宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from khawla in Immigrante (series of blog posts about language learning and living in a different country)
Immigrante Chapter 1: Should I meet up with other immigrants/expats?
I've been living in a different country for quite a while now, not to mention that my parents were both born in a different country from where I came from, so technically I've always been considered a foreigner since birth until very recently (the Dutch consider you foreigner if at least 1 parent was born elsewhere, the Poles consider you foreigner if you're born elsewhere, and the Japanese consider you foreigner if you behave and speak differently from locals).
So I figured that maybe I should make a little series about living in a foreign country and learning the language of that country.
This series is not about how you have to learn, I'm not telling what is a fact and what is a fiction, etc.
It's about my personal experience of living in a different country in relation to learning the language, what I recommend you should and should not do, how to avoid obstacles, without affecting your opinions.
From this point on, I will shorten "immigrants or expats" to "IE".
Likewise, "host country" will be shortened to "HC", and "language learning" will be shortened to "LL".
So the question of the day is, should I meet up with other IE?
When it comes to social contact in the comfort of a language you already know, it's up to you.
As for myself, I avoid this.
Among the reasons are:
It's very likely your fellow IE either don't know the language of the HC (yet), or will want to speak in a different language to you. I don't know why, but with the exception of a very few rare individuals, IE tend to be on the far left in their political beliefs.
Disclosure: I have no problem with people on the left, centre, or right, those people are usually reasonable and avoid political discussions where unnecessary (unless they don't know it's political, for example corona virus).
Meanwhile, people on the far left, far right, extreme left, and extreme right bring up politics in a lot of situations, and once you show to have at least a slightly different opinion, you'll end up in a conflict, losing the friendships you just made, etc. very quickly. They tend to not explore anything of the HC outside of the tourist traps, and work at international companies together with other IE, so I often end up having way more knowledge and experience about our HC after 2 years than they have after 2 decades. When it comes to LL, you might want to avoid other IE for the 1st reason, 2nd and 3rd reasons are just extra's.
The fast majority of my friends and contacts here in Japan are Japanese people, the vast majority of them are monolingual too.
I do occasionally make friends with other IE, but I always talk in Japanese to them and don't make it clear that I know any other language.
This is to test whether they are OK or not.
Other IE probably already have a bunch of IE friends, but the IE that can speak the language of the HC decently fluently are more likely to be on the more reasonable/accepting side when it comes to diversity of opinions and discussions, and due to not being fluent enough to bring up politics (they might do so if they could speak in English or another language they are fluent/native in to you).
Plus speaking the HC language even to non-natives adds up to your LL.
I did talk to other IE in English during my first few months here, but with the exception to 1 person, everyone broke contact with me after a short time, got angry for some reason, etc.
All of them have already returned to their original country a long time ago too.
Another big problem with befriending other IE that is relevant to yourself, the locals, and other IE alike: you'll end up in a "foreigner bubble", because of that the locals will never consider you part of society, other IE will constantly remind you of exactly that, and you will never understand your HC and never get past the fundementals of the language (if you're lucky), because there's no need to be able to speak the HC language.
If you don't know the language well enough, watch TV, YouTube, etc., listen to the radio, podcasts, etc., read books, comics, internet articles, etc. in the HC language all the time.
Search on the internet in the HC language, find a job in HC language and work alongside locals, etc.
Your brain will automatically rewire itself to understand the HC language at some point in time.
I came to the point to be able to understand Japanese so well, I even discovered a very dark side of this country's political, economic, and cooperate sectors (most recently medical, sexual, and deep state (paedophilia, human trafficking, and cannibalism) too, which are all pretty huge, yet get by unnoticed every single year), a lot of places no other IE has ever even known about, secrets that usually only natural born citizens will know about, how to read between the lines that other IE are unable to wrap their heads around at all, etc., but all of this are subjects for another time.
But none of that will be possible if you maintain contacts with other IE in non-HC language.
You can be friends with other IE and still progress in your LL, but only if you speak in the HC language to them and they do the same to you.
You can be friends with other IE just for social contact, but is this the way to go if you want to spend the remainder of your life in your HC?
I don't think so.
An example closest to me would be my mum; she was born in Poland, lives in the Netherlands since almost a whole decade before I was born and took Dutch citizen before my birth too, but she socialises with other Poles for the vast majority of the time.
