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Liosse de Velishaf
07-05-2010, 09:32 AM
日本語は、話すか。
Anybody speak Japanese?

Mine's actually not that good, but I hope to improve it.

nocturneequuis
07-05-2010, 10:01 AM
私の日本語がちょっと悪いですけど、話すのが好きです。はじめまして。シャロンです。どおぞよりしくお願い します。m(-_-)m

not_HarryS
07-05-2010, 10:08 AM
If you're looking to improve, then here's your first step:

When talking about abilities in Japanese, you need to conjugate the verb differently (use its potential form), and potentially use a different particle, depending on the context.

日本語が話せますか - although formal, would be more correct.

I do think, from locals, you're more likely to hear, 日本語がしゃべれますか, but I haven't been to Japan for a long time, and that language is more loose than my bowels after a night of binge drinking.

:) Hope that helps. And I'm very glad somebody started this thread.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-05-2010, 10:39 AM
I've never taken a class in Japanese, though I hope to next year, so this is mostly what I've picked up here and there. It's kind of hard to put things in context when you've never actually spoken or written in a language. So thaks for the assistance.


Are you sure about the が particle, though? It seems like that would translate more as "Is it Japanese that you can speak?" Which for all I know is exactly how you would ask such a question in Japanese.


Glad that the thread's useful. :)

not_HarryS
07-05-2010, 10:52 AM
I've never taken a class in Japanese, though I hope to next year, so this is mostly what I've picked up here and there. It's kind of hard to put things in context when you've never actually spoken or written in a language. So thaks for the assistance.


Are you sure about the が particle, though? It seems like that would translate more as "Is it Japanese that you can speak?" Which for all I know is exactly how you would ask such a question in Japanese.


Glad that the thread's useful. :)

Very sure. You pretty much want to use が for all sentences using the potential form. You can use は as well, but it puts a lot of unnecessary emphasis that might not be contextually accurate. (Using は in the above sentence would be like saying, "As for Japanese, can you speak it?")

There are rare occasions in which you can use を with the potential form of verbs, but I wouldn't muddy your mind with that until you get the basics down pat.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-05-2010, 10:59 AM
Okay. Makes sense. Thanks.

I'm a Linguistics major, so I have interests in many languages, but it's rather hard to fit them into my class schedule. Before this, I spent a lot of time on a shougi site, where I got to practice Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and of course Japanese. Wasn't th e best spot for in-depth discussions of the language, though. ;)

I'm sure my poor Japanese professor next semester will be horrified by my patchwork knowledge and application of his language.

not_HarryS
07-05-2010, 11:04 AM
I wouldn't worry about it, man. Japanese is a grammatically complex-assed language, and it takes quite a while to understand some of the subtleties that aren't really present in most Western languages.

What's important is that you enjoy it and are always looking for opportunities to improve :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-05-2010, 11:06 AM
I wouldn't worry about it, man. Japanese is a grammatically complex-assed language, and it takes quite a while to understand some of the subtleties that aren't really present in most Western languages.

What's important is that you enjoy it and are always looking for opportunities to improve :)


I guess I've got my mind in the right place, then. Although, it might be more accurate to say that Japanese is morphologically complex compared to English, whereas the syntax is simpler.


To be honest, I'm more worried about the politeness than the grammar, anyway. I can't even manage to be polite in my own language. :cry:

not_HarryS
07-05-2010, 11:10 AM
I guess I've got my mind in the right place then. Although, it might be more accurate to say that Japanese is morphologically complex compared to English, whereas the syntax is simpler.

You're right: Japanese is significantly more morphologically complex than English, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's syntactically more simple. Once you delve deeper into the language and start exploring their literature, sentence structures can become so complex that you can't tell your linguistic ass from your elbow. Haha.

That was my experience, at least.

ETA: Don't worry about politeness at first. As long as you're foreign, Japanese people will forgive you your inability to speak keigo, 'cause it's frankly a difficult system for them to get straight too.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-05-2010, 11:13 AM
You're right: Japanese is significantly more morphologically complex than English, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's syntactically more simple. Once you delve deeper into the language and start exploring their literature, sentence structures can become so complex that you can't tell your linguistic ass from your elbow. Haha.

That was my experience, at least.


Yeah... it's been my experience that most languages tend to be of about the same difficulty, they just apportion it differently between morphology and syntax. And of course, most languages tend to be more complicated in literature than in everyday speech. I'd hate to be an Inuit trying to decipher James Joyce. :flag: If it weren't for those darn poets...

Yasaibatake
07-05-2010, 09:25 PM
My Japanese used to be pretty good, but I haven't used it in a little more than 4 years and it's gotten pretty darn rusty :( One of my bigger regrets...it was so much fun too! *starts looking for her old Japanese textbook*

maestrowork
07-05-2010, 09:45 PM
Great thread... I may need some help translating English to Japanese... :)

kuwisdelu
07-05-2010, 10:36 PM
Anyone here feel like translating Haruki Murakami's newest novel for me??

:D

not_HarryS
07-06-2010, 05:28 AM
I can, but you'd have to pay me back with your naughty bits.

Eddyz Aquila
07-06-2010, 05:39 AM
One year of Japanese for me, I loved it! I don't remember much, I was 13 back then, but now I'm searching for my old Japanese books...

Anya S
07-06-2010, 05:52 AM
I'm still in the process of learning. Trying to memorize Hiragana and Katakana (Hiragana is easier) Kanji is killing me, but I'll hopefully figure it out someday. My goal is to be fluent before I leave here. I'm trying to find a Japanese teacher to come teach my children and I several times a week. I'm pretty good at the basic stuff, have a friend who I attempt to speak it conversationally with. still takes me a while to read the characters though.

Eddyz Aquila
07-06-2010, 05:59 AM
Don't know why but I found the Hiragana much easier than the Katakana as well.

soapdish
07-06-2010, 06:15 AM
I can read and write Hiragana and Katakana (and yes, Katakana was harder for me too) but I know only a tiny bit of Kanji. Not enough to even mention. I can, for example, read the first two characters in your thread title, but not the rest :D

And my Romaji SUCKS (which is probably good, I think it's a backward step in learning the language).

I can read and sound fluent, though because my vocab is limited, I often don't know what it is I read aloud. LOL

I am used to speaking Japanese at a child's level, so I am not in the practice of using the polite forms. More informal, I guess.

I love it. I wish I had more time to devote to it now.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-06-2010, 06:16 AM
There are a lot of good programs out there to teach you the kana. Human Japanese is cheap and effective. There's also a youtube series that does kana and the 80 kanji they teach to first graders.


Soap- 語 is ご, and it means "language", basically. I'm not sure how you can have trouble with romaji if you know kana, though...

My kanji are very limited as well. I can read maybe 150... Writing is easier of course, since the comp transliterates automatically from romaji. :)

soapdish
07-06-2010, 06:41 AM
There are a lot of good programs out there to teach you the kana. Human Japanese is cheap and effective. There's also a youtube series that does kana and the 80 kanji they teach to first graders.


Soap- 語 is ご, and it means "language", basically. I'm not sure how you can have trouble with romaji if you know kana, though...

My kanji are very limited as well. I can read maybe 150... Writing is easier of course, since the comp transliterates automatically from romaji. :)
Youtube, huh? I would never have thought of that. Good tip.

Ah, ok, "go". That makes sense now.

Romaji trips me up, I think, because I want to write things like "she" instead of "shi" and use "g"s instead of "j"s and then there are the chisai tsu, ya, yo, yu, etc. I can read them and pronounce the words correctly, I just have a hard time writing them in English. If that makes sense.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-06-2010, 06:46 AM
Youtube, huh? I would never have thought of that. Good tip.

Ah, ok, "go". That makes sense now.

Romaji trips me up, I think, because I want to write things like "she" instead of "shi" and use "g"s instead of "j"s and then there are the chisai tsu, ya, yo, yu, etc. I can read them and pronounce the words correctly, I just have a hard time writing them in English. If that makes sense.


Okay, I gotcha. I guess since I'm also learning Italian and other non-english languages which never underwent our great vowel shift, things like "i" for "ee" are more natural.


On the youtube japanese thing:

http://www.youtube.com/user/HIDETCHI#g/c/2199D5FD36782640

Anya S
07-06-2010, 09:02 AM
Yes, youtube is great for learning. I'm part of the J-Vlogger community, just got into it actually. Lots of great learning there. Entropy is one that teaches Kanji memorization: http://www.youtube.com/user/Entropy102#p/a/u/1/pF6j393G7Xs

Yasaibatake
07-06-2010, 09:39 AM
If it's just a matter of memorizing, http://smart.fm is a pretty good (free) site. I really like the way they teach! But it's really only set up for flashcards, so no grammar or anything like that.

(They have a lot of other languages/subjects there too, but they're particularly strong for Japanese, possibly because it's run by a Japanese company.)

not_HarryS
07-06-2010, 09:46 AM
For learning Kanji, I would really, really suggest first learning all the radicals by heart. But I would suggest learning them in Chinese, at least for recognition purposes, because the implications that right-hand and bottom radicals have on the pronunciation of phono-semantic compound characters is a lot more straightforward in Mandarin.

That, and you need yourself some creative mnemonic devices :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-06-2010, 09:50 AM
I've learned most of the kanji I know by accident. I'm not a big fan of mnemonics, myself, but I know they help some people. Memorization is just not as effective as learning through doing.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-06-2010, 04:38 PM
おはよう、みんな。

nocturneequuis
07-06-2010, 10:52 PM
おはよう ヴェリシャフさん。 元気ですか?

Liosse de Velishaf
07-07-2010, 04:34 AM
はい、元気です。

nocturneequuis
07-07-2010, 11:04 AM
今日、お父さんの猫が死にました。とても悲しいになりました。:e2cry:

Liosse de Velishaf
07-07-2010, 09:37 PM
今日、お父さんの猫が死にました。とても悲しいになりました。:e2cry:


私の猫が数年前に死にました。とても悲しかった。

kaitie
07-15-2010, 08:05 AM
Anyone here feel like translating Haruki Murakami's newest novel for me??

:D

私日本語話せるよ! 上手じゃないけどできるよ。読むほうが上手だ。実は、話せることが一番難しいことだ。 私の日本語がちょっと高校生っぽいということだ。。。漢字が全然大丈夫なのに。

Would you believe I'm doing this at the moment? You can have the first few pages if you'd like. I probably won't do the whole novel, though, and certainly not the entire trilogy, not unless someone's paying me to do it. ;) I'm turning the first chapter into a translating sample, though.

kaitie
07-15-2010, 08:09 AM
今日、お父さんの猫が死にました。とても悲しいになりました。:e2cry:

それが本当に悲しいことだ。:(  ごめんなさいね。

今日生徒にプレゼントもらいました。みなさんが英語でメッセージを書いた。すごく悲しいことだ。全然帰りた くないから。一日中泣きそうな気持ちだ。

bookbuyer
07-16-2010, 09:42 AM
Hajimemashite, watashi wa Anna desu.

That's mostly what I know of the japanese I've learned. I know some random vocab, but not enough grammar to put it in a proper sentence.

BB. :):):)

kaitie
07-16-2010, 10:38 AM
Hey, that was a proper sentence! And you could change the word "anna" with other nouns and you have another proper sentence. For instance, watashi ha seito desu. Watashi wa sensei desu. Watashi wa ni-juu-kyuu-sai desu. And so on. :)

Most basic form of grammar of all. :) And you can change the "watashi" as well.

This actually reminds me of English classes here. One of the first things they learn is "This is a pen." And then you can substitute other nouns for "pen." So "This is a pen" is a common joke nowadays and you see it everywhere because it's the one thing everyone remembers from English in junior high. :)

Ganbare!

bookbuyer
07-16-2010, 10:56 AM
Arigatou, wakarimasu

Thanks I'm happy to have learned something new.:D

kaitie
07-16-2010, 11:04 AM
dou itashimasite. :D

Liosse de Velishaf
07-16-2010, 11:06 AM
Kaitie, it's called a "template". It's become a pretty popular way of teaching many languages.

Let's see, "this is a pen": ペンです。 Or maybe: これはペンです。 I think it depends on context?

Liosse de Velishaf
07-16-2010, 11:07 AM
Bookbuyer, where did you learn?

kaitie
07-16-2010, 11:54 AM
Kaitie, it's called a "template". It's become a pretty popular way of teaching many languages.

Let's see, "this is a pen": ペンです。 Or maybe: これはペンです。 I think it depends on context?

Yup. It's a very logical method. Unfortunately, they loose all semblance of logical methods when they get to high school. ;) I could probably go on for pages though about how the students here would learn so much better if the system was set up following all the research about language acquisition, but that'd be boring so I won't haha.

The second is probably better here. The implication is "this specific object." To me, the first is more like if you said, これは何ですか? then ペンです is a good answer.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-16-2010, 12:21 PM
Yup. It's a very logical method. Unfortunately, they loose all semblance of logical methods when they get to high school. ;) I could probably go on for pages though about how the students here would learn so much better if the system was set up following all the research about language acquisition, but that'd be boring so I won't haha.

The second is probably better here. The implication is "this specific object." To me, the first is more like if you said, これは何ですか? then ペンです is a good answer.


Yeah, that's what I figured. #1 is much more likely to be a response to a question.

Like I said earlier, I'm a Ling major, so I'd have no problem following your ramblings for a few pages (I'd probably have plenty of ranting to add from my own experience), but I suppose most other people are just here to play around in Japanese.

kaitie
07-16-2010, 12:48 PM
I should have known you a year ago. I had to do a presentation last fall about ways to teach only in English because the system is going to be switching over in a few years, and they're going to have to change the methodology. I gave a presentation about different techniques and stuff, but you probably could have given me lots of good info. :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-16-2010, 09:45 PM
Eh, I'm not that far along in my degree. I knew a lot less a year ago.


Teach what in only English and to who?

bookbuyer
07-16-2010, 11:40 PM
Bookbuyer, where did you learn?

I have a beginner japanese class in my high school. They actually just added a continuing one, and I'm signed up for it. So I'm desperately trying to remeber everything from 2 years ago. LOL.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-17-2010, 01:25 AM
The teacher in my highschool left before I could take the class, and it's damn hard to find new ones. You're lucky. :)

bookbuyer
07-17-2010, 02:59 AM
Ya, I'm really grateful that my I have the opportunity. I also have a latin teacher at my school and I studied 2 years of that, along with the 4 years of french. :D

Liosse de Velishaf
07-17-2010, 03:33 AM
Ya, I'm really grateful that my I have the opportunity. I also have a latin teacher at my school and I studied 2 years of that, along with the 4 years of french. :D

Yeah, I took four years of Latin, got three on the AP test, and tested out of my degree language requirements on it. I've heard that many schools are dropping their programs, which is too bad, because it's a very useful language. Never taken French, though.

bookbuyer
07-17-2010, 06:53 AM
Yeah, I took four years of Latin, got three on the AP test, and tested out of my degree language requirements on it. I've heard that many schools are dropping their programs, which is too bad, because it's a very useful language. Never taken French, though.

