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what should i start with?

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what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 4:32 pm

hi people my "quest" in learning Japanese started last week, when i was watching anime my mom told me "your watching this crap again what did it ever give you?" so i though maybe if i learn Japanese it wouldn't be so bad since i already know how it sounds and and i know some words i already speak 3 languages perfectly and with a fourth language a lot of doors could open (as in jobs)
i speak/write English, French and Persian
so getting back to business and not my life story, i did some research and found out there are different writing styles in japan so i wanted to know the most common one. (btw they all look the same to me just a scramble of lines put together and each one looks different...it is very intimating and i cant imagine how long it takes to write just a 300 word essay XD)
since im a beginner what should i start with? what are the tricks/methods.
for example to learn English i had to watch 'Dora the explorer' and 'Clifford the big red dog' with some preschool reading. -.- does the same concept apply here? i dont know thats why im asking you...
by the way im not trying to master this language completely like the other 3 i just mainly want to understand what they say(its easier to understand then talk) and also be able to read light novels/normal texts (there is this show called code geass and its originally a book im sure its not THAT complicated compared to educational books) so...how long do you guys think it would take? i learned English in 3 months and french in 5 months how long would Japanese take (not mastered just to be able to read and understand what the guy is saying)
WOW i talk alot
anyway Thanks alot for any reply
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 11.08.2008 5:43 pm

There is only one writing system in Japan, that has multiple sets of symbols. You have to learn them all.

I would say that to learn to understand anime or read light novels you can expect about 5 years of study, maybe more, maybe less. It depends on your age, resources, how much you study, etc.

You said you learned English in 3 months; how old were you? What languages do your parents speak in the home?
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 6:35 pm

i learned english at 14 and now im 18 i plan to practice jap 1 to 2 hours a day (instead of playing and fooling around) resources are purly internet all i need is a program(a plan) for "how" to study im considering buying educational CDs but i dont know if theire worth it
here is what im thinking
step 1: practice letters and memorize them
step 2: read children's book
step 3:listen to alot of anime(dont look at the vid just listend) and try to write down(or attept it XD) what i heard
step 4: repeat set 1 to 3 but more complicated and longer

is that a good plan? thats what i did for french and english
i was thinking to even try to think in Jap(when i can make coherent sentences)

my parents always spoke in Persian so when i came here(canada) my English was at ABSOLUTE zero but holy Jesus 5 years just to learn how to write what the hell is up with this language couldn't they make it simpler?
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 11.08.2008 6:51 pm

The 5 years is for whatever you want to do; the writing system is very complicated, but so is the grammar. Even just understanding anime without any reading and writing would take you several years as well. You're not going to be able to learn Japanese as fast as you did the other languages because you don't live in a country where it's spoken every day around you, and you're unfortunately now a bit too old to learn the language like a child does.

Your best bet is a textbook. Reading children's books probably is not going to work because the grammar will be too complicated for you to figure out.
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 6:56 pm

ouch text book? what kind? when you say 5 years that's understanding or complete mastery over the language
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby clay » Sat 11.08.2008 7:05 pm

ouch text book? what kind?


You can take a look at our poll on the front page for a list of common textbooks and what is popular.
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby richvh » Sat 11.08.2008 7:32 pm

You can also check out this overview of textbooks.
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 7:36 pm

btw you guys never said which style im suppose to learn to be able to read is it kanji, hiragana or katakana. or is it all 3?(i hope not :cry: )
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 11.08.2008 7:39 pm

eidius wrote:btw you guys never said which style im suppose to learn to be able to read is it kanji, hiragana or katakana. or is it all 3?(i hope not :cry: )


All 3. I did say that in the second post.

5 years is not for complete mastery; 5 years is an approximate figure for being able to read or watch native Japanese materials with some dictionary use. I've been studying for close to 10 now and I haven't completely mastered the language.
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 7:52 pm

:shock: Oh my god i though with some regular working and practice i can have a good level in just one year
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 11.08.2008 10:26 pm

eidius wrote: :shock: Oh my god i though with some regular working and practice i can have a good level in just one year


Most of us have been learning for multiple years (or even decades).
I've been speaking Japanese for 15 years now, and I don't consider myself anywhere near fluent. Definately not to a mastery of the language.

Japanese is hard, especially coming from languages like english and french.
You just have to buckle down and learn it.
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 11:06 pm

doesn't anyone in japan think that 15 years of learning just for a language is kind of odd? and consider changing a few things lol and and btw im practicing my hiragana letters(i think im getting it) how can you make a word of of these? how do you know which one is connected to which and if your reading it how can you identify these letters to make sense out of these? i am sorry im a complete and utter noob maybe my question is logic or plain stupid please bear with me here :D and a wise man once said there are no stupid questions XD
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 11.08.2008 11:08 pm

Well, also, fluency is always a moving target -- I'm not sure you can ever get to a point where you are 100% satisfied with your language ability, even if you study your whole life. At this point, I have fulfilled all of the goals I had when I originally started studying Japanese, but now I have new goals and new areas to improve on.
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby eidius » Sat 11.08.2008 11:28 pm

dude im confused i dont know whether you answered my question or you gave me a tip... on this website it says i have to combined these letter to make a word(or what ever you call it in Japanese) but how do i combine them is the mystery to me how can i know when i write a tree i wrote it right instead of just a couple of scrambled lines
thanks
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Re: what should i start with?

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 11.08.2008 11:58 pm

I'm not quite sure why someone who knows persian, english and french is having such a hard time understanding how to go about learning a language. You should get a text book. All your questions will most likely be answered by one.
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