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General Discussion Theres a Clannad of AIR-headed Kanon fodder being shot by the Little Busters After Tomoyo on a Planet-arian.

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  #1  
Old 2005-07-18, 19:48
Kanji Kanji is offline
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Default Trying to learn the language w/ Chinese character background

Hello all,
This is the first time I have posted on boards that discuss the genre of bishoujo computer games. I confess that I was not a fan of anime but being a intern in a new city-Milwaukee, have next to nothing to do for the summer and being a childhood fan of DORAEMON-I grew up with the chinese version have compelled me to order a few of the translated titles and give them a look. I have played a few: Snow Drop, Tokimeki Check-in, seasons of the saukara, casual dating club, Hitmoi-my step sister(the Hitmoi path was agony to go through but at least the poor girl had a decent ending). I have to say that Kanon blew them out of the water and grabbed me by the collar and didn't let go.

I think the Kanon in particular made me want to study Japanese and filled me with an odd desire to learn. I was hoping that my knowledge in Chinese characters can help me speed up the process by a little(I attended school in Tianjin until 10ish) . I am thinking about heading down to the local library tomorrow and see if they have any japanese tapes/cds I can listen to. If anyone can offer any advice to help me on this journey I would greatly appericate it.

Also...I know there is a chinese translated version of AIR, and I am toying with the idea of translating it into english since I have jack to do after work and Wisconsin TV is starting to lose its appeal.

Again thanks for taking your time to reading all my ranting. Again, I have to say it was a pleasure to play all the way to the 23rd day of Mai, and I hope to resume the journey.

Bo
  #2  
Old 2005-07-19, 00:59
zalas zalas is offline
 
 
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Knowledge of Chinese can be both a burden and a blessing. On the one hand, you'd be able to recognize a lot of kanji. On the other hand, sometimes the kanji don't mean what you think they mean, and you still don't have a very good idea of how to pronounce it. Now, if you have some background in Classical Chinese, that would help immensely, as the grammar is a lot closer to Japanese, plus you have all those deprecated meanings in modern Chinese which are used in modern Japanese.

I would still start with the basics, like learning the two other writing systems, figuring out how to pronounce each kana, and then moving on to some simple grammar.
  #3  
Old 2005-07-19, 13:29
Kanji Kanji is offline
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Default Useful books?

Zalas, thanks for the response. I have read some classical Chinese literature and I understand the point you were making about the difference between that and modern Chinese.

I was taking some time out of lunch browsing though Amazon's selection of Japanese books. One of the highest rated books they have includes "Easy Japanese" by James K. Seward and "Japanese Step by Step : An Innovative Approach to Speaking and Reading Japanese" by Gene Nishi. They are sold in a bundle deal so I might as well save some dough buying it. I also noticed "Mangajin's Basic Japanese Through Comics" that seemed to be quite highly rated among many and it might be a more lighthearted way to learn the language.

Hopefully pronunciation should be an easier experience since I can speak Manderian and I going to get some tapes this afternoon. Besides, I often found my self speaking out from playing those games and it's always great fun to learn language in a entertaining format.

I appreciate all the feedback that you can provide and actually the Japanese word "Kaizen" is quite the fashionable term of business development at my workplace...

Bo
  #4  
Old 2005-07-19, 15:31
Kanji Kanji is offline
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Default YesJapan...

I am thinking about signing up for the YesJapan trial subscription for around 10 bucks for first ten days. It looks pretty helpful although it would be good to hear what the folks here think about that website and the online courses and it offers.

Arigatou!

Bo
  #5  
Old 2005-07-19, 19:41
Kanji Kanji is offline
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Default The journey Begins

Got myself signed up to YesJapan.com's trial membership, and I am now going after my rei, ichi, ni with Kanon's soundtrack pumping in the background. A few things of note-at least I found them interesting with a Chinese background... the word for three-"san" is pronounced excatly the same in Japanese and Chinese. Also, 4-"Shi", which also means "death" is very similar to the chinese pronouncation of death, which is "si". The Japanese word for 9-"ku", which also means "suffering" is also spoken the same way in Chinese.

Oh well, these things are pretty trival but I got pretty excited nevertheless!

Good night all

Bo
  #6  
Old 2005-07-19, 22:01
zalas zalas is offline
 
 
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Actually, in mandarin, there is a difference between the pronounciation of 'three' and the Japanese pronounciation 'san' One sounds like 'bam' and the other sounds like 'bomb'.
  #7  
Old 2005-07-19, 23:53
omgwtflolz
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Quote:
Also, 4-"Shi", which also means "death" is very similar to the chinese pronouncation of death, which is "si".
Judging from that, I don't think he's talking about Mandarin. Some dialect, perhaps?
  #8  
Old 2005-07-20, 05:48
Kanji Kanji is offline
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Actually, "si" is the offical "pinyin" pronoucation for Mandarian in the PRC. If you want to get more specific regarding "si", it's a "s" followed with a "i" with a downward stroke on top, which donates that it's pronounced with the fourth tone.

Also, in regards to Zalas's post, yes there are differences in pronouncation of "san" but it's similar sounding enough that I think anyone who isn't used to the sound of the word would be able to distinguish them.

What kind of messed of me up now is the fact that I can understand most of the Kanji but they are pronounced differently. And on the yesJapan forums, people were talking about how nowadays its more common to use multiple Hiragana characters to represent a word(eg. "rabbit") instead of using only one Kanji character. Makes me wonder why did the Japanese adopt Chinese characters at all...