My school still has it, and I think they're going to keep it for a while yet. I love languages, and hope to become a linguist. :)

Just so I have some japanese in here

nihongo> japanese

kaitie
07-17-2010, 07:18 AM
Eh, I'm not that far along in my degree. I knew a lot less a year ago.


Teach what in only English and to who?

Teach English in English only to Japanese students. Sorry, I forget sometimes people in other parts of the forum I don't frequent know less about me lol. I'm an English teacher.

I took French for three years in high school and continued practicing and using it myself in college and was pretty darn good. I could read and write fluently. Then I started learning Japanese and forgot everything! Now I can't even do the basics lol.

I definitely think it's a shame schools are cutting back on language programs. I'm of the opinion that we need to have required language classes starting in junior high at the latest in America.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-17-2010, 07:50 AM
My district required a language from kindergarten--six years Spanish by the fifth grade--but as you can imagine it didn't take too well with most people.


Kaitie, that's kind of what I figured, but I wanted to be sure. I'm a little ambivalent about that methid of teaching language, but I bet your presentation would have been fascinating.


Bookbuyer, that's awesome. It's kind of tough finding jobs in strictly linguistic fields right now, but that will probably change some as the economy gets better.

What stage did you reach in your studies two years ago?

bookbuyer
07-17-2010, 09:28 AM
I had learned hirigana and katakana.

And the vocab for these:

the weather
numbers
family members
greeting and partings
months
days of the week
time

I think that's it. I remember most of the hirigana, almost none of the katakana, and vaguely remember some of the above vocab.

I remember there was also some miscellanious words like for hobbies and general everyday items, but I'm a little foggy. I'm going to be learning kanji this year. (YIKES) :)

Neurotic
07-17-2010, 09:49 AM
People always seem to get nervous at the prospect of learning kanji. But don't forget, little kids learn it in Japan just fine. ;)

What I do is make up a bunch of flash cards. Makes me sound like a super-dork, I know, but I'd rather be a dork than fail my exams. Once I have my flash cards, I can use them during ad breaks when I'm watching TV, take them on the bus with me or whatever. Repetition. Seriously.

And remember, it could always be worse. For Chinese I have to remember about 5 times the number of characters I do for Japanese. Chin up. :)

mario_c
07-17-2010, 10:01 AM
People always seem to get nervous at the prospect of learning kanji. But don't forget, little kids learn it in Japan just fine. ;)Thanks, I feel better about that now. :D


What I do is make up a bunch of flash cards. Makes me sound like a super-dork, I know, but I'd rather be a dork than fail my exams. Once I have my flash cards, I can use them during ad breaks when I'm watching TV, take them on the bus with me or whatever. Repetition. Seriously.

And remember, it could always be worse. For Chinese I have to remember about 5 times the number of characters I do for Japanese. Chin up. :)Flash card studying is a long and noble practice. Great way to spend a boring lunch break at the job. Keep it up!
I've been playing with this online reader thingy. (http://nihongo.j-talk.com/kanji/) It's sort of a lame cheat program, but it's nice casual practice - I do have actual books on Kanji / Hiragana / Katakana and a Japanese/English dictionary that I peruse to try to look up the odd character but damn, it's stressful.
OT?: The Chinese version is here (http://www.thechinesereader.com/xiaolongbao/public/pinyinize). Also got a few books on that...

bookbuyer
07-17-2010, 10:13 AM
I also use the flashcard system, and I'm getting a head start on learning the kanji before hand. I hope that this will help me in the end. :)

Neurotic
07-17-2010, 10:16 AM
Any time. :D

Yeah, looking stuff up character-by-character can take forever. I have a little widget on my computer which, while it doesn't give the smoothest translations possible, it's good enough to give me the general gist.

Something I keep meaning to get my greedy hands on are children's books. They tend to be pretty simple, and they're good practice for comprehension in context.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-17-2010, 10:33 AM
This program will take you through the kana, and then the first 80 kanji they teach first-graders in Japan:

http://www.youtube.com/user/HIDETCHI#g/c/2199D5FD36782640

You can start wherever you want.

Also, for learning kanji with flashcards: http://ichi2.net/anki/

You'll have to find and download the proper decks, but it's not hard. The application is based on the theory of spaced repetition, which says that there's a most effective time period between each use of an individual flashcard. There's lots of customizable settings, and you can pick your speed. Most of the kanji decks associate the kanji with its english meaning, and not the Japanese word in kana. That may or may not be advantageous for some people. It's not so good for writing, though.


This is a good guide to basic grammar, and once you've got kana down, it's also useful for learning to read kanji, because it puts very few words in romaji.

http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar

Here's a reasonably cheap program that teaches kana, and all the other basics on bookbuyer's list plus more and some culture lessons. It's one of the better applications out there for beginners, and it includes spoken Japanese in the vocab quizzes, and all written Japanese in the program can be clicked on to hear a native reading.

It's quite impressive for the low price: roughly $20. Unfortunately, it's only available for Windows or ipod/iphone. Also, I've talked to the developer, and he's a pretty nice guy. There's supposed to be a second installment coming out sometime soon.

http://www.humanjapanese.com/home.html

Neurotic's kanji converter is also pretty cool. (Bookmarked).

kaitie
07-17-2010, 06:15 PM
I wish they'd always teach kanji from the beginning. People would be a lot less intimidated, especially by the first few hundred you learn. They're pretty easy. :)

Anyway really, don't let it worry you. Kanji is actually a lot of fun and makes it easier to read, believe it or not.

Something that really helped me was always writing with kanji even when I didn't need to. That was just me, though. I also used flashcards. You can also get kanji games on the DS if you happen to have one. :D

shawkins
07-17-2010, 06:46 PM
私日本語話せるよ! 上手じゃないけどできるよ。読むほうが上手だ。実は、話せることが一番難しいことだ。 私の日本語がちょっと高校生っぽいということだ。。。漢字が全然大丈夫なのに。

Would you believe I'm doing this at the moment? You can have the first few pages if you'd like. I probably won't do the whole novel, though, and certainly not the entire trilogy, not unless someone's paying me to do it. ;) I'm turning the first chapter into a translating sample, though.


Totemo kinshoo desu.

Watakushi wa daigakkoo de gogakkimei nihongo o benkyoo shimashita. 1990 goro kara san hyaku kanji ga wakarimashita. Kyoo wa, san kanji ga wakarimasu. 'Sigh' wa nihongo de nan too iimasu ka?

kaitie
07-17-2010, 06:57 PM
Sigh wa tameiki wo tsuku da. ja, sore ga doushi. meishi wa tameiki dake da.

I want to say there's another, simpler way to say that, but I can't for the life of me remember right now. It's something I heard not all that long ago and remembered thinking, "Hey that's useful." Then I apparently forgot. :tongue

Liosse de Velishaf
07-18-2010, 12:11 AM
There's too many different transliteration systems for japanese. For insatnce, I'm used to long vowels being "ou" and "ei", but shawkins seems to be most familiar with "oo" and "ei".

Bartholomew
07-18-2010, 03:51 AM
Romanji is handy when you have no other way of doing it.

私は日本語を話すなあ。 Sigh.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-18-2010, 05:46 AM
Romanji is handy when you have no other way of doing it.

私は日本語を話すなあ。 Sigh.

Romaji is handy, except there's about eight different transliterations in circulation.

Bartholomew
07-18-2010, 06:11 AM
Romaji is handy, except there's about eight different transliterations in circulation.

Hence what I said...

kaitie
07-18-2010, 07:45 AM
I have a really tough time reading romaji. Then again, even when I first started we didn't use romaji. We did hiragana pretty much off the bat. I have to sit down and figure out which kanji goes with the romaji before I get it lol. Yeah, I'm kinda weird like that. Then again, I do that in general. When someone's speaking to me they can give me a word I don't know and I'll be so confused until I figure out the kanji for it, then it just clicks.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-18-2010, 08:10 AM
I have a really tough time reading romaji. Then again, even when I first started we didn't use romaji. We did hiragana pretty much off the bat. I have to sit down and figure out which kanji goes with the romaji before I get it lol. Yeah, I'm kinda weird like that. Then again, I do that in general. When someone's speaking to me they can give me a word I don't know and I'll be so confused until I figure out the kanji for it, then it just clicks.


Sound it out. ;)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-18-2010, 08:15 AM
Hence what I said...


To be honest, I'm not really sure what "naa" means in that context.

Or did you meant to type "hanasanai"?

shawkins
07-18-2010, 09:34 AM
Romanji is handy when you have no other way of doing it.

私は日本語を話すなあ。 Sigh.



I have a really tough time reading romaji. Then again, even when I first started we didn't use romaji. We did hiragana pretty much off the bat. I have to sit down and figure out which kanji goes with the romaji before I get it lol. Yeah, I'm kinda weird like that. Then again, I do that in general. When someone's speaking to me they can give me a word I don't know and I'll be so confused until I figure out the kanji for it, then it just clicks.


There's too many different transliteration systems for japanese. For insatnce, I'm used to long vowels being "ou" and "ei", but shawkins seems to be most familiar with "oo" and "ei".

Fair point, and sorry. I still read hiragana OK, I just couldn't find a good way to type it in. Where are you guys getting your Japanese word processors?

kaitie
07-18-2010, 09:39 AM
No worries. :) I can deal with romaji, it's just harder.

Windows comes automatically with a converter. If you tell me which kind you have, I can try to help you set it up. It isn't hard. I haven't had to do it in years, but I should remember. :)

Fulk
07-18-2010, 09:40 AM
Fair point, and sorry. I still read hiragana OK, I just couldn't find a good way to type it in. Where are you guys getting your Japanese word processors?

You don't need a Japanese word processor to type it, just follow the instructions here: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185976 :D

日本語が楽しいです。

Liosse de Velishaf
07-18-2010, 09:43 AM
What OS are you running? I've got Windows, so I used the same method described in the sticky thread at the top of the forum to install it.

shawkins
07-18-2010, 09:54 AM
Windows comes automatically with a converter. If you tell me which kind you have, I can try to help you set it up. It isn't hard. I haven't had to do it in years, but I should remember. :)

< boggles > No kidding? Heh. I had absolutely no idea. You kids today with your new-fangled technology.


What OS are you running? I've got Windows, so I used the same method described in the sticky thread at the top of the forum to install it.

Proving yet again that you're never too old to RTFM. My bad, sorry.

shawkins
07-18-2010, 10:24 PM
Argh. I'm running Vista home premium, which has apparently been intentionally crippled by the jerks at Microsoft to prevent their product from being useful. No Japanese support without an upgrade to Vista ultimate.

Edit: あえいおう - Linux FTW!

Liosse de Velishaf
07-19-2010, 12:25 AM
Argh. I'm running Vista home premium, which has apparently been intentionally crippled by the jerks at Microsoft to prevent their product from being useful. No Japanese support without an upgrade to Vista ultimate.

Edit: あえいおう - Linux FTW!



Where are you getting your info, because as I said in the sticky, I've got Home Premium, and you've seen me use Japanese support.

shawkins
07-19-2010, 01:00 AM
Where are you getting your info, because as I said in the sticky, I've got Home Premium, and you've seen me use Japanese support.

Erm...microsoft.com?

Liosse de Velishaf
07-19-2010, 02:27 AM
I don't know then... Maybe I downloaded a service pack, or something... But I know I didn't pay anything.

Dawnstorm
07-19-2010, 09:22 AM
Let's see if it works:

たぬき

Yay! That was quite an odyssey, though. First, I had to install the support to make the keyboard settings show up. Then they did, and I set the keyboard, all excited to type a little hiragana (even though my Japanese is abysmally bad to non-existent). Nothing.

I checked all the settings, and it should have been okay. It took me a while to find out that the "JP" sign in the task bar wasn't all I get. I expanded that and found that "input mode" was set to "direct input" instead of "hiragana", even though the settings specifically say that it should be set to "hiragana" (googling says that it's a bug under Windows XP, which I am running).

And while I'm at it, the word I typed ( たぬき) does not translate to "racoon" (even though I see this translation very often). It's "racoon dog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon_Dog)"! I can understand that people translate it as "racoon", since few westerners know that animal and western "racoon" fits the trickster figure pretty well. It still annoys me, though. (Then, what's "racoon" in Japanese? I have a hunch it might just be ラクン or something like that, since it's not a native animal.)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-19-2010, 11:28 AM
The word is アライグマ. And in romaji: "araiguma". There used to be a big import of racoons into Japan, so they had to have a word.

Dawnstorm
07-19-2010, 11:50 AM
The word is アライグマ. And in romaji: "araiguma". There used to be a big import of racoons into Japan, so they had to have a word.

Thank you. Hm... "Guma" = "Kuma"? Does "araiguma" translate loosly to "washing bear" (which would be what it's called in German, "Waschbär".) (Googles: that seems to be the case (http://kanji.dainet.pl/find/components?query=%E3%81%82%E3%82%89%E3%81%84%E3%81 %90%E3%81%BE&commit=Search#fragment1). Interesting. Thanks.)

Bartholomew
07-19-2010, 04:20 PM
To be honest, I'm not really sure what "naa" means in that context.

Or did you meant to type "hanasanai"?

I haven't even tried with Japanese since I was, like, five. :)

And anyway, I was referencing what I'd said in English. Because I don't trust my Japanese beyond its modest ability to earn me dirty looks, and if I'm lucky, directions to the water closet.

bookbuyer
07-24-2010, 04:02 PM
It seems that everyone has left the nihongo thread. :cry:

Well I'll start it up again. I'm still studying japanese. Only got about 6 weeks left, till I go back to school. :evil

I'm currently doing summer school and am loving it. (she says sarcastically) But only have a week left. :D

Now for some japanese that I've remembered. Depending on where your from and what time of day it is I'll give you a warm welcome.

Ohayo gozaimasu - good morning! :welcome:

Konnichiwa - good afternoon/good day :Sun:

Konbawa - good evening :hi:

and lastly

anata wa nihongo o hanashimaska - do you speak japanese?

I know a little more but thought I'd stop here.

Everyone you need to come back. This thread is very lonely! :flag:

Dawnstorm
07-24-2010, 04:36 PM
anata wa nihongo o hanashimaska - do you speak japanese?

Your sentence reminds me of a question I have:

I'm watching a lot of anime in the original, and I'm at a point where I start to reliably detect the borders of words (lol). But it seems to me, I hardly ever hear "anata". Sometimes I hear "kimi" (especially "kimi ni" [for you]). But if people ask others whether they want something or do something I keep hearing the name rather than "You". So, if you knew you were talking to me, you might have said:


Dawnstorm wa nihongo o hanashimasuka?

If you were talking to a general audience you might say:


Mina wa nihongo o hanashimasuka?

