So, I`m going to start with a little story. Back in January of this year, I had to, for one of those really simple computer classes, print out some song lyrics. Just because I felt like being different, I printed out the Japanese lyrics, in Kanji/Kana, of Bad Apple. Skip to a few days later, I got bored. Decided to try to guess what each character sounded like. I only went by the rule, one syllable, and complex ones are often more than 1 (I didn`t know what Kana was back then.) I used my Romanji Bad apple lyrics, and by the end of it, I noticed a few patterns, and had some Kana down. Then I actually found out what it was, and decided I should be able to read it like I am the Latin and Cryllic alphabet. Took my, again, romanji lyrics, and converted the whole thing to Kana. First week, I had Hiragana down. Second week, I had half of Katakana down (And I still can`t fully read it since I haven`t bothered.) The third week was just nothing, but I did practice reading the Kana I could.
So, I forgot how I got to the point, I decided I wanted to actually learn Japanese no matter what on 2月17日。I found Tae Kim`s guide in the Appstore. It was free, and it had a lot of grammar. At first, I decided to read Genki for grammar and just learn vocab and yadda yadda under the title, 'DO EVERYTHING! I read Genki somewhat and didn`t understand ANY of it. Now, I come back and see what it means. And even its conversations make sense except for the vocab I don`t know. It`s now slightly over a month later. From the guide, I have everything "mastered" to around the end of essential grammar. After that, and throughout to the end, it just skips around. I think my first sentence was, "私はあなたに上げた". Right now, I`m ABLE to create sentances, they`re just not terrible too complex. And if they try to be, well, you`ll see. I use a dictionary, appropriately named 言葉, for every word I didn`t know in these "notes" (Since I wrote them in my ipod.)
Here`s my problem, and arguably overly simplified. Kanji-reading skills and vocabulary. Now, I can recognise around 120-140 Kanji? As for reading them, that`s a different story. I`m always going to pronounce 夢 ゆめ、大 だい、 etc. along with a few other examples because I, kind of, brute forced all the JLPT N5 Kanji and some other randoms. I know their meanings, though arguably not ALL the meanings for all of them (When I try to go over 分 I just say part of a minute of a time of a segment, and when I go over 本 I just say book.) Other Kanji I can recognise, I can ONLY pronounce when they`re in certain combinations. 天気 I know not how to pronounce 天, but in that one it`s てん I know. 葉 I do not, but in 言葉 I do, the same with 今日(I always pronounce 今 as いま unless it`s in this combination) and so on. What would be your way of learning Kanji WITHOUT brute-forcing everything, because I know that doesn`t work. This does include the on and kun yomi.
Another thing I realised about Kanji was when I was looking for the dictionary. By this time, I had some stroke order down from writing some Kanji MANY times. I recognised some horizontal > Vertical line patterns. The little half box thing (Cannot really describe it) as going from the left hook, then one stroke for the whole line and the right hook, and many more. Then I noticed that Kanji weren`t just random strokes. They were radicals combined together, and all those radicals have the same stroke order. However, that`s all I know. I can guess the correct order from looking at Kanji with radicals I`ve recognised, arguably from muscle memory.
I once said that I would be better off if I knew all the 2,000 or so common-uses meanings and pronunciations. Well, I guess I`m somewhat right. You can guess the meaning of 外国人、大人、死体 from the individual ones, but 新聞 and 人間 aren`t as clear.
As for vocabulary, I`m at a loss. I don`t know how to study it. In the sentances I create, and without using my dictionary for the majority of it, I tend to stick with certain verbs and adjectives. 死ぬ、いい、言う、etc. That`s a double edged sword. On one hand, I am further strengthening my understand of those words. On the other, I am limiting what new ones stick into my brain by simply not using them. I`ve tried just writing using some vocabulary, from a printed out sheet I had, but I simply cannot think of anything to write. And when I try, I wear out after just 10 minutes, even if I`d like to put 6 hours. As for the sheet, I printed out some JLPT N5 vocab list sheet, and literally brute-forced repetitioned it. Yeah, I can go to 350~ in the sheet now without looking at the English. So what? I still need to read the Kana for it, of which it has Kana -> Kanji -> Type -> Romanji, and even then, what about the words I can recall WITHOUT the sheet. That is substantially less.
So, I ask, where do I go from here? I can shorten it to Vocab -> Kanji -> Grammar, but that isn`t saying much. For grammar, after I "master" the entire guide, where should I head? Some things like, は が still slightly confuse me, as does たい form and 欲しい (Yes, I am asking questions here.) Even, things like, "Does 良くない contain the state of being like in 良くありません? If not, since it`s an I-adj, I`d have to attach です to it, wouldn`t I? But です makes things polite, so what is even the difference between 良くないです 良くありません?" And, when do I change verbs that end in う to わ? I know it`s somewhere, and I`m pretty sure it`s not the stem, since I`d just be saying things like 言いなさい which SEEMS to be correct. And, in Te-form, I`ve sometimes noticed things say Xている when I would have done Xっている One example was that I read 夢見てる when I would have said 夢見っているか。 Also, いりません seems weird to me, but it is the same version, いる version, of ありません?
Anyways, here`s the things I just rambled into my ipod. It was quite awhile ago, and I THINK I have improved since then. Try to count how many things you can find wrong in here.
