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The Japanese Language Learning / Support Thread!

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The Japanese Language Learning/Support Thread!

lD2usqB.png

 

 

I was talking with @itsukoii and @togz, and we all agreed that it would be beneficial to have a thread like this on MH. I'm not personally studying the language at the moment, but  I know many of the users here are, or at least have an interest in doing so.  So I figured we could all pull together as a community and help support each other in this common goal! So if you have any Japanese language learning resources or recommendations that you'd like to share, please post them here and I'll add them to this first post. Feel free to use this thread for questions and discussion related to Japanese language learning as well. However, DO NOT use this thread for translation requests.  Also if you'd like to team up with your fellow Monochromians to form a study group or something along those lines, that's also welcome! Let's support each other. Yoroshiku!

 

(just gonna tag a few people. Maybe you guys can provide some resources or words for people just learning the language or who've already begun their journey? Just to kinda get this thread off the ground. Every little bit helps!  @hiroki, @Hakoniwa, @plastic_rainbow, @doombox, @Peace Heavy mk II, @WhirlingBlack.

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i just saw this thread in the recent activity box so let me drop a few of my favorite links

 

http://ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/

weblio's example translation corpus is highly underrated and i use it all the time for professional translation work because it has examples from daily conversation, business emails, novels, history books, contracts and law, etc etc. you can input English or Japanese, so if you need to know how something is expressed in Japanese or don't understand the meaning of a Japanese construction, try pasting it here and see how it's been translated by others. i started using this when i did shitty 12012 blog translations and i never looked back

http://jn2et.com/JLPT.html

if you're studying at an intermediate+ level you might find that Japanese explanations of grammar constructions are much more useful for understanding the minutiae between similar constructions, i used this one a fair bit in conjunction with jgram.org & japanesetest4you.com.

 

http://nihongo-e-na.com/jpn/
http://nihongo-e-na.com/eng/

a good ass portal site for Japanese learner resources


to close and as a semi-introduction, hi, i do freelance jp>en translation and i just completed a "high level" japanese course at Nagoya University.
i'm definitely not a master and still have plenty to learn myself but if there's questions feel free to post them there and i'll see if any texts i have can provide a satisfying answer -- i'm sure other learners will happily pool their resources too.

i'm pretty good at バンギャ用語 too if you're trying to read naughty messages about bandmen in forbidden message boards, so if you have questions about that i'm happy to help here or via PM lol
9月に名古屋大学でいわゆる上級日本語コースを修了したのですが、

ご質問などありましたらそのコースの資料などを使って答えるように頑張ります♪

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teach me senpai

 

I'm not really actively studying Japanese atm, but I do tend to look up certain phrases and study up on some katakana to read band/character names ;w;

 

http://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/katakana.htm

This is what I've been using to study katakana. The main site has a multilingual keyboard where you can also input characters of other languages (like Arabic, German, etc.), but on the Japanese onscreen keyboard, it shows what the characters mean, like モ for "mo", etc. You can scroll down to the bottom half of the page, where it'll show instructions, and also has an option to convert the katakana text to romaji (you can also do this with kanji and hiragana texts)~ There's also a page for kanji and hiragana, although kanji is much more complex since you have to type the sound of the first kanji rather than get help from an onscreen keyboard.

 

https://twitter.com/mlcjapanese

This Twitter account not only shares lessons on characters, but also of casual and formal phrases~ Like they'll put up a phrase in Japanese, and then rewrite it in Romaji and English. They also tweet about homophones, vocabulary, formal and casual speech, and show videos of short quizzes. They also offer quizzes via email, and even Skype sessions. I'd totally take some quizzes if I had the time or motivation ;w;

Edited by midi:nette

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alright!

 

i've only been studying japanese on and off since about spring, but i've found one program that really  boosted my learning and gave me an amazing introduction to the language.

that program is Human Japanese!

the program is made by an english speaker, for english speakers. the author goes incredibly in-depth in every chapter, and in a way even the simplest of minds can grasp (like myself!) and in the most interactive, fun way possible.

the two programs, Human Japanese and Human Japanese Intermediate, have been the smoothest possible ride for me. i've just barely started Human Japanese Intermediate, but even by just completing its predecessor, i've learned a learned a good amount of grammar, the kana, vocabulary, fun cultural lessons and notes, as well as some small, nitty-gritty things about the language. i can't wait to get off my ass and finish HJ Intermediate because i know once i do, i'll be well on my way with this language!

i can't recommend this product enough, honestly. please note, the full versions do cost money, so give the trial a test run and see if you like it! (but i can almost guarantee you'll get sucked in right away, just as i was, and will end up buying the program.)