(Mind you, I don't really speak Japanese, so I don't know if "mina" can be used that way - that is addressing everybody but still allowing for individual answers rather than one that's valid for all. It's just that my lack of Japanese doesn't allow me to come up with a better word.)

Of course, you might just leave out the subject altogether:


Nihongo o hanashimasuka?

So here's the question: how do I handle that? How do I refer to someone when talking to him/her? How do I pose a general question to an unspecified audience? Things like that. (For example, how common is using the name of the person you're speaking with instead of "you" in real life? Have I just picked up on an excentricism? It does seem to be more common in Japanese to replace pronouns ["I", to a lesser extent, too] with names than it is in all Western languages I know.)

I hope I'm not spreading nonsense here. As I said, I don't really speak Japanese.

bookbuyer
07-24-2010, 05:04 PM
Well I'm a newb a japanese too, but my guess would be that it has to do with formalitiy.

My assumption and anyone who actually knows can jump in and stop me, is that anata would be a more formal way of saying it, also maybe it's used if you are unaware of the person's name?

I honestly have no clue, but thought I'd throw that suggestion out there. :)

*** Oh and what kind of anime do you watch dawnstorm. I also watch a lot of anime, and am acutally currently watching bleach as I type this.

Dawnstorm
07-24-2010, 05:29 PM
Well I'm a newb a japanese too, but my guess would be that it has to do with formalitiy.

My assumption and anyone who actually knows can jump in and stop me, is that anata would be a more formal way of saying it, also maybe it's used if you are unaware of the person's name?

I honestly have no clue, but thought I'd throw that suggestion out there. :)

Looks like you're right. I found an interesting site, researching this topic a bit: here (http://www.timwerx.net/language/namesuffixes.htm)



Now, let's get back to you. Again, "you" normally wouldn't be used when speaking to an individual when his or her name is known. If I wanted to ask my student Hiroki if he did his homework, the literal translation of the English sentence "Hiroki, did you do your homework?" would be: "Hiroki, anata wa anata no shukudai o shimashita ka", where anata is used for "you." This Japanese would be understood, of course, but would also sound very stiff, formal, and very odd. A native Japanese speaker would never use this kind of construction. The natural Japanese would be:"Hiroki-kun wa shukudai o shimashita ka," where the name of the person is used in place of the subject you. So, even though I used anata in Lesson 9 of Japanese Verbs, it is seldom actually used in daily conversational Japanese.
It's when speaking to groups that "you" becomes useful. Anatatachi could be used, but it conveys a certain distance, even displeasure: a teacher reprimanding a class might use this. So, the one left would be kimitachi, which shows familiarity, even some affection, toward the group concerned. There may be a certain feeling of "being talked down to" when kimi or kimitachi is used, but as long as the situation and the relationship between speaker and listener(s) warrants it and makes it sound natural, there's no problem. When I first came to Japan and was only several years older than my students, I really didn't feel comfortable using kimitachi, but now that I'm old enough to be their father it feels very natural and fitting. I would not use this with a class of people my age or older, I'd probably use mina-san (everyone), which is the best choice when talking to large, mixed groups.
Interesting, isn't it?



*** Oh and what kind of anime do you watch dawnstorm. I also watch a lot of anime, and am acutally currently watching bleach as I type this.Taste alert:

Eternal place in my heart:

Noir
Elfen Lied
Kimi Ni Todoke
Clannad/Clannad After Story
School Rumble
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Working!
Haibane Renmei

Remember with affection:

.hack/signs
Wolf Rain
Scrapped Princess
Samurai Champloo
Welcome to the NHK
Chobits
Fruitsbasket
Silent Möbius
Basilisk
Shigofumi
Time of Eve
Spice and Wolf
...

Great when it's great, dull when it's not:

Ergo Proxy

I've never watched Bleach, so I can't really talk about it.

bookbuyer
07-24-2010, 05:49 PM
Taste alert:

Eternal place in my heart:

Noir
Elfen Lied
Kimi Ni Todoke
Clannad/Clannad After Story
School Rumble
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Working!
Haibane Renmei

Remember with affection:

.hack/signs
Wolf Rain
Scrapped Princess
Samurai Champloo
Welcome to the NHK
Chobits
Fruitsbasket
Silent Möbius
Basilisk
Shigofumi
Time of Eve
Spice and Wolf
...

Great when it's great, dull when it's not:

Ergo Proxy

I've never watched Bleach, so I can't really talk about it.[/QUOTE]

I've watched a few of the same anime, and I've heard of most of the rest. I've watched and read Fruits Backet and Kimi no Todoke. I also watched Elfen Lied, but it was too much of a horror movie for me. I'm more into the shoujo stuff.

I have heart of at least half of the other anime you mentioned. I haven't been watching as much anime in the recent months and instead have been reading manga instead. Bleach is a relatively new anime and is aimed at a younger audience. So you might not have heard of it, I only started to watch it reacently. It's really cool to have some other people to talk to about anime and manga, when I talk to my friends and family about it, they just give me this look that says 'what the hell are you talking about.' :roll:

Anyway, the info you gave about the anata seems cool, I'm going to look it over later, see what it's all about. :poke: (Sorry really felt like putting this emoticon in, don't know why. :))

Ehab.Ahmed
07-24-2010, 06:14 PM
It's so nice to see so many people who know Japanese or are trying to learn it :) I'm learning it, as well. I'm still having a hard time talking like a native and using the appropriate words and verbs.

I still don't know how to properly use 'hodo' and 'shimau'.

Mina-san, ganbareranakya dame!

Liosse de Velishaf
07-24-2010, 11:37 PM
Looks like you're right. I found an interesting site, researching this topic a bit: here (http://www.timwerx.net/language/namesuffixes.htm)


Interesting, isn't it?


Taste alert:

Eternal place in my heart:

Noir
Elfen Lied
Kimi Ni Todoke
Clannad/Clannad After Story
School Rumble
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Working!
Haibane Renmei

Remember with affection:

.hack/signs
Wolf Rain
Scrapped Princess
Samurai Champloo
Welcome to the NHK
Chobits
Fruitsbasket
Silent Möbius
Basilisk
Shigofumi
Time of Eve
Spice and Wolf
...

Great when it's great, dull when it's not:

Ergo Proxy

I've never watched Bleach, so I can't really talk about it.




On the subject of "anata", you don't use that word very often. You'll notice in anime that it is often translated as "dear". One use is as a way for wife's to refer to their husbands, and the othr main one is on forms where the question must directly address the reader--basically when's it's impossible to know their name or address them otherwise.

The most common appropriate way to refer to someone is using their last name and whatever subject, or just not using anything.



I've bolded the anime I've seen and enjoyed. Shigofumi and Haibane Renmei are in my top five, along with Planetes, Twin Spica, and Serial Experiments Lain. I also liked:

Narutaru
Last Exile
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Kino's Journey
Uta Kata
Eve no Jikan
Eden of the East
Now and Then, Here and There

And a bunch more.

Ehab.Ahmed
07-25-2010, 12:20 AM
Hmmm, may I cut in? lol. I see strange Anime in that list. Where are the mainstream ones? Like Bleach (I know you already mentioned it), Naruto, and One Piece? Personally, One Piece is one of the best Anime out there. It's light, funny, and just beautiful. Naruto, hmmm, I think it's up to you to decide if it's good or not :tongue

Now, Anime I've seen and loved (if I'm not intruding enough as it is) are:
1-Elfen Lied. Yup, bloody, gory, and absolutely beautiful.
2-Death Note. Hmmm, one of the best mature Anime around.
3-Fullmetal Alchemist & Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. God, just absolutely breathtaking!

I guess this will have to do for now... Kore de ii to omou. Jaa na ;)

Dawnstorm
07-25-2010, 12:31 AM
On the subject of "anata", you don't use that word very often. You'll notice in anime that it is often translated as "dear". One use is as a way for wife's to refer to their husbands, and the othr main one is on forms where the question must directly address the reader--basically when's it's impossible to know their name or address them otherwise.

The most common appropriate way to refer to someone is using their last name and whatever subject, or just not using anything.

Thanks! I find the wife --> husband use interesting. It's not immediately apparent.


I also watched Elfen Lied, but it was too much of a horror movie for me.

Yup. Elfen Lied is very graphic when it comes to violence. But at heart, it's a tragedy. Also, not all bit-players are bullies, and not all kindness is rewarded. It's very complex and psychologically plausible that way. I can very easily see how the violence can put you off, though. It's pretty bad at times (not gross so much [there's worse] as harrowing).


Bleach is a relatively new anime and is aimed at a younger audience. So you might not have heard of it, I only started to watch it reacently.

I know it exists, and I can imagine what the portraits of the main characters look like, even now; but that's all. I'm wary of what I think are endless series (with 100+ episodes). For example, I tend to like the 12 to 26 bracket (maybe spread across seasons). I might have enjoyed the various Narutos, or maybe Inuyasha; but there's no way I'm going to make that time investment. There must be over 200 Bleach episodes already... It's daunting. That's pretty much the reason I didn't pay much attention to it.


I've bolded the anime I've seen and enjoyed. Shigofumi and Haibane Renmei are in my top five, along with Planetes, Twin Spica, and Serial Experiments Lain. I also liked:

Narutaru
Last Exile
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Kino's Journey
Uta Kata
Eve no Jikan
Eden of the East
Now and Then, Here and There

And a bunch more.

Shigofumi would be much higher on my list (though I don't really have a top X), if it didn't have those annoying talking staves. They must be in my top 1 of out-of-place mascots that ruin a show. The only reason they didn't ruin the show for me was because the show's brilliant to begin with.

Eve no Jikan, if I'm not mistaken, is Time of Eve (no?).

I've always wanted to watch Lain. Never heard of Twin Spica (gonna look it up). I haven't yet seen Planetes - heard lots of good things about it so maybe I should put it on my list. (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Now and then, Here and there - are already on it.) Kino's Journey sounds familiar.

***

Also, language/culture related (anime):

Has anyone seen Ai Yori Aoshi? It's basically a story about an arranged marriage. When the story starts the male protagonist has been disinherited - so the marriage is called off; but the female protagonist won't hear of it and insists on marrying him. What ensues is a "hidden" love affair between the two. It's very interesting to watch this show. How the female protagonist goes through the entire show calling her arranged future husband "sama" all the time - and nobody ever remarks on it (not even in environments or among people where this must sound odd). All the elements in the story are familiar romance stuff (e.g. the protect you [m]/take care of you [f] trope in romance; kindness as an important value; childhood friends; breaking ties is not something you take lightly...), but they come together in a way that's a bit surprising for this gaijin.

Ehab.Ahmed
07-25-2010, 01:19 AM
Also, language/culture related (anime):

Has anyone seen Ai Yori Aoshi? It's basically a story about an arranged marriage. When the story starts the male protagonist has been disinherited - so the marriage is called off; but the female protagonist won't hear of it and insists on marrying him. What ensues is a "hidden" love affair between the two. It's very interesting to watch this show. How the female protagonist goes through the entire show calling her arranged future husband "sama" all the time - and nobody ever remarks on it (not even in environments or among people where this must sound odd). All the elements in the story are familiar romance stuff (e.g. the protect you [m]/take care of you [f] trope in romance; kindness as an important value; childhood friends; breaking ties is not something you take lightly...), but they come together in a way that's a bit surprising for this gaijin.
I have :) It was a wonderful Anime. It was one of those realistic, down-to-earth romantic Anime. I loved it. Has anyone seen Lovely Complex? It's a romantic comedy. It's heavy on the comedy side, but it also has a lot of romance in it. It discusses a theme which I find very interesting: Does love transcend social and physical looks barriers?

Liosse de Velishaf
07-25-2010, 01:39 AM
Thanks! I find the wife --> husband use interesting. It's not immediately apparent.


I know it exists, and I can imagine what the portraits of the main characters look like, even now; but that's all. I'm wary of what I think are endless series (with 100+ episodes). For example, I tend to like the 12 to 26 bracket (maybe spread across seasons). I might have enjoyed the various Narutos, or maybe Inuyasha; but there's no way I'm going to make that time investment. There must be over 200 Bleach episodes already... It's daunting. That's pretty much the reason I didn't pay much attention to it.



Shigofumi would be much higher on my list (though I don't really have a top X), if it didn't have those annoying talking staves. They must be in my top 1 of out-of-place mascots that ruin a show. The only reason they didn't ruin the show for me was because the show's brilliant to begin with.

Eve no Jikan, if I'm not mistaken, is Time of Eve (no?).

I've always wanted to watch Lain. Never heard of Twin Spica (gonna look it up). I haven't yet seen Planetes - heard lots of good things about it so maybe I should put it on my list. (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Now and then, Here and there - are already on it.) Kino's Journey sounds familiar.

***

Also, language/culture related (anime):



Bleach was okay for the first 50 or so eps, but longer series tend to get crappy fast. It's also a standard shounen fighting anime, which means it's not incredible to begin with.

The staves in Shigofumi were definitely out of place. My only real downer for that show. But it managed to get past them, which makes it even more impressive.

Twin Spica is a little bit odd, so it might not rate as high on the lists of people other than me.

I guess we're a tad off topic here, but oh well.

bookbuyer
07-25-2010, 06:25 AM
I'm not at all surprised that most of you don't like bleach. Your preferred type of anime seems to be ones that somewhat require you to think, which is awesome. I really had a hard time getting into bleach too at first, but I have absolutely nothing to do this summer and so when your faced with countless hours in a day, you'd do crazy things too. Even I'm thinking right now that it's getting a bit long, there are several times where they could have wrapped it up, but at the same time, it seems to still have a little spark that interests me.

***It seems we kinda have gotten off the japanese topic, but I think it's kinda a good segue because we're kinda exploring the cultural aspect. In fact I think it would be a good idea to discuss some of the more relevant japanese culture that people have encountered, especially for those of us who are hoping to go to japan in the future, from those who have already been there. :D ***

Neurotic
07-25-2010, 06:47 AM
Admittedly this was 10 years ago, but in 9 months in Japan, the only anime I encountered were the kids' shows my little nephew fancied. None of my adult friends were particularly into it.

I was more exposed to the old-fashioned culture. Like my personal hell -- onsen. Compared to public bathing, the self-consciousness I felt at the idea of singing in public was nothing.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-25-2010, 06:53 AM
I don't not like Bleach, it's just an average show in general. I don't mind watching it if it comes on AS late at night, especially if it's one of the earlier eps. But it's not high on my list of favorites. Same for stuff like Kekkaishi(which is worse) or Inuyasha, or a lot of the shows AS airs. They're young boy shows, and I'm not a young boy. ;)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-25-2010, 06:58 AM
Admittedly this was 10 years ago, but in 9 months in Japan, the only anime I encountered were the kids' shows my little nephew fancied. None of my adult friends were particularly into it.

I was more exposed to the old-fashioned culture. Like my personal hell -- onsen. Compared to public bathing, the self-consciousness I felt at the idea of singing in public was nothing.


