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Old 2008-06-13, 17:40
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Default Learning Japanese in College Course

How many quarters would it take to be able to read through a japanese visual novel, or a japanese novel like full metal panic?
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Old 2008-06-13, 19:07
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
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It depends on the complexity of the novel and how much you practice outside of class, but the short answer is that it's entirely possible to graduate from your degree without being able to read a visual novel. University-level Japanese courses are excellent for teaching you the fundamentals, but visual novels frequently contain uncommon grammatical constructions, idiomatic/non-literal phrasing, non-standard slang/dialects and vocabulary that teachers wouldn't have time to fit into a college class.

Having said that, I expect that with regular practice, most people could pick up enough to get through a visual novel within a year.

Last edited by AstCd2; 2008-06-13 at 19:11.
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Old 2008-06-13, 21:29
Leo_Otaku Leo_Otaku is offline
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If you have a cultural centre or if you have anyone to converse with that can help. Living in Japan or visiting is a plus you can actualy use your skills. In my town you will find like 5 japanese speakers to converse with XD.
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Old 2008-06-13, 22:34
Narumi Narumi is offline
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Originally Posted by AstCd2 View Post
It depends on the complexity of the novel and how much you practice outside of class, but the short answer is that it's entirely possible to graduate from your degree without being able to read a visual novel.
That would be rather frightening. Especially since one expects a degree holder to be able to read and translate works of literature, at least in the programs I'm aware of.
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Old 2008-06-14, 01:03
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That would be rather frightening. Especially since one expects a degree holder to be able to read and translate works of literature, at least in the programs I'm aware of.
Yea, well most degrees aren't focused on the translation aspect, they're more focused on allowing one to develop the capabilities to conduct international business through bypassing the language barrier. So they teach you everything you need to be able to live, work in an office, and get by in everyday life, but they do NOT teach you literature. Even the program here at Keio University in Japan--The goal is not to teach you literature Japanese, its to teach you the Japanese language necessary to operate on a college level and function in an undergraduate class. So while the Japanese university may be teaching me writing style far more than my home university did, its lecture and thesis writing style, not literary writing style.

This doesn't make them bad systems though. Both provide you with the fundamentals needed to learn literary Japanese by exposing you to grammar points and complex uses of language, but to truly become acquainted with the vocabulary and usage in a literary context, they're still no substitute for sitting down and experiencing the real thing. MY best recommendation would be to engage in such self-study while enrolled in your college classes, because when you encounter something new that you still don't understand after using a dictionary, or if you can't tell the difference between two words that mean almost the same thing, you have a teacher who is available to answer those questions, and usually they're more than willing to help you learn such things, they simply lack the time to do so in class.

Once my study abroad period ends, I'll have finished my 4th year of Japanese Language classes at the university.
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Old 2008-06-14, 01:06
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I've not had formal education in Japanese, personally... always considered picking it up, but, all things considered I don't think I can justify the expense involved in taking the classes - no intent to work in Japan etc.
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Old 2008-06-14, 03:14
GreatSaintLouis GreatSaintLouis is offline
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As noted, while your mileage will vary depending on the classes just how much Japanese you'll learn, you'll most likely not learn in any classroom the ins and outs of the Japanese vernacular. A study abroad session, be it through your school or through one of the many independent Japanese conversation schools, can not only help you with those aspects of the language you're not apt to find in a dictionary, but the forced immersion will make you progress in leaps and bounds beyond what you'd be doing at home. Especially excellent are programs where you're made to live with a host family as you're not allowed to retreat back into your little English bubble once classes are over.
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Old 2008-06-14, 07:18
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writing from a pda....

there's no stanard curriculum for japanesevclases (of course) so it highly depends on the program. often classes in college focus on business and the ability to function day to day. books like full metal panic has sf, military, geopolitical terms and the like, whch are outside the scope of those classes. you have to work on your own.

translation is a totally separate thing from just learning a language because let's be realistic, most people can't write. they have no sense of what is quality writing and proper style.i know that some schools are now offering vertificates in translation..

however the originsal poster just wants to read, not translate, so perfect accuracy in comprehension ins't necessary. it depends on how fast they absorb things, but if they're proactive in learning, by workimg on thier own and pushing to be ahead of the cllass, they can probably start w/ manga w/in a year,and novels in 2-3.

novels are harder since authors can and do have characters speaking w/ no attribution, just using masc. orr fem. speech to imply who is speaking.
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Old 2008-06-14, 12:07
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To do with self study, are there any methods anyone out there would recommend? I heard flash cards can be good, but I really don't know to much...
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Old 2008-06-14, 15:38
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Different methods might be useful for different things. For example, I couldn't really give you a good way of memorising hiragana and katakana, because I did that _years_ ago (when I was 10-11 years old), which probably gave me a bit of a leg-up later when I decided to actually try and learn the language. (as well as learning stuff like how to tell the time). Nowadays my study is almost purely kanji/vocab-based, and I can tell you that flash cards wouldn't help me at all here =P
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Old 2008-06-14, 20:15
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Regardless of what method you use to study, the best way is to use what you've learned constantly in something that you enjoy. I know I picked up hiragana and katakana pretty quickly after doing lots of character identification tasks for ROM hacking.
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Old 2008-06-14, 21:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kouryuu View Post
Yea, well most degrees aren't focused on the translation aspect, they're more focused on allowing one to develop the capabilities to conduct international business through bypassing the language barrier. So they teach you everything you need to be able to live, work in an office, and get by in everyday life, but they do NOT teach you literature. Even the program here at Keio University in Japan--The goal is not to teach you literature Japanese, its to teach you the Japanese language necessary to operate on a college level and function in an undergraduate class. So while the Japanese university may be teaching me writing style far more than my home university did, its lecture and thesis writing style, not literary writing style.
while there might be some schools like that, not all are. like the one I'm currently in is a literature based degree and we read works all semester long.
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Old 2008-06-15, 02:58
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while there might be some schools like that, not all are. like the one I'm currently in is a literature based degree and we read works all semester long.
To be fair Keio University has an elective that does that, but that's only maybe 1/11 of the rest of the workload I go through. In that class we read through works by Murakami and others. There's another elective that focuses on speech (2/11), where we work on our comprehension of the aural language through media such as news programs, quiz shows, variety programs, and a couple drama. However, the core 6/11 of one's workload is still Scholarly, Thesis/Lecture style written language.
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Old 2008-06-16, 02:12
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so even if i were to take an active role going ahead of the class and learning on my own as well as with the aid of the teacher, it would take 2-3 years to read full metal panic? (they stopped translating it, and I am not waiting until 2015 to finish the story once they have it out in America)
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Old 2008-06-16, 03:08
GreatSaintLouis GreatSaintLouis is offline
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It really depends on your learning pace. It could be 2-3 years, it could be less, and it could be a lot more--it all really depends on the rate at which you absorb the material. It also depends on exactly how you want to read the book--obviously, you'll be able to slog through it with occasional use of a dictionary and grammar check a lot sooner than you will be able to read it like a native. Either way, it's less dependent on the amount of time that you study than it is a function of just how hard you study and work to apply the knowledge.
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