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Thread: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

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    Senior Member Scotchward's Avatar
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    Default Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Okay, I know this is technically the wrong forum - but who actually checks the Japanese Study forum?

    For us who have very little or no Japanese language skills - are there any books/online resources you can recommend to give us a bit of a head start?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    your best friend, regardless of how you study it, will be katakana. make sure you can read it before you get over here.

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Install a couple of easy kana-learning apps on your iPhone/iPod touch. I got quite a bit of mileage out of Hikachan (both the kat and hir versions--can't remember how much they cost, but they're cheap). Genki is generally considered the best book for beginner self-study. You can buy the book for 25ish bucks and get the cds... from that place where you usually get cds. Don't waste your time with Rosetta Stone or anything like that (unless you're really interested in boys and airplanes). Don't try to learn kanji now; there's no f*ckin' way you'll learn anything useful before you leave. Know the katakana alphabet by the time you arrive, and you'll be able to figure out a surprising amount of shit with a little practice, even without knowing virtually any j-go.
    Last edited by word; April 12th, 2010 at 13:26.
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    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    The Quail Eye I Am Quailman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    +1 to learning/drilling katakana and hiragana. That will only help you (ALOT)

    Also, if you want to try to learn some of the language, you could always try finding a language partner on Skype. There are plenty of jappers on Skype looking for language exchange partners.
    With a belt on my head, underpants over my shorts, and my sidekick Quaildog... I AM QUAILMAN

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    Yesterday I went and picked up an iPhone4 and my girlfriend fucking dropped it before I could put it in the case. The screen is fine, but the edges are scuffed a little. I was gonna punch her but she started crying so I just slapped her really hard instead.

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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    I second studying hiragana and katakana. I used Nakama as my text book in 101-202 and I think it is a good all around text book. Of course it is academic Japanese not a phrase book.

    One way you can sort of fake Japanese is to just say English words with a katakana accent. Bus=Basu, Car=Ka-, light=raito. You would be surprised how often Japanese people would understand what you mean.

    I played with the Iphone apps and the My Japanese coach and they seemed ok for learning, but they all depend on how much effort you put into it.

    I would focus on learning phrases that you can swap words out easily, like
    ????desu or ?????desu ka (This is?????/Is this ????)
    ???? ga doko ni arimasu ka (Where is ?????)

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    The Quail Eye I Am Quailman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Yeah, i do the KATAKANA-ize thing too sometimes... WHEN IN DOUBT, KATAKANA IT OUT!
    With a belt on my head, underpants over my shorts, and my sidekick Quaildog... I AM QUAILMAN

    Power, Patience, Speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by matt360 View Post
    Yesterday I went and picked up an iPhone4 and my girlfriend fucking dropped it before I could put it in the case. The screen is fine, but the edges are scuffed a little. I was gonna punch her but she started crying so I just slapped her really hard instead.

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    Senior Member Scotchward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Cheers for the advice chaps. Where does one get this Genki from for cheap? Also - CDs and workbooks worthwhile?

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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    ヘッロー
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotchward View Post
    Cheers for the advice chaps. Where does one get this Genki from for cheap? Also - CDs and workbooks worthwhile?


    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    you shouldn't steal copyrighted material

    duhs
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Eh, looks like it's gone up to 30 bucks now. Stupid inflation. Anyway, I ordered mine via Amazon.

    Amazon.com: Genki 1: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese 1 (English and Japanese Edition) (9784789009638): Japan Times, Eri Banno, Yutaka Ohno, Yoko Sakane, Chikako Shinagawa: Books

    Except I ordered from amazon.co.jp, since I'm in Japan.

    The CDs are useful, if not essential, for Genki. Forum rules prevent me from discussing the best way to get these (even though they are not currently being enforced). See Ini's post above.

    I dunno about the workbook. I have one, but haven't really used it. Might be good, though, if I start working on my writing ability, although that's really taken a back seat to the spoken language study.
    Last edited by word; April 12th, 2010 at 15:01.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Scotchward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Thanks - yeah I know where I can get the CDs for a very good price, just wanted to know if they are worth the time . Going to get the textbook soon I guess.

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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    I know others said it, but it really is worth repeating. Knowledge of Katakana and Hiragana go a LONG way in Japan. If you can memorize it and get know it well enough to be able to read it pretty quickly, you're in pretty solid shape.

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    Senior Member FamilyMart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Last edited by FamilyMart; April 15th, 2010 at 14:11.

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    I have Japanese For Busy People: Vol. 1 which is good for beginners. It focuses on conversational Japanese and everything is in romanji initially so it's an easy way to start. I believe the later volumes go on to teach katakana/hiragana/kanji.

    I've been learning the alphabet from Smart.fm - you can quiz yourself as you learn which really helps you remember everything. It also shows you the order that the strokes go in when you're writing.
    Last edited by Lani; April 12th, 2010 at 17:10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neocarbunkle View Post
    I second studying hiragana and katakana. I used Nakama as my text book in 101-202 and I think it is a good all around text book. Of course it is academic Japanese not a phrase book.

    One way you can sort of fake Japanese is to just say English words with a katakana accent. Bus=Basu, Car=Ka-, light=raito. You would be surprised how often Japanese people would understand what you mean.
    This works very well even with English words that aren't commonly katakanized. Even though most suck, adults here HAVE studied at least 6 years of English and the reason they suck is because they are so bad at comprehending real pronunciation. I've had a lot of instances where people ask me what ____ is in English, look clueless when I give the real pronuncation, then go "ohhhh of course ruuuraaaa!" (ruler) when I katakanize it.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Mildly off topic but...

    I think it would be really worthwhile besides basics like greetings and whatnot to practice a short self introduction in Japanese for when you get there. Just something really simple like your name, your home country, a hobby or a food you like.

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    Senior Member Crab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Yeah, you guys that haven't learnt a self introduction, get to it ASAP. You'll use that bad boy maybe 50 times when you get here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crab View Post
    Yeah, you guys that haven't learnt a self introduction, get to it ASAP. You'll use that bad boy maybe 50 times a day when you get here.
    fixed

  20. #20
    Senior Member Scotchward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning some Japanese before we ship out: advice please!

    Yeah I was thinking I would do that. The advice to noobs thread that patjs posted has a reply about how letting people know you are a university graduate as opposed to a student of some kind helps them realise you aren't some chimp - worthwhile including in self-introduction?

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