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understanding japanese

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RE: understanding japanese

Postby Dehitay » Fri 10.06.2006 12:41 pm

har har, I'm tone deaf so no matter how hard I try I can't use the pitch accent properly. Which is sometimes funny cause in order for me to attempt a higher pitch, I do a minor immitation of a girls voice which makes it obvious that I'm straining. However, since my voice itself is so naturally deep, it kind of hides the fact that I don't know how to pitch myself.

But either way, few cases will the meaning of what you're saying change with a different pitch. A wrong pitch may temporarily confuse a person and make them think but it will usually be understandable. You'll sound foreign, but so do Japanese people sound foreign to us
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RE: understanding japanese

Postby flammable hippo » Fri 10.06.2006 3:09 pm

yeah, I've been studying with the Genki series and pitch is only mentioned briefly in the very first chapter and ignored later throughout. They basically said to just listen to how native speakers pronounce words and then to copy them (i'm paraprashing).

personally, I don't think pitch is the most important thing since it varies considerably depending on the region of japan and also I have heard that younger people use different pitches then their older couterparts and females tend to use different pitches than males. so...it might not be so important. plus, Wikipedia said that pitch was only in about 20% of all Japanese words.
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RE: understanding japanese

Postby richvh » Fri 10.06.2006 3:15 pm

flammable hippo wrote:
I accidentally posted twice. Sorry

There's a Delete option on the Edit page.
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RE: understanding japanese

Postby AJBryant » Fri 10.06.2006 7:28 pm

i have read many times that one of the main reasons why japanese still uses kanji is because of the relatively many homonyms


Another point: The Japanese "still" use kanji because *that* is the writing system that developed in their country. Just as the Russians "still" use Cyrillic, or the Greeks "still" use Greek....


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RE: understanding japanese

Postby flammable hippo » Sat 10.07.2006 9:35 pm

then what about the Vietnamese giving up their script in favor of a Latin based one? Or the Koreans severely limiting their use of hanja in favor of an "invented" script Hangul. (by invented, I mean one that didn't evolve naturally but was made by several people). Just because a system of writing developed in a certain spot, that doesn't mean that area's language will automatically continue to use it. Kanji are still used in Japanese for many reasons besides the fact it developed there, even though that is a factor.
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RE: understanding japanese

Postby Infidel » Sun 10.08.2006 12:43 am

one thing I like about colloqial japanese is that it uses the pitch marks to show phrasal pitch changes. So it does not just show the static pitch of words, but how the pitch of words will change for certian phrases.

I think Learn Japanese did explain phrasal pitch change too, but it was in charts in the first chapter or something. It wasn't shown throughout the lessons.
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