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FullMetaltech
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:43 PM)
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Subbed. Ive always wanted to learn another language outside of Spanish. Ive taken to learn Korean from watching Korean Dramas and movies with the wife. It wasn't hard to picjk up some words and meanings. Hopefully I can learn something new again.
shanshan310
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:44 PM)
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Nice OP, thanks for making it expert :)
Griss
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:44 PM)
Ah, I was learning the Kanji for a couple of months but gave up for some reason about a month ago. I think I was up to 600 learned.

Maybe this thread will be the impetus to get back into it.

I think it was my frustration at starting grammar and dealing with those infernal particles and realising that everything was so damn vague that put me off - learning the kanji itself was pretty fun. I'm terrible at it, though. When you add in the tiny amount of syllables and the multiple readings for each kanji it's so easy to get confused. My memory is poor to begin with.
eefara
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by maxcriden

I'm shy as well, so I hear ya. For Mixxer and I assume other some other similar sorts of sites, you can just practice via text/chat if you prefer.

Ah, but then I'll never get better at speaking, hahaha. It's a vicious cycle.
Aeana
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by Griss

Ah, I was learning the Kanji for a couple of months but gave up for some reason about a month ago. I think I was up to 600 learned.

Maybe this thread will be the impetus to get back into it.

I think it was my frustration at starting grammar and dealing with those infernal particles and realising that everything was so damn vague that put me off - learning the kanji itself was pretty fun. I'm terrible at it, though. When you add in the tiny amount of syllables and the multiple readings for each kanji it's so easy to get confused. My memory is poor to begin with.

What was your trouble with particles? I think many resources teach them in a way that doesn't really get to how cool they are as a language feature.
shanshan310
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by LorDjidane

In before JLPT failure.

Been doing the whiteboard method, it's alright but to me it's way too time consuming after ~1month. So I remove the early kanjis and every week-end I review everything, just in case.

I've kind of combined the whiteboard method with the spaced repetition method using anki. It cuts back on time but maximises memory imprinting by taking away kanji you've begun to find easy and bringing it back a few weeks later. If you're having trouble I'd recommend giving that a shot :)

Originally Posted by Aeana

What was your trouble with particles? I think many resources teach them in a way that doesn't really get to how cool they are as a language feature.

Yeah, this is definitely true. It doesn't help that you really need to understand grammar in general to get some of the particles down (eg. Identifying subjects vs objects in the sentence) and if this is your first experience learning a foreign language you may not be very familiar with it. I had a hell of a time figuring out what clauses and auxiliary verbs were back in high school :|
justjustin
Member
(04-12-2016, 04:54 PM)
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Just a couple things (okay, sorry, 80 million things). No one ever becomes a "native-level" second language user (or third, fourth, etc.). Native speakers of that language can always tell, so don't worry about that being a reasonable goal. Like the OP says, use Japanese for your purposes. For example, you might want to reach N2 level on the JLPT, or learn enough Japanese to get around while traveling, or communicate with your friend in Japanese, or be able to play videogames-- all good reasons. Reasons that will lead to failure are: Japanese seems pretty cool, I think I'll pick up Rosetta Stone or I want to truly master something in life, so I'll become a native Japanese speaker.

Also, the bit about learning Japanese for media might be a little misleading. Consuming media relies on listening and reading, absolutely, but the learner still needs to produce the language in some way, speaking or writing, to learn it. Just in case anyone misunderstood-- people can't absorb a second language like a first language (many still believe this!).

Now I'm going to share what "ingredients" you need to learn a language. The following is just ideal circumstances, the rest depends on what you, personally, put into it-- time, commitment, motivation, and finding/working with your strengths and weaknesses. I am sharing this with you because I've had terrible and wonderful experiences learning Japanese revolving around these core elements, and I am also getting my MA in TESOL and am up to my eyeballs in theory/practice about second language acquisition. So here's a crash course on generally agreed upon important factors in learning a second language, but more importantly, Japanese!

1. Input-- "taking in" language-- is never enough, but vast quantities and frequent exposure to input at a level YOU can understand is still a deeply important factor. Luckily the internet exists, so if you're a beginner you can try to find things with lots of pictures and diagrams, or short passages in text or short audio clips relevant to you. Intermediate learners can use news broadcasts, TV shows, newspapers, etc. And it should be as authentic as possible-- Japanese that people actually use.

So input needs to be understandable (at your "level"), relevant (you only learn things you need or want to know), and authentic as possible (movies/books/games, while scripted, still aren't written like textbooks!).

2. But more importantly, OUTPUT. People need to produce the language in some meaningful, relevant way to really learn it, even if they're just going to watch TV shows. When you write or speak, that's how you notice gaps in your knowledge or ability, and that drives you to find the language you need. Simple drills out of context (mimicking or copying language) isn't enough because that doesn't push you to use the language in a real way to the best of your ability. The OP mentions Lang-8 which can help you produce meaningful output in the form of journal entries that are read by other people. Ideally, you will find ways to express yourself in Japanese to communicate with other people.

