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Learning Japanese |OT2| Love in the Time of コロナちゃん

brohmbel

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I'm guessing the old Japanese community thread got shut down when the forum was reorganized last year, and just never got rebooted:

じゃあ, reboot しましょう. Same spirit as the old thread: ask questions, help others, post tips and resources, share what you're working on and having trouble with, etc. I've got more time on my hands because of the Coronapocalypse lately, and I've gotten back into the ol 日本語の勉強. I'm more or less a beginner, but I've always meant to learn more and visit Japan someday. It looks like there are some advanced people floating around, and a few other noobs just picking up Japanese.

Quarantine me if not allowed.
 
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Shantae

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こんにちは! じゃあ、私もよく日本語を勉強しなくちゃ。。。 頑張りましょう!
 
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Zefah

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こんにちは! じゃあ、私もよく日本語を勉強しなくちゃ。。。 頑張りましょう!
頑張れよ!どうせ家出られないし、やることないだろうから、日本語の勉強に没頭しよう!
 

eot

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I need to get back into studying, I keep falling off the wagon :(

Lived in Tokyo a few months last year and got a bit more confident speaking to clerks and stuff at least
 
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Shantae

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頑張れよ!どうせ家出られないし、やることないだろうから、日本語の勉強に没頭しよう!
そうですか。私は忙しいで、病院に勤めていますから。

Needed to google translate a few words, I'm so behind on my studies, that I'm a disgrace. It's so hard to keep up with it though without any friends to practice with.
 
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brohmbel

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hey all right, this 電車 is already taking off!

Today I'm learning the weirder verb conjugations, verb stems, and some of the different forms (potential, causative, volitional, etc) using the Organic Japanese channel on YT. 面白いが、ちょっと難しい. I'm confused by the "likely to" form (which I gather isn't a "form" at all but rather just tacking on the adverb そう to the い stem). So you get stuff like this, which I used Google Translate to convert to English:

聞きそう = likely to listen
飲みそう = let's drink (huh?)
買いそう = likely to buy
話しそう= let's talk (??)

Why are drink and talk being translated to volitional ("let's")? Anyone know what's going on here, and how to really use そう after a verb, and what it means?

Also, how do you tack on そう to ichidan verbs?
 
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Porcile

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I'm looking forward to replacing random English 言葉 with 日本語 for no reason. Let's 勉強!
 
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Shantae

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What forms of study have you guys used? I think one of the things that makes it tricky for people to study together sometimes, is if they're not using the same outline or study guide, then we could all have different levels or different areas of knowledge. What have you all used?

I started studying Japanese initially in college, and we used Genki textbooks, so I got volumes 1 and 2 of that, but damned if I can remember much from V2 at this point because I've been out of school for a bit.
 

Porcile

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As long as the resource you are using is comprehensive and gives you the opportunity to review things then basically anything is fine.

The reason you can't remember anything from a textbook is because if you are just using a textbook then you won't be reviewing anything in any meaningful way.
 
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Shantae

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As long as the resource you are using is comprehensive and gives you the opportunity to review things then basically anything is fine.

The reason you can't remember anything from a textbook is because if you are just using a textbook then you won't be reviewing anything in any meaningful way.
It was a little better while I was in classes, but we started going faster than I could remember new vocabulary. I still hadn't completely memorized the old stuff before we started adding new stuff to it.
 

brohmbel

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What forms of study have you guys used?
I took a shot at this a few years ago, then took a long break until just now. I'd always meant to get back to it. Back then, I used WaniKani for about a month, along with a few other random online sources (Tae Kim, random Tofugu articles, etc). WaniKani is all right in theory, but in practice it was monotonous and boring after a while, and barely gave you a chance to use what you were learning, barely ever gave you any context. I remember using other 3rd-party tools to try to get in a variety of Wani practice. I know the guy that ran it planned to launch a more comprehensive course (EtoEto?), but years later, it looks like it's still in limbo.

