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Weeaboos Unite: Learning Japanese for Fun and Profit

KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Like most anime/manga/JRPG fans, I've been trying to learn Japanese for a long while. Only recently have I actually gotten serious about it enough to start making any progress.

I suppose the first thing that really helped is finally convincing myself that Learning Japanese is Not Impossible. For an incredibly long time I had convinced myself that I was too old (27) to learn, that after a certain age your language centers of your brain solidify and become impossible to improve or change.

Bullshit.

While I'm nowhere near the point where I can read Japanese, I'm infinitely further now than I was. Once you get past the idea that you can't do it, it becomes a lot easier than it appears.



The Basics:

Japanese is written in 3 alphabets -- Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Hiragana is the closest thing they have to our A-Z. Katakana is primarily used for Foreign Words and for Emphasis, the best description I have heard is that Katakana is a form of Japanese Italics. Kanji are loaner symbols from Chinese writing, and are for outright words.

(There will be more here once I get an idea of how I want to phrase some of this stuff.)



Books:
Remembering the Kana: A Guide to Reading and Writing the Japanese Syllabaries in 3 Hours Each (Manoa) (Paperback) -- This book is what I used to memorize the Kana (Hiragana and Katakana). It is the best one I've found so far. Heisig is somewhat controversial, but he made a believer out of me in this book. The general idea is that instead of rote memorization (doing drills et all) you make up pictures in your mind for each kana, and memorize THOSE instead of the kana themselves. The Katakana section isn't as great, but that's partially because there are about 25 Katakana, and about 18 of them all look like the same symbol with an extra dot.

Remembering the Kanji Vol 1 -- This book follows up from the Kana book. Heisig's theory is that using imagination to memorize the kanji works much better than rote memorization -- he bases this on the idea that the Chinese people in his Japanese class were able to pick up Japanese extremely fast as they already knew what the Kanji meant (but not how they were spelled, read, etc). Some people swear by them, others think he's a quack. Those that believe in him almost universally state that you have to follow all three books, and several of them have told me not to attempt any other learning while working through his system, as it will confuse you.

Japanese For Busy People: Kana Edition -- The Kana part is the important part, nothing will screw your Japanese learning up more than using Romaji (US Letters for Japanese words). Goes fairly slow but apparently is a very basic textbook -- quite a few people I asked for advice hate this particular book.

Genki I -- This textbook seems much more comprehensive than Japanese 4 Busy People, and has come recommended by several people. I am going through a sample PDF I found on some bookstore, and I like it. Somewhat hard to find.



Dictionaries:
Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese (Hardcover) -- Rather than expecting you be able to find a word using it's Kanji, this book uses Furigana (those little kana hiding next to Kanji in some books). This makes it an excellent book for looking up words.

The Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary (Japanese for Busy People) (Paperback) -- This dictionary uses the SKIP system, which is by far the best way of looking up Kanjis I've ever found. I'm sure someday I'll want to learn how to use Radicals, I'm sure, but for now, SKIP works great.

The Compact Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary [ABRIDGED] (Paperback) -- A smaller version of the big blue brick, this is considered the definitive J-E dictionary by everyone I've spoke with.


Links:
The Mnemosyne Project -- The Mnemosyne project is a combination software flashcard system and a study in memory. It is a great system of flashcards that are timed -- you rate how well you remember them and they pop up more or less often based on that.

Reviewing the Kanji -- A fansite/studying site for Heisig's book, this website has study guides, suggested images for the kanji (Heisig only offers example images for the first half of his book), and a flashcard system.

JQuickTrans -- Essentially a frontend for the popular free edict data file, this is a great kanji lookup tool and dictionary. $10, shareware. Uses every method possible for looking up Kanji including SKIP.

time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
KiTA on
«1345

Posts

  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Reserved for Extra Stuff.



    So, anyone learning Japanese?

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User
    edited September 2008
    i want to learn it but just dont have the time right now.

