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Everything posted by thestarsshine

  1. Only focusing on reading would actually make learning Japanese harder, I would think. The basic kana are phonetic so that, at least, is really easy to learn how to read aloud. Speaking is easy, so first I would learn the vowel sounds, recite the alphabet, etc. Listen to Japanese being spoken by native speakers. Then memorize hiragana, then katakana, then focus on learning lots of grammar and vocab and such. After you've gotten enough down that you can have a basic conversation aloud or written in kana, then you should try to learn at least a few kanji a week. That's what I did when I was first learning, more or less, and I assimilated quite a lot pretty quickly. I've fallen behind on my kanji and vocab studies and haven't done structured learning in a long time, but when I was, it was pretty quick. Then again, I was in actual Japanese classes after I'd learnt basic sounds and kana, so there is that. But that much you can actually learn on your own. For the rest, if traditional learning is off the table, I would consult online guides and maybe books, and find some learning partners. Preferably someone roughly at your learning level who you can learn stuff with, along with someone very experienced who really knows the language well. I wonder why you want to learn Japanese, if all you want to do is read it? If it's just so you can read manga, novels, or games and such, well... I can understand. That was my original motivation when I was younger, anyway. But it is such a large and complex undertaking that unless you have more motive than that (i.e. you find you really enjoy the language itself, and the culture, and the subtleties) I doubt you will be able to stick with it for very long. Anyway, regardless of all that, I wish you the best luck!
  2. 時々 (ときどき - sometimes) テレビゲームにはへただけど、私だって時々かちます。
  3. Like the others have said, Youtube is super great for learning just about anything, including language. If you want people to help you with specific things, like you have questions or something, you could always just ask us here (I think that's how it works). I'd be happy to help you with what I know. But asking for general grammar help is pretty broad!
  4. Hmmm, this is a tough one! Maybe I'd like to learn Spanish, my mother is fluent and also it's helpful for getting jobs in the area. Too bad said jobs usually pay the same amount as monolingual ones, though. Still, would be pretty cool to be able to understand what people are saying when I happen to be surrounded by Spanish speakers. Plus, Spanish sounds pretty, especially Spain Spanish. I might also like to learn some Korean someday. I've heard it's a lot easier than it looks!
  5. When I was about 11, I started teaching myself Japanese, and learning a bit from my friend who had a Japanese tutor. I really loved learning it and I absorbed as much info as I could get my hands on (which admittedly wasn't a lot). I kept doing this self-learning thing up until high school when I tested into a ninth year Japanese immersion class.... it was tough, but gave me a huge advantage when they started offering mainstream Japanese classes at my school. I sometimes consider going to college to learn more Japanese, but it's so expensive and I'd have to take so many unrelated courses that I just don't see the value outweighing the cost. I hope one day to be making enough money that I can get a tutor or audit some courses or something, though, that would be amazing.
  6. I would assume that depends on what language you speak natively, and which language you are learning. A native English speaker would probably have a reasonably easy time writing/reading a romance language, but a lot harder time writing/reading one with a completely different alphabet. For me, listening in Japanese is far easier than any of the other things. I can read okay, but my knowledge of kanji is limited, which causes problems. Even fewer are the kanji that I can actually write. I could probably get by pretty dang well if everything had furigana. Kana was all surprisingly easy for me to learn, though! I think the phonetics really helped. I imagine it would be really difficult for someone used to phonetic spelling to learn English. Our rules are so arbitrary and weird!
  7. とにかく (anyway) とにかく、急ぎましょうか。妹がまってるから。
  8. I have an American accent! It wasn't detectable by anyone I met in Canada, though. They all assumed I was Canadian. (They mostly didn't have accents either.) When speaking Japanese, hmm, I wonder if I have an accent. I don't think I do, but perhaps my cadence is a bit too bouncy for a native speaker. I've never really asked anyone who wasn't also a learner.
  9. There has never really been a question of 'quitting' or not for me. It's more of 'am I gonna continue to practice?' I started learning Japanese because I played a lot of obscure games and watched anime and read manga, and it was helpful for understanding them better. I still do those things, so my skills get used no matter what, but I haven't been serious about studying in a long while (although I am always learning more by default). Lately I've been practicing a lot more though. I may not ever use Japanese for any practical reason other than hobbies, but I really enjoy learning it, and not just because of my hobbies either.
  10. I love using video games to learn Japanese, though it took me ages to get to the point where I could understand enough to play them. It's so, so great for vocab study and proper word usage. Board games, though, would be hard without a partner. Though, Cards Against Humanity is in other languages?.... Man, if I had Japanese speaking friends, I would so play that with them.
  11. I love the idea of teaching English in Japan, though I read a blog from someone who did it through the JET Program that was a bit of a horror story. The kids were hellions, pretty much, and did things like try to put their fingers in the teacher's butt as a kids' game.... I've heard from others that it was a great experience though, so I'm pretty unsure. I never did it myself, though I'd probably take the opportunity if I had it. I suppose you would have to know the culture. Personally, I'd want to teach middle school or older kids. It sounds rewarding and fun.
