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Thread: Do YOU speak Japanese?

  1. #1
    Cherry (Level 1) Custom rank graphic
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    Default Do YOU speak Japanese?

    Hey guys, I've imported my fair share of games. Most of them are fighting games, or ones I don't need to read much of to understand...I do own a few RPG's I wish I could read. So my question...

    Do any of you speak Japanese? and did you do it so you can understand imported games?

    I recently received a copy of Japanese Rosetta Stone, in order to learn...my reason...to play awesome Japanese games we can't get here :P
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    Cherry (Level 1) Guyra's Avatar
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    I wish I did understand and could read Japanese. Both for games and a lot of other stuff. Online shopping, manga, music, etc. But it's not easy learning on your own.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) NE146's Avatar
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    I've been visiting and shopping in Japan multiple dozens of times since the 70's. However I do not know a lick of japanese except for maybe "onara" (fart).

    My older sister and grandparents however, are fluent.

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    I speak a little. Not much. I can't read it for shit anymore, except Katana. For some reason, my Gaijin brain can remember the Gaijin writing.

    Edit: Erm... Katakana
    Last edited by Sunnyvale; 01-04-2012 at 10:18 PM.

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    Cherry (Level 1) SpaceFlea's Avatar
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    I also speak very little. Rosetta Stone is AMAZING!!! I went through the first couple units of Japanese level 1. And after 1.5 years of not working with it (I plan to get back to it soon - hopefully) I still remember practically on the spot what it taught me, at least for the earlier stuff in it, the latter stuff not so much. Though I can only make some basic statements and queries like "I have a green bicycle", "the boy and girl are drinking milk", "is there a dog under the table" and stuff like that.

    Reading it... now that's a whole other can o' beans.
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    Cherry (Level 1) Ludwig's Avatar
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    In the middle of learning it, it really helps to have japanese friends.
    Against the general consensus, reading doesn't appear to be that difficult after all, i'm starting to get my stuff together, but it takes time and practice, but i expect that everyone is aware of that.

    I started because the english speaking folks keept ruining translations of books, games and motion pictures of all sorts. I couldn't care less about what you people do, but the issue i was facing was: The germans often just used the faulty english translation to translate it into german which sucks big time. I have no choice but to learn japanese if i want a version that makes sense.
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    Ha, funny thread with funny replies so far. I've been doing this for a few years now. I'm doing ok too I guess. Games are not the source of inspiration, they're just another reason it's valuable to have the knowledge. (It's also my fourth language, I still have room up there to cram more words in yet another language...) I will tell you this: once you have some foundation, playing things like RPGs help you because of the exposure, the reading practice, and if you have a dictionary on hand you can start picking up new words.. It's funny to me sometimes because I can remember a word not just from the past but also how I learned it. For example I can look at 熟練度 and remember learning it because of Final Fantasy 2.

    My language skill only improves so I'm basically fearless when I buy a new title. I don't care how much text there is, I can handle my way through.

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    I took two years of Japanese in college, but I'll be damned if I remember any of it now. I still have the katakana and hiragana tables memorized, however. I probably could take a decent stab at some basic sentence structure as well.
    "I am a cipher, wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce."

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    Apple (Level 5) xelement5x's Avatar
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    I took 3 semesters of Japanese in college and lived there for a bit in 2005 (great conversion rate, wooo!). But haven't really used it much since then. I can still read relatively basic stuff and recognize some kanji, but I'd definitely need a refresher if I wanted to play an RPG. Audio wise I can understand a fair amount of stuff since I still watch anime, but my wife is much better at it since she has better hearing than me and also watches a lot of Japanese Dramas still.

    I've got a fair amount of import games though, so my hope is to get some time eventually to polish up my comprehension using the old games.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Ludwig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxNtd View Post
    (It's also my fourth language)
    And which are those? (just curious)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
    And which are those? (just curious)
    Russian and French.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Ludwig's Avatar
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    I thought about Russian once, i would love to travel through Siberia, but in the end i didn't see enough practical applications in my life. I speak a bit of Swedish and German.
    Fanboys destroy everything.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) slapdash's Avatar
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    I'm with Gapporin -- studied a bit in college (never quite to fluency), but don't remember much now. The way I see it, the last thing I'll be able to say is "Boku no Nihongo wa, jouzu ja nai", or "Nihongo ga dekimasen".
    Russ Perry Jr, 2175 S Tonne Dr #114, Arlington Hts IL 60005
    Got any obscure game stuff?

