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17

True fluency is rare, and involves more than passing a standardized test. I will refer you to an answer I gave in EL&U.SE which I quoted from my treasured copy of Jack Seward's Japanese in Action. He is talking about Japanese, but I removed all the specific-language references because it's a good measure for fluency in any language. EDIT: I've just added ...


17

What is the learning curve like for learning Japanese writing? About the same as English. Chances are you didn't start learning to read English by pedaling your five-speed Schwinn (with the baseball card in the back tire) to the local library and checking out Pride and Prejudice with your shiny new card. You had to start with the Easy Readers, wherein ...


16

Study comprehensive grammars with lots of examples. Not textbooks. These are the best (there are three). use a mnemonic kanji learning system. This one is awesome. Learning meaning and reading separate is fine because it is more efficient. Utilize similarities between kanji as much as possible, as relating knowledge to new ideas will make learning much ...


15

Your question body contradicts the title, so I'll answer both questions: Advantages of roomaji (I never thought I'd say this!): No need to learn new characters Can be "read" by most people, even if not understood. Although anybody who doesn't know Japanese will get even the pronunciation wrong. Disadvantages of roomaji: Complete inability to read and ...


14

To the extent that studying linguistics helps you understand some of the more complex patterns, you will probably find it useful. But a great deal of linguistics is dedicated to finding common systems to describe all languages, which (by necessity) isn't terribly useful for using a particular language. Some texts are written somewhat 'in the middle' for ...


14

You will want: No romaji. Romaji hurts your pronunciation and is a crutch. Get something with furigana, or even better, hiragana in parentheses. Lots of example sentences. Context is invaluable in learning new words. Electronic is better. It's faster and can be used mid conversation much more easily. Plus you can write in unknown characters with a stylus. ...


14

The real question is "Advantages/disadvantages for whom?". For students of Japanese, Romaji is really useful when they start out, because they don't have to learn anything to be able to read it (although without learning Kana, they'll probably end up reading it incorrectly, especially if they're native English speakers :(). Another advantage is that Romaji ...


13

First and foremost the JLPT does not have a speaking component. This means you may be able to recognise and understand grammar when reading or listening, but you may be unable to actually speak the language with any proficiency. This is my case exactly, I can understand far more than what I can express. Secondly, the entire test is multiple choice. Multiple ...


13

I have a friend (anecdotal, of course) who has lived in Japan for 11 years. He learned Japanese only 3 ways: (a) girlfriends, (b) manga & anime, and (c) male Japanese friends. His pronunciation is very natural; he's so comfortable in the dirtier parts of the language that he can bawl out a taxi driver. I've witnessed him tear apart a guy on the street ...


13

While i agree with you that there is a lot of Japanese from anime that can't be used in daily conversation, it can still be a valuable learning tool in ear training, pronunciation, culture acquisition and vocabulary acquisition. And knowing the culture goes along way towards learning how the language is used.


13

I have a number of gaijin friends in Tokyo who learned Japanese in Kansai. Rather than being looked down upon, Japanese friends think it's cool (関西人面白いでしょ?). Yet, business is different - again, the relationships of the people involved matter. Unless you're in a Kansai office with a bunch of Kansai-jin, sticking to "標準語 (hyoujungo)" is never a bad idea. ...


12

The main issue you're going to run into is explained in this answer, specifically: Avoid learning from manga until you're at a level where you can make the difference between what you hear and what you can say. In spite of this, there is a rough guideline you can use to determine which anime you might be able to use to learn even basic ...


10

The equivalent of "alphabetical order" for kana that hangs on the wall of classrooms is as follows: あかさたなはまやらわん いきしちにひみ り うくすつぬふむゆる えけせてねへめ れ おこそとのほもよろを I believe children are introduced to them based on this, probably vertically (i.e. あいうえお、かきくけこ and so on). [Thanks to Jamie Taylor in the comments.] I can't really give specific advice ...


