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Hi there, I'm Midna.

Discussion in 'Welcome Center' started by HerrDoktorMidna, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. HerrDoktorMidna

    HerrDoktorMidna Inkling

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    Japanese Lessons with Midna Greenling
    Japanese can either be 日本人(Nihonjin) or 日本語(Nihongo) which I see it most of the time being 「日本語」.
    If you use a IME Japanese keyboard where you type in the Kanji, in order to put 『ん』you have to type in NN. There are two N's.
    Kanji can also be hard, but all you have to do it press space for the Kanji of ーlet's say a nameー it to appear, such as what I did with 『Nihon(n)go』above.

    Also, don't trust Google Translate often. Most of the time their translations are incorrect, but I have no clue regarding their Kanji. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I should consider getting a Japanese WiiU some day.

    UPDATE: I might as well also say that 『わ』(Wa) can also be put out as 『は』(Ha) but also said as Wa, just like the word 『こんにちは』
     
    #21 HerrDoktorMidna, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
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  2. birdiebee

    birdiebee Inkling Commander

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    Just as an addendum to the above post,
    • I'm sure Midna knew this, but it was worded confusingly. So just to clarify 日本人 is specifically Japanese people/person, not interchangeable with 日本語, where 語 represents language.
    • You can make anything Japanese (as a qualifier adjective) by saying 日本の_____ (ex. 日本の野球 - Japanese baseball, 日本の料理 - Japanese cuisine, etc)
    • When you type ん within the middle of a word, (lets just use nihongo as an example), its not necessary to press it N twice. It will autocorrect to ん. Likewise, if you want ん at the end of the word for anything other than hiragana, you can just press N once followed by the spacebar and it will autocorrect to the most common suggestion (same as what Midna mentioned for kanji) (ex. ぷりn pressing spacebar after this makes プリン - pudding!!! yay)
    • Lastly, わ and は are neverrr interchangeable, and  は only shares the same pronunciation as わ when used as a particle.
     
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  3. HerrDoktorMidna

    HerrDoktorMidna Inkling

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    ^This :3
    My lessons haven't gone much, but most of this I forgot to mention.
     
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  4. Mendax

    Mendax Pro Squid

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    sheesh, you guys know way more japanese than me! props...
    any advice for a struggling learner?
     
  5. birdiebee

    birdiebee Inkling Commander

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    Are you self-studying?
    I took classes for 3 years in college, including a semester of intensive study in Japan. So the structured nature of my classes made it easier for me to do drills and such.

    I would say, for the VERY beginning, many textbooks and teachers make the mistake of teaching sentence structures before drilling the kanas. This is wrong. Learning Japanese with romanji is a complete waste of time as once you learn hiragana, katakana and kanji you will never use romanji again. So memorize how to write and say all of the kana before you even bother with a simple AはBです. sentence. It just makes more sense. That way, you can start reading real basic Japanese and even though you dont understand the grammar, you can at least pronounce the sounds. From there, you can begin to parse together the structures of based on textbook lessons or internet lessons. Which, by the way, I would recommend buying or downloading the textbook series Genki I and II. It's what I used and its for the most part a very easy to comprehend and practical book to study the language with.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. モモコ

    モモコ Inkling Cadet

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    The thing is how do I type without knowing the romanji? Like I know what japan is, or japeanse lanuage I just do not know how type it because I do not know the romanji ><
    Like this post:
    It is clear to me, I just do not know how type it myself ><
     
  7. Mendax

    Mendax Pro Squid

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    Yeah, I've just been self-studying. Even then, I haven't done a whole lot on it...

    Thanks for the info.
    I'm thinking about learning either Kanji or Hiragana. Are there any major differences? if so, which one would you recommend I learn?
     
  8. モモコ

    モモコ Inkling Cadet

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    Hiragana is the foundation, kenji is the house, so Hiragana first.

