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Is Japanese a difficult language?
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sin



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 41


PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:12 pm    Post subject: Is Japanese a difficult language? Reply with quote Back to top

to anybody who knows Japanese..is Japanese a difficult language?..their sentence structure seems very wierd and one word seems to have lots of different meaning..or there are many words having the same meaning..it makes me very confusing when watching Jdoramas..wondering what word they will say.. Rolling eyes
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juliana_phang



Joined: 14 Dec 2001
Posts: 2416
Location: Le-Ciel, 1F,No.9 IS-Building, 1-13-6, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan 150-0013

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i just started learning
and i must say that it's damn difficult~
struggling now..
Sweat
maybe because i'm not exposed to this language since young
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windrider



Joined: 23 Dec 2002
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Location: Singapore
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

taking up a foreign language is nv easy... no matter what language (IMO)
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niko2x



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It depends as well. If your mother language (what you are used to) is latin based (french, english, italian, etc.) it can be pretty daunting, mainly because in JPNese, there aren't any similar base. If you know chinese, it CAN be a little easier because of chinese charater/kanji usage. But even then in JPN kanji is not used all the time. Only if you reconize a kanji, you may know what it means, but the usage and the pronuciation sometimes can be totally diffreent.

Jules is right, learning a new language when you are older is a lot harder. But if you are really into a particular culture, if the desire is there, tha will only want to make you learn and succeed in that language, whether it's german, spanish, japanese, what ever language.
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Bedi



Joined: 01 May 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My mother langs are German and Turkish, besides English I started learning Japanese a year ago.
For my opinion Japanese isn't that hard as anyone says (or like most ppl are thinking). I hadn't any problem yet.
I think if you have the motivation and are into it you can do it for sure!
I would like to add that you may should pay some money for a native teacher around you.
I met many people who were trying to learn Japanese for free (not in Japan) just over the internet. I don't say it's impossible, coz I'm even sure we have someone like this here in this board already but to get some quality lessons and books which will help you to improve fast, you have to spend some money. I would suggest to make the beginning yourself at home, such like learning Hiragana & Katakana etc.
Invest some time and (a bit) money and ganbatte Big Grin

p.s. and be prepared to be laughed at Twisted Wink


Last edited by Bedi on Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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juliana_phang



Joined: 14 Dec 2001
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Location: Le-Ciel, 1F,No.9 IS-Building, 1-13-6, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan 150-0013

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

niko2x wrote:

Jules is right, learning a new language when you are older is a lot harder. But if you are really into a particular culture, if the desire is there, tha will only want to make you learn and succeed in that language, whether it's german, spanish, japanese, what ever language.


yeap..exactly..
i read my jpnese books everyday..afraid that i might forget what my sensei taught me
but as for those who has chinese background..it's pretty easy for them to learn jpnese
kanji is similar to traditional chinese..and some of the meanings are the same
i on the other hand dont know how to write in chinese..but well..i can speak..at least i'm 0.01cm ahead
Mr Green
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Spike75



Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nihongo is a hard language. But once you get the sentence structure down (subject-object-verb) it gets easier from there. I like Japanese because I speak fluent Spanish and the Japanese vowels are pronounced the same as in Spanish. So pronounciation is not difficult. The most difficult (in my opinion) are the particles. EX: wa, ga, no,...etc.
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sin



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 41


PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Really?..Does knowing how to speak Chinese have an advantage over learning Japanese?..I personally know how to speak it and feel that I'm quite good at it.. Big Grin ..I didn't know japanese has so many different types..Kanji and all those..but I guess I will get started now and buy some Japanese books to learn..Thanks people..for your views about Japanese.. Big Grin
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lovelessemotion



Joined: 07 Apr 2002
Posts: 2495
Location: Wales
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Is Japanese a difficult language? Reply with quote Back to top

sin wrote:
to anybody who knows Japanese..is Japanese a difficult language?..their sentence structure seems very wierd and one word seems to have lots of different meaning..or there are many words having the same meaning..it makes me very confusing when watching Jdoramas..wondering what word they will say.. Rolling eyes

yes....yes it is difficult! especially for ppl with a latin based language...don't get me started on kanji.... Nut

"wait a minute u mean 'gold' ...can also mean 'blond'...'rich'.. and 'yellow'...wtf?"