So, with output you should ideally be pushed to use the language to get a message across that needs to be understood in a context meaningful to you. Drilling is fine, too, to help you remember the non-contextual components (like how to write kanji or just the Japanese characters!)

3. And that leads to the last main component: feedback. People need feedback when learning a language or else they have no idea if they're learning it. You can listen to Japanese every waking minute or talk to a wall sunup to sundown, but at the end of the day you need to communicate face-to-face to get those "sorry, could you repeat that," moments or get direct feedback about language you're having trouble with like during classroom instruction. Basically, you need to "negotiate" meaning or language points for it to really stick. You need to talk about what you're saying.

Ok, so to recap all that, the three main language learning "ingredients" are:
1. vast quantities of (ideally authentic) input you can understand
2. output, either controlled or "pushed" to get a message across
3. feedback, either indirectly, like puzzled expressions or appeals for clarification, or directly, like someone correcting a word you said, or talking about the language in a classroom setting.

Ok, now story time illustrating the importance of creating the right learning environment.

This is why I didn't learn anything taking courses at college in the US for two years and learned a million, billion times more studying abroad in Japan living with a homestay family for one year. In the US, the only time I ever used Japanese was in a classroom. The textbook was a nightmare: Roman letters only, with each chapter being a new grammar point (like a verb tense). Huge red flag because Japanese people use JAPANESE writing and people do not speak in ONE fucking grammar point at a time. Feedback was minimal, because we just sat there and listened to perplexing grammar points without real context.

In Japan, Japanese was everywhere so there was tons of input. My homestay family did not speak English so I was forced to speak Japanese to communicate and get along with them-- and that need to communicate triggered a frenzy of learning because I'm the type of person who needs to get along with other people. Feedback mostly came from my hilarious younger homestay brother who would NOT cut me slack like adults. I encountered at least 10 "WTF are you talking about" moments from him a day. We talked a lot! Classroom time was immensely helpful, too, because we learned Japanese in the context of functions you need in daily life and focused on controlled practice with other students-- we didn't sit there, dumbfounded while we listened to grammar being explained in English. it was still grammar focused, but used in an authentic context with tasks in the classroom made a huge difference (in fact, we used the Genki series coursebooks!)

However, this is SUPER IMPORTANT: the environment change in itself was NOT the reason I learned so much Japanese. In second language acquisition research it's been shown that there is NO correlation between language proficiency and length of residency. You can live in Japan for 20 years and not know how to order a hamburger. You can live in your parent's basement and emerge a nihongo pro.

The point is that people need to CREATE an environment that helps them learn the language. You can create the environment by living in Japan, seeking input in the real world and communicating with Japanese people face-to-face, OR you can take advantage of technology and find the input you need, the resources to help you learn, and Japanese users to communicate with online.

I mean, a class will help all of this, at least with getting feedback, but also keep in mind that most language learning happens outside the classroom. So, to get back to my HORRIBLE first experience learning Japanese, I could have gotten so much more out of the class if I had known the importance of creating the right environment and how to do it. I could have scoured the internet for input, I could have befriended Japanese exchange students on campus, I could have come to class with questions for feedback, but I just didn't know any better than to punch in and out of class.

So you can do it, and I hope I helped guide you a little bit. Like I mentioned earlier, I only shared the "ingredients" for language learning; only things about your environment. We all have to learn about and capitalize on our individual differences when it comes to learning a language. I'm sure others will offer insight in that regard.
PumpkinSpice
Banned
(04-12-2016, 04:55 PM)
I'm doing spaced recognition in Anki for memorizing Kanjis using KanjiDamage. It's been pretty good so far, I have it set at 10 cards per day so 5 new kanjis per day. I passed 1100 kanjis and hopefully will be done the deck in a few more months... I had my target at 1 year and started last August so I think that's pretty good.

If anyone else intends to do spaced recognition just remember to do it every single day. I had a 2.5 week gap where I didn't do it, hilariously enough during a trip to Japan because I was just way too exhausted to remember anything. Being so tired also made speaking or remembering any 単語 really hard. After missing just a couple weeks I had a massive backlog of stuff to go through and I decided to push them all off using the "hard" button in Anki which sends them back as long as their last gap, so if it's been 3 weeks since you've seen this card you'll see it again in 3 weeks with hitting this button. But after doing that it's been so long since I've seen a ton of these Kanjis that I kinda had to relearn like half of them, so it's been a painful month or so but I feel like I'm back on track and remembering the older stuff that's coming up now.

