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Zefah
Member
(04-13-2016, 11:34 PM)

Originally Posted by Lord Ghirahim

https://a.uguu.se/xnwhqw.mp4

Is that not an えー?

Definitely an えい. Not え[stop]い, but えい, as in how a typical American would pronounce the letter "A" when singing the alphabet.

I Googled "エーゴ" in hopes of finding someone pronouncing that word, and managed to find this. https://youtu.be/LbtE7-xAMdc?t=36s I think it's a good example of the difference I'm trying to get at.
I'm an expert
Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
(04-13-2016, 11:37 PM)
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I wrote this in the other thread, and I really don't want to get sucked into this convo, but if you can't hear the 'y' sound in the middle of that mp4 clip there, your (generic your, not anyone specific) listening level simply isn't up to par. Nobody says ee-go, you (generic you) just can't hear the native shortening of the ei when they drop the roof of their mouth before the go. Sorry. =/

And while I don't want to get into dick wagging contests whatsoever, since there's a lot of new people joining the thread, it'd be nice if you at least gave a bit of background of yourself so we know if you're coming from a linguistics background, native background, absolute bullshit background, etc. A lot of people are dropping words like 100% and absolutely and native..it's hard to know where you're coming from.

I'll go first.

I'm completely 100% absolutely fluent in Nippongo.
urfe
Member
(04-13-2016, 11:38 PM)
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I've always heard お家 pronounced オーチ.

Now I'm second guessing myself though, so I apologize if it's not common/if I've misheard.
dhlt25
Member
(04-13-2016, 11:42 PM)
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my .02 on the eigo thing. People don't say"ei" like how it's written, they shorten it but there's def. a difference between "ei" and "ee"
I'm an expert
Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
(04-13-2016, 11:42 PM)
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Originally Posted by urfe

I've always heard お家 pronounced オーチ.

Now I'm second guessing myself though, so I apologize if it's not common/if I've misheard.

Literally never heard of this in my life. As in that pronunciation or anyone thinking it was that pronunciation.
PreyingShark
Member
(04-13-2016, 11:48 PM)
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Originally Posted by I'm an expert

I wrote this in the other thread, and I really don't want to get sucked into this convo, but if you can't hear the 'y' sound in the middle of that mp4 clip there, your (generic your, not anyone specific) listening level simply isn't up to par. Nobody says ee-go, you (generic you) just can't hear the native shortening of the ei when they drop the roof of their mouth before the go. Sorry. =/

And while I don't want to get into dick wagging contests whatsoever, since there's a lot of new people joining the thread, it'd be nice if you at least gave a bit of background of yourself so we know if you're coming from a linguistics background, native background, absolute bullshit background, etc. A lot of people are dropping words like 100% and absolutely and native..it's hard to know where you're coming from.

I'll go first.

Holy shit, a reasonable post from expert? Oh my fucking god is hell freezing o-

I'm completely 100% absolutely fluent in Nippongo.

...Oh, false alarm. Carry on guys.
Zefah
Member
(04-13-2016, 11:50 PM)

Originally Posted by urfe

I've always heard お家 pronounced オーチ.

Now I'm second guessing myself though, so I apologize if it's not common/if I've misheard.

No big deal. I've never heard of that, though, and as someone with a 2 year old son, the word "おうち" comes up very frequently in my life these days.
KTallguy
(04-14-2016, 12:18 AM)
I've never heard anyone say おーち ... it's おうち。
urfe
Member
(04-14-2016, 12:24 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

No big deal. I've never heard of that, though, and as someone with a 2 year old son, the word "おうち" comes up very frequently in my life these days.

I'm so writing お家 on a piece of paper today and asking everyone in my office to say it.

Thinking about it more, I remember not understanding what お家 was when people said it because it sounded like オーチ. Maybe I've misheard it once years ago, and my brain has misheard it the same way since?

