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View Poll Results: What is the most difficult in learning Japanese ?

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  • the grammatical structure (subject + object + verb)

    50 16.03%
  • the particules (wa, ga, wo, ni...)

    98 31.41%
  • memorizing the vocabulary (too different from other languages)

    79 25.32%
  • the untranslatable cultural words (irasshaimase, ojama shimasu...)

    51 16.35%
  • the verbs forms (-rareru, -te, -ttara...)

    84 26.92%
  • the politeness levels (keigo...)

    98 31.41%
  • the writing (especially the kanji)

    167 53.53%
  • understanding katakana words

    33 10.58%
  • the pronuciation

    18 5.77%
  • other (non listed, please specify)

    23 7.37%
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Thread: What's difficult in Japanese ?

  1. #51
    #1 procrastinator masayoshi's Avatar
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    At this stage, I'm often confused with the use of particles Besides, my vocabulary is way too limited to hold a sensible conversation. I'll be stammering and struggling like a dumb guy. Don't know enough verbs and all. Verb tenses are basically OK except for the occasional exceptions which leaves me like Well, at least verbs are much easier than French ones!!

    Of course, kanji is another big mountain yet to climb. Some of them, I can guess their meaning but when it comes to pronounciation, that's another mind bogging task! They have like at least 2 ways of being spelled. WTH!! Recently I've been told by my Japanese friend that they have subtle different tones for distinguishing between homophones (and of course, that's usually not being taught! ).

  2. #52
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    Don't worry too much about the tones - it's not like Chinese. If you got a tone wrong it would be very unusual to be misunderstood. That's something you worry about if you are trying to win a speech competition or something.


    You pick up kanji "on" and "kun" readings naturally as you become familiar with the kanji. You will find your brain has room for the information.

  3. #53
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    Kanji

    I just having problems remembering the Kanji also Im not too keen on the katakana too (I know the katakana but I just dont like using it).
    Does any guides, tips on how to remembering the kanji and the readings?
    any techinques u use?
    That u could share with us?

  4. #54
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    According to a book I read, Japanese does not really have tenses in the way Indo-European and other languages do. It is rather whether an action has been completed or not what determines the ending of a verb. This is confusing!


  5. #55
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    Kanji is the most difficult part of Japanese for me.
    The grammar is very easy comparing to Polish. For now, it's the easiest language I've been learning. Exept of kanji ofcourse. I cant' imagine learning about 2 000 kanji. But for now I'm not thinking about it. First of all I have to learn to talk, than I'll be worried about writing and reading.

  6. #56
    天国に居る Damicci's Avatar
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    i'd have to say, verb conjugation now that i think about it, i was going to say vocabulary also but when i think about verbs there many different ways to conjugate a verb to make it make more sense in a sentence. one site showe dlike almost 10 different ways to conjugate a single verb. it's ridiculous... but it's what you have to do if you want to get better.
    2nd i think would be reading and memorizing kanji since each kanji can have 3 or more different readings.
    ☆Rieko☆ says:
    目が大きかったらすぐにゴミがはいる


  7. #57
    rebmem yzarc a Pox's Avatar
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    I voted on "the pronuciation".
    When I was 7 or 8, I was taught by my grand father how to pronounce じ and ぢ(ず and づ) differently. But I couldn't pronounce, and still can't.
    the じ and ぢ matter is the most difficult part of Japanese for me!

  8. #58
    Fire Star Man -Rudel-'s Avatar
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    Post

    Although I'm just getting into learning Kanji, the most part that I think will be hard for me is learning how to pronounce the kanji when another Kanji is added to one. For example:

    日 = にち
    日本 = にほん 

    I guess it is all in memorizing.
    I Listened Too:

  9. #59
    The Geezer Sensuikan San's Avatar
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    Apart from a long-standing interest in Japanese culture, one of my reasons for wanting to learn the language was a simple desire to accept the challenge of a non European tongue.

    Over the years, I have studied Latin, Attic Greek (both of them extremely useful in furthering one's knowledge of English - but otherwise a waste of energy !) French (Which I used to be quite at ease in - but have now forgotten most of it !) German (Which I picked up the hard, but possibly the best way - like a child has to ...) and some Italian (I lived in Toronto for 20 years, and worked in the construction industry - need I say more ?)

    I can now "get by" in French, survive in German, and get myself into trouble quite quickly in Italian.

