「ReikoZ] Japanese

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「ReikoZ] Japanese

Postby RZariski » 2005-09-17, 6:11

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Re: 「ReikoZ] Japanese

Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-17, 6:53

ReikoZ wrote:はじめまして、私の名前はロスです。じゅうきゅうさいです。 Uvicの学生です。いちねんせいです。  せんもんは日本語です。どうぞよろしく。

Hello, sorry for the broken japanese up above. I'm 2 weeks into my intensive japanese course, and I'm loving it. I am very glad that I've been teaching myself Japanese for awhile though. In 2 weeks we've already covered hiragana, numbers 1-1000, time, basic sentances using の は か です and a bunch of expressions and vocab.

one question already though.
Is Russian language ロシア語? and how would I say and? I'm taking a double major so could it be. せんもんは日本語とロシア語です?


Yes, ロシア語 = Russian and と connects two nouns or noun phrases. BTW, you don't need to use 私 in any of those sentences. If you start with はじめまして, everyone will know who's being talked about.

Your teachers aren't telling you this, but it may be helpful to know -- です does not mean "am/is/are." In my mind, this is the biggest fallacy in Japanese language instruction. です is actually a predicate nominative conjugation for the formal, non-past, positive tense. In non-linguistic speak, this means that you when you want to indicate that a noun exists in the present or future, you add a conjugation suffix to the noun instead of using a verb, like you do in English. My teacher of Japanese, and many others I believe, try to pass です off as a verb, when really it's more like the 's' in 'reads' than the stem itself.

BTW, I've heard much worse 自己紹介 presented by people who've gotten jobs as teachers of English in Japan. If you had to introduce yourself to your boss or coworkers in Japan, you'd be able to do it. As far as I am concerned, please never use the formal with me once you have learned the informal (plain) form. :) Welcome to the board!

More advice that you can take or leave: please learn the kanji for all those words as soon as possible. My class in college didn't stress actual kanji recognition nearly enough (just writing), and it's very important if you want to read anything in Japanese. 専門(せんもん), 一年生(いちねんせい) and 十九歳(じゅうきゅうさい) are all important vocab. Also, most people in Japan will refer to your undergrad major as your 専攻(せんこう). 専門 literally means 'specialty' and is more of a grad school/occupation sort of thing. Not sure why it's in so many textbooks. Maybe an older usage of the word, or more polite maybe? Your textbook is almost certainly too polite. What are you using? If it's Genki or Youkoso, please go here to suppliment everything you learn in class: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/ . I really wish I'd had it when I was taking Japanese in class. It's an amazing site.

僕はマット。日本の中学校で英語を教えてる。奈良県という住んでる所は素晴らしくてきれいだな。よろしく! (I know that's probably difficult. Use www.popjisyo.com and deciphering that shouldn't be a problem... otherwise ask your teacher. :) )
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Re: 「ReikoZ] Japanese

Postby Car » 2005-09-17, 10:19

IkimashoZ wrote:Your teachers aren't telling you this, but it may be helpful to know -- です does not mean "am/is/are." In my mind, this is the biggest fallacy in Japanese language instruction. です is actually a predicate nominative conjugation for the formal, non-past, positive tense. In non-linguistic speak, this means that you when you want to indicate that a noun exists in the present or future, you add a conjugation suffix to the noun instead of using a verb, like you do in English.


Now this explains a lot! My book also translates です as "to be/am/is/are", but mentions that actually, it isn't a verb, just that it acts like a verb, so that's why it appears at the end of a sentence. I didn't get why it wasn't supposed to be a verb. Maybe they'll explain that later on, but until now, I was confused by that.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby RZariski » 2005-09-17, 18:07

wow! ありがとうございました IkimashoZ!

IkimashoZ wrote: Yes, ロシア語 = Russian and と connects two nouns or noun phrases. BTW, you don't need to use 私 in any of those sentences. If you start with はじめまして, everyone will know who's being talked about.


Ahh, I see. Thank you very much for clearing that up.