Bo
  #9  
Old 2005-07-20, 08:06
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Haeleth Haeleth is offline
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The similarity in pronunciation of those numbers is because, quite simply, the Japanese borrowed the Chinese pronunciations along with the characters. Of course, you'll also find them pronounced with the native Japanese pronunciations in some words, and for 四 and 七 the Japanese pronunciations "yon" and "nana" are probably more common than the Chinese-derived "shi" and "shichi".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanji
What kind of messed of me up now is the fact that I can understand most of the Kanji but they are pronounced differently.
Well, naturally: they're writing a different language. You'll also have to be careful about your assumption that you can understand them... I'm not aware that 八 ever means "snack" in Chinese, but that's what お八つ means in Japan. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanji
people were talking about how nowadays its more common to use multiple Hiragana characters to represent a word(eg. "rabbit") instead of using only one Kanji character. Makes me wonder why did the Japanese adopt Chinese characters at all...
Because they didn't have any writing of their own at all, of course. Now that they have two kana scripts as well (and in case you hadn't realised, the kana were created by taking certain kanji and simplifying them), they can choose for each word whether they think it's easier to read and write with kanji or with kana. In the case of animals, nobody seems to agree, so you'll see 兎, うさぎ, and ウサギ, sometimes all in the same paragraph...
  #10  
Old 2005-07-20, 08:32
omgwtflolz
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Maybe my memory is terrible, but I'm pretty sure that the Mandarin 四 is pronounced nothing like the Japanese 死/し
  #11  
Old 2005-07-20, 15:54
Kanji Kanji is offline
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To omgetflolz, well I guess the two character don't excatly match, but their sounds are close enough that I would consider them similar.

To Haeleth, the yesJapan website did state that because of the different meanings of "shi" and "ku", that they are considered unlucky in Japan. I would like to point out that for the exact same reason the number 4 or "si" is considered unlucky in China, to the extent where people get discounted prices on cell phone numbers that includes 4!

Also on your comment the Japanese simplifying Kanji, ironically enough, the current script(Simplified/Mandarian) used by the PRC/AKA mainland China is also a simplified version of the original "complex" characters. I suppose more than quite a few folks found them troublesome to jot down.

Bo
  #12  
Old 2005-07-20, 19:17
gp32 gp32 is offline
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Speaking of which, I have always found it incredibly amusing that Labor And Delivery is located on the 4th floor of C.S. Mott Childrens' Hospital ...
  #13  
Old 2005-07-21, 18:30
Kanji Kanji is offline
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Default Keep on keeping on...

It's now day three of my yesJapan regimine, I am averaging around 2-3 hours per day on the website learning Hiragana with the tune 少女の檻 chiming in the background...somehow the melody keeps me focused...

I am adjusting to a pretty regular scedule now-work,food,gym,japanese,sleep...and repeat. Learning the new Hiragana isn't easy and I am forgetting about 30% of the word/meanings every night. This is no walk in the park and I guess the first steps are the hardest to take.

Anyways, that's all I have to rant about tonight, back to pencilin some Hiragana!

Bo
  #14  
Old 2005-07-23, 13:19
Kylon Kylon is offline
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Hello,

Good to hear you're trying to learn Japanese as well. I learned Japanese through my Chinese background as well, although through Cantonese.

I remember the first thing that made me want to learn Japanese was hearing the phrase "denwa" (電話). It just suddenly hit me and I thought that the character was speaking Chinese. 8) (Mind you there were no tones so I didn't think that for long.)

So as a result I've self taught myself Japanese for the last 6-7 years for fun. Each time I finish a renai game my Japanese (and my Chinese) improves alot. I haven't gone to any Japanese courses because they all teach from an English point of view whereas I found my retention was much better when learning from a Chinese point of view.

I wouldn't say that your Chinese is a hinderance to learning Japanese unless you make the assumption that the Chinese is the same. In all cases, you should look up the Japanese and memorize the difference. In fact, in doing that, I find that I actually have a better recall of the words themselves.

For example:
勉強 means like 'forced' in Chinese (meen keung), but it means 'to study (ben kyou)' in Japanese. (This is one of the phrases I've seen that's the most different in meaning.) So, its easy to remember if you think about all those hard years of study in University that you had to force yourself to do. 8)

The other thing is, be aware that the imported sounds (the ON yomi of Japanese kanji) have been imported sometimes from Cantonese, sometimes from Mandarin... and some from other dialects. A Japanese student once told me that some ON yomi are from Japan as well.

(like 月 of which the ON-yomi is 'GATSU' ... its 'yuet' in Cantonese and 'yue' in Mandarin... so this one came from somewhere else.)

A good resource to have is JWPce if you're looking for a free software dictionary. (It's got kanji look-ups by radicals. 8) )
http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~grosenth/jwpce.html

Anyways, good luck!
  #15  
Old 2005-07-24, 19:28
Blitzwing01 Blitzwing01 is offline
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As someone who is also from a Cantonese background, though I've only been studying Japanese for 1 year, I'm finding that I also have a renewed interest in learning more Chinese. When studying kanji, i try to learn both the Japanese and applicable Chinese meanings. 2 birds with one stone.

Another useful program for studying Japanese and Chinese is Wakan. Give it a try!
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