As a result, she speaks Dutch with terrible grammar (and I feel like her sense of grammar is getting worse and worse the longer I stay in Japan), doesn't know how to correctly spell words, etc., despite having lived in the Netherlands for almost 40 years now.
But at least she is able to win almost any dispute, which is pretty awesome.
How comes I can speak Japanese so well after only 2 years in Japan (+ 1 decade of learning beforehand), while somebody living in the Netherlands for almost 40 years in a row still can't speak Dutch well?
How comes that western, Indian, some Korean, and some Chinese IE living in Japan for 10? 20? 30? years still can't speak Japanese beyond the basics?
Why does this NOT apply to Vietnamese, Indonesian, Nepalese, Burman, Singaporian, Taiwanese, Filipino, some other Koreans, and some other Chinese IE living in Japan for the same amount of time?
Do you really believe language skills being "gifted"?
If true, why is the ability of LL discriminated by nationality? (or in woke language: is God racist?)
And how are you able to speak your native language if you're not "gifted"?
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from Merryight in Japanese honorific
"Mira" is quite a common name for fictional characters.
In fiction (comics, anime, drama, novels, games, etc.) you have more freedoms in giving names than in real life.
There are real life Japanese people with a hiragana or katakana name, but society might think that you're a foreigner if you don't use kanji, and in some occations it might cause problems.
And there's a list of forbidden names which I had the link to, but apparenly can't find it back now.
This ban of course doesn't apply to fictional characters.
Like when I had to sign up at the gas and electricity company, despite allowing all nationalities in, their application form only accepted names in kanji.
And since a west European foreigner doesn't have a kanji name, I had to make up a typical Japanese name for myself, which I ended up liking so much that I registered it as my official alias at the city hall (so now I can use it to officially identify myself throughout Japan).
The reason I'm saying that is because "Mira" is always spelled in katakana.
For example Mira Tanaka → 田中ミラ
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from Merryight in Japanese honorific
Mira actually means "mirror", not "stubborn".
Own grandchildren call their grandmothers "baa-chan"（ばあちゃん）.
If people are describing somebody elses grandma, "obaa-san"（おばあさん）is used, or simply "Hanako-san"（花子さん or 華子さん）.
In general, おばあさん is used by friends (insiders), or by people who don't know her name.
And 花子さん or 華子さん is used by strangers (outsiders) in formal setting (hospital, university, wedding, etc.).
In business situations, 花子様 or 華子様（Hanako-sama）is used.
Just "baa" alone is never used at all.
And "oobasan" and "Hanako baa" simply don't exist.
In that case, simply "Hanako" without suffix is OK.
However, keep in mind that it's very rare for children to say the name of their own grandmothers.
Also, if the story isn't in Japanese, it's perfectly find to just say "grandma".
This is what localisation of all sorts of stories are doing too.
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from Nightray in Is there any interesting ways to teach Japanese verb conjugation like making a story?
Maybe the use of pictures might be easier to understand instead.
Because if you have a class of people speaking different native languages, it might cause some people to not understand.
A story that makes perfect sense to an English speaking American might make no sense at all to a Mandarin speaking Chinese for example.
And I myself can't really think of stories for all conjugations.
But one I recommend you to teach the most of the differences between for example 食べれる and 食べられる, it's pretty easy to say "I was eaten by a raw fish" while you meant to say "I can eat raw fish".
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from linguaholic in 【Comments】Linguablog » Untranslatable Japanese Words
In response to: https://linguaholic.com/linguablog/untranslatable-japanese-words/
As someone who is surrounded with Japanese in every day life, I consider Japanese easy to use, but hard to translate.
It's very difficult to have a good translation from or to Japanese without sounding weird in either Japanese or the other language, but using Japanese directly is quite easy (once you're at the point where you no longer need to rely on another language to speak Japanese that is).
A 12th word I want to add to this list would be 神様 (kami-sama).
Learning materials teach you that it means "God", but in reality just like you can't actually translate Allah or Buddha to God, you can't translate Kami to God.
God = Christian, Allah = Islam, Buddha = Buddhism, and Kami = Shintoism.
And unlike God, Kami is not 1 being overseeing everything, but rather it's any kind of spirit in nature.
I'm currently self-studying Japanese religions just because I'm pretty interested in it.
