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Thread: Learning Japanese?

  1. #11
    Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er Rio's Avatar
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    Kanji is basically pictorial presentations of real life things except the lines have become simplified over the years compared to hieroglyphics. It's not so bad once you break it down and learn to equate the kanji to it's meaning in pictures. Try Kanji Pict-O-Graphics by Michael Rowley.

    Oh, and speaking of kanji, I really like Kodansha's Kanji Learning Dictionary.

  2. #12
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    Kanji is hard because there is one letter (or picture) for every object. Kanji is similar to Chinese (so people who already mastered Chinese language, found it's very easy to learn Kanji). My dad could read Kanji (only know the meaning though, since it's same letter different sound). Of course my dad couldn't speak Japanese at all, but he's very good at Chinese language.

    They say, in order to use Chinese language properly, you need to memorize at least 10.000 words... scary...

  3. #13
    Regular Member violin's Avatar
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    How about sorting names. How do you do that? Or search in a dictionary. Sounds complicated.

  4. #14
    Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er Rio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violin View Post
    How about sorting names. How do you do that? Or search in a dictionary. Sounds complicated.
    You mean in the kanji dictionary? The dictionary I have has it in two ways. The first is where you find things by direction and stroke order or you can also find it by it's on or kun (Japanese or Chinese way of saying the kanji). Direction refers to where you start the first stroke. You can start at the left, the top, and so on. From there, you go by stroke. For example, that forest kanji that Bardic-Dragoon mentioned earlier (森) would start at the top. The top kanji will be 4 strokes and the bottom half will be 8 strokes. So to find it, you have to go to the section that starts at the top and look in the 4-8 stroke area.

    The second, and more faster way is to look at the back directory and find the on or kun and then flip to the page itself where the kanji is written. There's other types of quick directories but those are the two main one's.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LVUER View Post
    Kanji is similar to Chinese
    Correction, Kanji is/was Chinese, heck the kanji for kanji (漢字) actually comes out as something like 'Chinese letter'

    To make a long story short the Japanese didn't have a written language until they started using Chinese writing. Through various stages, which i don't remember well but perhaps most notably involved inventing and introducing hiragana and katakana, developed their own written language with the Chinese written language as it's back bone (even hiragana and katakana are derivatives/simplifications of Chinese characters)

    that said in the centuries since there have likely been minor changes so that Japanese kanji and Chinese kanji are no longer 100% indentical
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  6. #16
    101 Dalmations Member Ceta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardic-Dragoon View Post
    "If you don't know Kanji you can only communicate with small children"
    I disagree with this statement. Communication isn't based on the kanji you know, rather it is based on the number of words you know, how well you know the grammar and how well you can apply both in any given situation (for both speaking and listening, of course). Knowing kanji is critical if you wish to freely read signs/maps/books/newspapers/etc without the need to have someone close at hand translating everything for you, not to mention being able to write what you need to when you need to.

  7. #17
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceta View Post
    I disagree with this statement...
    If you don't know kanji you can only communicate in writing with very small children.

  8. #18
    101 Dalmations Member Ceta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    If you don't know kanji you can only communicate in writing with very small children.
    You make it sound as if Japanese people forget how to communicate in writing using kana once they've learned kanji, which is obviously not true. Had Bardic-Dragoon said, 'If you don't know kanji, you can only communicate like a small child', I would have agreed with the statement.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceta View Post
    Had Bardic-Dragoon said, 'If you don't know kanji, you can only communicate like a small child', I would have agreed with the statement.
    Actually, that makes more sense and may be what my teacher actually said. regardless whatever the quote was meant to be i still stand by the reason i brought it up: any language worth learning is worth being literate in.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  10. #20
    Princess of Default Victories pajamajam's Avatar
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    There's an itouch app called Human Japanese that teaches you to read and write the kana as you go along. It doesn't use any romanji, so it sort of forces you to learn to read a little if you want to keep learning. It's p. rad.

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