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alphabet

Postby themonk » Sat 06.25.2011 10:56 am

I learned the rounded ones and the square ones, but got them confused. Do you have a good strategy in mastering them?
Last edited by themonk on Wed 08.03.2011 7:07 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby phreadom » Sat 06.25.2011 11:18 am

I'm curious as to whether or not you're the same person as "oldwordstudy", and if so, why you created a second account? :think:

As for your questions, I too had a little more trouble learning the katakana, and even today still have to pause sometimes with some of the less common ones etc. All you can really do I think is to keep practicing and keep reading stuff. :) You should get better and better with time and practice. :) They just seem to take a little longer because you don't see them nearly as often, especially some of the really uncommonly used ones.
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby themonk » Sat 06.25.2011 12:15 pm

Thank you, Teacher Phreadom, for sharing your tips on mastering katakanas.

As for the first question, i sent an email to the site administrator (i do not know your what personal message box is)
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby phreadom » Sat 06.25.2011 12:29 pm

1oldwordstudy wrote:Thank you, Teacher Phreadom, for sharing your tips on mastering katakanas.

As for the first question, i sent an email to the site administrator (i do not know your what personal message box is)


No problem. :) I hope it helps. :)

As for your email, I've received it and replied. We can go from there. In the future, you can also PM people by clicking the
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icon on the right, beneath their username/avatar (user picture).

That will send a private message to the user here on the forum. :D

I hope this helps. :bow:
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby micahcowan » Sat 06.25.2011 8:18 pm

I recommend "Reading Japanese" by Eleanor Jorden. It starts right in with katakana, teaching them out-of-order in such a way as to start using them immediately. For instance, the first two characters are ス (su) and ミ (mi), and then uses these to introduce words like スー (Sue), ミス (Miss), and ミス・スー・スミス (Miss Sue Smith).

If I remember correctly, it includes an explicit clause that places the contents of the book into the public domain within 25 years of its publication (which is since past). The entire book appears to be available online at Google Books here.

After teaching the katakana and then the hiragana, it moves on to teach a couple hundred kanji. However, the exercises are meant to be matched with the grammar teachings from her other book, Beginning Japanese, and my impression from some of the lessons is that some small number of the usages taught are a bit strange and/or outdated. For instance, the use of 外 to express the word ほか (other) is used in many cases where 他 would be more normal (外 can be used for ほか, but not normally in the situations it was being used for in this book, AFAICT).

Regardless, its teaching style is very painless, and at the very least the katakana section (very first few lessons in the book) should be useful to you.

Hope that helps!
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby Hektor6766 » Sat 06.25.2011 10:11 pm

Katakana is trickier, with subtle differences between シ shi and ツ tsu, ン n and ソ so, for examples. I second the recommendation of Eleanor Jordan's book IMO her best work.
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Sat 06.25.2011 11:54 pm

Some of the kana I had trouble with are: ぬ、ネ、ホ、ワ、や チ。 I just wouldn't see them that often, especially with katakana. You really do need to read more Japanese material to memorize the kana. Going on Japanese websites is a big help - and it's something I did when I was just a little kid.
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby micahcowan » Sun 06.26.2011 1:05 am

Cyborg Ninja wrote:Some of the kana I had trouble with are: ぬ、ネ、ホ、ワ、や チ。


You encounter ネ a lot more if you practice reading with documentation from network-related software or hardware. :) Probably true in general for katakana, actually, since katakana/english-origin words tend to show up somewhat more in technical documentation than they might in, say, running-text books. But yeah, I used to confuse ネ and ヌ a lot, for some reason.

Of course, if you haven't learned much kanji yet, you'll want to make sure you find either documentation that has furigana, or online documentation with which you can use helpful tools like rikai-chan.
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby phreadom » Sun 06.26.2011 6:05 pm

micahcowan wrote:I recommend "Reading Japanese" by Eleanor Jorden. It starts right in with katakana, teaching them out-of-order in such a way as to start using them immediately. For instance, the first two characters are ス (su) and ミ (mi), and then uses these to introduce words like スー (Sue), ミス (Miss), and ミス・スー・スミス (Miss Sue Smith).

If I remember correctly, it includes an explicit clause that places the contents of the book into the public domain within 25 years of its publication (which is since past). The entire book appears to be available online at Google Books here.

After teaching the katakana and then the hiragana, it moves on to teach a couple hundred kanji. However, the exercises are meant to be matched with the grammar teachings from her other book, Beginning Japanese, and my impression from some of the lessons is that some small number of the usages taught are a bit strange and/or outdated. For instance, the use of 外 to express the word ほか (other) is used in many cases where 他 would be more normal (外 can be used for ほか, but not normally in the situations it was being used for in this book, AFAICT).

Regardless, its teaching style is very painless, and at the very least the katakana section (very first few lessons in the book) should be useful to you.

Hope that helps!


I'm curious... the book says at the beginning that it passed into the Public Domain on December 31st, 1990 (after it's initial release in 1976).

From the copyright and publisher/edition info page;
Copyright claimed until December 31, 1990. Thereafter all portions of this work covered by this copyright will be in the public domain.


If this is the case, does this mean we can use the material from it freely at this point? :)
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby micahcowan » Sun 06.26.2011 6:22 pm

From the copyright and publisher/edition info page;
Copyright claimed until December 31, 1990. Thereafter all portions of this work covered by this copyright will be in the public domain.