Either way, I'll be experimenting.
eefara
Member
(04-14-2016, 12:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by I'm an expert

And while I don't want to get into dick wagging contests whatsoever, since there's a lot of new people joining the thread, it'd be nice if you at least gave a bit of background of yourself so we know if you're coming from a linguistics background, native background, absolute bullshit background, etc. A lot of people are dropping words like 100% and absolutely and native..it's hard to know where you're coming from.

I'm definitely avoiding the pronunciation debate raging up above, but I'll go ahead and give a little background of myself anyway. I've taken three semesters of college Japanese courses and have been self-teaching for the past 2 years or so now. I couldn't give you an estimate on the number of kanji I know or anything since I don't keep track (never saw much point). :P

I've worked through the first two Genki textbooks and have been supplementing my vocabulary through words found in the Kodansha Kanji's Learner's Course. (Note: I'm not actually studying the individual kanji themselves. Each entry gives common words made with the kanji being discussed.) After school ends in May I plan to begin a modified whiteboard method study plan, where I'll be using Anki to drill words and grammar points.

Nice to meet you all!
Aeana
Member
(04-14-2016, 12:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by mantidor

is the app free?



I do not understand this, in Japanese if its written differently it is pronounced differently, right? don't tell me japanese has homonyms D:

I'm a native spanish speaker, and our teacher said "pronounce it like spanish except for the "u" sound which usually goes silent, "fu" of course , and the "sh/ch" difference", was he wrong?

Originally Posted by Zefah

Japanese has a ton of homonyms.

Do you mean heteronym, where the spelling is the same but the pronunciation (and meaning) are different? Like "lead," as in "leader" vs. "lead" the element, or "tear" as in "tear up a piece of paper" vs. "tear" as in "cry tears of joy."

Sure they exist in Japanese if you are looking purely at the Hiragana/Katakana being used for a word.

Yes, these words exist in Japanese and they are often difficult to teach to learners because (at least in my experience), when shown the difference, sometimes they don't see what's different. The classic example is 箸(はし) and 橋(はし). These are really obviously different to a native but the nuance isn't so obvious to a learner. The difference between them being the intonation, HAshi vs haSHI. Add 端(はし) to the mix which sounds like haSHI but extends its intonation to the following particle and you've got a group of confused students. There's also other examples like 黒海(こっかい) and 国会(こっかい).

But this is a topic that you just need a bit of listening practice to get right, and even then, if you travel in Japan, you may find yourself in a situation where the assumptions for intonation are completely reversed. Fortunately, context is king and you'll eventually get used to it.
KTallguy
(04-14-2016, 01:16 AM)
Great post Aeana. Those still trip me up. 飴(あ)and 雨(め)is another good one. I may have mixed them up... lol
Kansoku
(04-14-2016, 01:45 AM)
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Originally Posted by I'm an expert

I'm completely 100% absolutely fluent in Nippongo.

"J-go" is the correct technical term ;)
Lord Ghirahim
Member
(04-14-2016, 01:53 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

Definitely an えい. Not え[stop]い, but えい, as in how a typical American would pronounce the letter "A" when singing the alphabet.

I Googled "エーゴ" in hopes of finding someone pronouncing that word, and managed to find this. https://youtu.be/LbtE7-xAMdc?t=36s I think it's a good example of the difference I'm trying to get at.

That just sounds like a different えー to me. I don't think the American "A" in ABC makes for a good comparison because that's audibly closer to え[stop]い than 英語 is. Not accounting for regional and personal variations of course.

英会話教師うぜー starts with a long e and ends with a different long e, but they're both long e's as far as I'm concerned. I don't agree with this random person's opinion that the sound えい doesn't exist in Japanese (the ei in wago words tends to be a clear e-i in my experience) but I don't feel good about calling the 長音 in 英語 an actual えい. On a scale where えー!そうなんですか? is 1 ("straight" long え sound) and 招いて (clear e-i) is 10, I'd place 英語 at 2~3.
Zefah
Member
(04-14-2016, 02:20 AM)

Originally Posted by Lord Ghirahim

That just sounds like a different えー to me. I don't think the American "A" in ABC makes for a good comparison because that's audibly closer to え[stop]い than 英語 is. Not accounting for regional and personal variations of course.