Right now I'm trying out Duolingo. I'm in the middle of their 3rd level (out of 7 total). It's not bad, because it's a mix of audio, J to English, English to J, multiple choice, spaced repetition, etc. I still want more practice material though. I know that their Spanish and French classes have this thing where you read short stories and then answer questions to test reading comprehension, and they have simple podcasts that do something similar. I wish their Japanese class had those too.

Other than that, to get in practice, every couple days I try to write short daily logs in J of what I did that day using what little I already know. Sometimes I'll be out and about and in my head I'll try to narrate what's going on or what I'm seeing. I'm also trying out some of the simple anime on https://animelon.com/ , slowed down and with J subtitles, but even then at this early point it feels like they're speaking a different language from the one I'm learning. I'll understand a line here and there on Shirokuma Cafe, though. I also practice hand-writing the new kanji / vocab I learn, to help cement the radicals in each one.
 
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What is the best way to learn/memorize kanji? I've started studying since october so i'm really a massive novice to all of this. I'm writing in my notebook some of the basic kanjis (numbers for now and stuff like day etc.). When it comes to numbers, though, when do you use hitotsu system instead of normal one?
 
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Zefah

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Is bonzai the correct term to use when celebrating?
Banzai is (generally) reserved for more formal celebration. More along the lines of "three cheers for ..." or "long live the queen!" or "viva la ..."

Something more casual, just to celebrate something cool that happened (like that achievement) would probably be "yatta!"
 
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Shantae

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Banzai is (generally) reserved for more formal celebration. More along the lines of "three cheers for ..." or "long live the queen!" or "viva la ..."
Are you sure you're not thinking of "kanpai!"? Which is like a toast.
 

Zefah

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Are you sure you're not thinking of "kanpai!"? Which is like a toast.
Yeah, I'm sure. That would just be "cheers"!

I was imagining the examples I used more in a setting of groups shouting them all at once and raising their hands in the air, for example.
 

Shantae

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Yeah, I'm sure. That would just be "cheers"!

I was imagining the examples I used more in a setting of groups shouting them all at once and raising their hands in the air, for example.
Ah, I guess I haven't seen it used much, but I suppose I could see that.
 

brohmbel

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When it comes to numbers, though, when do you use hitotsu system instead of normal one?
一つ、二つ、三つ、四つ (ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ、よっつ, etc) are counters, used for indicating how many of a given thing exist. E.g., 椅子が六つある (there are 6 chairs). Japanese has many different kinds of counters, for many different things, as you'll find out. The つ forms are kind of a generic counter, apparently based on old-school readings for numbers. On the other hand, variations on the usual いち、に、さん、よん readings are used in other more specific counters (for books, pages, small round things, animals, floors, minutes, and more), and in lots of other contexts. On their own, the いち、に、さん、よん readings represent the idea of those numbers in the abstract, like counting one, two, three, four in English without referring to anything in particular.
 
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Shantae

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一つ、二つ、三つ、四つ (ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ、よっつ, etc) are counters, used for indicating how many of a given thing exist. E.g., 椅子が六つある (there are 6 chairs). Japanese has many different kinds of counters, for many different things, as you'll find out. The つ forms are kind of a generic counter, apparently based on old-school readings for numbers. On the other hand, variations on the usual いち、に、さん、よん readings are used in other more specific counters, and in lots of other contexts. On their own, the いち、に、さん、よん readings represent the idea of those numbers in the abstract, like counting one, two, three, four in English without referring to anything in particular.
Yeah, the counters are very intimidating when I see them, because there feels like so many. I can remember the counter for people, and days, but everything else I can't off the top of my head.
 