If this is the case, does this mean we can use the material from it freely at this point? :)


That's certainly how I read it. It seems pretty unambiguous, in fact. And I suspect that's why the entire book is available, unabridged, at Google Books.

It's really a pretty excellent work, though once it starts teaching kanji, it doesn't necessarily stand on its own (needs Beginning Japanese by same author... I don't know but I expect that book was also released under the same terms, and seems to be available under Google Books (though I didn't check whether the whole book is available, like Reading Japanese). I've only given Beginning Japanese a rough perusal. My impression was that it's a bit dated, but very usable. I can't remember what specifically gave me that impression, but I do remember that it was very little things. Perhaps topics of conversation that sound a little out-of-date to 2011 ears, etc. This is pretty much true of all the really good Japanese textbooks I've found, the best of which seem to have been written some time ago. If only there were Japanese wikis that were as complete and thorough as some of these books, then there might be a community helping to keep them up-to-date.

Personally, I can't wait until Martin's "Essential Japanese" comes out of copyright, but that may still be several decades off I think. By far the most complete coverage of grammar I've ever seen, teaching me more in a couple months than I'd learned over many years. But it's hideously outdated, very post-WWII occupation oriented, and is written entirely in romaji (probably not even Hepburn, can't remember). I'd love to see a version of that book that's brought up to date, has a broader (less military/occupation-based) vocabulary, and uses the kana (at least). But perhaps in the meantime a similar thing could be done with Jorden's books (which would require much less work). And in fact I seem to recall finding something online that had been based on her Reading Japanese (though I can't seem to find it now).

If anyone takes advantage of the "public domain" status of this book, just be certain that you really are basing it on a book that bears this disclaimer. As I understand it, she went on to update these books further in later editions (which had different names, or at least from some point on did - something like "The Japanese Written Language" instead of "Reading Japanese"), and I don't know what the terms for these books may have been.
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby phreadom » Sun 06.26.2011 6:53 pm

I checked parts 1 and 2 and neither of them carry the same copyright expiration notice. Neither appear available as more than a limited preview.

"Japanese: The Written Language" also lacks this expiration notice (and appears only available on google books in limited preview). I would guess that it's because "Reading Japanese" was written under contract with a government agency.

This work was developed under a contract with the U.S. Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. However, the content does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of that Agency, and no official endorsement of these materials should be inferred.


So it looks like only "Reading Japanese" is available for such purposes.

As for Martin's "Essential Japanese", unfortunately due to the corrupt copyright laws in the U.S., you'll probably never see this pass into the Public Domain before you die of old age.

All books initially copyrighted in the US from 1978 to date are still protected by copyright law. The period of copyright protection is governed by complex rules. Generally speaking copyright protection ends 70 years after death of author.


Since he just died in 2009, it looks like we'll have to wait until at least 2079. Only 68 years to go! I'll only be 105! ;)

ACTUALLY... the more I dig, I notice that as you said it was originally published not long after the war... the first edition being in 1954.

Thus, if he didn't renew the copyright on that edition, it would appear that particular edition may in fact be in the public domain (but not necessarily later editions etc).

I searched two different databases for a renewal record and didn't find one, which means the 1954 edition of the book most likely passed into the public domain in 1982. I also see no record of renewal for subsequent editions either, which means that even slightly newer editions have likely passed into the public domain as well... but I'm having a hard time tracking down info on later editions (the third edition appears to be from 1980, which puts it within the "you'll never see this before you die" range)... and even then, I think I'd really want to do a considerable amount of research and probably get some legal advice before tackling that particular book, even in its first edition. ;)

Renewals searches:
http://collections.stanford.edu/copyrig ... rward=home
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~lesk/copyrenew.html

More info:
http://library.dts.edu/Pages/RM/Helps/copyright.shtml
http://www.copyright.gov/search/

1st edition information:
http://www.antiqbook.com/books/bookinfo ... 52832&l=en

Publisher information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuttle_Publishing
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Re: hiragana katakana

Postby micahcowan » Sun 06.26.2011 10:50 pm

I love you phreadom. :love:

You've seriously raised my hopes that a more-modern, and better yet, free-for-all-to-use edition of Martin might not be entirely out of reach in my lifetime. Thank you! :dance:
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thank you

Postby themonk » Mon 06.27.2011 11:30 pm

Thank you.
Last edited by themonk on Tue 08.02.2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: thank you

Postby phreadom » Tue 06.28.2011 2:49 am

oldwordstudy wrote:Dear Teachers ~
Thank you all so much for the recommendation of the book, the encouragement and the support.

I am reading the book (and scanned a little micahcowan's web page. Very interesting.).

@phreadom - - I am back to my old self now. Thank you.


Glad to see it. :) I transferred those 3 posts from 1oldwordstudy to your original account. :) So they're all by the original you now. :)
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Re: alphabet

Postby phreadom » Tue 11.20.2012 8:51 pm

I'm necroposting on this because it's too good not to share...

I recently moved into my cousin's house, a fellow student of Japanese... and was delighted to find a copy of Essential Japanese on his bookshelf! He'd picked it up at Good Will or something on a whim, totally unaware of what it was! :dance:

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DSCF4512sm.JPG (263.51 KiB) Viewed 2310 times
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