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SC2013 Mephisto's Blog : Kanji Stage


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Oh, I don't know...it's not any harder than 3D vector integral calculus... Okay, the grammar IS hard. But, you can learn short, simple sentences first. What are you using as a guide? Is it Tae Kim's?

I think i'd rather do 3D integral calculus than some of the mind-blasting points of japanese grammar <_<

I've no idea where I would go about finding tutorial/practice materials, so just jumping in right now.

Here are texts with ranked difficulty based on the JLPT levels:

http://chokochoko.wordpress.com/the-great-library/

Jumping right in might have its good points too, I don't know what you'll prefer.

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Reflections: It's about time I took a break from the kanji... Too much of it is in my short term memory instead of long term, so I'm going to focus on making sure I remember the ones I have now. Oh. Grammar is hard as hell! I've been working on it a bit with Steve on TS3, but it's a freaking monster. きみはメアが大好きだね?And all I wanted to say was do you like mare... + subject acting particle + subject acted on particle + verb particle + implied question particle... - hopefully optional ko + toka particles.... It's a nightmare. And apparently adjectives have to come after the subject being acted/acting on or something @_@. I don't even know anymore.

...

From here on out: I am going to start playing visual novels now, and try to learn some vocabulary from them. This includes both english translated and japanese versions. This would be impossible without a dictionary so thank the lord for dictionaries.

First things first: Thanks a ton for your support on my blog. I really appreciate it : ). Having people support you in the Japanese Quest is really important, and I appreciate it : )

Okay! So... looks like you hit "the wall" with Kanji, huh? If you remember my original concerns, I'm going to echo a few sentiments:

  1. It sounds like you're trying to eat the whole elephant at once, instead of bite-by-bite
  2. It sounds like you're trying to regulate yourself and keep a healthy mind
  3. It sounds like you're prioritizing

Point #2 -- is REALLY important: when I was living in Russia, trying to learn Russian via firehose instead of a glass at a time, I was NOT trying to regulate myself and keep a healthy mind : ). Good job on that. You've realized that you can't do it all, and you're prioritizing.

Point #1/3 -- Going along with that, while you're prioritizing, you AREN'T prioritizing the Kanji. That's totally fine: people have learned Japanese 1000 different ways. It looks like you've even found some support for the path you're building for yourself. I hope you'll keep us up to date, and let us know how we can help. I've chosen to start with (and focus exclusively on) the Kanji until I have the joyo down. I do this because trying to drink the entire language at once is too much for me. I still encourage you to NOT stop the Kanji (scale back to 10 a day), because with almost no effort (10 mins + reviews) you'll be done in a few months.

Point #3 -- Again, prioritizing is good, but only so long as you realize what you're prioritizing, and are doing so consciously. Also, just as key, it's important to watch what you AREN'T prioritizing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been about 2-3 weeks since my last update :<. Sorry that I haven't been regularly updating.

What I'm doing right now:

10 Kanji's a day

Using Down's chokochoko link and attempting to read the beginner stuff

trying to read/translate a game that Steve told me would be easy to read (it kinda is)

trying to learn more grammars from Tae Kim's Website (Conjugations, argh. Spelling of words, argh)

Kanji Status: I think I'm around 720~ words in. Hard to tell exactly since I stopped following the pdf (the flash cards stopped a while ago)

I need to somehow force myself to spend some more time on learning again. I've been busy lately, which is no excuse. (Curse you school, and hoshimemo. Enough excuses now)

Homework:

10 Kanji's a day

100 lines read/translated per week from Steve's game that is not at all porn

1 story read in chokochoko library a day

When I finish the first 100 lines, I'll likely post them here as a spoiler, and It'd be awesome if someone could check for all the error's i'll make so I can improve.

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Sounds like you're still working on it, so that's good! If I were you, I'd make sure I set clear goals for every different aspect of Japanese you're trying to tackle, and regularly measure yourself against them. If you feel it's not working as well as you'd like, I'd take a step back, focus on one aspect at a time, and eat the elephant piece-by-piece.

Thanks for the update : ). In my latest blog post I linked to this blog and made a mental note to drop by and ask how things are going. Looks like you beat me to the punch!