 

teamed with Human Japanese, i've recently (as in, four days ago) picked up an Android app called Japanese Kanji Study - 漢字学習 (i believe it's available on iOS as well). in the four days i've used this app, i've got 80 kanji under my belt. i can recognize and write nearly all of those 80.

only the N5 kanji are available for free. it costs $9.99 CAD to get the rest of the JLPT kanji, but i think it's worth it. i personally have not yet bought the full version as i'm not finished learning the N5 kanji, but as soon as i grasp those, i'll be buying the full version.

the app is a pretty standard drilling/quizzing app, but it does its job. i can't really cover everything it offers in words, so i suggest you download it and give it a shot!

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As already mentioned by @cvltic I also recommend ejje.weblio. I found out about it not too long ago and it has helped extensively with my translating. I often use it to see different variations of translating a certain word, or expression. Have not used it for English to Japanese much though, but I just tried it and this thing is really awesome! You can pretty much type anything, even slang words, and it'll give you lists of ways to say it in Japanese.

 

rikaichan (firefox)

rikaikun (chrome)

If you hate reading kanji or want a faster way to look them up while reading something online, these add-ons/extensions will help you read them in less than a second! Just hover your mouse over any Japanese text and it'll give you the reading (in hiragana/katakana), including the definition. This has made reading anything online so much easier and I recommend it for all learners. It's also built with a dictionary, but I don't use it very often.

 

Here are some book resources I've read that I found very helpful for intermediate learners. I understand that they may not be available for everyone, but it wouldn't hurt to list them here as well.

Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You, Jay Rubin

I read this one a few years ago so it's not entirely fresh in my head, but it's basically what the title says. Lots of in-depth explanations of nuances and ambiguities of the Japanese language they don't tell you in textbooks or in class. I remember clearly that it talked about the difference between "wa" and "ga", which everyone always asks about. I still get confused about it myself sometimes, but I thought this book helped in making it clearer.


Read Real Japanese, Michael Emmerich
Read Real Japanese, Janet Ashby

If you want to tackle reading Japanese, for example book novel level material, I think these two give a good start. Both books lay out several passages from well-known Japanese novels and include side notes that give literal translations of each sentence and further explanations. It helped me greatly with my reading comprehension and I especially like how the side notes give you an idea of what each sentence means. The first book listed has a dictionary in the back and a cd audio included so you can listen while you read.

 

Also, if people have questions about forming basic sentences or using particles, etc,  I'd be happy to help in whatever way I can. Just ask on here or through pm! ^^

Edited by plastic_rainbow

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Does anyone know a weblio.jp dictionary app for iOS that features the ability to make lists? I keep having to switch from weblio to imiwa (J>E dictionary, probably the best iOS has) just to keep a list of words I need to learn.

 

Or is weblio even the best J>J dictionary still? What dictionary's do people who have moved onto J>J even use?

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I studied Japanese full-time from autumn of 2013 until spring of 2015 in Tokyo. I think being exposed to Japanese daily helped me a lot. I did from beginner to upper intermediate courses when I was there. In total 7 semesters. To keep it up I tweet in Japanese and try to read as much as possible. Although that obviously doesn't work if you're a complete beginner.

 

My advice to someone who's just starting out: start by learning hiragana and katakana. Then pick up a text book (or download) and complete the entire thing. From there you'll have the very basics and can move on in whatever way you'd feel comfortable with (for me personally it would be picking up a new book though).

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I've been practicing a little in recent years, but I haven't been studying at all. Though practicing helps, I know I should study some too... >_>

As already mentioned above, I also use weblio & rikaichan/kun.

 

I started learning hiragana/katakana in high school (over 10 years ago) but I try to at least practice at times... I still don't know that many kanji though, mainly because I haven't been studying as I should. For character recognition (katakana, hiragana, kanji) and practicing, android's app Obenkyo works pretty well! I also try writing stuff from class in katakana/hiragana for practicing. But you see, if you're at this stage... PRACTICE A LOT. Like, write a lot, really, even if you have to spend 1 week on each row (a-i-u-e-o / ka-ki-ku-ke-ko / sa-shi-su-se-so / etc.). Practicing everyday, even if only five minutes, is very important. I started off with katakana and moved to hiragana when I finished it... but kept practicing it along with hiragana. Apps like Obenkyo help with memorizing and general recognition, but you have to write them in order to really learn them. Same with kanji.

