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  1. #1
    your resident asshole
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    Default So I kind of want to casually learn Japanese

    There is really no particular reason for this other than I like languages and I want to try tackling one on my own. I learned quite a bit of Spanish in school (definitely not fluent, but I watched a couple episodes of a TV show when they were accidentally leaked in Spanish before the airdate and I was able to follow it decently). On my own, I managed to tackle Esperanto (quite similar to Spanish), and a silly minimalist constructive language. So I want to try one that's different than what I'm familiar with. I'd LOVE to learn ASL, but the only thing I could do with that is Skype people. It's not like you read books or anything in ASL.

    So first I started with Swahili. I adore the sound, but there is nothing to immerse myself with, so I didn't learn much. Then I tried a bit of French on Duolingo, but I wanted something more different than a romance language. After that, I decided to try Korean. There are some TV shows out there that I wouldn't mind watching. Their writing system is genius btw. But some of the sounds they made in the language were a bit difficult and I realized that there really wasn't much stuff in Korean that I'd want to watch/read.

    So now I've settled on Japanese. It's far different than the Indo European languages AND there is a TON of media to watch/read/play in the language. But the writing system is ridiculously inefficient and a bit frustrating.

    So is anyone familiar with Japanese? Any tips for where to start? Am I crazy? Is this stupid?

    I'm aware that I'll never be at a conversational level or anything. And I am definitely not attempting to learn it quickly. In my spare time (dicking around between classes and such), I haven't even yet learned all of the hiragana. But I at least want to be somewhat familiar with the language. Hopefully I can discipline myself enough so that I won't lose interest.

    What I dislike is books that start you with phrases without explaining the grammar behind them. I like grammar. I want something to teach me grammar.
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  2. #2
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    I learn it, a tiny bit, just to have fun. what I am going to list may be a bit jumble, so find what you think you may actually like to use to learn.

    There are some resources that you can get.

    Many people advise you to get the Genki Books so that you get to learn the particles and particle forms.

    The other thing is to remember the Hiragana and Kataka charts. The two charts are a must, you won't get anywhere not learning them.

    Because the Japanese system also used thousands of characters from the Chinese system (with variations here and there.) As such, you'll need to at least, from time to time, learn a lot of Kanji per week. To be minimally fluent with Kanji, you need to learn at least 1000

    There is a smartphone flashcard called Anki that I used from time to time so that I can learn Kanji characters and words. Look for the JLPT 5-1 as they are the federally recognized guide to being fluent in reading Japanese.

    A good Japanese dictionary with Radicals. so that you can find Kanji that you don't know yet, really easily.

    In all honesty, look for whatever you find fun while learning Japanese, it can be a t.v./anime series, it could be your favorite book in Japanese (or a manga,) find something you find fun besides learning the language.

    List:
    Genki(optional, a good idea to get)
    Hiragana and Kataka charts.
    To be minimally fluent with Kanji, you need to learn at least 1000
    Anki on your smartphone or computer to learn a new Kanji(1-20) each day.)
    "Elementary" Books that contain Kanji (furigana-Hiragana right next to the Kanji word for you to read.) Something like Doraemon
    Start typing in Japanese using Windows or Google IME
    A good Japanese dictionary with Radicals.

    今晩は@DisneyGeek - さん! 私の名前はRail Tracerです!どぞう よろしく! DisneyGeek, お元気 ですか。

    EDIT: wow, that was done a bit poorly, fix some grammatical errors in the sentence. One wrong particle, and it can change the meaning of a sentence. The sentence basically says Good Evening DisneyGeek! My name is Rail Tracer. Nice to meet you! DisneyGeek, how are you?
    Last edited by Rail Tracer; 02-18-2015 at 02:45 AM.
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  3. #3
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Japanese grammar is very different from English grammar. For instance, English is Subject-Verb-Object (Example: I went shopping.) whereas Japanese is Subject-Object-Verb (Example: Kaimono ni ikimashita To shop I went). It's a hurdle to get over at first, but I find Japanese to be a very beautiful language and one that's enjoyable to study.

    The links Rail Tracer provided are an excellent start to learning Japanese. One bit of advice I have is that when learning any language, make use of mnemonic devices to help learn the language easier. For instance, "shi" し kind of looks like a crooked arm, so when you see it, associate it with a woman cradling a child or something. I.e. "'She' cradles a child," and it will be easier to remember the symbol for し.
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  4. #4
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    Just watch stupid amounts of non-dubbed anime. You'll be offending people in Japanese in no time.

  5. #5

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    I can speak Japanese fluently. Learning to read manga would be a good start I guess. Maybe Dragon Ball and double up with the TV series. The first manga/TV series, not Z.

  6. #6
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I can speak Japanese fluently. Learning to read manga would be a good start I guess. Maybe Dragon Ball and double up with the TV series. The first manga/TV series, not Z.
    Manga is a decent place to start since a lot of it has furigana for the kanji (hiragana next to the symbols.) One thing that helped me out is listening to shoujo anime since it's a bit slower paced and easier to catch things. One anime I recommend for getting decent at recognizing grammatical patterns in "everyday speech" is Card Captor Sakura. One item of warning though: some characters (like Kereberos) will have a different accent and will be much harder to understand (even to Japanese people.) The most common accent to appear would be the Osaka accent, mainly due to its association with comedy in Japanese culture with Osakans traditionally playing the role of a boke (idiot) and someone else who speaks the standard dialect being the tsukommi (straight man.)

    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  7. #7
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Another suggestion that I just remembered:

    NicoNico is like the Japanese version of youtube. there are thousands of videos with people speaking in Japanese as well as pictures of items/foods/places that are written in Japanese that you can learn to decipher. It's a great/fun supplement to try to hear word and phrases(instead of just reading and writing them) if you are into things like fan-made video of games (maybe something like Pokemon, Dark/Demon Souls, Minecraft.....) You might have some slang here and there, but it isn't always an issue (just need to learn that it is slang and use it in appropriate situations only.)

    One of the most noticeable internet slangs are WWWWWWWWWW (could be less than that or more Ws) which is basically the Japanese way of using LOL.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Good luck, I've always wanted to learn languages, maybe musical instruments, maybe other things.

    I imagine that Japanese would be paricularly difficult

  9. #9
    Senior Member tkae.'s Avatar
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    I'm not sure the extent you can accurately learn a language "casually". It'll require a good amount of time and study. The more you invest, the more effective it is.

    Taking a class would probably the best way. Otherwise get a software program to teach you. Rosetta Stone is the best one off the top of my head, but it (like all solo ways of learning a language) suffers from issues of context. E.g. the word for bus will show you a picture of a school bus, whereas a school bus is a different word entirely.

    You really, really want to take a class or have some way of having yourself checked. If you want to learn, it's worth the investment.
    "Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away." -Ekaku Hakuin
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    One of the most noticeable internet slangs are WWWWWWWWWW (could be less than that or more Ws) which is basically the Japanese way of using LOL.
    It is most often ww which means warawara which is from warai which means laugh. Sometimes people use (笑) as well.

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