10

I'd like to add to Derek and Lukman's excellent answers my usual plug for young adult manga as a learning resource. Since all but the most basic kanji have furigana next to them, you don't have to know hundreds of kanji to read them, and it's easy to look up the meanings of new words and learn the readings of new kanji. While the content of most young ...


9

I think if you watch this video for 24 hours straight, you will have learned basic hiragana and katakana without much effort. My apologies for any ill effects on your mental health. Complete Japanese Alphabet Song - Katakana - Hiragana - 日本語


9

By transcribing everything into latin alphabet (heck, even to hiragana/katakana syllables), written Japanese will lose most of the legibility than if it were to be written in full kanji+kana. It may be hard to describe, but let me give you a nonsense english sentence: Wheel you go two the par tea two knight at ate? Eye think it's awed they are having it ...


9

I think the Wikipedia article on the Japanese writing system explains it pretty well, but to summarize: Hiragana and katakana (collectively referred to as kana) are syllabic writing, that is, each character represents a syllable such as "ta" or "o". They're purely phonetic so they don't have direct connotations like kanji do, and both have the same set of ...


9

I do not know the anime, but 家を is never read as “yo,” and Japanese does not have “ye” sound at all. What you heard as “yo” is probably “ie o” and what you heard as “ye” is probably “ie,” both just spoken fast.


9

I've heard sound like: Haru na kimasu. So why is that? I'm going to be very frank here. I think it's because you're not yet able to distinguish intervocalic [ŋ] from [n] and [m]. Incidentally, listening to the passage you link to, I hear [ŋ] in the first, [ɡ] in the second ocurrence of しごと. Do the Japanese not like the g sound (g as in gorilla)? It's not ...


9

This question is generally not something we consider on-topic, but I'll give you my honest advise anyway. The Short Answer: A long time. A really really long time. Your mileage may vary, but expect it to take several years. The Long Answer: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" I would say in my own opinion that you're going to want ...


8

Simple pictorial information is sufficient for describing the strokes used in kana, for most uses. If you were to want to use them in calligraphy however, then there would be merit in training under someone else.


8

Learning to read and write the kana on your own is fine, if your book is decent. But here are some small caveats: For reasons unknown to me, most books I've come across (rather infuriatingly) seem to write the kana in brush or printed form, where they look slightly different to handwritten. For example, き (ki) tends to be handwritten as four strokes: two ...


8

I think it would be like a musician studying acoustics, or avid dog owner/trainer studying canine anatomy. It probably all depends on what your future goals are with Japanese. If you're planning to move to Japan, or just keeping that option open, and working and perhaps marrying a Japanese, then you should just remain as a JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) ...


8

It is simply the 〜た form of 済ませる, which basically means the same as 済ます. Quoted from 大辞泉: すま・せる【済ませる】 「済ます」に同じ。 And 大辞林: すま・せる 【済ませる】 「すます(済)」に同じ。


7

A ほおかむり (頬被り) (also ほっかむり or ほおかぶり) from 頬っぺを被る "to cover the cheeks" is a cloth that is tied around the head to cover the head (or the face) and usually tied under the chin. The infamous ほおかむり wearer is the Japanese thief (泥棒さん) (another picture) who wraps his head with a cloth and ties it under his nose, supposedly to conceal his identity. In ...


7

When the Jesuits first came to Japan, they needed a word for God. They described the qualities of God to local priests, and the priests came back with 大日様. When the Jesuits went around preaching 大日様, though, they were concerned to find that the Shingon monks seemed unusually happy about this, and eventually learned that they had chosen a sectarian term. They ...


7

Just for the record before this gets closed, the US State Department classifies (classified?) Japanese as an "exceptionally difficult" language for native English speakers, and at least in their programs recommends 88 weeks of study at 2200 class hours, half of which are spent in Japan. Not sure how out of date this document is but it might be as close to an ...



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