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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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  #46  
Old 2008-04-26, 23:58
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i'm holding "a guide to reading & writing japenese" which contains notes on 1000 kanjis, glanced at it and it's looking good, but i haven't actually started reading it yet
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  #47  
Old 2008-04-30, 08:26
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did anyone mention that there're a few auto japanese to english tools? they should help with the learning and probably would help even through the translattion results is somewhat "shaky"
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  #48  
Old 2008-04-30, 12:06
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<___< Machine translation engines are useful for pretty specific circumstances in the real world. Sometimes, it's all you have available.

Learning, is absolutely, most definitely, not one of them.

Let's be very generous and say that the best machine translation system can take any sentence and give a proper translation 75% of the time (this is extremely generous, since it's probably only close to there for simple sentences and utterly useless for complex ones, and we're ignoring the uncountable infinity of legal sentences). This still means that for 1 in 4 sentences, you get the wrong output. Now if you're reading a newspaper, that might be enough. You can fill in the blanks from context and figure things out.

Fast forward to learning, is 75% good enough? As a student, you can't tell right from wrong. So do you roll a die for each sentence, and hope you're learning something right? Sounds ridiculous to me. Make things worse, example sentences have no context, you can't even guess.

The only way the student can tell if something is right or wrong is to take the sentence, break down it's grammar, define all the words with a dictionary, check for idioms, then put it back together into a translation. But then, if they did that, why did they need the MT system?

Learn the grammar, pick up vocabulary, culture, and usage as you go; there's no shortcuts in this game called learning.
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  #49  
Old 2008-04-30, 12:14
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There are also things somewhat like machine translation engines, but not quite, like wwwjdict (that simply decomposes a line and looks up each portion for you). Those are far more useful for learning than translation engines that simply pop out an English sentence and provide no way to verify.
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  #50  
Old 2008-04-30, 13:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asceai View Post
There are also things somewhat like machine translation engines, but not quite, like wwwjdict (that simply decomposes a line and looks up each portion for you). Those are far more useful for learning than translation engines that simply pop out an English sentence and provide no way to verify.
While we're on the discussion of wwjdict, and if I haven't mentioned already... use/get a real Japanese-English dictionary with example sentences and constructions as soon as you can. One word/phrase definitions may be enough as a reference when you have encountered the word before, but can easily mislead you when you are learning the word for the first time. The dictionaries on dic.yahoo.co.jp are excellent, as is the one that comes with Mac OSX Leopard.
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  #51  
Old 2008-04-30, 13:48
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Yes, edict is not suitable as a general-purpose dictionary. It also misses quite a lot of kanji compounds, which can be bothersome at times. (often you can guess the meaning of the compound from the individual kanji, but sometimes you can't, or you'll get it horribly wrong. and if that isn't bad enough, figuring out how to say it can also be a bother)
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Last edited by Asceai; 2008-04-30 at 13:52.
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  #52  
Old 2008-05-01, 14:35
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I agree the learning situation is unavoidable, but most of the time the wwwjdic is just for single words and kanji. The rest just seems so suspect, I keep a small screen in my gaming 'hud' on my desktop just in case someone spits out a word with a meaning I don't know (occassionally jumping to dictionary.com for the english (^^; ).

Maybe buying an electronic dictionary might help, they're pretty fast and most of them can jump between their dictionaries? I ended up using one for BALDR FORCE because I couldn't alt-tab out.
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  #53  
Old 2008-05-12, 09:56
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Using dictionaries for the study of any foreign language is quite the double-edged sword. To fully rely on them would lead to situations where an arbitrarily chosen definition might not exactly be what you intended it to be. But, I suppose that goes without saying... >.>;

The problem with the study of the Japanese language (or any language, subject, etc.) is that people expect instant gratification all the time. One does not simply open up a study guide and find that they can automatically understand the language up and down enough to burn through Tsukihime without breaking a sweat (or breaking out the dictionary). As Agilis has said it above, "there's no shortcuts in this game called learning."

As for me, I've had: 2 semesters of Japanese at a junior college, 1 year of Japanese at a university, 1 semester studying abroad in Japan, 1 year working as a teacher in Japan, 3+ years traveling back and forth from the US to Japan which...at the very least allows me to carry on conversations without too much trouble. I've purchased many a self-study guide to Japanese over the years and frankly I think a lot of them are crap unless you have an absurd level of diligence to pour through them.

Oh, and I failed the JLPT Level 2 before I got out of university. >.>;
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  #54  
Old 2008-05-12, 10:08
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Mmm since I was so happy at buying a shiny new toy and wrote about it last night, I guess I should link to it here too...

http://www.neechin.net/article/90/di...panese-grammar
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  #55  
Old 2008-08-20, 19:14
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Wish me luck.
I'm going to try my best.
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  #56  
Old 2008-08-27, 12:51
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While I'm not an expert by any means, one place that has helped me alot is Japanese POD 101.
They have podcasts on a mostly daily basis that you can download and listen to for free, I think they have over 4 years worth of material now.

If you pay $25 for a year, you can download the PDFs which help a lot. They even have a PDF for each episode to explain the meaning of the Kanji for the vocabulry for that episode.

Now, this is more helpful for people who want to be able to listen to and speak Japanese than those just wanting to read Japanese, I think it's a very good way to improve your vocabulary. You'd be surprised by how much you can learn while doing house work listening to your mp3 player.
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  #57  
Old 2008-08-27, 13:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasurot View Post
Now, this is more helpful for people who want to be able to listen to and speak Japanese than those just wanting to read Japanese, I think it's a very good way to improve your vocabulary. You'd be surprised by how much you can learn while doing house work listening to your mp3 player.
I think that being able to read and write Japanese and being able to hear and speak Japanese are both worth learning because they complement each other. So whatever you learn will help your Japanese!
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  #58  
Old 2008-08-27, 14:38
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Since we're talking about learning Japanese, which way would people recommend me studying kanji? Is it better to first learn the meaning or is it better to start with the readings?

Kanji is the one part of Japanese that I've yet to delve too deep into. I write to my penpals using kanji with help from JWPCE so I can recognize a few kanji... but that won't help me learn kanji in mass.

I have Kanji Gold and it seems like a good way to learn Kanji. Anyone have any other recommendations?

Thanks!
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  #59  
Old 2008-08-27, 16:49
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For the most part, I use three things to learn kanji:

*Kanji de Manga books by Manga University : These books are really fun for learning how to use a kanji in a real life sentence or two.

*White rabbit Press Kanji Flashcards : The purpose of these is obvious XP

*Little Busters! + rikai-chan/moji : Pull the scripts out, throw them in a HTML file and use these 100% free firefox extensions to mouse over any unfamiliar words. Moji is just to supplement what rikai might miss. This is my favorite method though probably not the best. I have learnt stuff though (筋肉!!)
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  #60  
Old 2008-08-27, 17:06
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Do you know if AGTH works with Little Busters? My first foray into kanji was using Atlas and trying to translate Shuffle! ... which was well beyond my capabilities at the time. But playing LB in a window with a converter seems like it would be a good way to learn now.

I know some forums have rules against mentioning products that would extract text... let me know if this is the case and I'll remove this post. Thanks and/or sorry!

Last edited by Kasurot; 2008-08-27 at 17:32.
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