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sheetz
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3605 days ago

270 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 153 of 197
10 May 2008 at 12:50pm | IP Logged 
reineke wrote:


I have a question regarding the usefulness of reading the English text while listening to Japanese which is really the main radical idea behind L-R. It sort of strikes me as watching a foreign movie while reading subtitles, which I have always found at best of limited use. The opposite way, Japanese-Japanese is how people learn how to read, although Japanese does present a few challenges there as well. How useful do you find the English text while simultaneously listening to Japanese?


Personally, I find reading L1 while listening to L2 to be quite useful, and not something where you can just go through the motions as you would with movie subtitles.

I believe there are a couple of major difference between doing this and reading subtitles. The first, as Blindsheep has noted, there is less to distract you compared to when you watching a film. When watching a subtitled film there's the extra burden of concentrating on the visuals in addition to the translation and dialog, but with L-R there's just the text and audio.

Second, there's the fact that languages, particular in the case of Japanese and English, do not map directly onto one another. You have to be really focused and concentrated in order to follow along. At the beginning, when I first made an attempt at L-R short stores it was so difficult to follow the audio that I would lose my place within a matter of minutes. OTOH, I was much better able to follow the text when reading the Japanese script instead. It was only after my language skills had increased some that I was able to follow the audio while reading L1. I guess from my experience you could say that I didn't get a lot from reading L1 while a beginner, but that once I had reached intermediate level I started to see the benefits.

Of course, these observations might have been different had I been learning a language more closely related to English.



Edited by sheetz on 10 May 2008 at 12:52pm



sheetz
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3605 days ago

270 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 154 of 197
10 May 2008 at 1:02pm | IP Logged 
Another update on my progress.

I'm focusing primarily on working my way through DBJG/DIJG and Harry Potter 2, and putting any other L-R on the backburner. The reason for that is I feel I "need" to learn the material in DBJG/DIJG and that reading Harry Potter helps me maintain my sanity by keeping it fun. To me everything else is a distraction at this point.

Just today I received the Japanese translations of HP3 and HP4. I must say they are quite substantial books--HP3 is over 600 pages and HP4 is 1000 pages. And HP5 is even longer than HP4! By the time I finish HP5 I'm hoping HP6 will be in paperback edition and that the Japanese translation of HP7 will finally be released.

Incidentally, for fans of DBJG and DIJG, the Advanced volume appears to be out.

http://bookclub.japantimes.co.jp/act/en/Detail.do?id=1295

Edited by sheetz on 10 May 2008 at 1:03pm



reineke
Senior Member
United States
learnalanguageortwo.
Joined 3675 days ago

850 posts - 164 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 155 of 197
10 May 2008 at 1:54pm | IP Logged 
sheetz wrote:
reineke wrote:


I have a question regarding the usefulness of reading the English text while listening to Japanese which is really the main radical idea behind L-R. It sort of strikes me as watching a foreign movie while reading subtitles, which I have always found at best of limited use. The opposite way, Japanese-Japanese is how people learn how to read, although Japanese does present a few challenges there as well. How useful do you find the English text while simultaneously listening to Japanese?


Personally, I find reading L1 while listening to L2 to be quite useful, and not something where you can just go through the motions as you would with movie subtitles.

I believe there are a couple of major difference between doing this and reading subtitles. The first, as Blindsheep has noted, there is less to distract you compared to when you watching a film. When watching a subtitled film there's the extra burden of concentrating on the visuals in addition to the translation and dialog, but with L-R there's just the text and audio.

Second, there's the fact that languages, particular in the case of Japanese and English, do not map directly onto one another. You have to be really focused and concentrated in order to follow along. At the beginning, when I first made an attempt at L-R short stores it was so difficult to follow the audio that I would lose my place within a matter of minutes. OTOH, I was much better able to follow the text when reading the Japanese script instead. It was only after my language skills had increased some that I was able to follow the audio while reading L1. I guess from my experience you could say that I didn't get a lot from reading L1 while a beginner, but that once I had reached intermediate level I started to see the benefits.

Of course, these observations might have been different had I been learning a language more closely related to English.



If you have a starting point, it's possible to sort of keep track of what's going on, although it is unclear to me how much one is really processing and how much of the target language becomes ambient noise and a mood-enhancing feature while one is reading in English.



sheetz
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3605 days ago

270 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 156 of 197
10 May 2008 at 3:06pm | IP Logged 
reineke wrote:

If you have a starting point, it's possible to sort of keep track of what's going on, although it is unclear to me how much one is really processing and how much of the target language becomes ambient noise and a mood-enhancing feature while one is reading in English.


Another thing to keep in mind is that I will have already gone through the text once in L1 before using the L2 audio. This second pass with the audio is NOT meant to be a pleasure reading experience. The L1 is there solely to remind me of what to expect on the audio, and as follow along I will be trying to translate in my head.

Edited by sheetz on 10 May 2008 at 3:07pm



reineke
Senior Member
United States
learnalanguageortwo.
Joined 3675 days ago

850 posts - 164 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 157 of 197
10 May 2008 at 4:04pm | IP Logged 
L1 meaning English. Apologies, I have a bit of a one-track mind. Do you also have a good idea what the Japanese text is about? How much do you pick up from the context and how much help is the English text? According to the approach the English text is also supposed to provide meaning, on the fly. I see this as a more likely outcome with closely related languages, but even in this case you might argue that you may be better off concentrating fully on the audio. Would it not make more sense to carefully read the bilingual text and compare and then follow the Japanese audio while looking at the Japanese text? I find this method helpful with Russian as it allows me to decipher certain parts of the dialogue while at the same time practicing reading. A sort of a "natural" old school listening-reading approach.



sheetz
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3605 days ago

270 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 158 of 197
10 May 2008 at 5:21pm | IP Logged 
reineke wrote:
Would it not make more sense to carefully read the bilingual text and compare and then follow the Japanese audio while looking at the Japanese text?


I do try to do that when I actually have the luxury of a Japanese-English bilingual text, but with Harry Potter I only have the two separate books. As a result, I can't even hold the two books side by side because the Japanese text is written vertically.



sheetz
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3605 days ago

270 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 159 of 197
10 May 2008 at 6:52pm | IP Logged 
This does bring up the question of "How much Japanese could I learn if I created my own Harry Potter parallel text?" That is to say, what if I were to create my own parallel text by hand, typing in the Japanese using Windows IME without the aid of any kind of OCR software? I would think that, after doing this for even a single book, many of the vocabulary words and expressions, as well as numerous kanji readings, would be cemented into my brain forever. Would take a helluva long time, though, but it might be worth it. Perhaps I'll try a few chapters and see how it goes, but it'll have to wait till after I've gone through DIJG.



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