To be fair, anime is much more popular in Japan, but it's still a subculture thing. You read manga or watch anime in Japan as a normal high school student say, and you get made fun of a lot. "Akiba-kei" I believe is one of the more commonly leveled taunts, from Akihabara, where all the geeks are. It's got nothing to do with the real meaning of the term, but bullying in Japanese schools is pretty bad.


Neurotic, I would have no idea what to do at an onsen. It's just not part of American culture, really.

Neurotic
07-25-2010, 07:09 AM
I had no idea either. It's not what you might call part of NZ culture. :)

When I went to one, it was almost always in the company of an older (by which I mean over 40) family member or friend. And at the insistence of. I'm not a person who wakes up in the morning and thinks, I'd like to sit in warm water with a bunch of other naked people. Pretty much, the idea was as long as you remembered to wash before you got in, and didn't stare at the other bathers, then you're doing it right.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-25-2010, 07:24 AM
I had no idea either. It's not what you might call part of NZ culture. :)

When I went to one, it was almost always in the company of an older (by which I mean over 40) family member or friend. And at the insistence of. I'm not a person who wakes up in the morning and thinks, I'd like to sit in warm water with a bunch of other naked people. Pretty much, the idea was as long as you remembered to wash before you got in, and didn't stare at the other bathers, then you're doing it right.


Yeah, sounds boring. :(

Neurotic
07-25-2010, 07:42 AM
Fair enough, but really it depends on the kind of things you're interested in. You're still having conversations, just like you would if you and your friend were sitting in a cafe. It's just a different setting. Personally, I preferred things like visiting temples, castles and shrines. Other people I knew liked the onsen. Yet others couldn't get enough of karaoke.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-25-2010, 09:23 AM
Yeah. I'd enjoy visiting castles, shrines and temples, and I'd probably even be okay with karaoke, though I can't sing for anything. But I don't see any particular advantage to naked bathing as a conversation setting, so it wouldn't be worth the effort of getting outside of my cultural comfort zone.

Dawnstorm
07-25-2010, 02:21 PM
Hmmm, may I cut in? lol. I see strange Anime in that list. Where are the mainstream ones? Like Bleach (I know you already mentioned it), Naruto, and One Piece? Personally, One Piece is one of the best Anime out there. It's light, funny, and just beautiful. Naruto, hmmm, I think it's up to you to decide if it's good or not :tongue

Well, as I said, I don't normally watch anything that goes on for too many episodes. I've seen a bit of One Piece (but only of the German dubbed version). I don't really like the art-style, and it's a bit too "loud" for my taste. (I have the same problems, even worse, with anything DragonballZ; which I can't even watch five minutes of. By comparison I made it through a couple of episodes of One Piece; I just never feel like coming back.) Naruto I could watch and enjoy. Naruto himself annoys me, but there are plenty of interesting characters to make up for it. Here, I'm not watching it, mostly because it's not good enough to merit the time investment.

Thinking of those shows, makes me think that, maybe, I should have a watch/enjoy/forget category. Good fun, but doesn't really hold my interest beyond a past time. Better anime in that category would be (for me) Chrono Crusade, Asura Crying or Letter Bee. All quality shows that don't really stick with me.


I have :) It was a wonderful Anime. It was one of those realistic, down-to-earth romantic Anime. I loved it.

I enjoyed it, too, even if it's not among my favourites. (I compare the show to stuff like True Tears, Myself, Yourself, or White Album.) The reason I mentioned Ai Yori Aoshi, specifically, is that - with this show - I was pretty much always aware that this is a foreign culture. Watching it felt... odd. It's hard to explain.

Anime has certain recurring themes. The romance genre (and especially the harem sub-type) tend to be focussed around teen-boy fantasies. It knows it's target audience well, and I kind of got used to the tropes, even if I initially found it embarrassing to watch (there are no other couples, usually). In the case of Ai Yori Aoshi the fantasy in question appears to be: "Wouldn't it be nice if you had a girlfriend who is totally devoted to you and does everything for you, just like our traditions suggest?" And here's what throws me off. As a Westerner, the sort of devotion Aoi (the female maincharacter) displays is both embarrassing (I should be able to take care of myself and not place the entire burden on my partner) and scary (in return, she'll turn the relationship into a prison - familiar from Western relationships, too). But there's something else going on in the background, and that's upbringing. There's more to Aoi than just passive aggressive devotion. She's basically been raised to serve her husband; and she's been introduced to him early in life. And this cross-pollinates with the childhood-friend trope in anime: the bond they forged remains, even though the arranged marriage is called off. Oddly, though, the tempted-by-other-girls angle, though there, is pushed into the background, and the main thematic conflict is upper-class expectations vs. affection. This throughly permeates the show and somehow it all comes together in a way that constantly reminds me that this is not a culture I've grown up in. I'm kind of left out. It's a unique anime experience for me. (I'm really not sure whether any of this makes much sense; as I said, it's hard to explain.)


Has anyone seen Lovely Complex? It's a romantic comedy. It's heavy on the comedy side, but it also has a lot of romance in it. It discusses a theme which I find very interesting: Does love transcend social and physical looks barriers?

It's on my to-watch list. :)


The staves in Shigofumi were definitely out of place. My only real downer for that show. But it managed to get past them, which makes it even more impressive.

Definitely. I love the show, and - with the staves - that's quite an accomplishment.


I guess we're a tad off topic here, but oh well.


***It seems we kinda have gotten off the japanese topic, but I think it's kinda a good segue because we're kinda exploring the cultural aspect. In fact I think it would be a good idea to discuss some of the more relevant japanese culture that people have encountered, especially for those of us who are hoping to go to japan in the future, from those who have already been there. :D ***

That. I'm not actively learning Japanese, actually. But I'm still getting better, just because of watching anime. I make a point of seeking out original versions. The first anime in Japanese I saw was Silent Möbius, on a Swiss TV station. It's become easier to get access to Japanese language shows with dvds and fansubs online. Anime is the easiest source of Japanese outside of textbooks for me. I have two university semester of Japanes (not an in-depth course, though) under my belt, which is barely enough to help me improve; but I need exposure to the language.

Think of talking about "anime" as motivation. :)

***

Onsen vs. karaoke? *Shudders at the idea of both* With karaoke it's embarrassment. With the onsen it's the terror of unwittingly offending some taboo about hygiene (like wearing the wrong slippers or something).

I was never good at any of this stuff in my own culture. (Anxiety attack.)

bookbuyer
07-25-2010, 02:29 PM
Just the thought of public bathing would make me run for the hills. I'm really not comfortable seeing other naked people, particularly lots of naked people who I have never ment before.

Karaoke would probably be fun, for me, but everyone else I was with would probably wish that they had brought ear plugs. (tone deaf, who me?)

One of the things I would like to try is an anime convention, but probably one of the smaller ones. I don't particularly like crowds, but it would be really cool to go and see that whole other culture. :D

Ehab.Ahmed
07-25-2010, 03:44 PM
I enjoyed it, too, even if it's not among my favourites. (I compare the show to stuff like True Tears, Myself, Yourself, or White Album.) The reason I mentioned Ai Yori Aoshi, specifically, is that - with this show - I was pretty much always aware that this is a foreign culture. Watching it felt... odd. It's hard to explain.

Anime has certain recurring themes. The romance genre (and especially the harem sub-type) tend to be focussed around teen-boy fantasies. It knows it's target audience well, and I kind of got used to the tropes, even if I initially found it embarrassing to watch (there are no other couples, usually). In the case of Ai Yori Aoshi the fantasy in question appears to be: "Wouldn't it be nice if you had a girlfriend who is totally devoted to you and does everything for you, just like our traditions suggest?" And here's what throws me off. As a Westerner, the sort of devotion Aoi (the female maincharacter) displays is both embarrassing (I should be able to take care of myself and not place the entire burden on my partner) and scary (in return, she'll turn the relationship into a prison - familiar from Western relationships, too). But there's something else going on in the background, and that's upbringing. There's more to Aoi than just passive aggressive devotion. She's basically been raised to serve her husband; and she's been introduced to him early in life. And this cross-pollinates with the childhood-friend trope in anime: the bond they forged remains, even though the arranged marriage is called off. Oddly, though, the tempted-by-other-girls angle, though there, is pushed into the background, and the main thematic conflict is upper-class expectations vs. affection. This throughly permeates the show and somehow it all comes together in a way that constantly reminds me that this is not a culture I've grown up in. I'm kind of left out. It's a unique anime experience for me. (I'm really not sure whether any of this makes much sense; as I said, it's hard to explain.)
)
Interesting. Yes, I can relate to what you experienced, even though I didn't think too deep about it while watching. Maybe because I was raised in a similar environment where certain expectations are expected of women towards their husbands. You might not get it, but that's what's cool about it: you get to experience, and possibly understand, other cultures.

Fulk
07-26-2010, 07:50 AM
But I don't see any particular advantage to naked bathing as a conversation setting, so it wouldn't be worth the effort of getting outside of my cultural comfort zone.

While I'm with you on the fact that public bathing is far beyond my comfort zone, I see a distinct advantage from a communications standpoint: if I could manage to hold a conversation while naked and soaking in hot water, amongst dozens of other naked people, I don't think imagining people in their underwear while giving speeches would ever be necessary again.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-26-2010, 09:26 AM
While I'm with you on the fact that public bathing is far beyond my comfort zone, I see a distinct advantage from a communications standpoint: if I could manage to hold a conversation while naked and soaking in hot water, amongst dozens of other naked people, I don't think imagining people in their underwear while giving speeches would ever be necessary again.


You make a good point, but I've found no trick whatsoever will make public speaking easier for me, so I guess I've been screwed by the diversity of the human species. :(

madderblue
07-26-2010, 03:05 PM
わ〜い!Just saw this thread. It feels like I've been on AW for such a long time, but I keep finding new and exciting threads to visit. I've been living in Japan almost twenty years now. 質問があったらどうぞ。日本語はまだまだですけど。。。

madderblue
07-26-2010, 03:07 PM
I had no idea either. It's not what you might call part of NZ culture. :)

When I went to one, it was almost always in the company of an older (by which I mean over 40) family member or friend. And at the insistence of. I'm not a person who wakes up in the morning and thinks, I'd like to sit in warm water with a bunch of other naked people. Pretty much, the idea was as long as you remembered to wash before you got in, and didn't stare at the other bathers, then you're doing it right.

Also be careful not to use other people's soap. I had a friend who sat down to wash and was very upset some old woman was giving her the stink eye. It wasn't until she was in the ofuro that she noticed the woman go over grab *her* soap and washcloth and storm out. Oops.

bookbuyer
07-28-2010, 04:04 AM
I think I would be upset too, if someone strange person was using my soap.

What is soap in japanese? (trying to pick up some vocab) :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-28-2010, 05:30 AM
I think I would be upset too, if someone strange person was using my soap.

What is soap in japanese? (trying to pick up some vocab) :)


石鹸?

bookbuyer
07-28-2010, 05:41 AM
sorry could you write that in hirigana, because at the stage I'm at now, that means absolutely nothing to me. LOL :D

Liosse de Velishaf
07-28-2010, 06:54 AM
sorry could you write that in hirigana, because at the stage I'm at now, that means absolutely nothing to me. LOL :D


せっけん?

madderblue
07-30-2010, 03:51 PM
Yep, sekken. I guess it was a bring-your-own place and she thought it was a soap-provided place.

Also, in Japan body soap (ボデイソープ) Sorry, that's supposed to be a small イ but I'm just switched from PC to Mac and for some reason can't get it to go small for me.

Ehab.Ahmed
07-31-2010, 02:42 PM
Interesting :D

Leanan-Sidhe
07-31-2010, 05:19 PM
How long has this thread been here? I can't believe I was missing out on Japanese language nerdiness.

よろしく、みんな~

Liosse de Velishaf
08-01-2010, 04:04 AM
How long has this thread been here? I can't believe I was missing out on Japanese language nerdiness.

よろしく、みんな~


はじめまして、Leanan-さん。

The thread's been around for 27 days.

Leanan-Sidhe
08-01-2010, 07:43 AM
はじめまして、Leanan-さん。

The thread's been around for 27 days.

I've missed almost a whole month. 困ったなあ。
じゃあ、今からがんばります。 (^_^)

Tocotin
08-01-2010, 10:28 AM
Oh! Me too me too. Hi guys.

御機嫌よう。

Fulk
08-04-2010, 03:45 AM
Yep, sekken. I guess it was a bring-your-own place and she thought it was a soap-provided place.

Also, in Japan body soap (ボデイソープ) Sorry, that's supposed to be a small イ but I'm just switched from PC to Mac and for some reason can't get it to go small for me.

If you figure out how to make a small イ, let me know. I'm also on a Mac and haven't been able to figure it out. I usually just pick it from the kana palette, but that's just inconvenient.

madderblue
08-04-2010, 04:35 AM
I've missed almost a whole month. 困ったなあ。
じゃあ、今からがんばります。 (^_^)

Leanan, do you live in Japan? お互いにがんばりましょう。^^V


Oh! Me too me too. Hi guys.

御機嫌よう。

Tocotin, ah~ I see you're in Tokyo. It's blazing hot here as well. 焼津というちっちゃい町にいま〜す。



If you figure out how to make a small イ, let me know. I'm also on a Mac and haven't been able to figure it out. I usually just pick it from the kana palette, but that's just inconvenient.

I'm glad it's not just me. I think figuring out the small イwill be my on my To Do list today.

Leanan-Sidhe
08-04-2010, 06:26 AM
Leanan, do you live in Japan? お互いにがんばりましょう。^^V


Yep. 九州で英語を教えています。

And I see you're in Yaizu. Yeah, it must be blazing hot. 日本の夏はすごく暑いですね。:Sun:

And for a second I thought, "Hey, I totally know how to do the small イ." Then I realized that was on my cell phone, and I have no idea how to do it from my computer.

Fullback
08-04-2010, 06:42 AM
You would type 'b o d h y' to make the small katakana i in body soap using romaji input. Typing 'b h e' would give you a small katakana e.

madderblue
08-04-2010, 08:28 AM
ボディー!

ありがとう、フールバック!天才かも。:)

I had to type bo d h i (instead of "y"). But that did it.

Dusky
08-04-2010, 09:52 AM
Lucky people! I've always wanted to got to Japan, but 1) I only know a little Japanese (though I'm working on that) and 2) I'm terrified of planes. O_O

Neurotic
08-04-2010, 10:00 AM
I don't suppose anyone knows about sequential devoicing and can explain it to me in very small words? This text book has nothing resembling an explanation.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-04-2010, 10:16 AM
Lucky people! I've always wanted to got to Japan, but 1) I only know a little Japanese (though I'm working on that) and 2) I'm terrified of planes. O_O


You don't need to know Japanese to go to Japan. My two younger cousins went for two weeks and stayed in hostels and toured temples and such, and they don't know a word of the language.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-04-2010, 10:19 AM
I don't suppose anyone knows about sequential devoicing and can explain it to me in very small words? This text book has nothing resembling an explanation.


