Can I learn Japanese from Videos?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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Joined: Wed 11.12.2014 1:18 am
Native language: English

Can I learn Japanese from Videos?

Post by nihonkai » Tue 01.06.2015 4:36 am

I have just completed my basic level of Japanese language and now I am thinking to learn from the videos available online rather than reading books. Is it a good Idea of I am just making things worse for me?

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 05.05.2015 8:28 pm
Native language: english

Re: Can I learn Japanese from Videos?

Post by stj2645 » Wed 05.06.2015 1:33 am

Yes, but there are pitfalls that exist as with any other method. The first consideration would be the videos in question. Be aware that a period piece may use the dialect from that era. Crime films will likely contain offensive language and slang.Fantasy/Sci-Fi films will have many terms that wouldn't apply to everyday conversation. Children's shows may contain kid slang. The mannerisms, region, gender, and social status of the character adds another variable. The way a fisherman talks will be different from a teenage girl or a business executive or a criminal or a mother. Taking all of this into consideration, it may be very helpful to at least get a grounding on the basics (such as grammar and politeness). I highly recommend looking over Tae Kim's grammar guide, as it offers casual modes of speech as well as more polite modes. After you read through that, you may also want to learn about Japanese values (eg. honne and tateme, uchi and soto, giri and ninjou, concept of harmony(wa), concept of saving face). Understanding some of these values helps you put things in context. Once you have done that, you will want to make sure that you are not tempted to watch the video with English audio or English subtitles. You may have trouble picking out words at first, so it will be useful to get Japanese subtitles (in Japanese script, not romaji). Why is this important? You need to learn to think in Japanese. If you continue to relate the Japanese sentences to their English approximations, you will run into difficulty. There is much that gets lost in translation and as such, it is important to learn intuitively rather than translate. With that being said, you will find that you will recognize certain sentence patterns or words that get used often. Pause the show and copy down the Japanese subtitle. Use a dictionary to look up the words you don't recognize and refer to a grammar guide if a sentence confuses you. Ultimately, you can supplement your education with video, but you will still need a basic foundation before you begin.

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