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I would highly recommend reading Tay's latest update to his blog. He has included some good advice about getting back on track and staying focused. But to hear that you are still going at the Kanji is great news. School consumed a lot of my time in the past two weeks and there were days that I could not even study the Kanji. I believe that it is important to set that time of day that you will study and make a habit of doing it. I don't think I could check for errors in your first 100 lines, but I'm looking forward to reading it anyway when you have them complete. That's a good goal to reach for. And around 720 characters, you're nearing the halfway mark. That's a lot of progress!

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Ok so 100 lines is a LOT of lines. This is around 45 lines or so.

The game is zettai imouto shugii or something like that. 絶対妹上主義

Feel free to tear it apart now.

湊「おはよう、お兄ちゃん」

Minato: Good morning, Onii-chan.

信一「ああ……おはよ、ふあ……」

Shinichi: nghmmm.... Good morning..... Fuaa.....

眠い目を擦りながら居間に入ると、湊が台所のほうから声をかけてくる。

I go in to the living room while rubbing my sleepy eyes. Minato's voice is coming from the direction of the kitchen.

湊「すぐご飯の用意するからね、その間に顔洗ってきてよ」

Minato: Go wash your face while I finish preparing breakfast.

湊「今日のメニューは湊ちゃん特製、パンケーキだよ。えへへ……美味しそうでしょ」

Minato: Today's menu is Minato-chan's specially made pancakes. Ehehe...... they're delicious huh?

うむ……こうして先に起きて兄の朝食の支度をする。

Yup....... she makes me breakfast after waking me up.

まさに妹の鑑だな。こんな妹がいれば朝の目覚めも全然辛くない。

She is the model little sister. Because of her, waking up in the morning isn't painful at all.

湊がこんな可愛い妹なら……俺は……俺は……

Minato is such a cute little sister.... I.... I...

信一「あれ……?」

Shinichi: Ehh?

何かおかしい……

What a joke.

そもそも湊がこうして俺に朝飯を作ってくれていることが、すでにおかしい……

Minato has been making me breakfast for a long time, so why am I feeling weird?

湊「どうしたのお兄ちゃん、早く顔洗わないと遅刻しちゃうよ?」

Minato: What are you doing, Onii-chan? If you don't hurry up and wash your face, we're going to be late.

信一「遅刻……?今は春休みだろ?」

Shinichi: Late......? Isn't it spring break right now?

湊「やだ、とっくに休みは終わってるよ。まだまだ頭のなかは寝ぼすけさんだね。お兄ちゃんは」

Minato: No, spring break ended a long time ago. It's time to wake up, Mr. Sleepy Head.

信一「そ、そうだったっけ……」

Shinichi: I see, it seems it did.......

湊「しようがないなあ。あたしがとっておきの方法で、目を覚ましてあげる」

Minato: I guess it can't be helped. I know the best method to wake you up.

信一「えっ……」

Shinichi: Ehh......?

という暇もなく、湊は俺に顔を近づけて……

Without giving me a chance to react, Minato moves up close to my face.

信一「ちょっと待て!湊、お、おまえ何を!」

Shinichi: Wait a second! Minato, wha-what are you doing?

湊「おはようのキスだよ。毎日やってたじゃない」

Minato: A good morning kiss. It's not like I do it every day.

信一「きききききキス?み、湊とキスするのか??」

Shinichi: Kk-ki-ki-ki-ki-kiss? Mi-Minato was kissing me?

しかも毎日!!

and every day!!?!?

湊「やだ、お兄ちゃん……そんなに声だすと恥かしいよ。ふふっ……ほら、早く目を瞑つぶって」

Minato: No, you sound so embarrassed, Onii-chan. Fufu...... look, close your eyes.

しかも……ま……マウストゥーマウス!

Embarassed...... ma...... mouth to mouth!?!?

信一「だ、ダメだ湊……こんなことしちゃ」

Shinichi: Gah, no, Minato...... we can't do such a thing!

湊「へへっ……お兄ちゃん♪」

Hehe...... Oniichan♪

でも、湊が素直に甘えてきて、その仕草がちょっと可愛くて……

Minato is unaffected by my protest, her actions are just too cute......

しかも、俺にべたべたしてくるという、この状況ならば……

Nevertheless, in such sticky circumstances......

信一「ああっ……」

Shinichi: Aah.......