英会話教師うぜー starts with a long e and ends with a different long e, but they're both long e's as far as I'm concerned. I don't agree with this random person's opinion that the sound えい doesn't exist in Japanese (the ei in wago words tends to be a clear e-i in my experience) but I don't feel good about calling the 長音 in 英語 an actual えい. On a scale where えー!そうなんですか? is 1 ("straight" long え sound) and 招いて (clear e-i) is 10, I'd place 英語 at 2~3.

I guess I don't really understand what you're talking about. As expert put it, there is a very distinct 'y' sound (to use English examples) in えい that is not present in ええ. I'm not going to get into a debate about different degrees of stress, but the fact remains that they are different sounds. Funny you would mention 招いて as clear example of えい pronunciation. I agree with you that it is a clear example, but that's actually one of the words that an NHK committee member called out as an example of a prolonged え in a 和語. It's right there in the PDF I linked earlier, but he/she said:

https://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary...go/pdf/011.pdf

漢語の「エイ」は, 通常は [ エー ] で発音される。
和語は,「招いて」は [ マネーテ ] だが「,毛糸「」滅 入る」は [ ケイト ][ メイル ] である。つまり,「い」 で書かれていても,長音で発音されるものと,[ イ ] で発音されるものとがある。

The blog post you linked is a nice bit of madness if you ask me. I've actually used examples of Japanese words that contain the えい sound to help Japanese people with their English pronunciation when it comes to words like "state" and "fate," etc. I find it funny that the person even uses the word Spain in their post, because スペイン is pronounced in the exact same way as English outside of the ス part. Japanese people are not bad are pronouncing multiple vowels in succession and I have no idea where that person got that impression.
IceDoesntHelp
Banned
(04-14-2016, 02:21 AM)
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I was just thinking about learning Japanese so I can import games from Japan.
Nista
Member
(04-14-2016, 02:21 AM)
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So for someone whose last trip to Japan was a couple of decades ago, what would you guys suggest for me to get to a point where I won't be a completely useless person if we end up going there on vacation this year? I also need to get my bf up to speed, who has no previous Japanese knowledge at all (whereas I know kana, basic grammar and vocabulary, but haven't spoke it in eons)

Just to date myself, when I took Japanese in college, my prize possession was a Canon IDX-9500 Wordtank dictionary. Which can probably be replaced by a 10$ iphone app these days.
TheSporkWithin
Member
(04-14-2016, 02:39 AM)
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Originally Posted by I'm an expert

I wrote this in the other thread, and I really don't want to get sucked into this convo, but if you can't hear the 'y' sound in the middle of that mp4 clip there, your (generic your, not anyone specific) listening level simply isn't up to par. Nobody says ee-go, you (generic you) just can't hear the native shortening of the ei when they drop the roof of their mouth before the go. Sorry. =/

Originally Posted by Zefah

The blog post you linked is a nice bit of madness if you ask me. I've actually used examples of Japanese words that contain the えい sound to help Japanese people with their English pronunciation when it comes to words like "state" and "fate," etc. I find it funny that the person even uses the word Spain in their post, because スペイン is pronounced in the exact same way as English outside of the ス part. Japanese people are not bad are pronouncing multiple vowels in succession and I have no idea where that person got that impression.

Probably there are two different arguments going on simultaneously, or some posters are misunderstanding the claims that others are making. That little bit of a 'y' is absolutely there, but I believe it's also there in 姉さん and せーの. It's also distinctly different from the エイ as pronounced in loanwords such as プレイ which have a real, solid い sound in them as opposed to a lengthening with a little dip at the end. That's all I've been trying to say from the start, but maybe I wasn't completely clear.



