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Thread: Youkoso!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimR's Avatar
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    Default Youkoso!

    Welcome to the Japan forum! Feel free to post questions, observations, and anything else (please do it respectfully, of course) about Japan.

    Also feel free to practice your Japanese here...We're multilingual!!!!

    楽しんでね!

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    Comfortably Numb Del1r1um's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know Japanese, but I do have a sort of thing for learning languages and Japanese is at the top of my list (I have two down, and I want to learn at least 4). I am looking for some good learning resources, so maybe some of you can point me along.

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    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    I have started learning Japanese. I can read / write hiragana. I still have to get started on katakana. Currently I am learning some very basic grammar and vocabulary.

    Being in a traditional Japanese martial art helps at bit because I can make links between words and movements or things. Conversely, some basic Japanese makes it easier to remember the Japanese names.

    Can't help you with resources though. My ninpo sensei is a Japanese linguist, and is giving me private tuition.
    Happiness is a field, littered with the mangled corpses of your enemies. - Vlad III of Wallachia

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    Del1r1um,

    For the Japanese grammar, there is a very nice summarized basic version available on-line: Tae Kim's Japanese guide to grammar. There are several books dedicated to the finer points, but Tae Kim's guide covers the most common cases.

    I found "remembering the kana" and "remembering the kanji" to be valuable tools to assimilate the writing systems, even tho I never finished the kanji due to time constraints outside my control. This site is a good companion to the "remembering the kanji" book.

    For vocabulary and exercises, the Genki series or the "busy people" series are both considered good foundations by many schools.

    In the end, past a certain level, you will need to get a class or spend a lot of time with natives.

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    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    Only last week I was confident enough in hiragana that I downloaded 'miffy' in hiragana, thinking I could try to use it just as a reading exercise for character recognition.

    I found out that the Japanese use katakana and hiragana intermingled, even in a children's book specifically titled 'hiragana'. Great, I thought, I just learned 70 new characters, and now I have to learn 70 more before I can as much as read the characters in a 'miffy' book.

    Admittedly, many are similar so it is not quite so bad. Still, seeing that the characters convey the same as plain hiragana, I think it is strange they used an entire second character set, just to denote that the word is not native Japanese.

    These days, whenever I go to a meeting and I am not involved in the current topic, I spend my time practising kana and vocabulary.

    Japanese will be my fourth or fifth language, depending where my German would be considered to be good enough to actually count.
    Last edited by Bruno; 09-23-2009 at 07:36 AM.
    Happiness is a field, littered with the mangled corpses of your enemies. - Vlad III of Wallachia

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del1r1um View Post
    Well, I don't know Japanese, but I do have a sort of thing for learning languages and Japanese is at the top of my list (I have two down, and I want to learn at least 4). I am looking for some good learning resources, so maybe some of you can point me along.

    A lot of the advice you've gotten is spot on...I used Genki when I started out, then tried the Kumon correspondence course and had GREAT results. I've only passed the level 3 JLPT so far, so my kanji isn't fantastic, but it really took off with the structured, repetitive nature of Kumon. See if there are any possibilities of trying it in the States...

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    Carbon-steel-aholic DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    The more involved I get into cooking the more languages I want to learn. Japanese is tops on the "want" to learn, Spanish is tops in the NEED to learn so I can talk with my cooks

    Going through the Japanese markets looking for ingredients can be a bit interesting, I know what an item I want looks like but trying to figure out the quality and other issues leaves me in test mode, gets expensive...

    Being Dyslexic makes learning my native tongue a pain in the butt... maybe I just need a pocket linguist to drag to the market with me Lol...

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    Yahoo! Auctions is a good motivator to improve your Japanese... there are plenty of collectible items with close to no bidding. For example, this week, I scored an "old stock" European-style Japanese razor for 500 yen.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    Yahoo! Auctions is a good motivator to improve your Japanese... there are plenty of collectible items with close to no bidding. For example, this week, I scored an "old stock" European-style Japanese razor for 500 yen.

    NOOOO!!!!
    Don't let the cat out of the bag! THERE'S NOTHING ON YAHOO AUCTIONS.

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    Well, to be fair... you need to know the tricks to get the stuff out of Japan or have family/friends there

    Actually Jim is right, there is no such thing as Yahoo! Auctions.

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