    CooterTKE on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    KiTA wrote: »
    Reserved for Extra Stuff.



    So, anyone learning Japanese?

    Learned it in high school from my sophomore year to my senior year. Stopped using it completely in college so now i'm at the point where I try to recall it whenever I see it and it's pretty abysmal. I think I managed to forget half of the kanji I knew from lack of usage.

    It's an exceptionally logical language and I really enjoy it but it does take time and work to master. It is quite rewarding in the end though.

    DasUberEdward on
  • LuthzLuthz Registered User
    edited September 2008
    CooterTKE wrote: »
    i want to learn it but just dont have the time right now.

    I'm currently taking a course that is 2 hours per week, not that hard to fit in, and it sticks quite well.
    KiTA wrote: »
    The Katakana section isn't as great, but that's partially because there are about 25 Katakana, and about 18 of them all look like the same symbol with an extra dot.

    There are actually 46 Basic Katakana symbols. Plus an additional 25 for voiced and an additional 36 when you start mixing "*i" symbols and ya/yu/yo. (Shi (シ)+ yo (ヨ) = sho (ショ) for example)


    That being said, I'm currently in my third of five japanese courses at my local university, and being the weeaboo that I am, am having a fantastic time with it.

    わたしはにほんごをならうのがだいすきです

    Luthz on
  • NotMeguChanNotMeguChan Registered User
    edited September 2008
    I've studied Japanese for 6+ years now. I majored in it and even spent a year studying in Tokyo. Learning basic Japanese grammar and writing is very simple, but it is one of those languages that becomes more complex and for some difficult the more you study and know.

    The Kodansha Kanji Dictionary you listed is the one I use and it is AMAZING. It really does have the best lookup method(s) all in one dictionary. The textbooks that I used were "Yookoso!" - I found them to be alright. I think the one we used in high school was "Ima!". I've heard "Ima!" is geared towards middle school age/high school age students, and I feel as though I was able to gain a pretty stable foundation using those books.

    NotMeguChan on
  • JerikTelorianJerikTelorian Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I took some in College, but it is slipping quickly away from me.

    I'd gladly join people in a chat room to practice/teach each other, if people were interested.

    JerikTelorian on
    SteamID -- JerikTelorian
    XBL: LiquidSnake2061
    Shade wrote: »
    Anyone notice how some things (mattresses and the copy machines in Highrise) are totally impenetrable? A steel wall, yeah that makes sense, but bullets should obliterate copy machines.

    I don't know about you, but I always buy a bullet proof printer. Its a lot more expensive, but I think the advantages are apparent.
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    KiTA wrote: »
    So, anyone learning Japanese?

    I'm about to start memorizing hiragana within the next few days, and that needs to be done to proceed past the first chapter of my textbook (An Introduction to Modern Japanese). I hate rote memorization, but I plan on taking around 10 at a time and practice writing them (following the stroke order from the book) until I can reliably recognize 'em, then set up some flashcards in JMemorize to test myself.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
  • spacerobotspacerobot Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I want to start off by saying that everyone should read this: http://pepper.idge.net/japanese/ It's hilarious and definitely touches on many peoples feelings of the language.

    I started learning Japanese my 5th year in college. I needed to be a full time student while I finished up my major, and thought that Japanese would be fun. Plus I hoped it would open up opportunities for me to teach English in Japan one day.

    Beginning Japanese was surprisingly not very difficult. There were several "weeaboos" in the class who studied nihongo on their own in High School (It was mostly a class of Freshmen and I was by far the oldest. It was kind of fun being the oldest because when we got to formal speaking and stuff, my professor would always make the other students talk formally to me while I could speak casually to them. They hated it.) and already knew hiragana/katakana and flew through the first couple classes. Fortunately our Japanese professor was amazing (North Central College, in Naperville Illinois. I highly recommend their language courses) and she took everything from the very beginning (this is what konnichiwa means). Learning the alphabet was not very difficult with some discipline and lots of studying. We learned hiragana and katakana in about a week and a half each, and except for the first day we never read or wrote using romanji (which I am extremely thankful for).