As for the 自己紹介, I'm currently living and working in a small town near Nagoya as an ALT with the JET Program, finishing up my second year and continuing for at least a third. When I came here my Japanese was pretty crap (halfway through Genki 2 but with a year and a half of no study after college), and I've been studying fairly diligently since then, with a particular focus on literacy. I'm registered for the N2 in July and expecting to pass, and I'll be attempting the N1 this winter though I've still got a lot of ground to cover there. Along with studying, I do a lot of reading and gaming in Japanese - I've attempted to eliminate indulging in hobbies unless I can do it in a way that reinforces my language skills. I'll probably continue to post my thoughts on the games I'm playing and novels I'm reading in case other people are interested in the same sort of practice.
I'm an expert
Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
(04-14-2016, 02:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by TheSporkWithin

Probably there are two different arguments going on simultaneously, or some posters are misunderstanding the claims that others are making. That little bit of a 'y' is absolutely there, but I believe it's also there in 姉さん and せーの.

no
Lord Ghirahim
Member
(04-14-2016, 02:56 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

I guess I don't really understand what you're talking about. As expert put it, there is a very distinct 'y' sound (to use English examples) in えい that is not present in ええ. I'm not going to get into a debate about different degrees of stress, but the fact remains that they are different sounds. Funny you would mention 招いて as clear example of えい pronunciation. I agree with you that it is a clear example, but that's actually one of the words that an NHK committee member called out as an example of a prolonged え in a 和語. It's right there in the PDF I linked earlier, but he/she said:

https://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary...go/pdf/011.pdf

Language experts (?) tend to make statements like that even when it goes contrary to all common usage. I can't recall a single real life instance of 招いて not having a very distinct い sound sandwiched between ね and て. It's quite possible I may have heard a マネーテ here and there but I just blocked it out in favor of the usual まね・い・て pronunciation. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'd get more weirded out by someone saying え・・ご than I'd be by someone saying えーご. Similarly, I find マネーテ less palatable than まね・い・て.


Originally Posted by TheSporkWithin

That little bit of a 'y' is absolutely there, but I believe it's also there in 姉さん and せーの. It's also distinctly different from the エイ as pronounced in loanwords such as プレイ which have a real, solid い sound in them as opposed to a lengthening with a little dip at the end.

That is very true. I have definitely heard ねいさん and せいのっ on multiple occasions. The latter in particular is not rare at all.
Kansoku
(04-14-2016, 03:05 AM)
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Originally Posted by TheSporkWithin

That little bit of a 'y' is absolutely there, but I believe it's also there in 姉さん and せーの.

What. No. Not only I have never ever hear ねいさん and せいの, it sounds really, really weird trying to pronounce them that way.
urfe
Member
(04-14-2016, 03:56 AM)
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Asked around and I was wrong.

We all pronounced お家 together.

I was then asked why I know such cute words.
Zefah
Member
(04-14-2016, 03:58 AM)

Originally Posted by urfe

I was then asked why I know such cute words.

Oh boy... Did they praise your chopsticks skills, too ;)?
Lord Ghirahim
Member
(04-14-2016, 04:00 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kansoku

What. No. Not only I have never ever hear ねいさん and せいの, it sounds really, really weird trying to pronounce them that way.

I've heard natives say せいの with an unmistakable い. Multiple times. Yes, the 掛け声 one. ねいさん also exists. I've also heard ね・い・さん on TV but that was very obviously a deliberate mispronunciation for comedic effect. Again, this might be where 地域差 and 個人差 come into play. When the written language fails to make a distinction between different sounds, you can't expect all natives to conform to invisible rules.
TickleMeElbow
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(04-14-2016, 04:49 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

Definitely an えい. Not え[stop]い, but えい, as in how a typical American would pronounce the letter "A" when singing the alphabet.