"Sequential devoicing" of what?

Do you mean devoiced vowels? Or "sequential voicing"/rendaku/連濁?

Fullback
08-04-2010, 10:25 AM
I guess I would describe "sequential devoicing" as simply deemphasizing some vowel sound within a word. I don't know of any rules for it, it seems more like a dialect that people pickup. I acquired it by simple copying the sound and my belief is that it is done for no other reason than it sounds "cool" to do it.

The hard part is that there is no logical order or reason. It just is done for some words. Other words with the same characters may not do it. An analogy would be that the kanji of some places uses one pronunciation, and the same kanji on another location uses a different pronunciation.

For example, the kani 大道 combines the characters and meaning for big and road - Big Road. As a proper noun for some intersection, it may be pronounced daido using the Japanese reading for big and Chinese reading for road. In the adjoining town, the same sign may be read as ohmichi using the Chinese reading for big and Japanese reading for road.

Only the locals know which way it's pronounced and we simply remember it.

"Devoicing" is less common in Kansai and more common in Kanto.

Disclaimer: I am not a linguist. I have just lived in Japan for about 20 years.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-04-2010, 10:48 AM
It's interesting to note that most of my experiece with "whispered" vowels involves /u/ and /i/, and mostly /u/. I've almost never heard other vowels devoiced in Japanese.

It's actually rather hard to switch between voiced and devoiced sounds one after the other, which is why you never see it done with consonants. There's almost always some form of voicing assimilation.

Vowels, however, are almost un-hearable unless they are voiced, so most languages tend to voice most or all of their vowels. But because of the difficulty of changing phonation types between adjacent sounds, some languages allow unvooiced vowels in environments like those seen in Japanese: uc-v-uc or uc-v-we, with "uc" being "unvoiced consonant", "v" being "vowel", and "we" being "word ending".

Fulk
08-04-2010, 11:07 AM
ボディー!

ありがとう、フールバック!天才かも。:)

I had to type bo d h i (instead of "y"). But that did it.

Well, what do you know! It works. :D

Neurotic
08-04-2010, 12:17 PM
Sorry, yes, sequential voicing. 連濁.

See how confused I am? ;)

Fullback
08-04-2010, 01:09 PM
Alright, well that's different.

If the syllable or phrasing is ka or ki, that voicing is pronounced as ga or gi if it is not the first voicing in the word. A ta may be voiced as da if it is not the first syllable.

Sometimes! Hahaha. Welcome to the randomness known as Japanese.

It depends sometimes on the kanji of the word or name and/or the sound of the preceding syllable.

Here is an example: the kanji for ibaraki (a prefecture in Japan) is 茨城. Some people mistakenly say ibaragi because they think that the second kanji is 木 (tree). If it were a person's name, it could very well be pronounced as Ibaragi. But, since the kanji means castle, it is pronounced ki. See how easy that is? There are pages of kanji that are pronounced ki, so that adds to the fun.

One of the most difficult jobs in Japan is the poor pathetic person who has to call out names, such as at the tax office, driver's license, doctor's office - anywhere where people are waiting. They always mispronounce the name and everyone has to wait until someone finally realizes that it's their name they are mispronouncing. The poor clerk apologizes and pretends to make some annotation on their paper so that they'll never, ever make the mistake again. But, they always do.

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 01:20 PM
wow... everything people are talking about are starting to go over my head. (Brainy person I am not).

When did this thread become so... intellectual. :D

Anyway, for a while there I was happy. I was like.... wow I can actually read and somewhat understand what people are writing. Even though its in japanese, and then people had to get all... intellectual *cringes in a corner away from the bright light smart people have* and I got lost again. *Sigh* guess I'm going to have to start brushing up on vocab and practice my hirigana katakana, and vocab some more. Or else I won't be able to follow at all. * hids in a corner and cries.*

:tongue :D :tongue..... :evil (sorry I really like emoticons.) LOL

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 01:21 PM
That's so interesting, Fullback! Didn't know that :) I did notice the changing ka's and ki's into ga's and gi's (for instance, kami and shinigami). I guess that makes Japanese so interesting to learn... But it sometimes makes it harder, too :(

ETA: bookbuyer, I feel the same way, too! Do you have room next to you in that corner? :tongue

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 01:26 PM
*shifts closer to the wall to make room for ehab and beckons him over. starts whispering with him how they should find a device to either make them smarter or everyone around them dumber. Cackles with laughter.*

*Quickly looks back to make sure the rest of the forum hasn't caught on to her evil plan.*

*Haha, they haven't figured it out. Smiling in statisfaction she goes back to whispering.*

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 01:37 PM
*brings a blankie and sits next to bookbuyer. Agrees to that plan and is taking out his yellowpages book.... Where's the genius mad scientist when you need one? *

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 01:41 PM
* they thumb throught the pages but come up with nothing. Tossing it aside they start murmuring again.*

*They wonder if they need someone else to help with their evil plot.*

* But not someone smart! They must be of equal or lesser intelligence then them.*

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 02:07 PM
* Ehab is wondering how to get someone as intelligent as they are who could help them with the same intelligence they already have. *

* Ehab curses and is looking at bookbuyer.*

* "Now what?!" *

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 02:08 PM
*sits and twidles her thumbs waiting to see if anyone will respond*

:poke: :Shrug: :ROFL:

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 02:12 PM
* she leans closer to Ehab and whispers in his ear*

* "We'll have to kidnap someone"*

*Glances furtively over her shoulder to make sure no one heard them.*

* No one can learn of their plan or else it won't succeed.*

:snoopy:

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 02:22 PM
* Ehab just realizes bookbuyer's a girl, so shifts a bit farther from her, looking the other way.*

* "Umm, Yes. We'll have to." *

* A couple of sweat drops are breaking on his forehead. He's hoping no one notices. *

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 02:33 PM
*bookbuyer looks up at Ehab and sees he's sweating. cocks her head and wonders what wrong. thinking he's hot she moves father away so that he can cool down.*

*since they can't whisper now, she graps a pen and paper that magically appeared out of nowhere and writes down the plan of how they should kidnap someone*

*she then passes the note to ehab. hoping he's feeling better. and wonders if she should fan him with the paper.*

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 02:44 PM
* Notices how bookbuyer moves away from him. Is she shy of boys as I'm shy of girls, he though. *

* He takes the note and reviews it intently. The thought of kidnapping someone bothered him, but he isn't going to let the cute girl next to him feel sad. He should kidnap someone -- No, he had to. *

* "Is this," he paused for a second, "Are you sure about this?" *

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 02:50 PM
*bookbuyer has to say bye to Ehab because she's tired and has to go to bed. But hopes that they can play again in the future.*

* she skips along back home thinking about how fun it was playing with Ehab.*

:D :Hug2: :D

Sorry got to turn in for the night (wait morning.... uhh you know what I mean) LOL

TTYL

P.S. When everyone else on the forum sees what we were planning.

Bwahahaha.

:ROFL:

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 02:56 PM
Haahaa, that was fun :) Everyone will probably get pissed at us, lmao. But I don't care, lmao. Boku ni wa kankei nai darou.

Later, evil partner-in-crime :tongue

Fullback
08-04-2010, 02:59 PM
Some people are natural linguists. I'm not. I'm dumb as a stick about many things and barely literate in English. My father was a musician and I must have some of that DNA swishing through my body, so all my years of playing instruments, and my sense of music, may have contributed to my a verbal ability to speak Japanese. It's like playing music by ear. There is a timing and weight, plus a mimicking of sounds.

I'm a pedestrian reader and writer, but many people mistake me for Japanese on the phone because of my (inherited) ability to sound like a Japanese speaking Japanese instead of a foreigner trying hard to speak it.

Parrot.
I'm just a parrot.
I have nobody
to call my own.

Neurotic
08-04-2010, 03:32 PM
*considers setting fire to the plans, but decides it might be amusing to see where this is headed*

Don't sell yourself short, Fullback. I personally know an assortment of linguistics professors who insist the speaking is the only important part of any language anyway.

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 03:39 PM
So I couldn't fall asleep. Evil plans keep my from my slumber.

* bookbuyer frantically writes another note to Ehab. passes it to him and wait while he reads the note.*

*her eyes keep straying to neurotic*

*after he has read the note, they slowly creep up behind neurotic who is busy talking to fullback, and hence is unaware of their plans.*

*bookbuyer nods at Ehab giving him the signal to......*

P.S. Ehab what was the japanese that you wrote at the end. You too can't become one of them. *cries*

I only understood 'Boku' :poke:

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 03:48 PM
* Ehab reads the note and grins at bookbuyer. *

* As they approach Neurotic, bookbuyer nods at Ehab. He smirks and carries on with the plan. *

I'm still thinking of a good way to punish them, lmao.

And no, bookbuyer, I wouldn't do that to you :'( I said "That doesn't concern me" lol.

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 03:54 PM
Ahhhh

*dim lightbulb flashes above her head*

I was really concerned that my best buddy had gone over to 'their'

*says the word like it was nasty tasting thing.*

side.

*cries in happiness and throws her arms around Ehab.*

* my one true friend she says happily*

*she then carries on with their plan now that she knows that he hasn't been converted to their side.*

*she tells them him to pull the small bag from his pocket that she secretly put there when she was hugging him*

*They are going to catch a doughnut today*

*Bwahahaha*

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 04:00 PM
Haahaa, you're so funny.

* Ehab would rather eat the doughnut than to capture it. But would that be cannibalism, he wondered. *

* He looks at the bag after hugging his partner. He can see the dim lightbulb above bookbuyer's head. It's getting brighter as they both realize what's gonna happen *

* They kill a chuckle as to not alert that delicious-looking doughnut. Ehab throws the bag over to bookbuyer as he tackles the doughnut. She understands him on the fly and ... *

We gotta stick together, my partner! haahaa.

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 04:07 PM
yup, yup!

But should we kill this plan? We can always come up with a new one.

*laughs evilly*

*starts looking around for a new target*


Oh, and thanks for the rep points. Only recently really found out about them. I shall return the favour.

*wrings hands uncertainly, not quite certain how to, but has a general idea. hopes the world doesn't explode*

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 04:12 PM
sent reputation points

*looks around to make sure the world hasn't exploded*

*sighs in relief, she obviously did it right*

As to the question you sent me, I was going to answer it in the little box they gave when you give the rep points but it cut me off.

*grumbles to herself for a minute*

I have never done roleplaying before, if this is it, then its really fun!

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 04:13 PM
Haahaa. This was fun :)

Don't worry about the rep points, you deserved it ;)

ETA: we crossed posted, lmao. Yeah, this is very similar to roleplaying, but our version is for writer's, lmao.

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 04:17 PM
Ya, that was acutally what I was thinking. This is actually a really good excersise for writing. I really wish writing was always this easy.

:D:D:tongue:D:D

Edit: WOW! we've taken up almost all of the 6th page and now we're on the 7th. COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! LOL

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 04:21 PM
Haahaa, up for another page? lmao. This thread is dead without us, anyway, doncha think?

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 04:24 PM
Exactly! I'm kinda wondering where everyone is?

HELLO! ANYONE THERE? *hears only the empty echo of her own voice*

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO..........................

shall we plot another evil plan????

*looks up with puppy dog eyes, hoping he'll say yes. she is feeling very evil right now*

Okay *stop and pauses for dramatic effect* I have started a new thread in the AW roundtable disscussion thing. I will post the link. It can be our new little chat place. We might find more of our kind there. *jumps up and down in excitement*

*Waves goodbye as she heads over to the new thread.*

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187843

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 04:33 PM
Haahaa. Yes! But not right now, unfortunately, I have to get back from work, lmao. But later, of course!

Hmmm, do you think we'll get banned for abusing this thread? lmao. I wish I knew enough Japanese to plot with you in Japanese. This way, everyone wins (everyone being me, lol).

* He can't handle the puppy dog eyes. She doesn't know he's vulnerable to them. He smiles softly and nods at her. *

bookbuyer
08-04-2010, 04:36 PM
Okay, see ya then. *waves* But... you must think of an evil plot we can do later. Hopefully we will have other people to join us in it later.

*dances around the room, really happy at the thought of more friends to play with*

:partyguy:

SaraP
08-04-2010, 06:33 PM
*steps in the japanese thread only to discover she could read just about every post*

*looks around but seems no one was kidnapped*

*looks at the AW Roundtable thread and giggles*

All is well with the world.

あなたが現在日本語を続けていく可能性があります。

(translated from Google, I have no idea if it's correct or not)

Ehab.Ahmed
08-04-2010, 06:54 PM
Haahaa, I don't know if that's right or not, either. I still can't read Kanji. But it seems you're telling us to butt off? haahaa. Okay, will do ;) After all, I can't deny Wi--- Sara anything ;)

Tocotin
08-04-2010, 07:12 PM
Tocotin, ah~ I see you're in Tokyo. It's blazing hot here as well. 焼津というちっちゃい町にいま〜す。

Hi Madderblue! Japan is actually getting hotter every year. I lived in Sapporo for a few years before moving to Tokyo. During my first summer they didn't have enough electric fans in the Yodobashi Camera and I had to buy one in Niigata lol.今は考えられないでしょう。

Liosse de Velishaf
08-05-2010, 12:10 AM
Alright, well that's different.

If the syllable or phrasing is ka or ki, that voicing is pronounced as ga or gi if it is not the first voicing in the word. A ta may be voiced as da if it is not the first syllable.

Sometimes! Hahaha. Welcome to the randomness known as Japanese.

It depends sometimes on the kanji of the word or name and/or the sound of the preceding syllable.

Here is an example: the kanji for ibaraki (a prefecture in Japan) is 茨城. Some people mistakenly say ibaragi because they think that the second kanji is 木 (tree). If it were a person's name, it could very well be pronounced as Ibaragi. But, since the kanji means castle, it is pronounced ki. See how easy that is? There are pages of kanji that are pronounced ki, so that adds to the fun.


Sequential voicing is not entirely random. It is a morphophonological process that occurs in compounds of native Japanese words, where the first consonant of the second word in the compound is voiced.

There's a principle called Obligatory Contour Princple(OCP), which says that no morpheme may contain two of the same type of sound in a row. In the case of Japanese, these are voiced consonants in a compound.

So when a word with two unvoiced consonants is put into a compound, the first one becomes voiced as long as the last consonant in the word before it is not voiced.

For instance:

te + kami = tegami (hand + paper = letter)

Because the /t/ is not a voiced sound, the /k/ must be voiced to follow the OCP rule.

But if we take the example:

hitori-tabi (jacked from wiki ;)), we see that the /t/ stays unvoiced, because there is already a voiced /b/ following it.