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brohmbel

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Yeah, the counters are very intimidating when I see them, because there feels like so many. I can remember the counter for people, and days, but everything else I can't off the top of my head.
Yeah they're a bitch. Especially all the pronunciation changes. There are general patterns there, but they don't apply all the time. A while back I made myself a few charts like this to help study. I'm not looking forward to digging in again lol:



If you want to work on your muscle memory though, this audio drilling tool lets you practice a few of the counters:
 

Zenaku

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Mentioned in MHKs thread, but this is the method I used to help me learn:

AGTH (Anime Game Text Hooker) or ITH (Interactive Text Hooker) extract the games text to a Notepad-like window as I play, which lets me highlight any words or Kanji I don't know and have them automatically looked up by the dictionary. Really easy to look up hundreds or words/Kanji in a short time, and have fun doing it.

I tried normal books with the basics; random conversations about the weather, or ordering things in shops and the like, but I'd forget most of it after moving to the next page. Learning while playing games was a whole other ballgame. Even if I forgot the odd word it'd take less than a second to look it up the next time I ran into it. All in all I found this method extremely effective, and I'm considering trying this with Chinese, once I find an equivalent dictionary program.
 

brohmbel

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毎日の練習。 Feedback appreciated if you got it.

まだ日本語を習っている。僕が強くになっているね。楽しいが、難しい。外はいい天気です。晴れて、明るい。広い空が青い。黒い鳥が歌っている。隣の子供たちはバスケットボールの遊んでいる。春になったから、暖かくになっている。今、弱い風が吹いている。先週、雨が降った。とても曇りでした。曇りの天気が大好き。ここの夏は暑いから、ここに住みのが好きじゃない。どこに住みたいか。まだわかりません。先週、車でどこかに行かなかった。あの古い車が嫌いが、新しい車は買いたくない。高いよね。来年、たぶん日本の車を買う。韓国とアメリカの車はちょっと。。。今、僕がどこへ行こうか。コロナちゃんから、外に人があまりいない。お店に食べ物を買いに行こうか。いいえ、死にたくないよ。今夜、たぶんゲームを遊んで、映画を見て、ビールを10本飲む。それから、2022年まで寝る。
 

rykomatsu

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毎日の練習。 Feedback appreciated if you got it.

まだ日本語を習っている。僕が強くになっているね。楽しいが、難しい。外はいい天気です。晴れて、明るい。広い空が青い。黒い鳥が歌っている。隣の子供たちはバスケットボールの遊んでいる。春になったから、暖かくになっている。今、弱い風が吹いている。先週、雨が降った。とても曇りでした。曇りの天気が大好き。ここの夏は暑いから、ここに住みのが好きじゃない。どこに住みたいか。まだわかりません。先週、車でどこかに行かなかった。あの古い車が嫌いが、新しい車は買いたくない。高いよね。来年、たぶん日本の車を買う。韓国とアメリカの車はちょっと。。。今、僕がどこへ行こうか。コロナちゃんから、外に人があまりいない。お店に食べ物を買いに行こうか。いいえ、死にたくないよ。今夜、たぶんゲームを遊んで、映画を見て、ビールを10本飲む。それから、2022年まで寝る。
A few comments:
  • まだ日本語を習っている。僕が強くになっているね。楽しいが、難しい。
  • 僕は、まだ日本語を習っている。上達しているし、楽しい。でも難しい。
    • 「いる」is less formal than 「います」, therefore, use of 「楽しい」is a little awkward in your original sentence
    • Also, use of the literal translation of strong is a bit odd. I suggest 上達which is improving
    • Since you truncated out the subject, I'd typically add it to the first sentence, then truncate it out in subsequent sentences
  • 外はいい天気です。晴れて、明るい。広い空が青い。黒い鳥が歌っている。隣の子供たちはバスケットボールの遊んでいる。春になったから、暖かくになっている。
  • 外はいい天気です。晴れてて、明るい。空が広くて青い。黒い鳥が鳴いている。隣の子供たちは、バスケをしている。春になったから、暖かくなってる。
    • 「晴れて」actually has nothing to do with weather. It describes general acceptance of "something" by the public such that you do not have to worry about public opinion.
    • I have rarely heard the phrase "A bird is singing" as 「鳥が歌っている」
    • Doing basketball vs playing basketball - this is just personal preference I think, but the way you write it while it is correct, is a dead giveaway that you're a foreigner.
    • Don't need the 「に」in「暖かくなっている」
 