I Googled "エーゴ" in hopes of finding someone pronouncing that word, and managed to find this. https://youtu.be/LbtE7-xAMdc?t=36s I think it's a good example of the difference I'm trying to get at.

Just pronounce it like ええご or エーゴ.

Like お姉さん would be おねえさん or オネーサン.

Sometimes the い is there, but most of the time it's so subtle it's not even worth thinking about. I'm a native speaker btw.
Zefah
Member
(04-14-2016, 06:47 AM)

Originally Posted by TickleMeElbow

Just pronounce it like ええご or エーゴ.

Like お姉さん would be おねえさん or オネーサン.

Sometimes the い is there, but most of the time it's so subtle it's not even worth thinking about. I'm a native speaker btw.

Thanks, but I think you're misreading my post. I'm not asking for advice on how to pronounce a prolonged え sound. I was trying to find an example "in the wild" to illustrate how it is different to えい.
bobbytkc
ADD New Gen Gamer
(04-14-2016, 06:50 AM)
Anybody hired a tutor on italki before. How was the experience and what is the going rate?

I feel like I need the practice to really "get it"
.JayZii
Banned
(04-14-2016, 07:05 AM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

Yes, these words exist in Japanese and they are often difficult to teach to learners because (at least in my experience), when shown the difference, sometimes they don't see what's different. The classic example is 箸(はし) and 橋(はし). These are really obviously different to a native but the nuance isn't so obvious to a learner. The difference between them being the intonation, HAshi vs haSHI. Add 端(はし) to the mix which sounds like haSHI but extends its intonation to the following particle and you've got a group of confused students. There's also other examples like 黒海(こっかい) and 国会(こっかい).

But this is a topic that you just need a bit of listening practice to get right, and even then, if you travel in Japan, you may find yourself in a situation where the assumptions for intonation are completely reversed. Fortunately, context is king and you'll eventually get used to it.

Great post. The bolded is definitely the most important part because context is what will get you through. When you're just trying to learn the language, I think learning stress intonations should be pretty far down on the list of priorities.
GSR
Member
(04-14-2016, 08:26 AM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

Yes, these words exist in Japanese and they are often difficult to teach to learners because (at least in my experience), when shown the difference, sometimes they don't see what's different. The classic example is 箸(はし) and 橋(はし). These are really obviously different to a native but the nuance isn't so obvious to a learner. The difference between them being the intonation, HAshi vs haSHI. Add 端(はし) to the mix which sounds like haSHI but extends its intonation to the following particle and you've got a group of confused students. There's also other examples like 黒海(こっかい) and 国会(こっかい).

But this is a topic that you just need a bit of listening practice to get right, and even then, if you travel in Japan, you may find yourself in a situation where the assumptions for intonation are completely reversed. Fortunately, context is king and you'll eventually get used to it.

This has always been something I struggled with (in part because I have a slight speech impediment to begin with) and it would drive my TAs up the wall back in college. There'd be times when they'd seriously spend a straight few minutes just repeating the word trying to get me to match their intonation, and I was never any good at it!

Slowly trying to improve with listening practice, though. The 雨 example is one where my brain instinctively went "oh yeah that's め", so maybe there's hope for me yet.

(Also woo, new thread)
TickleMeElbow
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(04-14-2016, 08:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

Thanks, but I think you're misreading my post. I'm not asking for advice on how to pronounce a prolonged え sound. I was trying to find an example "in the wild" to illustrate how it is different to えい.