I'm also doing this the stupid way and not learning how to write by hand. This will probably be a problem at some point but I don't intend on living in Japan for the next few decades at least and have been practicing writing with typing & phone input.

I'll also mention that practicing speaking helps way more than you'd expect. It's a completely different skill, like pulling vocabulary and applying grammar rules on the fly and doing it at the speed of your brain & a conversation is so different than doing it slow for writing. I have my wife to practice with and I've been trying to do that daily now that my vocabulary has gotten better (also thanks mostly to anki cards) and even though it's hard I retain stuff so much better when I'm saying it in conversation.
Rutger
Banned
(04-12-2016, 05:09 PM)

Originally Posted by maxcriden

This is probably unusual, but rather than just radicals or just whiteboarding it, I'm using the Kanji Network site and other sites to learn the etymology of the modern Kanji that I'm trying to learn. I'm finding a lot of them have surprising and fascinating origins and I can learn them a bit more quickly this way, but not so quickly that I don't retain them (I hope.)

While that sounds interesting, I feel that it would slow things down for me. Maybe I'll look into that in my free time when I'm more confident with the language.

The most effective method for me has been to get the kanji into my short term memory, and then I test myself, it's that simple really. If I have it, good, I'll still throw in more quick tests throughout the day, having to constantly pull kanji from my memory really helps to solidify it. After that's done they are added to the list and I go over everything everyday, just like the whiteboard method says. Nothing complicated, I just have to keep working with them. It's not going to be for everyone, but I don't think I'll need anything more than this.
maxcriden
Member
(04-12-2016, 05:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rutger

While that sounds interesting, I feel that it would slow things down for me. Maybe I'll look into that in my free time when I'm more confident with the language.

The most effective method for me has been to get the kanji into my short term memory, and then I test myself, it's that simple really. If I have it, good, I'll still throw in more quick tests throughout the day, having to constantly pull kanji from my memory really helps to solidify it. After that's done they are added to the list and I go over everything everyday, just like the whiteboard method says. Nothing complicated, I just have to keep working with them. It's not going to be for everyone, but I don't think I'll need anything more than this.

Originally Posted by SheepyGuy

I'm doing spaced recognition in Anki for memorizing Kanjis using KanjiDamage. It's been pretty good so far, I have it set at 10 cards per day so 5 new kanjis per day. I passed 1100 kanjis and hopefully will be done the deck in a few more months... I had my target at 1 year and started last August so I think that's pretty good.

I hear ya. I wanna understand this method a bit better, though (this is why I'm quoting SheepyGuy also). When you memorize the kanji, are you memorizing the on and kun readings as well, or just the English meaning?
Rutger
Banned
(04-12-2016, 05:21 PM)

Originally Posted by maxcriden

I hear ya. I wanna understand this method a bit better, though (this is why I'm quoting SheepyGuy also). When you memorize the kanji, are you memorizing the on and kun readings as well, or just the English meaning?

The stroke order and the on and kun readings. I'll have to learn that at some point, might as well be when I learn the kanji. I don't really see a point in learning the English meaning unless I don't already know the Japanese, but even then I want to associate it with Japanese in the long run so the reviews always involve the on and kun readings.
AnathemicOne
Banned
(04-12-2016, 05:25 PM)
Having taken and finished the Japanese program in college (3 courses at my campus), I can confirm that said program uses the Genki textbooks (1 and 2) and I have to say while it does serve as a nice foundation it does leave you desiring more.

2 years have gone by since finishing the last course and all I pretty much remember are all of hirigana and some particle rules. I can probably learn/remember Katakana if I dedicate myself, as for Kanji, out of the ~100 characters I was shown, I only remember like 10.

Would definitely love to one day go back and learn Japanese though, out of my 5 years in college and about to graduate next semester, Japanese courses have definitely been the most fun for me.
GYODX
Member
(04-12-2016, 05:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by AnathemicOne

Having taken and finished the Japanese program in college (3 courses at my campus), I can confirm that said program uses the Genki textbooks (1 and 2) and I have to say while it does serve as a nice foundation it does leave you desiring more.

2 years have gone by since finishing the last course and all I pretty much remember are all of hirigana and some particle rules. I can probably learn/remember Katakana if I dedicate myself, as for Kanji, out of the ~100 characters I was shown, I only remember like 10.

Would definitely love to one day go back and learn Japanese though, out of my 5 years in college and about to graduate next semester, Japanese courses have definitely been the most fun for me.

You were only taught 100 Kanji in 3 Japanese courses?!
AnathemicOne
Banned
(04-12-2016, 05:35 PM)

Originally Posted by GYODX

You were only taught 100 Kanji in 3 Japanese courses?!

Eh it could've been more, whatever number both Genki textbooks total haha. Though granted only went halfway through the second book.
Thelonelykoopa
Member
(04-12-2016, 05:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by GYODX

You were only taught 100 Kanji in 3 Japanese courses?!

