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Thread: How hard is it to learn Japanese

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    I'm all ears. Hassun has disabled reputation
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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by tsurara View Post
    Going to have to disagree with you here on both points:

    #1 Japanese has direct linguistic connections to only Chinese (kanji) and Korean (both languages have a likely common root language quite far off in the past that both cultures adamantly refuse exists). I've noticed that it is far easier for Koreans to master Japanese pronunciation (but the exact same can be said of Spanish, South Americans and Brazilians... as they all have very similar pronunciation patterns and phonetic languages). It is easier for those LITERATE in Chinese to master kanji because they already have a good grasp of the way the characters are written and many of the meanings between the languages are preserved to some point.

    Beyond that: there is nothing to support any advantage at all granted by ethnicity in second language acquisition. 90% of my classmates in Japanese classes in college were Asian. 75% of them still flunked out in two years. Including my boyfriend at the time, who spoke fluent Cantonese and his best friend, fluent in Korean. The best grades in the class were the dorky white students brandishing giant kanji dictionaries who obviously devoted massive amounts of their own free time to Japanese (and one black kid who was mastering Japanese solely to fulfill his lifelong dream of marrying a Japanese girl). It doesn't matter who you are or why you're learning -- if you've got the cajones to put forth a genuine effort and set aside time to actually use the language (rather than expect the language to magically flow through you in time): you'll probably succeed.

    #2: living for "a few weeks" in another country doesn't make you anywhere near fluent. It generally just gives you the false impression that, because the Japanese are very flattering of your "amazing" Japanese ability and you can suddenly order in katakana at McDonalds that you are hot shit.

    I lived for 3 months in Japan before studying a lick of Japanese. And while I did learn a lot of words and "get by" phrases: I learned most of them in poor tarzan grammar patterns and still couldn't understand 99.9% of what anyone around me said. It took four years of formal study and another abroad to become what I would consider anywhere remotely near "fluent". And I've been one of the faster learners I know.

    Many people who have been teaching English, living, or studying abroad in Japan for years still speak crap Japanese. Just like a lot of immigrants in the United States haven't mastered English in spite of living and working here for so long, many for the entire lifetimes of their American-born children...

    There is no magic "trick" to language acquisition. Going somewhere or being born into a culture isn't enough. You need to work hard for a very long time.

    That's all there is to it.
    Actually, Japanese isn't related to Chinese. The origins are much debated over but I usually hear/read that it has elements of the Altaic language group combined with extinct languages from the Korean Peninsula.

    Also, as I mentioned before, I probably learned 80+% of my English from TV, films, etc. Something I wouldn't really describe as working very hard.
    Japanese is an entirely different language of course and you can't learn it from watching anime or Japanese films. It doesn't use our alphabet and differs greatly from pretty much all Western languages.

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    Otaku Arukih may be famous one day Arukih may be famous one day Arukih's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    well I got say is not easy at all...you got 2 study every day to not to forget a single word and when you think you know something will find out there are hard words to memorize coz there are a lot of words which sounds similar to each other .....oh did i say kanji will became ur favorite worst nightmare??...so good luck!!! LOOOOOOOOOL

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    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Hassun View Post
    Actually, Japanese isn't related to Chinese. The
    The spoken language isn't, but the bulk of the writing system IS Chinese :P Kanji are Chinese characters, borrowed directly from China (consciously). Their pronunciations have been altered somewhat but their meanings are often directly tied with the character's meaning in Chinese.

    If you can read one language, chances are you can infer a few things by looking at the other (even if you have no clue in sam hill how to read it). ie. I can look at a package of Chinese tea and deduce that it IS tea by virtue of the character "tea" being the same in both languages.

    And unless you learned English by watching tv for four weeks, I'm still going to count that as putting up a rather gargantuan effort on your part. Attempting to read, watch or listen to something you don't understand rather than turning to something you already do or relying on "cheats" (like subtitles), for me anyway, counts as studying. And if your language aquisition wasn't instantaneous, I'm guessing it also counts as having put in a great deal of time.

    I learned the bulk of my useable Japanese by translating and reading comic books. Something that, while I consider fun, took hours and hours with dictionary in-hand to finish a single chapter in the beginning. Now I can read a book in an hour without the dictionary... but that took 2 years on top of the 3 of formal study that it took to aquire enough of the language to form a basis of understanding in the first place.

    Japanese's different writing system makes learning it a bit more challenging than forcing yourself to be exposed to it.

    You can live in Japan for 100 years, be fluent in the language and still be totally illiterate. That's kind of scary.

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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    Yeah of course they adopted the writing system.

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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    it is waay too hard for me... but i really would like to learn it... haha. i only kow basic words and sentences. like ganbatte, konnichiwa, anata dare desuka, daisuki, aishite iru, ja, oro, kawaii, kawaii kunei, etc... haha... its fun... i wanna be able to watch anime without having to read the subtitles someday.
    i'll choose to love whoever i wish to love and nobody can stop me from doing so ----

    crimson
    edited from SamBakZa.net

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    Otaku Panda Golf Champion Ryoga_TheLost may be famous one day Ryoga_TheLost may be famous one day Ryoga_TheLost's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    I've taken Japanese course in Japan and it wasn't that hard I found it. They broke it down from the easiest to the hardest which is Kanji. If you rush right into Kanji, I think that you may find it hard (but still possible) but if you start off with Hirogana that should be easy. Then you will will work your way from Hiro to Katakana. You will notice the simularities of the two. Finally, work your way to Kanji. Learning to read it was the easiest for me althought it takes me some time. But, understanding it when someone is speaking is difficult for me. It's a working practice. There are 6000 characters for Kanji, but only 2000 are used in Japan today. There really aren't that many that use formal way of speaking Japanese from what I was told from my teacher. Good luck with the class though!

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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    From the beginning I take lessons for 4 weeks and of course it was easier to understand and saying the words. I'm have become transfer students in Tokyo for 1 years and learned a lot there, got new friends and shopping manga. Like Ryoga sayed is hard to learned all of the Kanji but take your time. Buy a book there you can learned about kanji on the book stores. I'm have a great time there in Tokyo.

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    Re: How hard is it to learn Japanese

    Can someone name a reliable book to learn kanji from? I'm always better at writing languages than I ever am at speaking it.

    And to whoever thinks that English language is easy to learn, it's not unless it was your first language. This was both said by an English teacher and a Spanish teacher. Even people who've grown up with the language for their entire lives have problems with it, like pronounation, spelling, and how to word it. Honestly, Japanese will be hard to learn for anyone who never had it as their first language, but learning English as your second language is just as tricky.

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