brohmbel

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どうもありがとうございました。日本人ですか。

I'm still learning the very basics of grammar, so I'm sure a lot of these wrinkles will be ironed out over the next couple weeks. And you're right, I was doing literal translation from English to Japanese in a couple places, without being aware of what sounds natural in Japanese vs what doesn't. I guess I'll get better at that stuff as I keep going, and as I start getting into simple manga and animu and whatever else, and start organically picking stuff up that way.
 

Zefah

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  • 「晴れて」actually has nothing to do with weather. It describes general acceptance of "something" by the public such that you do not have to worry about public opinion.
  • I have rarely heard the phrase "A bird is singing" as 「鳥が歌っている」
A couple of comments to your comments:

晴れている is a common way to describe sunny/clear skies.

鳥が歌う is not that uncommon, actually. Another good turn of phrase might be: 鳥の歌声(うたごえ)が聞こえてくる (I can hear the birds singing).
 
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rykomatsu

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A couple of comments to your comments:
晴れている is a common way to describe sunny/clear skies.
「晴れている」means "it is sunny"
「晴れて*」refers to weather (*=wildcard)
「晴れて」means "in public, openly"

so for example: 晴れて「性別は二つしか存在しない」と断言出来る
translates to: "I can openly state 'there exists only 2 genders'." <----(without retribution is somewhat implied)
 
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Zefah

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「晴れている」means "it is sunny"
「晴れて*」refers to weather (*=wildcard)
「晴れて」means "in public, openly"

so for example: 晴れて「性別は二つしか存在しない」と断言出来る
translates to: "I can openly state 'there exists only 2 genders'." <----(without retribution is somewhat implied)
I see what you're saying now. Probably would have helped if I fully read the original post you were responding to...

Still, "晴れて、明るい" isn't incorrect. It just carries the nuance of it having become sunny, like "the sun came out and it's bright" rather than just referring to the state of things as in 晴れていて、明るい ("it's sunny and bright").
 
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brohmbel

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Would it have been better to go with: 晴れで、明るい。

... Where I use the noun 晴れ and follow it with で? Basically I was trying to link sentence fragments together using the て form, as in: 歌を歌って、友達と話して、ご飯を食べる。I see now why trying to use the verb 晴れる was weird.
 
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Porcile

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Maybe it was unnatural or whatever but the sentence and basically the whole text was perfectly readable. It's not really worth getting too caught up in these kind of things.
 
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Sakura

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Yeah they're a bitch. Especially all the pronunciation changes. There are general patterns there, but they don't apply all the time. A while back I made myself a few charts like this to help study. I'm not looking forward to digging in again lol:

If you want to work on your muscle memory though, this audio drilling tool lets you practice a few of the counters:
To be real though, aside from the common stuff even Japanese mess up counters.
You don't have to worry too much about things you might not say in every day speech.
 
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Is this correct?
translate :
I will not be free tomorrow.
私は明日ひまではありません.

I always find myself confused if this is correct where I should add days or "tommorrow, today, yesterday" ;x
 

Porcile

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Is this correct?
translate :
I will not be free tomorrow.
私は明日ひまではありません.

I always find myself confused if this is correct where I should add days or "tommorrow, today, yesterday" ;x
私は明日、ひまではありません.

Although I guess the more accurate translation would be "I have no free time tomorrow." but that's just nitpicking.
 

brohmbel

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✨ Fun fact: ✨ Hiragana and katakana evolved long ago from man'yogana, which were Chinese kanji that the Japanese people had appropriated to represent their own syllable sounds. Man'yogana were tedious and time-consuming to write out, so hiragana evolved out of a cursive-style simplification of man'yogana. Katakana evolved separately, out of Buddhist monks' simplification of man'yogana.

