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Everything posted by BonClay

  1. Hiragana is used for words that don't have a kanji to represent it and has a smooth or roundish feel while katakana is used mostly for writing foreign words and seems a little bit more pointy in my opinion. Hiragana also adds the small tsu character which acts as a double consonant while katakana utilizes a dash for a vowel extender. It can be a little confusing at first, but once you memorize the mnemonics for both alphabets you're all set.
  2. I picked up most of these from various anime shows. Most characters tend to stick to the same ones, but everybody is different . It's interesting when you see someone refer to a god with -sama or a lover with -chan. A couple more honorifics that I don't think were mentioned yet are -chin and -kun. Chin is basically just another one used for close friends. Kun is used by people of senior status talking to those of junior status. Usually it's used only by males but some females will use it when addressing a guy they're emotionally attached to or have known for a very long time.
  3. I've seen WaniKani and was wondering if anybody tried their service. From what I hear it's pretty good, but can be a little expensive. Personally, I like the "Remembering the Kanji" method which is what I'm using now. There's also an official app that you can get to help practice the lessons from Volume 1 of "Remembering the Kanji". I believe it was only $1 and it works very well for flash cards or writing practice.
  4. I feel like it's a good tool to have when you need something quick or don't have anything else. It might not always have the perfect translation, but it gets the job done. I like the fact that you can download language packs separately so you can still use google translate offline when on your phone or tablet. Another thing that is nice is how it listens for both languages or can be handwritten. You can even use it as a practice tool.
  5. After I feel like I have a pretty good grip on my Japanese, the next language I want to study is French. French is definitely one of the best sounding languages and would be very useful for me in the future. I'm not sure how long it would take before I could attempt it though. Japanese isn't easy.
  6. Anime is a good source to pick up a couple words here and there, as long as the subtitles have the correct translation. It's also one of the main reasons why I wanted to learn Japanese. It would be awesome to get to the point where you can turn the subtitles off and just listen. You can also brush up on your kana and kanji by trying to translate the episode titles or signs that appear.
  7. I feel learning the alphabet or how to read and write in English is extremely easy. Speaking English is where most of the people have their problems. In today's age, there's just so many different ways to say the same thing. We're constantly coming up with new words for "Cool" all the time. If you're really serious about learning English properly, the best thing to do is just listen. You can probably learn a lot just by watching a television show that you like.
  8. While I think some people do have the capacity to learn 5 languages at once, this is something that I wouldn't want to try. Especially with a complex language like Japanese, which you should learn how to read and write first. I feel that if I was studying 5 languages at once and then tried to speak, certain words or phrases might come to me quicker with one language then with another. It would be too confusing for me.
  9. I think the biggest challenge in learning Japanese is definitely memorizing the 2000 most used kanji. I think this is where a lot of people get discouraged since hiragana and katakana can be learned within a day or two. I'm sure most people just want to start speaking the language, but with Japanese it's important to have a good foundation in reading and writing first. It is a lot to remember, but try not to overwhelm yourself. Just study around 10-20 kanji a day, then practice afterwards.
  10. I prefer subbed as well. While some groups do a pretty decent job of dubbing, most of the time the translation is modified or some of the emotion is lost. You also have to deal with hearing the dub while watching the original footage, sometimes causing the audio to look like it's out of sync. It just doesn't look right when you see a character's mouth moving and it doesn't match up with what they should say. However, subbed versions are not always perfect. Usually the translation in never 100% accurate and it's difficult to tell where the mistakes were made unless you already know how to speak the language.
  11. Anime is a great way to learn some Japanese words over time. However, you have to be very careful. While you might have the English subtitles, the translation might not be 100% accurate. It really depends on the person or group who does the translation but it can vary in quality. This could also interfere with trying to learn the language properly such as hearing multiple ways to say the same word. If you're watching it on top of trying to learn Japanese, it can be a good addition and help with the process but don't trust anime to always give you the correct meaning.
  12. It really depends on the language, but learning how to read and write is pretty important for Japanese. First you need to memorize the kana which consists of two different alphabets. Then you need to learn about 2000 kanji before you can really start to dig deep in grammar. If you have a good understanding of both, it will only help you learn the actual language easier. With English it's almost completely backwards. They say that you should really put more time into listening than reading and writing English because of all the extra ways we say certain words or phrases.
  13. It sounds like you mean just listening to the language in order to learn it. Like hearing people speak it or trying to learn it from a television show. This could be very difficult depending on the language and I wouldn't recommend learning that way. It might be easier for young children to pick up on stuff like that when they don't know anything else. However, if you're already fluent in a language and trying to learn a new one, things could get too confusing or take too much time.
  14. I've never even thought about having a dream in another language. However, it makes sense if your dream is about something that you spend a lot of time and effort on. It's kind of like riding your bike all day long and having a dream later about riding your bike. Almost as if your legs are still pedaling. Our brains have the incredible ability of being able to take in and process everything we see, hear, etc. They're constantly working, even when you're sleeping. So it seems totally possible to dream in a new language if you practiced it hard enough and actually understood it. What if the dream you had was in a completely foreign language? I think that could even be more hilarious.
  15. I'm in the same boat as you my friend. French and Japanese are the only two languages that I really want to become fluent in. I have taken Spanish classes for a couple years and while French might be an easier transition for me, I would rather learn Japanese. I know it's hard, but don't give up! Hiragana and katakana can be learned in a couple of days if you put some time into it. There are also helpful ways to remember each character such as mnemonics. Like you mentioned earlier, the hard part is remembering over 2000 kanji. However, there is a way to memorize all of them using primitive elements or building blocks together in order to read the kanji. I believe the book was called "Remembering the Kanji". If you can get through all the kanji, then you can finally move onto grammar. It's a long process but don't let the kanji overwhelm you. Just learn a little bit at a time and practice afterwards.
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