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Everything posted by Amatenshi

  1. It may be true that people have been somewhat desensitized by "txt tlk" and other shorthand, but I know that it's not as big a problem as some make it out to be. Some people are just not so great at spelling to start with. I chuckled when I passed by this building that had a printed banner reading, "CAR'S UNDER $10,000". People in my class make typos quite often and don't realize it. I've seen people misspell "lose" as "loose", among other mistakes that make me wonder how the person didn't catch them. I also still don't get how people get "your" and "you're" wrong. Even on my first cell phone with the 0-9 keypad, I typed with proper capitalization and punctuation. It wasn't that hard for me, because I was able to type it at a decent speed. It became much easier when I got a messaging-oriented phone with a QWERTY keyboard. Last Christmas, I got a Samsung Galaxy S3, and I'm a speed demon on that. I even have autocorrect disabled, because I got used to touchscreen typing with my iPod Touch a while back. I still make the occasional mistake, but I go back and correct it rather quickly. Even though texting is easier and faster than ever, or even with a QWERTY keyboard on a computer, people still opt to use shorthand, and sometimes even leave mistakes in, then say something like "omg who cares? your annoying". Some people just don't realize the importance of spelling, or how much more serious, intelligent, and (if applicable) professional they appear with proper capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.
  2. 23 kanji a day? When I finally graduate from college and find a job somewhere, I may have time to focus and learn that many realistically. 2000 kanji in 60-90 days though? I may have to go somewhat slower than that, but I'm sure I can get the 2000 Jouyou kanji learned and memorized at a reasonable pace once I have less to worry about. I guess I could start learning now, but there's no way I'd be able to do 23 a day with my current schedule.
  3. It started in 5th grade, my first year of private school. I thought it was pretty cool that we had a Spanish class, because I didn't have one previously. Sadly, our teacher was a smoker who didn't show up for half the classes. Needless to say, she didn't teach the next year. I still found myself to be a vocabulary demon when she popped in videos or had us do the book exercises. The next year, we had a proper teacher, and I picked it right up. When I started high school, I was one of the three 9th graders in a Spanish II class consisting mostly of 10th graders. I guess my middle school Spanish teachers did a really good job teaching me. On top of that, I always enjoyed Spanish class. I should probably revisit the language when I have less on my plate, because it pays to know Spanish in some parts of the US.
  4. I like how Esperanto avoids irregularities. In concept, it's a brilliant language. However, it's useless in practice, because you won't be able to find many people who speak it. There's no culture tied to it either, further reducing any incentive for learning the language. The culture helped keep me relatively immersed in Spanish and Japanese (and in the case of the former, the threat of bad grades if I didn't study diligently).
  5. But wait... Igpay Atinlay siay eadday asyeay! Sadly, it has no practical use, like fictional languages. It seems like it'd be cool, especially because these languages were carefully formed mostly from scratch, but my motivation to learn something without practical purposes doesn't take me very far.
  6. ...you try to form a sentence in Spanish, but Japanese particles find their way into it.
  7. http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar Here's Tae Kim's guide to Japanese grammar. It covers a very wide range of topics, and approaches it in a way that, according to the author, "makes sense in Japanese". I read some of it a while back and thought it was great.
  8. I never found katakana to be that hard at all. You just need to make sure you don't mix up things like "shi" and "tsu" (シ and ツ), or "so" and "n" (ソ and ン). If it helps, find something that will help you memorize the katakana. Oddly enough, I used a little app for Ubuntu to learn it, back when I didn't have a Windows laptop to use. There's all sorts of things out there that you can use, if you really need to. I guess it also helps if you have things in katakana that you need to read, like things in a Japanese video game. I've played on the Japanese servers of some MMOs, and while I didn't know a whole lot of kanji, I could read item/place names because a lot of them were in katakana. Even though it's rather elementary, nothing helps with retention more than something to compare your knowledge against.
