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Thread: Japanese to know upon arrival

  1. #21

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    When I first arrived I knew numbers, basic greetings, basic shopping vocabulary and very little else. Learning from books is all very well, but there is nothing like the immersive experience to increase your knowledge. The writing activity webstaa suggested is good. I used to carry round a small spiral notepad for when I picked up a new word at school/enkai/other social activity. I picked up speed in my reading of kanji by learning some karaoke songs - anything I didn't pick up in the lyrics I noted down (although not all song lyrics are useful in daily life, obviously). There are many ways to learn Japanese, but the main thing is be positive about learning and, if you have a rural placement you will almost certainly have to pick things up a lot quicker.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Days of the month. If you try to say ichinichi instead of tsuitachi people will have no idea what you're talking about.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by soh View Post
    osakini shitsurei shimasu when you get off work
    I have never said this and don't intend to.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by CUPS View Post
    I have never said this and don't intend to.
    Wait, why? It's a perfectly acceptable phrase, and it's very polite. What do you say instead?

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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by CUPS View Post
    I have never said this and don't intend to.
    Watashi mo, yo. My teachers get a few otsukares on my way out the door. None of this "sorry for leaving early" nonsense.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    It's not "leaving early," it's "leaving before you."

    I guess it's all up to the individual, but I'm a super mega tryhard so I say both.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by greyjoy View Post
    Watashi mo, yo. My teachers get a few otsukares on my way out the door. None of this "sorry for leaving early" nonsense.
    But why?

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Days of the month. If you try to say ichinichi instead of tsuitachi people will have no idea what you're talking about.
    This might be regional, as nobody in my japan seems to care. Most of my students and teachers just append nichi to a number. Maybe ojiisans who survived the war keep to the old ways, but I never managed to learn them, and it hasn't troubled me at all.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by greyjoy View Post
    This might be regional, as nobody in my japan seems to care. Most of my students and teachers just append nichi to a number. Maybe ojiisans who survived the war keep to the old ways, but I never managed to learn them, and it hasn't troubled me at all.
    I mean, tsuitachi, futsuka, mikka and then yonichi**, gonichi, etc., (plus a couple additional annoying ones) Counters are awful, but after 10th and 20th they're all just number plus nichi.

    Edit: **Maybe your kids will sometimes say yonichi. They also get confused with muika once in a while if they're young.
    Last edited by Ananasboat; April 13th, 2015 at 13:49.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Katakana and Hiragana, greetings, numbers, where is OO? this please, self introduction, days of week, months of year, time etc. If you can arrive with the basics of JLPT N5 you should be able to get through most situations. If you don't have the time to study before you arrive then I would say at least try to learn Katakana and pick up a small phrasebook to help you navigate yourself around your new town for the first few weeks.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Lots of reasons.

    I'm not sorry for leaving before anyone. I've done my work, I've got paid for it and now I'm going home.

    I also think the whole idea of drawing loud attention to anyone who's leaving is (yet another) really 'off' form of keeping the masses under control. It's not enough that you have to be pressured to work ridiculous unpaid overtime but also you can't just quietly leave? You have to draw attention to it, thus drawing (negative) attention to people just because they are going home for the day?

    The phrase is essentially a tool of oppression Sod that for a game of soldiers.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    What do I say instead?

    "Bye, see you tomorrow!" / "Bye, have a nice weekend!"

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by CUPS View Post
    Lots of reasons.

    I'm not sorry for leaving before anyone. I've done my work, I've got paid for it and now I'm going home.

    I also think the whole idea of drawing loud attention to anyone who's leaving is (yet another) really 'off' form of keeping the masses under control. It's not enough that you have to be pressured to work ridiculous unpaid overtime but also you can't just quietly leave? You have to draw attention to it, thus drawing (negative) attention to people just because they are going home for the day?

    The phrase is essentially a tool of oppression Sod that for a game of soldiers.
    So is potentially making your coworkers think you're rude and considerate worth making zero change to the social structure you claim to be rebelling against?