Your teachers aren't telling you this, but it may be helpful to know -- です does not mean "am/is/are." In my mind, this is the biggest fallacy in Japanese language instruction. です is actually a predicate nominative conjugation for the formal, non-past, positive tense.


Hmm, that's interesting. So is the above phrases wrong, or just not entirely correct? From this link http://www.guidetojapanese.org/copula.html
it says to add だ to the noun, or じゃない to make it negative. So....should it be の名前はロスだ instead of の名前はロスです?

IkimashoZ wrote: in Japan, you'd be able to do it. As far as I am concerned, please never use the formal with me once you have learned the informal (plain) form. Smile Welcome to the board!


Hehe. Thank you very much. :D

IkimashoZ wrote:More advice that you can take or leave: please learn the kanji for all those words as soon as possible. our textbook is almost certainly too polite. What are you using? If it's Genki or Youkoso, please go here to suppliment everything you learn in class


Okay, that sounds good actually, I was planning on learning as much of the kanji as possible. I am using the Genki textbook. Would you suggest learning the Kanji with the word as like vocabulary, for example learning 学生 as gakusei, rather then learning the two kanji seperately? At least for the time being?

Thank you very much for link, I've bookmarked it and it looks most helpful.

I am working on dechipering your message.

Thanks again.

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Postby RZariski » 2005-09-17, 18:28

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Re: 「ReikoZ] Japanese

Postby geoff » 2005-09-17, 19:17

To IkimashoZ:

Thanks for the great links! guidetojapanese is great, and so is popjisyo. A similar site to popjisyo I have been using is rikai.com.

geoff

MP: Sinun täytyy nousta ylös. Aurinko paistaa.
PM: Höh, mitä ihmeellista siinä on?
MP: Talvi on ohi, kevät on tullut ja elämä on ihana.
PM: Nukkuminenkin on ihanaa.

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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-18, 13:56

ReikoZ wrote:Hmm, that's interesting. So is the above phrases wrong, or just not entirely correct? From this link http://www.guidetojapanese.org/copula.html
it says to add だ to the noun, or じゃない to make it negative. So....should it be の名前はロスだ instead of の名前はロスです?


For a 自己紹介 you should use the formal tense, since you don't know the person you're talking to. This is probably my only big gripe about about guidetojapanese.org. It makes grammatical sense to start with informal, but no practical sense. You should learn to be polite before you learn to be informal so that you always err on the side of formality (it's less embarassing). However, the language is not structured in a way which makes learning the formal first helpful in any way in terms of actually understanding how the Japanese language works.

Allow me to clear this up this whole mess of formal and informal conjugation for you right here and now (Using Genki, it would normally take you a whole school year to get through all this material):

Formal Noun and な-Adjective* Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~です
Past Positive: ~でした
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~じゃありません
Past Negative: ~じゃありませんでした

Formal い-Adjective Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~です
Past Positive: ~「-い」かったです
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~「-い」くありません
Past Negative: ~「-い」くありませんでした

Formal る-Verb Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~「-る」ます
Past Positive: ~「-る」ました
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~「-る」ません
Past Negative: ~「-る」ませんでした

Formal う-Verb Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~「-う」います**
Past Positive: ~「-う」いました**
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~「-う」いません**
Past Negative: ~「-う」いませんでした**

Informal Noun and な-Adjective* Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~・~だ***
Past Positive: ~だった
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~じゃない
Past Negative: ~じゃなかった

Informal い-Adjective Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~
Past Positive: ~「-い」かった
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~「-い」くない
Past Negative: ~「-い」くなかった

Informal る-Verb Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~
Past Positive: ~「-る」た
Pres./Fut. Negative: ~「-る」ない
Past Negative: ~「-る」なかった

Informal う-Verb Conjugations:
Pres./Fut. Positive: ~
Past Positive: た-form***
Pres./Fut. Negative: 「-う」あない**
Past Negative: ~「-う」あなかった**

*ALWAYS drop the な suffix from a な-adjective
**う-verbs are wierd in that you're not just adding a suffix, but also changing the stem. For example, if your verb is 読む, then then formal, present/future, negative is 読みません and your informal, present/future, negative is 読まない.
***I'm not going to explain the た-form here. guidetojapanese.org has an excellent description of the た-form, as well as a very clear explanation as to why there are two ways to form the informal, present/future, positive of a な-adjective or noun.

