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Everything posted by petrushka

  1. Oh, haiku! I love Japanese poetry so this thread will definitely be interesting. I'm surprised though since I didn't know that holiday seasons can also be used as a subject for haiku. I thought it was always nature-themed and seasons would need to be nature-themed as well, rather than holiday-themed. Really interesting! I hope this thread (or sub-forum) incorporates the other forms of Waka soon. One of my favorites is Senryuu since it's reads like a haiku but they've always been funnier to me (although I've read a lot of humorous haiku too).
  2. 1. My native language - because, obviously, it's my first and I love it, haha! 2. English - since I already know it and currently, it is considered the universal language or something. 3. An East Asian Language - I'd like to learn a language that doesn't use the roman letters but still close to home. 4. A Romance Language - I'm cheating, haha, but I figured if I become fluent in a romance language, the learning of other romance languages will be easy. Also, if I learn Spanish or Portuguese, I figure it might be easier to learn a Latin American language since they share some word
  3. I think apps are useful as an introduction (especially those that don't use the roman alphabet) but after that, they're more supplementary and a teacher (and in my experience, classmates) are the way to properly learn languages. Apps are useful for memorization, but learning a language requires someone to teach you what you did wrong as well as immersion. A teacher is required for the former and a classroom with classmates help with the latter. Apps helped me a lot since I learned the really basic stuff like alphabet and phonetics when I started enrolling in lessons, but a month in a clas
  4. Why would teaching Filipino in school not be important though? That's a completely different topic altogether. As for the thread, in theory, I agree that Tagalog and Filipino are not the same since the former is the language of the people hailing from Tagalog regions, whereas the latter is Tagalog + bits and pieces of words from other languages in the Philippines to create our national language. In practice though, the Filipino language is 90% Tagalog so I can understand why people don't bother differentiating the two. In schools, the subject isn't called Tagalog, it's called Filipin
  5. Wait, English and Spanish are closely related? They're from two completely different language families though right? Romance and Germanic? I mean, English pretty much cannibalized a lot of languages to fill up their roster -- which is probably why English has SO MANY FRICKING RULES that hardly make sense or totally doesn't (contranyms!!) -- but I don't think they're similar at all. As for why J is pronounced as H, I have to agree with the others that it's simply their alphabet. It's like asking, "Why is A pronounced as A?" that kind of thing. Different alphabets are created to indicate the so
  6. I've never met anyone who completely forgot their native language, but I know a lot whose skills in their own native language have deteriorated to the point where they can't speak it anymore. They can still understand it well, right? Especially with context. But since they are surrounded by people who don't speak it, the fact that they don't hear it nor have the reason to speak it means they've been conditioned to forego it for another language which is more important. I don't think this can happen today though, because communication is so much easier. But I know a lot of 50-80 year olds whos
  7. I'm using this right now and it's been so effective so far! The approach makes memorizing so much easier because there's some sort of "story" for every kanji revealed. I especially love the tags and side explanations regarding context, like the SARC tag because it makes a word stick even more to my memory. Oh, second day of being drunk is hangover, haha! I've downloaded the Anki deck so I can take it everywhere with me. Coupled with "Japanese Kanji and Kana", which uses the same pattern (easy-to-write kanji first, hard-to-write kanji later) and I've memorized more kanji in a week than I have
  8. "Japanese Kanji and Kana" by Wolfgang Hadamitzky and Mark Spahn has been proving to be really good to me, haha. It includes all 2,136 official Jouyou kanji and is arranged by the kanji's difficulty in writing it rather than any other category. This arrangement has been ESPECIALLY helpful to me because I suck at memorization. Learning the simpler kanji made it so much easier for me to remember simpler kanji, and guess at the meaning of more complicated ones. The kanji dictionary starts at page 68 and the pages before that are dedicated to explaining kanji, from the history, the positions, th
  9. I don't recall it being part of the required reading either, but it was definitely in the list for recommended reading, which is why I read it in the first place. The summary provided by the Professor intrigued me so I borrowed it from the library for future reading. I didn't read it right away though and then finished it in 2 days because I had to return the book by that time, haha! I remember that I enjoyed it and that I liked the themes it presented, even if it took me a while to love the prose itself. I've reread it a few times after that and I really appreciated the professor who recomme
  10. Studying ancient language sounds SO, so fascinating! But considering how hard learning Japanese is for me, probably not something I could do, haha! I try immersing myself in the Japanese language as much as possible and my retention is still rather poor. Imagine if retention is virtually impossible! Still, I've always wanted to learn an obsolete language. I just want to see how many current language took bits and pieces of these ancient languages to create the current ones.