    In comparison, I find (spoken) Japanese relatively easy ! Although I have only been studying it, on my own, for an extremely short period, I am already starting to "hear" it quite well on the radio, TV, movies etc. (although my vocabulary is severely limited, of course). It's also great fun, because most folks I know seem quite in awe ! If only they knew it wasn't so bad ! (Incidentally, I had also looked at Cantonese and Mandarin .... but my choice became obvious ... ! )

    BUT ...... writing/reading is a different matter ! I have the greatest sympathy for every Japanese child about to start school ! Poor little mites !

    I'm finding that learning Hiragana is not too bad; just a little more demanding than learning a Greek or Cyrillic alphabet. So far I'm about half way with it.

    Then I'll have to learn Katakana too !

    As for Kanji - I've pretty well abandoned any hope, at my age, of getting anywhere with it ! But - we'll see.... !

    And I think that that is one of the main difficulties about learning what is a relatively straightforward language - the mere fact that I can't rush off, read and try to translate as I go ! It slows the whole learning process down.

    I've yet to see a Japanese publication printed in Romaji !

    BUT I SHALL PERSEVERE!

    Finally - if anyone wants a real challenge .... try learning Irish/Gaelic !

    It would make your eyes water !

  10. #60
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    I've listened to Irish/Gaelic and all I can say is that it sounds like an extremely beautiful language, but I think I'll stay with Japanese.

    Well, the hardest thing about Japanese would be the Kanji(the writing part ONLY)
    I can remember them, but then I can only read them without being able to recreate it.

    I'm really surprised at how fast I learned Katakana and Hiragana. Must have been all those japanese videogames I played...

    for anyone trying to learn hiragana/katakana, try finding an import of Pokemon(yes, pokemon). It's a very addicting RPG plus it has no Kanji! (Okay, fire red had ONE kanji in the title screen:赤)

  11. #61
    Chibi Chibi Malaika's Avatar
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    What's the most difficult thing in understanding japanese? well I marked all the above

    *laughs*, because I have so much things on my mind. That it is hard to multitask *sighs*

    no matter how hard I want to learn japanese, I end up being so fried. though I have been practicing my hiragana, so I know all 41, but the thing is that I read the symbols slow if some one posted something and its all in hiragana, but for katakana - that I don't know

    o_o
    *~[Inuyasha x Kagome]~*

  12. #62
    焼肉わが家が一番!! Suki-Yaki's Avatar
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    The Japanese language gives much emphasis for numbers , counting ,etc..

    I HATE numbers !

    For example there is much difference in the counting methods. like when you wanna say "Ippon - hitotsu - ichi mai - ichi dai - ippiki ..etc etc .. "

    In the English , it is always one pen , one book , one orange etc etc ..

    also , the confusion around days and date , it just makes me dizzy .. :dizzy:

  13. #63
    Regular Member Mcspi's Avatar
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    for me the grammatical structure and verb forms are what is difficult.

  14. #64
    The Geezer Sensuikan San's Avatar
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    I agree with Suki-Yaki ....

    COUNTING !

    This is where I feel the Japanese really dropped the ball !

    It seems quite incredible to me that you'd even want to differentiate between counting thin objects, flat objects, fat objects, people, votes ..... you even have to think, sometimes, about which category covers the subject you have in mind !

    .... I don't think I'll ever master it ... !

    Do the Japanese actually bother with this in everyday life ?

    Are there parallells in any other languages ?

    Regards,

    ジョン

  15. #65
    None Of Your Business
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    Hadnt thought about the counting but I can see where that may well become an annoyance. . .

    But all that is secondary to the writing. . .my handwriting is atrocious in English and I've gone from what should be A quizzes to C quizzes because my te looked to much like fu. . .

    Being left handed EVERYTHING i write leans to the right side. . .

    But yea those counters. . .

  16. #66
    Aliaswavefront Dude Rgchrono's Avatar
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    everything is easy, chances are that with practice I will get better, that and going to japan for a year, "that's like learning japanese with steroids!!" as one of the members pointed out.