And quite honestly, it's very unlike any branches of Christianity or Islam.
宇崎ちゃん reacted to TeacherMichelleF in Is this valid for the English language 'win special armor'
Yes, I think" armour" is often used instead of "suit of armour", which can be a bit confusing. "Glass of water" is used all the time, "piece of luggage" isn't.
The sentence doesn't always make the word classification clear.
宇崎ちゃん reacted to TeacherMichelleF in Is this valid for the English language 'win special armor'
"suit of armour" is countable. You would wear a suit of armour but not an armour. It's like having a glass of water instead of a water or a piece of luggage instead of a luggae.
I agree that it sounds a little confusing.If a countable noun (suit, glass, piece) goes first then there's nothing in the sentence to tell you that the uncountable noun is uncountable. This can be a bit tricky, I agree.
宇崎ちゃん reacted to harbilked in Hello Everyone
Thank you so much, well I think it's a beautiful language and culture, besides, I have started to make Japanese friends online who know some english, so I want to show respect by learning the language, not to mention there is an incredibly diverse range of art, literature, music etc. which I'm looking forward to exploring more.
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from linguaholic in Help me to choose service
If you want to learn grammar: STOP!!
Online translation machines are the worst way to learn grammar in the world.
AI don't understand context no matter how advanced, grammar = context.
Just imagine typing in "ツイッターで宣言" into Google and Bing Translate.
Both will result in "declared on Twitter", then some other service will give "propaganda at Twitter", while what you actually mean to say translates to "advertising on Twitter".
So 3 sentences in English that mean completely different from one other, but in Japanese all 3 translate to the same thing.
Or a couple of years ago I quickly wanted to know the Japanese word for "slippers".
Google Translate gave me "ベロベロ", so I asked at the store if they have any ベロベロ, and everyone in the store were laughing so hard, it took them 5 minutes before they became able to speak again.
They then told me that "ベロベロ" means "being drunk", which is not even close to what I meant to say.
Plus you'll be getting into the problem you're facing: "which one is correct?".
You can ask a human who can speak French, but automated translators aren't humans.
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from Rob in Need some help identifying the language - similar to Cyrillic/Greek
This is interesting.
The top looks like Chinese or Japanese (日工十), followed by Japanese (ヨ), the last 2 looks like Arabic, and at the right of ヨ I see "go" like in English, followed by a character which I think comes from Georgian Hebrew.
My guess would be Georgian Hebrew, since it's Christian, and has been around for a long time, although the cross itself would be a strange one.
English is a Christian language, but modern English hasn't been around for this long, while Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic aren't Christian languages at all (Chinese and Japanese are based off Buddhism and Confucianism, in addition of Japanese having influence from Shintoism and Chinese from Taoism in ancient China (or Taiwan and Hong Kong), and Maoism in mainland China, while everyone knows that Arabic is as Islamic as it can get).
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from Igelkott in Translating - am I overthinking this?
At beginner and intermediate levels it's normal to translate everything into a language you already know, everyone goes through this process.
Keep listening and reading in the language a lot, and you'll eventually stop translating and start speaking the language naturally.
If you can, I recommend you strictly refrain from using English for 1 month straight and use Swedish exclusively.
In case you don't live in Sweden, at least minimise your use of English to the essentials.
For example, I live in Japan, but I use English only with some friends overseas that don't speak Japanese and in places where it's required (like on this forum).
Likewise I only speak Polish whenever I talk to my mum over LINE and I only write Dutch whenever I write with my mum over LINE.
But beyond that I use Japanese exclusively (which is about 99% of the time each day).
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from linguaholic in Explanation for beginners: 〇〇より〇〇(の)方が〇〇
Everyone learning Japanese beyond the most basic grammar structure sees this structure quite a lot: 〇〇より〇〇(の)方が〇〇.
For example: 赤色より青色の方が好き
This is the Japanese equivelant to "I prefer blue over red", except in the reverse order.
Think like "red is fine, but I prefer blue".
Just like English, you can just say which you prefer and the rest can be skipped (which might be much easier for western language speakers).
Like 青色の方が好き→I prefer blue.
Unlike English, you can skip the preferring part and only use the inferior part, like 赤色より好き.
Of course based on the discussion it should be clear that you prefer blue, otherwise people would think "what do you prefer over red?".