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Custom rank graphic
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapdash View Post
    I'm with Gapporin -- studied a bit in college (never quite to fluency), but don't remember much now. The way I see it, the last thing I'll be able to say is "Boku no Nihongo wa, jouzu ja nai", or "Nihongo ga dekimasen".
    I laughed reading those sentences. (Particularly 上手じゃない hahaha.) I'm honestly confused how you can study actively for a notable amount and forget almost everything. I haven't studied French for over 8 years and I can still read and write almost as much as I remember knowing about it. Sure I remember some more advanced grammatical lessons but have forgotten their rules since then but overall, it's certainly far from lost. As for Japanese, kanji are a curious thing. Besides how amazing they are, the nature of their function and all, I swear some of them are permanently memorized. For example I don't think I can look at 水 and not know that it is water and how to say it as well. I cannot forget it. I have never forgotten it. There are many words I just know.

    Of course I haven't abstained from exposure to the language for a long period of time to see what I forget... I don't want to either.

    言語を毎日使ったら忘れられないと思う
    Last edited by FoxNtd; 01-07-2012 at 06:24 PM.

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    Peach (Level 3) StealthLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxNtd View Post
    Ha, funny thread with funny replies so far. I've been doing this for a few years now. I'm doing ok too I guess. Games are not the source of inspiration, they're just another reason it's valuable to have the knowledge. (It's also my fourth language, I still have room up there to cram more words in yet another language...) I will tell you this: once you have some foundation, playing things like RPGs help you because of the exposure, the reading practice, and if you have a dictionary on hand you can start picking up new words.. It's funny to me sometimes because I can remember a word not just from the past but also how I learned it. For example I can look at 熟練度 and remember learning it because of Final Fantasy 2.

    My language skill only improves so I'm basically fearless when I buy a new title. I don't care how much text there is, I can handle my way through.
    It's funny you mention this, I'm fluent in 3 languages however Japanese is NOT one of them.

    I took 1 year of japanese in order to fulfill a requirement but that was almost 15 years ago. So when it comes time to actually speak japanese, in my mind sometimes sentences get jumbled up with words from 3-4 different languages lol. Listening and understanding is easier though. In actuality I'm really surprised how much I remember. I can hold a decent conversation with my japanese neighbor. We also watch dramas together from time to time and I'm surprised by how much I can understand. She'd turn to me to translate and before she even speaks I tell her what just happened and what they said.... she'd look at me in astonishment and say I thought you weren't fluent in japanese, lol. However I still need help from her with certain colloquialisms, especially very, very modern ones.

    I guess it's a testament to the class and teacher I studied japanese under. She was the author of a japanese textbook that was used in Universities all across the United States at the time. After completing that class, I felt that I could basically say anything in japanese. It may not be the normal, everyday way of speaking but it would have been technically correct. She really made sure we got a strong foundation in the grammar and she really drove us to gain a significantly large vocabulary in comparison to other japanese classes. I remember comparing notes and progress with other first year students in several other schools at a comparative academic level and I was amazed at how little grammar, vocabulary and kanji they had to deal with on a weekly basis.

    Now in terms of kanji forget about it. I can still recall the overall meaning of some characters but stroke order and combinations has all gone to crap. It reminds me of western tattoo guys... yeah by itself that character means that, but if you put those two kanjis together it doesn't mean anything! I remember giggling behind some tattoo guys with my mandarin/cantonese friends about some ridiculous tattoos. However I can still do the simple hiragana and katakana forwards and backwards.

    In terms of games I actually have very little desire to use it to play things such as RPGs. Growing up, I had a lot of japanese friends either recently from japan or second generation going to japanese school everyday/once a week. I wanted to learn to be able to understand when they spoke with their parents lol. I also grew up watching a lot of live action japanese tv shows/movies... understanding those was probably my biggest motivation. Gaming is kinda just icing on the cake. For gaming, I use what japanese I know to aid me in searching for stuff I want to collect.

    .
    Last edited by StealthLurker; 01-07-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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    Strawberry (Level 2) Custom rank graphic
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    StealthLurker that sounds amazing. I'm probably on my 3rd year of self-study, and watching a TV show and trying to understand dialogue is only starting to open up to me. I am going to need many more hours of exposure as well as acquisition of new vocabulary before I make marvelous improvement in this department. "Icing on the cake" regarding Japanese games, I would agree with this. The language should be used as if it is the natural one, and anywhere language has a presence, you should be able to interact with it in Japanese. That is my intention; I would like for it to be second-nature as my hearing skills are for Russian.

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    Everyone holds information differently...I took spanish from 6th grade until 12th , thats 6 years and I had straight A's. The problem is I don't have ANY hispanic friends or friends that speak spanish...so after going 12 years without using an ounce of spanish..I only remember a handful. I've been using rosetta stone to learn Japanese with my gf, and my best friends takes it in college. I'm doing ok..but even if I go months on end without speaking or writing it..I still remember..mostly because I watch quite a bit of subtitled anime and Japanese live action films.
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    Cherry (Level 1) Shulamana's Avatar
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    It's one of my pipe dreams to be able to play Super Famicom games in the original language and understand the text, but I don't have nearly enough drive to do so. I probably have the memory to get a good grasp but none of the determination.