その柔らかな唇が徐々に近づき、やがて観念した俺が目をつぶると……

Her gentle lips slowly meet mine, and my resistance disappears.

湊「ちゅっ……」

Minato: Chuu.......

[theres a screen change here]

信一「があっ!!」

Shinichi: Gah!!!

急に目の前に星が飛び込んできた……

The sudden situation from before made stars fly in front of my eyes......

くうっ……目の前がチカチカする……

Kuu...... the front of my eyes is still flickering.

信一「ぐ……こ、ここは……お、俺の部屋じゃないか」

Shinichi: Gu......ko, this...... this isn't my room.

目の前にいたはずの湊もいない。

And Minato isn't in front of me either.

すると、さっきのは夢だったのか……

Therefore, that scene earlier must have been a dream......

信一「はあ……」

Shinichi: Waa.....

落胆の溜息が、俺を幸せから一気に憂鬱な気分にしてくれる。

With a dejected sigh, my previously good mood immediately falls in to a depressed state.

そうだよな、あの湊が俺に甘えてくるなんて……ある訳ないか。

This isn't good, to take advantage of Minato's kindness...... I can't do that.

信一「さっさと起きるとするか……」

Shinichi: I need to wake up earlier......

俺には姉が三人と、妹が二人いる。

I have three older sisters, and two younger sisters.

姉貴たちはもう家を出て、妹の一人も全寮制の学園に通っている。

My older sisters have already left the house, and one of my younger sisters is at boarding school.

親父と母さんは長期出張と言うか……それを理由にして、二人で好き勝手に生活をしている。

My parents went on a long term business trip or something....... they follow the philosophy of living life however they please.

家に全然帰ってこないのはどうかと思うが……とりあえず生活費だけはきっちりともらっているので、まあ良しとしよう。

I didn't finish this one, it gave me brain damage.

So yeah, so far we basically know the protag is a siscon or something. As expected from a game from steve :P/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>

Thanks to Steve for help with some of it, and thank god for jisho xD. I need the most help with the last two at the end, since they're on a whole different level of difficulty compared to the rest.

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I snipped things out and put my answers within the quote

The game is zettai imoujo shugii or something like that. 絶対妹上主義

湊「今日のメニューは湊ちゃん特製、パンケーキだよ。えへへ……美味しそうでしょ」

Minato: Today's menu is Minato-chan's specially made pancakes. Ehehe...... they're delicious huh?

美味しそうでしょ....Sounds tasty, right?

何かおかしい……

What a joke.

Something is strange.

湊「おはようのキスだよ。毎日やってたじゃない」

Minato: A good morning kiss. It's not like I do it every day.

I do it every day, don't I? (Or simply "I do it every day!")

Skip to the end, where you said you had the most trouble.

親父と母さんは長期出張と言うか……それを理由にして、二人で好き勝手に生活をしている。

My parents went on a long term business trip or something....... they follow the philosophy of living life however they please.

My parents went on an extended business trip.....in fact, they use it as a pretext to live life however they please.

家に全然帰ってこないのはどうかと思うが……とりあえず生活費だけはきっちりともらっているので、まあ良しとしよう。

I didn't finish this one, it gave me brain damage.

Whatever I might think about the fact that they're never home.....at least I get my living expenses promptly, so what the heck.

Thanks to Steve for help with some of it, and thank god for jisho xD. I need the most help with the last two at the end, since they're on a whole different level of difficulty compared to the rest.

The game, by the way, seems to be "The Absolute Little Sister Supremacy Principle"

Not some pretentious weepy arthouse VN, but a good old-fashioned galgame, heh heh...

Do you talk to Steve on teamspeak? I'd like to ask if he's played SISTARS...

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Thanks for the help zoom, now that I look at the first sentence, that makes a lot more sense :P.

A question on this part though. 毎日やってたじゃない

I was wondering as to how you read that, as I read it as a tsundere line (although I haven't actually seen one before, so I may be completely wrong) (also, I guess the verb is yaru and it conjugates to past form yatte, so it's something like "It's not like I was doing it every day", or is that off as well?)

And a big thank you for the last two lines. They were really bothersome, and I never even considered the use of the word 'pretext'.

That's quite an interesting name.... :P and yeah, I talk to Steve on teamspeak. If that game is a loli game, then steve probably has played it.

