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Arekkusu’s TAC 2012 Team ne nur

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 137 of 407
31 May 2011 at 1:26pm | IP Logged 
librarian wrote:
I would accept the praise from the Norwegian teacher.   Reading through your posts you
are obviously a very talented learner.

As for the Japanese article I am sure you will understand it perfectly sooner than you think. Could you send
it to me so I can know what your level is please? I have enjoyed reading your log so far so keep up the
good work :)

Here is the article. A friend asked me to read it so I would
give her my opinion. I can skim through the text and get the gist of it, but I wanted to get all the details to
answer her properly. My vocabulary is not as good as I would wish, but I certainly wouldn't expect to know
words like sensory nerve endings, etc. Let me know how you find it. Maybe it will be simple for you.

Edited by Arekkusu on 31 May 2011 at 1:28pm

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librarian
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United Kingdom
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9 posts - 9 votes
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 138 of 407
31 May 2011 at 4:09pm | IP Logged 
I can understand pretty much all of it. Then I couldn't understand Japanese grammar I but an English gloss on top of the Japanese using ruby characters in word and this helped me a lot.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 139 of 407
31 May 2011 at 4:19pm | IP Logged 
librarian wrote:
I can understand pretty much all of it. Then I couldn't understand Japanese grammar I but an English gloss on top of the Japanese using ruby characters in word and this helped me a lot.

What did you think of the article? What do you think of his conclusion as to why Japanese people can't make themselves understood easily in English?
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librarian
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United Kingdom
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Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 140 of 407
31 May 2011 at 5:44pm | IP Logged 
When I was in my first year at uni my professor said katakana was the biggest barrier to the Japanese learning English and I believe him to be right. It is really down to the fact that English is a mongrel language... I would like to know how fjord is romanised in katakana.

It was a very interesting read and I am now researching john Manjiro and the Manjiro society:

which grammar points did you find hard?
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 141 of 407
31 May 2011 at 5:56pm | IP Logged 
librarian wrote:
When I was in my first year at uni my professor said katakana was the biggest barrier to the Japanese learning English and I believe him to be right. It is really down to the fact that English is a mongrel language... I would like to know how fjord is romanised in katakana.

It was a very interesting read and I am now researching john Manjiro and the Manjiro society:

which grammar points did you find hard?

It's the vocabulary I found difficult.

I too first assumed that katakana was the culprit. However, a few people told me that, although some books do use katakana, most don't, and Japanese do not necessary learn English through katakana in school. This is not to say it's not one of the problems, though.

I think the root of the problem is that when English is taught, the focus is on written English because students will eventually need to pass TOEIC or TOEFL tests. This is really why they learn English; very few learn it with communication in mind. Therefore, there is no focus on pronunciation. A friend also told me that when he was in highschool, although he knew the right pronunciation, he would just mimick everyone else's bad pronunciation so he wouldn't stick out of the crowd. Eventually, the bad pronunciation habits become engrained after years and years, if not decades, of little to no exposure to natives, and it becomes a very difficult problem to correct.

It's one thing to not distinguish R and L, but if you spent 10 years saying a word with the Japanese R because everyone around you did the same, this becomes extremely difficult to overcome.
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librarian
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United Kingdom
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Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 142 of 407
31 May 2011 at 6:06pm | IP Logged 
I too have heard the mimicking the bad pronunciation story albeit too many times... I kind of wonder if its apocryphal... how are Japanese people at learning French?
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 143 of 407
31 May 2011 at 6:13pm | IP Logged 
I don't think anyone ever teaches students that you can't simply import the sounds of Japanese into English and expect to be understood.

I think a good analogy is the QWERTY keyboard. In some countries, they use AZERTY or else QWERTZ keyboards. If you've been typing on an AZERTY keyboard all your life and all of a sudden, I present you with a QWERTY keyboard, you'll have to change your habits. If you choose to make the least effort and you continue to type with the same habits as before, most of what you write will be unintelligible. But if you wish to be read and understood, you have no choice: you will need to make the effort necessary to retrain your brain, your finger muscles and learn the new associations.

L2 interference works the same way. The Japanese sound system is one type of keyboard, and the English system is another.

Unlike the keyboard example, however, there is no direct feedback on a screen, and there is no visual clue to look at that will allow you to predict what sound each movement will create. And that's why changing accents is so difficult for most people: they have no idea what they are doing in their first language, so how can they understand what to do in another?

That's why I think it's important for language students to learn IPA and phonology, or at least phonetics. They need to spend the time to consider what they do in their L1, so they can understand what to do in their L2. Only with a clear understanding of how sounds are made can they hope to rectify years of bad habits.
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g-bod
Diglot
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5071 days ago

1485 posts - 2002 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, German

 
 Message 144 of 407
31 May 2011 at 7:09pm | IP Logged 
Interesting point about your friend mimicking bad pronunciation to fit in at high school. I had very similar experiences when I learned French at school as well, the pressure to fit in with my peers (who didn't really care one way or another about languages) was far greater than the pressure to speak French with a reasonable accent. That was soon fixed when I elected to study French at A level, was in a small class with other students who actually wanted to learn the language and a rather strict native French speaker for a teacher. Perhaps intervention at the age of 16 is more effective than intervention at a much older age though.


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