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Japanese - what the texbooks don't tell you - the movie!

#51
Sou desu ne.

So here we have not one rule but two.

One for casual conversation among young people and one for standard conversation.

And it is a rule - even the slang use. You can't just turn any word on its head and sound cool! In most cases it will just sound foreign.

Same in English. The "cool" ways to break grammar rules are mostly quite clearly defined and other uses will get eye-rolls. The people "breaking the rules" are actually just making new rules (quite strongly enforced by peer-pressure) - most of which won't last very long. Because by definition, what is "cool" today is old stuff tomorrow.
Edited: 2017-05-22, 2:55 pm
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#52
Frankly speaking I don't see it as a rule, or anything to sounds "cool".
When I speak a foreign language I want to sound myself first.
I wouldn't be using it if it didn't suit my personality and since it is not harmful then why not use it?
I also like to use awkward words sometime just because it is fun, and because I am a foreigner.
It helps breaking the ice with people I don't really know.
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#53
Wow, a lot of interesting things here!

CureDolly, what do you think about Japanese being an "impersonal" language?

It's hard to translate this concept in english, but in italian we have a regional dialect which resembles this concept.

Maybe in english it could be something like:

"as for me, there is great hope in humanity"

or even better:

"as for me... the hope in humanity is (is->equivalence) great"

in contrast to a personal version of the sentence, where we say:

"as for me, I HAVE great hope in humanity".


Maybe we made an error when we read a japanese sentence like:

"私はバスで行きました。"

as:

"As for me, I went by train"


and

"As for me, THE means of transportation is train"

or

"As for me, (there is) the train (as a mean of) going"


So there is not even a real "subject" like the one we have in english or italian etc..
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#54
(2017-05-22, 2:43 pm)CureDolly Wrote: Sou desu ne.

So here we have not one rule but two.

One for casual conversation among young people and one for standard conversation.

And it is a rule - even the slang use. You can't just turn any word on its head and sound cool! In most cases it will just sound foreign.

Same in English. The "cool" ways to break grammar rules are mostly quite clearly defined and other uses will get eye-rolls. The people "breaking the rules" are actually just making new rules (quite strongly enforced by peer-pressure) - most of which won't last very long. Because by definition, what is "cool" today is old stuff tomorrow.
Actually in English when you break grammar rules, you just sound like a moron.  (I work in an office with grown ups).
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#55
(2017-05-22, 6:08 pm)cophnia61 Wrote: Wow, a lot of interesting things here!

CureDolly, what do you think about Japanese being an "impersonal" language?

I am not certain what you mean by impersonal here, but what I would say - and I think this is closely related to what you are asking - is that Japanese does not strongly favor a personal doer or subject the way English does.

A very large number of sentences of different types that in English either have to have, or usually do have, a personal subject (a human actor) in Japanese normally don't.

For example in English we normally say

I can speak Japanese

In Japanese we normally say

(私は)日本語がてきます
(Watashi wa) nihongo ga dekimasu
(in relation to me) Japanese is possible

The ga-marked actor is not "me", it is Japanese, which is doing the action of being possible.

This is so alien to modern English that it leads some people to argue quite seriously that Japanese has no grammatical subject.

I would say that it is alien not merely to the grammar of modern English but also to the prevailing sentiment or ideology, which dislikes even the English passive voice (which is correct English grammar but is derided to the extent that much English grammar checking software flags it for removal).

In terms of Japanese learning, the habit of "translating" such sentences not into what they say, but into what they would say if they were English sentences is extremely deceiving. It can be defended as producing more natural English but the problem arises when even teachers genuinely believe that the "translation" is a literal one (presumably because they can't believe anyone would use such non-personal grammar) and proceed to give "lists of exceptions" of cases like this where "ga does not mark the subject".

Of course ga marks the subject. The subject is nihongo. It only doesn't mark what would be the subject if it were an English sentence.

So yes. If that is what you mean by impersonal, then absolutely.
Edited: 2017-05-22, 8:08 pm
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#56
The next lesson is now uploaded.

I tried some things with the sound but I don't think they achieved much. The visuals are the same as ever.

However I have a surprise in store for next time, though whether folks will find it a pleasant or an unpleasant surprise I don't knowʕ•ᴥ•ʔ I'll be interested to see reactions.

This one is about the old wa vs ga question and I hope I have done a little to clarify it by making it clearer how wa and ga actually work.

You can take a look here

https://youtu.be/UA8cdXsYxd8
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#57
Just noticed a little typo: At 6:25 in the bottom line there's a か instead of が (same at 6:39) (It mystically appears around a minute later, I'm having too much fun tracking this... )

Still watching the video (3 Minutes to go) and so far I like it. Smile
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#58
Good video, I may be mistaken but I noticed a slight improvement of the audio from the half of the video onwards, it was easier on my non native ears to understand.