  12. I never knew that!! I'd heard that said, and other uses of 'chanto', but I had absolutely no clue that it was an onomatopoeia. Kansai has its own too? Now I'd like to hear those. Thanks for sharing the link, OP!
  13. Gosh this is really interesting. I've always been baffled by Kansai dialect -- I wonder why it's so different from standard Japanese? Thank you for posting this introduction! This should make understanding people with this 'accent' a bit easier for me. Thanks again!
  14. スイカ (watermelon) 何年前、日本語のクラスでこのゲームをしました。 楽しかったですね。
  15. It has totally helped me! Initially it helped me a ton with getting pronunciation down, but after a certain point it was just great for learning vocab. It gets my mind in a framework of 'thinking in Japanese' just by hearing the language spoken for some time. I also translate songs for fun, which helps expand my vocabulary. Really, it's a great learning tool, and also awesome since there are so many talented Japanese artists.
  16. I absolutely watch everything subbed! It helps with language learning, and since I understand somewhat (but not quite enough that I can watch most shows unsubbed), I can get subtleties that can't easily be translated. That, and I think it is really important to try and experience a story as the author intended as often as you can. A lot of dubs edit or remove things from anime entirely, although it's gotten a bit better in recent years. There are a few instances here and there where I can't stand a Japanese voice actor and so would prefer the dub... the only one I can think of at the moment is Dragonball, most of the voices in Japanese make my head explode. Maybe this is only because I grew up watching the dub on TV, though.
  17. Ah, yeah, it really only works for me because I have a certain level of vocab and understanding already. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. Although playing a simpler game, like Japanese Pokemon might be okay for someone who at least understood the difference between casual and formal speech. I use Pokemon as an example because it doesn't have any kanji! All kana, the entire game. I don't know of any games in Portuguese since that's not a language I've studied, but there probably are a bunch! I just recommend role playing games because they have a lot of dialogue and so would probably be best for finding vocab. And apexa you've got a point, maybe I'll need to tell someone something about a magical forcefield someday lmao! I guess I never know.
  18. There aren't really "curse words" in Japanese per se, but there are words that are considered vulgar. Here's the ones I can think of off the top of my head: Chikusho = pretty much like "damn it!" Fuzakenna = is more like "don't mess around with me," but I've seen it translated as "don't f*** with me" when the person saying it is really pissed... Manuke = loser Hentai, sukebe = pervert Omae, temee, kisama, anta = all ways of saying 'you' that can be considered extremely rude Shinjimae, kutabare = go to hell, go die Even just plain not using formal speech when you're supposed to can be considered incredibly rude, so I wouldn't recommend cursing at Japanese people! But you see a lot of these phrases thrown around in media, even though you shouldn't use them.
  19. I personally love Google Translate! But only because it's hilarious to run a bit of text through it over and over again and end up with complete nonsense. As an actual translating device, it's pretty terrible, though certainly not as bad as back in the day with BabelFish. It is handy sometimes though, when trying to find information about something that is only really written about on a site in a language I do not know. It at least provides a rudimentary idea of what is being talked about. I've noticed a disturbing trend of young people, girls mostly, pretending to know Japanese and writing terrible fanfiction with all the dialogue in 'Japanese' that is actually just stuff they ran through google translate. It's pretty awful! But I guess part of that is that it's fanfiction...
  20. I pretty much never do! I used to adamantly refuse to for moral reasons (I thought it was stupid sounding and I hated that everyone used it), but, I'm a gamer and as it's become super commonplace, I don't really feel that way anymore. Also, I was like 14, so, yeah. Nowadays I use 'haha' or 'lmao' or 'lmfao', but very, very rarely 'lol'. It didn't become part of my online typing style, so I just don't use it! I don't say any of those things out loud, though I have friends who do occasionally. It's a bit silly, but it's just how things are.
  21. Hey everyone, I thought I'd share a fun way I've discovered to learn new vocab words. I started playing a Japanese role playing game. It's all about the story and dialogue so there is a lot of talking in it. It's fully voiced, so I can understand what is being said even if I can't read all the kanji yet. When I encounter a word I don't know, I look it up in my dictionary app and add it to a list. My dictionary app has a way of listing words by tags, so I can just pull up that list for study when I'm not playing the game. It's been really helpful! Granted, I do learn some irrelevant words (when am I going to use 'kekkai' in everyday conversation, for example), but for the most part I'm learning things that seem very helpful. I just ignore most of the characters' rude/casual speech, and pick out the vocab. I guess this would be less helpful if you didn't know enough to have a basic idea of what was going on, or a fairly large vocabulary, but it works great for me! Have any of you done things like this? How did it work out for you?
  22. Oh my god, this is hilarious! Thanks for the link, this is a great laugh and may actually be helpful. So wrong, but yet so amazing. :') I wonder who came up with the idea for this, it's brilliant. I hope they are profiting off the site.
  23. Amatenshi, thank you so much for recommending Obenkyou! I have been wanting an app that helps me learn kanji for a really long time. And you can practice drawing them in the app too, that is awesome! I hate having to waste a lot of paper just for kanji practice. God, I love my phone.
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