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Need Urgent Help!

Learn more about the community and how they are learning Japanese and about Japan. Do a little listener-to-listener chit chat. Keep it civil, and everything else goes.

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varundbest104534
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Need Urgent Help!

Postby varundbest104534 » July 14th, 2013 7:27 am

Well i am about to choose my foreign language for next 4 years in college and kinda confused!!! I want to learn japanese but scared if its hard (Like chinese is hard, i've heard). So confused between german, french and japanese (Wont choose spanish). Please help me... Which one to choose?

mmmason8967
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Location: Huntingdon, England

Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby mmmason8967 » July 14th, 2013 5:18 pm

Well, Japanese is a hard language; but that doesn't necessarily mean that a college course in French or German is going to be easier than a college course in Japanese. I'd imagine that the relative difficulty would be taken into account and that the level of fluency you'd be expected to achieve in French would be quite a bit higher than the level you'd be expected to achieve in Japanese.

You said that you want to learn Japanese: motivation is a big, important factor if you're going to learn a language. Do you feel the same way about French and German?

Personally, I think if you're at all interested in learning Japanese and you're being offered a college-level course with tutoring and all the other advantages you get in college, and it's basically free of charge (well, it comes at no extra cost, anyway), I'd grab it. This opportunity is not going to come your way again.

マイケル

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community.japanese
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Joined: November 16th, 2012 5:54 pm

Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby community.japanese » July 15th, 2013 7:31 pm

varundbest104534-san, マイケルsan,
kon'nichiwa!

That's a great advice, マイケルsan! Thank you very much! :flower:

I agree; motivation makes a big difference.
Why do you learn that language? Why do you want to? What do you want with it?
I think those are the basic questions we often ask ourselves, aren't they? :wink:

Japanese language is "different", so it can sound or seem difficult. It's really how you take it; at the first step
in Japanese is not scary at all. For example, French (sorry, I don't know anything about German) has
feminin and muscline nouns and verbs conjugate differently according to "who" is the subject. Japanese
don't have either of those issues. We don't have singular/plural. Does this sound "difficult" for you?

Leaning foreign language at colleage is, like Michael-san wrote, a great opportunity which you really shouldn't
miss. Whatever the language you choose, I want you to enjoy learning it. Language learning involves a lot more
than just a language; it at least pulls you into the world and culture where "that language lives".
Also, I believe there's no short cut for language learning; it takes time. It actually takes "time and money".
There's a reseach/study that language exchange is the least effctive method if you want to learn (not practice
speaking, but learn a new language). In university, you don't have to pay extra for learning a new language,
so it's already a "plus". But you have to be patient about "time". This means, you need "motivation" and need to
enjoy learning it, otherwise learning a new language will be just another reason of headache :mrgreen:

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

varundbest104534
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby varundbest104534 » July 16th, 2013 2:05 am

First of all, i 'Love' Japan and japanese people, they seem friendly (I haven't met them personally), i am doing B.Tech in computer science and engineering..'My syllabus - http://amity.edu/Admission/course_structure/A23052.html
I saw around half a dozen of your lessons (Youtube) and it seems sexy language, i didnt had much problem (But i have only mugged up few sentences so cant really say, a couple of your audio leseons werent so great, i prefer hirokosan's white board writing and teaching style better).... But Spanish seems 'Extremely' easy, Literally!! Other reason for Japanese is that Japanese companies are coming to India - http://www.dnaindia.com/money/1750020/r ... are-coming
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/busi ... 940395.cms
You can say me as a complete techn-geek... If i buy/use something, i want to know how it works and more than that - 'how it was built', I created my own websites and earned more than $3000 from then when i was in 9th grade, i am learning to make android apps now (I am 19 years old) and will learning Japanese help me with these companies at all? My college isn't even started and i have already stared to learn japanese like - hajimemashite, i can also write it in japanese but dont have fonts for it in my laptop.... Also also have subscribed word of the day, today's was noto, notebook ;) What should i do? Now there are only two options i have ruled out - Japanese and Spanish (I changed my mind :P)

varundbest104534
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby varundbest104534 » July 16th, 2013 2:08 am

And not to forget, i lie this song - Melody (Miyuki Ishikawa) -- Love Story :P But i don't want a big burden on me as my syllabus is kinda big... Languages i already know - English (Extremely decently! Top scorer in my class!), Hindi (My native) and a bit of Sanskrit.

andycarmenjapanese8100
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby andycarmenjapanese8100 » July 19th, 2013 4:35 am

I don't want to discourage you but I'm less positive than マイケル-san and Natsuko-san. Understanding parts of Japanese professional wrestling (which I've wanted to do for years, it NEVER comes with subtitles) and chatting with Japanese girls in their own language were awesome experiences but I don't feel like I've gotten out the same amount as I've put in. The high points are amazing but there has been a lot of grief and confusion.