    By the time I made it to the intermediate level the classes became very difficult (but not impossible). We had a quiz every single day on either vocabulary or kanji. I really really hate kanji quizzes. So every week we learned approximately 20 new words and 10 kanji.

    One of the most difficult parts for me (other than kanji) was grammar. I can't think of any other way to describe the grammer other than by calling it a "bitch". While I passed all my Japanese classes, I still struggled in them. I studied more for Japanese than I had for any other class, and even had a tutor and I still struggled. The grammar killed me. (but it wasn't impossible)

    My school was on trimesters, so we have three ten week terms. Because I needed to graduate I had to stop taking Japanese classes after the second term of the intermediate year. One of my regrets for college is not being able to continue studying the language. Not only was it very fun to learn, but I made a ton of friends (not weeaboos) with Japanese majors and international students. They were some of the coolest people I met while I was in college.

    Another advantage to studying Japanese is that it made me have a greater appreciation for the English language. I don't mean appreciation that I understand English fluently, but I now appreciate different aspects of languages in general and how it's put together and spoken. Japanese also taught me to have discipline in studying. Before I took Japanese I was horrible at studying, however once I learned the techniques my grades began improving in all my classes because I was studying more effectively.

    Japanese opened many doors in my life. In the summer of 2007 my Japanese professor saw me working in the library and began chatting with me. She knew that I was interested in Japan (obviously) and that my major was Psychology. She invited me to become a research assistant for her and a cultural psychology professor that were studying differences between apologies in Japanese and Americans. That opportunity helped me realize what I want to do in my life.

    In my spare time now i've been missing studying a language, so I've decided to start studying Korean on my own. So far I've learned the alphabet and some very very limited vocabulary. However if I never would have studied japanese, i wouldn't even have teh desire to learn a new language now to keep my mind fresh.

    In short, I loved studying Japanese and I should really pick up my text books to get back into it. I've forgotten so much since my last class and I would love to get back in the habit. Also, I think if I went back and got a new college degree, there is a good chance it would be in Japanese.

    It's fun. you should try it.

    spacerobot on
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  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited September 2008
    I'm taking Japanese 1 this semester at university.

    If you're still learning your kana, and you have a DS with a flashcart, I can't recommend Project JDS enough. It's a super-customizable flashcard program for hiragana and katakana; it's really helped me learn my shit.

    Although, to be honest, there's something about using my Nintendo DS to learn Japanese that makes me feel like a scary otaku weeaboo weirdo.

    DeathPrawn on
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  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Some friends have expressed interest in going to Japan on a vacation in the next few years. If I were to go, I'd want to try and learn a bit of Japanese- if only to be able to communicate basic thoughts. I've expressed interest in Rosetta Stone's courses, but I've no idea of it's effectiveness.

    Tach on
  • GeodGeod swim, swim, hungryRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I took a year of Japanese back when I was in college, but since graduating I've pretty much forgotten most of it, except for my Hiragana, and parts of Katakana. That said, a couple of weeks ago I took it up again and am taking a class in DC to hopefully eventually become fluent enough to be able to converse in Japanese. Though it sucks starting from the beginning again, so it's a bit of review. We're using the Genki books btw that you mentioned in the OP. Seem good so far.

    Geod on
    XBL/PSN: Qamel NNI: Quamel 3DS Code: 0774 4249 8305
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  • JerikTelorianJerikTelorian Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Prawn-- your Live name might be the coolest thing I have ever seen.
    Neuroscience geek?

    My roommate used Rosetta Stone for awhile. He stopped after a bit, but their whole deal is grinding vocab into you. The Genki books are more about grammar and syntax, thought they still have a pretty god selection of vocab. From my minimal experience, I'd suggest getting the Genki book, and using RS to supplement your vocab.