    It is like asking do you learn a-b-c's first in English or full words. Sometimes you might encounter both even when trying to learn simple phrases but it should not take long to learn the Hiragana individual letters. (or sounds? I guess?) I do not think calling them simply letters is the same thing as English letters but it is the only label i know. My first of course is my name, モモ、(Katakana, カタカナ) then finding out it was also written もも(ひらがな、Hiragana)but I did not understand the difference then. Katakana, カタカナ、is used for foreign words so you will see them time to time even in simple phrases/words like コンピュー (konpyuta) for computer and バナナ, for banana (forget the exact romji)

    I do not know if this the exact or correct way word this but the kenji (chinease characters) is a kind of short hand for full words? like 雪for ゆき(yuki), snow.

    雪だるま作ろう (NA splatfest, lul):


    also here is why you do not depend on google translate:
     
    #28 モモコ, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  9. birdiebee

    birdiebee Inkling Commander

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    Well, you learn that か is pronounced "ka" so in that respect you learn individual hiragana through romanji. My point is that you should not endeavor to learn grammar points and sentence structures before you have hiragana down, or else you will be backtracking when it comes time to learn it. Many people studying Japanese use romanji as a crutch from never mastering the basic kana early on and it makes for an irritating roadblock down the line because intermediate textbooks won't give you any romanji. (The Genki textbooks I mention drop romanji from their lessons around chapter 4 or so, which is still very beginner)

    Momoko put it pretty well. I just wanna elaborate a little bit.
    Japanese writing has three main components: hiragana, katakana, kanji. English writing has one: the Roman alphabet. Already, you can see that Japanese is a clusterf***. It's a notoriously messy and convoluted writing system, and frequently ranked among the most difficult in the world to understand. BUT, compared to English, it is VERY systematic, and patterns are easy to recognize and generally remains consistent to set rules whereas English has virtually no rules.

    Anyway, you need all three to be functional in the language, but like Momoko said, focus on hiragana first. In beginner textbooks, or if you see kids books in Japan, you'll see no kanji, because the vocabulary is quite simple and readers wouldn't recognize many characters anyway. The reason kanji exists in the first place is because Japan has very few sounds in the language compared to English. In a writing system with so few sounds, meanings would be incredibly confusing. There can be upwards of 30 words all pronounced the exact same way, so kanji is absolutely crucial in intermediate Japanese and beyond.

    Originally, there was only hiragana and katakana. Hiragana was used by women, and katakana was used by men (you can see this by the feminine loops and curves of hira and the sharp and more masculine looking kata). Chinese settlers in Japan brought over Kanji, which the Japanese began ascribing to things that they already had words for. For example, the word for snow in Japanese is ゆき (yuki). The Kanji is 雪, but the Chinese pronunciation of 雪 is セツ (setsu). So now, this one character has two readings: an onyomi and a kunyomi. Onyomi is the Chinese original pronunciation (denoted in katakana as a borrowed word) and a kunyomi, a pronunciation based on the Japanese word which that character represents (denoted in hiragana as a native word). The two readings have different purposes which I won't really get into right now because this is already droning on I think lol

    Anyway, the Japanese adopted kanji because, like I mentioned earlier, their language was difficult to convey as a writing system without it. Japanese was a spoken language only for many centuries prior to developing the kanas, which were only used by aristocrats (mostly women, who spent their days in castles with little else to do but write). However, it was deemed insufficient, so the kanji was adopted to make the written language less vague
     

    Learning kanji is definitely hard and sucks especially at first because drills are really the only way to learn it. But you'll start with easy things like numbers, colors, days, time, and very common verbs and the rest will fall into place later. But starting out, you don't really need to worry about the fact that わたしは23さいです can be written like 私は23歳です. You'll learn it when the time is right ;) Its more pressing at first just to know that わたし (watashi) is I, さい (sai) is years old, and です (desu) is "am" (and that は- wa is the subject identifying particle denoting that I am the subject, but anyway.)

    Anyway I hope I didn't discourge you with my longwinded verbose lecture!
     
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  10. HerrDoktorMidna

    HerrDoktorMidna Inkling

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    This is slowly turning into a thread about another language. Whoops.
     
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  11. モモコ

    モモコ Inkling Cadet

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    sorry, i am part to blame, so welcome to squidboards? XD
     
  12. HerrDoktorMidna

    HerrDoktorMidna Inkling

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    Welp. I try. XD
     

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