@CureDolly, have you ever read the stories on Hukumusume, specifically the ones about native tales? Those stories have a very, how shall I say it...."nativeness" in their way of using particles, especially "to" and "mo", what I mean is that their way of using them and arranging the sentences makes the Japanese language seem much more different than Europen language than textbook Japanese does. I hope I made my point clear, I would love to see a coverage of Japanese sentences being used within the scope of more "exotic" sentences in future videos, if that is possible.
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#59
@sumsum-san So glad you enjoyed it. 喜んでくれて嬉しいです

Oh dear - that か! I spotted it in the editing process and thought it was fixed. But I guess it wasn't fixed in all scenes. How embarrassing. Unfortunately YouTube doesn't currently have a facility for editing videos once they go live*:゚*。⋆ฺ(*´◡`)

@Iuri-san Thank you. I tried a few things. Not sure which one of them might have worked but I'll keep experimenting.

By the way, if you do have trouble with the audio, we now have proper subtitles for all the lessons so you just need to click the cog-wheel thing and turn them on.

Hukumusume! Yes indeed. I used to put Hukumusume audio on my iPod all the time.

I am not sure about the "native-ness". Truthfully I have had very little exposure to textbook Japanese. Even when I used Genki I never bothered with the dialogs or drills - just the grammar explanations. I was using my anime method at that time among other things (including Hukumusume).

Could you possibly give an example or two of the kind of thing you have in mind? I think the language in some Hukumusume tales can be a little bit "old-fashioned" rather the way European folk-tales can be. I don't recall it being terribly uncommon usage though.
Edited: 2017-05-24, 10:51 pm
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#60
It's hard to explain what I mean, just sometimes I feel that the way of the stories to express meaning through the particles to be very different than that of European languages, I'll try to pinpoint something and post here later.
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#61
Hi CureDolly, I have really enjoyed the first video. Seriously good work. Have ordered your book as well.
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#62
Thank you so much! Your appreciation is truly appreciated!

I am really hoping this can help people.

By the way, we have just an hour or so ago released a radical new look for Dolly Sensei.

Whether people will love it or hate it I'm not sure! Everyone is welcome to vote on whether she should continue in 3D or revert to anime style!

(I say Dolly Sensei because the  character isn't quite me, though she pretty much is)
Edited: 2017-05-28, 3:21 pm
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#63
I have to say I prefer the new one, plus , it gives you more potential for quality upgrading later on.

Two things I would change/tinker with though: One of the main reasons I liked this one better is because it makes her look more human-like, one thing though that is kinda ruining that is the colour of the eyes, I would change it from golden to a more normal human colour of your choice. The other thing is that I think her head movements are "too wide and brusk" if that makes any sense, I would make then more subtle and also add some more variation to them, maybe make them loop after only a minute or so instead of every few seconds, that kinda tires the eyes fast after a while.

Everything considered, I think this was a great improvement, the observations are only so you can improve it even further.

Godspeed
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#64
I like the eye color, but maybe that's just because I like cats :3

I like her new design, but I agree with Irui_ that the head movements are a little excessive; a little beyond what is natural in magnitude and definitely excessive in frequency (can dolls get concussions or whiplash? 'Cause that looks a bit uncomfortable). Other than that, the only complaint I can come up with is that her mouth is going into the uncanny valley a bit (mostly at the corners; it almost looks like her mouth isn't actually a mouth, just a rubber flap).
I'm not the biggest fan of 3D animation, but this turned out pretty well.

Great job!

Also, I like your explanation for は vs が; I think it's easier to understand for English speakers than trying to explain topics versus subjects.
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#65
Thank you both so much for your encouragement and your constructive criticism. I have to say I like the golden eyes, though I did try to make them match Anime Dolly's a little more but that didn't seem to suit her well.

The head movements, ne. They aren't a loop, they are - well me. The CGI follows my movements much closer on this than the anime. I'll try to keep a bit stiller but in the flow of explaining things it can be hard to concentrate on the movement thing. I'm sure I'll improve with time though.

It could be more technically perfect if it were scripted and choreographed but I think that would lose rather a lot.

The mouth, yes I'm not always happy with that - well bits of it are the best I've ever worked with. She purses her lips very naturally. But some movements are less than ideal. I'll see if it can be tinkered a bit but I'm not sure how far it can be.

Thank you again for your appreciation. And I really do value criticism. I'll definitely try to improve things where I can.

On wa and ga. Of course in the end shugo and shudai is what they mark, and that comes out in English as subject and topic (which isn't always too helpful an outcome). I think my way of approaching it can help.

And also make it clearer what shugo and shudai really are. And especially what shudai isn't. Shugo is close to the English grammatical subject but there are a few differences (or at least things that cause confusion) and shudai just doesn't exist in English. So we really need to approach it in such a way that it can be properly assimilated. This is one area where the textbooks end up less than completely helpful.

