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A few basic questions...

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A few basic questions...

Postby b4d0m3n » Sun 09.11.2005 8:53 am

I'm new to Japanese, but I've made a bit of a start until I can take some classes next year. Until then, I've been looking through 'Kana for Busy People' and some neat internet resources (such as this, for example). This will probably reveal itself to me naturally over time, but I do have some questions that have been bothering me and I'd appreciate some answers.

1) Written, the particle (wa) is presented as (ha). Is there any specific reason for that? Seems pretty weird to me (wa) is already a symbol.

2) The Kana doesn't seem too bad, really. This question kind of came from reading through this site's lessons. Let me point you to this part: These are all the basic hiragana letters. The rest are simply combinations of two hiragana. (For Example: to make the 'sha' sound - add し(shi) + や (ya) = しゃ (sha). Now, this part is pretty straightforward. It means, I guess, that there are other sounds able to be made with the Kana and they can be represented like that. My question is, are there plenty more sounds to learn? Are they intuitive? I mean, (shi) and (ya) doesn't quite translate into (sha) in my head.

That's it, really. These are my most pressing quesries at the moment. Curiosities, more so. Thanks for your help, dudes. Rock On.
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Gaijinian » Sun 09.11.2005 9:09 am

1) No Idea

2) http://www.northrim.net/kmaniak/graphics/hiragana.gif
Check out the right side of that chart.
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby b4d0m3n » Sun 09.11.2005 9:39 am

Gaijinian wrote:
1) No Idea

2) http://www.northrim.net/kmaniak/graphics/hiragana.gif
Check out the right side of that chart.


Ooh. Thanks for number 2, that's great. No, that makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. The sounds are pretty simple. Thanks.

Soo, anyone wanna tackle 1?
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Spaztick » Sun 09.11.2005 11:12 am

My suggestion on the classes is, unless they're free, don't bother. Classes go WAY too slow for self-studiers, and you can spend years in a class and never learn to speak real Japanese. Also, skip signing up for a class if it takes too much out of your day; even if the classes are going to be McLanguage services, you could use that time to learn on your own and get a lot farther ahead.
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Gakusha » Sun 09.11.2005 2:22 pm

b4d0m3n wrote:
1) Written, the particle (wa) is presented as (ha). Is there any specific reason for that? Seems pretty weird to me (wa) is already a symbol.


My not-so-educated theory is that maybe the particle actually used to be pronounced "ha" and then over time changed to "wa." Any other ideas?
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby b4d0m3n » Sun 09.11.2005 9:03 pm

Spaztick wrote:
My suggestion on the classes is, unless they're free, don't bother. Classes go WAY too slow for self-studiers, and you can spend years in a class and never learn to speak real Japanese. Also, skip signing up for a class if it takes too much out of your day; even if the classes are going to be McLanguage services, you could use that time to learn on your own and get a lot farther ahead.


I think I'd prefer to take classes, frankly. If anything, eventually I can get it to supplement my Communications degree. Why learn by myself, when I can have the benefit of a certificate to back it up? It's a far better option for the future, methinks. Until then, though, I'll teach myself the basics and such. It's a fun hobby at the moment, though I wouldn't mind turning it into something professionally useful at some point.
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Kates » Sun 09.11.2005 10:32 pm

I totally recommend taking classes. I wish I could STILL take a class. ): I enjoyed all of the classes I was enrolled in, and learned a lot from them. Having a native teacher was great, and classmates to interact with was wonderful. You can always self-study on the side, of course, and I recommend that, too. There are so many facets to a language, so any experience/exposure to it in any way is a good thing. (:
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby b4d0m3n » Mon 09.12.2005 3:41 am

Kates wrote:
I totally recommend taking classes. I wish I could STILL take a class. ): I enjoyed all of the classes I was enrolled in, and learned a lot from them. Having a native teacher was great, and classmates to interact with was wonderful. You can always self-study on the side, of course, and I recommend that, too. There are so many facets to a language, so any experience/exposure to it in any way is a good thing. (:


That's what I thought, yeah. Next year is my last Professional Writing/Communications batch of stuff, so it should be quite cool to pick up something new.
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Daichi » Mon 09.12.2005 5:58 am

Gakusha wrote:

My not-so-educated theory is that maybe the particle actually used to be pronounced "ha" and then over time changed to "wa." Any other ideas?


I'd agree here, it's not so much that "wa" is being represented by "ha", but that "ha" is being pronounced as "wa". It's understandable in a way, try using the ha pronunciation and you'll find that it will merge into the previous word a little too much. Also, that it will probably sound like "a".
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Spaztick » Mon 09.12.2005 12:28 pm

Ah, I didn't think of a native speaker, that would definetly help me out right now!
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby b4d0m3n » Mon 09.12.2005 9:55 pm

Daichi wrote:
Gakusha wrote:

My not-so-educated theory is that maybe the particle actually used to be pronounced "ha" and then over time changed to "wa." Any other ideas?


I'd agree here, it's not so much that "wa" is being represented by "ha", but that "ha" is being pronounced as "wa". It's understandable in a way, try using the ha pronunciation and you'll find that it will merge into the previous word a little too much. Also, that it will probably sound like "a".


Well, that seems to make sense to me.
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RE: A few basic questions...

Postby Schattenjedi » Tue 09.13.2005 3:52 pm

Spaztick wrote:
My suggestion on the classes is, unless they're free, don't bother. Classes go WAY too slow for self-studiers


I'm taking an intensive intermediate course right now which meets 5 times a week and is taught by 3 native japanese speakers. You can't imagine how helpful it is to hear native Japanese everyday, even if its just in the classroom context. We pick up a new grammar issue every 1 or 2 days.
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