My bad I think I was reading someone else's post in that weird pronunciation debate and responded to yours for some reason lol.
Jintor
Lit himself on fire to get
a mod to tag him
(04-14-2016, 08:49 AM)
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Besides doing endless N3 listening tests on youtube and the like, are there any resources you would recommend for someone attempting to listen at around the n3 level? I'm also using News in Slow Japanese (1 x through raw, 1 x through after learning vocab, 2 x through fast version)

Also if anyone has any specific methodology for listening practice I'd really like to hear it. I kinda just do the standard read-along-with-the-thing and shadowing practice. Anyone found something that works more efficiently?
TheSporkWithin
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(04-14-2016, 09:19 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jintor

Besides doing endless N3 listening tests on youtube and the like, are there any resources you would recommend for someone attempting to listen at around the n3 level? I'm also using News in Slow Japanese (1 x through raw, 1 x through after learning vocab, 2 x through fast version)

I'm not sure what grade level you teach, but if you work in elementary or junior high schools you should definitely try listening to the lessons. I'm assuming you listen to all of the stuff your coteachers are saying in English class, but you could also ask about helping/observing in other subjects like history, science and Japanese. At least in my schools it's extremely common to have one or two teachers from other subjects who float around in the back of the room and help pass out materials and make sure students are staying on task.
Subpar Scrub
Banned
(04-14-2016, 09:43 AM)
I'm going to start studying seriously once my book arrives. I also listen to a podcast for learning basic Japanese phrases whilst driving around at work.

My understanding of Japanese grammatical structures and pronunciation is kind of trash, so it'll be a bit of a battle haha. Subbed, will hopefully be asking very few questions ;)
urfe
Member
(04-14-2016, 10:49 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zefah

Oh boy... Did they praise your chopsticks skills, too ;)?

Well, it was more 可愛い言葉よく知ってるね or something.

Sort of a side point, but as one who has taught English, I don't think being a native speaker makes one the ultimate authority on a language. Before teaching English, I couldn't comprehend there are two th sounds, or what voiced and voiceless means.
Kilrogg
paid requisite penance
(04-14-2016, 02:54 PM)
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guys

guys

do u think えい and ええ are the same?

just asking
Alanae
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(04-14-2016, 03:22 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kilrogg

guys

guys

do u think えい and ええ are the same?

just asking

no.
えい = え+い
ええ = え+え
え=/=い
thus えい=/=ええ

Q.E.D.
Zefah
Member
(04-14-2016, 10:07 PM)

Originally Posted by Jintor

Besides doing endless N3 listening tests on youtube and the like, are there any resources you would recommend for someone attempting to listen at around the n3 level? I'm also using News in Slow Japanese (1 x through raw, 1 x through after learning vocab, 2 x through fast version)

Also if anyone has any specific methodology for listening practice I'd really like to hear it. I kinda just do the standard read-along-with-the-thing and shadowing practice. Anyone found something that works more efficiently?

Japanese TV.

There are many web services of questionable legality that offer full access to Japanese television, including on-demand viewing of content from up to a week back, all viewable over the Internet.

There's also plenty of pre-recorded stuff on shady Chinese streaming sites and elsewhere. Or stuff like KeyHoleTV (assuming it's still around) that is pretty much P2P streaming and a lot of people just stream their TV.

I think places like Crunchyroll have started legally offering some selection of Japanese dramas, but I believe they come with English subtitles, which you would best avoid.
KillGore
Member
(04-15-2016, 04:18 AM)
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So GAF, what's the difference between

http://www.amazon.com/JAPANESE-10-mi.../dp/1931873070

and

http://www.amazon.com/JAPANESE-minut...guage+learning
eefara
Member
(04-15-2016, 03:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by KillGore

So GAF, what's the difference between

http://www.amazon.com/JAPANESE-10-mi.../dp/1931873070

and

http://www.amazon.com/JAPANESE-minut...guage+learning

I would guess that the second offers a digital download of the CD offered in the first.
RangerBAD
Member
(04-16-2016, 12:07 AM)
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Has anyone been successful in finding a Japanese person to talk to on italki or lang-8?
eefara
Member
(04-16-2016, 01:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by RangerBAD

Has anyone been successful in finding a Japanese person to talk to on italki or lang-8?

