Learning from anime etc...

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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Learning from anime etc...

Post by nef919 » Thu 03.03.2005 3:58 pm

I see that a few people have recommended anime and such as a good supplement to help learn. My question is aside from a motivator, is there any real merit to this. I mean just how good are the translations? Is the language thats used in the animes is what is spoken commonly?
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RE: Learning from anime etc...

Post by chousenjin » Thu 03.03.2005 11:22 pm

anime is a great way to learn a few words and some grammar here and there, but you really shouldn't try to learn japanese from mainly anime.
1. the talk can be stylized. naruto comes to mind. only an idiot would speak in -ttebayou form...
2. most groups are fairly accurate in their translations. the worst i've seen is bad word choice in speed sub groups.
3. even though the speech is stylized, i think constantly listening to the voices lets you pick up how japanese is spoken properly, thus making you lose some of your ugly gaijin accent. ;-)

anime has had a huge impact on my life by driving me to do things i normally wouldn't. Anime itself really drove a lot of my study. HnG started me on go... and i'm starting guitar cause of another anime...

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RE: Learning from anime etc...

Post by kipsta » Fri 03.04.2005 12:33 am

I have got to say if nothing else it gets you used to listening to the Japanese language and makes you more able to differentiate between the different sounds.
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RE: Learning from anime etc...

Post by nihonjon » Fri 03.04.2005 1:41 am

I watched it in Japan and now out of Japan to keep up that ability to understand. It's sometimes the only Japanese I hear in months in the US so it is definately a big help. What I did when I was first learning was watch, and write down words i could discern and then look them up, study them, memorize. Then watch again, understand alil bit more and write down more I picked out. Repeat. I still do it now sometimes when a weird word pops up now and then.

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RE: anime learning

Post by kinch » Mon 03.21.2005 11:49 am

I hate to resurrect a clearly dead thread (hey that rhymes) but this is something I feel quite strongly on. When I started studying japanese, I was overjoyed at the thought that I could watch anime and consider it studying. I'd be hearing the spoken language, I could pick up stuff from it, it would be fun... none of the boring memorisation of lists like from school.

I couldn't have been more wrong. I watched the fansubs of numerous programs, enjoying each of them. And learning nothing. I got a few raws, watched them, had absolutely no idea what was going on. I tried to write out the script, so that I could translate it later and look up the words. Impossible. In spoken language, its virtually impossible to tell apart 't' and 'd' sounds, as well as 'k' and 'g', 's' and 'z', and so on. When you hear fast (normal speed) spoken japanese, it's virtually impossible to figure out where to seperate the words.

You're left with so many possibilities (and none of which you know for sure are right or wrong) that its no help. I concede that it's possible I'm just the one unlucky guy who failed to learn anything from anime. But I doubt it. If it was so easy to learn from watching anime, everyone would be doing it.

So, in conclusion, to anyone who plans to use anime in your studies, don't. At least, not until you have a pretty decent vocabulary (so that you can recognise words when they're spoken, instead of trying to look them up without knowing what they are). Same applies to manga (with kanji) and music lyrics (although I know that manga raws are slightly easier because you can look up kanji, a very arduous and time-consuming task). If you have the japanese already written then by all means do it. But if you plan to just watch anime and hope you learn the language, think again.


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RE: My 2 cents

Post by dreamingxashley » Mon 03.21.2005 2:26 pm

Its ok to use anime as a help, but if youre gonna substitute anime for actual language books or courses thats just plain silly. Like everyone else said, theres alot of stylization, plus they're most likely using dialectical Japanese instead of Tokyo Japanese (or atleast thats what I think).

However, Anime is a good resource, I love watching anime, and hearing them speak, you can get so used to their speech patterns you can pick out sentence structures and words here and there. If you dont trust fansubbed anime, then theres liscensed anime dvd's, which always comes with the japanese audio, and that you can be sure of correct (as possible) translations. :)

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RE: Learning from anime etc...

Post by Darbai » Mon 03.21.2005 6:26 pm

As with ashley I use anime to get used to the japanese speech and to just hear japanese. But I think any source of japanese speaking is good when "keeping in touch with your japanese speaking self" :p

If you don't hear or use the language over a long time the momory won't be as clear of it next time you do use or hear it! So keep watching anime to keep your mind working!
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RE: Learning from anime etc...

Post by Athildur » Sat 03.26.2005 10:55 pm

I must say that up until now, anime's been a good motivator for learnging Japanese.
You couldn't understand a tenth of the whole episode even if you did have good knowledge of vocabulary, but that's not the point.
You can pick out whole sentences and stuff, as anime uses sentences that are commonly used in life. You can pick up a few words, pratise with the pronunciation and stuff and immerse yourself in japanese sounds.

It's no base for any kind of study, but it's great help when you're not realy into it, or when you want to practise listening and/or speaking Japanese.

Anyway, that's my opinion :D.

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RE: Learning from anime etc...

Post by Cabbage » Tue 03.29.2005 7:12 pm

I'm not sure I trust licenced DVD subs to be more accurate than fansubs Ashley - I think they might be more inclined to fiddle with the script a little so that it reads better to western audiences. Fansubs are likely to give a better idea of what the original japanese actually meant, admittedly this only applies in a few small cases. Of course, everyone should be watching the licenced versions anyway! :o :)

On a side note, I noticed that with the English dub of Tenchi Universe (I think that's what I was watching) I got quite confused about why Washuu was getting people to call her 'Little Washuu'. Then I saw a fansub of the OVA series, and realised it was the difference between Washuu-san and Washuu-chan, and all became clear. I didn't start watching anime until after I studied Japanese, so it was quite satisfying when I realised I understood some words. Then I realised I only understood one or two words, so back to the studying.... three years later that is. :)


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