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  • Learning Japanese on Duolingo.

    I've always wanted to learn Japanese, so recently I started using Duolingo. So far I'm over 20 lessons in, and am put in something called the "Pearl League", apparently I get enough points each week or so to get promoted to a higher tier.

    I've learned a bit of Hiragana, and Katakana, but haven't gotten into Kanji yet. I wouldn't be able to hold a conversation, but I'd be able to ask some basic questions and maybe understand the answer. My biggest problem is with the grammar, and numbers. Some of the numbers are pronounced entirely differently depending on the context. The number 7 as an example can be pronounced as "na na" or "shi chi" in different contexts. Then with the grammar my problem is that in many sentences it is very similar to English, but in others it is backwards or even scrambled compared to the English version. One example where it is more intuitive "Nakamura san wa sensei desu" means "Mr Nakamura is a teacher"*, Then in "densha ni nori ma su" it means "I will ride the train", even though train "densha" is before "nori".

    I'm kind of brute forcing some of these phrases by memorizing them at this point. Still, on other stuff I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    *"san" can also mean Ms. or Mrs.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    *"san" can also mean Ms. or Mrs.
    or "three" or "mountain." Fun part of Japanese - so many homonyms make puns (だじゃれ) easy.
    Sentence structure can be a nightmare, but I'll throw one in here - with an introduction to kanji included. (hoping it isn't too complex.)
    土が一寸でさえ寺になれます。(copy this sentence to Google Translate to listen)

    tera.jpg

    Last edited by tabibito; 06-18-2021, 12:14 PM.
    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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    • #3
      Checked out Duolingo - It has a nice approach.
      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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      • #4
        the only Japanese I know is "Domo Origato Mr. Roboto"



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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          the only Japanese I know is "Domo Origato Mr. Roboto"

          Must be piratical Japanese for "doumo arigatou gozaimasu Robotosan.".(thankyou very much Mr Robot.)
          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tabibito View Post

            Must be piratical Japanese for "doumo arigatou gozaimasu Robotosan.".(thankyou very much Mr Robot.)
            Never claimed I could spell it!


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            • #7
              omoshirokatta.
              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                omoshirokatta.
                Gesundheit.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                  Gesundheit.
                  Ah now ... I'm not averse to someone starting a German thread.

                  BTW - Where are purple pants and Chrawnus these days?
                  sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                    Ah now ... I'm not averse to someone starting a German thread.

                    BTW - Where are purple pants and Chrawnus these days?
                    Chrawnus changed his name to JonathanL but he hasn't been on in several months. Not sure where he went. who is "purple pants?"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                      or "three" or "mountain." Fun part of Japanese - so many homonyms make puns (だじゃれ) easy.
                      Sentence structure can be a nightmare, but I'll throw one in here - with an introduction to kanji included. (hoping it isn't too complex.)
                      土が一寸でさえ寺になれます。(copy this sentence to Google Translate to listen)

                      tera.jpg
                      Yeah, that is definitely one of the harder things about Japanese is how many words have drastically different meaning on the context, or they have the same symbol, but are pronounced differently in different contexts.

                      There are around 200 lessons in Duolingo, and I'm only about 10% through it right now. I try to finish up at least one lesson each day, and so far I haven't missed a day of doing at least some work on it. At minimum I get 50 "exp" per day, which is usually 5 mini lessons. If you make enough mistakes they have your 5 Star lessons show up as broken as a way to tell you "go back and polish up on this lesson", which definitely helps with certain areas I have trouble with. Although right now I probably have the most trouble with processing Japanese when it is being spoken, it is so fast, and some of the syllables practically disappear from the sentence they are in. Like the Hiragana が("ga"* sound for those who don't recognize it).

                      Right now I have a 50 days in a row of doing at least something there.

                      I already knew how much the Japanese loved their puns, many of my favorite video game series try to incorporate that into the translation. They have to use different puns since Japanese ones don't work in English, but sometimes they manage to cram in five or more puns in a sentence or two. Splatoon 2, and the "Tales of" games, and the Persona series tend to make use of it are great at putting in tons of puns. Tales of Berseria and Tales of Zestiria being my favorites for now of the latter series. Persona doesn't seem to dive into the puns anywhere near as much as Splatoon 2 and is definitely overshadowed by the Tales of series as well.

                      *Sometimes it sounds more like "guh" or "nga".

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                      • #12
                        そうです。"が" can sound like "nya" or "na."  "は" with the standard "wa" or "ha" sounds, but can sound as "wo," depending on dialect.
                        sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                          そうです。"が" can sound like "nya" or "na."  "は" with the standard "wa" or "ha" sounds, but can sound as "wo," depending on dialect.

                          For example "wa"/は becomes "ha" when used to say "mom". In English it sounds like "ha ha".

                          "そうです" for the others here means "That's right". Adding よ at the end turns it to "That's right, you know".

                          Just got done finishing up one of the lessons on transit. It had the frustrating part of the grammar being backwards in one instance, but not another. In the sentence "It takes about 5 minutes to get from the train station to the hotel by car" you have train station first, and then hotel. However, the sentence "It takes about 10 minutes to get to school from the train station" you have train station before school.

                          Having 5 minutes/10 minutes before "about" is also throwing me off.

                          Oh well, another two days and I go up yet another tier if I keep up this progress. I wish the tiers meant a little more, but there are so many of them. I've gone through bronze, silver, gold, sapphire, ruby, emerald, amethyst, and am currently on pearl. At this point I'm going to go through all of the Pokemon game titles before I get anywhere near the end.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                            Chrawnus changed his name to JonathanL but he hasn't been on in several months. Not sure where he went. who is "purple pants?"
                            That would be the prodder of bovines.
                            sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post


                              For example "wa"/は becomes "ha" when used to say "mom". In English it sounds like "ha ha".

                              "そうです" for the others here means "That's right". Adding よ at the end turns it to "That's right, you know".

                              Just got done finishing up one of the lessons on transit. It had the frustrating part of the grammar being backwards in one instance, but not another. In the sentence "It takes about 5 minutes to get from the train station to the hotel by car" you have train station first, and then hotel. However, the sentence "It takes about 10 minutes to get to school from the train station" you have train station before school.

                              Having 5 minutes/10 minutes before "about" is also throwing me off.

                              Oh well, another two days and I go up yet another tier if I keep up this progress. I wish the tiers meant a little more, but there are so many of them. I've gone through bronze, silver, gold, sapphire, ruby, emerald, amethyst, and am currently on pearl. At this point I'm going to go through all of the Pokemon game titles before I get anywhere near the end.
                              は is "ha", except when it is the particle (marks topic), otherwise "wa" is わ. "From" usually comes before "to," but the opposite isn't wrong, just seldom used.
                              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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