I can usually get at least 2-3 people on Lang-8 to correct my entries. But to literally talk to, I haven't tried.
TheSporkWithin
Member
(04-16-2016, 02:13 AM)
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Here's a guide I put together last year on how to sign up for Ehon Navi, a Japanese picture-book retailer which allows you to read a large selection of Japanese childrens' books cover-to-cover for free online.

Children's books are not as easy as you might expect, but it might be fun to poke around at and explore for some upper-beginner and intermediate learners. If you use it and find something good, post about it!

Some to get started:
あるひ、こねこね - A very simple book which might help you link some onomatopoeia to common animal vocabulary.
あぶないおふろやさん - A story about some boys having an imaginary adventure at a public bath.
うんこ! - A story about a poo. Lots of "swearing" for a children's book...
KillGore
Member
(04-16-2016, 02:25 AM)
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So is there a living example in GAF where someone self-studied the language and actually learned enough to have basic conversations? Without living in Japan I mean.


Just need a little motivation and see if it's actually possible. Where I'm from they don't give Japanese classes so I would have to learn alone.
I'm an expert
Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
(04-16-2016, 03:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by KillGore

So is there a living example in GAF where someone self-studied the language and actually learned enough to have basic conversations? Without living in Japan I mean.


Just need a little motivation and see if it's actually possible. Where I'm from they don't give Japanese classes so I would have to learn alone.

I suppose I can use this as a chance to re-introduce myself and comment a bit.

I was introduced to the language through the early 90s when importing games from the back of video game magazines in America. Then I got into the fansubbing scene. Throughout all of that I had zero interaction with native Japanese people except through very random internet experiences. This was early internet days so there weren't any resources back then like there are now. I didn't formally begin to study the language until early 2000, but even then just from all the years of media consumption I was clearly above beginner. Then I did a year abroad at Sophia. Then I came back and realized that I would never become proficient from simply continuing school studies. Then I did my 3 month pass JLPT intensive study (found in the op).

So basically I had like 6 years of informal Japanese study, about 2 years of university and even study abroad experience, and even then I felt I was barely intermediate. I think all of those years gave me a huge advantage in terms of understanding the culture and the 'method' of Japanese, but I didn't grasp the technical aspect.

After those 3 months of study, I was basically never the same again. In those 3 months I made the past 8 years meaningless. There is a very huge difference between passively consuming shit like games or anime for years, and actually treating study as a job and treating it with respect.

I guess my point is, spending ~8 hours a day for 3 months in my room was the hyperbolic time chamber and I came out of there able to communicate in ways I never knew I could. I obviously wasn't super advanced or fluent or whatever metric you want to use, but I pretty much secured my future and career from the abilities I learned in those 3 months. Meaning I could clearly pass a corporate Japanese interview with no prior work/interview experience in Japan just from my self-study.

Short answer to your question: It's very, very doable but you really, really have to work for it.
Aizo
音楽オタク
(04-16-2016, 06:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by RangerBAD

Has anyone been successful in finding a Japanese person to talk to on italki or lang-8?

I've had quite a few people start conversations with me on Hellotalk, which I believe was developed by the same people who did lang8. The people who've reached out to me are overwhelmingly 28 year old women. I have yet to figure out why this is the demographic I appeal to, when they're all older than me.

If you're dedicated, I'm sure you can find legitimate conversation partners. I tend to avoid talking to most of the people that want to speak English that bad. I bet you can find people to hang out with where you live, too. I've had quite a few people message me and mention we live in the same area.
Porcile
Member
(04-16-2016, 07:00 AM)

Originally Posted by RangerBAD

Has anyone been successful in finding a Japanese person to talk to on italki or lang-8?

On Lang-8 I have spoken to a couple people over Skype, one person very recently. It is by all means possible. I might even be meeting up with them in Tokyo during Golden Week. Really you just have to put yourself out there, go and correct the same peoples posts regularly, and after a while just ask them if they want to talk on Skype via audio, some might be ballsy enough for video! Actually, the last person asked me because I corrected her entry and it turns out we have common interests, so there you go. I believe there is even a group on Lang-8 dedicated to making connections via Skype.
Zefah
Member
(04-16-2016, 07:57 AM)

Originally Posted by I'm an expert

I suppose I can use this as a chance to re-introduce myself and comment a bit.

