Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island: Forum
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 12:15am


Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island: Forum

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Janet
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xx Learning Japanese
« Thread started on: May 24th, 2017, 3:35pm »

I think the best thing I did to prepare for my henro, more than any mountain training with a pack, more than any online research about the henro, more than any books I read, was learning as much Japanese as I could before I left. It enriched and deepened my experience enormously.
Lucky for me I had huge horrible surgery that postponed my henro by a year, so I had 18 months of off and on study.

It's very difficult to speak Japanese well, but easy to speak it badly! Don't be intimidated! It's a fun interesting language.

I used an online class, Mango Languages (http://mangolanguages.com/index.html) and recommend it, although probably any online class is equally good.
Start now, you will be so glad.
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tneva82
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xx Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #1 on: May 29th, 2017, 05:46am »

on May 24th, 2017, 3:35pm, Janet wrote:
It's very difficult to speak Japanese well, but easy to speak it badly! Don't be intimidated! It's a fun interesting language.

I used an online class, Mango Languages (http://mangolanguages.com/index.html) and recommend it, although probably any online class is equally good.
Start now, you will be so glad.


Wouldn't say it's THAT difficult to learn at least passably. Pronounciation is reasonably easy as it follows how written better than english and very, very few irregularities(especially for common words. 問うた, touta etc for unusual past tense(regular conjugation would be 問った, totta) exists but that's more common for written text like books. For normal conversation you would use 聞く, kiku for asking and that follows regular conjugation rules no issues). There's basically just 3 major irregularities to worry about. する、くる and 行く and last one follows regular rules of another verb type so easy to remember.

Having struggled with irregular verbs in english and swedish this was HUGE boon! Not many irregulas in finnish and most of those are in dialects!

But regarding this if you want to learn japanese then shikoku pilgrimage is one very effective way to do it! I speak reasonably well and wide variety(this years trip only time I didn't use japanese was with other foreigners, except one japanese speaking french lady, and with japanese friends who speak finnish to whom I gave chance to practice finnish) so didn't need to do specific training but never have I had as much chance to USE japanese as here! I got to talk a lot every day in Shikoku. Much easier than outside Shikoku to get to talk more than shopping japanese.

So don't worry and just use as much japanese as you can! You get lots of chances to train it. I have been noting afterwards if you want to practice Japanese go to walk the shikoku pilgrimage smiley
« Last Edit: May 29th, 2017, 05:48am by tneva82 » User IP Logged

Janet
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xx Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #2 on: May 29th, 2017, 3:48pm »

Wow! tneva82, you're way ahead of me!

I'm pretty much illiterate, never cracked a textbook and have no sense of the finer points of irregular verbs. Still, I was able to have simple enjoyable conversations with people, reserve accommodations for myself on the phone, and find my way around.

I would advise anyone dipping their toe in the deep deep waters of Japanese language not to be scared off by kanji and irregular verbs! Just go for some basic conversation. You can totally do it.

And yes, once you build yourself a little Japanese language foundation, you will learn a LOT more on the henro michi!
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xx Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #3 on: May 30th, 2017, 12:43am »

on May 29th, 2017, 3:48pm, Janet wrote:
Wow! tneva82, you're way ahead of me!


Well I HAVE studied it now for over 6 years wink It got to count for SOMETHING even for somebody who has no particular apt for languages(never got through high school due to not getting through required swedish courses. 5 of them. minimum point was around 150, my record was 39 cheesy)

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I'm pretty much illiterate, never cracked a textbook and have no sense of the finer points of irregular verbs. Still, I was able to have simple enjoyable conversations with people, reserve accommodations for myself on the phone, and find my way around.


Well if you don't read books you don't really need to worry about irregular verbs except for the 3 I mentioned and seeing how common they are those aren't problem for long cheesy

Sounds like you have decent conversational ability in Japanese which definitely should help you enjoy time there. And with all the chances to talk you will improve a lot smiley

Quote:
I would advise anyone dipping their toe in the deep deep waters of Japanese language not to be scared off by kanji and irregular verbs! Just go for some basic conversation. You can totally do it.


Agreed. Kanji might look scary and are helpful to learn even for speaking as they works as good reminders of pronounciation.

And don't worry about count of them! Just little by little. You don't even need to learn them all to find use for them and indeed usefulness drops a lot the more you learn(as you see them less and less). First ~300 are very useful. Once you get to around 1000(easier than it sounds) you can read a lot. After that you can study if you want to be able to read more complex stuff.

And if you want to learn them best way to learn is read real stuff rather than just learn them mechanically one by one. Learning them in context helps a lot.

And yeah irregular verbs are no need to worry. There's basically just 3 you REALLY need to worry about and those are so common you pick them up almost automatically.

Japanese language might LOOK scary but it's surprisingly easy to break in and for basic conversational level doesn't take THAT much time if you are motivated. If you are motivated you can probably have basic survival japanese(buying stuff, asking for directions, basic self introductions since they LOVE to ask your age, name, country and in shikoku also how far you are going, are you alone, walking etc) in few months.

Reserving on phone might be bit trickier though that might just be my phone-dislike that makes it feel trickier than it actually is cheesy I hated that part in Shikoku! As it is I don't particularly like calling anybody outside family even in Finland! I prefer face to face talking over phone.

And my name is nightmare to get through. Timo. How hard that can be? But takes like dozen attempts. Guess that's because in Japanese there is no Ti sound! And don't even think about getting my last name through! No va and no la in japanese natively and long as hell cheesy At times I was feeling like saying "just mark me as that guy from finland" as it's 99.99% sure there's no other finnish male coming within month there wink
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Janet
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xx Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #4 on: May 30th, 2017, 11:44am »

OK, I did learn three kanji, from context:
the first one in "minshuku" (to find the minshuku),
the one for "yu" (hot water, because I'm obsessed with onsen and sento)
and
"dai" (big, for buying an adult onsen or train ticket and knowing which way the toilet flushes for poo).

And I learned about half the hiragana from an excellent phone app.
Another 10 weeks in Japan and a little effort and I could have learned a few more smiley
« Last Edit: May 30th, 2017, 11:48am by Janet » User IP Logged

dayunbao
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xx Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #5 on: Jun 1st, 2017, 8:04pm »

I just memorized all the hiragana. I'm putting off learning katakana in favor of building vocabulary. I'm using the Genki books. I haven't done an extensive comparison with other books, but they seem OK.
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xx Re: Learning Japanese
« Reply #6 on: Jun 2nd, 2017, 03:30am »

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irenejacob
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 7th, 2017, 01:03am »

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AaronLawrence
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 10th, 2017, 07:14am »

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