The General Japanese Learning Thread

こんにちわ!

There seems to be some topics about learning Japanese around the forum - so I thought it would be a good idea to create a general topic area for anything related in this area.

Share your experiences, progress or updates on the learning process of Japanese. Feel free to also post links to resources online and recommendations for learners!

I highly recommend Google Japanese IME for input of Hiragana/Katakana/Kanji. :D
 

FourthLion

Adventurer
Nice timing for this topic. After 7 years of saying I was going to try, having previously signed up and being unable to go through with it three times... I finally have my first Japanese lesson tomorrow!
 
FourthLion said:
Nice timing for this topic. After 7 years of saying I was going to try, having previously signed up and being unable to go through with it three times... I finally have my first Japanese lesson tomorrow!

Congrats! That's great news! The hardest part is the first step :wink: I'm sure it'll go well!

I would love to be able to go to some lessons, but in Dundee there is only one language school which has already started their lessons for the time being. I'll probably need to wait to October at earliest before I can enrol. But until then, I have my books and my determination!
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Pimsleur method here - I lapsed for a long time but have recently gotten back into it. I chose this way of learning as I'd rather learn to speak and listen first and then move on to the written language later. It makes a lot of sense to me as you're not bogged down with what something looks like written down, only how it sounds. Doesn't half make me question why some Japanese words are romanised the way they are though; loads of words seem to have a bloody u on the end that isn't even pronounced... and don't even get me started on the use of "ou" where the sound is "oh".
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I'm the exact opposite of ayase. I don't like to speak much in person because I'm a hermit, and I absolutely do not think phonetically, so I am strongest in text and fascinated by quirks and tidbits about spelling/wordplay.

However, I agree with the point that the popular romanisation systems are far from perfect (romanisation in general is evil). Mentally romanising things in a way which works better for you should be perfectly fine. Though in that specific case, 'ou' sounds different to 'o' which 'oh' doesn't really make clear (I hate trailing 'h's in languages in general as I don't understand the pronunciation properly). And you then lose the difference between 'oo' and 'ou' and the ability to know how the word is written in Japanese phonetics, or in some cases the ability to even know how to type the word at all, which is a shame.

*turns entire topic into a nerdy spelling debate*

R
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Nothing against the written word at all, I love writing and reading in any language. I just think in terms of practicalities being able to speak and understand spoken Japanese will be most useful to me, in terms of both understanding anime without subtitles and hopefully visiting Japan someday.

The "ou" thing is particularly annoying because in English it either sounds like "oo" or "ow" and never "oh" (that I can think of), but it's even annoying that that combination of letters has more than one potential sound in English. I think I've said before that I'm of the opinion English should be changed so as to be phonetic as well. What's the bloody point in letters you don't pronounce, or that the same combinations of letters that can be read a number of different ways? I don't really have any problems with spelling, and have few with grammar and punctuation (though the fact that "its" doesn't have an apostrophe when it's the possessive "belonging to it" when the thing the "it" is referring to would have an apostrophe to denote possession if it was being named pisses me off to the degree that I actively refuse to abide by that particular rule). However, I'm also all for simplification and things making some kind of sense. Also decimal time and the World Calendar.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I think English is beautiful, but some actual rules for phonetics would be dearly welcome if changes are ever made. My bugbear there is 'ae'. Somehow no matter what I guess for this compound in unfamiliar words, I end up being wrong. Argh. It doesn't help that I'm quite hard of hearing so remembering sounds is tricky in the first place.

Languages with some basic attempt at phonetic rules go over much more easily with me when it comes to speaking.

Ahem, anyway, so who here has been to Japan? And for those who haven't, when are you planning your first trip? :3

R
 

Y-San

Shinki
Hmm, I've been thinking of traveling for a while, though initially I had considered hitting up mainland Europe first, I might actually go to Japan this year instead, depending how things turn out.

I'd certainly like to travel some day and attend Comiket but it's just really a question of when more than anything. Especially since, if I get as far as Edinburgh Uni, there is the option of spending the whole 3rd year in Japan.

That is, if I get in to Edinburgh...
 
Lawrence said:
Especially since, if I get as far as Edinburgh Uni, there is the option of spending the whole 3rd year in Japan.

That is, if I get in to Edinburgh...

Good luck! My Uni is in the top 100, not top 10 like Edinburgh! Edinburgh is the only Uni in Scotland which teaches Japanese as a full degree and also as a Masters.

I haven't visited Japan, but I hope to maybe spend a year out if possible once my degree is finished next year - if I get the funding to do. I'd never be able to afford otherwise! It is only a pipedream for now. :)
 

Kaede

Adventurer
あっ!すごいトピックですね!
aa! sugoi topikku desu ne!
Ah! Great topic!

名前はマイクです。はじめまして。
namae wa maiku desu. hajimemashite.
My name is Mike. Nice to meet you.

私はロンドンに住んでいます。32さいです。
watashi wa london ni sundeimasu. 32 sai desu.
I am living in London. I am 32 years old.

しゅみはえいがとサッカを見るの。
shumi wa eiga to sakka wo miruno.
My hobbies are watching films and soccer.