There are a whole bunch of other complicated rules and interactions here, and because the rendaku process evolved over time, there are many instances where it does not appear, especially in names, since many of those came to be before the process.

Neurotic
08-05-2010, 01:58 AM
Sequential voicing is not entirely random. It is a morphophonological process that occurs in compounds of native Japanese words, where the first consonant of the second word in the compound is voiced.

There's a principle called Obligatory Contour Princple(OCP), which says that no morpheme may contain two of the same type of sound in a row. In the case of Japanese, these are voiced consonants in a compound.

So when a word with two unvoiced consonants is put into a compound, the first one becomes voiced as long as the last consonant in the word before it is not voiced.

For instance:

te + kami = tegami (hand + paper = letter)

Because the /t/ is not a voiced sound, the /k/ must be voiced to follow the OCP rule.

But if we take the example:

hitori-tabi (jacked from wiki ;)), we see that the /t/ stays unvoiced, because there is already a voiced /b/ following it.


There are a whole bunch of other complicated rules and interactions here, and because the rendaku process evolved over time, there are many instances where it does not appear, especially in names, since many of those came to be before the process.

Okay, so if I'm putting together that and some extensive Google time last night correctly, if the first consonant in a compound is voiceless, and the second is either voiceless or naturally voiced (so not a d, z or whatever), rendaku applies.

Am I correct in my impression that the consonants of the first component don't matter?

Liosse de Velishaf
08-05-2010, 02:33 AM
The first part is correct. The second is complicated. :(

Neurotic
08-05-2010, 02:48 AM
I was afraid you'd say that. :cry:

Oh well. Three weeks in they're not exactly expecting us to be experts on every single thing we've covered so far. I should get through Friday's test at least. Thanks. :)

LilliCray
08-05-2010, 03:22 AM
Man! I finally get on the Internet with my Japanese-enabled computer, just to participate in this thread, and what is everyone talking about? Stuff I couldn't understand if I spent three hours trying!!

...sniff...

:D

実は、面白い話だと思っていますわ!

日本語を話すのがとても楽しいですよ。

bookbuyer
08-05-2010, 03:38 AM
*walks over to lillicray and pats her hand in sympathy, she and Ehab (her friend) had the same problem.*

LilliCray, want to join us over in the aw roundtable. I started a fun thread for those of us who can't understand what's going on in this thread.

we'll have to try to sneak in later when we can understand what they are talking about.

ohayo mina!

LilliCray
08-05-2010, 04:04 AM
Ah, yes, I saw that thread. I might join in later. :D

Truth be told, I can follow some of the conversation. The most basic part. Makes me feel like an idiot, but at least I'm still learning something from it, eh?

でも、全てを分かりたいわ。。。

...now that I've discovered this thread, I predict much butchering of grammar. :D I like to experiment.

madderblue
08-07-2010, 07:52 AM
こんにちは、

皆さん元気?今日の単語は 猛暑 (もうしょ=mousho)meaning a heat wave or fierce heat. It's hot out there!

I hope everyone's doing well, staying cool. If you want I can get you some squid ink ice cream.

LilliCray
08-07-2010, 08:39 AM
おはよう・こんにちは・こんばんは、マッダブルさん!

Okay, I've got a question: The kanji 単語--isn't that "たんご"? I learned that that word meant something along the lines of vocabulary, so I'm reading your second sentence as "Today's vocabulary is a fierce heat" or whatever. I'm assuming I'm making a stupid mistake here, since I tend to do that--what does your sentence mean?

And, I think I'll pass on the squid ink ice cream. I much prefer jellyfish flavor. :D

ETA: Er... I think I get it. Ignore the ramblings of this idiotic mind of mine. ^.^'

Liosse de Velishaf
08-07-2010, 11:56 AM
I think he(?) was going for: "The word of the day is 'heat wave'"...

SaraP
08-07-2010, 02:53 PM
Ooooooh, my brother loves squid ink. I wonder if the ice cream tastes similar.

Tocotin
08-07-2010, 03:20 PM
こんにちは、

皆さん元気?今日の単語は 猛暑 (もうしょ=mousho)meaning a heat wave or fierce heat. It's hot out there!


Oh yes it is...

猛暑続き
隣の猫も
たれパンダ

...lol

Take care! :Sun:

madderblue
08-07-2010, 04:09 PM
おはよう・こんにちは・こんばんは、マッダブルさん!

Okay, I've got a question: The kanji 単語--isn't that "たんご"? I learned that that word meant something along the lines of vocabulary, so I'm reading your second sentence as "Today's vocabulary is a fierce heat" or whatever. I'm assuming I'm making a stupid mistake here, since I tend to do that--what does your sentence mean?

And, I think I'll pass on the squid ink ice cream. I much prefer jellyfish flavor. :D

ETA: Er... I think I get it. Ignore the ramblings of this idiotic mind of mine. ^.^'

Yeah, kind of word-of-the -day. I've stopped studying and I really need to get back to it.


I think he(?) was going for: "The word of the day is 'heat wave'"...

He's a "she". Terrie (Thersa). Yeah, I was aiming for something like word-of-the-day. ^ ~


Ooooooh, my brother loves squid ink. I wonder if the ice cream tastes similar.

Pretty much the same taste...but sweet! The whole black tongue and teeth still happen too.


Oh yes it is...

猛暑続き
隣の猫も
たれパンダ

...lol

Take care! :Sun:

:ROFL:

SaraP
08-07-2010, 04:11 PM
Pretty much the same taste...but sweet! The whole black tongue and teeth still happen too.

Ewwww. I can't say I'm a fan. Always have to ask to have the ink removed when I get squid here - which I love.

LilliCray
08-07-2010, 07:04 PM
Ah... yeah. Figured out the word-of-the-day thing after I posted. Feel like much idiot, but that's not entirely new, so... ahem.

馬鹿な私はとても馬鹿だよ。:D

Who, me? Redundant? Never...

Liosse de Velishaf
08-07-2010, 11:40 PM
Yeah, kind of word-of-the -day. I've stopped studying and I really need to get back to it.


He's a "she". Terrie (Thersa). Yeah, I was aiming for something like word-of-the-day. ^ ~

:ROFL:


Hehe... Oops... Sorry about that. :(

Fulk
08-07-2010, 11:47 PM
I have good news for those still struggling with kanji in this thread or other places on the internet! Use the Denshi Jisho bookmarklet found on this (http://jisho.org/) page. Follow the instructions and drag the link on the right (on the main page) to your bookmarks bar. Now all you have to do is highlight a mystery kanji or compound, click the bookmark in your toolbar, and you will get a nifty pop up with the kanji, hiragana, and English definition.

If you don't get a result, you may have selected more than one compound (in which case, try to highlight another section), or it may be a really obscure kanji. This is still no replacement for studying kanji, don't let it become a crutch! (I let it happen to me.)

Edit: I should add that jisho.org has been a very reliable e-dictionary for me. Many of the more common words have examples of their use in sentences, so you can be certain it's the word you're actually looking for. (Japanese has some funky usage for some words. "ふるい" for example technically means "old," but it's used for inanimate objects. You shouldn't call an elderly person ふるい.)

madderblue
08-08-2010, 01:32 AM
Ewwww. I can't say I'm a fan. Always have to ask to have the ink removed when I get squid here - which I love.

That's nice that you get to choose. I'm not a huge fan myself. I usually don't order the イカスミパスタ. ^^;



Ah... yeah. Figured out the word-of-the-day thing after I posted. Feel like much idiot, but that's not entirely new, so... ahem.

馬鹿な私はとても馬鹿だよ。:D

Who, me? Redundant? Never...

バカじゃないよ〜。


Hehe... Oops... Sorry about that. :(

いいですよ。Kinda hard to tell by my profile pic. ;)


I have good news for those still struggling with kanji in this thread or other places on the internet! Use the Denshi Jisho bookmarklet found on this (http://jisho.org/) page. Follow the instructions and drag the link on the right (on the main page) to your bookmarks bar. Now all you have to do is highlight a mystery kanji or compound, click the bookmark in your toolbar, and you will get a nifty pop up with the kanji, hiragana, and English definition.  

Fulk, great link, thanks. I've been using the アルクone. They have sample sentences as well. Those help so much.

 http://www.alc.co.jp/

LilliCray
08-08-2010, 01:40 AM
バカじゃないよ〜。

やさしすぎるね!

Unfortunately, while Fulk's site looks good, I can't get it to work for me. The bookmarklet thing. Not that I'm surprised, though, considering how well my computer works at the best of times...

But, it still looks like a good site!

Fulk
08-08-2010, 07:21 AM
やさしすぎるね!

Unfortunately, while Fulk's site looks good, I can't get it to work for me. The bookmarklet thing. Not that I'm surprised, though, considering how well my computer works at the best of times...

But, it still looks like a good site!

If you have Javascript disabled in your browser, that is probably the reason it doesn't work. (The bookmarklet uses Javascript, but since malicious folk can abuse Javascript, it is sometimes disabled on certain browser security settings)

Neurotic
08-08-2010, 07:36 AM
I haven't tried the bookmarklet, but the page itself helped me with an assignment, so thanks Fulk!






(It wasn't cheating, honest. We were meant to use a dictionary, and electronic and paper were both acceptable.)

Fulk
08-08-2010, 09:26 AM
Glad I could help, Neurotic! It saved my butt in Japanese class on numerous occasions.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-08-2010, 03:14 PM
omg! そのbookmarkletはすごいものだ。ずっとさがしてたこんなものを! ありがとうよ.

Neurotic
08-09-2010, 09:36 AM
みんな ありがとう ございました。 おかげさまで 先週の テストは 成績が よかったから。

The rendaku explanations helped me out a lot.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-09-2010, 12:07 PM
おめでと. テストによこしたとはよかったよ.

I hope I wrote that correctly ;)

LilliCray
08-11-2010, 06:02 AM
If you have Javascript disabled in your browser, that is probably the reason it doesn't work. (The bookmarklet uses Javascript, but since malicious folk can abuse Javascript, it is sometimes disabled on certain browser security settings)

Ah, that might be it. Don't know if I have the computer know-how to fix this--or, indeed, if my piece-of-junk computer actually CAN handle it--but I will certainly try. That bookmarklet looks freaking awesome!


おめでと. テストによこしたとはよかったよ.

I hope I wrote that correctly ;)

Don't know about the second part, but おめでとう has an elongated "o" sound. :)

And the congrats are seconded. Always nice to do well on a test.

(Yay! I think my AW withdrawal symptoms are receding. :D)

madderblue
08-11-2010, 06:39 AM
みんな ありがとう ございました。 おかげさまで 先週の テストは 成績が よかったから。

The rendaku explanations helped me out a lot.


おめでとう!良かったね。よくがんばりました。:Thumbs:

Gabby
08-11-2010, 07:46 AM
あらら 日本語のがあったの!
じゃ 自己紹介!

アタシ ガビイといいます。 はじめまして!
学生のころから日本のことが大好きで 日本語を勉強した。 大学画始まる前 東京に3ヶ月ぐらい住みました。 とっても楽しかった!今でも 日本へ戻りたいと思う。

よろしく!

Leanan-Sidhe
08-11-2010, 08:06 AM
Neurotic, おめでとう!:partyguy:

Gabby, よろしく!

わたしは今日の単語をしてもいいですか?
台風: typhoon (taifuu). Because of the one passing by. Anybody else getting rain from it?

Ehab.Ahmed
08-11-2010, 10:47 AM
えっと。。。そういえば、ガビイ、僕まだ自己紹介してなかった。しつれいだった、みなさん。僕はイハブとい うだ。まだ日本語が横わからないけれどがんばってる。じゃあな

madderblue
08-12-2010, 08:59 AM
Neurotic, おめでとう!:partyguy:

Gabby, よろしく!

わたしは今日の単語をしてもいいですか?
台風: typhoon (taifuu). Because of the one passing by. Anybody else getting rain from it?

Gabby, we're getting drenched from the typhoon. Not as bad as you all are, I'm sure! 気をつけてください。

And welcomes to Gabby and Ehab (although you were hear earlier).
How about some 冷茶?

Another fun weather word related to 台風. --> どっしゃぶり! (dosshaburi) when it really downpours or the skies just open up.

Gabby
08-12-2010, 10:36 PM
I was "lucky" enough to live in Japan only for half a month, so I've never experienced the 台風 there! The 梅雨, however, is terrible enough. At least for me, since I hate the rain. Aaaand 梅雨が明けたらむし暑いの夏が来る。。。 汗かくもんねー

madderblue
08-13-2010, 01:23 AM
I was "lucky" enough to live in Japan only for half a month, so I've never experienced the 台風 there! The 梅雨, however, is terrible enough. At least for me, since I hate the rain. Aaaand 梅雨が明けたらむし暑いの夏が来る。。。 汗かくもんねー

梅雨is the worst. The rate at which things mold around the house is amazing. 台風is a little more exciting and if there isn't any big damage they are kind of fun. You'll definitely have to visit again during the spring or fall. 花見 and 紅葉 are the best. :)

Ehab.Ahmed
08-13-2010, 03:35 AM
すごい。皆さんは日本語に言った事柄しいだよね。僕は行くことないでもいく積もりだよ。天気やいろいろはみ たい。

I hope I didn't mess that up, lol.

Neurotic
08-14-2010, 11:46 AM
Just built a 作文 on 原稿用紙. I really need more practice with that stuff. It gives me a headache every bloody time I have to write on it. :tongue

LilliCray
08-17-2010, 03:37 AM
I wonder how much of the kanji on this page is in the AP list...?

Kanji. I love it so. And yet I hate it. Is that weird?

Eh, nevermind. It's got to do with me, so it probably *is* weird.

私も日本に行きたいよ。じゃあ、行けるかどうかかもしれないよ。。。

I just know I messed that up. It comes from trying to splice grammar forms I don't quite understand yet... :D

Liosse de Velishaf
08-17-2010, 04:20 AM
I wonder how much of the kanji on this page is in the AP list...?

Kanji. I love it so. And yet I hate it. Is that weird?

Eh, nevermind. It's got to do with me, so it probably *is* weird.

私も日本に行きたいよ。じゃあ、行けるかどうかかもしれないよ。。。

I just know I messed that up. It comes from trying to splice grammar forms I don't quite understand yet... :D


That's how you learn your first language!


I get the first sentence, but the second one seems to have an excess of versions of "maybe"...

LilliCray
08-17-2010, 05:08 AM
That's how you learn your first language!


I get the first sentence, but the second one seems to have an excess of versions of "maybe"...

Yeah, the second one's weird. Like me. :D

Actually, thinking about it... it might be more like, say, 行けるかどうか分からない...?

I've only looked at the かどうか construct for five minutes, and that was a long time ago, so I gues it figures I'm messing it up.

SaraP
08-17-2010, 05:17 AM
I find it really weird there are no spaces between words. Is it really like that?

