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Core with romaji and translation

#51
(2017-04-14, 10:28 pm)theadamie Wrote: Find me one person who became fluent in Japanese in a reasonable time who is illiterate and/or uses romaji.  I'll shut up when you do.  As far as I'm concerned you're just giving out bad advice that will only harm beginners.
We could start with João Rodrigues and work forwards if you like. More recently there must be plenty of people who started with Eleanor Jordan's 'Japanese: The Spoken Language'. I can't say I'd personally recommend it and it's definitely out of fashion now but there's no inherent reason you can't get where you want to starting with a strong focus on the spoken language, and going back to fill in the gaps of the written language later.
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#52
(2017-04-14, 10:28 pm)theadamie Wrote: Find me one person who became fluent in Japanese in a reasonable time who is illiterate and/or uses romaji.  I'll shut up when you do.  As far as I'm concerned you're just giving out bad advice that will only harm beginners.

Many JVloggers who have demonstrated decent to very good spoken Japanese have come out and said that they are basically illiterate or half-literate as far as Kanji goes. I'm astonished by the amount of people I've seen quote 800 kanji as their next goal, when they speak decent to very good Japanese.

Frankly, I think the tone you just took with your 'shut up' line was pretty uncalled for and innappropriate to boot.
Edited: 2017-04-15, 7:41 am
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#53
(2017-04-15, 7:40 am)NinKenDo Wrote:
(2017-04-14, 10:28 pm)theadamie Wrote: Find me one person who became fluent in Japanese in a reasonable time who is illiterate and/or uses romaji.  I'll shut up when you do.  As far as I'm concerned you're just giving out bad advice that will only harm beginners.

Many JVloggers who have demonstrated decent to very good spoken Japanese have come out and said that they are basically illiterate or half-literate as far as Kanji goes. I'm astonished by the amount of people I've seen quote 800 kanji as their next goal, when they speak decent to very good Japanese.

Frankly, I think the tone you just took with your 'shut up' line was pretty uncalled for and innappropriate to boot.
You are moving the goalposts. There is a big difference between "half-literate as far as Kanji goes" and "uses romaji instead of kana". The latter, who can't even complete a simple task that takes a week, doesn't have what it takes to actually learn the language. He should just quit now and save himself the time.

Quote:Illiteracy will effect how intelligent you sound speaking.
Illiteracy will affect how intelligent you sound.

Quote:Frankly, I think the tone you just took with your 'shut up' line was pretty uncalled for and innappropriate to boot.
You can imagine whatever tone you believe he used, but it doesn't mean it really happened, nor does it mean he should apologize for your delusions. He never told anyone else to shut up. He said he would shut up. There is nothing inappropriate about his post.


pm25 Wrote:We could start with João Rodrigues and work forwards if you like.
Yes, please do pick someone that hasn't been dead for a hundred years so we can confirm if he because fluent in a reasonable time without ever learning the kana.  A focus on spoken japanese doesn't mean the abandonment of something as simple as kana. If you have been learning Japanese for a week and are a normal adult, you should know the kana. It is a waste of time to try to help someone who refuses to help himself.
Edited: 2017-04-15, 8:41 am
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JapanesePod101
#54
Christ, people are turning nasty as hell over this. Noted as poisonous personalities.

Edit: Or given that totalxxxtotal just joined, should I say personality?
Edited: 2017-04-15, 9:11 am
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#55
(2017-04-15, 9:08 am)NinKenDo Wrote: Christ, people are turning nasty as hell over this. Noted as poisonous personalities.

Edit: Or given that totalxxxtotal just joined, should I say personality?
You gave bad advice by defending the position that not taking the time to learn kana is ok.
You felt offense without reason for the high-ground. We both know that victimhood is power.
Now, you are exaggerating to demonize your opponents. We both know a person "nasty as hell" ought to be ignored.
You are deceptive. If you want to find poisonous personalities, look inward.
Edited: 2017-04-15, 9:30 am
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#56
You're right. Poisonous people should be ignored, though it's easier said than done. I pray that I get better at it.
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#57
(2017-04-15, 9:30 am)NinKenDo Wrote: You're right. Poisonous people should be ignored, though it's easier said than done. I pray that I get better at it.

You best start by learning to ignore yourself.
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#58
(2017-04-15, 9:08 am)NinKenDo Wrote: Christ, people are turning nasty as hell over this. Noted as poisonous personalities.

Edit: Or given that totalxxxtotal just joined, should I say personality?

As far as I can tell, you're the most inappropriate poster in this thread. Everyone else is staying on point, you're the only one who's more focused on handing out unsolicited advice on manners than on the subject of the thread.
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#59
(2017-04-15, 12:02 pm)Stansfield123 Wrote:
(2017-04-15, 9:08 am)NinKenDo Wrote: Christ, people are turning nasty as hell over this. Noted as poisonous personalities.