ReikoZ wrote:Okay, that sounds good actually, I was planning on learning as much of the kanji as possible. I am using the Genki textbook. Would you suggest learning the Kanji with the word as like vocabulary, for example learning 学生 as gakusei, rather then learning the two kanji seperately? At least for the time being?


There are three elements I've come to rely on for kanji study:

1) First and foremost, don't try to learn kanji for words you don't know yet. You'll learn kanji much faster if you have a context to apply it to. Reading manga is an excellent way to learn kanji because your context is right there (with pictures!!) as you read. Just copy down the relevant kanji and make flashcards.

2) Learn the radicals (there are only 50 to 80 original radicals, depending on how you count them) and look up their original chinese meaning. This will help you immensely. Use the radicals to create mneumonics and you'll be much less likely to forget their meaning. For example, 買う is an inverted eye on top of a seashell. Seashells were originally used as currency in China, so someone [i]eyeing
a stand full of wares with a handful of money is the perfect image to connect the concept of buying to an otherwise abstract collection of lines.

3) Give yourself plenty of time, and start with the easiest kanji first. http://www.jlpt-kanji.com/ orders their kanji quite well and gives you plenty of vocab to practice with. Need some context so you'll remember the vocab let alone the kanji? Throw your new vocab into the search engine at http://www.alc.co.jp/ and scan the results for simple sentences. Since Japanese is so different from English, context is everything.

ReikoZ wrote:Thanks again.


No prob.
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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-18, 14:13

ReikoZ wrote:I have another question about Japanese numbers. I know the kanji for all the numbers, 1 past 1,000. But I have never really seen Japanese websites or people use them. For months and days I always see 1日2月 rather than 一日に月。Are the kanji for numbers being used left often?   


Right. Roman numberals are pretty widespread as far as things like date, time and advertisements are concerned. People will also tend to write using roman numerals rather than kanji too.

The number kanji do serve a practical purpose though. Most importantly, there are many idiomatic expressions that utilize them, like 一生懸命(いっしょううけんめい)[with all one's might]. They are also used in literature (and sometimes even manga and magazines) to indicate page numbers, and many japanese restaurants and stores list prices using kanji. For example, you may see a dish that costs 四五十円 or even, amusingly, a mix of the two systems like 一五00円.
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Postby RZariski » 2005-09-18, 19:05

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Postby Rounin » 2005-09-18, 20:18

If you have time, it's probably good idea to learn both the meanings of the individual kanji, and the names and meanings of the individual bits that they're composed of - However, Genki doesn't seem to be written for this purpose - The kanji are even ordered so that some of the more complex ones come before the more simple ones. If you're interested in doing this, some sort of kanji book might be of help.

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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-18, 22:40

ReikoZ wrote:Would you suggest learning all of those as vocab, without actually knowing what each of the individual kanji mean? We are going to be learning some kanji in class, I have a list of the ones from the course outline here.


One of the things that Genki does really well is that it gives you new kanji based on what words are used in that lesson. If you have a teacher that teaches kanji as the book instructs, this is great. I had a teacher that decided Genki started kanji "too soon" and thus everytime we learned new kanji, the vocab freshest in our minds was completely unrelated to our new kanji. Very bad idea.

Never learn kanji without a context. This means there are two things you can do -- 1) start supplimenting the kanji in Genki by learning other kanji used in the dialogues (or looking it up; as I recall, one and two don't use any at all). 2) start learning radicals and their origins. There's a great book for this. See if it's in the reference section of your university library. It's called A Guide to Remember Japanese Characters by Kenneth G. Henshall. There's another book out there with a similar title by James W. Heisig. This is NOT the book you want. He's going to try to fill your head full of ideas about separating kanji learning out into making one set of connections at a time (I was fooled by this writer at one point), but I've already given you the best part of Heisig's advice (mneumonics). In practice, the fastest way to learn kanji (IMHO) is to learn the pronunciations, the character and the meaning together in context.
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Postby RZariski » 2005-09-18, 23:39

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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-19, 6:06

Focus on recognizing words in context and recognizing what sounds individual kanji make and what their inherent meanings are. Once you link all this information successfully, you'll have mastered a kanji, in my opinion.

