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Post Reply Do people actually learn Japanese through the anime they watch?
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M / Houston, Tx
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Posted 5/8/15
You can learn to Understand a few phrases, but the entire language?

Nope.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 5/8/15 , edited 5/9/15

Bashment wrote:

I love anime and i have no interest in learning japanese but I understand japanese in anime to know whats going on. if that makes sense lol. I'm sure in real life its different.


It's far too easy to trick yourself into thinking that you actually know the language when watching anime. The thing is, characters don't just do the talking, but they also perform. If you see a kid pointing at a toy and saying something to his parents, it's very easy to think "hey, I know Japanese since i understand what the kid is talking - please buy me this toy". That may or may not be what the kid actually said, but the point is, you "understood" (rather, guessed) the meaning because of the acting, not because you know the language.

Watching anime with subtitles doesn't help in learning the language, either. Subtitles are there for people not fluent in Japanese to be able to enjoy the show, not for actual learning. Sometimes, the meaning gets changed slightly (or significantly) to make the translation sound more natural in English (or w/e language the subtitle is in). Even if the translation was accurate, you'd still need to know the grammar construction and the logic behind using such grammatical structure to actually understand the sentence.
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15 / F / A state of content
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Posted 5/8/15

RedExodus wrote:


Akumanomi wrote:

If they're a small child, most definitely. If they're over the age of 5 and using anime and ONLY anime, then no. I'm learning Japanese partially through anime. It's mostly listening practice (and a little bit of writing, too), and I also get to learn new words. Of course, when I think I've learned a new word, I make sure to look up the actual definition of the word then cross-check it. If I learn words from anime characters it actually makes it easier to remember them.


There are studies that shows babies can't learn just from watching shows either(this means no language parents.at.all). It's just something that isn't great regardless of your age unless you're above beginner level like in my previous post.

People will probably burn me for saying this but adults are much better language learners than kids lol. It just lies in how we do it and adults can choose to do it wrong through their indoctrinations and belief in common myths.

Huh. You learn something new every day!
Posted 5/8/15

henohenomoheiji wrote:


Ssomething wrote:

Limited yes, like I know what "ie" means XD

But I doubt we can learn enough to have a full conversation.


「いいえ」[iie] the vowel "i" does extend its pronunciation for the word "no".
unless you meant:
「家」[ie] which means "house". :3

We have struggles when vowel pronunciation does have extensions, but its normal.


Yes you're right lol that's what happens when you learn by hearing XD

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20 / F / Florida
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Posted 5/8/15
I really don't think it's possible to learn just by watching, I've watched anime since I was about 15 and I don't feel like I could speak Japanese any better than some random person
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27 / M
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Posted 5/8/15
I've gotten myself conversationally fluent in Japanese from a lot of diehard personal study. Although much of this was with help from living in Japan for 2 years, much of it was supplemented with Anime.

If you are trying to learn Japanese from anime, here's a few pointers:

1.) Learn the basics from educated sources besides anime. By basics, I mean sentence structure and conjugations mainly. Good thing about Japanese is that both are VERY EASY to learn as they are very logical with few if any exceptions. 1 day of sound study and you can have it, but they take a little while to get used to, being far different than English. If you don't know how a sentence works, all you are likely to comprehend from anime are simple phrases.

2.) DO NOT use young characters or the very old as a template of study. Both have their own "Anime Dialect" that they speak that would make you sound like a fool if you actually used it. Likewise, avoid anyone you know has a characteristic speech pattern (aka, saying "desu" or "zou" at the end of every sentence) or where their manner of speech is obviously different from the majority of other characters. Over-the-top Anime are filled with characters like this, so avoid using those anime to study as well. Aim for the adults, parents, business people, and professionals. Even mild mannered younger characters are sufficient. They will all be using Japanese similar to real Japanese.

3.)Use familiar anime to study. The more you've seen the anime, the better. You will already be familiar with what is going on and can use that as strong contextual backing. An anime you are seeing for the first time will distract you due to the discovery of what is happening. You just won't get any good study out of it... I suggest watching the episode through once before studying it whether the anime is fresh or familiar.

4.)Pause and rewind constantly. Don't just watch it through and expect to pick anything up. When a clearly spoken sentence appears, stop the show, rewind, and write it out. Try and find out what the individual words are, and look up the ones you don't know. It was not odd for me to turn a 24min anime into an hour+ when I was studying.

5.) Use tools like a Japanese-English dictionary and Japanese grammar dictionary. Do not use any automatic translator, even for single words. You can find dictionaries online that work well enough, but for grammar, I would suggest "A Dictionary Of Basic Japanese Grammar" by Seiichi Makino. You can find it for about $30, and it's a cheap investment if you really want to learn the language. Seriously though, it's the best Japanese grammar dictionary out there!

6.) Use what you have learned as often as possible. If you don't make an effort to speak it, you will have a harder time understand it when it's spoken or remembering it. If possible, find someone more familiar with the language to practice with.

7.) Last of all, DON'T GIVE UP! Learning a language is hard, and it takes time. Lucky for you, Japanese is a very logically structured language. It won't throw you any curve-balls. Once you nail down a concept, it's not going to change on you. Keep at it, and you'll get it.

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.
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Posted 5/8/15 , edited 5/8/15

AllTsunNoDere wrote:

I really don't think it's possible to learn just by watching, I've watched anime since I was about 15 and I don't feel like I could speak Japanese any better than some random person


Σ( ゚Д゚)!Dat status signature...


I hereby approve it. lol :3
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20 / F / Florida
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Posted 5/8/15

henohenomoheiji wrote:


AllTsunNoDere wrote:

I really don't think it's possible to learn just by watching, I've watched anime since I was about 15 and I don't feel like I could speak Japanese any better than some random person


Σ( ゚Д゚)!Dat status signature...


I hereby approve it. lol :3


Lol, you're the first person who's actually noticed it, I'm impressed!
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38 / M / 地球
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Posted 5/8/15

AllTsunNoDere wrote:

Lol, you're the first person who's actually noticed it, I'm impressed!


Lol, my pleasure *bows* is what I do. (´・ω・`)

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24 / M / dawsonville GA,
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Posted 5/8/15
no because learning a language won't work as a one way thing. needs to be two ways sending and receiving information. same way as you learn as a child to speak your first language. thankfully japanese as a language isn't to complex in spoken form. of course written is fucking hard. like the opposite of english where english is much easier to learn to read and write but when it comes to speaking it gets really complex because of how vast the language is and how it constantly evolves at and extremely fast rate due to how much of the world uses it.
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20 / F / Florida
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Posted 5/8/15

henohenomoheiji wrote:


AllTsunNoDere wrote:

Lol, you're the first person who's actually noticed it, I'm impressed!


Lol, my pleasure *bows* is what I do. (´・ω・`)



Haha you do it very well.
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19 / M / Seattle, WA
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Posted 5/8/15
You learn words and phrases but you don't really learn how to speak it.
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31 / M / Bellingham WA, USA
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Posted 5/8/15
If two Japanese speaking people were talking, I feel like I could periodically get the gist of what they're talking about. But by no means would I be able to actively engage them myself in Japanese

That's pretty much the extent for me so far after having watched nearly 400 anime series. haha
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38 / M / 地球
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Posted 5/8/15

AllTsunNoDere wrote:



Haha you do it very well.


Yup Yup. (´・ω・)b



Amazed that anyone else didn't notice it before. Σ(・ω・ノ)ノ!lol
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Posted 5/8/15
Of course you can learn Japanese through subbed anime, speaking it correctly though is another thing completely lol.

Thats what we would call very broken Japanese.
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