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Japanese, general discussion on the language

Read this before you post a question.

Postby Spaztick » Sat 07.30.2005 8:24 pm

I've deciced to slap together a FAQ for people to read, so we don't get repeated topics. It's gonna be sloppy at first, but I plan on adding a Table of Contents, putting in more links, typing my work in a more friendly manner, etc.

FAQs now have their very own page in WagaWiki

October 7: Wow, been a while. Oh well, I added that you can have a max of 20k for an avatar.
August 30: Added a new section for the site's rules, and avatar requirements.
August 18: Added a few posts that people...posted. Sure I added them in, but I just didn't feel like acknowleging that I updated it until now. :) Started a table of contents.
July 31: Added in a few links to downloading the Japanese IME Pack, which lets Windows users to type (and read) Japanese fonts. Also added a DL for cross platform typing program.
July 30: Ha, just saw the FAQ page Clay has. If he wants we could post suggestions here and I'll put them in.

-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'
Spaztick's FAQ's Table of Content's Starting Point's Location
-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'-,._.,-'"'

I. A few questions about where to start learning.
1) I wanna learn Japanese.
2) Books.
3) How do I say <insert phrase here>?
4) Translators
5) Common questions.
II. Links that are useful...hence they're useful links!
1) Windows XP downloads.
2) Misc. Downloads, etc.
III. Questions about the site.

1) I wanna learn Japanese! Where should I start?

I would (like most people on this site will tell you) start learning the kana, hirgana and katakana, before anything else. I won't go into detail about what they are, Clay put time writing article for that. My suggested guide is:
- Learn Hiragana
- Learn Katakana
- Start learning grammar in the grammar section, and some basic Kanji too.
After that, you're on your own as to how to study. I'm still studying grammar and a lot of kanji and I've been at it for almost a year, and there's always archaic or fun topics to study too.

2) Which books should I get?

I personaly could recommend some, but then again other people may have better suggestions. If anyone has them, feel free to post them and I'll add them.
- For hiragana and katakana: I'd recommned just learning off this site, but if you want somethign tangible, then Clay has a heat hiragana/katakana packet he's selling in his shop for $7!
- For Kanji: Starting off with kanji, I can recommend the book Read Japanese Today. It covers the most common kanji, and good mneumonics to remember them; there are 264 in all. If you want all 1945 jyouyou kanji, people suggest a book by Heisig, I think the name is "Remembering the Kanji".
- For grammar: There's a ton of books for grammar, and plenty of web links too. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Japanese Grammar, Clay's articles and grammar section, etc etc. I can just say check around.

3) How do I say <insert commonly wanted phrase here> in Japanese?

These questions are a bit more tolerated, but I'd ask that they be put in a single translation thread as well. Just for a few examples:
I love you is: daisuki (yo), ai shite iru, depends on what you're asking. In Japan, people rarely use the latter phrase.
My name is <name>: Watashi no namae wa <name> desu. You can also shorten it to <name> desu.

4) Where can I find a translator?
The best translator I've found is the EDICT, which is downloadable for free or you can use it on the internet: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html

Some generic questions are hard to answer, as they can have broad answers, interpretations, etc.

5) What is Japanese food like?
6) What are fashions in Japan?


These are prime examples of very vauge questions. That would be like asking what is American food like? There's a lot of variety to it, and you can't really describe it without either research or a couple paragraphs of typing. I will provide links later on, or someone else could post them and I'll add it in.

Links:
Note that if you have a Mac, Japanese is already installed, just open up System Preferences (on the dock if you have OS X, if you have OS 9, then I'm not telling you anything except upgrade to OS X :) ),

Downloading Japanese Packs for Windows Tutorials:
http://www.declan-software.com/japanese_ime/
http://www.andante.org/ime.html

Misc. Downloads
http://homepage1.nifty.com/lightway/

Posted by Kossori (thanks!):
To view Japanese on a Windows System via Internet Explorer you do not NEED Global IME Japanese. Just:

View -> Encoding -> More -> Japanese to start the download.

Posted by Raevin (thank you!):
Hey, I thought I'd add the character encoding for FireFox 1.0.6 (and lower).

View -> Character Encoding -> More Encodings -> East Asian -> Japanese (Shift_JIS)

Shift-JIS I believe is the standard for Japanese encoding (don't quote me on that though). If you use UTF-8 though, it should work just as well.

Site based rules:

For Avators:
The required format to have an avatar is it must be
1) No bigger than 200x200 pixels
2) No larger than 20 kilobytes
3) In .jpeg, .jpg, .bif, or .png format.

Of course, there's all the basic rules, put topics where they should go, no links to suspicious sites, no vulgarity, etc. I'll be back to write later!

[Added link to FAQ page -Paul]
Last edited by Spaztick on Wed 11.22.2006 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Read this before you post a question.

Postby raevin » Wed 08.10.2005 1:00 pm

Hey, I thought I'd add the character encoding for FireFox 1.0.6 (and lower).

View -> Character Encoding -> More Encodings -> East Asian -> Japanese (Shift_JIS)

Shift-JIS I believe is the standard for Japanese encoding (don't quote me on that though). If you use UTF-8 though, it should work just as well.
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