vinniram wrote:I explicitly said that "the Japanese can do what they like to their language, it will just affect whether or not I study it". So please don't put words in my mouth, by saying that I'm telling Japanese people what they should do or not do to their language, because that is simply NOT true.
I wasn't putting words in your mouth so much as echoing the logical consequences of what you were saying. You did say that you get to choose whether to use gairaigo or not; choosing not to makes a statement about what you think of gairaigo, and hence what you think of a Japanese language that uses a lot of it.
Harisenbon wrote:I actually find gairaigo HARDER to remember than regular japaense words, because there's less rhyme and reason to them.
I can remember what 操作 ans 操縦 mean because I can imagine the kanji in my head when looking for the right word to use. However, for the life of me I can:t remember the difference between ストライキ and ストライク and ガラス and グラス. I know what each refers to, but in the middle of a sentence, I always seem to forget which is which and pick the wrong one.
Well, yeah, but I imagine such confusing pairs are rather small compared to the total amount of gairaigo in use. For instance, I find Britain/England = イギリス easy to memorize even though it seems highly corrupted (it seems to have come via Portuguese) because it still kinda sounds like "English".
Also, you surely have a much easier time memorizing native/Sino-Japanese words than I do because you've been learning the language a hell of a lot longer than I have, and you have a much greater knowledge of kanji/reading pairs to draw upon. I find a word far easier to remember when it has a familiar kanji with a familiar reading in it, even if the rest of the word is unfamiliar. It gives my memory a "hook" to work with.
vinniram wrote:but that doesn't mean I can't try to use anglo-saxon words instead of romance words where equivalents exist (like foreword v. preface), and that same philosophy must hold true, at least to some extent, for gairaigo and kanji.
To some extent, probably. However, judging for yourself whether to use the gairaigo word or not is impossible until you've already mastered the language. If you look in the dictionary for a non-gairaigo equivalent of every word, and you use these words, not only will you have pointlessly made studying Japanese harder than it needs to be, you'll probably often find your "native" Japanese words (many of which will probably use Chinese roots) corrected with the gairaigo ones.
I mean, I'm fairly fluent in Spanish, and I still couldn't tell you whether any given utterance sounded weird. I could sometimes tell you when it doesn't just because I know I've encountered it before, but I cannot recognize unnatural Spanish. For instance, I have a Mexican friend who often laughs at how horribly badly something was translated into Spanish, but when I read it myself, I don't really see the problems. So I don't think you'd easily be able to distinguish between "natural" alternative phrasings (e.g., foreword vs. preface) and unnatural ones (e.g., movies vs. moving pictures).
By the way, as for your comparison between Anglo-Saxon vs. Latin/Romance words in English, I have to say that I find the idea of an English learner deliberately avoiding Latin words to be bizarre. If they don't like Latin words, English is simply not the language for them. No, there's nothing wrong with saying "foreword" instead of "preface", but there are far too many concepts where a Latin word is the only viable option. Moreover, what the heck does it matter where the word came from??
NocturnalOcean wrote:The point is that a lot of the gairaigo that you find in Japanese is in Japanese because they didn't have words for it themselves. As new sciences like medicine, computer technology came to Japan, it was very natural to use the words already present in each field. I don't know for sure, but I would bet that a very high percentage of the gairaigo don't have a "Japanese" equivalent.
This is somewhat true, but it's also true that a lot of gairaigo is gratuitous. Compare a video game that has はじめる on the main menu and another one that says スタート. Or to sign in on Amazon, you click サインイン. But I think such matters are hardly important compared to the massive effort it takes to learn Japanese.