 

For dictionaries, I use android's JED - Japanese-English Dictionary along with japanese-japanese dictionaries online and rikaichan. Plus google when looking for examples, of course. There's also this amazing website I found recently: http://chigai-allguide.com/

It helps you understand the nuances and differences between kanji that read the same way and seemily have the same meaning. It's also for japanese expressions. it's intended for japanese people, but having a somewhat good knowledge of the language helps you around it! You can look for specific words/expressions and find their definitions. Here's an example: http://chigai-allguide.com/怖いと恐いと強い/

Those two are read the same way, they have the same dictionary meaning and yet... they're not the same. This kind of thing helps learners a lot, since you can't easily find and understand it on your own.

 

Recently I've also been using an app to practice, it's called HelloTalk. It's not anything new, but the results were better than expected! It works like some kind of social media, one that you teach one (or more) language(s) and learn one (or more) languages in exchange. I'm teaching English and learning Japanese. You can see a timeline with posts from Japanese speakers who are learning English, be it in Japanese or English, and you can like, comment and... correct them. There's a special tool for that, and believe it or not, that very tool helps A LOT. There are also built-in translators, romanizators, you can even hear how things are supposed to be pronounced. You can also post your own stuff about your local culture and language, or anything you want, and interact with people... those interactions help you talk to people through the chat (they often initiate the conversation, but you can do it, too), that also allows corrections, readings, translations, romaji, etc., plus voice messages. I think even video messages are used, but I haven't done that. Anyway, it's pretty useful... it helps you practice everyday through conversation and you can actually ask for help without it feeling too awkward -- people are there for the same purpose as you afterall, that is learning & teaching. That's why you can also correct them, they are expecting to be corrected, as you also should. The key for using this is not being afraid to make mistakes and ask people to correct you when you're wrong, talking to them in japanese everyday is surprisingly effective... it makes thinking, understanding, reasoning and creating phrases in japanese a lot easier. Also be aware that japanese people will often compliment your Japanese even if it's not very good, it's just this cultural thing... apparently. Also they'll say "Wow, your japanese is so good!!" and think "(...for a foreigner)" lol.

 

I'm someone who has a hard time studying but prefers learning things through action, it makes things a little difficult at times. Still, studying makes it better, so it's good if you can do it too. If I remember something else, I'll post it here!

Anyway, let's practice together here too~~~! よろしく!m(_ _)m

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7 hours ago, fieldsgrow said:

Or is weblio even the best J>J dictionary still? What dictionary's do people who have moved onto J>J even use?

 

I use a digital dictionary, except those things can be expensive, depending on what kind you buy. I see a lot of Japanese native speakers carry it though so it seems rather reliable. I think there's a guide somewhere online telling you what kind of digital dictionary you should buy depending on your needs, but I can't remember where I found it. I'm sure there are some phone apps for J>J dictionaries too, but I don't know much about it sorry.....

 

@Hakoniwa that chigai website is damn handy. i always wonder about the differences in some words. thanks for sharing! ^^

 

Some more handy links that I remembered:

http://kanji.sljfaq.org/draw.html

For looking up kanji by handwriting it down. I use it for reading manga or books that have no furigana.

 

http://jisho.org/

I think this website is pretty well-known. It's basically a J>E dictionary and vice versa, but I also like how you can look up unknown kanjis by radicals.

 

http://thejadednetwork.com/sfx/

This one is for all the Japanese sound effects out there. Mainly for reading manga usage.

 

http://anime-manga.jp/CharacterExpressions/

One of my Japanese professors showed my class this website. It basically contains stereotypical Japanese expressions that you hear often in anime and manga. They also have audio samples so that you can hear how they sound like. It's just a fun website to poke around at. And if you watch a lot of anime you'll probably recognize some of these.

Edited by plastic_rainbow
jisho is J>E dictionary and vice versa

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and of course, get Japanese friends who don't speak any ENGLISH at all.  even tho you fail with online translation, they still teach you to understand their Japanese. 

At least in the last year, I've learned to understand Japanese much more.  Of course still long way to go.
But right now I also focus on to understand more Japanese by listing to people twitcasts. Well I did choose 3 people who do twitcasts kinda once a week or something.  Still hard to understand everything. or if they ask to understand what is asked. but that also gives me courage to try harder to learn this language.

But still I think, living in Japan and being surrounded by people who don't speak English would help me to learn it even more fast.

Edited by BrenGun

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5 minutes ago, togz said:

https://www.erin.ne.jp/en/lesson01/index.html

 

my friend sent this to me if people wan examples of dialogue etc.

