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Should you learn Japanese? You tell me.
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18 / M
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Posted 12/30/13
I have been learning Japanese seriously for about 3 months now and its really fun but as others have said the writing system is a nightmare with so much stuff to remember. If you are interested in traveling or playing visual novels and other games that aren't translated than go for it but you don't need to bother if you are just interested in anime since that stuf almost always gets translated.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 12/30/13

Pryro wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Before I even touch Japanese, German and Russian are my two target of languages worth learning.

RUSSIAN. LOOKS. CHALLENGING. TO. ME.



Привет Как дела? xD



I'm fine and you?
60486 cr points
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 12/30/13
The article's author is entitled to his opinion, and I think he wrote it well enough. He makes some good points-- e.g. being realistic about the difficulty of Japanese and considering the cost before engaging-- good advice for any endeavor, really. And true enough, for most non-Japanese people, it's not "necessary" to learn Japanese. If one speaks of practical necessity or moral imperative, no, one should not have to learn Japanese. That said, not everything must be immediately, constantly, and 100% practical to still be worthwhile doing. I don't really need Japanese at all in my life. Yet, one day about 4-5 years ago, I decided I wanted to learn it as best I could, and I've been hammering away at it in my spare time since then. I'm nowhere near fluent, and even making out a spoken sentence is still hard (it's difficult to learn conversation and listening on one's own, without classmates and actual human teachers; my weekly conversation partner is my only interactive exposure to real-time Japanese). I'm fully aware also that I'll likely never be fluent in my lifetime. But that's ok. I've enjoyed my Japanese studies, and don't regret a moment of it for a minute. I'm still having fun doing it. What's more, it has even come in handy from time to time. My last trip to Japan in 2010 was much more fun and enjoyable with rudimentary Japanese under my belt than previous trips (which were plenty great to begin with). I can read some manga in the original language, and shopping the Asian grocery stores for Japanese foods is much easier too. I'm probably no better than a slow child at Japanese, but I still think the effort has all been worthwhile; win-win as far as I'm concerned.
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M / USA
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Posted 12/30/13
Exposure at an early age would have certainly aided in the learning of Japanese for many of us.... damn parents
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 12/30/13
Not sure if this is directed to me particularly, but I'll say I definitely agree with you in general. If fluency is the actual and realistic goal, indeed one must go beyond mere self-study, and I'm personally quite aware of self-study's limits (e.g. every time I struggle with long complex sentences). As it is, though, I'm really content right now with basic (VERY basic-- let's call it "recreational") competency, particularly as I've a full time job, a house, family life and all sorts of things requiring no Japanese at all that consume most of my waking moments. What I have, as little as it may be, is plenty good enough for my circumstances-- which is to have a bit of fun outside of the rat race and enhance my travel experiences a bit. As mentioned, it has already even yielded me some real benefits. If my life circumstances change that I somehow need Japanese fluency (which I frankly do not foresee ever happening), I'll certainly pursue it with greater effort and earnestness. At this point, maybe when I retire in 20-30+ years, and the kids are grown and on their own, and hopefully my health hasn't declined too badly or my mind gone too senile, and I've the time during the day to enroll in University-level classes and really throw my full weight (read: time, money, effort etc...) at it, fluency might be a more realistic goal for me.
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M / Places...
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Posted 12/30/13
日本語を勉強するのが大好き! 
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30 / M / Atlanta, GA
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Posted 12/30/13
Unless I missed the tone of the article, it was a rather poorly written article. Not alot of it actually seemed to link directly to learning Japanese. Everything takes time to learn, the dedication of the learner is a more telling factor than the length of time. Some grasp things quickly, others don't.

He also makes it sound like you have to literally give up everything and go non stop learning for 3-7 years with no middle ground. He references joining a band (which I would think has a success rate extremely low also), or going to the gym. Why on earth would I not be able to take an hour 3 times a week to workout and suddenly have learning Japanese be an inconceivable concept. It makes no sense.

Also, the cake analogy made absolutely no sense either. You're not guaranteed to successfully bake everything you make (believe me, 2 hours and 4+ batches of failed pancakes tell me this), but of course you're going to try to bake it from the start.

Anywho, I don't see why you couldn't feasibly learn it if you wanted to. Maybe it wouldn't be as beneficial as say Spanish (if you live in the US anyways), but if you want to do it nothing should stop the attempt. That'd be like if you were an obese 400 lb. person and wanted to lose the weight. How big of a scumbag would I be if I told you losing the weight would take some time and you'd better not even try because alot of people give up quickly.

This guy's a moron.
irnogs 
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F / Seattle, WA
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Posted 12/31/13

koji8123 wrote:


Well, Millionaire, I think the point of the article is; You don't actually NEED to learn it. Chances are you aren't going to run into a ton of people in the U.S. That can ONLY speak Japanese. And almost everyone In Japan, if you're ever likely to go, already knows about six years of English, and don't really want you to speak Japanese, in Japan; as a foreigner.



Uh, you do realize that this is completely and utterly false, right? There are many people in Japan that don't know English (especially the older generations) or are uncomfortable with it. When I was there basic Japanese was essential for getting around outside of the major cities. It also helps a lot to find your way around, read menus and directions, and explain to people you aren't lost whenever you pull out your map. >_<"

Also, all of the people I spoke with in Japanese responded positively. Most of them were impressed that someone would take the time to learn and were patient with my limited vocabulary and pronunciation at the time (I had only taken two quarters before I went). I never had anybody act negatively at all and many took the time to speak with me more out of interest. It really added to the experience.