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I am always lazy about IME, so please read it in roumaji.

You are right about the conjugation, if you want to be more exact you can preserve the tense of "mainichi yatte ita": "I've been doing it every day,"

But still the "ja nai (ka)" part needs to be understood as "haven't I" or "don't I".

Is it confusing you that they didn't say "ka"? People sometimes leave out "ka" casually.

If it helps, think about what happens in English. I might remark, "Steve really likes lolis, doesn't he..." You don't hear my voice giving you a question mark, because I already know the answer.

If that doesn't help, well anyway just remember to watch for "ja nai" at the end of a complete sentence even without "ka". In fact, you might here people just say "jan." "Ii jan!" -> "It's fine, isn't it?"

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Been a bit since last update.

So as of right now, I plan on discontinuing the Anki for a while. We aren't getting along very well, and it'd be best to use my time on other methods. I think I made it to about 800~ words there.

Translating stuff properly is actually pretty hard... and I actually haven't gotten around to doing a ton, but I still have a lot of errors that need fixing.

そうだよな、あの湊が俺に甘えてくるなんて……ある訳ないか。

Thats no good, a Minato that spoils me? Impossible. (Recheck this line please, I edited it. It was in the previous section, but I'm pretty sure the first one was a mistake.

[back to new stuff]

そんなワケで、現在この家には俺と残った妹の二人で暮らしている。

Thats why this house is only lived in by me and my two little sisters right now.

普通ならば、可愛い妹が兄の面倒を甲斐甲斐しくするという、非常においしい展開なのだが……

Since that's generally the case, the older brother gallantly watches over his cute sisters. You would think this would be a wonderful and delicious development......

現実はそんなに甘いものではない。

In reality, it isn't so sweet.

湊「あ〜〜だる……」

Minato: aaa~~I'm tired......

こいつが友里湊みなと、俺の妹だ。

This is Tomosato Minato. My little sister.

こいつが友とも里さと湊みなと、俺の妹だ。湊「あー、昨日洗濯物だすの忘れてた)

Minato: Ah-, I forgot to do yesterday's laundry.

顔は、まあ及第にしといて良いだろう。

Her face, well I guess it passes the test.

湊「まあ一日くらいで、死にゃしないか

Minato: It won't kill me to do it some other day.

当たり前だ、このバカ……!!

Obviously, shes an idiot!!

スタイルもそこそこ。友人に紹介しても恥ずかしくない程度の外見は備えていると思っていい。

Her figure is pretty nice. Good thing she doesn't have the kind of looks that would make me embarrassed to introduce her to friends. (Thanks zoom for fixing my critical error here)

だが……しかしっ!!

But...... But!!

こいつには、女の子らしさが微塵もないのだ!一欠片もないのだ!!

She doesn't have an ounce of femininity! Not even a speck!

湊「ねえ兄貴、朝飯は?

Minato: Hey bro, wheres breakfast?

ぬけぬけと飯を要求してくる、その妹らしからぬ態度が気に入らない。

Impudently demanding breakfast, this "little sister's" attitude isn't pleasing at all.

少しくらい可愛げのある所を見せてみろっ!このぐうたら娘がっ!!

She could at least display a little cuteness! This useless girl!!

あまりにも気に入らなかったので、俺は一発殴ってやることにした。

Since she was being so pleasant, I decided to get rid of her in one shot.

湊「あいだっ!あにすんのよ!この家庭内暴カ野郎!!」

Minato: Ow! What was that for! That was domestic violence asshole!!

信一「やかましい!そもそも今日はおま食事当番だろ」

Shinichi: Shut up! In the first place, today was your turn to make breakfast.

湊:「あっ、そうだったっけ……」

Minato: Huh, it was?

So yeah. It turns out Minato isn't such a great sister.

I haven't made as much progress as I'd like (not that much of a surprise really), but i am learning still. Alot of it is thanks to our chats on TS :P/>/>/>/>.

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Glad you're still studying, just want to pipe in that it's nearly impossible to learn something difficult without a clear goal and plan.

I want to keep cheering you on, but I don't know what you're aiming at now.

When you get some time, we'd all love to get an outline of your new approach.

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At the moment, I've been a bit busy with school, but here's a general idea of what I'm trying out.

