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Very random questions.

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Very random questions.

Postby Suisei » Tue 12.13.2011 7:24 pm

I really hope I don't come off as stupid by asking this ( I tend to ask really odd questions because I'm kinda worried if I'm doing something wrong) Well, what I wanted to ask is this.

Since this is actually my second language, when you hear someone speak Japanese to you, do you take a moment and translate it in your native language
( in your head) to understand it? I'm really sorry that came out so stupidly. x.X I was trying to figure out how to word what I wanted to say but, it didn't' come out right. :/ Just, lately my brain takes a moment to register what words or syllables are on the page. Does anyone have any ways to help it come to me faster? :o

Sorry if I'm sounding kinda stupid right now. :/
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Hektor6766 » Wed 12.14.2011 4:42 am

It's a good question.

Overcoming that urge to translate is tough, but you must if you hope to keep up with normal conversation. A cooperative conversation partner, viewing and reviewing video and audio files helps. One thing I can recommend to avoid that translation is to visualize as you verbalize in Japanese. After all, this is what you had to do when learning your first language; all you had was a visual image, and you attached the native word to it. So now when you see, hear or say 木, picture in your mind the unlabeled image of a tree, while avoiding the word "tree". When you see or hear 赤 , picture the color in your mind. Give the Japanese word its own association with its meaning and push the English word completely out of the way. Hope this helps!
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Suisei » Wed 12.14.2011 3:12 pm

Thanks for responding. I still kinda don't get what you you mean to be honest so..basically just keep memorizing and find someone to help you in conversation? Does that also help with writing and reading?

Sorry, I'm a bit slow. x.X
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Hektor6766 » Wed 12.14.2011 4:41 pm

It's kind of hard to explain in writing, but...

Remember when you were little, you would read picture books. A page would have a picture of a dog, and there would be the word "dog" under it. That way, you'd associate the word with the image, and from then on, when you saw the word "dog" you'd get a picture of a dog in your mind. You want to do that now, but instead of the word "dog" when you see the word "いぬ" you want to immediately picture a dog in your mind, without even thinking the word "dog". When you see or hear the word 心, こころ, think Image. Think of an image that signifies every Japanese word you learn. When you see the word 走る, picture somebody running. That's about as well as I can explain it. 笑顔! :)
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby furrykef » Thu 12.15.2011 9:13 am

In my experience, you'll rely on your native language less as you become experienced with a language -- you'll fall back on it only when trying to express or understand something unfamiliar. And, naturally, the more you practice, the fewer unfamiliar things there will be.

People say if you practice translating from English to your target language or vice versa as one of your primary study methods, you will end up relying on English when you write or speak. In my experience, nothing could be further than the truth. Maybe I'm just lucky, but maybe the whole idea is a myth.
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Hektor6766 » Thu 12.15.2011 8:54 pm

いずれにせよ、一生懸命頑張らないと駄目です。 :)
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Suisei » Fri 12.16.2011 3:26 am

Thank you so much for replying. :3

I think I understand what you are saying now but when I'm writing, shouldn't I use romaji when I read what the Hiragan/Katakana say and then turn away from that after I learned what that is? I'm not entirely sure how to associate it with a syllable without Romaji.

I really hope I'm not making everyone annoyed. I just want to make sure if I understand it correctly. ^^;
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby soldieroH » Fri 12.16.2011 4:39 am

Don't associate readings with romaji, get rid of it as soon as you can. It's a lot easier doing it with hiragana and katakana since you will always recognize when it is on or kun reading. :)
By the way, have you learned the kana first? Or are you trying to learn kanji and kana at the same time?
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Suisei » Fri 12.16.2011 10:48 pm

soldieroH wrote:Don't associate readings with romaji, get rid of it as soon as you can. It's a lot easier doing it with hiragana and katakana since you will always recognize when it is on or kun reading. :)
By the way, have you learned the kana first? Or are you trying to learn kanji and kana at the same time?


Well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what Kana is. Is it just Hiragana and Katakana? If so, I am learning Hiragana right but stuck on the Diacritics and combinations on the Hiragana chart. :sweatdrop:
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby soldieroH » Sat 12.17.2011 5:21 pm

Suisei wrote:Well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what Kana is. Is it just Hiragana and Katakana? If so, I am learning Hiragana right but stuck on the Diacritics and combinations on the Hiragana chart. :sweatdrop:

Yes, kana is the Hiragana and Katakana. :)
I really suggest you learning the kana first before kanji because...well...think of the kana as a Japanese alphabet that needs to be learned first. Every word can be written in kana so ability to read/write kana is already half of the battle. :) When you will be able to do that, then you can proceed to kanji (which, I think, just reduce the symbol count in the text). :D Also you will understand more what sounds are in the Japanese language.
What gets you stuck at the diacritics and combinations?
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Suisei » Sun 12.18.2011 11:19 am

soldieroH wrote:
Suisei wrote:Well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what Kana is. Is it just Hiragana and Katakana? If so, I am learning Hiragana right but stuck on the Diacritics and combinations on the Hiragana chart. :sweatdrop:

