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Understanding dialects

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12 messages over 2 pages: 1
hagen
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 5066 days ago

171 posts - 179 votes 
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Speaks: German*, English, Mandarin
Studies: Korean

 
 Message 9 of 12
12 November 2006 at 3:37am | IP Logged 
lady_skywalker wrote:
The same could be said for any language, though. I picked up some Japanese just by listening to it and watching TV but English and Japanese are not related at all. No doubt that Mandarin speakers can make sense of Cantonese as some words are slightly similar and they already have a good understanding of how tones 'work'.


You mean you started understanding Japanese TV after you had watched enough of it? I can imagine this for closely related languages (I understand more and more of Dutch if I keep listening to it, for example), but for unrelated languages it seems rather unusual to me.

I'm quite sure that Mandarin and Cantonese share more than "slightly similar words". Many sound changes seem to be quite systematical, so if you get used to them you can make educated guesses at many more words. (I can often understand Sino-Korean words I've never heard before for the exact same reason.)

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Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
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2282 posts - 2814 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 10 of 12
12 November 2006 at 5:09am | IP Logged 
hagen wrote:
lady_skywalker wrote:
The same could be said for any language, though. I picked up some Japanese just by listening to it and watching TV but English and Japanese are not related at all.


You mean you started understanding Japanese TV after you had watched enough of it? I can imagine this for closely related languages (I understand more and more of Dutch if I keep listening to it, for example), but for unrelated languages it seems rather unusual to me.


My anime-obsessed friends have picked up common words and phrases from watching Japanese shows with subtitles, but that certainly doesn't get you far. They don't know any grammar or how to write kana; they'd certainly know more Japanese from an hour of two of a beginner's course.
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Sabrina
Bilingual Tetraglot
Newbie
Denmark
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Speaks: Arabic (Written)*, Danish*, French, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 11 of 12
12 November 2006 at 8:39am | IP Logged 
Captain Haddock wrote:
My anime-obsessed friends have picked up common words and phrases from watching Japanese shows with subtitles, but that certainly doesn't get you far. They don't know any grammar or how to write kana; they'd certainly know more Japanese from an hour of two of a beginner's course.


I agree. After I watched a Japanese horror movie I could say some words (like go away!), how fluent would I get after even watching 100 movies?


To return to the topic; somebody told me the European Portuguese and the Brazilian Portuguese, are quite different when they're spoken. Are they so different that you won't understand them?

Urdu should be very similar to Hindi, since they're categorised in the same profile in the language section in this website.


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lady_skywalker
Triglot
Senior Member
Netherlands
aspiringpolyglotblog
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Speaks: Spanish, English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, French, Dutch, Italian

 
 Message 12 of 12
12 November 2006 at 5:31pm | IP Logged 
hagen wrote:
lady_skywalker wrote:
The same could be said for any language, though. I picked up some Japanese just by listening to it and watching TV but English and Japanese are not related at all. No doubt that Mandarin speakers can make sense of Cantonese as some words are slightly similar and they already have a good understanding of how tones 'work'.


You mean you started understanding Japanese TV after you had watched enough of it? I can imagine this for closely related languages (I understand more and more of Dutch if I keep listening to it, for example), but for unrelated languages it seems rather unusual to me.


I never said you'd learn Japanese if all you did was watch Japanese TV. Active learning using other resources (or courses) is obviously needed, although I probably didn't make this clear in my earlier post. I just meant that I managed to boost my vocabulary by watching Japanese films and TV. I found it was particularly effective if Japanese subtitles were shown at the same time as I can already read the kanji (Mandarin does come in handy for something!).


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