I could see that happening I mean I took a 1 year(2 courses) Chinese class and we only learned around 700 Characters. With Japanese kana it's possible their school was very very gently introducing Kanji as that is something most people fear.
Aeana
Member
(04-12-2016, 05:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by GYODX

You were only taught 100 Kanji in 3 Japanese courses?!

Combined, Genki 1 and 2 have 317 kanji. I used Genki in my classes, but I ended up supplementing their list because I thought they were focusing on fairly arbitrary selections.
Rutger
Banned
(04-12-2016, 05:42 PM)

Originally Posted by AnathemicOne

Having taken and finished the Japanese program in college (3 courses at my campus), I can confirm that said program uses the Genki textbooks (1 and 2) and I have to say while it does serve as a nice foundation it does leave you desiring more.

2 years have gone by since finishing the last course and all I pretty much remember are all of hirigana and some particle rules. I can probably learn/remember Katakana if I dedicate myself, as for Kanji, out of the ~100 characters I was shown, I only remember like 10.

Would definitely love to one day go back and learn Japanese though, out of my 5 years in college and about to graduate next semester, Japanese courses have definitely been the most fun for me.

I'd recommend that you don't wait if you want to get back into it. I took two years of Japanese in high school years ago, but stopped working on it once i started college. When I finally convinced myself to start studying again last year, other than hiragana, katakana and some basic grammar, I had to start everything over again from the beginning.

Even if you can only fit a little bit of reviewing in right now, go for it, it's far better than losing any more of what you've learned.
Kilrogg
paid requisite penance
(04-12-2016, 05:43 PM)
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Thanks for the thread, expert!

Originally Posted by justjustin

Just a couple things (okay, sorry, 80 million things). No one ever becomes a "native-level" second language user (or third, fourth, etc.). Native speakers of that language can always tell, so don't worry about that being a reasonable goal.

Absolutely, positively, patently untrue. You can become fully bilingual, even if you started fairly late (late teens and up). I know some people like that (including people who are very close to me).

But it's true it's harder to achieve with languages that differ vastly from your own, obviously, and not so many people manage to become 100% fluent in their second language.
Thelonelykoopa
Member
(04-12-2016, 05:43 PM)
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Honestly though if their only going to teach 300 character in two books I'm going to have an easy time as I'm taking a Japanese 1 class this fall semester and I can already read that many character of japanese already from previous alone attempts at learning Japanese and my college classes in Chinese. I also have a vocabulary of 800 Japanese words already, I just don't remember how to write Kana ; I can only read it.
maxcriden
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(04-12-2016, 05:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rutger

The stroke order and the on and kun readings. I'll have to learn that at some point, might as well be when I learn the kanji. I don't really see a point in learning the English meaning unless I don't already know the Japanese, but even then I want to associate it with Japanese in the long run so the reviews always involve the on and kun readings.

Ok, I think I understand. So you come out of this knowing the Kanji symbols and the Japanese readings, but not the (English or otherwise) meanings. But you learn *all* of the readings or just the most common couple? That's a ton either way. O_O I understand different minds work totally differently, though.

Wait, I think I must be misunderstanding. You know the English meanings for the words/readings in the sense that you already know the Japanese words you're learning as the readings, right?
PumpkinSpice
Banned
(04-12-2016, 05:45 PM)

Originally Posted by maxcriden

I hear ya. I wanna understand this method a bit better, though (this is why I'm quoting SheepyGuy also). When you memorize the kanji, are you memorizing the on and kun readings as well, or just the English meaning?

I was trying to memorize onyomi and kunyomi at first. The first few weeks it was fine but it just got to be too much to try and remember in one go. I try to keep Anki to my morning bus ride into work, so about 30 mins per day, plus I do vocabulary with anki so it's not a ton of time. Lately I have 5 new kanjis + a little over 60 coming back from the spaced recognition algorithm, and penalizing myself for not remembering the ways to read the kanjis just takes way too long.

Since around month 2 (of... 7? now) I've just done meanings. I was worried at first when I was trying to do readings and I would remember readings for older stuff but not newer. However, as I've continued, combined with vocab practice/reading/textbook/other stuff it's been pretty OK to just pick up how to read kanjis over time (either in my vocabulary practice or furigana). I think they might stick better that way too, since I'm learning how to read them in context. Also I'm not learning say an onyomi that's almost never used since the kanji's only used in 1 or 2 words with kunyomi reading (or a totally different reading...).

I'm not intending to do any JLPT tests though so for that you might want to do things differently.

