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Topic: Learning Japanese for Switch Imports

Posts 21 to 40 of 54

MegaMari0

@JaxonH @maruse as I've read through the thread I noticed an advert on the side here next to topic history that's a japanese state farm insurance lol. the only language i'm learning now is Javascript, jquery, and other web dev languages. I wish you luck man. Master that language!!!

"When expecting booby traps, always send the boob in first." -Megatron-

3DS Friend Code: 3153-3802-3566 | Nintendo Network ID: coldfusion88

maruse

@MegaMari0
I'm a web developer myself. Love JavaScript, though I confess that I'm not a master of it. You never stop learning in this job!

Currently playing: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NSW), ARMS (NSW), A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

Switch Friend Code: SW-0173-2422-2348 | 3DS Friend Code: 1693-6257-5220 | Nintendo Network ID: maruse

FriedSquid

@JaxonH I see, I'm glad that works for you then. I didn't mean to discredit Google Translate, as you have a point, it can be good for translating and saving simple words for future reference. I just hope it doesn't teach you inaccurate translations or confuse you like mentioned in post #5.


Anyway, thought I would contribute to the thread: here's a simple website I use to help remember kana. Personally I like that you can toggle hiragana and katakana off and on, as well as diacritics and digraphs, so I feel it offers a little more variety than Duolingo's method of teaching when it comes to the basic syllables. I like to just spend a few minutes on this site and it helps me a lot, so hopefully others can get some use out of it!

Sav'aaq!
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JaxonH

Oh my gosh I'm so excited! I can now read half of Monster Hunter XX in Japanese!

Most names for stuff in the game (be it items or what have you) use katakana, and katakana of course takes foreign words and sounds them out using pronunciation from their own language.

So. Take COOLER DRINK, for example. A drink which cools you in hot environments. The name for it in game is

クーラードリンク

ク is ku
ラ is ra
ド is do
リ is ri
ン is n
ク is ku

kura dorinku (cooler drink)

It sounds the same! This works for almost everything... it's crazy! And it's close enough you can make the connection, especially after figuring it out once.

タンジアチップス is Tanzia Chips

タ is ta
ン is n
ジ is ji
ア is a
チ is chi
ッ (doubles next consonant)
プ is pu
ス is su

Tanjia Chip'pusu (Tanzia Chips)

I think this is one of the most amazing moments in my life... the moment I realize I can actually play Monster Hunter despite being in another language!

@FriedSquid
Thanks for that link, that's a terrific quiz site! I particularly want to quiz myself on the dakuten and combination hiragana, and soon katakana as well (only 11 more to learn, will knock those out tomorrow). And ultimately, quiz both together at the same time with dakuten and combos. Great link.

PLAYING
Arms [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [3DS]

AWAITING
Splatoon 2 [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [Switch] ..... Mario Kingdom Battle [Switch] ..... Mario Odyssey [Switch] ..... Xenoblade 2 [Switch] Monster Hunter World [X1X] ..... Metroid Samus Returns [3DS]

Jesus is Lord.

3DS Friend Code: 1160-9763-9374 | Nintendo Network ID: JaxonH

MegaMari0

@JaxonH fascinating. Some of those symbols look like variations of an angled smiley face. Draw A circle around them and bam.

"When expecting booby traps, always send the boob in first." -Megatron-

3DS Friend Code: 3153-3802-3566 | Nintendo Network ID: coldfusion88

JaxonH

@MegaMari0
Ya, and it can get confusing cause shi シ and tsu ツ look very similar. I think of shi as "she" and she has a face.

PLAYING
Arms [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [3DS]

AWAITING
Splatoon 2 [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [Switch] ..... Mario Kingdom Battle [Switch] ..... Mario Odyssey [Switch] ..... Xenoblade 2 [Switch] Monster Hunter World [X1X] ..... Metroid Samus Returns [3DS]

Jesus is Lord.