And then you ask "why is it sometimes の方が and sometimes 方が!?", the answer is that 方が is more for giving advise, while の方が is more for comparison.
So in this case we compared 2 colours and which you like more.
In the 方が sense, you can say 病気ながら、寝た方が良いと思います, which means "if you're ill, I think it's better if you sleep".
Of course you can replace 寝た方が for 寝る方が, but the difference is in general advise vs personal advise.
寝た方が良い is used to give you specifically the advise to sleep when you're ill, while 寝る方が良い is used to point out the well known fact that you should sleep if you're ill.
ルールを守る方が良い→it's better if everyone sticks to the rules.
ルールを守った方が良い→it's better if YOU stick to the rules.
Unlike の方が, 方が has no より part.
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from linguaholic in About the 頑張って blog post
Forum post due to the lack of placing comments on the blog.
Post in question: https://linguaholic.com/linguablog/good-luck-in-japanese/
I think the post is accurate, but there is 1 little thing missing that I've noticed very recently.
Someone wanting to learn Japanese meant to say "well, good luck finding my email address" and said "まぁ、私のメールアドレスを見つけて頑張ってね".
What is wrong about it? Sarcasm!
In Japanese there is no concept of "sarcasm", and is therefore not understood by native Japanese speakers with little to no exposure to any western language.
So while an English speaker intends to say "you won't find my email address any way, so give up already", a Japanese speaker would understand it as "do your best, I'm counting on you".
So it's certainly something to look out for, lots of your Homer Simpson jokes might end up disappointing you a big time, as while you're trying to be funny they end up confused instead.
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from DSM in For beginners: "What language should I learn"? "What is the easiest one"? (NOT MY QUESTION!)
NOTE: THIS IS NOT MY OWN QUESTION, THIS TOPIC IS MEANT TO CUT THE AMOUNT OF "WHAT SHOULD I LEARN"-TYPE OF TOPICS!
Even though the best answer is obvious and applies to literally everyone, I understand beginners to language learning don't know the answer.
You can see this throughout this entire forum, on other forums, on social media, even in real life this question seems to be a big struggle to everyone.
With this thread I'd like to give you a solid answer to both questions: "What language should I learn"? and "What is the easiest one"?
The answer is: follow your heart.
Take an honest look at the culture of all languages you consider to learn, research each of them throughout.
Which culture did you like most? That's the language you should learn AND that's the easiest one.
Simple enough ey?
Languages are closely tied to cultures.
The golden rule is: if you don't like the culture, it'll be very difficult to learn.
And if you manage to learn it any way, you'll forget it quickly.
This goes for all languages, from Romance languages to Chinese. From Swahili to Slavic languages.
Any complaints, doubts, disagrees or similar?
Feel free to ask or comment.
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from heywood_lane in Why is Duolinguo better than other apps?
If there's something Duolingo lacks, it's the ability to admit the mistakes they make.
I'm a native Dutch speaker and I did their Dutch course to report errors and help them improve the course.
I only started and I reported loads of mistakes already, but only 1 of those were taken seriously.
"Jullie geven hun de hoed" obviously means "you guys give their the hat", not "you guys gave them a hat".
I know every native speaker will go like "WTF?!" when they read "jullie geven hun de hoed" because it's grammatically wrong.
And yet they told me I was wrong and THEY are right. WTF?!
And even some sentences I answered correctly were counted as incorrect.
I reported them all, but none of which were ever taken seriously.
So that's how I lost my motivation to use Duolingo forever.
I wouldn't even recommend it even if the moderators were dictating me to do so!
宇崎ちゃん got a reaction from linguaholic in Help translating a short sentence from a Japanese ABC book
こんいちは is wrong, it's こんにちは.
This is a common mistake made by beginners, since you would write 2 N's in romaji, but if you press the N key twice while writing hiragana, it'll turn into ん, so you'll need to press that key trice, followed by the I key.
有難うございます by itself is not incorrect, but the Kanji form is hardly ever used.
Instead, ありがとうございます is the way to go.
As for the sentence, it's quite unclear.
I can see they talk about carrots and beards, and the fact it has a grammatical structure of "if you ..., then ...".
But that's all I know about it.
Reading Japanese without Kanji AND without context can be quite a challenge though.