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What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

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What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby Shiroisan » Sat 03.26.2011 5:09 pm

What do you think the hardest part of learning Japanese is? Maintaining a large enough vocabulary? Maintaining the proper order of speech in grammer? Verb Conjugations? Trying to keep up with all the Kanji? Being able to listen to and translate what a fast and fluent Japanese speaker just said?

What's the hardest for you?
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby phreadom » Sun 03.27.2011 5:55 am

I think for me a the moment it's probably learning the kanji, memorizing vocabulary, and conjugation etc.

I don't feel like I have too much trouble wrapping my head around hearing what Japanese people are saying, or the sentence structure really... but remembering which conjugation goes with which type of word (verb, noun, adjective, etc) messes me up, and I simply lack remotely enough vocabulary and kanji to really be able to effectively communicate or understand what I'm reading yet. :sweatdrop:
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby furrykef » Mon 04.04.2011 5:30 am

All Japanese words sound the same to me until they're firmly pounded into my skull. Hence, learning new words is difficult.
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby john2 » Sun 05.01.2011 4:42 am

Doing any work what so ever(·—·), organizing making time. :whistle: the unusual.
Japanese tones… are so complicated :evil: .
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby takiras » Sun 05.01.2011 9:15 am

Definitely learning vocabulary and writing out kanji from memory - since these days I mostly practice by typing. Shouldn't be so lazy ^^
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby TheEnglishKnitter » Sun 05.01.2011 11:44 am

Well, I'm only 3-weeks in but learning the kana is slow but at a turtles pace its not problematic, vocab and word order in sentences is still fairly simple so not challenging and I haven't started looking at Kanji properly yet.
I think the hardest thing as a complete beginner is not being able to simply buy a Japanese newspaper and look stuff up in the dictionary to get a quick/ rough translation, enough to identify the theme of the article (like I could in Spanish). I'm having trouble working out where the words/ phrases begin and end, and what is kanji and what is kana. It'll come, but that is the hardest thing initially for me.
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby phreadom » Sun 05.01.2011 12:07 pm

I think as you learn about the particles (like の, は, へ, が, etc) and conjugation (like -ます, -ましょう, -ました) etc... it gets a lot easier. :D

It should start being easier pretty soon as you continue your studies. :) I know I still have some trouble with more advanced stuff when I don't know the vocabulary yet and some of the intermediate to advanced conjugation is used, or especially when people are using very informal or colloquial Japanese. ;) The really informal stuff is even trickier because you can't even easily look it up in the dictionary or use tools like Rikaichan. ;) It would be like us typing "Idonwanna" instead of "I don't want to" ;) But don't lose heart, it's not too hard to pick up as you learn more... some are just slightly shortened words, or using "dictionary forms" (short forms) etc. :) (like いる instead of います, 見る instead of 見ます etc. The textbooks do cover the informal stuff to some extent, so it's just a matter of getting that far in your studies. It's only the really slangy stuff that you need to learn first hand, just like you would in any language...)

がんばってね! :mrgreen:
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby soldieroH » Sun 05.01.2011 1:44 pm

For me so far the hardest thing is to remember kanji and kanji compounds and their reading. And that's why I like them because they are quite challanging. :D
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby spin13 » Mon 05.02.2011 2:17 am

It's hard to look back and accurately describe what was the most troublesome for me. The mind plays tricks and it's hard to conceive that what seems all so simple now could have possibly been a source of trouble in the past. Still, there were a few things that plagued me for long enough I can put my finger on them.

For the most part, I found kana and kanji, and thus vocabulary, relatively easy. I'm still to this day shocked that people successfully market books aimed at adults on how to learn kana. What I did have some trouble with, however, was remembering kanji order in words, most of which I had learned in their written form but had never heard in conversation. Remember the kanji and their respective readings wasn't usually the problem, but I'd be lying if I said I never tried to せいさく when I should have 作成(さくせい)'ed.

Though I consider myself quite comfortable in Japanese, I still dread answering the phone at work. The conversation usually goes fine... if I can get past the speaker's name and affiliation. Introductions and greetings are all so rote it's no wonder people rush through them, but I'll be damned if I can catch all the appropriate info in one go unless I already know the person. I suppose it would be the same if things were reversed and I said my full name with its English pronunciation at full speed, but I'm usually nicer than that.

Going slightly off topic, for those people having trouble with kana (or even kanji), have you ever written them down repeatedly, from memory, at intervals? I'm not talking flash cards or an SRS or mnemonics or anything, just simply writing the list in order over and over. Try it like this:

1. Go one row at a time (i.e., do あいうえお before going to かきくけこ)
2. Say the kana each time you write it.
3. Write each kana three times, skip a line then write the next kana three times for all 5 kana in the row.
4. Write each kana once, looking at an example if necessary.
5. Cover all the kana and write them from memory.
6. Go do something else and when that's done, write out all 5 kana from memory.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 for the next row.
8. Before testing yourself on the most recent row (step 6), write out all previous rows. Do all of this from memory. Do not look at the answer half-way through, just skip those that you cannot recall in a reasonable time-frame (though going back to fill in ones later is acceptable). Correct yourself when you are done and repeat steps 1-6 for the entire row if you repeatedly forget any one kana from that row.

Steps 1 - 6 should take no more than 1 or 2 minutes. Each review from memory should take no more than 5 minutes. Since each iteration shouldn't take much more than 6 or 7 minutes total, it should be possible to repeat this multiple times throughout the day. If you spend around 1 hour spaced throughout the day, I think you can learn hiragana with a 90%+ retention rate in only one or two days. Rinse and repeat for voiced kana (e.g., がぎぐげご) and katakana for similar results (accepting that シ、ツ、ノ、ソ will take a bit longer to get down pat).
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Re: What is the hardest for you as a Japanese learner?

Postby phreadom » Mon 05.02.2011 3:40 am

spin13 wrote:(accepting that シ、ツ、ノ、ソ will take a bit longer to get down pat).


In a fun twist on English, I like that that statement can also correctly be written as

spin13 wrote:(excepting that シ、ツ、ノ、ソ will take a bit longer to get down pat).


although with a subtle shift in meaning... ;)
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