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Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby solidsnake360 » Tue 03.24.2009 5:02 pm

All this talk of an idiomatic phrase for "turn on the computer" has made me curious. Perhaps someone could kindly enlighten me? Thanks a lot.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 03.24.2009 5:43 pm

コンピューターをつける
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby solidsnake360 » Tue 03.24.2009 5:59 pm

Oh.... Okay, thanks. But how is that considered an idiom? I thought it was going to use a special word for "turn on" or something.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 03.24.2009 6:06 pm

"Idiomatic" just means "the way native speakers say something"; it doesn't have to be special in any way.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 03.24.2009 6:15 pm

I'm pretty sure idiom means something that doesn't directly follow the standard rules of grammar/speech for a given language but is still rather widely understood. (I looked it up in the dictionary but we all know how helpful those are).
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby astaroth » Tue 03.24.2009 6:17 pm

furrykef wrote:
astaroth wrote:Except for few words, like dog or horse, a word is used only in context, think about the difference between 知る and 分かる.

Actually, I find that quite a lot of words, not few of them, do have a nice 1:1 correspondence to English, with no context necessary. Book, calendar, computer, paper, CD, encyclopedia, etc., etc. -- there are not words that need context to be understood. Of course, there are still many words that don't match English concepts so easily.

I think somehow that few words starting something that it wasn't in what I originally meant. That few should have been some (or maybe a few): blame the "late" hour when I wrote the reply and the long day I had.

What I really meant was what you, Kef, actually said afterward (I think), that is there are words that don't need a context like 犬 or パソコン, then there are words that do need a context, I think mostly verbs, adverbs, conjunctions and so on.
Then of course for both sets a sentence example should be added, I think, something like 公園を散歩してる ... but then 公園 and 散歩 should also be known and it doesn't do any harm to learn them also separately.

Is it easier or harder for learning vocabulary and grammar? or for learning kanji?
I don't know and honestly I don't even think that there is an easy way to learn anything: there are different ways and some might be more suitable for some people than others.

I always get a bit surprised when people ask for an easy way to learn something ... it's just like asking how I can solve a generic Physics problem. I don't know; I know how to solve most of them but asking for an all-do-kind of technique, I think it's like asking for a medicine against any disease.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 03.24.2009 6:53 pm

monkeykoder wrote:I'm pretty sure idiom means something that doesn't directly follow the standard rules of grammar/speech for a given language but is still rather widely understood. (I looked it up in the dictionary but we all know how helpful those are).


That's one definition of "idiom" but the term I used was "idiomatic", which means "peculiar to or characteristic of a particular language or dialect." In linguistics the term is used just to mean "a language the way native speakers use it" and I guess that's how I was using it too.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 03.24.2009 7:40 pm

Is this meaning specific to linguistics? By dictionary definitions it seems to me to mean a peculiarity of the language possibly specific to a specific region.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby kentaku_sama » Wed 03.25.2009 10:35 pm

I agree with Chris that vocabulary without grammar/sentence examples is useless. Except for few words, like dog or horse, a word is used only in context, think about the difference between 知る and 分かる. But than this is of learning any language not just Japanese -- I mean the sentence "the book is on the table" is probably like "Hello, world" when learning computer languages.
Also learning kanji by themselves is useless, though there are situation when words were not sticking in my mind until I learned the kanji like 長男, which I really struggled to remember until I learned 長い...
So one should learn all three aspects of the language together, and I thought this was not even a question. Then there is a problem of pace between kanji, vocabulary and grammar but that's part of the game.


Well I do also look up the new words in a online dictionary to see some sentences and how grammer associates with the word in context.
ALso if I learn "開く" "to become open", I would look it up and learn how to conjucate it as well. Trying to make sure I can use it in context. Takes a LONG time to learn useful words!! The reason is because first you learn basic words, Like when I want to ask my brother who knows some japanese, not quite as much as me, and I want to practice by seeing how fluently I can ask him a question or say something and I think: Dang! I don't know how to say that!! have to work hard :lol:
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby HarakoMeshi » Tue 03.31.2009 3:20 am

monkeykoder wrote:Is this meaning specific to linguistics? By dictionary definitions it seems to me to mean a peculiarity of the language possibly specific to a specific region.


The fact that you つける a コンピューター is a peculiarity of the language. It can't be taken for granted; there is no "standard Japanese" that is free of idioms.

Armed only with grammar and vocab you could make up a lot of grammatical Japanese like コンピューター を 走る
or better yet try to translate "turn on" using some "turning" verbs like 回る or 曲がる or 回転する :P. That would be un-idiomatic Japanese.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby AJBryant » Tue 03.31.2009 6:01 am

HarakoMeshi wrote:The fact that you つける a コンピューター is a peculiarity of the language. It can't be taken for granted; there is no "standard Japanese" that is free of idioms.

Armed only with grammar and vocab you could make up a lot of grammatical Japanese like コンピューター を 走る
or better yet try to translate "turn on" using some "turning" verbs like 回る or 曲がる or 回転する :P. That would be un-idiomatic Japanese.



An excellent and very useful post. Just thought I'd mention that.

Nicely done. :)
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 03.31.2009 3:54 pm

HarakoMeshi wrote:
monkeykoder wrote:Is this meaning specific to linguistics? By dictionary definitions it seems to me to mean a peculiarity of the language possibly specific to a specific region.


The fact that you つける a コンピューター is a peculiarity of the language. It can't be taken for granted; there is no "standard Japanese" that is free of idioms.

Armed only with grammar and vocab you could make up a lot of grammatical Japanese like コンピューター を 走る
or better yet try to translate "turn on" using some "turning" verbs like 回る or 曲がる or 回転する :P. That would be un-idiomatic Japanese.


This may just be me but what I see is taking English idioms and trying to translate them into Japanese and saying you're getting "non-idioms". Specifically from my understanding of the word "idiom" we're talking about something peculiar to that language's normal way of doing things. So if "つける" is usually used for "turn on" then it isn't an idiom. I'm not saying I'm 100% correct this is just my interpretation of the word. All I'm trying to say is unless it breaks the Japanese rules for language it doesn't fit the classification of "idiom" by my understanding of the word.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby Sairana » Tue 03.31.2009 5:35 pm

monkeykoder wrote: All I'm trying to say is unless it breaks the Japanese rules for language it doesn't fit the classification of "idiom" by my understanding of the word.


"You can't judge a book by its cover."
This is perfectly grammatical, and yet it's an idiom, no?
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby monkeykoder » Tue 03.31.2009 5:51 pm

Since when were a languages rules defined entirely by it's grammar? Rules of language also come from the people that speak it. An idiom is a "peculiarity" of the language that holds special significance more than the words actually in the utterance. It's breaking a rule in the fact that it is a metaphor for another thought. If someone was looking at a book and saying "this book must suck the cover art is horrible" and you said "don't judge a book by it's cover" it isn't an idiom. However if someone made a comment about why you were dating a particularly interesting person and was commenting on the way they look and you said "don't judge a book by it's cover" it would be an idiom.
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Re: Would this make learning kanji a little easier?

Postby AJBryant » Tue 03.31.2009 8:15 pm

Sairana wrote:
monkeykoder wrote: All I'm trying to say is unless it breaks the Japanese rules for language it doesn't fit the classification of "idiom" by my understanding of the word.


"You can't judge a book by its cover."
This is perfectly grammatical, and yet it's an idiom, no?



No, it's an axiom.
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