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Learning the language
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How really complex is japanese language? How much do you need to learn it, to write or to speak? Are there any things that can help you in the beggining of learning the japanese?

Posted on: 2003/2/10 16:48
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Re: Learning the language
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Make sure you start learning in the right place. Many people get discouraged becuase they start learning stuff that is way too tough for there level.

You want to start with a few basic phrases and Hiragana. Just memorize about 10 to 20 phrases (simple ones) so it helps you understand how hiragana is put together as you go.

Learn your hiragana well!! Its really important if you really want to learn Japanese. I found most people can learn hirgana (write and read!) in about 1 or 2 hours a day for 10 days. But you gotta keep on doing it or you will forget.

When thats done, the start Katakana right away.

When thats done, start learning Kanji right away. Shoot for about 50 if you are not living in Japan.

Thats a good place to start

Eric

PS, watching anime or japanese TV, language CD, computer software, etc helps too.

Posted on: 2003/2/11 1:21
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Re: Learning the language
Village Old Timer
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Merlin, I suggest you get some good textbooks. I really like Systematic Japanese by Gene Nishi. It starts at the beginning with kana and the Latin alphabet and introduces the essential grammar points and lots of vocabulary. It doesn't have exercises, though.

Like Eric says, apply yourself to learning kana (couple weeks, really). It will help you understand the sound system of the language.

Try a night school course if you can. Hearing a teacher use real language is vital to getting a feel for it.

Good luck! がんばって!

Posted on: 2003/2/11 13:55
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Online Kana Flashcard System
村長 :: Sonchou
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... allow me to make a shameless plug for "KanaFlash", the online hiragana/katakana flashcard system that I developed a couple of years ago. Its been proven to be quite popular:

http://www.graycastle.com/projects/flash/

Let me know what you think...

Shawn

Posted on: 2003/2/11 14:34
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Piece of cake ... or not
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mach5 - Watching anime is no problem at all .

Tessen3 - you are right, but it is very hard to find teacher of japanese language in Croatia, especialy Japanese

kouryuu - nice site, I put it in favorites, now it is too many signs for me (they are all same )

Thank you all.

Posted on: 2003/2/11 17:31
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Re: Piece of cake ... or not
村長 :: Sonchou
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Merlin,

I don't know if you noticed, but there is a link on the KanaFlash site to study charts that you can use to study up on your kana until you are ready to try the flash cards... anyway, just to let you know.

Shawn

Posted on: 2003/2/12 0:20
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learning japanese
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The flash cards are an awesome resource!

In the last few weeks I've been listening to some of the Pimsleur audio lessons while at work and that has helped out with remembering vocabulary and sentence structure.

It also helps to have friends who are familiar with Japanese that I chat with occasionally.

-brianchurch

Posted on: 2003/2/26 4:53
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Re: learning japanese
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In the "For what it's worth" category, I like the Pimsleur audio series. It gets a bit expensive (about $250 US from Amazon -- each; There are three volumes), but so far it's the best one I've found (I can't memorize worth squat). It teaches grammar and vocabulary at the same time, and incorporates memory research to help you retain what you've learned. The down side is that it's primarily an "audio only" series (there is a single CD for reading/writing in each one).

In the category of "most fun" I like the Mangajin series - "Learn Japanese through Comics". They show a bit of culture you can't find any other medium.

For reading and writing, look into the "Remembering the" series by James Hessig ("Remembering the Hiragana/Katakana" double book, & "Rememberthe Kanji" series). He breaks things up into 20 minutes lessons and uses imagery to assist with memory.

All of these can be found at Amazon.com, but then the closest thing I've got to a Japanese resource in this neck of the woods is the local video store's "Animation" section.

Posted on: 2003/2/26 5:10
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Re: Learning the language
Kutaki Postmaster
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Grammatically speaking, Japanese is MUCH easier than most languages in my opinion. The difficulty is understanding the "contextual communication," which requires leaps of faith until experience makes it natural interpretation.

Anyone who wants to understand the Japanese should read, "Hidden Differences: Doing Business With the Japanese"
by Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall. This book really has nothing to do with "business" and everything to do with "understanding culture underpinnings." I highly recommend it.

Also, if you email me, I will provide you with a pdf file I call "Japanese 101." It is something I put together to help a Bujinkan friend learn some Japanese. (The sample sentences have to do with weapons and drinking for the most part, because both enhance training in my opinion. ) It is basically all Japanese grammar, in the order *I* think they should be taught to native English speakers. I've heard good things from friends who have used it, so I continue to make it available.

I also recommend the Power Japanese series, especially the one called "All About Particles"
by Naoko Chino. You can find used copy of Amazon right now for $4!

My email address is <bcole1999@hotmail.com>. I don't check on Kutaki every day, so you will proabably have an easier time reaching me via email.

Good luck!

-ben

Posted on: 2003/2/26 9:25
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Re: learning japanese
Just Passing Through
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Quote:
The flash cards are an awesome resource!


Indeed! I've put in a plug for them on my other blog:

http://www.asiapac.com/archives/000027.html

It's also now in the Asiapac permanent blogroll.

Quote:
In the last few weeks I've been listening to some of the Pimsleur audio lessons while at work and that has helped out with remembering vocabulary and sentence structure.


Brian, you may have seen this already, but for others: my Pimsleur recommendation.

Posted on: 2003/2/27 17:40
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Russell Whitaker
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