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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. #126
    Regular Member Supervin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niedy View Post
    我学习日文和中文。
    我是奥地利人。
    我喝咖啡。
    他是我的哥哥。
    that's about it...
    i don't even know if I'm studying simplified or normal hanzi ^^;
    From what you wrote, you're learning simplified hanzi. 加油!

  2. #127
    猿が去る Niedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin View Post
    From what you wrote, you're learning simplified hanzi. 加油!
    thanks... so... 马 might have once been a 馬? I was just wondering... It was one of my first words I learned... and I kinda always want to put dots instead of the line at the bottom...

  3. #128
    Regular Member Supervin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niedy View Post
    so... 马 might have once been a 馬? ... and I kinda always want to put dots instead of the line at the bottom...
    馬 is still used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, while 马 is used in China, Malaysia and Singapore. Japanese kanji uses a mix of both traditional and simplified, though mostly the former. But yes, 马 is the simplified version of 馬.

  4. #129
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    Also, Japanese forms tend to be less simplified: e.g. 観 vs. 观 (from 觀) and 帰 vs. 归 (from 歸).

  5. #130
    Regular Member Supervin's Avatar
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    In addition to some differing simplifications such as 战 (C) and 戦 (J) from 戰 (C), there are also writing nuances for identical kanji, such as 樣 (C) and 様 (J), or 鬼 (C) and 鬼 (J), with stroke detachments in characters, causing very minor changes in writing.

  6. #131
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    I consider 様 a simplification of 樣, just as I consider 漢 a simplification of 漢, but I couldn't see any difference in the last two. Is it just a difference in stroke order? I've heard that there are those cases between the two languages where one character, although having the exact same form, is written with a different stroke order (I think 猿 is an example).

  7. #132
    Regular Member Supervin's Avatar
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    In effect, the smallest differences between identical kanji can be called simplifications because it changes stroke count by one or two.

    For 鬼, in Chinese, the 丿 part is written in one long stroke extending from the 白 part; in Japanese, the character is split into top and bottom half, with a 白/田 component and the bottom part beginning with a small 丿.

    Similarly, for 花, the 艹 radical at the top in Chinese is split into two 十's, whereas in Japanese, it is written as one whole with a long 一 followed by two downstrokes.

  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin View Post
    In effect, the smallest differences between identical kanji can be called simplifications because it changes stroke count by one or two.
    Yes, and as a result I also consider 花 to have a simplified radical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Supervin
    For 鬼, in Chinese the 丿 part is written in one long stroke extending from the 白 part; in Japanese, the character is split into top and bottom half, with a 白/田 component and the bottom part beginning with a small 丿.
    Ah, I see. Is it also the same with 免?

  9. #134
    Regular Member Supervin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Ah, I see. Is it also the same with 免?
    Yes, and also other similar characters to that, like 兔.

  10. #135
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    well I've only been learning for a year, but the hardest thing for me is definitely listening

  11. #136
    止まれません! quamp's Avatar
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    Admittedly I'm somewhat new to the language (only about a year or so's worth of experience,) but the hardest thing for me is telling where one word ends and another begins, especially if it's written completely in hirigana or completely in katakana.

  12. #137
    止まれません! quamp's Avatar
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    Something else that I've been having trouble with is this:
    there seems to be a lot of homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things; an example in English would be blue and blew) in Japanese.

    Example:
    加, 蚊, 課, 科, 可, 佳, 戈, 乎, 架, 日, 化, 顆 and 仮 can all be pronounced the same way - ka. To someone new to the languge (like me) that can be a bit confusing at first. (Viz. - when someone says ka in a sentence, which of those kanji is it? It's only something experience will tell a person.)

  13. #138
    Please, call me Mike.
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    I have a question myself. Do you think it would be easier for me to learn grammar and ひらがな and カタカナ vocabularly before I tackle some kanji, or what?

  14. #139
    ケビン Homerduff's Avatar
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    I think its a must you start off with learning hiragana and katakana first, and some basic grammar before starting to learn any kanji. Will it be easyer
    ? Well you dont really need to have any pre-knowledge before starting with kanji, but you wont be able to read any phrases because of your lack of knowledge in kana and grammar..

  15. #140
    Please, call me Mike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homerduff View Post
    I think its a must you start off with learning hiragana and katakana first, and some basic grammar before starting to learn any kanji. Will it be easyer
    ? Well you dont really need to have any pre-knowledge before starting with kanji, but you wont be able to read any phrases because of your lack of knowledge in kana and grammar..
    I'm not sure if I put that in the right words. I know my kana(hiragana and katakana), but not many words or much grammar.

    EDIT: Curse this laptop keyboard.
    Last edited by gruntyking117; Feb 22, 2007 at 08:45.

  16. #141
    ケビン Homerduff's Avatar
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    Sorry my fault..

    I think you could mix learning vocabulary words with Kanji. In my oppinion this is also the best way to learn Kanji (you dont really study Kanji on itself). For example, you start of with learning basic words like 大きい (ookii - big). You can see theres one Kanji being used 大 meaning big. ON readings are DAI, TAI and kun readings are oo-, oo.kii and -oo.ini.

    So in this way you learned a Kanji + the most common word using this Kanji. Now you could also try to look for some other examples using this Kanji like..

    大学 - daigaku (university - big school)
    大切 - taisetsu (important)

    I think this is a nice way to learn all basic Kanji. I can recommend this online dictionnary to look for example words..

    http://www.j-talk.com/nihongo/search/index.php

  17. #142
    死んだ人形 Ghostless-Shell's Avatar
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    For myself..I voted for them all.
    I am still a beginner, and was able to graduate highschool without studying a language.(In my highschool you need to pass atleast one language course to graduate..because of my learning disabilities I was allowed to graduate without taking one)
    If we had japanese I would have taken it no matter, but we didn't..
    But at the moment it's more of a self learning..which is hard..so I hope to take classes as soon as I am settled over there.