Lots of teachers like to stress writing, and this is fun, and helps your sense of proportion, but does absolutely nothing for memorizing any aspect of the kanji.

Make flashcards with a full word on one side, and the reading and english meaning on the other. You'll find that even after you go through a pile, you can still forget them. Once again, context is what will stick them in your memory permanently.
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Postby Car » 2005-09-19, 7:34

IkimashoZ wrote:There's another book out there with a similar title by James W. Heisig. This is NOT the book you want. He's going to try to fill your head full of ideas about separating kanji learning out into making one set of connections at a time (I was fooled by this writer at one point), but I've already given you the best part of Heisig's advice (mneumonics).


Interesting that you say it! My impression of his book(s) was good (but I only own his "Remembering the Kana", which seems to work so far, at least better than "Kana Pict-O-Graphix", but that's because the words appear in context in Heisig's book and his texts make you think about them long enough, the other book doesn't reach that, you have to make sure you're dealing with it long enough and if I don't know a word they use as a part of their mnemonics, it's a problem there - there are surprisingly many words used I don't know).
Henshall's book sounds good, but actually, without being able to see most of the books, I'm becoming more and more unsure every day. :?
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-20, 1:39

Hey guys. I'm working on a website. http://www.linguiquest.com/kanjibook/. If you know of any programs that will convert unicode documents into ISO (without screwing up all the foreign characters, you know, actually changing them into their ISO counterparts), that would be great because PHP doesn't support UTF8. Grr...
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Postby RZariski » 2005-09-22, 5:16

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Postby RZariski » 2005-09-22, 5:18

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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-23, 8:32

ReikoZ wrote:Hello, i have a quick question regarding a japanese worksheet that I have to fill in by Friday...This is a dialogue between たけしさん and メアリさん。 So far we have learned about majors and such, and learned the particles は、の、も、を、か I have these sentances.

メアリ:そうですか。せんもんはなんですか。
たけし:れきしです。
メアリ:そうですか。 
[This is where I have a question]
メアリ:わたし_れきしです。

Should the blank be も?
As in, my major is history as well? Or would it be の as in my major is history.

I think it should be も。。。But I'm not sure.

Thanks!


も is the correct answer. Remember, の connects two nouns and is an inverse "of". So, it indicates possession, just in the opposite direction. The best way to think about it is the English "'s". So, if you put in a の it becomes literally, "my's history," or "[It is] my history." This is grammatically correct, but makes no sense it context. If you put in a も, it becomes, "I [also] history", or "As for me too, [my major is] history."

You see, も is inherently different from the other particles you mentioned above. Where as the others all stand alone to mark noun phrases as having a certain function, も is merely an "add-on." It's only supplementing the real particle. The problem is, you can't see the real particle because the Japanese stopped saying and writing it a long time ago. It used to work like this:

は→はも (as for... -> as for ... too)
が→がも ([subj] -> [subj] ... too)
を→をも ([obj] -> [obj] ... too)
に→にも (to ... -> to ... too)
で→でも (at ... -> at ... too)

This is how it used to be. But, the Japanese got lazy and decided that those first three really didn't need to keep the base particle. So now it looks like this.

は→も
が→も
を→も
に→にも
で→でも

That's why I used "as for" in my literally translation. It's really supposed to be はも but people don't say that anymore. They just say も.

Check out the kanji site, it's coming along well.
http://www.linguiquest.com/kanjibook/

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Postby 勺园之鬼 » 2005-09-23, 11:04

ReikoZ wrote:Hello, i have a quick question regarding a japanese worksheet that I have to fill in by Friday...This is a dialogue between たけしさん and メアリさん。 So far we have learned about majors and such, and learned the particles は、の、も、を、か I have these sentances.