Edit: Rutger and I are probably coming at this from different backgrounds. My vocabulary is still pretty low, and I find it much easier to just learn what things mean in English. Actually where I'm at now reading Japanese with a ton of Kanjis is like a million times easier than without since I can piece together what most stuff means from the kanjis and get the jist at least. It's funny, I talked to a Chinese friend and he said he does the same thing when he encounters Japanese text since the kanjis and their meanings are mostly the same between the two languages.
345triangle
Member
(04-12-2016, 05:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

What was your trouble with particles? I think many resources teach them in a way that doesn't really get to how cool they are as a language feature.

yeah, and many resources don't tell you that most of the time in regular conversation you can just drop most of them because things are clear through context. in fact, going without is often the more natural way to speak.

grammatically interesting and functionally optional! that's my kind of language feature.
Thelonelykoopa
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(04-12-2016, 05:55 PM)
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Originally Posted by 345triangle

yeah, and many resources don't tell you that most of the time in regular conversation you can just drop most of them because things are clear through context. in fact, going without is often the more natural way to speak.

grammatically interesting and functionally optional! that's my kind of language feature.

Reminds me that last semester I had a conversation partner who was Japanese and whenever I spoke Japanese to hin he laughed because so much of what is taught it learning resources is very formal Japanese and actually Japanese don't talk that way in conversation.
GYODX
Member
(04-12-2016, 06:05 PM)
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For anyone hesitant to jump into Japanese without taking formal classes: from my own experience participating in various Japanese learning forums throughout the years, the best and most knowledgeable Japanese learners tend to be self-taught. Basically, whether you're taking formal classes or self-learning, you're not going to understand Japanese to any meaningful degree if you don't get really fucking good at being resourceful. That's why I recommend to all Japanese learners, regardless of level, to get into the habit of using Japanese-Japanese dictionaries as soon as possible. Don't be shy about being exposed to Japanese that has not been curated to your level. Read Japanese that is intended for native Japanese audiences.

As for myself, I'm at a point where I'm trying to perfect my understanding of Japanese grammar by slowly trudging though 庭郎の現代日本語文法の概説 (which I'd been attempting to read since my first year of learning Japanese!).
UristMcDwarf
Junior Member
(04-12-2016, 06:09 PM)
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Subbed, thanks for the updated thread!

My wife is Japanese so I feel like I have a good chance at learning!
Rutger
Banned
(04-12-2016, 06:20 PM)

Originally Posted by maxcriden

Ok, I think I understand. So you come out of this knowing the Kanji symbols and the Japanese readings, but not the (English or otherwise) meanings. But you learn *all* of the readings or just the most common couple? That's a ton either way. O_O I understand different minds work totally differently, though.

Wait, I think I must be misunderstanding. You know the English meanings for the words/readings in the sense that you already know the Japanese words you're learning as the readings, right?

Just the most common readings right now. I'd actually like to go back and expand on some, for some paired kanji I just know a single reading to one of them because I wanted to be able to read the word they make paired.

And yes, I already know the meaning of the Japanese words most of the time.

Originally Posted by SheepyGuy

Edit: Rutger and I are probably coming at this from different backgrounds. My vocabulary is still pretty low, and I find it much easier to just learn what things mean in English. Actually where I'm at now reading Japanese with a ton of Kanjis is like a million times easier than without since I can piece together what most stuff means from the kanjis and get the jist at least. It's funny, I talked to a Chinese friend and he said he does the same thing when he encounters Japanese text since the kanjis and their meanings are mostly the same between the two languages.

I'd honestly say that the amount of vocab I know is still low, there's still far more I don't know. I don't know how many words I know, but I guess I can't call myself a beginner anymore. I do try to keep the kanji I learn related to words I know at the moment, it helps, but I also find that learning kanji can help with words I'm not familiar with too.
justjustin
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(04-12-2016, 06:29 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kilrogg

Thanks for the thread, expert!



Absolutely, positively, patently untrue. You can become fully bilingual, even if you started fairly late (late teens and up). I know some people like that (including people who are very close to me).

But it's true it's harder to achieve with languages that differ vastly from your own, obviously, and not so many people manage to become 100% fluent in their second language.

Of course you can be be bilingual and fully communicate in another language as well as your first language. I'm just making the point that comparing yourself to a native speaker is unreasonable. Everyone has a "tell" that signals they are not a native speaker, that's all. But some people really strive to be identical to native speakers, which can be demotivating. The point is to learn language for reasons important and helpful to you.
eefara
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(04-12-2016, 06:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by justjustin

Of course you can be be bilingual and fully communicate in another language as well as your first language. I'm just making the point that comparing yourself to a native speaker is unreasonable. Everyone has a "tell" that signals they are not a native speaker, that's all. But some people really strive to be identical to native speakers, which can be demotivating. The point is to learn language for reasons important and helpful to you.

I've always considered "native" to be a category, not a skill level. So while you couldn't be a native speaker because Japanese isn't a language you grew up with, someone could definitely reach the level of fluency the average native speaker has.
Sakura
Foreigners: Give them an inch (of animu panties), and they'll take a mile.

