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I am thinking of moving to Japan.

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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Ongakuka » Sun 08.20.2006 9:42 am

This has been a huge misunderstanding (<<How ironic ;)) on my part, so I want to apologize on behalf of that. What I was originally trying to say was, since moving to Japan and getting a job is so difficult, it is important that one does not forget how useful their multi-lingual skills are in a country auch as Japan. Instead of translating, I should have referred to teaching.

Thankyou for helping me to understand. Of course, having heard Nobuya Sugawa speak (live and a few metres away from me :)) and comparing this to his translators words, I can see how different Japanese and English are. Someday I'll overcome that barrier myself.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby AJBryant » Sun 08.20.2006 10:17 am

I don't know if you ever saw this thread, but ANYONE learning a foreign language really should read the essays I mention here.

That whole "translating" thing is very much a beginners' crutch to a foreign language. Tests and exams tend to focus on "what does XYZ mean" because it's the only thing to judge comprehension on. But more advanced classes start slipping more and more into target language and away from the base language because translation isn't the goal.

You will find, at some point, that you are reading things in Japanese that you understand perfectly, but have no idea how to turn them into English. Generally, that is a good thing.

My problem is that I am a translator, so I *do* have to turn things into good, clear, grammatical English. Part of the problem is that this has resulted in an unconscious effort to translate everything I read into English in my mind, which is exactly NOT what the normal reader wants.

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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 08.20.2006 2:46 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
Being able to comprehend Japanese involves translating. Until you reach the stage where you can instinctivley understand everything, you will be translating almost everything you hear.


Speak for yourself.


Or even better, give a detailed scenario in which a foreigner moves to Japan attempting to aquire a job far more suited to Japanese people, and has no need of their ability to use both Japanese and English?


I don't need a "scenario"; that's my daily life.
Last edited by Mike Cash on Sun 08.20.2006 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Ongakuka » Sun 08.20.2006 5:13 pm

How blunt. Did you not read my latest post? Or perhaps you're trying to prove something.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby paul_b » Sun 08.20.2006 5:17 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
How blunt. Did you not read my latest post? Or perhaps you're trying to prove something.


He doesn't need to prove anything. He's a foreigner who has moved to Japan and aquired a job far more suited to Japanese people while not having need of the ability to use both Japanese and English.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Ongakuka » Sun 08.20.2006 5:19 pm

He doesn't need to prove anything. He's a foreigner who has moved to Japan and aquired a job far more suited to Japanese people while not having need of the ability to use both Japanese and English.


Well congratulations to him. My point was, I've already apologized for my mistake, and he doesn't seem satisfied.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby paul_b » Sun 08.20.2006 5:21 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
Well congratulations to him. My point was, I've already apologized for my mistake, and he doesn't seem satisfied.

I doubt that he had read it, although I suspect that he'd be blunt either way.
Last edited by paul_b on Sun 08.20.2006 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Chris Hart » Sun 08.20.2006 5:46 pm

Infidel wrote:
There is such thing as English-English translations too. They happen every day. Perhaps you've even seen it happen, "Could you explain that in lay man's terms?" Does this sound like a familiar phrase?


I am in a job where we regularly do English-English translations. (AKA Technical Support). These tend to be very lossy translations, due to lay man's terms not having the fine detail of the technical terms.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby kyashi » Sun 08.20.2006 5:48 pm

I wanna go to tokyo U after high school here but i heard tokyo U is really hard to get into is it true to a degree?
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Shibakoen » Sun 08.20.2006 7:02 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
But that's just not true.


A: Hey, do you speak Japanese?

B: Yes that's right.

A: Great! Then you can help me translate this sentence.

B: Uh... no, you see, I can read, write, speak, and understand Japanese and English fluently, but I can't translate anything.

A: ???


This sounds exactly like a conversation between me and my girlfriend. She's Japanese and can speak English very well, but when I need translation or explanation of sometimes even basic Japanese structures, she's at a loss. She didn't learn either language through "translating" though that's how I'm attempting to learn Japanese. It frustrates me to no end, however, because she always has to check a dictionary or ask other friends (usually returnee friends of hers) to answer my questions. Since her English is much better than my Japanese, I'd advise anyone to learn WITHOUT translating. In fact, whenever I talk about learning a language to my friends who are bilingual (Spanish,French,Russian,Chinese,Serbian,etc.) they say they don't translate in their head. They can "switch" their mind between the languages. This must be critical when watching movies, listening to music, or conversing at normal/native pace because I can't do any of this because I'm too busy translating the first sentence in my head when everyone else is on the third sentence.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby kyashi » Sun 08.20.2006 8:32 pm

can some one awnswer my question from above??
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby paul_b » Sun 08.20.2006 8:34 pm

kuuru_neko_chan wrote:
I wanna go to tokyo U after high school here but i heard tokyo U is really hard to get into is it true to a degree?

The hardness of getting into Tokyo University is legendary. Foreign students may have it a bit easier but I wouldn't bet on it.
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby emingygurl » Sun 08.20.2006 9:21 pm

Does it come naturally, actually thinking and talking in their language? I don't want to sit there, translating it in my head. x_x
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby Sumi » Sun 08.20.2006 9:30 pm

emingygurl wrote:
Does it come naturally, actually thinking and talking in their language? I don't want to sit there, translating it in my head. x_x


I remember one time in school, I was just thinking about that weekend and all of sudden I thought, "このクラスは 心気臭いなんです。"

It freaked me out, but occasionally I'll think or talk in Japanese without translating it.
ねえ、あのう、弟さん、ここに遊んじゃだめだよ。あそこは酸があるんだよ。
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RE: I am thinking of moving to Japan.

Postby battousai » Sun 08.20.2006 9:33 pm

Since her English is much better than my Japanese, I'd advise anyone to learn WITHOUT translating. In fact, whenever I talk about learning a language to my friends who are bilingual (Spanish,French,Russian,Chinese,Serbian,etc.) they say they don't translate in their head. They can "switch" their mind between the languages. This must be critical when watching movies, listening to music, or conversing at normal/native pace because I can't do any of this because I'm too busy translating the first sentence in my head when everyone else is on the third sentence.


I just wanted to point out there is a big difference between being bilingual and learning another language. You should not compare yourself to a bilingual person because that is completely and 100% different than having to learn a language from scratch. I'm also bilingual and can think in either language at any time, mix the languages up, and all that fun stuff, but that's because I grew up in a bilingual family and having two languages is natural. If your friends are naturally bilingual, of course they do not have to translate anything in their head as the words in either language are natural to them. You can't compare that to yourself, who has no first hand knowledge of concepts in the language you are learning.

When learning a language you don't have first hand experience with, in the beginning you will of course have to identify the meaning of a word with a concept you know and already have a word for. But if you continue to immerse yourself in that language and skip the "word" part, right to the "concept" part, it too can become second nature to you. Obviously this is through a much more difficult way than a child learning a language as they grow up.

So don't be discouraged.. how long do you think it took for you to learn English? You might not realize, but a child would probably have to be 10 years or older to formulate thoughts and ideas that let them write a post like you did above. That's 10 years+ of first hand language experience. In reality, an adult learning a second language has it a bit easier because they've already learned concepts, now they're just attaching new words to them. Nonetheless, learning takes time no matter how gifted you are, so let the cliche one step at a time apply here.
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