Edit: Or given that totalxxxtotal just joined, should I say personality?

As far as I can tell, you're the most inappropriate poster in this thread. Everyone else is staying on point, you're the only one who's more focused on handing out unsolicited advice on manners than on the subject of the thread.

Really?  Undecided I thought my response was pretty warranted, but maybe I was wrong... I really don't think I've been unreasonable here. I don't think this thread has been a productive one at all either, as far as I can tell OP has stopped payi8ng attention and it's turned into some kind of faction war. I thought I was being pretty balance, I presented my own opinion and entertained others, I pointed out evidence that partially contradicted my own opinion, and simply told someone when I considered their reply to be aggressive and innappropriate. I then got abused by an obvious sock. I'm gonna remove myself from this thread. I don't think it's productive at all.
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#60
I'm a little shocked by how this thread has derailed. I'm not talking about how its original topic shifted to two or three different concerns, related but not directly connected to the original post; what I'm really talking about is how some of the last messages have been written in a somewhat rude or, at least, aggressive style.
Please, people, tone it down a bit, can't we? I think there's nothing wrong with being in strong disagreement, as long as we can keep manners and dialectical coherence in our arguments ;-)

BTW I took no offense by theadamie's answer to my post:
(2017-04-14, 10:28 pm)theadamie Wrote: Find me one person who became fluent in Japanese in a reasonable time who is illiterate and/or uses romaji.  I'll shut up when you do.  As far as I'm concerned you're just giving out bad advice that will only harm beginners.
...but either I expressed myself pretty badly or he didn't took the appropriate amount of time to read it. Because I literally said "while I can understand people framing themselves to learn just the spoken language because of a tight schedule and/or pretty specific needs [...] doing so without a good reason is, to say the least, unfortunate", and then I elaborated a little why I think that's the case. So I don't get why I'm supposed to be "giving out bad advice that will only harm beginners". We are more or less on the same page, I think. The only part were I've shown disagreement was when I reflected about the current role of this forum.

Also, I think João Rodrigues was a good example, but evidently he lived in a very different time; if we go to that lengths, an even better example would be all the actual Japanese people that were completely illiterate at the time while, obviously, extremely fluent (hint: they weren't just a few).
Anyway, what I had in my mind was more along the lines of illegal immigrants or people how should go to Japan for a limited time with a set mission and little time to learn the language in advance, or things like that. Outside of those cases, nowadays, it would make little to no sense at all for anyone with the time to study Japanese, either as a hobby or in an academical setup, to purposely choose to be illiterate (and I don't mean just kana, I also mean kanji).

OTOH, no native English speaker has answered yet to my genuine curiosity about why they tend to find latinization so hard to pronounce ;-).
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#61
https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/knight_ke...12_phd.pdf

https://link.springer.com/article/10.100...012-9358-7
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#62
(2017-04-15, 8:26 am)totalxxxtotal Wrote: If you have been learning Japanese for a week and are a normal adult, you should know the kana. It is a waste of time to try to help someone who refuses to help himself.

It's up to you to prove that kana is superior to romaji.  Otherwise you're just name calling.

As someone who learned several thousand words in kana, I found it's perhaps the least efficient way of learning Japanese.  Kana takes much longer than a week to learn every character and stop mixing up characters.  And that's not to mention that your kana reading speed will likely never be as fast as your reading of romaji.  And if you're going the all kana route like I did, you're learning 1000s of words written in a different script than they are ordinarily written in Japan, you might as well be reading in romaji so that you can read them (and likely memorize them) much faster.

I'm not a fan of romaji myself.  See my earlier post for why.  But it's not as if you're never going to learn Japanese if you start out with romaji.  In fact, up until the 1980's, Japanese pedagogical orthodoxy was to start out with romaji until you had a decent facility with the spoken language before learning Japanese script.  So there have likely been 10s or 100s of thousands of people who learned Japanese by starting with romaji.
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#63
(2017-04-18, 1:03 pm)NinKenDo Wrote: https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/knight_ke...12_phd.pdf

https://link.springer.com/article/10.100...012-9358-7

 Wow! These resources are golden (specially the first). Thank you!
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#64
(2017-04-18, 2:11 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2017-04-15, 8:26 am)totalxxxtotal Wrote: If you have been learning Japanese for a week and are a normal adult, you should know the kana. It is a waste of time to try to help someone who refuses to help himself.

It's up to you to prove that kana is superior to romaji.  Otherwise you're just name calling.

As someone who learned several thousand words in kana, I found it's perhaps the least efficient way of learning Japanese.  Kana takes much longer than a week to learn every character and stop mixing up characters.  And that's not to mention that your kana reading speed will likely never be as fast as your reading of romaji.  And if you're going the all kana route like I did, you're learning 1000s of words written in a different script than they are ordinarily written in Japan, you might as well be reading in romaji so that you can read them (and likely memorize them) much faster.

