Author Topic: Learning Japanese  (Read 234 times)

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Offline Prometheus

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Learning Japanese
« on: November 03, 2014, 08:17:15 PM »
So I've decided to finally get down to formally learning Japanese, which is one of those things I've always said I was going to do. After digging around, I settled on getting some software called HumanJapanese, since the reviews called it pretty good, and it's dirt cheap. I can move onto something better later, I figure.

But gawd, some of the non-english phonemes (sound units) just make me want to cry in frustration. and I thought nailing that weird l/r sound was hard. It's been a long time since I actually had to think about what I'm doing with my tongue.

...shut up, you know what I mean.
I'll try anything once, and twice to be sure.

Offline Lanny

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 05:49:04 AM »
All of spoken japanese can be composed from hiragana syllabary right? It's been a while since I invested time in trying to learn japanese but it seemed like the l/r sound was the only really tricky one. Are there others? I mean the consonant/vowel combos are a little unintuitive when rendered in romaji in terms of the long/short distinction but that's just a simple memorization thing, all those sounds exist in english. I never got the l/r thing down but I'm told that approximating it as either of the familiar phonemes is understandable to a native speaker.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 05:29:57 PM by Lanny »

Offline BallsDeep69

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 05:55:15 AM »
I learned Japanese from watching anime. I know, not the best way to do it, but it was what was available at the time.
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Offline Prometheus

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 06:47:41 AM »
I learned enough about romanji that I think I'll be better off ignoring it until I have some of the fundamentals nailed down. From what I understand, it's only unintuitive from a westerner perspective. si = shi sound, because the s sound never precedes the i sound in japanese, so why bother with an extra h.

I've never been good at rote memorization, so trying to remember what sounds the hiragana symbols mean is a royal bitch.

I learned Japanese from watching anime. I know, not the best way to do it, but it was what was available at the time.

I've picked up some words here and there the same way. I've done that with a lot of languages actually. I'm fortunate that I enjoy japanese media. Once I pick up enough of the language to get by, the continuing exposure will help keep if from atrophying.
I'll try anything once, and twice to be sure.

Offline Phil

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 08:46:05 PM »
Go for Pimsleur Japanese

Offline Saint Hubertus

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 09:59:48 PM »
Go for Pimsleur Japanese

moar like pimpsleur am i right :cosby:
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daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline Prometheus

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 04:02:34 AM »
Looks good, but I don't want to spend that much at the moment. I have a bad habit of dropping projects halfway through, and don't want to spend too much until I'm sure this is something I can stick with.
I'll try anything once, and twice to be sure.

Offline Suicidal Fish

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 04:27:31 AM »
It's been a long time since I actually had to think about what I'm doing with my tongue.

...shut up, you know what I mean.

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Offline Prometheus

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 09:43:58 AM »
Fucking hiragana. No sane language requires multiple pen lifts to write a single character. One is pushing it. And then you have this monstrosity, ゑ, which is done without a pen lift, but is utterly insane. Thankfully, that's practically obsolete. Here, let me make that bigger for you so you can see it more clearly:



Katakana is a lot more reasonable from a writing standpoint, though having two alphabets that are exactly equal to each other is also nuts.

I will say this, having their alphabet consist entirely of vowels, and consonant-vowel pairs (plus ん [equal to n]) adds some much needed simplicity.


Hell, the more I learn about language, the dumber my own looks too. We should have never gotten rid of the letter Þ in favor or th. Compound consonants are retarded.
I'll try anything once, and twice to be sure.

Offline Lanny

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2014, 05:05:15 PM »
Lots of latin characters require multiple strokes, although a tiny perfect replica of the mona lisa could be a character and it would hardly matter with the advent of keyboards and pervasive digital writing.

The simplicity of the syllabary is nice but it leads to a lot of issues with homophones. I don't know that there's any evidence that the homophone issue is the reason for kanji, but it seems like its one saving grace: multiple symbols can unambiguously have the same sound as long as you're writing rather than speaking.

Offline Prometheus

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Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2014, 05:11:29 PM »
I guess there is that, but I find it frightening that even Japanese people keep a kanji dictionary on hand when reading books written in it.

In any event, my books on the subject just arrived today, so I'm gonna start digging in. Putting off the software until I pick up my new phone in a couple days.
I'll try anything once, and twice to be sure.