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Japanese from scratch TAC 2015 東亜

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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1497 posts - 1648 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Japanese

 Message 1 of 1702
25 April 2011 at 12:58am | IP Logged 
TAC 2015 starts on page 195

Well I am going to make a Japanese log. I have a Spanish/German
log already but I've been really taken with Jap anime and it doesn't
seem to be going away so I'm taking the plunge. Without really
researching it I'll say that my initial impression is that this is one of
the most difficult languages to learn as an English speaker. With
Spanish/French/German that I've studied at some points in the past I
got a -ton- of cognates for free and the alphabet minus 1 or 2 letters
was already the same too.

What makes Japanese a pain in the butt to learn? 3 alphabets and
very few cognates. Hell 4 alphabets if you include using roman
letters and i might as well include it since the course book I'm using
uses them almost exclusively.

So yesterday (saturday) I was watching a fantasy tv anime series on
Netflix. Unlike a lot of the movies they have it wasn't dubbed and had
subs. I really like this series and I got through like 20 of them before
realizing that there's like 200 of them available for streaming on
Netflix. Yes, anime is sort of for kids but I like it - great for relaxing at
night before going to bed.

So things I'm looking forward about learning Japanese:

Cool alphabet. I love that like Chinese they have pictures that
represent an entire word/concept (borrowed directly from Chinese I
believe). That's really cool and I'm really curious to see how it works
out in practice.

The biggest reason is to watch anime in the original language.

I don't anticipate ever speaking it to be honest. I hardly ever meet
Japanese immigrants in the states, never mind ones that don't
speak English. There is the occasional tourist however. Yes, I could
probably seek out and talk to people online which I might do if I make
any real progress.

I really don't see why they have so many alphabets to be honest. I
can see starting with a picture alphabet before upgrading to a
phonetic one but why would you need two phonetic alphabets (and
even a third one when you count the romanized one which frankly
seems to work well to me).

So I bought a Living Language coursebook for 29.95 at my local
book store. It's got 4 audio cd's, a course book, and a learner
dictionary. It uses the Hepburn system for romanization. Right now
this along with the anime I am addicted to are my study tools.

I might try dipping in fiction however. Every other language I've
studied I felt I made the most progress by reading on a computer and
using a pop up dictionary to quickly look up words I didn't know.
This worked great for Spanish. I actually started in on German the
old school method with a paper dictionary back in the day. I think
they probably had pop up dictionaries around then but I wasn't savvy
enough to know about them.

So I'll probably update this weekly or more often. Seeing as how I'm
hooked on anime I see myself maintaining my interest for a while to

Edited by kraemder on 01 January 2015 at 7:45pm

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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3622 days ago

1497 posts - 1648 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Japanese

 Message 2 of 1702
25 April 2011 at 1:47am | IP Logged 
Well I'm sitting down trying to memorize the greetings and some simple phrases. It's hard! I haven't had to start from scratch on a language in a very long time. I think maybe since high school. I didn't really learn a language when I was in high school but I at least was exposed to it and learned stuff like the sounds, pronouns, numbers and a few other basics (over the course of several years!).

So I'm working on lesson 1 and I'm currently attempting to memorize the greetings - Hello, Good Morning, Good afternoon, Good evening, good night, how are you, nice to meet you... a few other misc ones.

I already forgot how to say I in Japanese from yesterday =/. Watashi. Ugh.

I'm thinking I could do a system of watching an hour of Anime and then studying for like half an hour. This is very much up in the air. I've got 15 more minutes till I'm allowed to watch cartoons again though heh.
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Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3622 days ago

1497 posts - 1648 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Japanese

 Message 3 of 1702
26 April 2011 at 6:17am | IP Logged 
Came home during lunch to get some flash cards I made to study on break. Watching anime, it's extremely rare that I understand any of the words but a few simple ones like sorry, hello, goodbye, and a few others are jumping out. Compared to watching tv in a european language that's no big deal but it being Japanese I think it's pretty cool. I'm awfully tired so I don't know how much actual studying I'll do tonight.

This log should be a lot more interesting for me than my Spanish/german one. Writing about learning a language from the start seems much more interesting than picking up halfway through the process (or further).
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United States
budobeyondtechnRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4243 days ago

261 posts - 343 votes 
Studies: French, Japanese
Personal Language Map

 Message 4 of 1702
26 April 2011 at 2:08pm | IP Logged 
Two sister sites you may know of are and Dramacrazy has
regular live action shows; but, the language is probably more standard then anime.
Samurai High School is good. I have watched a few. Also, Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo is
very funny about a class learning Japanese in Japan.
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Just a Dreamer
Joined 3449 days ago

59 posts - 62 votes 
Studies: English, French

 Message 5 of 1702
26 April 2011 at 8:15pm | IP Logged 
I found this thread to start Japanese (it has a plan through 8 stages) ID=10806&PN=38
(Remove any spaces)
Good luck!
2 persons have voted this message useful

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Russian Federation
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498 posts - 905 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Spanish, Greek, Azerbaijani

 Message 6 of 1702
27 April 2011 at 10:18pm | IP Logged 
Sorry to hijack your thread, but I think what I'm about to ask for might be of use to you and everyone else who's interested in Japanese. There was this American computer science student from Colorado (?) who learned Japanese very quickly, and is now living in Japan. He wrote a whole online guide on how to learn the language, or any language for that matter. Does anyone know whom I'm talking about? What's the website?
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3622 days ago

1497 posts - 1648 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Japanese

 Message 7 of 1702
28 April 2011 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
Oh sure hijack my threat, I'm used to it. No problem =p. Unfortunately I have no idea what you're talking about although it does sound interesting. I appreciate the other comments and will definitely check out the suggested sites in a bit when I get some time. I'm not doing much studying tonight - just gonna read some grammar then watch a cartoon or 2. I've decided not to work on the Japanese alphabets until I've gotten a base vocabulary down and I'm ready to attempt to read stuff in actual Japanese. I picked up a new grammar for Japanese and while it explains the 3 alphabets it doesn't use them for the rest of the book - it sticks to the western alphabet. I don't see how I could use the new alphabets for some time which takes away a lot of the motivation to learn them.

Frankly I don't see how a westerner could really learn this language "fast". It's too different - different alphabet and not enough cognates. Lack of cognate words is a killer at least for me. There's a few to be sure. The word "door" is taken from English for some reason and in the anime i was watching "platonic" is another word they've borrowed. I was really shocked about that one. I guess they didn't have a good native adjective for the concept already maybe.

Obviously I'm looking (and hoping) for English borrowings but any western language borrowed words would be helpful - Spanish, French, German whatever. Would be nice heh. I get the impression they have a lot of Chinese borrowings as in the grammar they talk about special spelling for Chinese borrowed words and obviously they borrow a whole alphabet from China too. I am very curious about the history of the country and its interaction with China - at least the basics. I'm not a history major or anything just curious.

So I'm reading Barron's Grammar. It was like 6 bucks from the Kindle store. Love the instant downloads.
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Joined 3395 days ago

48 posts - 52 votes 
Studies: French

 Message 8 of 1702
30 April 2011 at 9:54am | IP Logged 
I think this is the website espejismo is talking about

2 persons have voted this message useful

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