I found a pdf of a book that Zoom recommended to me that teaches japanese in Romaji. Despite how it may sound, I think it is quite useful at least as supplemental material. It is quite common to hear about learning Japanese the way they do, but I think this is the first one I've found that really attempts to teach how the Japanese think of things. If anyone is interested, I can try finding the link to the pdf again.

Basically, it simplifies a lot of things, and shows the context words are used in before teaching what the words are for. That's not a very good description, but I can vouch that it teaches you japanese in actual context of how it's supposed to be used.

(Example: instead of teaching kore,sore,are,koko,soko,asoko, ect. as definitions, it teaches the base of kore/sore/are, and then shows that koko/soko/asoko are for places, and that kono,sono, and ano are for specific things.)

I think I prefer the approach of learning through romaji first, since you'll have plenty of experience with kana from other things, and you can learn the kanji after already knowing the words for them. (which i'm fairly certain is the way they learn Japanese in school) At the very least, it's interesting/useful supplementary material, and works very well with Tae Kim's grammar guide. (A lot of the beginning words overlap, I wonder if one influenced the other)

Anyway, I rambled a bit there. Basically, I wanted to eliminate thinking of Japanese in either English or Chinese terms ASAP, and this is perfect for that. I haven't had a lot of time to get very far in it, but so far I like it.

As for learning Kanji, that would need to be done separately. I stopped my daily working on it because it simply stopped working for me. Throwing the words at me stored them relatively well in my short-term memory, but It became immediately apparent that I wouldn't be able to hold them very well for the long term. Some of the words stuck though, for which I'm happy.

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As for learning Kanji, that would need to be done separately. I stopped my daily working on it because it simply stopped working for me. Throwing the words at me stored them relatively well in my short-term memory, but It became immediately apparent that I wouldn't be able to hold them very well for the long term. Some of the words stuck though, for which I'm happy.

This indicates to me that you were not using Anki or not using it correctly. SRS learning makes it impossible for information to simply stay in the short term. After reading Ryoji's blog and how he's managed to power through nearly 1000 of them with mind-clouding medication (plus my own experience and the others on the site), I'm 100% behind SRS. I'm a believer.

Now, I'm not saying that you need to change your new plan. Not at all! I just want to suggest you keep using Anki. SRS is the most effective way to learn (I use it in all my college classes now, and will keep using it in Medical School next year). I encourage you to brainstorm how you can incorporate it into your new study plan.

Thanks for posting your new plan. We'll be here to keep cheering you on ; )!

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This indicates to me that you were not using Anki or not using it correctly. SRS learning makes it impossible for information to simply stay in the short term. After reading Ryoji's blog and how he's managed to power through nearly 1000 of them with mind-clouding medication (plus my own experience and the others on the site), I'm 100% behind SRS. I'm a believer.

Now, I'm not saying that you need to change your new plan. Not at all! I just want to suggest you keep using Anki. SRS is the most effective way to learn (I use it in all my college classes now, and will keep using it in Medical School next year). I encourage you to brainstorm how you can incorporate it into your new study plan.

Thanks for posting your new plan. We'll be here to keep cheering you on ; )!

I'm not entirely sure of the relation between the Anki and the SRS. The issue I had with the Anki was that many of the connections I was expected to make to understand each character didn't make sense to me, and some of it may have been wrong with no way of knowing. For example, 権 apparently the radical on the right is a pegasus. And part of the pegasus is a turkey. And a wooden pegasus is a symbol of authority. 采 Apparently the top part of this is a vulture, since 爪 is a claw. (and the entire meaning of 采 is grab according to anki.) You grab wood with a claw?

And then I go in jisho and WWWJDIC, and it turns out 采 doesn't mean grab at all, but is used mainly as a figure of speech or to represent a baton of command. And to make matters worse, in Chinese 采 means collecting/gathering of something, so it is absolutely essential for me to have context to avoid screwing myself over......

Sorry about that rant, but Anki was really frustrating for me. Japanese is a really context-based language and the Anki didn't use the words in context (and used lots of complex english words). The anki is more focused on making it's radicals work, since 採 does mean to pick(although focusing more on picking something, or taking something, rather than gathering something), so they had to make 采 make sense in a way of reading the kanji.

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