PDA

View Full Version : Japanese Language Courses



Miroku
2 Jun 2009, 7:59 am
Since I lost my last job due to unfortunate circumstances, I'm in the process of deciding which language course to take to fill in empty space, so I can do something constructive with myself.


I decided to take up Japanese, rather than Spanish (although there are a lot of Spanish-speaking people where I live... legal and non-legal).


Right now, I'm looking into pricing for different language courses to focus on, instead of just learning the language piecemeal like I have been over the past few years through manga or anime, or by just reading posts here in the language threads. I've checked Rosetta Stone out. It's a bit pricey ($549 for the 3-course Japanese Language set), but I'm certain it's a pretty comprehensive package deal too.


Any advice to give here? It's bewildering to find so many different companies selling language courses, and a second or third (or fourth) opinion would always be appreciated. :)

Ebenezer Shittingway
2 Jun 2009, 8:21 am
Protip: Piracy is your friend.

Miroku
2 Jun 2009, 8:34 am
Thanks, FB. I'll... keep that in mind. ;)

Yonathen
2 Jun 2009, 8:46 am
Don't take courses. It's expensive, usually without a proper instructor and de-motivating.
Go look for a private teacher instead, you'll be amazed how many university students offer lessons to get some extra pocket money.
My teacher is a University Senior studying Japanese Literature, so she's pretty much as fluent as any other Japanese. (She's Japanese, but was born in Holland and never learned the language until she decided to study Japanese Literature)

Private tutors aren't that expensive, it's usually between 15-25 bucks an hour.
I got lucky, i pay 10 euro's an hour

momoyome
2 Jun 2009, 10:18 am
^ What Yonathen said.

You need to interact with people who use the language. You can spend all your money on the language classes/tutors, but you will lose it very quickly if you do not use it (that's why Japanese is such a poor choice....).

Grey Fox
2 Jun 2009, 12:05 pm
Learn what you want to learn, to hell with being practical and pragmatic, if you choose something based on how convenient it is, it's just another job, of course if you're enthusiastic and interested about spanish, go for that too. Make chances to interact with speakers of either language along the way and practice whenever possible.

Miroku
2 Jun 2009, 3:33 pm
Point well taken. :) Thanks for chiming in, guys.

Shinobu Angel
2 Jun 2009, 8:57 pm
Yeah, I agree with Fox. Do what you want to do - that in itself is motivating. If you take something that takes so much effort to become fluent in, that you aren't even passionate about, just because it's practical, it will seem like a job and you'll probably give up somewhere in between. Seriously, just choose whatever you want to learn.

Momo is right about the not using and forgetting thing, that happens.. but you will never have problems finding Japanese speakers online who you can talk to via microphone or text in combination with self-teaching (or classes). Sites such as "Interpals" will let you speak to native speakers, or also people learning it. You can ask them questions, write to, or skype with them -- plenty are willing to help. Or the forum Unilang, where you can ask questions and have discussions about the languages.

2 Jun 2009, 11:36 pm
Alternatively, if you have an iPhone/iPod, there are loads of apps that teach you japanese. From dictionaries, to kanji drawing games, to verb conjugation, to explained lessons, etc, good stuff!

Yonathen
3 Jun 2009, 5:22 am
I agree to all of that, when doing something you like, you'll get motivated and when doing something fun has the same effect.

But don't underestimate the effect of studying, even if you make it fun and even if you are as interested in it as hina in loli's.
most likely more than 50% of all human beings get's lazy/de-motivated/tends to quit when studying alone without a true goal (like studying for a test/mid-term. or studying for the sake of a job.)

I'm not a licenced Teacher yet, but i have taught many people (have been asked by my old highschool, to give make up classes for the less gifted there.) and i can clearly notice that if you have no true goal to reach or at least a partner to study with or a friend who can support you, most likely you'll drop the subject.

Miroku
3 Jun 2009, 5:53 am
So, until I can clarify for what reason/goal I'm willing to learn another language, I should hold off, is what you're saying basically? :)

If so, gotcha.

Yonathen
3 Jun 2009, 6:02 am
no no, i say of you buy one of those "do it at home" course packages, you'll find yourself learning Japanese alone, without any support, so you'll gradually lose interest.
Which is a shame, because it's fun to learn and fun to interact in Japanese.
So that's why you should go for the more personal classes, as you'll find yourself having more fun when doing it with a teacher and possible classmates.

Miroku
3 Jun 2009, 5:32 pm
I can see your point.


It's easier to be motivated to do something when you share it with others who are along for the ride. Like work, chores, or even school.

Betong Åsna
5 Jun 2009, 4:52 am
Bear this in mind: Japanese is horrible. Full blown horrible. Don't be fooled into thinking it's a pleasant language to speak, because it isn't. It's untidy, unwieldy and has too many words that add nothing to a sentence. It's young, it's raw, and it's not nice.