Liosse de Velishaf
08-17-2010, 08:09 AM
I find it really weird there are no spaces between words. Is it really like that?


Well, it was originally written top to bottom...

Also, because of kanji, it's not as hard as you'd think to see the word boundaries.


Quick question:

How to say "Happy Birthday!" in Japanese?

お誕生日おめでとうございます!


That's the best I could figure.

Neurotic
08-17-2010, 09:01 AM
In children's kana-only books there are usually spaces. And when you only use kana, there's some room for confusion sometimes, like the example my Japanese Linguistics professor likes to use.

ここからはきものおぬいでください

Which has different implications depending on how your brain cuts it up. But as Liosse said, using kanji makes things a lot clearer. Kanji will tell you whether you're being asked to remove your shoes or your clothes.

Much easier, really, than Chinese where there are no spaces, and no kana to help guide you. :/

Liosse, that's the way I've always heard. Or just お誕生日おめでとう in more casual speech.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-17-2010, 09:05 AM
In children's kana-only books there are usually spaces. And when you only use kana, there's some room for confusion sometimes, like the example my Japanese Linguistics professor likes to use.

ここからはきものおぬいでください

Which has different implications depending on how your brain cuts it up. But as Liosse said, using kanji makes things a lot clearer. Kanji will tell you whether you're being asked to remove your shoes or your clothes.

Much easier, really, than Chinese where there are no spaces, and no kana to help guide you. :/

Liosse, that's the way I've always heard. Or just お誕生日おめでとう in more casual speech.


It's for a card, so I wasn't sure how formal to be...

Neurotic
08-17-2010, 10:00 AM
Hm. I'm really not sure. As I understand, it usually still comes down to your relationship with the person you're writing to. If you're very close, then casual's fine. If you're sort of friendly acquaintances, maybe better to err on the side of politeness.

I could very easily be wrong. A lot of my early Japanese learning came courtesy of listening to my brother talking, and he doesn't always set the best examples.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-17-2010, 11:10 AM
The problem being that it's not for anyone I know. Someone asked me to give them a few ways to say happy birthday in other languages, and Japanese and Italian are onse I know... sorta.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-17-2010, 10:12 PM
私も日本に行きたいよ。じゃあ、行けるかどうかかもしれないよ。。。

I just know I messed that up. It comes from trying to splice grammar forms I don't quite understand yet... :D

Hmm, 行くことないと言うか。僕も日本に行きたい。先に行くのは待って見ようね。

Haahaa, I hope I didn't mess it up.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-18-2010, 12:18 AM
Everyone wants to got Japan, lol.

I'm trying to decide where to do my study abroad, and Japan and Italy are the top candidates so far. I'm leaning more towards Japan, but I'd feel a bit lame if I went before I knew the language better...

Neurotic
08-18-2010, 01:14 AM
That's understandable, Liosse, but not necessarily something to worry about. The other way to look at it is that (depending on how long you're there for) your Japanese will be anywhere between 'improved' and 'fantastic' by the time you go home.

Of course that does come down to how you use your time when you're there. A lot of the foreigners I knew tended to spend most of their time with people who were also foreigners, or at least spoke English well, and they picked up a bit of the language but not much.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-18-2010, 02:45 AM
That's understandable, Liosse, but not necessarily something to worry about. The other way to look at it is that (depending on how long you're there for) your Japanese will be anywhere between 'improved' and 'fantastic' by the time you go home.

Of course that does come down to how you use your time when you're there. A lot of the foreigners I knew tended to spend most of their time with people who were also foreigners, or at least spoke English well, and they picked up a bit of the language but not much.


Well, I'm not the most extroverted person on the planet, but I don't think the program available to me includes a built-in group of english speakers. I'm definitely aiming for "fantastic" if I end up going.

Leanan-Sidhe
08-18-2010, 05:32 AM
Well, I'm not the most extroverted person on the planet, but I don't think the program available to me includes a built-in group of english speakers. I'm definitely aiming for "fantastic" if I end up going.

Hey, if there aren't any other English speakers around, you'll be forced to reach "fantastic" real fast. ;)

Neurotic
08-18-2010, 10:40 AM
Well, I'm not the most extroverted person on the planet, but I don't think the program available to me includes a built-in group of english speakers. I'm definitely aiming for "fantastic" if I end up going.

I'd put my introverted up against yours any day. ;)

Where I got lucky was that I was living with my brother and his wife. Yoko spoke very little English, and I was picking things up here and there so it wasn't long before it was easier for us to communicate in Japanese.

The challenge is, and I'd say it'll be the same no matter where you do your study abroad, in setting aside that introversion and throwing yourself into your temporary home. Easier said than done, I know, but every person I've known who's done overseas study has either jumped in and had a great time, or held back and come back saying they may as well have spared themselves the expense and stayed home.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-19-2010, 02:03 AM
Hmm... I'd definitely prefer the former result. We'll see.

Leanan-Sidhe
08-23-2010, 06:37 AM
みんな元気ですか?

Anyone getting any actual Japanese studying done? 

Liosse de Velishaf
08-23-2010, 07:03 AM
I've been practicing katakana, but I have about a week before I actually start my Japanese class at uni.

Neurotic
08-23-2010, 09:33 AM
I have an oral test on Wednesday, so that's a yes on the studying. ;)

Ehab.Ahmed
08-23-2010, 12:36 PM
I watch Anime and listen closely to what they say... Most of the time, does that count? :D

Liosse de Velishaf
08-23-2010, 07:12 PM
I watch Anime and listen closely to what they say... Most of the time, does that count? :D


Dude, totally. You can learn a lot of stuff from anime, including vocab, tenses, and pronunciation...

...and a horde of bad habits. ;)

Ehab.Ahmed
08-23-2010, 08:01 PM
Well, I'm at a point right now where I could watch Anime without subtitles and get the jest of it. Of course, there are some sentence structures that fly right past me, and strange word combinations, but for the most part, I do understand.

It's funny, because one time, me any my little brother watched an episode of Naruto Shippuuden without subtitles. The 四代目 was telling Naruto all about how the 九尾 invaded 木の葉の里. Anyway, the word くるま was mentioned and how that's why (or part of the why) 九尾 invaded the village. My brother and I looked at each other and said at the same time "Car?!" haahaa, it was so funny, we made jokes about how the 九尾 invaded the village because he parked his car near the village and he couldn't find it, haahaa.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-23-2010, 08:32 PM
You're farther along than I am, then. The only reason I knew what your post meant just now is because I saw a few Naruto episodes, before I decided it was stupid shonen fighting, so seeing nine and four, it's obvious what the other kanji meant.




The only problem with learning how to speak from anime, is that they don't speak like normal people. It's like learning Greek from Homer, you're going to sound funny if you speak like the people in the story do. Anime is great for learning how to understand, though. Especially with subtitles. To be honest, most of the Japanese I know comes from anime. As a linguistics person, it's a really fun game to try to match the spoken words to the subtitles.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-23-2010, 08:53 PM
Well, I like Ninjas and stuff like that, so I kept watching Naruto for that reason. It does have a lot downsides and it kinda tends to drag on, so I understand.

Greek from Homer? haahaa, for a second I thought you mean Homer from The Simpsons, haahaa. I was like, "wait, Homer speaks Greek? I wonder how D'oh sounds like in Greek" haahaa. I like, no I love Greek mythology but I haven't read Homer's Odyssey yet, but I'd love to one day, lol.

Yes, learning Japanese from Anime is fun. I was surprised when I watched a J-Dorama (One Litre of Tears) and found that they spoke a bit differently than in Anime. In Anime it's usually too casual and too blunt, lol.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-23-2010, 10:36 PM
My brother took Japanese last year, and one of the things his professor liked to rant about was people who learned Japanese from anime and manga. And their girlfriends, but mostly anime and manga.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-23-2010, 10:50 PM
Oh, you and your brother are interested in Japanese? Interesting. My brother and I are the same way, lol.

Wait, Japanese people who watch Anime and Mange have girlfriends? I thought that was why the Japanese are a dying race, lol.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-23-2010, 11:34 PM
My brother gave up on Japanese. Too many kanji, I think, :(



No, I mean Americans who watch anime and/or have Japanese girlfriends and learn some Japanese from them. A lot of language professors have a strict process and set of steps, and they don't like to deviate from it.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-24-2010, 01:06 AM
Oh! Those lucky bastards, haahaa. I kept looking for a way to get in touch with Japanese people, but it's like they have their own internet and/or they don't even use the internet, lol.

I guess my chance to learn from interaction with natives would be when I actually go to Japan one day :)

I still haven't tackled Kanji yet. I know a few kanji (probably 10-20) only. Will try and learn more soon :)

Liosse de Velishaf
08-24-2010, 01:17 AM
I can't draw many kanji, but I can recognize quite a few.

Yes, there are tons of websites in Japanese out there that Google doesn't pull up when you do english language searches.

Here's the search page I got by searching for 猫 /neko/.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=%E7%8C%AB&rlz=1R2SKPB_enUS340&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=C6Sw1_ORyTOboCYzmNPOmheYPAAAAqgQFT9DGFu4&pbx=1&fp=634be7f9c98ae18c

It's sort of creepy. I imagine the Japanese rarely see the enormous amount of English language content out there, for their part.


(ETA: That's actually mostly Chinese... here's a link where I typed it in kana: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&rlz=1R2SKPB_enUS340&tbs=vid%3A1&q=%E3%81%AD%E3%81%93&aq=f&aqi=g2g-r8&aql=&oq=%E3%81%AD%E3%81%93&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=caa266768e6bc159.)


I've met a few Japanese people through the anime community, but most of them speak great English. *blisters the air blue with curses*

Fullback
08-24-2010, 03:18 AM
Some comment in no particular order:

1. The Japanese you met speaking "great English" have, in all probability, grown up outside Japan. Japan has the second lowest English fluency in the world. Only North Korea is lower.

2. Many Japanese have what's called "waprowasureru," meaning word processor forgetfulness. Since the advent of word processors and PC's, many people are forgetting how to write kanji.

3. Yes, it could be said that Japan has its own Internet with its own cultural stamp on it.

Fulk
08-24-2010, 03:36 AM
My brother gave up on Japanese. Too many kanji, I think, :(

No, I mean Americans who watch anime and/or have Japanese girlfriends and learn some Japanese from them. A lot of language professors have a strict process and set of steps, and they don't like to deviate from it.

My professor ranted about the same things. He said that guys who learned Japanese from their girlfriends spoke "girly Japanese" and that when he first started learning from his wife (A Japanese woman, obviously), he had the same issue. He also liked to complain that the dialogue in Japanese anime is much too casual and/or outlandish for use in a regular conversational setting. He said if you absolutely had to learn Japanese from their media, the best way was through news reports on TV (and newspapers).

Having studied Japanese for three years now, I see where the complaints come in. It's simple to understand, sure, but rarely is it useful for conversation with an ordinary Japanese person.

Sum0
08-24-2010, 03:36 AM
My brother took Japanese last year, and one of the things his professor liked to rant about was people who learned Japanese from anime and manga. And their girlfriends, but mostly anime and manga.

I'm studying Japanese at university, and the people who are best at Japanese (as in, practically fluent after two years of study) are the people that read the most manga and the guys who have Japanese girlfriends. I stuck to textbooks for a long time, and I'm utterly hopeless (and single :P).

I mean, Japanese professors have a job to keep, so they'll make out the key to learning Japanese is staying in class and reading textbooks all day ... but the best way to fluency, at least from what I see around me, is a) using real texts and b) speaking/listening to real Japanese conversation.

Leanan-Sidhe
08-24-2010, 04:54 AM
Neurotic, good luck on your test!

The learning Japanese from anime discussion is really interesting! I'd like to think that so long as you keep in mind that anime-Japanese is really informal/uncommon, watching it can be good listening practice.

I've been trying to study by reading manga (It's so much cheaper over here!), which I imagine has the same pros and cons.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-24-2010, 05:02 AM
My professor ranted about the same things. He said that guys who learned Japanese from their girlfriends spoke "girly Japanese" and that when he first started learning from his wife (A Japanese woman, obviously), he had the same issue. He also liked to complain that the dialogue in Japanese anime is much too casual and/or outlandish for use in a regular conversational setting. He said if you absolutely had to learn Japanese from their media, the best way was through news reports on TV (and newspapers).

Having studied Japanese for three years now, I see where the complaints come in. It's simple to understand, sure, but rarely is it useful for conversation with an ordinary Japanese person.


Your professor is exactly right. And the J-pop theme songs aren't much better. But as far as individual vocabulary and some grammatical stuff, it can be a big help. And I think most people who are really into anime won't be throwing around "omae"s and "temee"s and other ridiculous crap you see in anime.


Fullback, I know for a fact that at least one of them has lived and worked in Japan all her life, though she does go on trips to the USA. I'm also pretty sure on another. I'm aware that most people in Japan don't have great English.

I can imagine how word processors have caused loss of writing fluency. I know I much prefer typing in letters or kana and having the computer transliterate!

Liosse de Velishaf
08-24-2010, 05:04 AM
Neurotic, good luck on your test!

The learning Japanese from anime discussion is really interesting! I'd like to think that so long as you keep in mind that anime-Japanese is really informal/uncommon, watching it can be good listening practice.

I've been trying to study by reading manga (It's so much cheaper over here!), which I imagine has the same pros and cons.

It probably does. Since an enormous percentage of anime is based on manga, and some people have been known to fansub anime by scraping translations from their related manga.

Fulk
08-24-2010, 08:19 AM
2. Many Japanese have what's called "waprowasureru," meaning word processor forgetfulness. Since the advent of word processors and PC's, many people are forgetting how to write kanji.


I believe this whole-heartedly. As a part of the language program I am in, I interact with native Japanese speakers who come here to the US to study. Most of them have been here a few years now. The first thing they begin slipping on is how to write certain kanji.

This also explains why I did so horribly on kanji quizzes... I had a tendency to type out my homework in a word processor because it was much simpler than trying to remember how to write 'mu' in katakana, or a random kanji. Lesson of the day, folks: write your assignments by hand unless instructed otherwise. You're just shooting yourself in the foot if you 'cheat' the way I did.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-24-2010, 12:18 PM
Haahaa, that is true, Fulk. I forgot my katakana because I type using the PC. Which reminds me I have to brush up on my katakana :D

madderblue
08-24-2010, 02:41 PM
Replying about the kanji: my son has gone to school in Japan since he was in kindergarten and believe you me, once they start learning kanji the kids fill notebooks with vocabulary words, over and over, thousands of times. He's in ninth grade and still has several pages he has to complete every day (even during summer vacation). And learning how to write good looking/well balanced kanji is another feat itself.

profen4
08-26-2010, 03:46 PM
My professor ranted about the same things. He said that guys who learned Japanese from their girlfriends spoke "girly Japanese" and that when he first started learning from his wife (A Japanese woman, obviously), he had the same issue.