    Please do not listen to this guy. Greetings are important in Japan. Just use them. Would you refuse to say "good morning" to someone because it was raining?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But why?
    My own private war with Japanese philosophy? It just doesn't come naturally to me, and I fit in almost seamlessly with Japanese level politeness otherwise. It's abnormal to me to call attention to my leaving in the first place. And I disagree wholeheartedly with the working hours mentality here, wherein the person staying longer is perceived to be working harder(dubious) and especially its corollary(excepting me, flat false).

    To me, saying otsukaresama is a nice courtesy. Saying osakini is a product of shaming, not politeness.

    But mostly maybe because I didn't say it when I first came, and can't start now.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    I never say it either. I get quite a few syonaras from other teachers which I love.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by greyjoy View Post
    My own private war with Japanese philosophy?
    Right, and what changes have you made to that?

    It just doesn't come naturally to me, and I fit in almost seamlessly with Japanese level politeness otherwise.
    It's a different language and culture. If you think the rest of it "comes naturally" to you then you probably haven't got it.

    It's abnormal to me to call attention to my leaving in the first place.
    A

    No, it's abnormal for you not to do so in Japan. Normality is defined entirely by social context.

    To me, saying otsukaresama is a nice courtesy. Saying osakini is a product of shaming, not politeness. [/QUOTE]

    I could just as easily argue that otsukaresama is a passive-aggressive/sarcastic phrase meant to highlight your laziness in being tired when they're still going. For me, meaning is determined by intention. They aren't really sorry for leaving, you don't really think they're lazy for doing so, just get along with people. There's no point acting weird if no-one understands why you're doing it and it doesn't change anything.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    I mean, tsuitachi, futsuka, mikka and then yonichi, gonichi, etc., (plus a couple additional annoying ones) Counters are awful, but after 10th and 20th they're all just number plus nichi.
    It's not yonnichi though, it's yokka. The first ten are all irregular, along with 14, 20, and 24. It might be that I just don't notice when they use the right terms. I still have it in my mind that they're all different from being an idiot back in university.

  18. #38
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    Default Japanese to know upon arrival

    Jiggit, I'm not expecting to effect any change. It's entirely due to my personality defects that I have responded to the greeting culture like this. I can't stand calling attention to myself when I get in every morning and when I leave every day. But I do it when I'm in japan. It may be nothing to add an additional string of syllables as a sop to everyone else, but it's a step too far for me. You won't disagree that there are thousands of simple things that you're expected to do everyday to assimilate, but because you're not actually Japanese, maybe you don't do every one of them, right? I've heard some of my teachers say osakini on rare occasion, and some of them do leave earlier than me pretty regularly, but I don't know that anyone does it all the time. Nobody at my schools ever does any ittekimasu/itterashai greetings either. Maybe my staff rooms are pretty casual, but I sincerely doubt anyone remarks on my lack of this particular greeting.

    I'm not advising anyone to emulate me, but it's just not my thing.
    Last edited by greyjoy; April 13th, 2015 at 13:53.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Oh sure, there's plenty of shit that I don't do, that's kind of the point, that I do do the stuff that doesn't affect me. Am I gonna stay in till 8 to make myself look like a good employee? Hell no. Then I might as well say the thing as I stroll out the door at 16:01.

    Also I just want to emphasise to newbies that greetings are way more formalised and important in Japan than back home. Kids have classes on this stuff. Saying the right words at the right time is a big part of fitting in here.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Japanese to know upon arrival

    Quote Originally Posted by greyjoy View Post
    It's not yonnichi though, it's yokka. The first ten are all irregular, along with 14, 20, and 24. It might be that I just don't notice when they use the right terms. I still have it in my mind that they're all different from being an idiot back in university.
    You're right. I hang out with the little kids way too much. Imagine your mind breaking when you say "muika" and the kids are like "sensei, does that mean rokunichi?" I tried countering your argument, but then I realized that I'm actually used to it as well. Woops.

    But still. LEARN YOUR GREETINGS people. I argue that they're not a form of oppression, and just natural Japanese courtesy. When you tell someone to "have a good day," you're not forcing them to have a good day against their will, it's just something you say. Saying "otsukaresama" and "osakini shitsureishimasu" isn't going to make your coworkers think poorly of you leaving early. But if you have passable Japanese and don't use the greetings they may think you're cold. You're not above it, either, as you're an employee in Japan.

    When in Rome, right?

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