"so if u mix the kanji for 'woman'...and the kanji for 'hand'...isnted of 'woman's hand' u'll get some obscure kanji like 'carburator'? OH MAN!"
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Agatsuma



Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Posts: 22
Location: US
Country: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i would have to agree with Bedi for me its really ez as well for me its the way i think japanese is more along the lines of my thinking style just like how my computer is the Apple Mac. some languages can just click with you. like lome people can relate to music or art a language is the same way for some its hard like a basket ball playa trying to do art .... it will take more practice and may take longer but he will get the concept down if not the actuly abilaty to draw and language is just geting the concept of the grammar if you can get that then the rest is just mimorizng the words and sounds...
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sid



Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 210
Location: Bay Area - California
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

just to break it up and add humour

found this site a few years ago when i was studying japanese for a year .. cracks me up

http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~thoureau/japanese.html

remember it's funny .. take no offense and don't let it deter you from learning nihongo.
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Agatsuma



Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Posts: 22
Location: US
Country: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

hahaha o yeah i found that site too i was pissed the first time but when i finished reading it i figured it was a joke haha but man was i mad at this guy when i first saw it Bleah
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thetenken



Joined: 08 Nov 2003
Posts: 435
Location: USA
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Japanese is about as difficult as any other language, except that:

1. Japanese has 2 sets of 'alphabets,' and a group of 'pictogram' words.
2. Japanese normally has 2 ways of pronouncing words, depending on the "Chinese" reading or the "Japanese" reading.
3. There are different ways of speaking/conjugating depending on levels of formality.
4. Japanese has a plentiful amount of dialects, which make speaking that much more difficult. Bridges and chopsticks are different things in kansai vs. kantou.
5. Normal Japanese can't speak normal Japanese. =)
6. Japanese, like any other language, is constantly evolving. But it's evolving at such a level that elder Japanese can't understand kids anymore.
7. The importation and use of foreign words has reached such a level where I'll bet 99% of the people who read a newspaper will have no idea what's going on...


Well, at least it's not like Korean where they gutted out the Chinese characters and replaced it, so much so that students can't read books published a few decades ago. Or like Chinese, where there are 6-8 different ways of reading a syllable, and one mistake in inflection means a whole 'nother word.
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juliana_phang



Joined: 14 Dec 2001
Posts: 2416
Location: Le-Ciel, 1F,No.9 IS-Building, 1-13-6, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan 150-0013

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

sin wrote:
Really?..Does knowing how to speak Chinese have an advantage over learning Japanese?..I personally know how to speak it and feel that I'm quite good at it.. Big Grin ..I didn't know japanese has so many different types..Kanji and all those..but I guess I will get started now and buy some Japanese books to learn..Thanks people..for your views about Japanese.. Big Grin


yeap
it has loads of similarities..esp in kanji since kanji is traditional chinese
example = denwa.. sounds like tian hua right?
@<< this is AI in jpnese and also chinese[traditional]
there are some kanji which have different meaning in chinese..
there are 3 types.. hiragana,katakana and kanji
^^)
i'm learning hiragana now..
and a little kanji
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mizune



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 102


PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The only comment I have is about the difficulty of learning Japanese coming from a Latin based language. While I think it is true for all the derived languages, the exception would be Latin itself.

There is virtually no sentence structure in Latin because everything is determined by the participles tacked onto the end of each word, although there were some common conventions like putting the verb at the end of a sentence...

Anyways, I found that taking Latin actually helped me with Japanese. I don't know what others think though.
Sweat
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MixxDreamer



Joined: 06 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

juliana_phang wrote:
i just started learning
and i must say that it's damn difficult~
struggling now..
Sweat
maybe because i'm not exposed to this language since young
yes! me too.. very true.
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ruroshin



Joined: 03 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My first language was vietnamese which is half latin base half chinese! Writing system is french based (from the colonial era) but the spoken language is more chinese. Sweat

I had trouble learning english and it was my worse subject in school, its pretty obvious from my bad grammar Bleah I've only started learning Japanese for 6 months but I find it easier to learn...well except for the kanjis bit but the spoken language is quite easy IHMO.

The language is phonetical (sp?) so you spell it like how it would sound, english OTOH has words that spells nothing like how it would sound and whats up with the ph sound when you already got the f sound? Crazy
So much redundacy in english.
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orenji



Joined: 27 Sep 2003
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Location: Singapore
Country: Singapore

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hmm...

Japanese ain't that hard to learn actually...

Once you've learnt the basics, the rest ain't that hard to handle already... Wink

3Peace...
Orenji
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xiaoshenlong



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 2


PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i don't think it's that hard to learn
personally because i am chinese already, so the kanji is pretty much learning the same words, but different pronouciation
and hirigana and katakana are easy to learn
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Slackey



Joined: 24 Jan 2002
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Location: San Francisco,CA
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I dont find it too hard to learn. I've been learning in school and teaching myself for the past two years and Japanese class is my cake class. In fact, I learned enough on my own before I even stepped into a class that I was allowed to skip the first year (beginning Jpn) and move on to second year (intermediate Jpn). Kanji, for me, I think is the hardest part. That's a given though because it requires you to memorize pronunciations, appearance, and stroke order per kanji in a language where there is over 2000 kanji, so of course its hard.

As far as Japanese being easier when you have a Chinese background, I don't think that's true to some extent. Sure, it helps you to decipher a Kanji you don't know sometimes but there are some Japanese kanji that look like a Chinese kanji but have completely different meanings. It's a double edged sword. In my class, for example, half of the ppl who know Mandarin and/or Cantonese are struggling to get by and the other half is just cruising through it. It depends on the person.
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