DO NOT CONSORT WITH FOREIGNERS.
(04-12-2016, 06:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by justjustin

Of course you can be be bilingual and fully communicate in another language as well as your first language. I'm just making the point that comparing yourself to a native speaker is unreasonable. Everyone has a "tell" that signals they are not a native speaker, that's all. But some people really strive to be identical to native speakers, which can be demotivating. The point is to learn language for reasons important and helpful to you.

Personally I think attempting to be as close to a native speaker as possible will only benefit your pronunciation and ability to speak.
There are lots of people that just sort of reach a passable level and don't bother improving their pronunciation etc, because of the mentality that they will never be a native anyway.
justjustin
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(04-12-2016, 07:09 PM)
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You guys have good points about nativeness being a motivating factor. I just have an idea of "nativeness" that's negative. From my perspective it shouldn't be an ultimate goal because it's too nebulous and hard to define. For example, working on pronunciation to feel closer to a culture and users of that language seems more empowering and possible than just trying to sound the same as a native speaker.

Sorry to derail things. I only mentioned it to think outside the box; to find reasons beyond nativeness. So many people are down on themselves because they can't communicate "perfectly," and that's an unreasonable thing to feel bad about. A second language learner can easily be more literate than a native speaker.
eefara
Member
(04-12-2016, 07:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by justjustin

You guys have good points about nativeness being a motivating factor. I just have an idea of "nativeness" that's negative. From my perspective it shouldn't be an ultimate goal because it's too nebulous and hard to define. For example, working on pronunciation to feel closer to a culture and users of that language seems more empowering and possible than just trying to sound the same as a native speaker.

Sorry to derail things. I only mentioned it to think outside the box; to find reasons beyond nativeness. So many people are down on themselves because they can't communicate "perfectly," and that's an unreasonable thing to feel bad about. A second language learner can easily be more literate than a native speaker.

I can definitely see where you're coming from; too many people have that lofty goal in mind when they just start learning a language, and quickly lose motivation when they realize it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. And I feel that it is worth mentioning, simply because it's so useful to read different viewpoints on a matter. It's too easy to slip into binary definitions of "right" and "wrong" in a language learning community, seeing as how they tend to be comparatively small with few new members.
Beckx
Member
(04-12-2016, 07:22 PM)
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So what Japanese-Japanese dictionaries are people using and why, and when in the course of study do you think they are most useful? Are electronic dictionaries (like the ones casio makes) useful?

Currently I'm only using Japanese-English dictionaries (Kodansha's furigana & kanji dictionaries, and jisho online).
Alanae
Member
(04-12-2016, 07:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by Beckx

So what Japanese-Japanese dictionaries are people using and why, and when in the course of study do you think they are most useful? Are electronic dictionaries (like the ones casio makes) useful?

Currently I'm only using Japanese-English dictionaries (Kodansha's furigana & kanji dictionaries, and jisho online).

Daijirin (大辞林) is what I roll with.
With the koujien (広辞苑) as backup, because it has colorful pictures and sometimes has entries that are more clear or aren't in the daijirin.

A good J-E dictionary would be the 和英大辞典, because it gives a ton of example sentences, set uses of a word and often explanations in either japanese, english or both.
I'd reccomend using it over edict (the dictionary jisho and most other places use) when possible, because jisho's one word definitions will sometimes not make sense if you don't actually know the word already (edict often likes to only give a list of potential ways a word could be translated as).
Otherwise http://ejje.weblio.jp/ is a pretty good J-E dictionary.
Zefah
Member
(04-12-2016, 09:29 PM)
Excellent OP, Expert! Thanks for putting the time into making this.

Originally Posted by justjustin

No one ever becomes a "native-level" second language user (or third, fourth, etc.). Native speakers of that language can always tell, so don't worry about that being a reasonable goal.

I'll read the rest of your post later, but this is just straight up not true. There are plenty of people who learn a language later in their life and reach "native level."
Kilrogg
paid requisite penance
(04-12-2016, 10:02 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

Excellent OP, Expert! Thanks for putting the time into making this.



I'll read the rest of your post later, but this is just straight up not true. There are plenty of people who learn a language later in their life and reach "native level."

Don't bother, we've already been sorta derailing the thread with this :p.
Sorry by the way, didn't mean to stray off-topic with it. I get what you're saying, justjustin, and I agree that having such a lofty goal at the beginning of your journey is setting yourself up for disappointment and discouragement.