If you wanna learn it though, yeh - never mind getting bored, you won't be able to do it well enough at all without a native/near native teacher. The intricacies are too delicate for a book to handle.

Yonathen
5 Jun 2009, 6:30 am
Betong, everyone has a different opinion about Japanese.
Sure, if you find it unpleasant and would refuse to learn it, it's your choice.
But don't force your way of thinking on others, as Miroku finds it amusing for now.
So why not let him try it and afterwards we'll let him decide if he finds it worthwhile to continue or not

Betong Åsna
5 Jun 2009, 3:11 pm
I know the opinions of many language learners on Japanese, as well as many scholars of linguistics. There is widespread agreement that it's not nice.

I never said he shouldn't try, though.

5 Jun 2009, 11:40 pm
He means horrible in its structure, which i agree too, same as chinese I think. Lets take a look into things.
1.- Unflexible language.
You need to spell things in syllables, not as flexible as having a per character writing thing.

2.- 3 Different Writing systems
Something that isn't deep and or varied needs this I suppose. Limited syllables make for repeated words, which need to be written with different characters so the reader knows what exactly is being said, etc.

3.- Kanji
Thousands of characters. Most of them come from chinese, why? because they didn't have way of expressing something? That, and kanji can be read multiple ways depending on what other kanji/syllables are around it. Also, if you don't know a kanji, you don't know how to read it, which doesn't happen in other languages, where you might not know what a word means, but you still can read it.

Rhy
5 Jun 2009, 11:47 pm
How can you learn any Japanese with Selo's sig-idols to distract you?

Betong Åsna
6 Jun 2009, 4:03 am
I see them on the street every day, Miitan :p

Rhy
6 Jun 2009, 6:44 pm
I see them on the street every day, Miitan :p

Lucky bastard. I need different scenery.

Miroku
6 Jun 2009, 8:32 pm
Change your wallpaper then, miitan. :D


Preferably to something cosplayish if you pine for some yellowtail. ;)

Rhy
6 Jun 2009, 8:48 pm
Perhaps it is my natural apathy and sloth. I will wait till I can afford the Rosetta Stone software for Japanese. While I fully understand that that will not give me all the nuances of Japanese it will give me a good start so that I could travel to Japan and not be such a gaijin.

Miroku
6 Jun 2009, 8:58 pm
Even so, you'd sound like a Japanese tourist trying to speak horrible Engrish because you had high grades in English in school and could speak sentences correctly.

Yonathen
7 Jun 2009, 5:26 am
Uhm even that is unlikely.
None of the highschool kids i met could even go further than: "Herro, my namu isu ...
how can i herupu you?"
Luckely i can speak Japanese a little, so i had a great time with them.
although most Highschool girl ran away because they were afraid of Japanese speaking foreigners i think xD

Betong Åsna
7 Jun 2009, 8:47 am
Perhaps it is my natural apathy and sloth. I will wait till I can afford the Rosetta Stone software for Japanese. While I fully understand that that will not give me all the nuances of Japanese it will give me a good start so that I could travel to Japan and not be such a gaijin.Good luck with that. You could be teaching them a class in Japanese and you'd still be a gaijin. They'll still use 'English' at you.

momoyome
27 Jun 2009, 1:46 pm
Uhm even that is unlikely.
None of the highschool kids i met could even go further than: "Herro, my namu isu ...
how can i herupu you?"
Luckely i can speak Japanese a little, so i had a great time with them.
although most Highschool girl ran away because they were afraid of Japanese speaking foreigners i think xD

They're just afraid of foreigners....and also I've found most people get really suprised if you speak their language. I get it all the time from the Mexicans. They run away or speak English back to me. Really annoying.

Anything, Betong is so right with the too many words thing....dude, why do you need "desu ka" at the end of a sentance when there's already a question mark? Dumb.

Betong Åsna
27 Jun 2009, 2:00 pm
Desu ka is only the beginning of it :(

When they get into keigo it's like a machine gun fire of redundant words.

27 Jun 2009, 5:22 pm
whats keigo?

Yonathen
27 Jun 2009, 6:19 pm
The polite form of Japanese speech.
Soo annoying~

Betong Åsna
28 Jun 2009, 3:32 am
Well, polite form is polite. Keigo is honorific.

Yonathen
30 Jun 2009, 9:44 am
Potáto Potato :P
you know i mean the same

momoyome
17 Jul 2009, 4:52 pm
Keigo is like, "To humbly eat" and stuff...you just do things humbly? it's so silly. It's why Chinese is so superior to that nonsense. Just one writing system, no conjugation, all you have to do is throw in your parts and you've got a sentence.