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Post Reply Learning Japanese from Anime/Drama
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Posted 2/25/08 , edited 11/15/08
Hello! I often get questions from my peers and CR users asking if anime is a good source to learn words from. In my experience with doing that for at least 4 years, I can say that when you diligently do so, it's definitely a good practise. However, there are also somethings you need to note before you attempt to pick up words from an anime episode:

1)The kind of stuff you're watching:
If you are really interested in learning stuff that can be put into use, then slice of life animes are good to choose from. The type of language used ranges from honorific to casual daily convo, so it's pretty safe to take them as examples.

'Rin-san no shumi wa nan desuka? Sou da you na. Yokatta! Watashi mo! ' is suitable for daily convos.

If you're watching stuff like Bleach, more often than not, you'll pick things that cannot be used, or immediately learn conjugations that are shortened AND in slang, so unless you learn every term word by word it'll be a long way before you can know how it is conjugated to change other words into that state.

'Teme, anta kittenai tsutten darou~?' is something no Japanese will use in their daily life. While it feels good to curse and swear with Hitsugaya or Ichigo, it is useless otherwise.

2) The frequency of anime/drama watched:
Are you watching a lot of anime? Little? Drama? These things matter, because if you are exposed little, the chances of getting the accent right is also slim. Sometimes it is good to rewind and hear how people use their sentences.

3) Subbers
Some fansubs compromise the accuracy for effect. Stick with reliable fansubbers. You would be able to tell by watching more ^


So how do we go about doing it?

The way I do this, is by keeping a list. Don't write on pieces of paper, or store them in your head. They are unreliable. Instead, take a book that's dedicated to your list, and write terms in romaji as soon as you hear them with the accompanying meaning you think it means.

It would be good to note where you heard this, and at what episode, so if you need refreshing of memory, you know where to look. Plus, do remember the scene. This helps a lot to let you remember the term. For example, the image of Inuyasha being shouted at: 'Osuwari!' is ingrained into my mind when I learnt the term properly in Japanese class.
座ります。

That's it?

Yes, that's the basics of it. Next is actually your own effort. Keeping a list like that isn't tough. Are you willing to review it though? Even when you come across the same word again in another show, do you remember it? Do you open your book to check and see if the meaning you thought it was sits well with this new context? My list has thousands of words by now, and if I don't review, I forget.

Sometimes, a term has several meanings. 'Hana' would mean 'flower' if you watch a lot of shows, and 'nose' if you learnt Japanese as well. Don't be closed minded or memorising word by word. I'll let you know in a while's time why.

Japanese grammar
..basics is good to know. Before you start picking phrases that contain lots of unnecessary stuff, knowing how sentences are formed would improve your accuracy of 'picking'. For example:

”どの靴を見覚えらないというんなら?返事しろ!”
(dono kutsu wo oboeranai toiun nara? henji shiro!)

How could I tell where to place my spaces? By knowing their grammar.
Basic things like 'no', 'wo', 'to' will allow you to roughly know. 'Dono' means 'which'. Hence, after 'Dono', it's logical that a noun would follow. Between 'wo' and 'Dono', we have 'Kutsu'.

Hence Kutsu is a noun, and when you check dictionaries, you'll realise that it means 'shoes'.
Therefore, do download yourself some dictionaries or find some reliable resource before forgetting the term!

Practise 'Hiragana'

Yes, Hiragana. Katakana later. Having a good command of recognizing hiragana letters can allow you to do things like to romanise your Japanese CD lyrics., from there you can learn basic kanji.

君、恋、愛してる、抱きしめる、泣かない・・・(kimi, koi, aishiteru, dakishimeru, nakanai)
'you', romance, love, hug, don't cry and all that sort of meh things can be found. It'll do you good to expose yourself to them.

Lastly keep Benkyo-ing! (勉強)Study

No, this is not like swimming. If it were, once you stop learning, you drown. Sink like a lead. Good enough reason to keep reviewing?



Done.

--------

Edited some information: Please read.

I would like to assert the fact that learning from anime or drama should never be one's priority when you are seriously interested in learning the language. As a primary source, dramas and videos are a terrible source. It'll be crippling because even when you really watch a lot, at the most you'll be limited to basic 'phrases' heard all the time, and not be able to practice speech.

There are lots of great resources out there, and please register yourself in a class that extends beyond 'elementary japanese class 1!' For sure, 85% of the people who started japanese dropped off like flies after first stage and expect to understand all the japanese. Then they brag to others about how they can recognise about 1000 vocab words (but they never tell others they cannot use them properly).

So as a parting gift, here's a good video from one of my favourite Youtube users for J lang: Tofugu:
http://www.tofugu.com/2007/06/03/learn-japanese-from-anime-in-only-5-minutes-a-day-7337/
ぜひ見てください。
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27 / M / NJ
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Posted 2/25/08
wow very good post
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25 / F / Somewhere in time...
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Posted 2/26/08
Sou ne... There are lots of people who practice this kind of "sport" (learning jap from anime/drama) Useful post for them.
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26 / F
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Posted 2/26/08
Wow, very nice post, well organised and helpful
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29 / F
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Posted 3/24/08
Cool, ill try that, thank you.
But writing kanji is a very far and distent dream
At the moment I have come to a point after watching anime and j drama that i can pick up words and sentances, understanding what they mean. I really surprised myself when a sub was a little off but i could get the meaning a little better I was so happy i nearly cried lol
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27 / M / NJ
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Posted 3/25/08
ANIME LOVERS UNITE! WE ARE SMARTER THAN THE REST!
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26 / F / Philippines
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Posted 3/27/08
that's the reason,..i really love japanese dubs with english subs.^^
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Posted 4/23/08
awesome post!
ANIMU DORKS UNITE!
Posted 5/1/08
nice... i could learn a lot from this.
i know quite a few jap words so i can sometimes tell what they're saying... in anime.
but i can't really speak well in jap.
as, i can't form a lot of sentences...
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~HSJ Land~
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Posted 5/15/08
cool~
very helpful!!
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22 / F / Luffy's Pirate Ship
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Posted 6/5/08
cool. thx for the useful informationa.
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Posted 7/27/08
arigatou for the detailed post!
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22 / F
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Posted 8/24/08
thankyou Faeleia ^^ eh Faeleia-sama? isnt dat one of the crunchyroll mod? wow sugoi~ thnx for the detail explaination on how to learn jap....
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24 / F / Intelligence Route
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Posted 8/26/08
thanks.

un, i wonder if girls use Boku in Japan usually?


Btw, yes it's right. I often take words from Bleach , because I like slangs,
and shorten words. How awful.
I will do the best.
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