To those of you who know Japanese....

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Deccius
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To those of you who know Japanese....

Post by Deccius » Wed May 04, 2005 8:01 pm

Salvete (or should I say Konnichiwa?),

I am considering studying Japanese for a few years. Now I have a few questions for those who have taken Japanese. Was it hard to learn the three alphabets? What would you say is the most challenging part of the language? Are nouns declined? Are the tenses similar to those of Latin or English? Sorry for bombarding you with all of these questions!

thanks,
Deccius

richc
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Posts: 59
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Post by richc » Wed May 04, 2005 9:55 pm

I took Japanese in 2 different colleges. The first one, in New York gave a
thorough foundation in the language, while the second university just had
some very simple classes so people could satisfy their language requrement
without too much hassle. I literally could not believe it. Just make sure if you
take the course that it's not some sort of pablum the universities are offering
these days.
That said, the first two syllabaries were no problem whatsoever. The Chinese
characters, though seemingly numberless, were beautiful and I really enjoyed
memorizing them. There are an awful lot tho. The worst part are the character
compounds. That's what gave me my difficulties, the grammar was no problem.
Kanji in groups of 3 to 4 have totally different meanings than their single
characters. The dual pronunciation is also interesting, not to mention the
varying levels of politeness.
I think spoken Japanese may ultimately be easier than latin or greek, but that's
a tough call. There certainly seems to be a lot more support for reading the
classics than there are reading the oriental languages. There are dual
language books, like the loebs, but I had a hard time finding them. There
certainly were no web sites like this one, or the perseus site to help out with
difficult readings. That's the main problem I encountered with Japanese.
Continuing readings after I"d graduated. As the years go by, though, more and
more texts are available on line for those who want to continue.

I'd say good luck. If you like languages, then you should love studying
Japanese

Cheers
Rich

JLatin1
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Posts: 64
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Post by JLatin1 » Thu May 05, 2005 12:57 am

richc wrote:I took Japanese in 2 different colleges. The first one, in New York gave a
thorough foundation in the language, while the second university just had
some very simple classes so people could satisfy their language requrement
without too much hassle. I literally could not believe it. Just make sure if you
take the course that it's not some sort of pablum the universities are offering
these days.
That said, the first two syllabaries were no problem whatsoever. The Chinese
characters, though seemingly numberless, were beautiful and I really enjoyed
memorizing them. There are an awful lot tho. The worst part are the character
compounds. That's what gave me my difficulties, the grammar was no problem.
Kanji in groups of 3 to 4 have totally different meanings than their single
characters. The dual pronunciation is also interesting, not to mention the
varying levels of politeness.
I think spoken Japanese may ultimately be easier than latin or greek, but that's
a tough call. There certainly seems to be a lot more support for reading the
classics than there are reading the oriental languages. There are dual
language books, like the loebs, but I had a hard time finding them. There
certainly were no web sites like this one, or the perseus site to help out with
difficult readings. That's the main problem I encountered with Japanese.
Continuing readings after I"d graduated. As the years go by, though, more and
more texts are available on line for those who want to continue.

I'd say good luck. If you like languages, then you should love studying
Japanese

Cheers
Rich
I haven't studied Japanese, but my cousin has, and I know from him that there is a lot of Japanese reading material around, especially if you like manga. Also, watching Anime with subtitles would probably help you to improve your listening comprehension.

Deccius
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Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:18 pm
Location: VA

Post by Deccius » Tue May 10, 2005 12:22 am

Thanks for your replies, everyone. Do you know of any websites (like this one) that provide help for those learning the Japanese language?

thanks,
Deccius

richc
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 4:09 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Post by richc » Tue May 10, 2005 2:15 pm

I havent looked in a while, but the best online japanese page I know of is
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/japanese.html

It has all kinds of links and information on just about anything a student of
japanese would like. The person who runs the site looks to have put a lot
of effort into it and I've used it look all over the place for online literature.
I also liked
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/
for novels I could download, print and markup as needed so I could follow the
text.
If you like Buddhist studies, there are quite a lot of ancient textts digitized at
http://iriz.hanazono.ac.jp
These are mostly in Chinese, but anyone who would study Japanese, or
Korean would most likely take a look at Chinese. Much like the western
classics.

Hope this helps.
Rich

cweb255
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Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Re: To those of you who know Japanese....

Post by cweb255 » Tue May 10, 2005 9:04 pm

Deccius wrote:Salvete (or should I say Konnichiwa?),

I am considering studying Japanese for a few years. Now I have a few questions for those who have taken Japanese. Was it hard to learn the three alphabets? What would you say is the most challenging part of the language? Are nouns declined? Are the tenses similar to those of Latin or English? Sorry for bombarding you with all of these questions!

thanks,
Deccius
The Katakana and Hiragana are easy to memorize, and if you take the Kanji slow enough you can master them with relative ease. The politeness was a bit off-putting, but not as much as it was in Korean. Nouns are not declined, but the tenses are, believe it or not, closer to English than Latin, as they use the continual tense (like am going as opposed to go) along with the normal tenses. But they lack a future; they use the present for that. All in all, it was a fairly regular language and easy to learn.

Chris
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Yhevhe
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:39 pm
Location: Venezuela

Post by Yhevhe » Sun May 15, 2005 6:55 pm

Hiragana and Katakana can be memorized in 2 days, but Kanji can be your real problem. I think most people get discouraged by this. But I find japanese easier than latin or greek.

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