LOL - this made me laugh because I used to get teased by my male friends in Japan all the time. I worked with women in Japan, and as a result I started sounding very girly. It took months of my guy friends trying to correct me before I managed to correct it, but even now I sometimes drift back into it.

I had a tough time making male friends in japan, until I joined a few sports teams and then it was no trouble. But by then I'd already been there a while and the damage had been done. :)

Ehab.Ahmed
08-26-2010, 07:21 PM
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that swhibs123! I don't know how you could sound girly unless you used the ending "wa" or used "atashi" instead of "watashi" or "boku". Are there any other ways to sound girly?

Liosse de Velishaf
08-26-2010, 09:05 PM
There are many, many ways to sound girly, only some of which are associated with obvious lexical features. Every language has certain styles of speech that are percieved as different from the standard.

"Atashi" and "chan" are two of the most obvious ways. Others involve speaking in the third person, using higher-pitched speech, or being overly polite or apologetic.



Anyway, I've just had my first official class in Japanese, and the instructor decided on an obnoxious "No English allowed" policy, which includes teaching with pictures and using un-explained set phrases. Grr...

Fulk
08-27-2010, 12:14 AM
Anyway, I've just had my first official class in Japanese, and the instructor decided on an obnoxious "No English allowed" policy, which includes teaching with pictures and using un-explained set phrases. Grr...

Hope this goes well for you. My Japanese professor used copious amounts of English to explain things. While he was pretty adamant that the immersion method (going to Japan and surrounding yourself with Japanese speakers) is absolutely necessary for real fluency, he also didn't seem to think it was easy to explain concepts of Japanese language in Japanese itself.

Neurotic
08-27-2010, 12:26 AM
I feel your frustration, Liosse, but at the same time it really is for the best. The teachers are still using a lot of English in second-year Japanese at my uni, but Chinese is almost exclusively done in Chinese. Once we got used to it, we started learning a lot more a lot faster, and now I'm probably a bit more confident in my ability to make myself understood in Chinese than Japanese. It sucks, but it works.

My written's still pretty ordinary in both, though, and I still absolutely can't be bothered learning to type in either. Which, by the looks of recent discussion, may help me in the long run.

Fullback
08-27-2010, 01:31 AM
Yes, it's almost universal for foreign men in Japan to sound onnapoi, since it's extremely rare for them to have male friends. The reasons for that are a different discussion.

You only learn (maybe) about 60% of Japanese in a classroom outside Japan. Slang and idioms are not usually taught. You learn a stiff, unnatural form of Japanese not used in everyday situations with family or friends.

The effeminate Japanese includes all the man-to-man slang and word derivations used between men that foreign men don't learn. They add a long "neee. . ." instead of a short "na" at the end of sentences and don't say things like "shibai toroka!!" because they don't learn it.

Some don't hear the intonation differences between masculine and feminine speech.

Ehab.Ahmed
08-27-2010, 02:33 AM
What's "shibai toroka"?

Liosse de Velishaf
08-27-2010, 02:42 AM
I don't know if it will improve, but the first class was pretty bad. A lot of the complete beginners could not get anything straight, and sometimes you couldn't tell what the prof was asking for. Not because he spoke Japanese, but because there were several ways to interpret the examples.

I approve of the idea because I was always complaining my Italian class never had enough sspeking time, but I think certain parts could go a lot faster if he explained in English.

I will admit, it was prett funny to see the other students trying to understand the Japanese interpretation of their names.

LilliCray
08-27-2010, 03:25 AM
I sort of understand the reasoning behind only using the language in a foreign language class, but at the same time... how do you explain language concepts in said language to a student who doesn't know the language? Ikes. So not sure I could do that.

I'm glad I don't really have to worry about sounding girly in Japanese. :D

At least, not as far as I know. There's always the possibility of some other worry I need to watch out for...

Fullback
08-27-2010, 04:05 AM
"shibai toroka!" is "I'm gonna' kick your ass!" :D

I'm not a fan of using only the target language while learning. I think it's a waste of valuable time for the student who doesn't have 16 years of time to get up to speed like kids growing up and going to school. I find that teachers who do that are likely being passive-aggressive and protecting their positions of dominance. Heaven forbid a student learns quickly...

That's one reason Japanese are hopeless at learning English. They can't even understand the questions or instructions, so how on Earth can they figure out the answers. Japanese study English for 6 years, but can't get on a bus by themselves in Hawaii. Almost all English teachers in Japan are just English speakers with no training or ability to teach. The stand up in class and rattle off the instructions from poorly-written books at normal English pace, and the students have no clue what they are saying. It's like watching a foreign movie drama without subtitles. The language schools are only interested in making money, so they intentionally make sure the students don't learn and keep signing up for years of lessons.

There is an old joke about Japanese only learning English through standardized multiple-choice tests. They only memorize the answers and can't speak a word. They get a TOEIC score of 600 and their company thinks that they're proficient enough at English to send them overseas for business negotiations.

The businessperson greeting them at the airport says, "Hello Mr. Tanaka. How was your flight? Would you like some dinner or would you like to go straight to your hotel?"

After a long silence, Mr. Tanaka replies, "a, c, b."

Using your native language allows the teacher to quickly explain the nuance and usage to second language learners. Japanese only in classes of adult second language learners is nonsense.

Neurotic
08-27-2010, 07:57 AM
That's really a problem with the teachers, not the immersion method itself. Yes, by all means, resort to your native language if nothing else will work, but the point is to try everything else before doing that. That way you learn not only a set list of vocabulary and a way to use it, you also learn how to apply that list of vocabulary to get your message across when talking about something you haven't covered in class. It can slow down the pace of learning at first, but once students start picking up a few things, the curve tends to be a lot steeper.

It goes the other way too. My Japanese and French classes in high school were in English. Three years of French, four of Japanese, and I couldn't function in conversation outside the classroom at all. Now, year and a half of (more or less) immersion in Japanese at university and two of Chinese, and when I'm not too shy to open my mouth, I actually function pretty well. I understand speech at near-native pace, and if I don't know how to say a word, I at least know how to get across the gist of it.

In the case of every instructor I've had in the past two years, the object hasn't been to assert who's the boss. The object has been in making sure we don't just learn enough characters to pass an exam, but that we can actually use what we learn. And a bad teacher is a bad teacher, no matter what method they use.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-27-2010, 08:35 AM
I really hate when people misuse the term "immersion". My college Japanese class is four hours a week. Even if not a single English word is said in that time, it is still not immersion.

I think having conversation/speaking time for the langauge in class is one of the most important aspects of language learning in situations like this, and I'm always complaining about how my Italian class does not allow enough speaking, but "kiite kudasai" does not mean "hold your hand up to your ear", which was how we were supposed to respond in class, it means "listen, please". It's a very simple translation--you can just say "kiite" is the imperative of "kiku", "to hear/listen", and "kudasai" means "please". If you want to teach concrete nouns, pictures and the Japanese are great. If not, not so much.

Another example: Next class we'll be learning the "X wa Y desu" template. It takes three seconds to learn that it basically means "As for X, it is Y." No doubt it will take the whole class to get this across.

Neurotic
08-27-2010, 10:53 AM
I will acknowledge that was lazy shorthand on my part. It's common to use it among my classmates, and, though we all know it's not exactly correct, we understand each other's meaning.

Conversation is absolutely helpful, and not just in class. But the drawback of conversation in class is that your conversation partner doesn't always know any more than you do, and there's a chance you're both cementing something incorrect in your head if the teacher isn't paying attention. You're also listening to speech at the pace of someone stumbling through learning the language as well.

Kiite kudasai may not make it immediately obvious, but as you start adding kaite kudasai, suwatte kudasai, tatte kudasai, yonde kudasai... There's a pattern which emerges, and the benefit of seeing that pattern yourself can help it stick in your mind. It does require students to want to work to figure things out, but that should be a safe assumption at university.

I'm a little perplexed by something here. You have at least a basic grasp of Japanese. I don't understand why you'd be in an 'X wa Y desu'-level class. At my university, if we have studied before, or been to Japan, or had other experiences learning it, we sit a placement test, then go into a class at the appropriate level. Is that not available to you? It seems that some of your frustration can be traced back to the current abilities of your classmates.

I can see I'm on my own here, and I'm also aware that different people respond to different teaching methods, but I don't think this should be taken off the list of effective methods because I know from personal experience and the experience of my classmates that it does work.

Sum0
08-27-2010, 04:48 PM
I can see I'm on my own here, and I'm also aware that different people respond to different teaching methods, but I don't think this should be taken off the list of effective methods because I know from personal experience and the experience of my classmates that it does work.

It's true everyone has a method that's best for them. I definitely think there is a level of Japanese learning where it's easier to explain things in Japanese, and of course learning Japanese in Japanese is like a self-sustaining reaction. But I think that only makes sense at quite an advanced level.

I spent all of last year in an intermediate class, learning Japanese in Japanese only for the first time. I thought I'd get used to it after a few months, but ... I didn't. I wasn't at the level where I could understand the teacher without concentrating very hard, nor could I read the (awful) textbook without combing through it with a dictionary, and under such circumstances even the best teachers would struggle explain the difference between にとって and について. We seemed to spend week after week covering complex grammar that could have been explained in English in about ten minutes. (Most of the time I just bypassed the whole mess and looked stuff up in my electronic dictionary, but that doesn't really explain grammar usage.) Personally, I think it's impossible to explain complex Japanese grammar in simple Japanese - it's like trying to build scaffolding halfway up a building without anything underneath.

Obviously everyone learns differently, and for me, the grammar that sticks in my mind is the grammar that's been explained in English. In my first year we had a English-born teacher who was pretty much fluent in Japanese, and though obviously she didn't know everything, she was really good as a teacher because she'd already been through what we were going through, learning Japanese as a second language, and she knew all the pitfalls and tricks. Being native and fluent does not necessarily make you a good teacher (as Japan's English ability is testament to).

Liosse de Velishaf
08-27-2010, 06:01 PM
At my college, we did not sit such an exam, nor do I think that I would have ended up in the intermediate class if we did. My knowledge of Japanese is not a comprehensive foundation like this class attempts to teach, but rather a patchwork of various and disparate levels of skill.

Beyond that, there are one or two students in my current class who know even more than I do.


I'm not saying that teaching in the manner described cannot be effective, but despite the ability to use logic and reasoning skills to help, older folks just don't have the six years of time to learn Japanese throough raw unexplained input. There are parts of the language where an "immersion" method during class can be very effective, but for a lot at the beginning it's simply more effective to use English in many cases for most people.

I suppose I'll learn just how the two methods differ, since my Italian currently involves the use of English explanations.


As far as conversation goes, I really meant teacher supervised, or simply back and forth between various students and the teacher. While as a Linguistics student I might find it fascinating to see what sort of bastard Japanese might emerge from a first level Japanese classroom with too little supervision, it's not going to do much for my desire to properly learn the language. ;)

Liosse de Velishaf
08-27-2010, 07:29 PM
So I just had my first Italian 201 class, and it was all in Italian--very little English. But it made sense because you could understand about 95% of what the professor was saying. We actually moved pretty fast. But in my Japanese 101, most students could understand about 5% of what the professor was saying, so we went slow as hell. Fancy methods are all well and good, but a little common sense is worth a lot more.

LilliCray
08-31-2010, 04:55 AM
And a bad teacher is a bad teacher, no matter what method they use.

Amen to that.

I would *hate* to be in a Japanese-only class with my teacher. For one thing... I swear she has lazy pronunciation. She doesn't pronounce things the way she taught us they should be pronounced.

Case in point--"e." She taught us that we should pronounce "e" like the e in pet. Most of the time, though, she - and, by extension, everyone in the class except me - pronounces "e" as the ay in day. I stubbornly refuse to do so unless proven that native Japanese speakers do so, because she taught us the pet-sound, and if she taught us that, she cursed well better stick to it, because that's what makes me respect a teacher. I do not respect my Japanese teacher. She is a terrible teacher. And makes fun of students that don't understand something.

Um, hello? Making fun of someone helps them learn... how? Good grief.

I could go on and on about my grievances with the way she handled pronunciation in class. I'm the only one in my Japanese level 2/3 split class who pays any attention to the way I'm pronouncing things, it seems like. It feels like I'm the only one who makes an attempt at the Japanese "r," too. Hardly anyone understands me the first time when I tell them a word with an "r" in it, because they pretty much pronounce it like a plain old American "r."

If I'm wrong about the pronounciation, please let me know. I really hate to mispronounce things. >.<


So I just had my first Italian 201 class, and it was all in Italian--very little English. But it made sense because you could understand about 95% of what the professor was saying. We actually moved pretty fast. But in my Japanese 101, most students could understand about 5% of what the professor was saying, so we went slow as hell. Fancy methods are all well and good, but a little common sense is worth a lot more.

I just want to say--a lot of English speakers will likely do better in a foreign language-only class in a language that shares the same roots as English, like Italian. Japanese is so different from English that I think it's just harder for native English speakers to understand full-Japanese courses in the beginning just because it takes longer to puzzle out what the words mean. Also, particles could trip people up, because there doesn't seem to be anything equivalent to them in English.

I have a question about "shimau." I mean, it's sometimes used to express... what's the word? Like, disappointment that something happened. My textbook says that "shimau" cannot be used to say one is disappointed that something didn't happen, but the reason it cites for that is that "shimau" follows the "-te" form. But there's a negative "-te" form too, isn't there? "-nakute." I mean, maybe there's something I'm missing there, but something about the textbook's explanation just doesn't sit right with me. Does anyone know the rules regarding this?

Also, I could've sworn I heard "-nakuteshimau" in an anime, but there's always the possibility that it was something completely different. But that didn't do much for my misgivings about the textbook explanation. Though the fact that I heard it in an anime doesn't really mean anything. Could be a set expression or something.

Japanese-only classes would never work for me. Well, not in the foreseeable future, anyway. That's just the kind of student I am. Too many questions, too few acceptable answers, in my world. :D

Fullback
08-31-2010, 06:04 AM
Hmmm...

shimau means to finish, end or get through something, the act of closing a store or to stow away something. There may be emotion implied in the tone of voice or context of the conversation, but I wouldn't define it as an emotion. That's how I have always heard it and used it. I'll double check with the smarty-pants wife and make sure that's correct.

Nakuteshimau is to stop crying.

Your texts don't come with some audio supplement to check pronunciation?

Don't stop pronouncing things correctly. Just because someone else is a dummy, doesn't mean you have to be one too.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-31-2010, 06:55 AM
To be fair to your teacher and classmates, the japanese /e/ is most definitely not prononced like in "pet". It is not exactly like english "ay" either. It's somewhat in between. The long "a" sound in English is actually a diphthong. If you were to make it a monophthong, then that's basically what Japanese "e" is.


The Japanese "r" is actually bery easy to approximate, using the english alveolar flap, like the "tt" in "butter". No forgiveness for screwing that one up.