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Is it ok to learn only romanji?

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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 05.01.2006 1:13 pm

"watashi wa namae bob desu" means literally "I am name-bob", which makes no sense


With a name like CAJUNcoder, you should recognize it. It's a southern thing. Billy-Bob, Jim-Bo, John-John, Namae-Bob....


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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 05.01.2006 2:41 pm

AJBryant wrote:
"watashi wa namae bob desu" means literally "I am name-bob", which makes no sense


With a name like CAJUNcoder, you should recognize it. It's a southern thing. Billy-Bob, Jim-Bo, John-John, Namae-Bob....


Tony


You should take that act on the road....

Anyway, the correct answer to the question is: it depends on your goals in the language. If you're only going to be a tourist who wants to feel comfortable with a little 'survival' Japanese, then of course you won't need to be able to read Japanese scripts. In my experience in the Tokyo area, public signs are very accommodating to foreigners illiterate in Japanese. But if you aspire to any degree of literacy in the language, then the answer is too obvious to indulge.
Last edited by skrhgh3b on Mon 05.01.2006 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 05.01.2006 6:08 pm

You should take that act on the road....


Thank you, thank you.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

;)
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby Bishounen » Mon 05.01.2006 6:34 pm

Oh i just started learning Harigana last night... but i cant study kanji coz my pc cant read, the help on FAQs section needs a cd, i dunno where the hell is this pc's cd. could someone help? please
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby richvh » Mon 05.01.2006 7:09 pm

Go here and scroll down. You just need the fonts to see the characters.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby kimochi » Fri 05.05.2006 2:02 pm

richvh wrote:
"Watashi no namae wa khalil desu."
Ultimately, not learning Japanese characters will hinder your learning.


I thought it was "watashino namae wa khalil desu"?
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby richvh » Fri 05.05.2006 2:06 pm

kimochi wrote:
richvh wrote:
"Watashi no namae wa khalil desu."
Ultimately, not learning Japanese characters will hinder your learning.


I thought it was "watashino namae wa khalil desu"?

That's what I wrote, give or take a space. Since Japanese uses no spaces, whether you write particles attached to words or completely seperate in romaji is somewhat arbitrary.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby phuriku » Thu 05.25.2006 7:34 pm

I'm surprised that no one has brought up this important point.

If you know kanji, everything gets a whole lot easier. You get accustomed to the sounds that each kanji makes and you can actually find out the literal meaning of many words.

Take an easy word for example, 練習(れんしゅう/renshuu), which means practice.

If you don't know the meaning of this word, but you know the meanings of the individual kanji, you can save yourself a lot of trouble. The former kanji means 'practice' and the latter kanji means 'learn.' Put them together and it's an easy word to memorize. This also works with pronunciations, so if you've never seen the word before, you can see that the ON reading for the first kanji is 'ren' and the ON reading for the second kanji is 'shuu.' Easy.

Otherwise, you're just going to be learning lots of words blindly and you really won't have a good grasp on Japanese. My Japanese instructor even says that as she has conversations, she's always putting the kanji up in her head to correspond with the words, showing that kanji is an essential part of the Japanese language.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby PandanoTake » Thu 05.25.2006 7:43 pm

Why has no one said this yet?

When you read romaji, many many many words have a couple or several, if not many different possible meanings. Even if you exclude the definitions that are out of context it still happens frequently.

So the answer is simply,

no.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Thu 05.25.2006 8:37 pm

I would say no... Since you'll definately need it if you go to Japan or want to converse on the internet in japanese.

You should start learning hiragana and katakana, those are phonetic alphabets... It might seem very hard to learn them at first, but it only took me a few hours(like 8 or so) on each of them to master them. You should try the hiragana quiz on this website, it's a really efficient way of learning it. Kanji on the other hand... isn't something you master in one day, I see new kanji everyday and I know a few of them.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby Mukade » Thu 05.25.2006 9:06 pm

I wouldn't say flat-out no to this question.

My wife once tutored a guy who had pretty passable Japanese skills. He lived in Japan 3 months every year and his primary occupation was writing songs for Japanese commercials and anime. He learned Japanese in order to facilitate his stay(s) in Japan. It also helped him when he dealt with his Japanese clients.

And he couldn't read a single kana character.

He had no interest in learning the writing system since it simply wasn't useful enough to him. His conversation ability was quite good, and he was able to get by perfectly well without knowing any kana or kanji.

So I would support the 'it depends on what you trying to do with Japanese' camp. And just because you only know romaji doesn't immediately relegate your Japanese ability to the level of a 'party trick.' This student of my wife's, for example, probably spoke better Japanese than a lot of the people on this forum.

If, like this guy, you just want basic conversational ability, romaji will work just fine for you.

If, on the other hand, you are looking to achieve a higher level of proficiency, then you should learn kana and kanji as soon as possible.


My two cents.
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby Infidel » Fri 05.26.2006 1:15 am

another one no one has mentioned. Pronunciation. It's easier to pronounce words correctly in kana compared to roumaji. In roumaji we have learned to read and sound out words in a very specific was though years of practice. If you learn kana early you will spend a smaller portion of your time incorrectly pronunciating Japanese incorrectly.

Just as a quick example from my own studies. Kudasai. Simple word.
ku - da -sa - i
but when I see it in roumaji, which is how I first studied japanese I feel tempted to read it
ku - duh - sai
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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RE: Is it ok to learn only romanji?

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 05.26.2006 10:26 am

romaji would have the word be kudasai, so any emphasis on ku duh sai would be ones own doing.. not the romaji but the individual.. romaji or katakan or hiragana would be the easiest way to read or remember until kanji was eventually replacing the kana
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