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Terutoyo Taneda: 20 languages

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
16 messages over 2 pages: 1
japkorengchi
Senior Member
Hong Kong
Joined 4868 days ago

334 posts - 355 votes 

 
 Message 9 of 16
23 March 2007 at 9:49pm | IP Logged 
Those materials are designed with the typical Japanese way of delicacy. Beautiful pictures with CDs. They have language magazines for many languages as well. And they are designed with the aim to make the users enjoy the process rather than drilling you.

Surprisingly, Chinese has become a good "mediating" language as well. Perhaps due to the 2008 Olympics, university and schools teaching foreign languages have increased. You can find hundreds of textbooks in Japanese, Korean, French, German, Spanish, etc in Chinese bookstores.

Even though I can't practise two languages at the same time by using Chinese sources, many series of them are really recommendable. The most important is that, they are much much cheaper than materials in Japanese or English.
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apparition
Octoglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4838 days ago

600 posts - 667 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written), French, Arabic (Iraqi), Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Pashto

 
 Message 10 of 16
20 September 2007 at 8:06pm | IP Logged 
The one Japanese person I've ever met had very good English, on account of having studied in England for awhile. I still had to stop and explain myself quite a bit, but that's because I speak very colloquial New England-ese. :-)
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Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
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Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 11 of 16
21 September 2007 at 1:32am | IP Logged 
Living in Japan, I can say many Japanese are interested in languages, and learning a language is a hobby for many, many people (unlike the general Canadian and American population), but the Japanese don't have many opportunities to use most languages and don't strive for fluency the way Europeans do.

There's also the issue that most of the "popular" and influential languages are European ones (Korean excepted), and thus very, very different from Japanese grammatically and lexically, not to mention culturally. As a result, Japanese tend to think of themselves as poor language learners, even though this is not strictly true.

Nevertheless, the country is awash with language schools and wonderful language materials — generally better than what I could find back in Canada.

I don't know exactly what second-language grade-school education (usually English, though French, Korean, and Chinese are also taught) is like. However, the teachers are all Japanese with imperfect English, and the teaching assistants (often native speakers from Canada, Australia, etc.) usually don't speak Japanese, so they can't explain anything and they don't understand which concepts present the most difficulty to Japanese. A lot of teaching assistants aren't even native English speakers and merely bluffed their way into their jobs.

Quote:
Those materials are designed with the typical Japanese way of delicacy. Beautiful pictures with CDs. They have language magazines for many languages as well. And they are designed with the aim to make the users enjoy the process rather than drilling you.


That is a very interesting remark and quite true. However, some of the better language series also do have supplemental workbooks.

Edited by Captain Haddock on 21 September 2007 at 1:37am

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nhk9
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4992 days ago

290 posts - 319 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 12 of 16
24 September 2007 at 11:08pm | IP Logged 
Living in Japan, I am sure Captain Haddock probably knows more about the "soto"/"ura" (out/in) mentality of the Japanese. If you were to learn, or be able to speak foreign languages fluently while your supposed friends don't, it would just be very difficult to fit in, as you'd be seen as an eccentric. I've heard that fluent halfs or nisei Japanese often being bullied. Simply as a whole the Japanese think that while knowledge of foreign languages is admired, it is virtually impossible for them to obtain any realistic fluency, thus they give up before they start really trying to learn them.
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Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
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Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 13 of 16
25 September 2007 at 4:31am | IP Logged 
Hm ... while the uchi-soto dynamic definitely influences all aspects of Japanese society, I can't really imagine anyone being shunned for being able to speak other languages. Foreign languages are more chic in Japan than in Canada, where I'm from; however, I do agree that most language learners in Japan from the outset do not expect to attain any realistic level of fluency.

To the extent that half-Japanese and Japanese born abroad have trouble fitting in, it's probably due to them lacking the nuanced cultural understanding all native Japanese have. Some of them may not even speak very good Japanese.

This can also be a problem with Japanese who spend several years abroad during their childhood or early teenage years. Upon returning, they're sometimes in an awkward place where they're expected to function properly in Japanese society, but they can't quite get everything right — or so I've heard.
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junjiwater
Newbie
JapanRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3173 days ago

1 posts - 1 votes

 
 Message 14 of 16
04 July 2015 at 5:15pm | IP Logged 
Hi. You can get this book. But they are all used.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/offer-listing/B000J97NHU/ref=dp_o lp_used_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=used
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2721 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 15 of 16
04 July 2015 at 8:01pm | IP Logged 
Nice story, but I find it hard to believe he picked up Arabic (for instance) to fluency in less than two years.

I am not doubting he learnt many languages, but 20 languages in 18 years implies he was learning a language to fluency every 11 months on average, which I find hard to buy without some further evidence.
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AlexTG
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
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Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Latin, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 16 of 16
04 July 2015 at 10:23pm | IP Logged 
Yeah, the 28th year looks really fishy, 5 new languages (Czchech, Indonesian, Romanian, Korean, Arabic), 3 of which are from completely new families.
And he was fluent in all of them two years later? I suppose it all hinges on his definition of fluent (or, more exactly, of "ぺらぺら"). My guess is he
started writing the book in his 28th year and thought "Geeze 15 is such a puny number, I should get it to twenty, that'll sell like wildfire!"

japkorengchi wrote:
Those materials are designed with the typical Japanese way of delicacy. Beautiful pictures with CDs. They have language magazines
for many languages as well. And they are designed with the aim to make the users enjoy the process rather than drilling you.

I find this interesting. I thought I'd read that the reason Japanese courses tend to be so dry and regimented is that the Japanese themselves tend to
use dry and regimented courses for learning foreign languages.

Edited by AlexTG on 04 July 2015 at 11:18pm



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