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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 2004-05-08, 07:59
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Default I want to learn Japanese...

This isn't a complaint thread about how I can't play Clannad, I seriously want to, but I have no idea how to get started on it.

Anyone here who's managed to learn the language (and isn't a native speaker), got suggestions?

Thanks in advance all ^_^;

(I know it won't be easy, but I'll try as hard as I can.)
  #2  
Old 2004-05-08, 08:30
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Haeleth Haeleth is offline
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Well, the way I did it was by getting a pile of dictionaries, grammars, and tutorials, teaching myself the basics, and then sitting down with some Japanese text, trying to translate it, and asking on various message boards when I couldn't work something out.

Stuff I find/found useful:
Takasugi Shinji's tutorial (covers the basics very well, also has a useful links section)

Kanji & Kana (a decent guide to Japanese writing, although it looks like the new edition has a horrible cover)
A basic dictionary (none of the small Japanese dictionaries are much good, but this one is better than most)

JWPce (a free Japanese text editor with built-in dictionary and kanji lookup)
英辞郎 (a free online dictionary with more idiomatic expressions than most)
goo 辞書 (a more serious free online dictionary)
Kenkyusha online (the best online dictionary, but it's a subscription service costing about $5/mo)

Human Japanese forum (a language learners' board; I haven't been there in years, but it used to be a pretty good place for beginners' questions)
Japanese board at animelyrics (a good place for more advanced questions, but newcomers get flamed rather easily; read the top thread carefully and lurk a while before posting)

However, I'd like to emphasise that teaching yourself is not a good approach. I only got away with it because I have a background in linguistics, and even then I'm not too good on the spoken language; unless you have or are working for a languages degree, you'll probably find it pretty tough to learn the grammar without a structured course.

So what I actually recommend is working through Takasugi's tutorial to give yourself some idea of what the language is like and how hard you'll find it to learn, and then if you want to go on and learn it properly, take a class. If you're not at school or your school doesn't offer it, your local college might offer one to the public.
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Old 2004-05-08, 09:16
Stranger Stranger is offline
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Haeleth another thank you to you :-)

I been wandering why my hiragana reading never give's the correct sound to a word... I've been memorizing them with the wrong sound... now I have to start all over again :-(

Oh well... thanks again man, espcialy for the Teach Yourself Japanese link
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Old 2004-05-08, 13:51
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Thanks a ton, I'll be working on it whenever I get time ^_^
  #5  
Old 2004-06-24, 17:26
JudicatorOmega JudicatorOmega is offline
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Hey, I know this topic is pretty old, but I just wanted to mention that I found this interesting little game that effectively helps you learn Katakana, Hiragana, and a (very) few Kanjis. This game has already helped me to learn 83 Katakanas and 43 Hiraganas. At my learning rate, I guess I will be moving on to Kanjis in a week or so.

Project LRNJ - http://lrnj.com/

Oh yea, and you forgot to mention the Kanji Site http://www.kanjisite.com/, I personally thought this was an important site.
  #6  
Old 2004-06-24, 23:24
Stranger Stranger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudicatorOmega
Project LRNJ - http://lrnj.com/
wow, I like this one already (even though it is starting with Katakana, and I've been spending time learning Hiragana). Thanks for the link, looks like lots of fun. I was already thinking about doing something to try to help me read hiragana randomely, but this game does the job already ;-)

P.S. A topic is never to old, it just that the people who were posting in it said what the wanted to say, and now have nothing to add. So whoever out there have other stuff for learn Japanese please do post, we are still trying to learn (おねがい).
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  #7  
Old 2004-06-25, 00:01
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The main thing is constant practice. Japanese ain't like riding a bike, for everyday you don't study you lose two you do.

The best hardcopy dictionarys I've found are in Japan, and those are written in Hiragana/Katakana so they're abit advanced.

A good way to stay sharp is to get some manga and read it everyday. If you want some practice, find a song you like in Japanese and translate it on your offtime. It's not the easiest hobby, but most songs use alot of the same words, so you get a decent vocabulary base pretty quickly.
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Old 2004-06-25, 00:07
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hey Boss, what do you think of Jim Breen's WWWJDIC http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html
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  #9  
Old 2004-06-25, 02:20
Aldareon Aldareon is offline
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I used to use that and this one:
http://www.freedict.com/onldict/jap.html

It's simple, but I use those two whenever I don't have my dictionary with me but am near a computer terminal (which really is most of the time). Now where can I get those small portable ones??

