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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 193 of 407
09 September 2011 at 8:18pm | IP Logged 
g-bod wrote:
I had no idea that there was a significant difference between ch/j though - can you provide more information?

It's hard to say without being technical, but in essence, the English j is pronounced with the tip of the tongue, whereas the Japanese counterpart is pronounced with the blade, ie. a larger part of the tongue a bit further towards back.
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Mei190
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United Kingdom
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29 posts - 40 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 194 of 407
11 September 2011 at 8:50pm | IP Logged 
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for the video you posted a page back. It was very interesting and I have to say I agree with you on the pitch of certain words.

I am quite a constant lurker of your log as I enjoy your posts about pitch and other points of Japanese. I also had no idea about the severe differences between ch/j. I try not to pay too much attention to my tongue position as I don't want to delay my speaking pattern by thoughts of tongue position, but it truely is interesting.
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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 195 of 407
12 September 2011 at 3:49pm | IP Logged 
Mei190 wrote:
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for the video you posted a page back. It was very interesting and I have to say I agree with you on the pitch of certain words.

I am quite a constant lurker of your log as I enjoy your posts about pitch and other points of Japanese. I also had no idea about the severe differences between ch/j. I try not to pay too much attention to my tongue position as I don't want to delay my speaking pattern by thoughts of tongue position, but it truely is interesting.

Why, thank you for reading, and for leaving a note.

I actually spoke about j with another Japanese friend yesterday (he started talking about s vs. sh) and he was truly surprised to realize this distinction existed. He said he's read many Japanese books on English pronunciation and never read anything about this. I doubt that means it wasn't covered somewhere. I wouldn't call it a "severe difference", though. It IS rather subtle, to be honest. Still, it's a give away, either way.

Pitch may be awfully difficult to acquire -- not the least of reasons being that nothing else in the pronunciation changes, leaving you without a clue, unlike English where all the vowels are affected by stress -- but to be fair, English stress is also very hard to acquire for Japanese speakers. Even when they do know where the stress is, they'll often tend to give unstressed syllables more weight then they should have, and they'll often be influenced by the Japanese word (such as in character -- kyaRAkutaa).

Most of the time, a slight problem with stress may not hinder comprehension, but add to that any other phonetic or phonological issue (r/l for instance) and all of a sudden, the listener will either miss the word or will have his attention diverted for a split-second.

Often times, two strikes are enough to get you out.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
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 Message 196 of 407
13 September 2011 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
I met my language partner last Friday and after about an hour of chatting, I suddenly realized that, although
the beginning of the conversation had been somewhat laborious, I was now talking Japanese at lightning
speed (remember, speed is relative ;) Had I needed that whole hour just to get started?

The idea that I would need a while to warm up before I got comfortable in Japanese is not surprising in
itself, but what if all my hour-long meetings had been completely inefficient because I stopped just before I
really got ready to perform?

I've felt comfortable like this before, without a full hour of warming up, so I know that one hour is not a set
time, but since I've been experiencing this lag in the last few weeks, it's got me thinking whether I need to
include a warm-up period in my learning routine and meetings.

This partner knows just how much to correct so that I improve while allowing me to talk unimpeded. My
other, more recent partner is a lot stricter and corrects everything. I first assumed that I could benefit from
this difference in styles, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe speech has to flow for a while first before any serious
learning can happen. Similarly, when I teach pronunciation, perhaps I need to let my students talk freely for
a while before any serious learning can occur.

Has anyone else noticed that they need a period of warming up before they become efficient learners?
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g-bod
Diglot
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United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: English*, Japanese
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 Message 197 of 407
13 September 2011 at 2:12pm | IP Logged 
I held some exchanges with a details man last year and it was quite unhelpful. I'm pretty modest in my own appraisal of my ability but I found the whole thing to be quite soul destroying and may have even set back my fragile development of speaking skills. You can't get things out fluently if you end up terrified of making tiny mistakes. I think the best approach is to point out any huge clangers straight away (I don't want to unwittingly say something rude or ridiculous without being told) but for smaller points it is better to raise them after a period of unimpeded conversation and if there are loads of issues just pick on one or two more important ones to make dealing with them more manageable. I guess the only danger with this approach is a less pessimistic person might assume from the lack of corrections that their language skills are already pretty much perfect.

Edited to remove repeated text added by my stupid phone!

Edited by g-bod on 13 September 2011 at 7:21pm

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
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Canada
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 Message 198 of 407
13 September 2011 at 3:44pm | IP Logged 
I agree with you g-bod.

I thought I'd benefit from a humbling experience so I tried to see the value in a strict corrector, but I'm not so sure anymore. I might need to instruct him on how I want to be corrected.

Though I've never spent a lot of time thinking about how best to correct others (a potential new thread?), I instinctively just listen, correct sentences or words that would otherwise be unintelligible (or would be to others) and I take note of the rest. I then address the issues covered in my notes at the end of a train of thought. I also make a deliberate effort to correct first and foremost things that could potentially have a general effect on other words or phrases or could be applied to many situations. There is little point in spending time correcting at length a word that's rarely used.
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Sprachprofi
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Germany
learnlangs.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swahili, Indonesian, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese

 
 Message 199 of 407
13 September 2011 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
At a teachers' seminar, they suggested an unobtrusive sign such as lightly tapping the
table when a mistake is made but the speech remains intelligible. Then the speaker can
decide whether he wants to stop and learn or ignore it that time. I like this solution
because there are some phrases I really want to be able to say correctly and I'd get
annoyed if everyone just lets them pass and I have to re-learn them several years later.
Other phrases I don't care so much about, especially if I feel that I won't be using them
often if ever again.
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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 200 of 407
13 September 2011 at 4:57pm | IP Logged 
Sprachprofi wrote:
At a teachers' seminar, they suggested an unobtrusive sign such as lightly tapping the table when a mistake is made but the speech remains intelligible. Then the speaker can decide whether he wants to stop and learn or ignore it that time. I like this solution because there are some phrases I really want to be able to say correctly and I'd get annoyed if everyone just lets them pass and I have to re-learn them several years later. Other phrases I don't care so much about, especially if I feel that I won't be using them often if ever again.

Sorry if I should have understood that from your post, but did you actually use the method with a student, or was it used on you? If so, do you like it?

I wonder if simply taking notes every time a significant mistake is made doesn't actually serve a similar purpose. The student can instantly see that something happened and if they struggled to say something or were unsure, they can choose to ask right away what was wrong.

And what do you think about just giving the student a look to give him an opportunity to self correct?

Edited by Arekkusu on 13 September 2011 at 4:58pm



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