3DS Friend Code: 1160-9763-9374 | Nintendo Network ID: JaxonH

SMEXIZELDAMAN

@Everyone the app Ankidroid helps you with flashcards. That's how I learned a lot of jouyou kanji. Works for vocab too.

Lord Head Admin of SonyLife
♥♥♥Videogames are lame♥♥♥

Maxz

I think it's awesome that you're learning. I remember in one of your older posts you described the appearance of the language to a foreign reader as 'what may as well be chicken-scrath hieroglyphics', which made me chuckle. It was one of the more colourful (and amusingly accurate) descriptions I'd seen, but didn't strike me as written by someone on the cusp of learning said language, so it's really cool to hear you've bitten the bullet.

Anyway, it sounds like you've started off on the right foot, as getting the Kana (Hiragana + Katakana) down ASAP is one of the few things I'd firmly recommend to anyone learning the language. I don't have many strict 'universal rules' for language study, as I've seen people take various approaches and each have some success, but the Kana thing is something I'd really emphasise. Not to the extent that 'you shouldn't learn any Japanese until you've learnt all the Kana', but if you've started learning Japanese with any long-term ambitions, then you really should be at least be learning the Kana alongside. If nothing else, the 'oh that was strangely possible' feeling upon making progress, combined with the burgeoning sense of being able to dip your toes into what was a previously impenetrable glacier of foreign swipes and swirls should be enough of a confidence boost to keep you enthused about the language in general.

I remember feeling hugely intimidated by the idea of learning all these new symbols when I didn't have anything to connect them to - it seemed much easier just to learn the Romanised transcriptions of the words, as at least then I could say stuff and feel I'd made some tangible, immediate progress. However, when I was actually did the Kana I was surprised how pain-free the process actually was, and it was obviously hugely gratifying to be able to read any Japanese outside of a classroom.

I feel the Genki textbooks do a good job by easing you in with Romaji annotations at first, and then dropping it altogether after Chapter 2. Speaking of which, I would recommend Genki if you're a good textbook. I haven't tried 'Zero to Japanese #1', but I did have a brief stint with 'Japanese For Busy People' and found in incredibly dry and uninspiring (my version was also entirely in Romaji, which is... just too much Romaji for anyone). Genki has a subtle but pervasive sense of humour, and the characters and scenarios are believable enough to be practical, whilst imaginative and novel enough to be interesting and memorable.

I'll edit the post later, as there are a load of resources I'd like to link to (and I think that might be more useful than just saying, "well done for starting!") but I've got to eat at the moment. Anyway, err... well done for starting!


Okay, resource sharing time! So, a lot of people are advising against using Google Translate, and for good reason. It's come a long was with other languages, but still has a habit of garbling Japanese, and even when it does translate accurately, it doesn't do a very good job of explaining its working, meaning that even if you get a decent answer you might not understand why. And so, enter www.jisho.org, hero of the day! Jisho doesn't attempt to translate entire sentences, but it does give you a breakdown of each word if you chuck a sentence into it, which then helps you come to your own translation. It's also got a whole host of useful features, including Kanji breakdowns (in terms of stroke order, etc) and example sentences. Thoroughly recommended. The smartphone app equivalent might be 'imiwa?', which is based off the same underlying dictionary.

The next recommendation is quite personal, and probably about as far away from the "EVERYONE SHOULD LEARN KANA ASAP" mantra as you can get. In fact, I don't know anyone else who has done this, and I wouldn't pressure anyone toe either, but I've found investing in a Brush Pen (this one, to be precise) has made the whole experience of writing much more enjoyable. Japanese has its roots in brush-based calligraphy, and using an appropriate pen can get you a lot closer to some of the more flowing and luxurious looking scripts you'll encounter than if you were using a scratchy biro. Of course, it's impractical to write everything out in a brush pen, but it at least gives you the chance to make your writing look a little more elegant and 'Japanese'. The extra range of nuance that writing with a brush gives you can also inadvertently cause you to rewrite the same character several times until you get it looking the way you want it. Which is possibly what you've be doing anyway, but with more tedium.