  11. I don't know... I mean, extremely high emotions affect even the ability to speak someone's native language, so why wouldn't it affect someone who requires to speak in their second (or more) language? That's why sometimes, people just scream or cry because speaking just doesn't cut it. Speaking requires brain focus, and while others can speak without thinking about it and even without any filter on -- guilty as charged haha! -- it still requires the processing of the brain. In cases of really extreme emotions, that processing may break down, probably because your brain is thinking up so many t
  12. Well, considering a previous job entailed that I converse with others on the phone in a foreign language, I have indeed, haha! It is definitely nerve-wracking in formal situations especially because there's always the persistent thought that it's not your native tongue. I could often hear how different my accent was to the accent of the person I was talking to and it made me feel insecure about my fluency. Stressful situations are the worst because speaking continuously in a language that's not your native one requires a focus of thought, and high emotion can erode that. I do like to speak in
  13. I'm going with the posters who've said it depends on your location. Where I'm from, the most widespread English Proficiency Test is TOEFL. I think TOEFL results is the most common requirement they check for jobs/etc. that would require English proficiency here, so I would assume that getting good results for TOEFL is the best one for a citizen in my country. A country that prioritizes a different proficiency test would be the best for a citizen of that country too. In an objective sense, however, I've never really sat down and compared any proficiency tests, English or otherwise, so I don't
  14. Mine would probably be A Clockwork Orange. If it's just a matter of it composed of too much purple prose, I can slog through that even if it might irritate me. Old English is no problem either since I can pretty much figure things out through context or by reading a modern version before reading the older one. And I love most of the doorstops I've read, so length is never a problem for me. But A Clockwork Orange relied too much on the slang created by the main character that it was hard to read at first. You figure out the context as you go along, of course, and that became part of the enter
  15. I do feel the same way but the fear of making mistakes is precisely why it's harder to speak in an unfamiliar language than simply writing things down, I think. Because speaking is pretty requires spontaneity so the chances of being wrong are higher, and the chances of being embarrassed for the mistake is more pronounced. Speaking is instantaneous (unless you put fillers in between every other word) so you can't filter out your speech as much. There's also the fact that everyone has an accent that may or may not be understandable to native speakers. Contrast to that, when you write, you can
  16. I grew up in a country that uses a combination of British and American English so while I sometimes use one over the other, it doesn't really confuse me. With the proliferation of American and British tv shows that are watched around the world though -- not to mention the popularity of English writers -- I think more people are getting the differences between the two and less confusion is had.
  17. You figured something out from hearing it? That's awesome! One of my weaknesses when it comes to Japanese is listening because so many different words have the same reading (especially ON kanji, argh!) that even with the context, listening confuses me. How do you understand it? Or it is a combination of context and having the script written in the game? Or maybe you've just mastered listening? Still really awesome though.
  18. I'm still having problems with Kanji but now, the one I'm having the most problems with is counters. ARGH there's so many counters in the counting system and it confuses the hell out of me! I mean, I just learned that the tuna, for example, has different counting counters depending on what state it is. 一匹 - for the tuna swimming in the ocean 一本 - for tuna that's been caught 一丁 - for when the tuna's first cut in the market 一塊 - for when it's cut into smaller pieces 一冊 - for when it's cut into even smaller pieces like you see in sashimi 一切れ - for when it enters someone's mouth There's a count
  19. Just like spoken languages, sign language differs based from country to country, language to language as long as the community using it have a different enough language. So an American who's deaf won't necessarily know what a Spanish person who's deaf is saying. Where I'm from, the sign language for the national language is different from the sign language of the second most popular language in the country. So there's that.
  20. I've never personally had a problem mixing katakana with hiragana since they look so different to me, but katakana itself used to be a problem for me because of the similarities between シ with ツ and ン and ソ and sometimes even ノ. And then, there are the kanji that look like simple katakana or hiragana words likes 力 (chikara) and カ (katakana ka). I just can't spot the difference and it's even worse if it was handwritten. I don't know the technique to figure it out but I'm still looking and learning, so perhaps I'll figure it out soon when I get used to reading context easier than just relying o
  21. It's kanji for me too. I don't have a problem with memorization per se, but it's really hard for me to determine which reading a kanji is especially when the sentence has dropped the subject, which Japanese sentences so commonly do. I know it depends on context but while I know that a kanji can be read a variety of ways depending on what the conversation is, it still takes me a long time. I know there are reasons on why a kanji should be the ON reading and not the KUN reading but I stil need a ton of practise before it can come to me naturally, rather than with intense scrutiny.
  22. Oh hey, the Japanese are also the top investors in the country right now, so if you're ever in a government sector that deals with businesses, you might be able to meet Japanese business CEOs or their aides! It'd be really useful to know the language so that nuance won't be lost, yeah?
  23. Me, me! I'd definitely learn a language of a country I don't plan to visit. Right now I'm learning Spanish and Japanese (and making a study plan for French and Mandarin Chinese) when I only plan on visiting one of these countries. There are other reasons to learn different languages, after all. My main reason for learning a different language is that my country provides services to a lot of countries and knowing a different language is a good thing to have on your resume as it ensures higher pay and more opportunities. I also like learning languages for my own benefit because being a Polyglo
  24. These are some of my favorites simply because I like how they sound, haha. ascent - the climb assent - to agree canvas - rough cloth canvass - to examine thoroughly stationary - not moving stationery - writing paper I always have a problem with counsel and council though!
  25. Guys, I just want to clarify since most of the posters are commenting about it, but those are not dialects. A different Tagalog dialect would when you're used to the Tagalog from Manila and you're lost about the numerous words/phrases/grammar usage by someone from Batangas. Cebuano, Ilokano, Pangasinense or Kapampangan are not dialects. They're different languages each with their own words and sometimes grammar rules, the ones with the most population having several dialects under their family. There are at least 175 languages in the Philippines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_th
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