I was just pointing out the fact that it's not impossible to become completely, 100% bilingual, from reading, to writing, to hearing, to speech - including pronunciation and accent. So, while you should approach language learning step by step if you wanna succeed, I also want to debunk the myth that total fluency/full bilingualism is this impossible thing that only geniuses can attain. It takes work and dedication, sure, but what doesn't?
AnathemicOne
Banned
(04-12-2016, 10:49 PM)

Originally Posted by Rutger

I'd recommend that you don't wait if you want to get back into it. I took two years of Japanese in high school years ago, but stopped working on it once i started college. When I finally convinced myself to start studying again last year, other than hiragana, katakana and some basic grammar, I had to start everything over again from the beginning.

Even if you can only fit a little bit of reviewing in right now, go for it, it's far better than losing any more of what you've learned.

Yeah I know, however as a CS major I'm swamped with the workload of my final classes; goal is to hopefully return to Japanese after this semester or during sometime the semester once I feel confident enough with the material I'm learning atm.

BTW does anyone have any input on Rosetta Stone for learning Japanese? My sister has the client but never uses it so I've access to it but I've no idea if it's a good/competent tool.
Kilrogg
paid requisite penance
(04-12-2016, 11:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

I taught Japanese for several years, and while my students generally were all very enthusiastic about the language, it was like pulling teeth getting them up and speaking to each other, or honestly even doing 聞く練習 (listening practice). I think it would be a great idea to organize regular voice chats for people to practice, because it's going to help you so much.

Originally Posted by maxcriden

I'm shy as well, so I hear ya. For Mixxer and I assume other some other similar sorts of sites, you can just practice via text/chat if you prefer.

Originally Posted by eefara

Speaking is easily my weakest area. I'd love to practice it, but I'm super shy. :( I'll keep note of Mixxer, though, and any potential voice chat groups we might get going; gotta start somewhere.

Guys, if you wanna start a Skype group conversation or something, I'm game. My Japanese level has plummeted tremendously over the past few years, but it's always fun to hang out with other learners. I'm sure we can learn a lot from each other.

I know some other people in the thread were down too, like Zefah and bigmit.
Aizo
音楽オタク
(04-13-2016, 12:21 AM)
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Damn. Didn't get to post on the first page, but I'm glad we have a new thread. Thank you! Looking forward to the suffering learning.
KillGore
Member
(04-13-2016, 12:35 AM)
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I've always wanted to learn Japanese. I'm in, GAF. I'll try my best.
Jintor
Lit himself on fire to get
a mod to tag him
(04-13-2016, 12:53 AM)
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Originally Posted by justjustin


So you can do it, and I hope I helped guide you a little bit. Like I mentioned earlier, I only shared the "ingredients" for language learning; only things about your environment. We all have to learn about and capitalize on our individual differences when it comes to learning a language. I'm sure others will offer insight in that regard.

Everything here is true in my experience.

I'm still working on outputs.
Kansoku
(04-13-2016, 12:57 AM)
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Yay for new thread! If anyone is interest I'm going to post my experience so far.

I decided to learn Japanese in 2012. It was my last year of high school, and towards the last 2 months classes pretty much winded down since it was entrance exams season and were used mainly for reviewing and answering any remaining questions. So I was having a lot of free time and didn't know what to do. I've been watching anime for years, and my favorite games came from Japan. Sometimes I would get frustrated a game I was anticipating didn't come to the west. So I like Japanese stuff enough, had time, and like learning this, so sure why not.

The mindset I started with was 1. learn the writing systems and pronunciation. 2. start building vocabulary 3. start grammar (while still building vocab) 4. write and read a lot 5. listen and speak a lot. Since I just want to consume media, reading and listening are the ones i'd be more focused, while writing and speaking would be more auxiliary to them. So first thing I did was learning kana. Took me 2 weeks (1 for hiragana and 1 for katakana). I basically jus kept writing them over and over on my notebook. Also looked at pronunciation, which was ridiculously easy because Portuguese being my mother tongue the grand majority of sounds were present in Portuguese. So i already have that down. Next was kanji.

I decided to pick up Remembering the Kanji. IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT PICKING UP RtK YOU MUST READ THIS. Very early on I got what RtK was trying to do. It is like the name says, it is a tool for remembering kanji. Nothing more, nothing less. The introduction is an essential read, if you pick it up. So, keep in mind you're basically learning jack shit while doing this. However, what it did to me was "demystifying" kanji. Instead of seeing a bunch of strokes, I could clearly see it as a bunch of components coming together. And the amount of daily practice really helped solidify their image in my brain. I basically, every saturday morning, read trough a chapter or two, maybe more depending on the amount of kanji in there, write it out on paper, put it on Anki, and then for the rest of the week, I would review them 20 at a time on AnkiDroid, so that I could write them on the screen. (I cannot stress enough how important it is to write them, in the correct stroke order). Did that for 6 months. The results were that later on, when I started learning vocab, I had a easier time, generally, remembering them because I was already familiar with kanji. But, I used 6 months to learn nothing. You can use it while doing other stuff, but I wanted to focus on it.