Yes, kana is the Hiragana and Katakana. :)
I really suggest you learning the kana first before kanji because...well...think of the kana as a Japanese alphabet that needs to be learned first. Every word can be written in kana so ability to read/write kana is already half of the battle. :) When you will be able to do that, then you can proceed to kanji (which, I think, just reduce the symbol count in the text). :D Also you will understand more what sounds are in the Japanese language.
What gets you stuck at the diacritics and combinations?


Yeah. I was planning on working on Kana before Kanji. Kanji scares me. D:

Well, it's just that I get confused on what rows turn to what sounds. What did you do to learn the diacritic and combinations? Did you just learn a different row at a time ? Since I'm self studying, I don't really have any ideas on what to do to help me learn them. I really wish I was in a class . :(
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby Ongakuka » Sun 12.18.2011 11:36 am

Yeah. I was planning on working on Kana before Kanji. Kanji scares me. D:


That's completely understandable, and you are right to work on your Kana first. Kanji are very fun and interesting in themselves, and I'm sure they'll grow on you as you move onto them :)

Well, it's just that I get confused on what rows turn to what sounds. What did you do to learn the diacritic and combinations? Did you just learn a different row at a time ?


Yes, if I were you I'd learn one row at a time. Memorise a character by writing it repeatedly. Revise by testing yourself with flashcards if need be. Once you start seeing the hiragana in the context of words it will become even easier. Ultimately, I think the best advice you could have is to just get on with it and wait for the results, because whatever approach you take, sooner or later you'll be shocked at how much progress you've made. Try not to worry if you find it difficult, everything is difficult at the beginning, it just requires practice and a positive frame of mind :)

Since I'm self studying, I don't really have any ideas on what to do to help me learn them. I really wish I was in a class .


Actually self-study is probably the best way to go. The desire to have guidance and lessons is normal, but don't think you are lost without it. If you have questions, you can ask them, as you are doing - you don't need a class for that. Studying a language is a process that requires a lot of determination and input from the self, and from experience I can say classes don't help much, unless you need additional stimulation and motivation, which they often don't provide you with anyway.
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Re: Very random questions.

Postby soldieroH » Sun 12.18.2011 6:55 pm

Suisei wrote:Yeah. I was planning on working on Kana before Kanji. Kanji scares me. D:

Well, it's just that I get confused on what rows turn to what sounds. What did you do to learn the diacritic and combinations? Did you just learn a different row at a time ? Since I'm self studying, I don't really have any ideas on what to do to help me learn them. I really wish I was in a class . :(

As Ongakuka said, yes, kanji might be scary, but the ARE fun once you know the basics. :)


I suggest you to try "Kana de Manga" book. It was really easy to study from it because it is very simple. Try my method -
O) Get a notebook and divide it in simple sections as you go through kana (sounds without consonants, "K/G" sounds, "T/D" sounds and so on).
O) Write down 1 or 2 pairs kana (the hiragana and katakana of that sound) each day from the book with the given word (or just write them from a table and find an easy to remember (and/or fun) word).
O) Write each pairs on separate pages.
O) On the edge of the page write the stroke order of both kana for the sound
O) And do like you (probably) did in the 1st grade - write 3 full lines of hiragana, leave 2 lines blank (this will be your homework for the next day - to fill these lines too :) ), write the given (or chosen) word with its meaning, and fill the next 1 or 2 lines with this word and leave one line for the homework. :) Then do this for the katakana too on the same page.

This way you will get used to writting japanese letters and words. :)



As for diacritics and stuff - it is very when you know how do they work. :)
The " ゛ " symbol makes the sound ,as I see it, stronger, like, "ta" becomes "da", "ki" becomes "gi" and so on. But really, it only changes "t" -> "d"(ta>da), "k"->"g"(ka>ga), "h"->"b"(ha>ba) and "s"->"z"(sa>za).... and thats it. Those are the rules. :)
The " ゜ " just works on "h" sounds - "h"->"p"(ha>pa).
Just write down those changes on the cover of the notebook(also I suggest you to write the learnt kana on the both covers of the notebook to see your progress :) )

As for combinations - those are just formed combining the -i sound and "y" (ya,yu,yo) sound together and the result is = (Consonant of the "i" sound without the "i")+the "y" sound. (ki + ya = kya). :)



So basically you just need to get a notebook, a pen and just write them down. :)
I hope this helps you.
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