The Language-Learning Thread

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Osito
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Osito » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:09 pm

Just found my old Chinesepod folder, still got everything. It's an old collection though, back from 2011, so I'm going to look into signing up for a month to get up to date with everything. :shifty:

Any exams would be a long, long way down the road, and I definitely wouldn't be looking at anything before it would represent a decent standard.

Thanks for the Pimsleur warning, I'll probably give it a miss while I've got better resources available.
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Rightey
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Rightey » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:46 am

I've been learning the Hiragana the last week and a half, and I didn't practice for about 2 days and I forgot a ton of them :fp:

Oh also I found this very good for helping me memorize them...

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Category:M ... e_Hiragana
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John Galt
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by John Galt » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:11 am

For those of you in Japan, what sort of basic job opportunities are there for travellers? I'm thinking of heading out there but would like to stay for a few months without completely breaking the bank. I don't have much in the way of Japanese skills but would be open to most sorts of work.
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Parksey
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Parksey » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:16 pm

Also for those of you in Japan, what do you do for a mobile phone?

Mine is out of contract you see and I've had the handset for two years and it's a little dated now (a Motorola Atrix 1 or 2, I think). At the moment it's broken and there are issues with reliability, as I've had to have it replaced three times prior to this.

I am not sure whether I should get a new 12 or 24 month contract with a newer handset, or get this one repaired and go SIM only. Obviously, JET-permitting, I could be in Japan from August onwards so I would need a phone suitable for over there.

Bar taking my phone on holiday and pretty much only ever using it to text due to roaming charges, I have no knowledge of how you go about it when you live over there.
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Skarjo
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Skarjo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:30 am

I got a Japanese phone on a Japanese contract, was pretty simple all said.
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Skarjo
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Skarjo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:31 am

John Galt wrote:For those of you in Japan, what sort of basic job opportunities are there for travellers? I'm thinking of heading out there but would like to stay for a few months without completely breaking the bank. I don't have much in the way of Japanese skills but would be open to most sorts of work.


Erm, I think you'd struggle to be honest. Japan, for the most part, isn't exactly open to foreigners, especially ones without Japanese skills (I only get by because my job requires me to speak English), so I think just picking up casual jobs would be a struggle.
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Parksey
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Parksey » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:05 am

Skarjo wrote:I got a Japanese phone on a Japanese contract, was pretty simple all said.


What sort of witchcraft is this?

Seems stupid to commit to a 12 or 24 month contract over here at the moment, so I'll probably just go SIM only until I know what I'm doing. If I end up in Japan, then I'll look around.

Now, do the Japanese have banks?

As an aside, UK interviews are now closed and have been sent to Tokyo. It's going to be 6 long weeks. Well, in a way. I've already sort of put it all to the back of my mind and it feels like ages ago now. Once it hits April I'll be nervously watching the letterbox each day, like a manic depressive dog.
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Skarjo
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Skarjo » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:42 am

Parksey wrote:Now, do the Japanese have banks?


They have 70's style banks. Nothing works quite how or, particularly when, you expect it to, but once you get used to it you're fine.

Get ready to embrace the joy that is ATMs that are not 24 hours.
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aayl1
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by aayl1 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:17 pm

Get a Post Office bank account when you get over here, if you get a choice, Parksey.

Also, just to make you even more paranoid, when my intake's results were given out it seems like they sent out all their "Acceptance" letters initially, then a few days later the "reserved" then the "rejected".

So you can panic once you see someone has an acceptance letter but you don't.
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Parksey
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Parksey » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:06 pm

I would probably prefer outright rejection than being placed on Standby. Apparently you may have to wait until December to find out if you are going (though you'll more than likely know by July, I'd imagine).

Like I said, I am not nervous about hearing back for them yet. Once it hits April I'll start anxiously waiting for their reply (do you get an e-mail first or is a letter?), though I have my birthday and a few holidays around that time to take my mind off things.

It still seems surreal that I may be going over there. The way the application process is means that it was always on my mind in November when I was applying, then in January when I had the interview, but there's been long spells in between where I have kind of put it right at the back of my mind.

Anyway, a few more JET related queries (seeing as this is pretty much the JET thread too): what levels of Japanese were you all at when you landed over there? I know a few of you had visited before, but did you adapt fairly quickly and what did you to progress that level? I imagine if I want to socialise and make friends with the natives (as part of my secret mission to convert them all to Christianity and secure it as a British colony, restoring our empire to its once proud state), I will have to resort to English.

Also, what is Japan like as a hub for travelling? In an ideal world - and not the one we live in where war, famine and One Direction exist - I would use any time off to go to China, South Korea, Vietnam etc. I am not sure if the holidays you get make that possible, but it would surely be much cheaper and easier going from a Japanese airport than one here in the UK. Heck, I'd even quite like to go to North Korea as well. Again, I have super-secret British Imperialistic duties to attend to.
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Parksey
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Parksey » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:20 pm

So, current and ex-JET people (and anything related to that field), how much Japanese did you know before you landed?

How useful was it? Was it utterly useless and you had to learn from scratch?

I've been learning Japanese on-and-off for a few years now, though it's always been in the shadow of my Mandarin learning somewhat. Now, I'm focusing fully on it and aim to try and raise my speaking ability especially before I go. Reading and writing I find fairly easy due to my Mandarin classes, but I've never actually spoken it aloud to someone. Likewise, all my listening practice has been on the Internet or via a CD or something.