    JerikTelorian on
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    XBL: LiquidSnake2061
    Shade wrote: »
    Anyone notice how some things (mattresses and the copy machines in Highrise) are totally impenetrable? A steel wall, yeah that makes sense, but bullets should obliterate copy machines.

    I don't know about you, but I always buy a bullet proof printer. Its a lot more expensive, but I think the advantages are apparent.
  • spacerobotspacerobot Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I've been using Rosetta Stone for Korean the past few weeks. It's great for learning vocabulary, but I don't know how well it will work for grammar. I also decided to learn the alphabet on my own since it seems insanely difficult to learn it through Rosetta stone. I imagine it would be very difficult to learn hiragana/katakana through the rosetta stone as well.

    As far as books, I used "Nakama 1" and "Nakama 2". http://www.amazon.com/Nakama-1-Seiichi-Makino/dp/0618131051/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222811480&sr=8-2
    Which also had workbooks and labs with CD's. I felt the books were very effective, except some of the upper level Japanese majors told me they used a different book when they were in High School or whatever (I think they mentioned Genki) and it was a lot better.

    I still recommend nakama.

    spacerobot on
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  • arcatharcath Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    How are the rosetta stone cds?

    I always heard that they are a great way to learn a new language.

    arcath on
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  • spacerobotspacerobot Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    arcath wrote: »
    How are the rosetta stone cds?

    I always heard that they are a great way to learn a new language.

    About a month ago I wanted to start working on my Japanese again, but didn't want to have to go all the way through my textbooks. I acquired a copy of Rosetta Stone Japanese and was completely baffled how anyone could learn a language through this method.

    Rosetta Stone does this:
    They show you four pictures (a dog, a cat, a boy, a girl) and at the top of the pictures they have the word for one of them (in hiragana). A man or woman then says the word. You then click on the picture of the word. Eventually it gets more complicated adding in particles and such. The idea is that you are learning the language as a child learns the language: by being fully immersed. This method was HORRIBLE for reviewing the language. It did not help me one bit.

    I then started a language I did not know and behold, I was actually learning the language! I had to learn the alphabet on my own, but once I did that I was actually able to learn the vocabulary fairly quickly. My impression of Rosetta stone went from "This sucks" to "this is awesome!".

    There are many "sessions" for each lesson. For example, they will give you a picture then you have to click on the word, and other forms of that stuff.

    So it seems like Rosetta Stone actually kind of works. I would definitely recommend a college course above Roestta stone, though.

    spacerobot on
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  • GeodGeod swim, swim, hungryRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I used to have the Rosetta Stone for Japanese, but only used it briefly so take this with a grain of salt.

    From what I remember, you won't learn Hiragana/Katanaka/Kanji. Instead, everything is in Romanji, that is using the latin alphabet to represent Japanese characters. You'll mainly learn vocab, and speaking. You won't be able to read, except for Romanji which really won't help you that much, and it's much better to learn the Kata and get used to using that instead of using Romanji. Now, this could have changed, I used Rosetta stone about 4 years back.

    Also, they used to have a demo on their website, so check that out to see what you think.

    Geod on
    XBL/PSN: Qamel NNI: Quamel 3DS Code: 0774 4249 8305
    PAX East 2014 Omeganaut
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    I am beginning my third term of teaching beginner's Japanese to adults on Thursday. I am using Genki I (my favorite Japanese textbook ever and I just really can't say enough good things about it). I've also taught from Nakama, but didn't like it as much.

    I definitely recommend Genki for personal use, although it can seem overwhelming at first. In Genki each chapter has a conversation section, a vocab section, an extremely well-written grammar section, and a bunch of exercises you can do. In the back there is a separate reading section for every chapter that gives a rundown of each new character in said chapter, as well as reading exercises and questions about the reading exercises to go with them.