If you only plan on going to popular tourist destinations (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc) you would not need to no more than a few phrases (and maybe Katakana - many signs and menus are written using Katakana). Nearly everyone at the hotels and stations around Tokyo are fluent, announcements are replayed in English, and there are McDonalds and Starbucks everywhere in the city that cater to foreigners; but don't expect this outside of Tokyo! Even the announcements on the local trains in Nikko (~2hrs N or Tokyo) were only in Japanese and the people at the front desk at the ryokan we checked into near there didn't speak English. I don't know how we would have been able to travel without knowing some Japanese.
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Posted 12/31/13
If you think learning another language isn't worth learning then let it be. You are not up for it. It takes an open minded person to visit another country.
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25 / M
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Posted 12/31/13 , edited 12/31/13
I'm content with just learning hiragana and katakana, some basic phrases and pronunciation. Now I can learn to sing Japanese songs.
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Posted 12/31/13
As someone who is currently on a trip and knows very little Japanese I would like to say:
It would help to know a lot more Japanese but you can get most things just by pointing. If you have a really big problem get a electronic dictionary at a Yodobashi but the people I have met that speak English speak it pretty well. I went to a Daily and didn't know if there was cold medicine or nasal decongestant and a clerk was able to understand me and I was able to understand her.
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21 / M / Canada
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Posted 12/31/13 , edited 12/31/13
As someone who is almost fluent is Japanese (6 years of studying and still going), if yourre just looking to learn Japanese for fun because of anime then you're not going to be interested for very long. I started out just that way myself and after Japanese 2 I really started to see just how many people were actually serious about taking it. I do enjoy being able to speak and read in Japanese because I am into anime, but like I said previously if that is you're only reason then you will get bored and frustrated with it. You also have to think, "When am I really going to use it?" I continue to learn due to the job I currently have, but other than that if you don't use a language often you're more than likely to forget it. So, in my opinion, yes learning a new language is fun and interesting, but if you're doing it solely because of your interest in anime then don't waste your time.
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45 / F
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Posted 12/31/13
I like learning japanese. Not just cuz of anime and games tht don't get localized, but i can finally write without getting crap all over the side of my hand
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18 / M / Mid Wales, United...
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Posted 12/31/13 , edited 12/31/13
Being welsh born, I was raised with a couple of languages. English is my primary language and despite how hard I tried, I could never got on with Welsh or French (the only languages offered in my school). Now that I'm steadily learning verbal Japanese as well as some written words and phrases I feel a level of confidence in my learning abilities growing.

Yes, I would love to watch anime without subs. Yes, I would love to read manga in its original Japanese writing. But NO, these are not the reasons I am learning the language. I've had friends who've said they were/are learning Japanese just to watch anime or read manga but almost all have lost interest very quickly after realizing the difficulty barrier coming for a complicated language like english.

My advice to anyone looking to take up Japanese as a new language: think about your reasons to learn, there's no harm in trying but be prepared to fail to understand Japanese grammar at first. Also, choose your learning medium wisely, I quite like the "thrown in the deep end" approach that RosettaStone takes but others may not.
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25 / M / Iowa
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Posted 12/31/13

irnogs wrote:


koji8123 wrote:


Well, Millionaire, I think the point of the article is; You don't actually NEED to learn it. Chances are you aren't going to run into a ton of people in the U.S. That can ONLY speak Japanese. And almost everyone In Japan, if you're ever likely to go, already knows about six years of English, and don't really want you to speak Japanese, in Japan; as a foreigner.



Uh, you do realize that this is completely and utterly false, right? There are many people in Japan that don't know English (especially the older generations) or are uncomfortable with it. When I was there basic Japanese was essential for getting around outside of the major cities. It also helps a lot to find your way around, read menus and directions, and explain to people you aren't lost whenever you pull out your map. >_<"

Also, all of the people I spoke with in Japanese responded positively. Most of them were impressed that someone would take the time to learn and were patient with my limited vocabulary and pronunciation at the time (I had only taken two quarters before I went). I never had anybody act negatively at all and many took the time to speak with me more out of interest. It really added to the experience.

If you only plan on going to popular tourist destinations (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc) you would not need to no more than a few phrases (and maybe Katakana - many signs and menus are written using Katakana). Nearly everyone at the hotels and stations around Tokyo are fluent, announcements are replayed in English, and there are McDonalds and Starbucks everywhere in the city that cater to foreigners; but don't expect this outside of Tokyo! Even the announcements on the local trains in Nikko (~2hrs N or Tokyo) were only in Japanese and the people at the front desk at the ryokan we checked into near there didn't speak English. I don't know how we would have been able to travel without knowing some Japanese.


I see your point, sure; my point was to repeat the point of the article. I know the basic phrases and hiragana (katakana..not so much. Not much kanji) but then again I had only planned on Kyoto and Osaka. And Tokyo later on. And I'm sure everyone responded positively there, they're generally very polite there. But how many of them want to try their English skills with someone who speaks it fluently? Just like how you wanted to try Japanese on them.

I guess my recommendation is to learn Japanese for other reasons then watching subbed anime. Learn for yourself.
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U.S.
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Posted 12/31/13
I can't learn a language without learning the culture and people.
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