    For now, writing is the hard part for me.
    Santa Monica College Student

    Hola!! New to this Forums, hope that in the future I'll make new friends here

  17. #67
    Hubsches Madchen
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    For me it is definitely grammar and verb endings. I think the verb endings are very useful, but there are so many and even though I've found multiple websites with lists of them, I still can't find some forms on them. Regular grammar like having the verb at the end of the sentence doesn't bother me so much, but when it doesn't follow that order, it bugs the crap out of me! Example: Watashi wa rokuji ni deru kyuukoo ni norimasu (I will take an express train that leaves at 6 o' clock), after getting so nicely used to the verb always at the end, this just screws with my brain!

  18. #68
    Banned Inuyasha-the-kid's Avatar
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    I dont like the kanji

  19. #69
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    I'm still very early in my study of Japanese. For me the hardest part is studying for a week, feeling really good about what I've learned, then renting a Japanese movie... and not being able to understand a freaking thing!

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensuikan San

    It seems quite incredible to me that you'd even want to differentiate between counting thin objects, flat objects, fat objects, people, votes ..... you even have to think, sometimes, about which category covers the subject you have in mind !

    . . . .

    Are there parallells in any other languages ?
    Yep, it's quite common in Asian languages. Chinese, Korean and Thai, all have different measure words for different types of things. Actually, we have some in English too, although to a much lesser degree (five head of cattle,
    three pairs of shoes).

  21. #71
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    I was really tempted to choose all the options in the poll. The thing is, if you hardly use the language in daily life, you kinda find yourself struggling to review those you've learned in the beginning.

    For me, keigo is tough. My experience so far is that you can easily find books on grammar, kanji etc, but how about keigo? At least that's how it is with the japanese bookstore in my country. Keigo related books are available but published in limited scope and quantity.

    So if there's anyone learning japanese who feels that he's good at keigo, well what to say..感心する。

  22. #72
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    "I'm still very early in my study of Japanese. For me the hardest part is studying for a week, feeling really good about what I've learned, then renting a Japanese movie... and not being able to understand a freaking thing!"

    I can relate to that EnzoHonda, although I get a kick out of the bits I do understand!

  23. #73
    Regular Member mizer's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I'm still a beginner at learning Japanese, but, my opinion for what it's worth...
    I haven't started learning the kanji (yet - may do one day), because, as someone said in an earlier post, I think it's more useful to be able to speak/understand quite well before getting too hung up about writing. I find the pronunciation fairly easy (I've got a Japanese friend who tells me that my pronunciation is fine - I've begged him to be honest with me, hehe!). I am one of those (probably irrititating!) people who learns vocab really quickly. I just absorb it like a sponge, so even though I can appreciate there's quite a lot of vocab (especially verbs) compared with English and French (my other 2 languages), I'm not having trouble learning it. Obviously, as I get to a more advanced level, there will be more and more, but that sort of thing is honestly not a big problem for me.

    I'm also pleasantly surprised by the grammer, which although 'backwards' to French and English obeys it's own rules - at least at basic/intermediate level! I think it's much easier than many European languages, although of course there are quirks and unexpected differences (the kind of thing that makes life interesting, y'know!). And there aren't any sounds that you need surgery on your vocal cords to produce (unlike Arabic!).

    Having said all that, I totally agree about the 'counters'! OMG they bug me sooo much!!!

    As regards kanji - I'd like to learn sometime. I'm a visual artist by trade, so I think I could cope with writing them, but the sheer number and complexity is incredibly offputting for a beginner. I think I'll save the kanji for some other time...

    If I had to choose one most difficult thing about learning Japanese, I'd say: it's no more difficult that any other language *except for the kanji*!!!! Need I say more!!!!

  24. #74
    Junior Member treeves's Avatar
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    Can't compare to English since it's my native tongue. German is similar enough to English that it was easy to learn - at least I thought so. That was way back in high school. 20 years later trying to learn a language with almost nothing in common with English is tough.
    The S-O-V structure is no problem, having dealt with German.
    When I listen to a Japanese co-worker speak Japanese, I'm lost, except for a word here or there. Of course they're not saying things like "Hajime mashite. Watashi wa Fujimura desu."
    But I'm just starting.
    Last edited by treeves; Apr 26, 2005 at 08:39. Reason: add

  25. #75
    (creative) sakura_thenchi's Avatar
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    Smile

    hi! i am from a caribean island with 2 languages spanish and french and french was so hard but no so much somebody said that to spanish people jappanesse was easy to learn but i dont agree for spanish people mostly everybody the easiest language is italian. dont' you think so I do Fullmetal alchemist fan
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