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View Poll Results: What's your level in Japanese ?

Voters
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  • Native speaker

    33 4.98%
  • Native level (upper-advanced - JLPT1)

    19 2.87%
  • Advanced (JLPT2)

    41 6.18%
  • High intermediate-lower advanced

    46 6.94%
  • Intermediate (JLPT3)

    59 8.90%
  • High beginner/lower intermediate (JLPT4)

    118 17.80%
  • Know the kanas, but still pretty much beginner

    123 18.55%
  • Just a few words or phrases (greetings, etc)

    170 25.64%
  • I don't know anything, but I want to learn !

    53 7.99%
  • Don't care about Japanese language.

    1 0.15%
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Thread: Do you speak Japanese ?

  1. #51
    Junior Member Eirik's Avatar
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    Some more about kanji:

    Someone already mentioned the kanji one has to long during one's first 6 years in school; but here's a listing of the "jouyou kanji" (daily-use kanji) designated by the government.

    http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/jouyoukanji.html

    These are taught during the course of 9 years in Japanese schools
    (a total of 1945 characters)

    If you're serious about your study of kanji, you should have a look at this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...lance&n=507846

    it's an approach to learning the kanji different from the traditional one. i'm using it myself. the book seems to be not so very well-known, which is why i thought i'd make people aware of it.
    (if you want to know more about the book, read the introduction and costumer reviews at amazon)

  2. #52
    free spirit lineartube's Avatar
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    I only speak a few words and phrases but I would like to learn it.

    A couple months back I researched where I could learn japanese here in Portugal and get a certification for it. There a few places that do teach japanese but no one can give me a credible certification. If I remember correctly, I would have to go to Paris to make the exams.

    I have also a First Certificate taken some years ago in the British Council. I never took the Proeficiency Test because I got a diploma and I tought I didn't need another despite of only needed to take one more exam. Now that I'm looking for work, I only read about TOEICs and I guess In Japan nobody has ever heard of the British Council... :P
    Ln.

  3. #53
    Decommissioned ex-admin thomas's Avatar
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    Uh oh, TOIEC is a holy cow in Japan, lolol, the golden calf...

  4. #54
    Regular Member miki's Avatar
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    what is TOIEC??? another certication level?

    was browsing the net few weeks back and find this forum quite interesting.. i'm a beginner in japanese (currently take part time japanese course).... hope to learn more about the language & culture & everything else about japan... =)

    by the way, i know chinese... will that help in picking up the language? someone told me it'll be easier, but doesn't sound very convicing as i find japanese is rather complicated... especially the particles and grammar bit...

  5. #55
    Regular Member
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    Hi,lineartube,
    Hi,miki,
    Nice to meet you!

    You mean TOEIC(the Test of English for International Communication)??
    or other test??

    Please visit Nihongo Cabinet,too!
    You can check japanese!

  6. #56
    Regular Member Luxpyre's Avatar
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    Well, I have just started studying Japanese on my own. I am just working on the Kana right now. I don't really know any vocabulary and only a smattering on sentence structure, but I am slowly making my way through the Hiragana right now. I do know something like eight Kanji. I think the Kanji are a lot of fun, although I don't know how I will think of them when I am putting a lot of effort into learning them. The eight that I know stuck in my head like glue. I wrote them down a few times and the next day I still remembered them. I don't know what the actual Japanese is for them, but hey, its a start. Of course my penmanship is probably horrible, but that will improve with practice. ; )

  7. #57
    Regular Member moyashi's Avatar
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    TOEIC, TOEFL, TESOL ... are gaining popularity while the EIKEN for English is dropping. Nope, never heard of Britsh Consel in Japan.


    There is a Japanese Laguage Proficency test and a Teach Japanese as a Second Language test too.

    @ Learning
    Ahh, don't worry about the hand writting. You will only get better.

    Hiragan is the easiest since you see it much more often but I'd put a bit extra time into the katakana since they are used mostly for foreign words and you end up spending all your time trying to figure out what the English (mostly) equivolent is.

    Good Luck!
    crazy gonna crazy

  8. #58
    Junior Member
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    I've been studying for about two years, the first 9 months of which were quite informal (read: I sat down with 30 volumes of Ranma 1/2, pen, paper, and a dictionary and tried to pick out patterns). Since then I've taken a total of 6 Japanese courses, and recently took the JLPT Level 3 (if the practice tests I took last semester are any indication, I just passed it...we'll find out in about a month or so, ne?). All the while I've continued to do such things as read manga and watch anime raw, which has helped immensely (I know roughly 700 or so Kanji)

  9. #59
    Regular Member
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    Hi,Kaji

    Your way sounds enjoyable.
    As for me (English learner),
    reading or answering threads here, exchanging mails with friends,
    chatting or talking with friends...such communication helps my study.