I haven't used Jim's dictionary in quite a while, but from my recollections it used to take about 2~5 minutes for a result during peak times. However, it is more complete in my opinion
  #10  
Old 2004-06-25, 02:21
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Both use EDICT, which means the quality is very patchy. (For example, if you look up 羽根, it gives "shuttlecock" - but the word means "feather"!)

I used to use it a fair bit, but these days my order of choice for online dictionaries is Kenkyusha Online -> Goo 辞書 -> 英辞郎 (all as linked above).
  #11  
Old 2004-06-25, 07:04
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I overabuse Jim Breen and Freedict. -_-
  #12  
Old 2004-06-27, 00:28
JudicatorOmega JudicatorOmega is offline
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I have learned 83 katakanas, 55 hiraganas, and 46 kanjis so far. But the only actualy japanese words I know are baka (idiot? moron? retard?) and okasa (mother). I have some important questions that maybe you guys can answer.

Is there really only 83 katakana and 55 hiragana? Shouldn't there be an equal amount of both, or is that because the kanjis are pronounced with the missing hiragana syllables? The game I play only teaches me the english meanings of the kanjis, so I cannot read them, but only understand what they mean.

When attempting to read loan words (katakana) I keep seeing a dash at the middle or at the end of the word. Nobody ever told me what that meant, so I can never cast a spell (in the game).

What is a good way to practice my new learned hiragana and katakana reading skills? Everybody uses Kanji and I don't know how to seperate words because I don't see any spaces in between them at all. I understand that the transition from hiragana, katakana, & kanjis are word seperators themselves, but there must be cases with 2 hiragana words used one after the other right?

Surely 8000+ kanjis is not possible is it??? There is only so many ways you can write a series of lines in a small space. If I was asked to make 8000 unique patterns on a 24x24 dot grid, I would go insane after just 3000. Is Kanji some kind of a joke? Hiragana looks good enough to be an alphabet already, why use kanji?
  #13  
Old 2004-06-27, 00:50
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I think there are 81 Hiragana and Katakana, for each Haragana there is a Katakana, so that mean you are missing some Haragana (I recomand the Teach Yourself Japanese Link above). As for using space...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger
P.S.S. What the heck do Japanese people have agenst the space key??!!!!
Well, why bother wasting space on a page by putting big gaps between words, when you can tell where important word breaks come by looking for the transition between kana and kanji? Plus it makes life harder for those pesky foreigners, of course... :p

<tt>IFYOUWANTHARDTOREADTRYTHEOLDROMANSTY
LEWITHALLCAPITALLETTERSNOSPACESORPUN
CTUATIONANDLINEBREAKSWHEREVERTHEYHAP
PENTOFALLAPPARENTLYTHEYTHOUGHTITLOOK
EDNICEAHAHATHOSECRAZYANCIENTROMANSEH</tt>
as for practicing... I am practicing with Clannad... it is very slow, and sometime gives me a headache... but hey... you can actuly read few words after a while... ofcouce there is no way of knowing if what you read is correct or not ;-)

Also I recommand playing RAW Kanon with the voice patch installed... and watching anime while listining to what the charecters say
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  #14  
Old 2004-06-27, 01:19
Aldareon Aldareon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudicatorOmega
I keep seeing a dash at the middle or at the end of the word. Nobody ever told me what that meant, so I can never cast a spell.
It's nothing special. Just an extension of the word, like Omega~ would be more like Omegaa. Just be aware that the kanji for "one" is also a dash (with "two" being an equal sign and "three" being the implied symbol - three horizontal lines)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudicatorOmega
why use kanji?
You might call it ironic, but the answer would be "for simplicity" ^_^
Kanji is used to shorten the amount of space taken in writing. Lots of Kanji can replace the function of at least two katakanas/hiraganas combined. Also, the shapes can have symbolic meanings - like when you specify the date in Jap format, it uses the sun symbol for day and moon symbol for month, or yama (mountain) looks like a mountain with three peaks. Finally, the kanji can also differentiate between the different meanings of the same word.

Gotta admit though, the sheer number of those Kanji are a huge turn off. A tip I was given by a friend was to learn about 3 or 5 symbols a week, with words to associate the symbols. Maybe I should have taken his advice .. but that's a different story ^_^
  #15  
Old 2004-06-27, 01:54
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yeah, after awhile, you prefer kanji since the meaning won't change.

For an example, think of the word "safe". There are dozens of definitions of that word, but a picture can only mean one thing.
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