I was introduced to the language through the early 90s when importing games from the back of video game magazines in America. Then I got into the fansubbing scene. Throughout all of that I had zero interaction with native Japanese people except through very random internet experiences. This was early internet days so there weren't any resources back then like there are now. I didn't formally begin to study the language until early 2000, but even then just from all the years of media consumption I was clearly above beginner. Then I did a year abroad at Sophia. Then I came back and realized that I would never become proficient from simply continuing school studies. Then I did my 3 month pass JLPT intensive study (found in the op).

So basically I had like 6 years of informal Japanese study, about 2 years of university and even study abroad experience, and even then I felt I was barely intermediate. I think all of those years gave me a huge advantage in terms of understanding the culture and the 'method' of Japanese, but I didn't grasp the technical aspect.

After those 3 months of study, I was basically never the same again. In those 3 months I made the past 8 years meaningless. There is a very huge difference between passively consuming shit like games or anime for years, and actually treating study as a job and treating it with respect.

I guess my point is, spending ~8 hours a day for 3 months in my room was the hyperbolic time chamber and I came out of there able to communicate in ways I never knew I could. I obviously wasn't super advanced or fluent or whatever metric you want to use, but I pretty much secured my future and career from the abilities I learned in those 3 months. Meaning I could clearly pass a corporate Japanese interview with no prior work/interview experience in Japan just from my self-study.

Short answer to your question: It's very, very doable but you really, really have to work for it.

I don't think I knew you went to Sophia! I did a year of study abroad there in 2006. That was actually why I wanted to get the JLPT 1 so badly. They wouldn't let me take classes in Japanese without it.

I'm self-taught in the sense I didn't major in Japanese or take a bunch of courses in university, but I owe most of my ability to the friends I made in college and beyond. I also managed to visit the country early on in my studies for a couple of months, and they really gave me a good start that I was able to build off of with the local Japanese student population at my school. Of course I studied a ton, too, but I don't think I would be where I am today without the community I was able to join.
HyperZone<3
Member
(04-16-2016, 08:25 AM)
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okay, I've got three months and change to learn this stuff solid until the new Godzilla movie comes out, how hard can it be. Alright, lets do this!
Porcile
Member
(04-16-2016, 08:31 AM)
I think the student route might be the best way to go if you specifically want to come to Japan to expose yourself to Japanese; instant friends who share the same interests/goals and instant need to speak and understand Japanese. ALT route is ok, but it's tough going out here to build up those meaningful connections from scratch, especially when your daily "job" calls for you to speak English 90% of the time. I guess there is a point where you decide to ditch your gaijin colleagues and just go that shit alone. That's what I've done, but yeah, I can't say it has been as easy as perhaps I expected to use spoken Japanese on a regular basis, even though I spend very little with other English speakers.

Good call by SporkWithin to recommended joining in other classes. I will be doing that starting from next week and also joining in doing club activities. So far my time here has been an interesting experience. I was wary of the idea of becoming a full-time teacher, but I dunno, if I can get my Japanese up to a high level to be able to get a proper qualification, there is something quite appealing about the close daily bond the students and teachers have, even if they have to work like crazy and have a lot of bullshit to deal with, but it's not like my work in the arts field would call for any less work or less bullshit. So I am slightly torn on my future.
Jintor
Lit himself on fire to get
a mod to tag him
(04-16-2016, 11:27 AM)
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I think the student route is a good route if you can swing it. Too easy to bubble on the ALT route and the work stuff often demands quick, precise communication in English to workmates just for time efficiency sake, and of course you should be trying to speak English to the kids.

I'll see if I can join in other classes... need more vocab study first...

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