  10. #60
    Dogcountry
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    Well, here's one. The US Navy enrolled me in spoken Japanese that lasted about 60 days. I enrolled for Japanese Language at Berlitz School of Languages in Boston. Now hear this. I took 500 hours of Japanese at five hours a day and this lasted for about six months. Can't be sure as most of the time I was ready to crash mentally. Native teachers of course. One teacher told me I had a Kangi vocabularly of a 3rd grader. Today I can barely get by with not more than a bare knowledge. You use it or you forget it.

  11. #61
    もうすぐ卒業するんだ! ragedaddy's Avatar
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    Well, I have been studying Japanese for about 10 months up in a Japanese Language School in Tokyo. I`d have to say my level is in between the 能力の3級and 2級. However, I definitely have a long way to go. Japanese is really a challenging language to learn, but it is really enjoyable at the same time. I guess my advice is if you really want to learn it, then you have to dedicate yourself to a lot of studying, practicing, and making a lot of mistakes. That`s my opinion anyways.....

  12. #62
    Junior Member hannahgirl7's Avatar
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    well i don't know any japanese and since i go to a really small highschool the only languages they offer are spanish, french and latin. i'm graduating this year though and i plan to start studying japanese in college... i'm really excited for it but i'm not too good at learning foreign languages....

  13. #63
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    really small? we don't even have latin.

  14. #64
    Kongming jeisan's Avatar
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    i know some words and phrases n some katakana n thats about it. most of the words n things ive picked up from anime. i swear lain says 'nani' 100 times every episode.

    my school didnt have latin either, just spainish, french and german. though for a third of the school spainish was their 1st language. i opted for german, took 4 years, but ive forgotten alot of it

  15. #65
    Decommissioned ex-admin thomas's Avatar
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    Latin was compulsory at my school, I don't regret having studied it for 7 years. It's an excellent base for other languages, although it doesn't really help a lot with nihongo studies.

  16. #66
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    Talking

    Hmm... hard to believe I haven't replied to this thread yet so here goes...

    I consider myself fluent in conversational Japanese and it is something I pride myself on having learnt "the hard way" so to speak. Prior to my arrival in Japan I had virtually no direct exposure to the language (had not taken classes or bought audio tapes, etc.). I am a firm believer of the age-old adage "When in Rome..." therefore one of my first priorities was to immerse myself in the language as much as possible. This was no easy task and gaining even a basic comprehension was not something I was able to do early on. Only after acclimating to my environment and making a dedicated effort to commit to memory as many vocabulary and phrases as possible was I then on my way to gaining a level of comprehension.

    My daily routine those first six months or so consisted of me carrying a small notepad with me where ever I went. As I would hear a common word or phrase repeated often, I would jot it down phonetically into my pad as best I could for future reference. Then, when I could afford the time (usually in-between classes at work), I would leisurely look up the meanings to everything I had written down. Soon I began forming lists and these I would eventually commit to memory as best I could. Interestingly enough, the more comfortable with the language I became, the more I wanted to learn. It was at this point then that I actually began taking classes from some of my private adult students (language exchange) to further polish my conversational skills.

    For the entire duration of my stay, I made an active effort to use Japanese as much as possible and surround myself with the language. I did not actively seek out any native English speakers although having been in Sapporo I certainly could have had the opportunity. Nevertheless, I had met several native English speakers who had been there longer than me yet whose mastery of the Japanese language was considerably lacking as they tended to surround themselves with English speaking friends ever since their arrival. I resolved myself to not fall into the same trap so to speak.

    At some point, i'm not sure when really... but everything just seemed to "click" and I found myself very comfortable using Japanese as often and as freely as possible. It wasn't until I was seated next to an elderly woman when I was returning home to the States for the Holidays that this realization finally dawned on me. This very kind Grandmother happened to be on her way to visit her relatives in California and she did not speak a lick of English. My ability to maintain a conversation with her without repeating myself and sounding redundant for the entire duration of that flight is still one of those personal milestones embedded in my memory.

    As it stands, my Japanese has gotten a bit rusty having been away from Japan for a few years now. Although as I look forward to graduation this Fall, my plans to return to Japan soon have reinvigorated my efforts to pick up where I had left off. My advice to any beginners is this: IMMERSE yourself as much as humanly possible. Yes, you will get frustrated but don't give up! There IS a light at the end of the tunnel and comprehension is its name. Believe it or not, through sheer exposure, you WILL learn even if it is the "hard way". And ultimately, in the end it makes it all the more worthwhile. Keep practicing!