    I taught from Nakama briefly, and it was a bit of a mess. Some of the exercises didn't make a lot of sense in the earlier chapters (which was as far as I ever got in that one).. this was very disappointing to me because I actually knew Hatasa-sensei.. he directed a Japanese program I attended in 2005, and he and his wife co-wrote that series. I didn't actually use Nakama till about a year later as a TA, because I had progressed past the highest-level text available at the time. This one will teach you the kana and vocab/grammar at the same time, but not nearly so nicely as Genki does. The grammar explanations are also not as good.

    Japanese: The Spoken Language (commonly JSL) is very good for grammar, but you really don't want to learn the vocab without the characters if you ever have designs on reading or writing the language. It's much more difficult to go back and make associations later. The book also uses an antiquated system of romanization from the 70's and can easily make you look like an idiot if you're not careful (or don't have someone guiding you through). Also it's goddamn boring.

    Japanese for Busy People (commonly JBP) is a step above JSL in that it does teach you some characters, but it's not a big step primarily because the chapter formatting is crappy and it teaches you weird grammar with weird timing. Three volumes of JBP will put you at roughly where Genki vol II starts, and it won't prepare you as well.

    So anyway. I would definitely be interested in any kind of chat environment in Japanese, because my more advanced conversation skills rusted away a long time ago. Teaching beginners really isn't enough to keep the language fresh or active. :/ Also, if anyone is starting out and would like any help with basics, please feel free to IM me. :D

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • TokyoRaverTokyoRaver Registered User
    edited October 2008
    I was a Japanese studies major and spent the majority of my junior and senior years of high school in Tokyo (as a Tokyo Metropolitan Government scholarship student, administered by AFS)

    I've been studying the language for the better part of thirteen years.

    Wish I could say I was perfect; there was a time where I nearly was (had a live-in Japanese girlfriend for five years, that helped) but that was several years ago, and I'm a prime example of use it or lose it.

    I spent too much time learning the language to let it go, so let that be a warning: Keep up with it, or it will fade.

    That said, I'm still a pretty solid 2-kyu on the JLPT.

    I recommend Japanese for Everyone as a textbook...it teaches Japanese in a way where you will remember the lessons, and in a logical progression in terms of conversing in the language.

    TokyoRaver on
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  • KashiKashi Registered User
    edited October 2008
    For people nearing the end of their first year of study, I suggest All About Particles, a small pink book that will help make sense of one of the more annoying aspects of the language.

    Read it, memorize it, then cook it and eat it to absorb its power.

    Alternatively, save it because of its relatively small size and use it to hit yourself in the face on occasion while studying. This will especially come in handy during the first, grand roadblock of Japanese; the passive and causative forms of verbs. Even Japanese people have a hard time trying to explain that crap to me.

    Kashi on
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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I'm an EFL trainer who lives in Japan and speaks Japanese, so I hope I can chip in with some advice when I'm not super-knackered.

    What I wanted to say right now is about using Japanese. I cannot overstate how important this is. I have friends who study so much harder than me and are much worse at Japanese because they don't use it.

    They will literally look at 午前中 and say 'Ah yes, that is midday, whose kunyomi is blah, and that is before, whose kunyomi is blahblah, and that is middle, whose kunyomi is blahblahblah. I wonder what it means?' Meanwhile I'm looking confused and going 'It's AM - gozenchuu' because I've needed to read it ten million times.

    So, if you don't live here, how to use Japanese? Well, for me, the best thing was Japanese videogames. I consolidated my katakana and hiragana on action games, and my kanji on RPGs.

    A DS with FFIV and an electronic dictionary will serve you so well. To be honest, though, SRPGs like FFTA2 or Fire Emblem are best, since you can do a little bit of translating and then relax into the fights.

    Also, Kakitori-kun 2, Japanese writing practice for DS has been a lot of help to me, and a lot of other people have taken my recommendation and been pleased.