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    Mega Man (Level 19) The 1 2 P's Avatar
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    Outside of a few words and giberish sentences I don't speak very much Japanese. But the Katakana alphabet has come in handy for many import gaming sessions.
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    Strawberry (Level 2) SEGA_Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The 1 2 P View Post
    Outside of a few words and giberish sentences I don't speak very much Japanese. But the Katakana alphabet has come in handy for many import gaming sessions.
    This is exactly where I stand as far as my Japanese language skills are concerned. I just don't have the time to study Japanese extensively.

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    Play me a Newfie jig! markusman64ds's Avatar
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    I can't read or speak Japanese. The writing looks like scribbles and the speech sounds like gibberish, all because I can't understand it.

    Why can't Japanese be in English

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    Speak, no. Understand spoken Japanese, not really. Read, a tiny bit. I know the katakana and hiragana characters, and a very small assortment of kanji. It's just that my understanding of native Japanese is very limited, so my reading skills are 95% used for the purpose of reading English represented with Japanese characters. I'd love to know more, but what I have learned has all been self-taught (without even the assistance of programs like Rosetta Stone or what have you; just online character charts and dictionaries, basically) and I don't think I really have the drive and time to fluently learn the language like that. I am always picking up new words, though, like, for example, I recently memorized "uso" ("lie") and "majime" ("serious"). Anyway, I find that with games, even the most text-heavy ones, the critical information, like the names of characters, locations, moves, items, etc., are often in English (represented via katakana), and that's enough to get by well most of the time. And, yeah, this learning process was started because of Japanese video games (Star Ocean on Super Famicom specifically was my start), but I also import a lot of other Japanese products, like manga, music, etc.

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    Cherry (Level 1) layzee's Avatar
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    My main goal at the moment: Understanding Japanese text via memorising the Kanji (but not necessarily how to read it, that's a longer-term goal) and if possible, without using electronic dictionaries (also a longer-term goal). Concurrent goal: Learning how to write it.

    Sub-goals: Learning how to write Kanji (high priority, concurrent with main goal); increasing vocabulary (high); using the correct readings (i.e. on/kun) (medium-high); comprehending compound Kanji (medium-high); understanding spoken Japanese speech (medium); speaking Japanese (low).

    Current status of main goal: I'm getting there. I am currently in the process of reviewing and memorising 2200 Kanji (i.e. I have already looked at/studied, and associated an English meaning/word to each Kanji, at least several times). Additionally and at the same time, I hope to be able to reproduce/write 2200 Kanji out of thin air.

    The Kanji, which was by far, the main obstacle to my understanding of any sentence, and which used to all looked barely the same to me, are now slowly becoming comprehensible. The Kanji which I think used to all look the same, now all look unique. Each individual Kanji has a story to tell and you would do well to heed it.

    In today's age of technology, learning how to write the Kanji seems like a futile and pointless exercise. In fact, I argue to the contrary. Merely looking at a Kanji (while still useful for recognition purposes) is only partly helpful. I argue that learning the meaning of the Kanji and learning how to write it are linked (doing one, helps the doing the other). It is by writing the Kanji with a pen, and with the correct stroke order, that you will be able to get a "feel" of the Kanji. In time, writing a particular Kanji will not require thinking. You will learn and write a Kanji the same way tennis player hits a ball over the net. It will become a reflex action. A good side-effect is that your usage of electronic dictionaries (with pen input) will be more efficient, where correct stroke order is relatively important.

    Above all, with the exceptions of the simplest and most basic Kanji, all Kanji does not consist of mere lines or strokes. Rather, each Kanji can be separated into smaller parts, and these are called "radicals" or "primitives". And it is with these radicals/primitives, these building blocks for which you can use to construct a story for that particular Kanji. This strategy will be necessary for both your writing and for your understanding of the Kanji. Either that, or just rote learning/brute force it. You don't have a choice.

    Having said that, even if I have all the meanings of the Kanji memorised, I will probably still have trouble with 2 things: 1) compound Kanji (a simple search on an electronic dictionary solves this) and 2) Long and complicated sentences using multiple types of grammar (will need more study on intermediate/advanced grammar for that one).

    But I am optimistic that my goal will be realised in the near future. I will be able to finally play my Super Famicom RPGs (among other things like unreleased Japanese RPGs in the future) in their original language and to satisfy my purist self.
    Last edited by layzee; 03-14-2012 at 09:36 PM.

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    I took a semester of Japanese in high school and have studied it on my own since then. I can read and write hiragana/katakana and can form basic sentences. VERY basic sentences. I can understand about 30 to 40% of what I hear. I've been meaning to take classes.

    Anyway, what little I know has helped when it comes to import games.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) LordDarkrai's Avatar
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    Pretty much no upset for only sayonara and a very few other words.

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