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did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby spin13 » Wed 08.27.2008 1:27 pm

Though the original question has already been answered, I do recommend anybody with similar questions to read the following article. The article covers a few different points and the example used is the opposite of questions commonly posed on this board, but I think the over point remains relevant:

No magic tricks in studying languages
When I used to work part-time as an interpreter, my Japanese clients frequently asked me, "What do I need to do to speak English like you do?"
...
"There's no trick, really," I'd tell my expectant interlocutor. "It's more about quantity than quality. When I first came to the United States as a college student, I used to study eight hours a day outside my classes. I just read, read and read, every spare moment of the day, for two years." This was obviously not an answer that they expected. What they really wanted was a trick that no one else knew about, which would miraculously make them fluent in English overnight.
You're probably not as smart as you think.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 08.27.2008 3:52 pm

I never quite got around to answering the question.

When I started learning Japanese, my goal was: "reasonable proficiency in 10 years".
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Wed 08.27.2008 6:08 pm

Thanks for more replies, everyone ^_^

In response to your post, hyperconjucated, I already started learning using this website, investing a good amount of time in Katakana, Hiragana, and the acquisition of a few words and grammar points, and have paid approximately $100 on learning materials that are soon to arrive by mail, so too late =p
In addition, as I said earlier, I'm not a quitter. I don't give up on something I have set my mind to accomplish.

And Mike Cash, I enjoy replying to your messages and having discussions with you, albeit on a public forum. My stubbornness is actually my best friend in a lot of things, like school, life, etc. The reason why is because it's not a loud, annoying stubbornness. I'm a pretty quiet person, except on the internet, but still, that's not talking. Therefore, my 'stubbornness is more of an inner stubbornness or confidence, if you will. To me, this task is important because of many reasons. I am going to Japan next year and plan to go many more times. Secondly, I've appreciated Japanese culture (from food, to manga, to anime, and the history of japan) and have found it to be enjoyable for as long as I can remember, so I would be doing justice to myself by learning Japanese. Third, I had already decided to do it, and there's no turning back now. Four, I'd rather spend most of my downtime learning than doing stupid things like watching television and what not. Japanese is incredibly fun and I am learning at the same time. Not to mention, my father always used to say, "A man who can speak two languages is like two different men." That saying actually has a lot of meaning, not to mention that it is an incredible bonus to be able to work/live in/frequent to Japan and be able to communicate properly, if i wish to in the future. One last reason, and that is because I find this to be a challenge. I love challenges, especially the feeling of knowing that I have overcome the obstacles I wished to overcome before starting. There you have it.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby chikara » Wed 08.27.2008 8:16 pm

myles1260 wrote:..... when people challenge me, I take it as an insult, so I improve myself.

I find that attitude quite odd. As an extension of that I would imagine that you would find constructive criticism "insulting" as well. To my way of thinking that is not a very healthy attitude to have.

Why would some one setting you a challenge be an insult?

myles1260 wrote:..... I love challenges ....

You love being insulted :?
Do challenges you set yourself constitute self abuse? :mrgreen:

Good luck with your Japanese studies.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Wed 08.27.2008 9:19 pm

^Haha, you're funny. I know it's at my expense, but it's still funny. Anyway, it's hard to explain a little... The best way I can put it, is that when i hear something like that, even if it's not an insult of any kind, my brain interprets it that way, sort of like it's giving me a message that I am inferior in some way shape or form, and that is how I am able to better myself. Did that make enough sense?

chikara wrote:Good luck with your Japanese studies.


Thank you. I hope I have good luck too. Unfortunately, I'm not a very lucky person, but still, if need be, I'll work hard enough so that it doesn't matter.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby richvh » Wed 08.27.2008 9:41 pm

Point of advice: However you think about it inside your head, don't tell people who have given you a challenge (by which I mean, given you something that you have to work harder to achieve) that you have been insulted by them. When you do, you have insulted them by ascribing to them ill intent.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Wed 08.27.2008 11:45 pm

Agh, sorry, but that was the only way I could describe how my brain interprets it... Now I've sort of thought of a better way- When someone says something like that, my brain picks up that I am inferior, not because the other person 'insulted' me or rubbed it in, but because I actually AM inferior when it comes to Japanese (or something else I am inferior to the talker in). So I feel like I have to make myself better. There, I think that was a little bit of a better way to describe it. I do not feel 'ill intent' towards anyone on this forum (so far at least), and I actually deeply appreciate all of your replies and your advice. Thanks.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Sairana » Wed 08.27.2008 11:54 pm

myles1260 wrote:I do not feel 'ill intent' towards anyone on this forum


He wasn't saying that you have ill intent, but that by telling someone they insult you when they correct you could make them feel bad, because you've basically accused them of being condescending.