One of the worst parts is that I don't think I'll ever reach a level close to fluency. I don't think I'll ever be able to truly watch a TV show and understand anything more than a general overview of the plot. The language just doesn't form properly in my brain, the sentences seem jumbled and putting it altogether at natural native speed is utterly impossible for me. Sometimes I recognise every word in a sentence and still have no clue what it means. I'm not a part-time learner either, I do this for hours every day and I've been studying for over a year now. I frequently feel like I know nothing.

And all of this is coming from somebody who hasn't even attempted to learn kanji. That's a whole new world of pain.

Still, I'm not one of those people that opines that they'd be "fluent in Spanish" by now if I'd done that instead - I know that's not true. I'd have quit Spanish by now because I don't care about it. The reason I stick at Japanese is because I desperately want to get good at it, even if its a futile dream.

If you're only considering learning a foreign language because you're being nudged into it by your university and haven't already made a serious effort to learn it by yourself, then I don't know if Japanese is right for you. It's one of those languages that requires a lot of dedication and love.

Plus, you're also doing computer science and engineering? If that's your main passion then focus on it, don't burden yourself with other difficult subjects that are going to frustrate you. Japanese will be there after university if you still want to study it. Doing two complicated subjects side-by-side would be super difficult.

Do Spanish.

team.relationships
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby team.relationships » July 19th, 2013 4:41 pm

Andy-san,varundbest104534-san, マイケルsan,
kon'nichiwa!

Thank you for explaining your point of view, it's always interesting to have different experiences.

I wouldn't encourage or discourage Varundbest-san in learning or not one of this languages.
All languages are hard to learn if you don't work a lot, and especially if you don't know how your memory works.
In my humble opinion, French and Japanese are both really hard!
I learned Italian and German for years, but I can't understand a lot of German!

To be honest, I would say the same as Michael-san : Do what you want. "Home is where the heart is", but it works for motivation too !!

Mélanie
Team JapanesePod101.com

mmmason8967
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Location: Huntingdon, England

Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby mmmason8967 » July 21st, 2013 10:10 pm

andycarmenjapanese8100 wrote:One of the worst parts is that I don't think I'll ever reach a level close to fluency. I don't think I'll ever be able to truly watch a TV show and understand anything more than a general overview of the plot. The language just doesn't form properly in my brain, the sentences seem jumbled and putting it altogether at natural native speed is utterly impossible for me. Sometimes I recognise every word in a sentence and still have no clue what it means. I'm not a part-time learner either, I do this for hours every day and I've been studying for over a year now. I frequently feel like I know nothing.

I have very similar feelings myself. I'm 57 and I've tended to think that my problem is that I've left it too late to learn another language. It's comforting, in a way, to discover that there's someone else with similar problems. And it's not just you and me: yesterday I came across this blog posting about The Intermediate Plateau.

One of the main problems I have is that I don’t have anyone I can practise talking Japanese with. I had an opportunity recently to talk with a Japanese speaker, and I found I couldn't do it. I could have written the words down, but I couldn't think of what to say and say it at the same time.

The other problem that gets me down is that I cannot understand middle-aged male Japanese speakers at all. I can't make out the words: it's just like a kind of blur and all the vowels sound the same (like 'uh'). In the JapanesePod101 course I've been doing recently one of the characters is a middle-aged man, and the result is that I've become completely stuck. Even following along with the PDF I still find it very, very difficult to make out what he's saying.

マイケル

community.japanese
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby community.japanese » July 23rd, 2013 11:40 am

Andy-san, マイケルさん、
I completely understand your disappointment and frustration :(
When we learn a foreign language, we all wish if we could learn faster. Right now, I'm in my second year
of learning a new language as well and I don't feel any improvement at all.
So, Andy-san, even if you feel you don't understand anything or not making any progress, be patient;
I'm sure you're doing just fine. In fact, I've seen many of your compositions and you've been doing very well.
Also I know that there're people simply cannot understand languages easily, but it seems you have a
good sense! :wink:
It's been over one year you've been learning Japanese, right? As a result of just one year, your knowledge and
ability in composing Japanese sentences are amazing :oiwai:
I studied Portuguese in university as my major; we had 6 classes of 90 minutes a week and finished basic grammar
in one year. After one year, how fluent was I? Not even close to "fluent".