The first one
そう。俺はこの春が日本語を学なかった。((´Д` ) 今日、死のう。愛してるだから死のう。
The second one
私の朝ごはんは良くなかった。事はありませんでした。本当に。どうして、え？父が食べ物を買ったなかったの。 食べ物を欲しいです！私も遊びたい。日本へ私も欲しいです (I realise I have no to go verb here, and only a へ particle.)。でも、僕たちは行きたい。
Last edited by Kheldragar (2012-03-29 18:58:23)
Your sentences are very short and very English-sounding. Mastering the use of things like よ and ね can be hard, and require a good bit of experience with their usage.
I'm a little confused, so I'm sorry if I missed this somewhere, but are you actually looking at Japanese sentences (as opposed to kanji or vocabulary on their own) in all of this? My honest recommendation is to try to expose yourself to as much Japanese as possible, whether that involves simply reading material you enjoy or looking at sentences from a corpus somewhere (alc.co.jp, etc, I think there is a large collection available through anki). Trying to compose sentences when your initial exposure to Japanese is so limited isn't going to be very productive.
Several of your later problems (いう→いわない, 見る→見てる) seem to be simple conjugation problems. A quick google search will explain most of these (there is an extensive wikipedia page if I recall correctly)
Grammar. Grammar. Grammar.
Make it your new best friend.
To be quite honest, you might not think of grammar as the most exciting part of the language, but once you see it start to piece together bit by bit... you realize just how beautiful the language really is. That being said, song lyrics prolly' aren't the best way to learn Kana- and grammar too, for that matter.
You're gonna' need to devote some time to studying the characters and the systematic workings of the dakuten and maru, and all the little details like that. Even if you have a good solid foundation with Hiragana, it can never hurt to step back and review. Plus, once you can tell little details like how ず compares to づ , and じ to ぢ, you'll know you're ready to move on to Katakana. Before you even tackle Kanji, you REALLY need to hammer down on Katakana- it's gonna' be invaluable to you, I can assure you.
However, to supplement all this... you're gonna' have to dive into grammar. I'd recommend "Japanese Grammar" from Baron as an excellent beginner's reference, since it clearly defines the grammatical terms that you'll encounter time and time again as you study. You see, to understand Japanese, you've first gotta' realize how your own language and works, and make yourself aware of all the little details you never knew were there. That's why it's important to "learn the lingo," if you will. You NEED to be able to know what a copula is, active vs. passive, transitive and intransitive verbs and so forth. Take things one step at a time though, and it's far more simple than you'd expect. Once you start noticing all the wonderful nuances of the language, I can assure you that you'll come to love grammar. (I'm a grammar freak- I admit it! )
As far as writing goes, pick up a copy of Japanese Kanji and Kana by Mark Spahn, and Wolfgang Hadamitzky. Without a doubt, it's the most accessible way to learn the Jouyou Kanji, and seeing as it's currently the only thing on the market that covers the new list of 2,136 characters, it's quite modern. I was lucky enough to get a copy early, but if you can't get lucky in a B&N/Books-A-Million, you'll want to purchase it online when it comes out on April 10th. If you make yourself a system, you'll find that Kanji are every bit as intriguing as the rest of the language! XD
Well... hope that helped!
Remember the Kanji (by James Heisig)
Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Check them out.
Remember the Kanji (by James Heisig)
Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Check them out.
Oh yeah, can't believe I forgot to mention ADoBJG! XD That's like my most used Japanese book... ever!
Same. I've transcribed the whole thing. (Heisig, on the other hand...)
"Every time you laugh it's a day to treasure"
ADoBJG is great. I have all three books(Basic, Intermediate, Advanced), but I've barely looked at the other two.
Well rest assured you know more kanji than me. Hesig's RTK is awesome especially along with a SRS system.
Now, I haven't been studing much but looking back at the examples I posted here, they're dreadfull. I can see why everyone, it seemed, thought they were as well. At the time of writing, I thought it was pretty good, only to come back two months later and see how bad it was. Well, I'm sure that can be said for the examples I am about to give now. Side note: I can recognise ~570 Kanji now, (all in random order from a method I used i.e the meanings of狂恐尽駆腕伸必当曲変匂散迷許咲誇離躍暇甘優健刹那美委揺独占秤我 and "Many" others are known, while I might not even get the meaning of some JLPT4 Kanji). I plan to learn to read, besides ones like 題, by way of Vocabulary. A few days ago, I knew what 記憶 meant, knew what the individual Kanji meant, but couldn't read it. Okay, きおく. Good, now I can read it.
Here's some examples from a thread I made in an Erepublik national forum, of which it is Japan. There were no posts in their designated Japanese section, so that thread went like this: (My posts are bolded)
Thread name: 無い
And to further cement the fact that it's bad, here's something I wrote in English class.
(About the picture, here's what I wrote about a certain part in it: The only thing I had a problem with was, "We`re already in hell." I settled with 地獄にいる。, but it might have been more like 地獄は中にいる or whatever. What`s going through my mind in the second example I said is, "The particle density is too damn high."
EDIT - Wait, I got it! "地獄に行いた時が在った." Yeah. No.)
待て！あなたは分かれる。これが何！？Usually(Can't think of anything for that),日本語を分からなかった。
That last part came out weird. Also, I use 為る for する.
Last edited by Kheldragar (2012-05-14 08:24:38)