Learning Japanese from media

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==Pitfalls==
==Pitfalls==
===Crudeness===
===Crudeness===
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The language found in manga can differ greatly from what one would encounter in real life Japan, particularly in its excessive crudeness. Characters in a manga may exchange words and expressions frequently that seem innocuous and elicit innocuous responses, but are fighting words to a Japanese person.
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The language found in Japanese media can differ greatly from what one would encounter in real life Japan, particularly in its excessive crudeness. Individuals may exchange words and expressions frequently that seem innocuous and elicit innocuous responses, but are fighting words to a Japanese person.
The following are some words that are best avoided entirely until you are proficient and well in-tune to the subtle situations where they may be appropriate.
The following are some words that are best avoided entirely until you are proficient and well in-tune to the subtle situations where they may be appropriate.
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* おのれ
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* おのれ -- Highly aggressive "you".
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* おまえ
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* てめえ -- Highly aggressive "you".
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* 俺【おれ】 See also [[Ore sama and other things you should never say]]
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* おまえ -- Highly aggressive "you".
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* きさま
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* きさま -- Highly aggressive "you". [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8242 You can see what will happen by using おまえ and きさま at a public place.]  
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* てめえ
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* 俺【おれ】-- Boastful word for "I". Used historically by the samurai to impress upon others their own greatness. It is used infrequently in modern day Japan and is almost always rude. [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8298 See this.]
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* やがる
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* [one's own name]さま -- Using the honorific さま after one's own name isn't a part of real Japanese, but may occur in some forms of media.
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The discussion forums contain detailed discussions on some of these words.
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* しとけ (しておけ) -- [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8333 See a relevant forum thread.]
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* やがる -- Expresses disdain for the clause preceding it. See [http://www.guidetojapanese.org/casual.html#part8 Tae Kim on the word].
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In general when writing and speaking the Japanese language, try to favor the forms you learned in your grammar books over what you read in a manga.
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A search in the [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/search.php discussion forums] on a particular word may yield more information.
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===Outdated pop culture===
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In general when writing and speaking the Japanese language, try to favor the forms you learned in your grammar books over what you encounter in the media.
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Manga has been around for decades and so the manga you choose to read may be somewhat dated. Japanese, just like any language, is subject to passing fads in words, expressions, and cultural references -- something to bare in mind as you read.
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===Outdated language===
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Sometimes a particular media takes place in historical times such as feudal Japan, or the 1980s. In either case, bear in mind that antiquated language may be in use, and that current events and pop culture likely influenced its creation.
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===Non-Japanese media translated to Japanese===
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Like what you may find in [http://www.alc.co.jp/ ALC] (which is powered by Eijiro (英辞朗)), non-Japanese media may contain material that is not literally translated, but is actually translated based on situational context. Due to the immense cultural differences between Japan and most of the world, this would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to put out a translation that is as literal as possible without being unnatural. In that case, treat the Japanese translated material as if it were of Japanese origin, and apply [[Watching anime | strategies for watching anime]].
==Particular media==
==Particular media==
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* [[Reading manga | Manga]]
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* [[Watching anime | Learning Japanese from watching anime]]
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* [[Watching anime | Anime]]
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* [[Reading manga | Learning Japanese from reading manga]]
==Additional reading==
==Additional reading==
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[http://www.guidetojapanese.org/casual.html#part8 Tae Kim on slang]
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* [http://www.guidetojapanese.org/casual.html Tae Kim on slang]

Revision as of 17:23, 15 July 2009

Learning the Japanese language from Japanese media can be a great and motivational way to study the language. This article organizes information useful in that pursuit.

Contents

Pitfalls

Crudeness

The language found in Japanese media can differ greatly from what one would encounter in real life Japan, particularly in its excessive crudeness. Individuals may exchange words and expressions frequently that seem innocuous and elicit innocuous responses, but are fighting words to a Japanese person.

The following are some words that are best avoided entirely until you are proficient and well in-tune to the subtle situations where they may be appropriate.

  • おのれ -- Highly aggressive "you".
  • てめえ -- Highly aggressive "you".
  • おまえ -- Highly aggressive "you".
  • きさま -- Highly aggressive "you". You can see what will happen by using おまえ and きさま at a public place.
  • 俺【おれ】-- Boastful word for "I". Used historically by the samurai to impress upon others their own greatness. It is used infrequently in modern day Japan and is almost always rude. See this.
  • [one's own name]さま -- Using the honorific さま after one's own name isn't a part of real Japanese, but may occur in some forms of media.
  • しとけ (しておけ) -- See a relevant forum thread.
  • やがる -- Expresses disdain for the clause preceding it. See Tae Kim on the word.

A search in the discussion forums on a particular word may yield more information.

In general when writing and speaking the Japanese language, try to favor the forms you learned in your grammar books over what you encounter in the media.

Outdated language

Sometimes a particular media takes place in historical times such as feudal Japan, or the 1980s. In either case, bear in mind that antiquated language may be in use, and that current events and pop culture likely influenced its creation.

Non-Japanese media translated to Japanese

Like what you may find in ALC (which is powered by Eijiro (英辞朗)), non-Japanese media may contain material that is not literally translated, but is actually translated based on situational context. Due to the immense cultural differences between Japan and most of the world, this would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to put out a translation that is as literal as possible without being unnatural. In that case, treat the Japanese translated material as if it were of Japanese origin, and apply strategies for watching anime.

Particular media

Additional reading

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