    There are reviews of Japanese study tools at http://naruhodojapan.blogspot.com too

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Having talked about materials, one of the traps I've observed in myself and others is searching for the perfect book or study aid. I used to have a friend who bought different books all the time, and kanji flashcards and wallcharts and shit, but just never studied or practiced. I think Japanese for Busy People is rubbish, but it's still better to spend time studying that instead of surfing the net for the perfect textbook.

    Nowadays I have just a few books - mostly a series of 1-kyu and 2-kyu books: 日本語総まとめ問題集

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oh, I learned hiragana and katakana from Kanji Pictographix, though maybe I had an older print.

    Websites: I used to use kanjisite a lot. Nowadays I use JDIC almost every day as my online dictionary. It's exhaustive if you go into the annotation, and I don't have to remember a URL, as 'www jdic' will get it from google.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • TokyoRaverTokyoRaver Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Where in Japan are you, poshniallo?

    TokyoRaver on
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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    JDIC is a fantastic resource and I love that they now have an iPhone app that so far is working pretty well for me (only a beginner). I've been using realkana and realkanji - web based flash cards that will pretty much go on forever makes it really easy to get some studying in during my lunch hour.

    And thanks for the text rec, Ceres, I've been looking for something like Genki and I will see if I can find it. Do you use the textbook and workbook only, or the audio and the picture cards too?

    Usagi on
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Zushi in Kanagawa. I travel all over Kanagawa for work.

    Eek now badmen can find me. Oh no.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • MimMim Dont'cha wish your girlfriend was dead like me? Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Zushi in Kanagawa. I travel all over Kanagawa for work.

    Eek now badmen can find me. Oh no.

    Holy shit! Really? I lived there when I was in high school (military child). I miss Zushi.

    Mim on
    Sage everything. Even your genitals.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Mim wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Zushi in Kanagawa. I travel all over Kanagawa for work.

    Eek now badmen can find me. Oh no.

    Holy shit! Really? I lived there when I was in high school (military child). I miss Zushi.

    Ikego housing base?

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • MimMim Dont'cha wish your girlfriend was dead like me? Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Mim wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Zushi in Kanagawa. I travel all over Kanagawa for work.

    Eek now badmen can find me. Oh no.

    Holy shit! Really? I lived there when I was in high school (military child). I miss Zushi.

    Ikego housing base?

    Yup. Well I don't miss the base so much as I miss the area around the base.

    Mim on
    Sage everything. Even your genitals.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I can see why you wouldn't miss the base. I get the train past it on the way to work sometimes.

    My mum-in-law lives about 3 minutes from the base. We might be building a house there in a couple of years.

    There's a big line of sakura there - it's purty.

    You're lucky you didn't live in Yokosuka. That's like The City That Japan Forgot.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • MimMim Dont'cha wish your girlfriend was dead like me? Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I can see why you wouldn't miss the base. I get the train past it on the way to work sometimes.

    My mum-in-law lives about 3 minutes from the base. We might be building a house there in a couple of years.

    There's a big line of sakura there - it's purty.

    You're lucky you didn't live in Yokosuka. That's like The City That Japan Forgot.

    I actually miss Yokosuka. I think they demolished the Hide Museum, yeah? I miss Mores and CoCo's Curry and Yoshinoya. The Yoshinoya in New York just doesn't bring the warm fuzzies that Yoshinoya in Yokosuka does...

    Mim on
    Sage everything. Even your genitals.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    God where do you live now that Yokosuka gives you the warm fuzzies? It gives me the sweaty shivers.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • MimMim Dont'cha wish your girlfriend was dead like me? Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    poshniallo wrote: »
    God where do you live now that Yokosuka gives you the warm fuzzies? It gives me the sweaty shivers.

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    I liked off base Yokosuka, not on base Yokosuka. Nor the Honch. Stupid, drunk sailors.

