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Post Reply learning to read japanese.
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M / California
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Posted 4/29/14
You absolutely do not need to buy books to learn Hiragana and Katakana, that is just ridiculous. Just copy what they look like on one side of a flash card, and its pronunciation on the other side. Kanji on the other hand; you should probably buy a book to assist you in learning that. That is a many-years-long process.
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19 / M
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Posted 4/29/14 , edited 4/29/14
^ Heisig's book is a fine example of something that will make you learn how to write 2000~3000 of them in a matter of months, not years. If you put down 5 hours daily, you'll get 2000+ in less than a month.


Even if you wing it, you'll still learn it a lot faster than Japanese kids do, since... well... they're kids.
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20 / M / Houston, TX
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Posted 4/29/14
I learned to read Japanese playing eroge. Learning Japanese while having sex with bishoujos
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18 / M / England
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Posted 4/29/14 , edited 4/29/14
It's probably ironic that despite going to a language college, I can't speak a single fluent sentence in any language other than English that isn't 'Je m'appelle' Matthew' lol. I actually had a chance to learn Japanese while I was there, but I decided not to since I feared it would be too hard for me to bother learning. It would definitely come in handy where anime and manga is concerned, but I don't really feel like learning the language for that alone. Good on you for giving it a shot though.
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19 / M
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Posted 4/29/14 , edited 4/29/14
I was never quite up to level but hearing from other learners, you can get away with half-learning Japanese if it's just for anime. Dude says he has no problem understanding most anime but he can scarcely follow the news or read novels.


The JALUP blog's estimates:
http://japaneselevelup.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-japanese/
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Posted 4/29/14

BLACKOUTMK2
It's probably ironic that despite going to a language college, I can't speak a single fluent sentence in any language other than English that isn't 'Je m'appelle' Matthew' lol. I actually had a chance to learn Japanese while I was there, but I decided not to since I feared it would be too hard for me to bother learning. It would definitely come in handy where anime and manga is concerned, but I don't really feel like learning the language for that alone. Good on you for giving it a shot though.


Honestly, in many ways I found it easier than Spanish, as long as you set aside kanji. As far as grammar rules go, its structured well. Ru-verbs and U-verbs each follow their own pattern, and even the few irregular verbs there are then follow the "irregular pattern" rather than like with Spanish where you have to memorize thousands of irregular verb endings that change depending on the tense.

And when the context of a conversation is known, you can drop a lot of stuff out of the sentence entirely with Japanese.
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46 / M / KC
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Posted 4/30/14
Well, it's worth the effort, imo. Something is always lost in translation so reading from the original is always better if you can do that.

Nowadays there are lots of great, free resources that you can use on the Internet. There are also plenty of mobile apps. Japanese is pretty difficult, but because of these resources, I think it's a lot easier to learn than it used to be.
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43 / M / Ottawa
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Posted 5/1/14 , edited 5/1/14
I have an app for Android called "Kanji Recognizer" by Nikolay Elenkov. Not only a very good "translator" for Kanji that you don't recognize, but it has a "Quiz" mode that will give you the name of a kanji (with or without english translation) and you have to draw it. The first two levels of the quiz (grade 1 and grade 2 kanji) are free; you need the paid version to do more or to use the "favorites" and "search" functions. Unlike Google, Kanji Recognizer is very particular about the order and direction of strokes, which is useful.

I also went and bought the Moekana deck from Culture Japan (available from the cruncyroll store! ). Unfortunately, I bought the original deck, which only has Hiragana. I added my own Katakana symbols to expand them though. That helped me pick up the syllabary fairly quickly (about a month, doing about a half hour to an hour of practice a day, in between conference calls).

Some useful websites I've found:
http://www.punipunijapan.com/
http://japanese.about.com/
http://www.imabi.net/intro.htm
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20 / M / Woodstock, Georgia
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Posted 5/1/14

nemoskull wrote:

it started off, like most any thing worth mentioning, with a girl.
a 2D girl. but hey, whatever. the manga is called 'is this girl for real?!' and i fell in love with it. but in looking at the english manga, somewhere at vollume 2, and seeing as how there is a vollume 5, i started wanting more.

first off, a bit of background. i speak english, and spanish. my mother is nuts about chinese, both writing and speaking. learning japanese to read is a bit harder than chinese, but its not that bad.

what i do right now is i get a raw version of a manga, then get a english version. i picked up a book at the library called, 'japanese in mangaland' and im still working through it.
i pretty much take the japanese manga, copy by hand to a sheet of paper(cus using motor skills reinforces learning shapes) then sit down with google translate (really suck translator!) take it one comment at a time.
so far so good. its slow, but im learning. it helps that im obssesed.

there is a lot i dont know, so ill need a dictionary for that.

a few notes.

kanji is basicly chinese. and as such, chinese is pretty strict on the construction of the symbols. if google translate, you have to pay attention not only what you draw, but the order as well, or google cant read it.
hirigana and katakana are basiclly phonetic.

after a while the kanji really stands out, its kinda blockly and angular, like cars in the 80's. the rest have much more flow to them.

well, thats it. reading to me seem eaiser that learning to speak. (eyes over ears, lol)

just my .02


Do you want to translate volume 5 for me xD. I dont think volume 5 will ever be translated. Guess i'll need to pick up Japanese
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27 / F / On Twitter
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Posted 5/1/14 , edited 5/1/14
I would love to be able to read and understand Japanese and speak it frequently.
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F / R'lyeh
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Posted 5/1/14

ExquisiteWings wrote:

I would love to be able to read and understand Japanese and speak it frequently.


You're thinking "The project just seems so huge that I've no idea where to start", right?

That's fine. It really is a very huge project, one that takes years to complete in most cases. I can offer some recommendations, but don't be afraid to veer from them if you feel you need to. Learning a language is a subjective experience, everyone's different.

Begin by learning the proper writing and pronunciation of hiragana and katakana characters, leaving kanji entirely alone for a while. The objective at this point is to simply be able to read the characters at all. This is necessary because Japanese doesn't always translate neatly into English, and sometimes not at all. Better to work with the language on its own terms.

Your next step should be to learn about particles, which are symbols (or combinations thereof) which serve as place markers for various parts of the sentence. There is, to my knowledge, no English-language equivalent to these, so it'll take some getting used to. A very basic rundown on particles was posted earlier in this thread, so have a look back if you're interested.

Next is gathering up a basic vocabulary and simple sentence structures to work with. Rather than running about a dictionary randomly you should probably set some sort of goal for each set of words. A good place to start is learning to ask and tell the time/date. The ultimate objective at this point is to start picking up basic sentence structures, and also to gain the ability to distinguish between inquisitive and declarative statements.

That alone should be enough to keep a newcomer busy for at least a few weeks.
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