people to get spelling and pronounciation. I even have the impression that a lot of Japanese can't see a mispel, something similar to dislexia, perhaps because they are used to these big blocks of strokes surrounded by hiragana/katakana.



 

It's like how a lot of them find writing complex Kanji difficult even though they can recognize them in an instant. I suffer from the same issue, it's more of seeing something as a whole rather than the sum of it's parts.

We hvae a smiliarn tihng in Egnilsh for emaxple.



theDX said:

日本に住んで漢字が書けないの様子はちょっと悲しい


But I'm really happy to read quickly the 50 mails I get everydays in Japanese, read 100 page long documentations, write mails, being able to talk with a massive vocabulary, avoid misunderstanding.

The last time I needed to write something in Japanese was my name and address for my checkin 2 weeks ago. Before that, I think it was writing my name and address for the administration. And before that, my name and address for a delivery. It happens once a month. My name, and my address.

To add my contribution to the topic, a few site I use a lot:

Google picture !


Because words are not just a translation, especially from/to very different languages. Don't just watch it 3 seconds and say "I got it", feel it, absorb it, because there is a meaning in words that a translation or definition can't give you. That's also a very good way to learn, because it has more impact than a list of words.

Search for God and then for 神様 God is art, magnificient, he lives in cloud, and he has a bear. Kamisama are pluriform, indian gods, egyptian gods,  and a collection of funny grand'pa, it's a joke.
おしゃれ (oshare) means elegant, it's hard to translate to something else. But compare elegant people to おしゃれな人 Elegant people are in a formal dress or suit, something expensive, classic. Oshare is modern, urban, a patchwork of styles.
For example, you said 悲しい which translate to sad, but look at it, You'll see dead people, people in pain, because if not used in a joke, it means sad to the point you cry.

Goo dictionary

The point is to be able to copy/paste words and get a definition in Japanese. After a few effort, you will learn not just words, but also the words that define this words, so it's a very simple way to extend your vocabulary. Also, it gives you this dictionary's style "simple, explicit explanation" that helps a lot to explain what word you don't know, or what you are trying to say.

Kindle

It depends of the books, if it really is text, or picture copy of a book, but in most case it's text. So with the integrated dictionary, you can get a very quick understanding. It's like firefox+rikaichan but for books, and it really helps a lot, because paper books are a very big step.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a goldmine for simple, clear and short texts in any genre. Also, you can switch to your mother language and have a clear understanding of the content. I spent hours on "programming", "java", "web", "computer", and I quickly get a massive vocabulary and understanding of my area of work. It's not just about knowing words, it's about getting used to explain something in a clear and simple way.



VGPolyglot said:
RingoGaSuki said:

Songs, Movies, TV Shows:
On the web, look mainly on DailyMotion and Youku


There's Japanese videos on Youku? I thought that it was a Chinese site?

i Mainly see japanese videos on Nico Nico.





PerturbedKitty said:
RingoGaSuki said:

I'd highly recommend KanjiDamage (link in the first post), breaks down the Kanji into their radicals and makes them like an alphabet and so very easy to remember. Does it all humorously too, so that's even better! :)



the best books that can be used for learning japanese grammar are the genki series. there are 2 of them. part 1 is orange and part 2 is green. they start at a level where you do not need to know any japanese at all. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GENKI-An-Integrated-Course-in-Elementary-Japanese-Textbook-1-w-CD-2nd-edition-FS-/111870523332?hash=item1a0c00b7c4:g:CP8AAOSwaA5Wkc-u

that is an ebay listing for the first book. i would really encourage anybody who is serious about learning japanese to follow these books guidelines. they are excellent. they come with a CD with drills for each lesson.



Great! I managed to get them, and they're very accessible and everything is well explained. I think I must learn Hiragana and Katakana first, since I think they're the basics to starting to write and learn Japanese. Is there any accesible way to learn how to write them? I mean, a non-memoristic style of learning them. 





Volterra_90 said:

Great! I managed to get them, and they're very accessible and everything is well explained. I think I must learn Hiragana and Katakana first, since I think they're the basics to starting to write and learn Japanese. Is there any accesible way to learn how to write them? I mean, a non-memoristic style of learning them. 

I'd recommned Anki for this, there's a lot of hiragana/katakana decks out there. You could even just start learning how to read and write words if you wanted to speed along the process a little. Download a basic words deck for Anki or do the basics in Memrise and read the word, write it down a few times and you'll remember the characters rather quickly. If that sounds too stressful, then limit yourself to 5-10 new characters a day, and every week you'll be learning 35-70 characters! It seems daunting at first, but trust me, it gets a lot easier once you start.