Anyway, I think you'll make progress and keeping making progress. You've always presented yourself as a patient and pragmatic person, which I think can go a long way. A lot of people are very passionate about all things Japanese (as at least, intensely passionate about a few things), but burn out when they charge headfirst into the language. 'Passion' tends to flare up, while learning a language from scratch tends to be a slow burning, and somewhat humbling process. And if you've been attracted something as intuitively recognisable and impactful as the bold, colourful aesthetics that abound in Japanese pop-culture, it can be a bit of a shock to be faced with something as long-winded and seemingly cryptic as a foreign language (especially one written in another script). People say it's important to have 'goals', but if you don't know quite what the road ahead will look like, it can be something of a guessing game trying to set them in the long term. It sounds like you've got something suitably vague as your 5 year target, and something more usefully concrete (one hour a day) as your short term aim. Learning the best way of learning is half the process when stepping into a new field, so I think it's important to be able to change things up as you learn more, rather than being bound to something your past (and comparative ignorant) self promised you'd do.

Anyway, yeah, enjoy it, and if you've got any queries or questions, it sounds like there are plenty of people to ask here (feel free to tag me is a message and I'll see if I can be any help). I'm not sure if Tofugu has its own forum, but the 'Learn Japanese' Reddit thread is out there too, which I've found helpful on a few occasions. Good luck, and have fun!

Edited on by Maxz

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Krillin_

@Maxz Excellent information dump there! Much appreciated. Always good to hear of others who have been there and done it.

Switch ID: 5948-6652-1589

Maxz

@Krillin_ Haha, I wouldn't say "done it" - I'm not sure it's something that's ever truly done. Still, it has been something I've been very glad I started, and I'm at least now at a point where I feel I've got a pretty solid grip on a number of things that were once a swirling mass of question marks and general confusion. In the early days of starting anything, it's common to have a number of insecurities about the subject and yourself with respect to it, and you might spend as much time looking for reasons why you shouldn't or can't do it as you do actually learning. The nicest thing about being at least where I feel at the moment is that the majority of them have been ironed out; it feels like I've built up a solid enough central structure that it's not at risk of suddenly crumbling away from beneath me. There's still an awful lot to add onto that structure, but I feel it at least now exists in a relatively robust form. Japanese (from the perspective of a European language speaker) can be particularly daunting in this regard as for the longest time it can feel like there's an infinite number of utterly alien Kanji that can be summoned at any moment to stop you in your tracks, and quite a few grammar structures employ already familiar vocabulary in new forms that can be misleading if unfamiliar.

Using native resources can range from exhilarating (as you feel you can finally break into actual real-world Japanese) to depressing (as you're confronted with a heavy enough onslaught of unfamiliarity that the cost of progress feels extortionate in view of the time and effort you're investing). I think it's therefore important to have a mix of 'classroom' and 'real-world' resources to go between (a mix that will likely change as you progress). The classroom stuff helps build a central structure to your knowledge, and a good textbook should introduce material in such a way that it reinforces previous material, and even lets you take some pride in your progress as you can visibly see it. However, if you never use any actual real-world materials, then learning the language essentially just a contrived exercise with no practical applications (although it's unlikely many people end up too far down this path, and no one starts studying a foreign language simply because they love bookwork). Still, dipping your toes into sources outside of the textbook will provide a broader set of ideas, scenarios, grammar and vocabulary examples than you'll find in focused study-materials alone. Sometimes (perhaps often) too much broader, which is why it's important to balance the structured and the unstructured - to stop you feeling like you're aimless drifting through a sea of constantly swirling information that it's impossible to grab onto.