メアリ:そうですか。せんもんはなんですか。
たけし:れきしです。
メアリ:そうですか。 
[This is where I have a question]
メアリ:わたし_れきしです。


Not related to your question at all, yet I think it would be best for you to learn the kanji for the aforemented words.

専門 = せんもん
何 = なん
歴史 = れきし

There is also 私 which can be used for わたし but it is not too common. For the others, the use of kanji is compulsory...

I see your method also teaches kanji, this is why I wonder about seeing kana when kanji would be used in Japanese for these words. Will the method teach kanji for these words later? If so, to give my opinion, I think it's not the best method to learn it, far from it... Because in the future, when reading Japanese texts in a Japanese environment, you will probably not see kana for such words. I believe learning the combination kanji/furigana/meaning at the same time is the best deal. And it doesn't necessarily need more work; on the other hand you'll see how reading words will come all naturally... ;)

Another problem I've been facing lately (I'm trying to get further in Japanese too ;)) deals with the pronunciation of kanji in different compounds. Many are the kanji which have at least one 音読み (on reading) and two or more 訓読み (kun reading) (although the latter ones sound close most often).

I'll try to explain this with some examples.

For instance the characters 書 and 人 :

図書館 (としょかん)
読書 (どくしょ)
書籍 (しょせき)
書きます (かきます)
書き方 (かきかた)

日本人 (にほんじん)
人間 (にんげん)
人 (ひと)

From the examples above, you can see that 書 has different readings: しょ or か(く), and that 人 has different readings too: じん にん ひと.

Among these, しょ じん にん are 音読み, they are used most often in compounds.

On the other hand, ひと and か(く) are 訓読み. 訓読み are used most of the time when standalone, or when combined with kana to make a word.
for instance: 花 (はな)、 売り場 (うりば)

When there are words combined of two or more kanji, a majority of them are to be read as 音読み (even if there are quite a few to be read as 訓読み).
For instance, 動物 (どうぶつ) is 音読み and 建物 (たてもの) is 訓読み (I was fooled at first, I would have bet that it was read けんぶつ like another word, 見物 ;))

There are also some very special readings, like:
一人 (ひとり)
今日 (きょう)
昨日 (きのう)
明日 (あす、あした)

This can be very confusing, this is why you have to learn the furigana over the kanji along with them, and why learning the 'n' different pronunciations (sometimes more than 10) for a given kanji is both useless and painful ... ;)

I hope this was not too messy and off topic. :lol:
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Postby IkimashoZ » 2005-09-23, 22:07

勺园之鬼 wrote:I see your method also teaches kanji, this is why I wonder about seeing kana when kanji would be used in Japanese for these words. Will the method teach kanji for these words later? If so, to give my opinion, I think it's not the best method to learn it, far from it... Because in the future, when reading Japanese texts in a Japanese environment, you will probably not see kana for such words. I believe learning the combination kanji/furigana/meaning at the same time is the best deal. And it doesn't necessarily need more work; on the other hand you'll see how reading words will come all naturally... ;)


Right. I address this in the very long intro on the site. When systematically trying to learn all the kanji, it does you no good, in my view, to try to learn one kanji by connecting it to equally new and confusing information (a new, and probably more complex, kanji).

Western languages don't have this problem. Simple words that are related to new vocab can go a long way toward helping, because they themselves are inherently simple!

Trying to learn the meaning and readings of 人 by also memorizing 人間, 日本人 and 一人 is like saying, "okay, let's remember English 'anti-' by practicing the usage and spelling of 'antidisestablismentarianism'". Maybe a bit extreme, especially for you and me, since we've both run into all of those Japanese words a number of time. You have to come at this from the perspective of someone who's learning this as totally new information.

My site will eventually teach all the words as full kanji compounds, once each individual element has been covered. In each section there will be a chart called 'review vocab' that lets you practice words that have appeared before in partial form, but that you now have the final character for. ... I haven't implimented it yet. That shall be my project for this morning.
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