 

 

ALSO CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN 


Kore, Sore, Are, Dore 
Kono, Sono, Ano, Dono 
Koko, Soko, Asoko, Doko

 

 

kore/kono: this
sore, are/sono: that
dore/dono: which

 

koko: here
soko/asoko: there
doko: where
 

Basically the "so" (sore, sono, soko) ones refer to something/somewhere that is close to the person you are talking to but distant from yourself, while the "a" ones (are, ano, asoko) refers to something/somewhere that is distant from the people conversating (if it's close to both you would just use kore/kono/koko).

 

The difference between kore and kono (and so on) is that kono requires the noun right after it (such as "this pen", "kono pen"), while with kore you do not need to specity ("kore"="this one", are="that one", etc.).

 

If you are talking about something/somewhere that is not physically there, you should say "sore, sono, soko" for something only one person knows, while "are, ano, asoko" for something that both people in the conversation are familiar with. For example, if you are talking with your girlfriend about a friend of yours, you would say "sono hito" (that person) to talk about somebody your girlfriend never met/never heard of, or "ano hito" (that person) if she already knows him. Not sure I was clear!!

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basically i think of the -re and -no as:

 

sore: "that is a [...]".

sono: "that [...] is/does this". 

 

それはねこです。

That is a cat.

 

そのねこはかわいいです。

That cat is cute.

 

in sono sentences, it attaches to the noun, and a particle comes after them. the two words are one unit, whereas 'sore' is its own, and gets a particle right after.

 

i think i'm correct LMAO

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@togz I used my mad mouse drawing skillz to explain, hope it makes sense :v

Also, please don't pay attention to the grammar now since this is casual japanese.

 

A: nani sore? (what's that?) -- far from speaker

B: kore wa GREEN THING desu! (this is a GREEN THING!) -- close to speaker

5OCsXQH.jpg

When (A) says "what's that?" they mean to ask what is the thing that is far from the speaker (A) but close to the listener (B).

 

A: ja, are wa? (then, what's that?) -- far from both

B: ah! are wa MONSTER desu! (ah! that is a MONSTER!) -- far from both

3avKP7x.jpg

Then, (A) asks what's that thing that's far from both of them, so they can't use "sore" -- it's far from the listener (B) too. In this case, use "are". (B) does the same, for the same reason.

 

A: dore ga MONSTER desu ka? (which one is the MONSTER?)

B: migi desu. hidari wa KAWAII NEKO desu ne. (the one on the right. the one on the left is a CUTE CAT, right?)

GyEzOPP.jpg

There are two things there, so (A) asks "which one" of those is the monster. (A) uses "dore" as a way to say "which one", it's a way to express a question. Of course we already know the monster is the one on the right, since the one on the left is a very, very realistic cat.

 

The same relation can be found on other examples with kono, koko, etc.

Just to clarify:

 

* when talking about something

- KOno... (this...) -- close to the speaker. | Ex.: kono KAWAII NEKO ga suki desu (I like this CUTE CAT)

- SOno... (that...) -- far from speaker, close to listener | Ex.: sono MONSTER ga kirai desu (I hate that MONSTER)

- Ano... (that...) -- far from both speaker and listener | Ex.: ano GREEN THING wo tabetai! (I want to eat that GREEN THING)

- DOno... (which...) -- the distance doesn't matter, it's used to express a question regarding something they don't know about | Ex.: Dono ningen ga ichiban oishii no ka? (which human is tastier?)

 

KOko, SOko, Asoko and DOko are the same, but about place. Here, doko is using to ask "what place", i.e. "where".

There are some other variations too, but it's always the same.

Hope it didn't sound too confusing...

Edited by Hakoniwa

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37 minutes ago, Hakoniwa said:

@togz I used my mad mouse drawing skillz to explain, hope it makes sense :v

Also, please don't pay attention to the grammar now since this is casual japanese.

 

A: nani sore? (what's that?) -- far from speaker

B: kore wa GREEN THING desu! (this is a GREEN THING!) -- close to speaker

5OCsXQH.jpg

When (A) says "what's that?" they mean to ask what is the thing that is far from the speaker (A) but close to the listener (B).

 

A: ja, are wa? (then, what's that?) -- far from both

B: ah! are wa MONSTER desu! (ah! that is a MONSTER!) -- far from both

3avKP7x.jpg

Then, (A) asks what's that thing that's far from both of them, so they can't use "sore" -- it's far from the listener (B) too. In this case, use "are". (B) does the same, for the same reason.

 

A: dore ga MONSTER desu ka? (which one is the MONSTER?)

B: migi desu. hidari wa KAWAII NEKO desu ne. (the one on the right. the one on the left is a CUTE CAT, right?)