I think of the academic side of things as the trunk and branches of a tree, and the the real-world side as the leaves (and maybe even fruits if you want to push the analogy to its sweet and juicy limits). If you have very little core structure, there's little space for anything of substance to grow, but equally, a barren skeleton of a tree is no more impressive a sight, no matter how tall. To be honest, I'd like to sit down and have another earnest crack at the academic side of things, but theres's been other stuff I've had to do in my 'official' study time which has made it hard recently. Still, I've been chipping away at it in my leisure time with books and audiobooks and games and comics and web articles and tweets and language exchanges and... stuff, which has done a good job or keeping things turning over, and added all sorts of bits and pieces into my knowledge banks. It's a slightly slapdash approach, and I'm quite keen to consolidate some things with more rigorous study soon, but I feel I've been learning a fair amount (just not in any particularly logical order) considering how little time I've had for real formal 'study' recently.

Anyway, yeah. I've still got a long way to go, but it's been a sufficiently interesting (and at times nerve-wracking) journey that I at least appear to have built up an awful lot to say about it. ; )

Edited on by Maxz

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Masurao

@JaxonH You can go from zero to higher-itermediate in Japanese in a single year. I've seen it happen a lot. The grammar is dead easy, no plural forms, no future tense, etc. and (almost) everything is pronounced the way it is written. Everyone gives up because of the kanji and that's mainly because they are learning it wrong. For starters, do not bother to learn how to write the characters, after all, your goal is to READ texts, not to write them. And you can always use a computer anyway. Second, do not bother to learn individual characters with their chinese/japanese #1/japanese #2/buddhist, etc. readings. Learn WORDS with them and you will naturally learn the different readings for them.

Special tip: learn the kanji by the etymology. For example the character "take" is made up of a hand and an earlobe because Chinese warlords used to "take" the ears of their enemies as war trophy. Or "festival" is made of a piece of meat, a hand and an offering table.
Not all the kanji make sense, but most do, and even when they do not, at least one part does. For example, everything related to religion has an offering table in it.

Trivia: Katakana was invented by students struggling with kanjis. They scribbled the letters next to the kanji with bamboo sticks so their teacher could not see them.

Also, I recommend playing NES, SNES games, they are full on hiragana.

Edited on by Masurao

Masurao

FriedSquid

Sopabox time: I just want to say that this thread is fantastic (and it's only 2 pages long so far!). I always wanted to be able to understand (or at least read) Japanese in video games and anime, but was intimidated by having to learn a new alphabet (it's especially daunting due to the number of kanji characters and similar looking kana). However I was convinced to give it a shot when Duolingo made their Japanese course, which I had been anxiously waiting for; after trying it out, I really enjoy learning the language and want to keep going.

In short, this thread is perfect timing for me as I've just started to jump into the language and just want to thank everyone for what they've shared. Not sure why but it's also encouraging to see others learning too! Makes me want to work even harder. Anyways, I will definitely have to keep note of practically every resource posted in this thread. Good luck, everyone!

Sav'aaq!
A Miiverse admin's first day on the job.
"Samus is under fire! She's sent an emergency directive! Join the fight!"
My Squidloggery

3DS Friend Code: 2320-6168-7289 | Nintendo Network ID: captainsquid

Late

Studied Japanese for a month a while ago but haven't had time to continue. My Japanese knowledge consists of hiragana, katakana and a little bit of kanji (basically numbers). I know some grammar as well. While I haven't had time to study, I read some kana text everyday thanks to it appearing in many places during my day. I'm currently playing Picross 2 on GB which was only released in Japan and I play Fire Emblem Cipher which is a Japanese FE trading card game. I have Japanese Nintendo account so my Switch displays Japanese news as well. I'm trying to get my reading to be faster since text flies by very fast in some games.

Late

Nintendo Network ID: LateXD

JaxonH

@Masurao
Wow, ok, I'm trying to digest all this. I was actually considering, now that I've learned all the Hiragana and Katakana, of doing the Zero to Japanese #1 book which I ordered, to get at least a basic foundation, and then I was considering buying Heisig's Remembering the Kanji. It seems like a good method based on imaginative memory. It teaches you to remember and recognize the 2200 common use kanji and associate one English keyword, and breaks them down into primitives that repeatedly appear in other kanji. Doesn't teach you combinations of kanji or how to pronounce in Japanese, but that can come later. He has a Remembering the Kanji 2 volume that focuses on reading then.

