The Language-Learning Thread

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Parksey
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PostThe Language-Learning Thread
by Parksey » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:09 pm

Yes, I'm about to venture into familiar territory for a lot of hardened gamers - I'm going to try and learn Japanese.

Not just so I can play games months before anyone else and understand them, nor so I can justify posters of underage cat-girls on my wall, but I'm hoping to use it to get a rather lucrative job in a the future.

I've had a few vague offers that entail speaking either a Far-Eastern language (I'm presuming they mean Japanese or Chinese) or a Middle-Eastern language and living over there.

I'd rather live in the Far East, personally, so was looking for some advice about getting started with what looks to be a rather difficult language to learn.

As a sidenote, what is more worthwhile trying to learn - Chinese or Japanese? China is the upcoming economic superpower, so it will undoubtedly prove more useful as time progresses. However, I'm probably more partial to Japan as a place to live and work, even if such concerns are at the moment pretty pointless.

I just want to get started on one of the languages basically. I'm starting completely from scratch so I was looking for pointers and things which may be useful, either on the web, on CD or in a text book.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by mas22 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:13 pm

Rosetta Stone?
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Rubix
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Rubix » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:13 pm

Good Luck, it's meant to be hard to learn
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Parksey
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Parksey » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:18 pm

Rubix78 wrote:Good Luck, it's meant to be hard to learn


Yeah, I'm preparing myself for a lot of frustration. I like to think I have a bit of a natural capacity for languages - I can speak a few others, some of which were painstakingly self-taught -but they were all "Romance" languages; fairly similar and, most importantly, all romanised.

Japanese and Chinese both look much more daunting from the off. I may self-teach myself the very basics and see what part-time courses there are in my area. I always think the more technical tenses and grammar "stuff" is much easier in a classroom.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Lotus » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:19 pm

I'd love to learn Chinese. I've looked into it in the past, and learnt a few basic phrases, but it's tricky to get hold of. I need to do proper lessons I think, rather than online courses.

EDIT: To make my post actually have some use, I'd say go for Japanese. It's not easy learning a language, so learning one you genuinely want to learn and have an interest in can only help. Worth doing though, can only improve your job prospects.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by aayl1 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:23 pm

Japanese is (relatively) easy to speak, actually. The difficulty comes from the reading and writing, so I'd opt for that one, Parksey.
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Kinetic
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Kinetic » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:39 pm

I've just graduated with a degree in Chinese from Edinburgh and am heading to Taiwan to study for a further year in a couple of days so if you've got any further questions just fire 'em at me!

Hope you'll enjoy learning/living it as much as I have!
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Lotus » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:41 pm

Kinetic wrote:I've just graduated with a degree in Chinese from Edinburgh and am heading to Taiwan to study for a further year in a couple of days so if you've got any further questions just fire 'em at me!

Hope you'll enjoy learning/living it as much as I have!

Wow, nice. I take it you had to have a decent level of Chinese before the degree? I'd love to do that. :(
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Fatal Exception » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:51 pm

Pimsluer courses are good and can be found on the internet.
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Kinetic
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Kinetic » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:58 pm

Nah, the vast majority of degrees nowadays start from scratch. If you've got prior knowledge you can simply skip a year or two.

Parksey, from a "worthwhile" perspective, and at the risk of sounding completely biased, I'd say Chinese is far and away the more useful language. Japan is obviously still a huge market and a very powerful nation but nowadays its influence pales in comparison to its big brother. Depends on what you're interested in and what you want to do though. If you're more interested in Japanese culture, history, etc. then that might be best for you, plus living in China, where the style and quality of living differs hugely from place to place may not be to your tastes, especially if you've never lived in a non-western country before.

From a purely career-orientated perspective, Chinese is the much more useful language, but having Japanese would still reflect very well upon yourself and there are obviously many jobs (though perhaps not as many as you might think) to be had in that area.

In terms of learning, get lessons. Merely learning on your own from a book/dvd/cd-rom, in my experience, simply won't cut it, though I can't speak for Japanese. It will be pretty hard.

Anyways, goodluck pal!
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by The People's ElboReformat » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:03 pm

If dem Chinese folk are so smart why don't they all learn to speak English.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Andrew Mills » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:09 pm

aaronayl1 wrote:Japanese is (relatively) easy to speak, actually. The difficulty comes from the reading and writing, so I'd opt for that one, Parksey.

I found this to be true of Japanese when I was learning it in Uni.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Rightey » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:05 pm

But there's no such language as Chinese, it's either Cantonese or Mandarin.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by NickSCFC » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:06 pm

I'd tried to learn some Chinese on YouTube but found it hard to concentrate...





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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Igor » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:15 pm

Rightey wrote:But there's no such language as Chinese, it's either Cantonese or Mandarin.


It isn't either Cantonese or Mandarin.. There are about 14 sublanguages in the Chinese language family. Chinese is a macrolanguage, much like Arabic. Some people refer to the Chinese variants as dialects, some as languages in their own right.
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Qikz » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:22 pm

頑張ってね!

Whichever you chose, both will end up you learning Kanji, just different versions of it, but with Chinese there seemingly is a hell of a lot more Kanji you need to know as far as I'm aware, I don't really know as I've never really tried. Whichever you learn will be a big help and it can be a hell of a lot of fun.

I can't tell you which one to choose personally as I don't know what you're really into outside of the forum life. If you're interested in the various Japanese cultures Pop and General, then go for that. For a purely business thing though, I'd have to say Chinese is probably the better option. Just go with whatever one you think you'll enjoy the most! I picked Japanese due to my love of both sides of their culture and I just love how it is spoken, where as I can't sit and listen to someone Chinese speak because I personally don't like how it sounds. It's all personal preference.

Whatever you choose, good luck and it's a hell of a journey!
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That's not a growth
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by That's not a growth » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:48 am

Personally, I would have thought it would be almost impossible to self learn Chinese. The problem is that is isn't just about the syllables like in western languages, there are four tones. Now, it may be because I'm tone death but I can barely tell the difference between them, and thus, if I try to speak it to my girl friend it just doesn't make sense, even if she knows what I'm trying to say. As an English person I can guess what someone is saying even if the way they pronounce it is off because it sounds roughly the same, but Chinese doesn't have the same margin of error. Maybe it's that you can only speak mandarin if you can sing? Maybe this is why they like karaoke so much? We're through the looking glass here people.
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Kinetic
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Kinetic » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:56 am

TNAG, have you been drinking (I have)?

I miss ya buddy.
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Meep
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PostRe: Learning Japanese/Chinese
by Meep » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:15 pm

I've wanted to know Mandarin for a long time but I had really bad dyslexia when I was younger and couldn't even read and write in English until I was about twelve. Needless to say, I have not been in a rush to learn a new language. Then again, I recently graduated with a joint degree in English so maybe now is the time to try.

I can't help but think it would be better to start with another Indo-European language though.

Learning Chinese is probably a good move in terms of future employment since China will be the post powerful economy in the world fairly soon.
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PostLearning Japanese/Chinese
by JiggerJay » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:25 pm

mas22 wrote:Rosetta Stone?


Isn't it like a grand for the full course?
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