I'm not a fan of romaji myself.  See my earlier post for why.  But it's not as if you're never going to learn Japanese if you start out with romaji.  In fact, up until the 1980's, Japanese pedagogical orthodoxy was to start out with romaji until you had a decent facility with the spoken language before learning Japanese script.  So there have likely been 10s or 100s of thousands of people who learned Japanese by starting with romaji.

No, I' did not ignore Kanji and learn vocabulary solely through Kana, and I never suggested you or anyone else do. You have implied it in your post youself: learning words written differently from how they are written in Japan is a bad idea. Thus, you should learn Kana, then Kanji, and try to learn through those instead of insisting on romaji even after learning the language for three months.
Edited: 2017-04-21, 9:13 am
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#65
Roman letters do not and cannot accurately represent Japanese sounds. If you use Romaji you will go through life thinking that ふ is pronunced fu (or hu if you use the Romanization common in Japan), し is pronounced shi (or si if you use the romanization common in Japan) etc.

As you see Romanization systems even contradict each other. Some Western people think Hepburn is THE way of romanizing Japanese and tells us how it is pronounced. In fact it is only one way, and none of them tell us how Japanese is pronounced. They are all approximations which use different trade-offs. I actually think the usual Japanese Romanization is better than Hepburn because at least it doesn't confuse the learner about grammar. Though of course it has its own disadvantages.

On KawaJapa a reader once criticized me for saying that "minute" is hun and said I ought to know it is actually fun. The fact is, it is neither hun nor fun, it is ふん. Fun and hun are both ways of trying to write ふん in Roman letters and neither is fully accurate. I used Hun to clarify a certain sound-relationship in Japanese grammar, which is obscured by using Hepburn.

I in fact think using romaji at an early stage can cause long-term difficulties and advocate using a kana keyboard (not typing Japanese in Romaji and letting the computer convert it to kana/kanji). I am well aware that most Japanese people type Japanese via Romaji, but they don't have a set of false associations about "Romanized pronunciation" in their minds and they do understand deeply and instinctively how Japanese words transform based on their kana-relationships.

if you are interested I have written about all this at greater length here and here.

PS - Having said all this, if you are really thinking of Japanese learning in terms of a few weeks or even a few months (of which learning kana would be a relatively large proportion - you can learn them in a week) then you might as well stay with Romaji. It's never going to matter.  If you are actually planning to learn the language on a serious basis, please drop Romaji as soon as possible.
Edited: 2017-04-21, 11:34 am
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#66
(2017-04-21, 11:10 am)CureDolly Wrote: Roman letters do not and cannot accurately represent Japanese sounds.
As a matter of fact they neither do for English or German or French and all other languages I know. So what? Switch for phonetical symbols? That is actually a very good idea and a common approach used in all vocabulary lists used in schoolbooks.



Most Americans will have their American way to speak Japanese no matter whether they start off with kana or not. And you can tell where I come from in English or Italian or Dutch. And that is clearly not the fault of the writing system. Sad 

That being said, the biggest difference on how how horrible you sound in a foreign language is how much time and effort you spend to understand the phonetics of the L2 and how much and how patiently you try to imitate the sounds. Some people care for it and others don't. In the case of Japanese that can correlate with your eagerness to learn kana, but technically it is completely independent.

Actually, I think it can be also harmfull when you early on grind in a very strong connection between ふ し ら with what you think as a beginner that the right pronounciation is. Kana are easy to learn autodidactic, but "if you have been learning Japanese for a week" (by yourself) you surely have a wrong idea of pronouning them. And most people will stick with this idea for the rest of there live.
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#67
Yes, what you say is certainly true. Most of us will retain an accent for the rest of our lives.

But this isn't quite the same thing as having a false idea of what the sounds actually ought to be. The reader who criticized me for saying "hun" rather than "fun" is a case in point, and I think he is not atypical at all. He seriously thought that "fun" written in Romaji and pronounced in whatever dialect of English he spoke was what ふん is supposed to sound like, and writing it a different way is actually wrong since it ought to be written with a good old fashioned English F.

This gets us off to a very bad start in both speaking and hearing Japanese. It also makes a lot of what goes on in the language feel like random transformations rather than making logical patterns.

Someone made the point that most Japanese were illiterate not long ago. That too is true. They didn't know their kana. But what they also didn't do was import a script made to represent a foreign sound-system (or as you say, a group of foreign sound-systems) with which they already had strong non-Japanese sound-associations.

No, in most cases pronunciation will never become perfect and yes, everyone has some very false ideas about pronunciation at the start. But reinforcing them every day with the continual use of Romaji just makes it all that much more difficult.
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