General Learning Japanese

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ScaryHobo, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. ScaryHobo

    ScaryHobo Harem Master

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    こんにちわeveryone! I haven't been on here in a while, and I'm happy to see the forum is still active!! I just finished my first semester of college, and I'm learning Japanese - I love it!! I plan on studying abroad in Japan my junior year, and I was wondering if anyone had experience with learning Japanese. I got an A in the class, and I'm not having any clear trouble with learning the language; I really love learning about it. Furthermore, watching anime counts towards our required listening record for the class -- 3 hours of Japanese audio a week. Anyway, it's good to be back on the forum!
     
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  2. Kuze

    Kuze 『WANTED』
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    Good luck with your learning fam. I plan on enrolling myself for a class as well. Though it's just for backpacking purposes.
     
  3. sanzfei

    sanzfei Night Shift
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    初めての日本語クラスを受講しておめでとうございます!

    Remember that reading, writing, speaking and listening are all separate skills that you can't neglect. Being able to read a kanji doesn't mean you can recall it from memory for writing it. Being able to listen and understand grammar doesn't mean you will be able to speak it in a different context. A good idea is to have an hour of conversation with your classmates each day where no English is allowed.

    One thing that I wish they would teach to Japanese learners is the meaning of kanji radicals. The earlier you memorize the radicals the easier time you will have with remembering more complicated kanji, especially as you encounter more difficult and similar looking kanji.

    For example:
    The radicals are [糸 シ いと thread] and [岡 コウ おか hill]. An easy way to remember the original kanji is to use the meaning of each radical in a mnemonic sentence like, "The thread on the hill is a rope." You can also see that the kanji has inherited the onyomi of hill, コウ. This is the case for most kanji as they usually take at least one reading from their radicals.

    Here is a tricky one, at first glance it looks almost identical to the kanji for rope but one of the sub-radicals is slightly different.
    The radical for thread is still there but instead of hill it's 罔 which is the old kanji for net that isn't in use anymore so you don't need to worry about its onyomi or kunyomi as the new kanji has taken all of them. A mnemonic for this radical would be, "The thread and net make mesh."

    The above kanji are very similar and even give Japanese people a hard time. While many kanji can be almost identical you can tell the difference if you know the radicals that make them up. There are thousands of kanji but only 200 radicals that make them. So if you can memorize the radicals then you can memorize any kanji in no time with mnemonics.

    日本語の勉強をがんばってください!
     
    #3 sanzfei, Jan 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  4. yoda313

    yoda313 JEDI MASTER
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    I tried to learn awhile back. Got a dictionary and a dummies book and an online thing. I just never put enough time in, oh and a audio cd.

    Welcome back by the way :)
     
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  5. ScaryHobo

    ScaryHobo Harem Master

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    Thank you!! I think it's strange that our Japanese class did not even go over radicals. I actually saw a youtube video on it by JapanesePod101, and I'll take some time to memorize all of them. We are only required to know about 72 kanji right now. By the end of 102, I think we will know around 200. Thanks for the advice!

    Also my Japanese class is mostly only in Japanese. It was terrifying at first, but speaking only Japanese with our professor and classmates actually wasn't too difficult at all. I love doing it!!
     
  6. sanzfei

    sanzfei Night Shift
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    Most elementary Japanese classes condense a years worth of material into 3-month semesters so they often ignore radicals and stroke-orders, which are incredibly important. I do not suggest sitting down with a list of radicals and trying to memorize all 200 of them alone. It will be much more effective to memorize them as you study the kanji that use them. I'm guessing you are currently using Genki and are around Lesson 6 which means you should have about 60 kanji you should know. Many of these initial kanji are simple and are actually themselves radicals. Like 日, 半, and 土. You will see this kanji constantly as radicals in more complicated kanji. Try and memorize the onyomi and kunyomi of all of those kanji before your next semester. I also suggest covering up any furigana in the textbook with post-it notes to force yourself to recall kanji from memory. Furigana is a crutch that will hurt you in the long run.
     
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  7. ScaryHobo

    ScaryHobo Harem Master

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    We do have to memorize stroke order. My sensei was a stickler for stroke order haha; she could tell just by looking at the kanji if I followed the stroke order or not! And yes, we are using Genki as our textbook. Thanks for the advice!
     
  8. Narilka

    Narilka Destroyer of Worlds
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    I took a couple of Japanese classes in college and loved it. There is a lot to it but it came naturally to me. I worked in a mentor program at my university and we had a large Japanese student base so it made it easier to help them and converse with them.

    Like Sanz said you have to use it daily, or most days. To get pronunciation down and to become more fluid, like in any new language. But I found it really fun to take.
     

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