  17. #67
    Hi Keiichi's Avatar
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    Although I've heard many people learned Japanese by staying in Japan for a while, that one was probably the best I've heard so far.
    Maybe I had not read it, but how long were you there?
    K1

  18. #68
    Yancha-Kunoichi Chipi's Avatar
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    ...your mail sounds encouraging, iron chef

    I tried to learn some basics of japanese language last fall, but I have allready forgotten so much. I should just find the time and learn all the hiraganas and katakanas without looking from the book.

    I work at a place where we have international guests pretty much every day, and lucky me, also a lot of japanese people
    I just feel somehow, a bit depressed, because I canエt say that much to our japanese guests. Seems stupid to say just "Hajimemashite, watashi wa..." or something like that in a situation like that...and very often the japanese guests have had the effort to learn some finnish words, like "kiitos" (thank you) and "nakemiin" (goodbye).
    How could I say, politely and nicely, something like "thank you for visiting us, have a nice day" ? Tips are taken

  19. #69
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    Keiichi:

    Two years and two months give or take a few days. I am earnestly looking forward to returning asap (most likely anytime after the new Year).

    Chipi:

    Just keep plugging away. I know it can be very daunting at first but perhaps you could try formulating vocabulary lists of say five to ten different words to committ to memory each day. You could also use home made flash cards to help with the memorization part as i've found these to be an extremely useful tool (and often times less awkward than carrying an actual Dictionary around with you everywhere).

    With enough patience and practice, you could then use your home made stack of flash cards to align themselves into simple phrases and sentences laying the cards out in front of you as an added visual. Once you have the vocabulary down, learning sentence structure comes naturally imho. Give the flash cards a shot and lemme know if they work for you.

    Oh, and you could try maybe "yoi ichinichi o" for "have a nice day" although it is a bit formal and not used in everyday speak. For a more common "come back soon" try "itte rasshai". Hope that helps, although i'm sure your friends will be more honored by your sincerity rather than perfect pronunciation.


  20. #70
    Hi Keiichi's Avatar
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    Kind of impressive how two years one can learn a whole new language and culture. Quite inspirational.

    The only thing that limits me is currently my vocabulary in reading, listening, and speaking. I can speak Japanese really well, fluent-like (not-super fast, but not learning slow) and pronouncing everything accuratly, if only I have something to say or know what to say, which is my problem (not actually a problem, just don't know it yet... *lol*). So far I've only taken 2.5 years of Japanese courses (not devoted since I have other classes...) and I still don't know much and knowing that two years living in Japan can boost that learning so much faster is inspirational. I hope I can do it after I get my bachelor from Uni hopefully that's from 2 to 3 years. ^_^

  21. #71
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    Trust me Keiichi, you'll do fine-heck, even better i'd say since you already have a formal academic background with all the classes you've taken. Remember, I went in cold-turkey and if you ever met me in person you'd realize i'm probably the LAST person to pick up on Japanese as well as I did lol. Therefore, if a bumbling buffoon such as myself can do it, should be cake for the likes of you

  22. #72
    Hi Keiichi's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Say, what kind of preparations do you need for such a long trip? Lots of money? (and hopefully land a job) *lol*
    I've never even moved away from the state or anywhere. ^^'

  23. #73
    Kongming jeisan's Avatar
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    i was once told by a foreign exchange student at my school who was fluent in several languages that one of the best ways to learn a language is to think in it, dont think in your native tounge and translate it into whatever else. so if ya wanna speak japanese, think japanese.

  24. #74
    Hi Keiichi's Avatar
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    Hey Iron Chef (cook me something good to eat.. j/k), so in that two year time, you've also learned how to write Japanese pretty well? How much kanji did you think you've learned? I found it quite hard to learn kanji (except the ones at my level that I'm learning). So with your notepad, did you also jot down kanjis since Japanese consists of so many of them in their text.

  25. #75
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    Talking

    Learning Kanji as opposed to just conversational Japanese is an entirely different beast in and of itself. One could easily spend years learning the different meanings, contexts, and proper stroke order and yet still never fully master all the subtle intricacies that exist. For myself, I can probably recognize around just under four hundred or so which is hardly anything to brag about really compared to the 48,000+. Most of those are utilitarian in nature as well and pretty commonplace and I can actually write a little less than half that number in reality.

    Surprisingly, i've found you can get by remarkably well with just a few hundred basic Kanji and a good comprehension of Hiragana and Katakana in terms of surviving day-to day. I don't recommend using my aforementioned notepad technique for learning Kanji as it is only really conducive for maybe the simpler forms. Ideally, a great way to learn Kanji is through practicing Shodo or Japanese calligraphy. I've included a link that you may find helpful with regards to learning more about Shodo. I also encourage you to check out the other resources available through this site and forum to learn more about Kanji as they may be of more help to you.

    http://japanese.about.com/cs/calligraphy/



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