Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Another update RE: my quest to learn Japanese

The last time I checked in regarding my quest to learn Japanese (a whole week and a half ago), I revealed that I'd successfully taught myself the language's hiragana alphabet (syllabary, if you're a stickler for such things).

What have I achieved since then? Why, I've only learned the language's katakana alphabet, that's all.

Granted, some folks learn both of these alphabets--er, syllabaries--in week or less, but neither my brain nor my schedule would allow for that.

Anyway, as a result of my two-to-three-week dedication to enhancing my ability to communicate with the world (ha!), I can now speak, read and write (with proper stroke order!) all of the Japanese language's hiragana and katakana characters.

As for what's next: vocabulary and basic grammar, mostly by way of the first volume of Genki's An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese.

I'm also going to take a Twitter friend's advice and stick Post-It notes with words like "chair" and "lamp" and "vase" (in Japanese, of course) around our house in order to speed up my comprehension of such everyday terms.

Will any of this help me learn enough Japanese to at least fumble my way through games I've always wanted to play, like Tengai Makyou II: Manji Maru (PC Engine), Shin Onigashima (Famicom Disk System) and, er, Royal Stone (Game Gear)?

I have no idea, but I'll do my best to keep all of you in the loop either way.

See also: 'A long-overdue update RE: my quest to learn Japanese'


Billy Kostyra said...

あなたはセクシーです。 said...

Does that mean what I think it means, Billy? If so, thanks :)

BTW, I had to look up pretty much every segment of your comment, as I've yet to learn あなたは, for instance.

Also, I didn't realize at first that セクシー = sexy!

Anyway ... thank you! (Assuming I worked everything out correctly, of course.)

Morgan Sleeper said...

Great! My roommate & I did the stickers-on-things with Chinese in college, it was fun and I think it helped! In addition to nouns on things, we put phrases up around in places we thought made sense - "See you later" and "Have a nice day" on the inside of the door, "Goodnight" on the ceiling over the beds, etc. said...

Ah, I hadn't thought of that, Morgan, but it's perfect--your idea to put phrases on the walls, etc., too. And maybe I'll put colors in various places as well? Ah, I'm so excited!

apricotsushi said...

Congrats, Bryan! It's great to hear that you're making good progress :) And you're going to use Genki?! Ah, that brings back memories. I'll try to start throwing a few odd words/phrases your way to keep you on your toes ;)

Oh, I don't know what you're using to translate J->E and vice versa, but it might be worth mentioning that is by FAR my favorite site for words and phrases. All you have to do is type in the English or Japanese word/phrase (or copy+paste if it's a word with kanji you don't know) into the search bar on the left, press enter, and voila! It's quite comprehensive and accurate, and my personal go-to site :)

ファイト! said...

Hey there, Anne! Thanks for the support :) I'm making acceptable progress, I think. Like I said in the post, I'm probably being a bit slow compared to many others, but I only have so much time/energy for this at the moment and I also want to do it right.

BTW, that word you threw in at the end is "fight!" isn't it? Or, rather, "faito!"

I have to admit, I'm still a bit slow with katakana like "ファ" -- I don't always remember which alternate sounds they're supposed to produce. I'm working on it, though!

Thanks for the site suggestion, by the way--I think that'll be REALLY helpful. At the moment, I'm just using Google, and sometimes I have to do a bit of digging before I come up with a real result.

I have a feeling I'll eventually get an actual, physical J-->E (or E-->J?) dictionary, too, but maybe not for a while. Not sure I really need it yet.

Anyway, thanks again for the help and the support!

apricotsushi said...

"Fight!" indeed! You'll find Japanese people say that a lot when they're trying to be encouraging ;)

You've just reminded me that I have a near-pristine J->E furigana dictionary at home that would be great for you! I'll see if my mom can't dig it up and send it your way. said...

Ah, thanks for that info, Anne. Stuff like that is nice to know :)

As for you having a J->E dictionary you may be willing to part with: that would be awesome! Don't worry about it, though, if it's a hassle. I'm sure I can find one on my own easily enough if need be.

Justin Difazzio said...

CONGRATS!!! said...

Thanks, Justin :)

emisan said...

Cool beans. I learned kana just to write a FAQ for the Zelda: Oracle games ages ago. Handheld games are great starting points because usually everything is written in kana and basic kanji due to the low resolution. Then again, some games still use more complex kanji, which can be insanely annoying because the characters can become unrecognizable.

I never really advanced my skills beyond kana and some basic kanji and grammar, but I find I can fumble my way through menus pretty easily. Pretty much every RPG has some form of "たたかう" as the first option in battle, lol.

I HIGHLY recommend downloading JWPce, btw. It's a Japanese word processor that comes with dictionaries and other useful features like looking up kanji based on strokes. It was instrumental in helping me get through Sword of Mana in Japanese, even if I had to look up kanji every other second,.