  18. #143
    変わってる tada's Avatar
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    For me, it's mainly particles and keigo. I suck at particles, and even native Japanese speakers find keigo difficult, so what hope do I have?

    Grammar can be difficult too. The different ordering of sentences doesn't throw me, but knowing the nuances between similar grammars is what's truly confusing.

  19. #144
    Junior Member Stefan000's Avatar
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    I'm a beginner as well, so I voted for almost all of them.
    The recent addition to difficult was the verb form, there are so many, especially when you do both polite and casual.
    It's going to be hard to learn new words, grammer etc, because I'm very bad at learning languages.
    I still want to find a good strategy. So I'm taking pimsleurs hearing lessons now, put all the words and phrases into the Anki software, try to master kana regocnition and production (hiragana is ok, but katakana isn't:P). Learn counting smoothly.
    Learn how to read, I can read very slowly now, with bad pronunctiation because all the words are stuck together.
    But I really want to learn how to use verbs and know a lot of words and sentences and then ofcourse kanji

  20. #145
    Regular Member HarajukuxBoy's Avatar
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    Yeah for me kanji is the hardest part.
    "Harajuku boy you got some wicked style!"
    ~The DDR Prince

  21. #146
    Dude Kenjirou's Avatar
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    Japanese is a pretty easy language to learn (IMHO) after learning a little Thai I've decided that any language I decide to learn has got to be easier. And so it seems, but the difficult thing about Japanese is the Kanji. The only thing that screws me up on the Japanese proficiency tests is the Kanji >< it kills me.

  22. #147
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    While learning grammar structure, vocabulary, and kanji are okay for me (I'm Chinese, so I probably know more Kanji than a Japanese person... MEANING-wise that is), I find that listening to native speakers speak the language is very hard. The words just speed by so fast... and I can't pick up anything at all.

  23. #148
    Regular Member Anatoli's Avatar
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    Japanese vs Chinese kanji.

    Why Chinese normally hardly use any romanisation or other phonetic guides for native speakers but Japanese cities have kanji and hiragana reading next to them for train stations?

    In Chinese characters have one reading in 95-99&#37; of times, the exceptions are easily understood.

    Multiple pronunciations of kanji, especially nanori is really confusing for Japanese themselves.

    I like Japanese but I should say Japanese writing deserves the title "the most ridiculous writing system", it's not Chinese, trust me, Chinese writing is more logical. Kanji poorly fit Japanese grammar, in my opinion, there should not be any kun-yomi at all, those words could be written in hiragana. Perhaps spaces between some words could be added for more clarity.

    Koreans used to write Chinese characters (hanja) only for words borrowed from Chinese, even if they coined their own new words from components like Japanese.

    In short, Japanese writing is difficult not because of kanji per se (it's only 2 thousand that you have to remember well compared to 4-5 thousand in Chinese) but because of the way they are used.
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  24. #149
    In imagination land Chidoriashi's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Anatoli View Post
    Japanese vs Chinese kanji.
    Why Chinese normally hardly use any romanisation or other phonetic guides for native speakers but Japanese cities have kanji and hiragana reading next to them for train stations?
    Umm, probably for children, or foreigners with limited Japanese, or just for clarity, since the names of many places can have awkward readings.

    In Chinese characters have one reading in 95-99% of times, the exceptions are easily understood.

    Multiple pronunciations of kanji, especially nanori is really confusing for Japanese themselves.
    I would say that because less kanji characters are actually used, that multiple readings provide for there being less homonyms (which there are already a ton of, and any more would be ridiculously hard).

    I like Japanese but I should say Japanese writing deserves the title "the most ridiculous writing system", it's not Chinese, trust me, Chinese writing is more logical. Kanji poorly fit Japanese grammar, in my opinion, there should not be any kun-yomi at all, those words could be written in hiragana. Perhaps spaces between some words could be added for more clarity.
    The fact is Japanese does not use as many Kanji characters or have as many sounds as Chinese, so I would say multiple readings become necessary. Chinese may be more logical but having to know at least twice the characters and mastering what sounds like a very complex sound system seems a lot more daunting than having to put up with multiple readings for less characters.

  25. #150
    Regular Member Anatoli's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Chidoriashi;645512]
    Umm, probably for children, or foreigners with limited Japanese, or just for clarity, since the names of many places can have awkward readings.
    Proper names (place or personal) ARE confusing and difficult, even for Japanese, the names can have really unexpected readings or you may get them wrong. That's why a phonetic aid is sometimes essential.

    [QUOTE=Chidoriashi;645512]
    I would say that because less kanji characters are actually used, that multiple readings provide for there being less homonyms (which there are already a ton of, and any more would be ridiculously hard).
    Well, that's pure arithmetic, isn't it, less kanji, less problems? Instead of deciding between 言う/云う/いう just use いう.

    [QUOTE=Chidoriashi;645512]
    Chinese may be more logical but having to know at least twice the characters and mastering what sounds like a very complex sound system seems a lot more daunting than having to put up with multiple readings for less characters.
    Yes and no, the problem with Chinese in this case is that rarely used words are harder to memorise if they use rare characters, whereas Japanese simply fall onto kana (hiragana/katakana) instead of using rare or too difficult kanji or use a loanword in katakana (a blessing for foreign learners).

    Admittedly, the thing with loanwords makes the Japanese writing system (+ speaking and understanding) somewhat easier (this particular aspect) compared to Chinese, as loanword creation is not intuitive in Chinese, they don't stand out in a text like katakana and may be confused for what the actual hanzi stand for, like ateji in Japanese.

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