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Japanese in 1973 vs 2010

  Tags: Textbooks | Japanese
 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
aabram
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Estonia
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 Message 1 of 8
26 February 2010 at 12:32pm | IP Logged 
I have small request to Japanese speakers. I've come across one old(ish) Japanese
textbook and I'm using it among other sources in my studies. It features quite large
chunks of texts for every chapter and I thought it'd be nice for practicing reading.
However, since the book originates from 1973 I'm curious whether the language (usage)
has changed enough for me to be alert on some things I might encounter in the text.

First text of the book, all three pages of it, can be accessed here:

1st page
2nd page
3rd page


I'd be grateful if you take a look and give your opinion about the style. Is it normal,
is it outdated? Is there something I need to be vary of?

Textbook itself is Учебник японского языка (для продолжающих), част I, Москва 1973.
That explains the general tone, which, no doubt, is familiar to those who know Soviet
era textbooks.



TixhiiDon
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 Message 2 of 8
26 February 2010 at 2:24pm | IP Logged 
Japanese is not my native language but I couldn't see anything, on the first page at
least, that struck me as outdated or unfamiliar. On the other hand, it doesn't read
very
naturally. It seems very wooden and lacks the smoothness that good written Japanese
has.
It's difficult for me to give specific examples (although 立派 is used far too often!)
It's just a sense I have. But then again you're not really likely to get beautifully
written sentences in a language learning textbook so I'm sure it serves its purpose.

What I completely LOVED about it, though, was the tone of socialist propaganda, what
with
the workers building the big new apartment block and the greatest metro in the world.
It's completely fascinating and it makes me want to get a copy of the textbook,
although I guess it's not so easy to find.

EDIT: There are a few strange things - not necessarily outdated, just not very
natural. For example, in conversation people would usually say 道路を渡る, not 道路を
横断する. Similarly, 自動車 is not really used in conversation. Instead you would say
車, even in polite conversation with strangers. Also, I have never heard the phrase お
伺いします used to mean "Excuse me" or "I have a question" as it is here. Maybe お伺い
したいのですが, but even that is rather stilted except in business transactions.


Edited by TixhiiDon on 26 February 2010 at 2:37pm

1 person has voted this message useful



aabram
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 Message 3 of 8
04 March 2010 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for looking into it. I'll bear your warnings in mind. I'll be scanning more so if
you're interested, I could make a PDF out of them and share.



Sayumi
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Japan
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Speaks: Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 8
04 March 2010 at 6:30pm | IP Logged 
That'd be great.

Edited by Sayumi on 04 March 2010 at 6:31pm



Kounotori
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 Message 5 of 8
13 April 2010 at 11:57am | IP Logged 
aabram wrote:
Thanks for looking into it. I'll bear your warnings in mind. I'll be scanning more so if
you're interested, I could make a PDF out of them and share.


Aabram, minne hävisit?

But yeah, a PDF would be awesome.

And I agree that from what I can see, the Japanese in the book isn't outdated, but just run-of-the-mill textbook Japanese, which is only supposed to illustrate grammatical points. Not smooth text, but serves its purpose.



aabram
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Senior Member
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Studies: Mandarin, French

 
 Message 6 of 8
13 April 2010 at 1:22pm | IP Logged 
Tässä ollaan, tässä ollaan.

Thanks for reminding me, I've been postponing it since it's quite a bit of work. Perhaps
this weekend I'll have enough time for it.



Cainntear
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linguafrankly.blogsp
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 Message 7 of 8
13 April 2010 at 2:26pm | IP Logged 
The difference between natural Japanese in 1970 and 2010 will not be that great, but the difference in textbook Japanese will be massive. For a long time, grammar was looked at in a structuralist way, where the rules were all rigid and independent of meaning. This is why it TixhiiDon describes it as "wooden". Modern thinking on language has been influenced by Transformational Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar, which focus on the meaning that grammatical features add to a sentence, and where the meaning of a single grammatical feature can be changed drastically by what follows (for example, "Sit down" and "Take a seat" both use the imperative mood, but the latter is more polite, more cooperative, almost an offer rather than a command).

This is why phrases like the much ridiculed "the pen of my aunt" aren't seen as often in modern textbooks -- the authors are trying to mimic natural language more closely, rather than producing artificial sentences that serve to demonstrate structure without giving a solid sense of meaning. (They're mostly still pretty wide of the mark, but there has been a steady improvement over the years.)



Monox D. I-Fly
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monoxdifly.iopc.us
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 Message 8 of 8
13 February 2018 at 3:05pm | IP Logged 
TixhiiDon wrote:
For example, in conversation people would usually say 道路を渡る, not 道路を


How are they read and what do they mean?



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