I know that if I tried to help you, and you took it as an insult, I would be less inclined to help you the next time. Y'know?
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 08.28.2008 9:20 am

myles1260 wrote:Thanks for more replies, everyone ^_^


And Mike Cash, I enjoy replying to your messages and having discussions with you, albeit on a public forum. My stubbornness is actually my best friend in a lot of things, like school, life, etc. The reason why is because it's not a loud, annoying stubbornness. I'm a pretty quiet person, except on the internet, but still, that's not talking. Therefore, my 'stubbornness is more of an inner stubbornness or confidence, if you will.

(snippity snippers)

One last reason, and that is because I find this to be a challenge. I love challenges, especially the feeling of knowing that I have overcome the obstacles I wished to overcome before starting. There you have it.


You should definately do some study of 遠慮 【えんりょ】 (adj-na,n,vs) diffidence; restraint; reserve; discretion; tact; thoughtfulness. While a challenge is a good way to motivate yourself, perhaps you should first be comfortable with yourself and that a challenge is more to help you grow rather than to put you down. I'd suggest inner peace and calm, but I might be suggesting those things too soon. Although learning wisdom in your youth is definately a good thing.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 08.28.2008 11:35 am

Sairana wrote:
myles1260 wrote:I do not feel 'ill intent' towards anyone on this forum


He wasn't saying that you have ill intent, but that by telling someone they insult you when they correct you could make them feel bad, because you've basically accused them of being condescending.


And on a more practical note, it is advertising HERE'S MY BUTTON: COME PUSH IT to manipulative people.

I am saddened to think how prone this trait makes our new friend to falling into the "Japanese ability as a contest" attitude which is practically universal among so many foreigners. This ain't a race.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Thu 08.28.2008 5:00 pm

^ I understand. However, I didn't mean it in terms of it being a 'contest' with anyone, like my friends. Just a good challenge that will help me learn a valuable and enjoyable skill.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Sairana » Thu 08.28.2008 6:21 pm

Mike Cash wrote:I am saddened to think how prone this trait makes our new friend to falling into the "Japanese ability as a contest" attitude which is practically universal among so many foreigners. This ain't a race.


Eh... nothing wrong with a little competition to provide a little extra motivation. It becomes troublesome only when taken to extremes, or taken too seriously.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 08.28.2008 8:12 pm

Sairana wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:I am saddened to think how prone this trait makes our new friend to falling into the "Japanese ability as a contest" attitude which is practically universal among so many foreigners. This ain't a race.


Eh... nothing wrong with a little competition to provide a little extra motivation. It becomes troublesome only when taken to extremes, or taken too seriously.


It is usually used among foreigners in Japan, along with time spent in Japan (whether measured in years, months, or days) to establish the gaijin pecking order. The guy who has been here 6 months lords his vast store of acquired wisdom over the poor soul who has only been here 2 months. The one who knows 50 kanji cops a major attitude on the guy who is trying to remember the hiragana.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Thu 08.28.2008 8:25 pm

^Oh, I see...

You all are very knowledgeable and I'll be sure to ask more questions here. Thanks for answering and for the advice.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 08.28.2008 8:37 pm

Mike Cash wrote:It is usually used among foreigners in Japan, along with time spent in Japan (whether measured in years, months, or days) to establish the gaijin pecking order.


I think this is pretty common of all foreign populations, however.
The anti-FOB mentality is pretty strong among my American immigrant friends as well(and even some second gens).

I, by nature, am way too competitive about my Japanese (or about anything really) and have been trying to tone it down to the best of my ability, but it sometimes slips out. Hopefully by the time I'm 80 I will have mastered it, or have become utterly consumed by it, turning into a black hole of competition.
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