  9. Do any of you have an Android device? If so, I recommend you check out Obenkyo, the app I've used in the past. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Obenkyo&hl=en It has a whole lot of kanji, including the stroke order. The only other thing I'd want from it is information about radicals. That's probably the one thing it doesn't have, if I recall. It also includes a particle guide, as well as Tae Kim's grammar guide. I may do a separate, more in-depth topic for Obenkyo, since there seems to be a section for learning apps. As far as other learning materials go, there's also Anki, that one flash card thing with all sorts of decks you can download, as well as the ability to make your own should you want to for any reason. I've heard that some of my friends make use of Kanjidamage as well. It has some irreverent and often humorous mnemonics for memorizing individual kanji (check out at your own risk).
  10. Learning your kana is important, since they're the alphabets upon which every phonetic in Japanese is based. When I took my intro Japanese course, I was absolutely confused as to why we didn't bother with any kana. The book itself was romanized, with the kana to the right of the word and its translation. We were never told to memorize them, but that was something I had already done in preparation for the class (I had to take some lame poetry/English elective and a physics class to get to it). Not once did we touch them, then close to the end, we had kanji as extra credit, which ended up being a "list all the kanji you were able to learn (max of 10 for credit)" sort of deal at the end of the final exam. This said, I suppose you can do an intro without hiragana (or katakana) and still learn some basic conversation vocabulary, but it's not a particularly good idea, especially if you want to become literate and fluent. It did work out, however, with the fact that at my college, you're only allowed one arts/foreign language elective in your associate program, and one in your bachelor program. I still enjoyed the class a lot (the teacher was a great guy, and the Japanese woman we had as a substitute for two classes was absolutely wonderful). If you're studying Japanese independently, you may as well start memorizing your kana and kanji. A lot of the best teaching tools try to get you in the habit of reading Japanese, starting with mostly kana, until few to no kanji are replaced.
  11. There's so many loanwords in Japanese, that we could go on for days. As new terminology come into existence, the Japanese will adapt it right away. Katakana really are a wondrous thing. Additionally, there's stuff you never hear in everyday English, such as スキンシップ (sukinshippu -> skinship), which gets far more usage in Japanese. It's odd, really. I also wonder how they decide which language to take a word from. For example, the term for an elementary schooler's backpack, ランドセル (randoseru), is supposedly taken from the Dutch word ransel. That's an odd way to put it in katakana, too.
  12. Hello, everyone! Amatenshi here. I'm a 20-year-old game development major from Rhode Island, USA. My Japanese knowledge is very limited, and I figured that I needed to find a way to start making progress again. Maybe spending some time here will get me going. This forum seems to have a really nice atmosphere, from what I've seen. I studied Spanish in high school, where most of the students in my class were a year older. I was able to carry on conversations in Spanish with the staff of the resort my family went to in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. Sadly, my Spanish 2 teacher from freshman year doomed me to a path where I couldn't continue after Spanish 3, so I took other computer-related electives to hang out with one of my two really good senior friends. I don't remember a whole lot, but I've thought about picking Spanish back up again if I have room for it. For now, I'm focusing entirely on Japanese. My college only offered one intro Japanese course, which I took a long time ago. Since then, I've done little bits of translation here and there to avoid losing any ground with my busy schedule, as well as small stints with editing (plus a little bit of dictionary-reliant translation checking) for anime subs and visual novel translations. I know only a little more than 100 kanji, and my vocabulary is quite lacking. I remember starting college and being all disappointed that I had some gen-eds and other electives to get out of the way before I could take Japanese class. Over my summer vacation, I went and memorized my kana, and absorbed bits and pieces of vocabulary from watching anime (In the spring-summer of 2011, I watched so much anime that I now wonder how I was able to pull it off). Sure enough, the book we used in the class was the romanized version of Japanese for Busy People, which had absolutely no kanji in it. Fortunately, the class' awesome substitute teacher, a Japanese woman who was friends with my professor, helped me get a bit further than I would have been able to go that quarter. I have her email address, but writing to her in Japanese is a bit difficult for me, because of how reliant I am on Denshi Jisho. I could probably go back and read my last emails to her and not be able to make much sense of it. That's not good. I'm hoping that I can finally take some time to become fluent in the language. That may take a long time, but I enjoy it enough to keep going. よろしくね~!
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