So there's a pdf I downloaded that goes through the first 200 kanji in his book. Might try it and see how it goes.

@FriedSquid
Good stuff. Just getting past the mental block is the first step I think. I should have done this years ago, but I needed a reason to give me a push. Monster Hunter XX is that push

PLAYING
Arms [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [3DS]

AWAITING
Splatoon 2 [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [Switch] ..... Mario Kingdom Battle [Switch] ..... Mario Odyssey [Switch] ..... Xenoblade 2 [Switch] Monster Hunter World [X1X] ..... Metroid Samus Returns [3DS]

Jesus is Lord.

3DS Friend Code: 1160-9763-9374 | Nintendo Network ID: JaxonH

Ryu_Niiyama

I'll stop by later and add my two cents as well but one thing I would recommend is meetups. Studying is always amazing but consistent reinforcement via conversation is always a plus if you can. If you can't do a meet up then if you know a Japanese speaker then email them in Japanese. Also remember how we learned language as kids, if you don't know a word, don't switch back to English...use your current vocab to describe it and usually the person you are talking with will supply the correct term to you. I also find doing that keeps you from hitting that perfectionist frustration wall. I'll add to my post later. Ganbare!

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Anti-Matter

@JaxonH
Ganbare !
Now you can read some Katakana words.
One thing you should remember about Katakana.
Japanese people usually use B as the substitute of V letter. For example, Vivi in Katakana will be written as Bibi, Vesta become BeSuTa instead VeSuTa, Vegeta become BeJiTa. But some V words still spelled like F for some words like these: November, Beethoven, Villa, Vocabulary, etc.
So, when you encounter with B Katakana letter at the beginning, try to figure it out as the V or genuine B letter in English.
X letter in English always spelled like S letter in Katakana, but Th words in English usually spelled with Za in Katakana, example The Sims => Zaa SiMuZu, Thunder => Zandaa.

Anyway, keep practice.

Anti-Matter

DEADCELL

Tofugu runs another website called WaniKani, which is great for learning kanji. It is pretty expensive, but it is pretty much the best resource ever made for learning kanji.

This is what I usually tell people who want to start learning the language:
1. Spend a week learning hiragana and katakana. Practice writing them over and over.
2. Start reading an intro textbook like Genki 1 or Tae Kim's Guide (free online)
3. About halfway through that, begin focusing on kanji. WaniKani is the best way to do this, but it is pretty expensive. A cheaper resource is Heisig's Remembering the Kanji. (continue working through your textbook while doing this)
4. When finished with Genki or Tae Kim, get "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" and read through the whole thing. "Japanese the Manga Way" is a really fun resource as well. "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" is worth reading too. I haven't read the Advanced one yet, but I've heard it isn't as essential.
5. Then put all of your focus on WaniKani for kanji and using an SRS app like Anki for vocab.

Along the way, it makes sense to supplement with reading material in Japanese. I like using children's books, or White Rabbit Press graded readers. Those are pretty expensive, but they have some of the books on the iPad app store for fairly cheap.

Edited on by DEADCELL

DEADCELL

JaxonH

I got the Zero to Japanese #1 in the mail yesterday. Started going through it... I like how it starts with the basics- counting up to 9,999, double consonants and vowels, etc.

I feel like I have an edge already knowing the kana. When it says to write numbers down in Japanese in the workbook, I'm doing kana rather than romaji, so 3,241 as さんぜんにひゃくうよんじゅういち

PLAYING
Arms [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [3DS]

AWAITING
Splatoon 2 [Switch] ..... Monster Hunter XX [Switch] ..... Mario Kingdom Battle [Switch] ..... Mario Odyssey [Switch] ..... Xenoblade 2 [Switch] Monster Hunter World [X1X] ..... Metroid Samus Returns [3DS]

Jesus is Lord.

3DS Friend Code: 1160-9763-9374 | Nintendo Network ID: JaxonH

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