日本語はじぶんで4年べんきょうしていましたが、今年先生とべんきょうしていました。
nihongo wa jibun de 4 nen benkyou shite imashita ga, kotoshi sensei to benkyou shite imashita.
I have been studying Japanese for four years by myslef, this year I have been studying with my teacher.

みなさん、紹介してくれませんか?
mina san, shoukai shite kuremasen ka?
Everybody, won't you introduce yourselves?
 

Genkina Hito

映画男!!!
AUKN Staff
私 の 名前 は ジェイソン です。 よるしく おねがい します。 私 は イギリス 人 です。 私 の しゅみ は 映画 を みます。 かんこく と 日本 の 映画 が 一番 すき です。 今日 は ビート たけし の みんあーやってるか!

Watashi no namae wa Jeison desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. Watashi wa Igirisu jin desu. Watashi no shumi wa eiga o mimasu. Kankoku to Nihon no eiga ga ichiban suki desu. Kyo wa Bi-to Takeshi no Mina-Yatteruka!
 

Shirayuri

Shinigami
ねね、久日ぶり~

このトッピクはいいじゃん~!

みんなの日本語はどうですか?

I started a blog relating to my learning Japanese yesterday, actually. If people want, I'll happily post up the link here~!
 

Kaede

Adventurer
ジェイソンさん、よろしくおねがいします。

私もビートたけしの映画がすきです。一番いい映画はバットルロイヤルです。


シラユリさん、よろしくおねがいします。

すみませんが、「ねね、久日ぶり~」といみは何ですか?ブログのウエブリンクをおしえておねがいします。

FourthLion said:
Nice timing for this topic. After 7 years of saying I was going to try, having previously signed up and being unable to go through with it three times... I finally have my first Japanese lesson tomorrow!

Fourth Lion, how did your lesson go?
 

Shirayuri

Shinigami
よ マイクさん~
「ねね、久しぶり~」 = Hey hey, it's been a long time!

ブロゴはここ!
読む なら ありがとう!

Maybe my Japanese looks different to you, this is because I have never had lessons. I have Japanese friends in the UK and abroad so I speak with them regularly and pick things up as I go mostly! I use occasional online resources too! If you want me to type in a more formal/lesson-like manner though, that's fine!
 

Genkina Hito

映画男!!!
AUKN Staff
マイクーさん、 私 も ビート たけし の 映画 が 好き です。 先週 の 日曜日 に 3-4x10月 を 見ました。 あの 映画 は おもしろい です よ。 ビート たけし の 映画 の 中 で 花火 が 一番 好きです。 私 の 日本 の 映画 ブログ ―  <a href="http://genkinahito.wordpress.com/">元気な人</a>
 

Shirayuri

Shinigami
Genkina Hito said:
花火 が 一番 好きです

僕も花火が好きだよ!でも、この映画を見なかった!いつか僕は見るだろう~

「私 も 花火 が 好き です よ! でも、 この 映画 を 見ません でした! いつか 私 は 見ます でしょう!」
 

Genkina Hito

映画男!!!
AUKN Staff
Shirayuri said:
Genkina Hito said:
花火 が 一番 好きです

僕も花火が好きだよ!でも、この映画を見なかった!いつか僕は見るだろう~

「私 も 花火 が 好き です よ! でも、 この 映画 を 見ません でした! いつか 私 は 見ます でしょう!」

何 ですか。。。 花火 を 見た こと が あります か。 
 

Shirayuri

Shinigami
Genkina Hito said:
Shirayuri said:
Genkina Hito said:
花火 が 一番 好きです

僕も花火が好きだよ!でも、この映画を見なかった!いつか僕は見るだろう~

「私 も 花火 が 好き です よ! でも、 この 映画 を 見ません でした! いつか 私 は 見ます でしょう!」

何 ですか。。。 花火 を 見た こと が あります か。 

うん、でも、久しぶりだよね!

はい、 でも、 久しぶり です よ!
 

Genkina Hito

映画男!!!
AUKN Staff
Shirayuri said:
Genkina Hito said:
Shirayuri said:
Genkina Hito said:
花火 が 一番 好きです

僕も花火が好きだよ!でも、この映画を見なかった!いつか僕は見るだろう~

「私 も 花火 が 好き です よ! でも、 この 映画 を 見ません でした! いつか 私 は 見ます でしょう!」

何 ですか。。。 花火 を 見た こと が あります か。 

うん、でも、久しぶりだよね!

はい、 でも、 久しぶり です よ!

あ、わかりました。 午後 八時半 アウトレイジ を 見ます。
 
I've been practicing my hiragana skills by trying to translate the first page of a Japanese folktale named Omusubi Kororin. However, it has occured to me that I have no clue on sentence structure - the words seem to just run into each other. Any tips on how to differenciate the words?

Here is the hiragana and my romanji translation.

はたらきものの  おじいさんが いました。
hatarakimonono ojiisanga imashita.

きょうも はたけで  のらしごと。
kyoumo hatakede norashigoto.

おひるに なつたので おべんとうを たべていると
ohiruni natsutanode obentouwo tabeteiruto

おむすびが ころころ  ころがり
omusubiga korokoro korogari

あなに おちてしまいました。
anani ochiteshimaimashita.
 
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