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JapanGuy's Achievements


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  1. I think Chinese will not surpass English as a global language. There's too much already invested in English as the international status quo. Of course there will be a lot of native Chinese speakers in China, but think about the different countries in the world that have English speakers. You've got the US, Canada, Australia, The United Kingdom, etc. If I were to study a language, I would prefer to focus on the one that would get me further in the world than just China or Asia. However, if you happen to live within the region of Chinese influence, then yeah. Chinese would be the language to learn. Maybe we could say that in Asia China will become the speaking language to learn.
  2. The JLPT is this coming Sunday in Japan. Gah, I'm not looking forward to being in that room again for that many hours taking the test. This will be my second time taking N1. Those reading articles are always a headache! What are all you guys planning to take? I also recommend the site Memrise for anyone wanting to review vocabulary. Lots of good decks there!
  3. Where I grew up, it was traditional to learn French in elementary school. Unfortunately, I didn't have any passion for it at the time. It was just another subject, but I tried to do well in it. Looking back now, I learned a lot of vocabulary and I wish I would have remembered more! It didn't help that I would go on to learn Spanish later and it ended up erasing a lot of the French I learned. Looking back, there was a French Immersion program at the school too. You could take most of your main courses using French. I thought that sounded really difficult a long time ago, but I think it would have been good for my mind to be bilingual at an early age.
  4. If you only learn with a language app, you'll be missing out on other aspects and uses of the language that won't be found in the app you're studying. It's simply not feasible for an app to prepare you for everything out there when it comes to language. They can be very helpful in learning vocabulary and other things, but nothing beats communicating with real people and reading real articles written by native speakers. Has anyone been completely satisfied studying a language from only a single app? If so, let me know!
  5. Yeah, I've sort of understood that a normal British English accent was the most attractive, at least to American people. My issue with that was there are some people that don't know how to look beyond the accent and try to understand whether the person is actually intelligent or not. I knew a lot of people from small towns that would assume that someone had a British accent was automatically intelligent. It's important to get past people's accents and try to understand what kind of person they are. It's cool if you love the accent, but it's the person under it that counts more, I think. I'm really glad that I got to work with people from the UK and Australia at my job because I was able to learn lots of phrases and slang that I normally would not have known if I stayed in the US. Accents are just awesome!
  6. Japanese swears aren't really bad to say in Japanese society, so I end up using English swears when things get tough. However, if I want to signal that I am annoyed about something to a Japanese speaker with whom I know, I will use brief swear words. The thing is that Japanese swear words are really weak in terms of impact compared to how people receive them in some English speaking countries. I have noticed that my frequency of swear-word use has definitely increased since I left my country and have lived long term in a country that doesn't have speakers of English. I can get away with swearing or putting in swear words in my sentences when I'm speaking fast to a friend at a store and no one will notice. Of course, I don't abuse this, but it's quite amusing sometimes.
  7. I would totally say I am a different person when I speak a foreign language! I go from English to Japanese and I've had some people comment that my tone and voice changes when I switch languages. I'm thinking it's because in English, men have this voice thing where they adjust it based on who they are talking to. With Japanese, I don't put as much thought into changing my voice, so it comes off less deep I think. When I make YouTube videos, my Japanese ones are more dynamic and fun, where my English ones are more serious and discussion-related. This can also be because I can discuss things more deeply in my native language, so I do. In Japanese, I try to get my main point across and move on.
  8. Yep, the Genki series has workbooks as well! Going with the Genki series is going to be pricy at first, but the value of the series is worth it, in my opinion. If you're not sure and you just want to put your toes in the water, Human Japanese is pretty good too! Everything is included, so you only need to buy one thing. You can also use it on your computer or smartphone, so that's a bit more convenient than carrying around books. Whatever you decide, please let me know what you end up going with! Or if you have any questions. I'd be happy to help!
  9. When I am angry, I notice that I have a more difficult time taking my thinking from my mind to speaking my words. The emotional part prevents me from being able to speak effectively. This happens in both English and Japanese. Although in the case of Japanese, I manage to throw out some complaints using fast English so no one will understand. I think in recent years, I have become better at trying to speak more rationally and say my thoughts despite my emotional state, though. I don't know if time changes things, but it is definitely something you can improve if you work at it.
  10. I speak English and Japanese, but I want to further my Japanese knowledge and be able to relax and breeze through magazines and novels without having to look up anything. The next language on my list would be Korean. I know Hangul, but haven't done much to learn more because I always feel guilty for studying Korean when I should be studying Japanese. As for non-Asian languages, I think Spanish would be easy to pick up since I had it in high school and university. It'd be cool to subscribe to some Spanish blogs and keep them for reading practice. German would be fun to try to learn if I had the time, but I don't have the motivation right now.
  11. The Memrise app has been improved a lot compared to how it used to be. However, I would only recommend it once you want to cram vocabulary and things in. It's not like Duolingo or other apps that are trying to teach you a language. I think the most frustrating part about Memrise is how tedious it is to add your own words and things to a database. That's why I ended up going with a different app for my phone to study vocabulary.
  12. Everyone learns differently, but for me, it was brute force memorization up until N3. After that, I started learning kanji in context with words. I would read books or go through textbooks and learn different compounds together and end up learning the different readings that way. If you are just starting out, I recommend learning both the readings and meanings. It won't help you later on if you only know the meaning. A lot of Chinese students of Japanese fall into this trip. They already know a lot of the meanings of the kanji, but not the actual Japanese reading.
  13. If your sister doesn't like your method, perhaps you could introduce her to Memrise.com where she can see lots of different courses that have been put together by users. I bet she could find something she likes there. If that doesn't work, there is also JapanesePod101, which is an audio podcast. That might work for her because she can listen and absorb what she wants to learn. Try that out and see if it works!
  14. If you know hiragana, you should already know how Japanese pronounce the vowels. I recommend checking out YouTube and searching for Japanese pronunciation and you'll quickly find lots of videos where you can hear how Japanese vowels sound. In a nutshell, I would say Japanese vowels are similar to Spanish for those that want a quick way to explain the difference between English vowels.
  15. This isn't exactly what you're asking for, but I'm going to recommend it anyway: Japanese Graded Readers. These are books written specifically for learners of Japanese. They are not going to use baby talk or weird words that only Japanese children know. Japanese Graded Readers They even have iPad versions if you don't want the physical editions. I have volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4. They were a bit pricey, but I don't regret buying them because they all have a collection of different stories as well as different art styles. Check them out and let me know if they can be useful to you.
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