When you feel discouraged, it might be a good idea to see some easy Japanese.
It clearly shows that you're better than before. :wink:

Like マイケルsan has, we all seem to have problems or difficulties to understand certain age group :?
In English's case (for us Japanese and any other non-native of English), it could also be "certain ethnic group".
I'm not too sure which J-Pod character you have difficulties to understand, マイケルsan, but if you remember the
name or lesson numbers, please feel free to let us know. It could also be because of the way the character speaks.

Being able to write but not being able to speak (as good as writing) makes us feel irritated.
We might need to find the solution for that; I myself need to :mrgreen:

In anyway, Andy-san and マイケルsan are both doing really great!
Oh, and マイケルsan, it's never late to start anything :wink:
I admire your spirit of starting new thing even if you wonder if it was too late. :flower:

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

mmmason8967
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby mmmason8967 » July 24th, 2013 8:05 am

community.japanese wrote:Like マイケルsan has, we all seem to have problems or difficulties to understand certain age group :?
In English's case (for us Japanese and any other non-native of English), it could also be "certain ethnic group".
I'm not too sure which J-Pod character you have difficulties to understand, マイケルsan, but if you remember the
name or lesson numbers, please feel free to let us know. It could also be because of the way the character speaks.

There is nothing wrong with the way the character speaks. The problem is the way I listen.

Many years ago, when I was at school, the French teacher read us a passage in French and then asked if we'd understood it. No, we hadn't. He asked us if we knew the reason why we couldn't understand it. It must be very complicated, we said. No, it isn't, he said, I'll show you what the problem is. And then he read the passage again with a dreadful English accent and we all understood it.

Same problem here, I think. The middle-aged Japanese character is speaking Japanese with a Japanese accent...

Oh, and マイケルsan, it's never late to start anything :wink:
I admire your spirit of starting new thing even if you wonder if it was too late. :flower:

I've been interested in bonsai for a very long time. In around 1985 I bought a couple of Japanese bonsai books. They are full of pictures but, of course, I couldn't read the text. Actually, at first I couldn't even read the pictures--at least, not until I eventually realised that Japanese books start at the other end and work in the opposite direction...

I've wanted to know what those books say for almost thirty years. I occasionally tried the kind of language course you get on cassette tapes with a book, but they were pretty hopeless. My favourite example explains how to ask how much this costs and how much that costs and how much that over there costs, but doesn't tell you how to understand the answer.

But now there's the Internet, there's JPod101, Jim Breen's dictionary, Tae Kim, Rikaichan and easy access to an endless supply of Japanese web pages. I can even ask questions and a real Japanese lady in Tokyo answers them! It's just incredible. I've had to wait a long time, but learning Japanese is actually a real possibility now. :D

マイケル

community.japanese
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Re: Need Urgent Help!

Postby community.japanese » July 24th, 2013 5:18 pm

マイケルさん、
:lol:
"dreadful English accent" :mrgreen:
I see; it's just a matter of the accent being "very native".
Probably like certain British accent for us too. :mrgreen:
This reminded me of one (probably only) shocking experience:

I was shocked when I first watched Emmerdale or Coronation street, which are "world" famous long long long run
soap operas, and thought "OMG; I really can't understand English at all! I can't understand even one single word on TV!" :lol:
Later I was pleased to know it was not really my fault. I know it's a different case, but not just "being very native", but
there can be several reasons why we have difficulties in understanding certain group...
For me, very rhythmical American English from male black Americans with real heavy low voice is often difficult to
understand. Japanese middle age males don't usually have high pitch nor too low, and their voice might sounds
similar (which means they create a "group"), so I think I understand... :lol:

mmmason8967 wrote:I've been interested in bonsai for a very long time. In around 1985 I bought a couple of Japanese bonsai books. They are full of pictures but, of course, I couldn't read the text. Actually, at first I couldn't even read the pictures--at least, not until I eventually realised that Japanese books start at the other end and work in the opposite direction...

マイケル


Bonsai :kokoro:
It's interesting to know about this "opposite direction" in books :lol:
Since we now have both in Japan, we often don't realise it's so strange to foreign people.
Now that you understand a lot more than, probably when you got that book, you might understand all? :wink:

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com


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