    Mim on
    Sage everything. Even your genitals.
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I heard playing through the Japanese versions of Pokemon is a great way to start off, since they're, you know, designed for beginner readers both in Japan and the US. Then, once you're familiar with Kanji, you can move up to Dragon Quest Monsters, which is a little higher reading level.

    Anyone ever try something like that?

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • NotMeguChanNotMeguChan Registered User
    edited October 2008
    KiTA wrote: »
    I heard playing through the Japanese versions of Pokemon is a great way to start off, since they're, you know, designed for beginner readers both in Japan and the US. Then, once you're familiar with Kanji, you can move up to Dragon Quest Monsters, which is a little higher reading level.

    Anyone ever try something like that?

    The Japanese version of Cooking Mama is completely lacking kanji - good way to work on hiragana/katakana comprehension. Plus, you get food vocabulary!

    NotMeguChan on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent The World on This SideRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    There is a 'My Japanese Coach' game coming out for DS in mid-late October.

    Could that be at all effective?

    cj iwakura on
    rpcJVoo.png
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    There's a couple of DS "games" that are relevant. I saw a Kanji dictionary that used the touch screen for input. Can't figure out radicals? No problem, just draw the kanji!

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • NPNP Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    On learning Japanese:

    1) Go in with the attitude that yes, you can learn Japanese. It's really not that hard, it just takes time, and all you need is persistence. The only way to fail is to lose sight of your goals or to stop being consistent in your learning.

    2) The word "studying" doesn't have to always mean hardcore textbook time. Have some fun, read a manga, play some video games. I'd say the only step where hardcore studying (as we know it) is required is the kana/kanji learning stage. After that, you're pretty much on your own.

    3) Once again, just have fun. If you are a native speaker of English, you didn't learn English in a classroom, you only ironed out your previously existing knowledge of English in the classroom. It should be the same for Japanese. You don't need to be an expert in grammar to be an expert in using grammar.

    4) As stated before, most of your learning will come from outside the classroom. I'm probably preaching to the choir, you guys wouldn't be posting in this thread if you weren't already completely interested in learning Japanese, but make sure you use it as much as possible whenever you can! That's when you truly learn the nuances of a language.

    5) Make sure you choose your goals wisely :) If you were a person learning English, would you rather be able to understand a full episode of Friends (or Heroes, or 24, or whatever..) or would you rather be able to explain to me why "big red firetruck" is correct and "red big firetruck" is incorrect (Hint: as a native English speaker, even I have no idea why the second one is incorrect..it just is)?

    6) Just have fun! Dooo it!

    NP on
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    One of the major things that killed me was discovering Machine translators.

    Babelfish, OCN, AKIMAI, etc etc.

    I'd be so far ahead if I hadn't discovered you could just paste in the big text that says "Ero-CG Art Gallery Here" in Japanese into Bablefish and figure stuff out.

    One thing I DID enjoy discovering was a program called ReadIRIS. I was given an OEM copy of 11 from a friend with an HP Printer who didn't want it, and man, that thing rocks. Plop in a page into the scanner, scan it at 300 DPI, cut out the text from the bubbles in Gimp/Photoshop, and whammo, HTML page with all the Kana and Kanji ready to read (and abuse JDIC with). Pretty cool stuff, really.

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • NPNP Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oh yeah, if you are using Firefox, then you absolutely NEED this plugin: rikaichan. If you don't have Firefox, it's worth getting it just for this plugin. What rikaichan does is gives you the definition and pronunciation of a Japanese word in English just by hovering your mouse over the text. You will be able to read like 10x faster with this, since you won't have to keep switching over to a dictionary.

    NP on
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Jesus Christ that looks awesome. How have I survived without that?

    More kanji reinforcement yay!

    And Kita: Get Pokemon or something right now.

    As for the dictionary, I've got it, and it's fine, but it's no substitute for a proper electronic dictionary.

    The kakitori-kun program I linked is much more useful for learning Japanese.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
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