Learning Japanese #5 Giving up? Sumimasen! and Jisho?!?!

Hello WordPress! Over the past few months this entire learning Japanese thing has been an interesting journey. To start with I started a blog, every view means a lot and encourages me to keep going and especially now I need it because Japanese just got difficult! Well ok it didn’t just get difficult but after a busy week I have very much hit the point where I am asking myself why I am doing this, after all I am learning a language spoken by one country I doubt I will ever live in and I will probably only visit once if I’m lucky. But, then again shut up brain! I refuse to give in at this or any other point and I encourage anyone at the same point as me to do the same!

So the bit of Japanese I have focused on this week is mainly words and this is where I found a degree of difficulty. If you, like me, use Japanese.about.com then you should know it’s not perfect and it doesn’t explain some very important aspects of the language. For example it clearly states that (Sumimasen) すみません means excuse me, however by sheer luck I found out it also means sorry as well. Now this was very confusing, I had to question how two such different meanings could both come from the exact same word, but indeed this is the way it is. This site also doesn’t explain what (Gozaimasu) ございます means, what it is or how to use it and with this I still aren’t sure as far as I can tell it is used to make certain words or phrases more polite without really meaning a great deal, if this is its use then this is extremely confusing to me as we have nothing like this in English! So if you are using this site to learn, and I believe it is the best site of its kind out there, then make sure to regularly check some of the words to make sure you don’t get anything wrong.

I also found some more free sites for those fellow frugal language learners, Japanesepod101 I will not link this site as I don’t think it can be trusted, upon registration it tried to get me to download something to my computer and after that it has been constantly trying to get me to buy things, the site looks professional but I just will not trust it. I would however recommend Jisho.org, this site is an online English to Japanese dictionary that works better then the few other dictionaries I have seen. Not just this but it is also incredibly user friendly unlike the majority of sites I have found whilst on this learning journey.

Thanks for reading! Any comments are welcomed and I will respond to all of them! J

Japanese.about.com- http://japanese.about.com/

Jisho- http://jisho.org/

My Twitter- https://twitter.com/LayedBackMitch

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Learning Japanese #4 Katakana conquered! Still struggling with phrases and Japanese media!

Hey WordPress! Thanks for checking out my blog, I’ve been getting some great comments that have really been encouraging me to continue writing, which is great. Anyway as the title might suggest I managed to conquer the Katakana! Although having spent some time reading Japanese text I now know it isn’t used as much as Kanji so I still need to use the Romanji to learn certain phrases. I have now found a whole different kind of problem however since I finished with Kana a few days ago and that is what do I do next; do I focus learning solely on Kanji so I can read, do I focus on phrases so I can talk or do I do a mixture of the two. I have been trying to fit in both of them making very little progress I can’t help but think that there might be no easier way to learn the language and maybe this is where it gets truly hard but any help is more than welcome. I got a comment on one of my posts a few days ago about a learning method to help retain information in an easier way, I will leave the link to the article down below I think number 4 would be the most effective and I will let you know as soon as I have properly tested it out.

I have had the time this week to indulge myself in Japanese media, having spent most of the week listening to J-pop and watching Japanese anime and films. I think it is helping with learning the language as it is getting me used to hearing it which helps not only with hearing individual words but it also helps with pronunciation to a degree. It might also help understand Japanese culture a little better. Maybe I’m wrong and it doesn’t help at all but that doesn’t bother me as I genuinely enjoy everything I have watched and I’m thinking about writing a review of one of legendary director Akira Kurosawa’s films. If you have never watched one and are interested in pretty much everything Japan then I would strongly recommend watching one. As far as J-pop I have only really found two artists that I truly enjoy and they are the wonderfully weird Kyari Pamyu-Pamyu and the magnificent Miwa, it took me about 10 minutes to come up with the alliteration don’t judge me, if you haven’t ever listened to them then please do they’re great!

Anyway thanks for reading!  Please leave any comments you may have down below and I will reply to them all! Make sure to share my blog and invite others into this journey!

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/LayedBackMitch

Good Japanese Learning Site: http://japanese.about.com/

Article about retaining information: http://www.cracked.com/article_20166_5-brain-hacks-that-give-you-mind-blowing-powers.html

My first challenge!!! Learning Japanese #1

Hey WordPress! Welcome to the start of my first internet challenge! Are you excited, I am! Anyway, the first challenge I have decided to attempt to undertake is learning another language and having learnt French throughout school thus leaving me with an at least basic grasp of the language I have of course decided to learn Japanese… Japanese, that’s right Japanese, the language where you read little drawings which somehow mean words. The reason I have done this is because I wanted to see if the internet could really allow me to learning something that is so different to anything I have ever done before in my life. Now this could literally take me years! Which will mean I will at least have something to write about for the foreseeable future and, after the high I got after finding out someone from Trinidad and Tobago read my first blog I assure you I will continue writing as often as I feel is necessary.

At the minute I am reading up about Japanese culture as much as I possibly can as well as watching some Japanese films and anime with English subtitles, purely so I can get used to what the Japanese language sounds like. I recommend watching ‘Seven Samurai’ even if you don’t have a strong interest in Japanese culture, or indeed any interest, as it’s great! As far as actually learning Japanese is concerned I haven’t started yet as I wanted to get a good idea about where to begin, all I did was think about  where we start as children starting school. We begin with basic letters and the alphabet, unfortunately there are 3 types of Alphabets in Japanese; Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, all are vital. At least I have a starting point now and I can finally begin learning this beautifully complicated language.

I apologise if this blog was a little boring, I’m still getting used to this whole writing thing! In the next blog I will talk about one frugal man’s struggle with the Japanese language so be sure to check it out!  If anyone has any questions or general comments then please leave me a comment I would love to read it. Thanks for reading!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/LayedBackMitch