GyEzOPP.jpg

There are two things there, so (A) asks "which one" of those is the monster. (A) uses "dore" as a way to say "which one", it's a way to express a question. Of course we already know the monster is the one on the right, since the one on the left is a very, very realistic cat.

 

The same relation can be found on other examples with kono, koko, etc.

Just to clarify:

 

* when talking about something

- KOno... (this...) -- close to the speaker. | Ex.: kono KAWAII NEKO ga suki desu (I like this CUTE CAT)

- SOno... (that...) -- far from speaker, close to listener | Ex.: sono MONSTER ga kirai desu (I hate that MONSTER)

- Ano... (that...) -- far from both speaker and listener | Ex.: ano GREEN THING wo tabetai! (I want to eat that GREEN THING)

- DOno... (which...) -- the distance doesn't matter, it's used to express a question regarding something they don't know about | Ex.: Dono ningen ga ichiban oishii no ka? (which human is tastier?)

 

KOko, SOko, Asoko and DOko are the same, but about place. Here, doko is using to ask "what place", i.e. "where".

There are some other variations too, but it's always the same.

Hope it didn't sound too confusing...

I think I love you lol

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この場所を知らなかった!

 

この・ばしょ・を・しらなかった!(I didn't know about this place)

 

I will be going through pretty much every link posted in this thread. I'm planning on going to Japan next July for a few weeks, and I want to learn as much of the language as possible before that. I know I won't be fluent by then, but hopefully I'll know enough to get by. (?)

 

  • I'm planning on getting a lifetime membership at TextFugu
  • I registered to Wanikani a long time ago and still need to start that
  • Lately I've been using a rather dated iPhone app called Human Japanese (which is an app adaptation of a textbook, I think)
  • Another iPhone app I use is imiwa? - a kanji dictionary based off of WWWJDIC

 

I really encourage everyone to phase out of romaji and start using hiragana/katakana. It will take some time, but it's definitely easier than kanji. I having charts to refer to, like this one. Arguments I've read against the use of romaji are usually backed up by some connection to how some learners (fail to) pronounce the language, but I don't think a writing system should affect how one pronounces something. I personally discourage the use of romaji for one simple reason: native speakers don't really use it (except for some things, like web URLs). If you want to get serious about learning Japanese, why use romaji?

 

Also, I just have to say, I've sort of reached a point where if I see something in kana (and maybe some kanji) I can read it fairly well, but if it's romaji, it just kinda looks like blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah. I usually only use romaji if it's one or two words in an English sentence. Because mixing writing systems might look 異様.

 

Also [2], I found this kana development chart

 

FlowRoot3824.png

 

*異様 = いよう (bizarre)

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@Seimeisenwhat makes you say HJ is dated?? (i'm curious because it's my primary source of learning, and i hope i'm not getting the wrong information from it....)

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10 minutes ago, itsukoii said:

@Seimeisenwhat makes you say HJ is dated?? (i'm curious because it's my primary source of learning, and i hope i'm not getting the wrong information from it....)

That could be a false assumption on my part. None of the information seems incorrect, the app itself just hasn't been updated by the developer in a few years (at least the free version).

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Would you guys be interested in practicing on HelloTalk with me? If so, I can share my username and we can practice too : D

Of course there'll be other people as well. But I can help with getting around the app and understanding how it works. It really helps a lot.

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14 minutes ago, Hakoniwa said:

Would you guys be interested in practicing on HelloTalk with me? If so, I can share my username and we can practice too : D

Of course there'll be other people as well. But I can help with getting around the app and understanding how it works. It really helps a lot.

I feel like I certainly need to study a bit more before jumping in to something like that.... but eventually that sounds like a cool idea.

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If the will is strong, it's easy to learn

I have been learning jpn for about 2 yrs

At start, it seems really interesting,

and then those kanji comes and all

things turn upside down

I have N3 exam this December

Hope i will pass lol

 

Some suggest to read manga in japanese

For me, the drawing and story

are more important than language

so i avoid it not to ruin the story

 

It's better to learn properly at school

if you are about to take JLPT exam

If you talk with the teacher, it will

improve at incredible speed

I also try playing Japanese MMO

in the past.

Well, those kanji are just ..............

------------------------------------------------------

again 11+1 ^v^

------------------------------------------------------

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18 hours ago, togz said:

I feel like I certainly need to study a bit more before jumping in to something like that.... but eventually that sounds like a cool idea.

Ah yeah, I get the feeling... :/

You can always set your level of Japanese though, there are 5 levels. If you choose 1, people will assume you know almost nothing anyway. XD

Most people I practice Japanese with are from Japan, but some are other people learning Japanese like myself, so there's no rule. But yeah, I get it!

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