Here are the the man'yogana kanji origins of the hiragana we know today:


And here are the man'yogana origins of the katakana, most of them just surgically extracted from the kanji:


Here's what looks like cursive man'yogana (proto-hiragana?) from a collection of poetry from around 600-700 AD:


Now you knoooooow. (Images from Wikipedia.)
 

Porcile

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I've always wondered why the pass rate for JLPT is higher outside of Japan. Any ideas? My guess is Japanese language "schools" pushing students to take tests beyond their level, and a bunch of them not teaching anything at all but still making students take the test.

On the other hand, I would definitely would like to see the pass rates in each country especially from China. The way the test answers get posted online on Chinese sites a few hours after the test in Japan certainly raises some eyebrows. I guess any cheating fucks aren't doing anything to help themselves in the long term but still takes the piss for those of us who do everything legitimately.
 

eot

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I was translating some tea brewing instructions for my dad (got him tea in Japan) and this bit has me slightly confused

step 3: 熱湯を注ぎ約/30秒ほど待ちます

step 5: 二煎目以降は10〜20秒で注いでください

The last line is talking about when you've already made two pots using the same tea, so naturally you need to let it brew for longer if you re-use it. Does it just mean you should pour the tea for 10-20s (so, pour it slower) and then let it sit for the same amount of time (30s)?
 

Porcile

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I don't know a thing about tea brewing and the steps involved but I don't think you need to wait after the second one.
 

ROMhack

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Good luck lads. I spent a while learning and realised it was going to take wayyyy too long.
 

Zefah

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I was translating some tea brewing instructions for my dad (got him tea in Japan) and this bit has me slightly confused

step 3: 熱湯を注ぎ約/30秒ほど待ちます

step 5: 二煎目以降は10〜20秒で注いでください

The last line is talking about when you've already made two pots using the same tea, so naturally you need to let it brew for longer if you re-use it. Does it just mean you should pour the tea for 10-20s (so, pour it slower) and then let it sit for the same amount of time (30s)?
No, it's definitely telling you to pour it after 10 ~ 20 seconds rather than the 30 seconds in step 3.
 

eot

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No, it's definitely telling you to pour it after 10 ~ 20 seconds rather than the 30 seconds in step 3.
Thanks. I thought so but it's counter intuitive to me.

Anyway, do you guys have any trick for translating stuff from paper? My parents ask me to every now and then because they pick up random food items in Japan, and since I don't know all the kanji it's a bit arduous to look them all up. Usually I count the strokes, pick out one or two radicals and use something like this. Wondering if there's a better way.
 

Zefah

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Thanks. I thought so but it's counter intuitive to me.

Anyway, do you guys have any trick for translating stuff from paper? My parents ask me to every now and then because they pick up random food items in Japan, and since I don't know all the kanji it's a bit arduous to look them all up. Usually I count the strokes, pick out one or two radicals and use something like this. Wondering if there's a better way.
When I was really learning Kanji back in like... 2003, I did exactly what you laid out, but I had a portable denshi jisho. Try to identify the radical, and then search by number of strokes until you find the corresponding character. It was long and arduous, but this is how I learned back then and played through a ton of PS2 games I otherwise wouldn't have been able to read.

Now, there are tons of apps out there you can download on a smartphone or tablet (or even use your mouse on a PC) to draw the character and look it up. I bet there is even photo recognition stuff out there now.
 
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brohmbel

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今週、日本のアマゾンから小説を買った。この本が小学三年生たちのために書いた。たぶん読める?やってみたい。また、何かいい聞きの練習が欲しい。何がある? I’ve heard Pimsleur is good, but too stiff / formal.
 
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