Then I realized starting to learn it when I got in college was a mistake. I started vocab, trying to make my own Anki deck, didn't stick to it (was too time consume to make the cards), tried grammar trough Tae Kim, wasn't having the time due to college work. Went back into vocab, this time trying the Core6k Anki deck, got up to the first 2k in a year (very slow pace due to not having much time), but at this point I wasn't doing very good, there was a lot of word that I didn't even knew the english word, words for things a don't really care about. Tried grammar again, read the entirety of Tea Kim 2 times, the second taking notes on everything, got a little better but not much because nothing to practice on. Then I tried reading a few Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar entries a day while transcribing it to a txt (wanted to make an app out of it, just for programming practice), but college caught up with me again. And now here I am. Last year of college, not studying a lick of Japanese. (Especially since I got an internship).

The thing is though, I still want to learn. I'm constantly listening to Japanese music (shotout to my bros in the J-Music OT). I try to read the lyrics so that I can sing along in my mind. I go to natalie.mu every day. I'm still having contact with the language, and this is still motivating me. I would say I am a upper beginner/lower intermediate, and I understand enough that I can go to natalie and get something out of the news but not know exactly what something says. I'm watching anime and picking up on things. I'm following japanese bands on Twitter. And it just keeps the flame alive. And little by little I'm getting a little better. Sure comprehensible input is very important, but immersion is as well. Don't care if you can't understand most of something, if you like that thing even not understanding it, keep at it. It will motivate you. And even if you will gain very, very little from it in terms of actual day to day life Japanese, it is still something. It is still something that can motivate you to keep at it.
ItWillGetBetter
Banned
(04-13-2016, 01:10 AM)
Key to being seen as "cool" as an American in Japan, from my experience. Is to not be too nerdy, don't speak Japanese too well, be fit, dress well, and be cool.

Keep your waifu pillow at home.

And the easiest way to learn Japanese is to have a gf(of bf i duno) who doesn't speak English that well but is very pretty and utterly adores you.
luchadork
Member
(04-13-2016, 01:19 AM)
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good timing for me. have been thinking about learning japanese the past week. long term goal. carry a basic conversation by 2020 olympics. is that long term? 4 years? i dunno.
shanshan310
Member
(04-13-2016, 03:58 AM)
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Originally Posted by ItWillGetBetter

Key to being seen as "cool" as an American in Japan, from my experience. Is to not be too nerdy, don't speak Japanese too well, be fit, dress well, and be cool.

Keep your waifu pillow at home.

And the easiest way to learn Japanese is to have a gf(of bf i duno) who doesn't speak English that well but is very pretty and utterly adores you.

In my experience as an Australian in Japan, the key to being seen as a cool American is literally just be blonde. Everyone will assume you are American. And then get a little disappointed when you aren't..

;.;
PreyingShark
Member
(04-13-2016, 04:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kilrogg

Guys, if you wanna start a Skype group conversation or something, I'm game. My Japanese level has plummeted tremendously over the past few years, but it's always fun to hang out with other learners. I'm sure we can learn a lot from each other.

I know some other people in the thread were down too, like Zefah and bigmit.

My spoken Japanese is shit but I'm in.

It seems like a great opportunity to finally determine if えい and ええ are pronounced the same or differently.
Sakura
Foreigners: Give them an inch (of animu panties), and they'll take a mile.

DO NOT CONSORT WITH FOREIGNERS.
(04-13-2016, 04:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by shanshan310

In my experience as an Australian in Japan, the key to being seen as a cool American is literally just be blonde. Everyone will assume you are American. And then get a little disappointed when you aren't..

;.;

I think people just assume you are American if you are white and speak English. At least that is how it is for me.
PAULINK
I microwave steaks.
(04-13-2016, 04:36 AM)
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Japanese class was the only class I gave a shit about. Took two semesters 5 years ago and I've always wanted to get back into it. Will definitely be looking at these kanji resources.
Sassafras1594
Banned
(04-13-2016, 04:39 AM)
I took Japanese for a year but that was while ago my knowledge of it has degraded a bit because having a busy life. I wish i could take the advance class in my school where it focuses on conversing on a daily basis but alas not enough people willing to sign up. I'll look back on this thread every now and then in hopes i can get back into it, it seems very helpful.
Cilla
Member
(04-13-2016, 04:51 AM)
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I like this thread. I'm doing Bachelor of Secondary Education and Japanese is my major. I am still working fulltime so it's hard. I also have no one to practice with but would love to have a conversational partner on Twitter or FB? I'm a beginner fwiw.
Resilient
Member
(04-13-2016, 04:59 AM)
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Originally Posted by PreyingShark

My spoken Japanese is shit but I'm in.

It seems like a great opportunity to finally determine if えい and ええ are pronounced the same or differently.

lol there's a difference

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