Finally decided to take a crack at Japanese

As the title says, I've decided to take a look at learning some Japanese. Currently, I know English (duh!) which is my first language, Spanish about 75%, Latin (gramatically 100%, but my vocabulary retention is fail), and I've dabbled in French. I decided I was tired of Indo-European languages, and thought I might try something different. I've always wanted to learn an east asian language, and Japanese is perfect for me for a number of reasons.

A) I want to place Policenauts by Hideo Kojima (producer/creator of Metal Gear, enough said!) and its Japanese only
B) Lot's of stuff I want from Yahoo Auctions Japan
C) I want to eventually get an X68000, and while not necessary, it would help
D) I'd like to go to Japan some day
E) I just like the language!

I think languages are really fascinating, and it's really cool to learn something COMPLETELY different from English. Luckily, I've invented my own writing systems before, and memorized those (or atleast HAD memorized them), so I do have some experience in that area. Speaking of which, one of my writing systems was UNCANNILY close to Hiragina! Anyhow, we'll see how I do. Right now I'm trying to master Kana, but from preliminary looks, Japanese grammar appears to be relatively simple compared to say, Latin (perhaps one of the most inflected languages ever, but luckily very uniform). Wish me luck!
Sounds like a plan! At least you have the pronounciation part down, with the Japanese sounds being just about the same as Spanish. There's a crapload of memorization, though, with the kanji...

Good luck!


:O2000R: (<-EMXI/IO6G) :O200: :O200: :O200: (<- quad R12k O200 w/GIGAchannel and ESI+Tex) plus a bunch of assorted standalone workstations...
Yeah, I remember reading the same thing. Luckily I do have some experience with learning languages to rely on. I'm just really glad I didn't take it in school. The thing is, school's want to get you speaking ASAP, providing you with an incomplete understanding of the language, which is why my Spanish is screwed up. They try to make it easier in the beginning, but in the end, make it all the more confusing. When I learned (learning?) Latin, I just used Wheelock's, but didn't bother focusing on the vocab, and instead tried to master the grammar. Problems in grammar are hard to correct, but you can easily learn more vocab.
The Keeper wrote:
At least you have the pronounciation part down, with the Japanese sounds being just about the same as Spanish.

that's weird, i really, really, hate the sound of spanish, but i love the sound of japanese.

I love my iPad!!!
Skywriter: I have the same opinion! I live in Texas, so I have PLENTY of Spanish to listen to though. However, with that being said, I have found the Spanish spoken in Spain to sound a LOT better, perhaps it's due to their actual use of proper grammar? Anyhow, I think the main similarity between Spanish and Japanese are the vowels, which brings me to another thing...

For anyone here who is a MGS fan,
I just realized that La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo, is the order of Japanes vowels, cool! I guess in japanese, it would be the "r" sound instead of the L.
Good luck in your studies.

You seem to be a fan of Metal Gear Solid series. As an old MSX user, I must say that SD Snatcher is much better game than Metal Gear Solid.
I've actually been looking for Snatcher for Sega CD, too bad the Saturn version was Japanese only (may not be a problem soon! heh) Anything coming from Hideo Kojima is gold IMO. (well, not some of the newer stuff, but that another story). As for whether or not Snatcher is better than MGS, I'm not sure, to each his own. I've never played Snatcher, but it looks really good.
As someone who has learned japanese for some time now, I can say this:
- pronounciation is really simple (at least for me, with German as primary language). You just pronounce what is written. The only difficult thing is the "r" sound but you'll handle that in no time.
- Compared to other asian languages (chinese, korean) there's no tonal language and no intonation used, at least if you're not aiming to rival native speakers (slight intonational changes occur but they can generally be ignored by a beginner)
- the grammar is actually pretty easy (only 2 irregular verbs) and systematic. However, since there are for example only 2 times (past and present/future) you have to memorize a lot of simple sentence structures to express things that happen relative to each other in time. These structures easy in themselves but there's an awful lot of them
- "keigo". sooner or later you'll encounter the "honorative language". This is pure evil, i.e. more (and irregular) verb forms to learn, new grammatical structures, and so on. the good thing is that you can get around in japan quite easy without speaking it. the bad thing is that you have to recognize and understand it, so you'll have to learn it anyway ;-)
- kanji. Not so much a problem nowadays, with small pocket dictionaries that tell you the meaning of the kanji if you draw it on the display. But with all the different readings and special readings for some compounds it can get very stressful to memorize them. Try to learn about 20 kanji (with like 4-6 compound words each) every week, practising the ones that came earlier so that you don't forget them.
- particles. Most of the time these are quite logical grammatical helper words, but here, too, the exceptions can be annoying. for example you use "ni" to specify the destination of a movement verb, and "de" to specify the location of an action taking place. but for example the verb "to live in" also takes the "ni" particle even though it does specify a place and not a movement. And that's just one of the easier ones... ;-)

Apart from that I think that japanese is a very nice language to learn, and the effect of watching a japanese movie or anime and understanding whole sentences is very rewarding :-)

ganbatte kudasai!


My SGI collection, in chronological order:
:Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :Octane: :Indigo: :O2000: :O2: :O2: :O2: :O2000:
Current tasks: Find Indigo Keyboard+Mouse, find Octane PCI cardcage, find O2k Hardware

Other systems from my collection:
IBM PReP 43P/120, HP 9000/712, DEC VAXstation 4000 model 60, HP Envizex II, DEC AlphaStation 200, Amiga 2000, HP NetServer LH4r, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Atari 512ST, Sun SPARCengine CP1500, Sun SPARCengine Ultra AXi