On a technical note, I wonder if anyone here can help with--

I was advised to use a pop filter and Audacity's noise remover. I think the main problem though is clicks. These are a bit hard to avoid. My ball-joints were made in the Meiji era, you know. There is a click remover in Audacity, but unlike the noise filter it doesn't allow you to input a click sample for Audacity to match and remove. This makes it rather ineffective. Well it does when you know as little about the settings as I do.

Does anyone have any advice?

Still this is her first outing (or rather the next one, half made, will be) so I expect it will get somewhat smoother with time.
Edited: 2017-05-28, 9:23 pm
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#66
The pop-filter (physical device in front of your mic) should remove most of the clicks, but I'm not super informed on recording myself, so I can't give much advice. I've had that problem with Audacity's click filter as well (I record at my desk, so I tend to knock my desk on occasion or pick up my knuckles cracking or my chair creaking), so I quit bothering with it. If you can isolate your mic more, that might help?
I think this is where the most professional people just review their recording and rerecord parts with excessive noise. I don't think that level of refinement is necessary though.

Really? You had the computer capture your movements? (I've seen those programs demo'd before, but I've never used one.)
... Now I need to go watch people talk to see if they normally move their heads that much, or if it's the computer exaggerating things.
Edited: 2017-05-28, 10:36 pm
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#67
I think there may be some exaggeration - and also the movements tend to be more limited in direction (I suspect) which may make them seem more extreme. Iuri-san thought it was a loop, and that may be because the more limited range makes movement seem more repetitive than it is by removing some of the natural variation.

But also I think I am a rather "mobile" speaker. The Anime Dolly came across as rather staid and majime, but that isn't exactly how I am! This one probably reflects my style a bit more!
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#68
I preferred the old character Blush
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#69
In a way I did too. I think she has a lot of charm (in her staid and serious way) and I prefer the anime look.

The main problem is that she is technically very limited. Honestly if there were a way to increase her range of movement and expression and her responsiveness (the lip-synching is pretty rudimentary with her) I would have stayed with her.

She will be back for at least one guest appearance though.

EDIT: Sholum-san wrote
I think this is where the most professional people just review their recording and rerecord parts with excessive noise. I don't think that level of refinement is necessary though.

We often do multiple takes of various sections of the video, but the ones that get used tend to be the ones where the explanation comes across best, the performance works best and I don't fumble my words too badlyʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Issues like clicks (except where there is a serious sound-glitch or a loud background noise) are usually only considered at the editing stage.
Edited: 2017-05-29, 12:28 pm
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#70
The next lesson is now up. Dolly Sensei's first full 3D performance and the longest lesson we've done so far (it runs to 17-1/2 minutes).

I try to keep them succinct, but this is covering the finer points of the wa vs ga particles (or at least trying to arm the listener to know how to look for them) and it takes a bit of explaining, especially as I try to keep it step-by-step and easily understandable.

I think we got the sound rather better, especially in the later scenes.

Making this one has been a bit of a marathon. I hope you all enjoy it!

https://youtu.be/9l_ZlQQU4ZE
Edited: 2017-06-01, 12:16 pm
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#71
Who is "we"?
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#72
In this last video the audio is way better than the other one I listened to!
There are even less clicks and noises Smile
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#73
(2017-05-31, 9:29 am)cophnia61 Wrote: In this last video the audio is way better than the other one I listened to!
There are even less clicks and noises Smile

I second that, I really enjoyed the video, great job as always @CureDolly.

A little bit out of topic but I was curious to know if the japanese would still recognize the word "Shishi" as being lion or if that word has completely fallen out of use.
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#74
(2017-05-31, 1:54 pm)Iuri_ Wrote:
(2017-05-31, 9:29 am)cophnia61 Wrote: In this last video the audio is way better than the other one I listened to!
There are even less clicks and noises Smile

I second that, I really enjoyed the video, great job as always @CureDolly.

A little bit out of topic but I was curious to know if the japanese would still recognize the word "Shishi" as being lion or if that word has completely fallen out of use.

Thank you both for your appreciation. I am happy that I was able to improve things. I hope I can keep it up (sometimes I don't know what it is I did that worked!)

Shishi is definitely used and recognized, but raion seems to be more common.

I used it partly for that reason and partly because it seems silly to distract from the point being made with what may be new vocabulary to some people.
Edited: 2017-05-31, 3:35 pm
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#75
(2017-05-31, 8:40 am)phil321 Wrote: Who is "we"?

Sorry, I didn't see this question before.

"We" is our production company, Boro-Boro Ningyou Club. You can see the main members in the Christmas photograph taken last year. I append the blurb that went with it below, so you can see who everyone is and what job they do here.

[Image: C0aRJ1RVIAAK7MV.jpg]

左から:黄色い鳥(俳優)リスリス(俳優)雪子さん(副会長)いとぷりん(演出家)チビちゃん(子役)リカちゃん(モデル / 俳優)アンナベリンダ(アナウンサー)きのこちょん(キノコ)姫子さん(会長)キティ先生(師範)うさっぴょん(俳優)アミメロディ(化粧 / コーヒー)
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