I know they always say a month on the ground in a country is probably worth a year of classes, so I hope to throw myself into it all when I am there. I would like to have a beginner's vocab when it came to speaking, however.
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aayl1
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by aayl1 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:32 pm

Placeholder post to remind me to reply properly tomorrow. Sorry I didn't notice your last reply. This is why you quote, so I get a notification on my phone.

He says, not quoting you.
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aayl1
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by aayl1 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:32 am

Parksey » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:20 pm wrote:So, current and ex-JET people (and anything related to that field), how much Japanese did you know before you landed?

How useful was it? Was it utterly useless and you had to learn from scratch?

I've been learning Japanese on-and-off for a few years now, though it's always been in the shadow of my Mandarin learning somewhat. Now, I'm focusing fully on it and aim to try and raise my speaking ability especially before I go. Reading and writing I find fairly easy due to my Mandarin classes, but I've never actually spoken it aloud to someone. Likewise, all my listening practice has been on the Internet or via a CD or something.

I know they always say a month on the ground in a country is probably worth a year of classes, so I hope to throw myself into it all when I am there. I would like to have a beginner's vocab when it came to speaking, however.


Okay, so I knew an above average amount, having (half heartedly) studied it during my time at Uni, and having lived in Japan before I started JET.

It was pretty handy to know a bit before landing, especially due to my placement, but I know people that landed with no knowledge whatsoever and they got along fine with a little help from others that did speak it. Skarjo's probably a good guy to talk to as he came over here with no language ability whatsoever and managed to get pretty good at it, I believe.

I think you'll do okay. If you have a basic vocabulary and grasp of simple grammar that can go a very long way. It's kept me going my entire time I've been here. I'd say my language ability has actually gotten worse because I don't study at all. I just have a basic amount of vocab and grammar that I can do a lot with. People understand me, and that's all I care about these days. strawberry float the police.
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Pontius Pilate
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Pontius Pilate » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:08 am

Oh man, when I visited Japan last year I was shocked at how bad everyone seemed to be at English. And I live in Korea. :dread: I'd get studying...
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Pacman
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Pacman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:55 am

Found a great resource! My Japanese teacher retired recently and so for over a month now my Japanese has been stagnating. There is little selection of teachers in the area I live in so I took to the internet and found a site called italki.

Full disclosure, that's a referral link, so I'll get money if you sign up and end up making a deposit. But what it basically is is online tuition via Skype. The website is the middle man to connect you to teachers and in return for going through them they make sure your money isn't released to the teacher until you say you're happy with how the lesson went. I had my first trial lesson today and it went great! A native Japanese male teacher who's fluent in English - hard to come by in the countryside where I live. Anyway I don't wanna big it up too much in case it looks like I'm just after referral links. Feel free to post your own referral link if you use mine and start a chain.

I guess this message could look like spam but it's not I'm Pacman waka waka waka gooseberry fool on her tits Alvin would
Last edited by Pacman on Thu May 01, 2014 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John Galt
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by John Galt » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:05 pm

I've not used iTalki myself but have heard very good things about it from a friend. It seems like a particularly good deal for Chinese, where low wages in China means you pay a fraction of the price that you would do for lessons in the UK.
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Pacman
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Pacman » Thu May 01, 2014 1:42 am

Just had this email from them:

Invite your friends to join italki and take an online lesson with any of our 1000s of online language teachers, and they’ll get 10USD in italki credits.

Best of all, you'll get 10USD in italki credits too!

There’s no limit! Tell all your friends about the gift of language that gifts you back!


It's the same link, I just hadn't realised whoever clicks it also gets free money.
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Osito
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Osito » Tue May 27, 2014 10:34 pm

I don't suppose anyone who has been to teach in China is still around?

I'm looking to go and teach later this year, and was just looking for some general pointers.


And, as this thread is more or less the JET thread, how are you all enjoying the job?

Also, as I hadn't spotted the iTALKi post before, does anyone here use it? It looks really impressive at first glance, and I imagine it would be a really cheap way to get some good Chinese and (Latin-American) Spanish practice in.
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Pacman
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by Pacman » Wed May 28, 2014 4:03 am

My prefecture's Facebook group had a post today about someone getting their acceptance to arrive in July. Quick, to GR - to see if Parksey made it. No word yet? Good luck mate.
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lex-man
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PostRe: The Language-Learning Thread
by lex-man » Wed May 28, 2014 8:59 pm

Parksey » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:20 pm wrote:So, current and ex-JET people (and anything related to that field), how much Japanese did you know before you landed?

How useful was it? Was it utterly useless and you had to learn from scratch?

I've been learning Japanese on-and-off for a few years now, though it's always been in the shadow of my Mandarin learning somewhat. Now, I'm focusing fully on it and aim to try and raise my speaking ability especially before I go. Reading and writing I find fairly easy due to my Mandarin classes, but I've never actually spoken it aloud to someone. Likewise, all my listening practice has been on the Internet or via a CD or something.

I know they always say a month on the ground in a country is probably worth a year of classes, so I hope to throw myself into it all when I am there. I would like to have a beginner's vocab when it came to speaking, however.


Where in Japan are you going? Did you get straight in or were you put on the waiting list?

I've tried to learn Japanese a few times in my life but have never gotten very far, I went to the Jet interviews this year and heard that some people had managed to live out there for multiple years without really learning any Japanese apart from stuff like "can I have that", etc.

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