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Casual Japanese site

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RE: Casual Japanese site

Postby nprz » Sun 11.13.2005 2:15 am

If you are fluent, then you would know how to use plain form and therefore know how to speak casually. Why can I say this? Because if you ever use 〜と思う whatever precedes the と should be put in plain form. Same with subclauses and prenominal modifiers.

You also would be able to pick this up from listening to your Japanese friends talk. If you can pass the JLPT 1 with >90% then I'd give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are fluent.
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RE: Casual Japanese site

Postby Kates » Mon 11.14.2005 9:36 am

Well, speaking politely is also force-of-habit. I know because it happened to me... and still does. In Japanese class for about three years, we used polite form to speak to one another, and I rarely got experience speaking with other people outside of my classroom who knew Japanese (yes, of corse this is my own fault) so I didn't get to practice speaking plainly very often. So then, when I went to Japan and made friends, or visited Japanese I had met in America, I usually spoke politely and they would say "Oh, you don't need to speak so politely to me!" But it was really hard to break out of that habit. ^^;

But haru... I really don't think a website is going to help you. Like the guys said, speaking 'plainly' is just using plain form instead of polite/-masu form. The best way to learn this is to find a friend who speaks Japanese (preferably a Japanese) and practice. It's one thing to read about it and learn it, but another for it to come out of your mouth.
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RE: Casual Japanese site

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 11.14.2005 1:06 pm

It is surprising to me that "conversational Japanese" is being equated with simply using dictionary forms of verbs rather than desu-masu speech. It seems to me there is a lot more to it!

As Netarou-san reported in other threads (in Japanese, so some of the earlier students might not have been able to read it) conversational Japanese can be highly contracted and can involve variations used by people according to gender, age, place of origin. This is all in addition to the the basic level of politeness determined by the relationship of the parties and the setting of the conversation.

Of course, English also has degrees of politeness, slang and "insider" speech but it seems to me that Japanese has more variants. It's possible I fail to notice some of the distinctions in English formal/informal speech that cause problems for non-native learners. It's also possible that, being an American, I tend to choose speech that smooths out rather than pointing up differences in status. Still... I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that Japanese is more situational than English.

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RE: Casual Japanese site

Postby nprz » Mon 11.14.2005 4:20 pm

The original poster did not mention "conversational Japanese" and InsanityRanch is the only one to mention this. The issue we were discussing was "casual Japanese" which would be the plain form. Contractions can be used even in polite Japanese (I can say 勉強しなくちゃいけません to my teacher without being considered impolite).

If haru wants to stop using the distant Japanese (desu/masu), then haru needs to start using the plain form. Learning contractions, slang, etc will come from his friends anyway. Different people use different slang, so one shouldn't spend all their time studying slang that they may never hear but rather could be learning it from friends.

Conversational Japanese is separate from formal and casual speech. One can be formal and use conversational Japanese and one can also be casual and use conversational Japanese. The difference is that you aren't supposed to use conversational Japanese when writing a paper for an audiance, a research paper, etc.
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RE: Casual Japanese site

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 11.14.2005 6:49 pm

My apologies if I have misunderstood.

I'm still confused, though. How is it possible to learn desu-masu speech without learning to actually conjugate verbs? How would you recognize and look up new verbs when you find them?

Shira
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RE: Casual Japanese site

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 11.14.2005 7:46 pm

InsanityRanch wrote:
I'm still confused, though. How is it possible to learn desu-masu speech without learning to actually conjugate verbs? How would you recognize and look up new verbs when you find them?


You can learn desu-masu speech without learning plain form, but as you said, you can't look up new words. That's because desu-masu is for pure beginners. It's an easy level to start Japanese at (because all verbs conjugate in the same way), and is ideal for beginning students. However, after about half a year or a year, you should be getting into plain form, and actually learning how to conjugate verbs out of their masu form.
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