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The dominance of English


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Old 19-07-2006, 00:52   #101
dradeel dradeel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyro
I also found the sentence structure pretty confusing, but I think I could have got over that if I tried. It's probably not really that hard, it's just me
Have you learned any other languages before embarking on Japenese? I mean on school and such ... sometimes it's hard when it's the "first language" you start on, cause one simply doesn't understand the whole complexity of a language. When I first started learning German at school, I thought it was one big ?, and after 3 years in Secondary school I didn't know a single shit. But as soon as I started on High School I got all the grammatics feeded to me with a tee-spoon, and it was like some light from heaven above struck down in me and I was enlightened. I now understood everything I didn't understand before ... the rules, the things I didn't see the point with before, did actually fit together in a system!

That came as a surprise on everyone in my class, and I think that's how it is ..: when you first start learning a language you have no idea how to sew it all together. Even if you get it explained, even if there are rules that tell you how everything is supposed to be down to the last detail it's still very unusual for your brain to think like that. I think that I, after learning German at school for 5 years, now understand the complexity of learning a language, however I dunno a single word of German. Hahahaha. Well, I still understand abit when someone write and talk, but I can't write or speak it myself.

Perhaps it wasn't the same as it was for you, but it could be that your brain simply wasn't used to the thought of accepting words to be put in a different place in a sentence? That should be pretty frustrating anyways... Hehe.
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Old 19-07-2006, 01:06   #102
Kyro Kyro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dradeel
Have you learned any other languages before embarking on Japenese? I mean on school and such ... sometimes it's hard when it's the "first language" you start on, cause one simply doesn't understand the whole complexity of a language.
I've been learning French at school for 6 years now, as well as teaching myself some Russian, so I don't think that's much of a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dradeel
Perhaps it wasn't the same as it was for you, but it could be that your brain simply wasn't used to the thought of accepting words to be put in a different place in a sentence? That should be pretty frustrating anyways... Hehe.
I think that's what it is. It's just so different to anything I'm used to. At least with European languages, and some others, they have many similarities. It seems to be so different, in fact, that my brain just won't accept it. It would probably help a lot if I had a teacher to help me force it into my head. It seems to me that one of the hardest parts of learning a language is starting. Once you have something in your head you can build on it. I think I just gave up on it too soon.
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Old 19-07-2006, 02:20   #103
haku haku is offline
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Japanese is in my opinion a very hard language, it's an isolate language (which means it's not related to any other languages) and its internal logic is very different from what we know in Indo-European languages.

For example, in Indo-European languages, to express a basic action, you use a personal pronoun and a verb, the personal pronoun indicates who does the action, the verb indicates what the action is (some Indo-European languages rarely use personal pronouns because the verbs have different endings for each person, which is enough to convey who does the action).

Well, Japanese doesn't have personal pronouns, it has words that can be used like personal pronouns in some specific cases, but most of the time, a typical Japanese sentence has no personal pronouns, and don't expect the verbal ending to indicate who does the action, Japanese verbs don't agree in person, number or gender… Which doesn't mean that Japanese verbs are invariable, oh no, they agree in politeness, that's right, Japanese verbs are conjugated according to 3 main levels of politeness (but there are more).

This simple example is to show that Japanese grammar rely on totally different concepts, on an entirely different logic, the language is totally alien for Indo-Euopean speakers (or speakers of any other language group for that matter) and require a huge mental effort to adapt to the Japanese logic.

And of course i didn't even mention the writing system which is actually a combination of no less than three writing systems, one ideographic (kanji) and two syllabic (hiragana, katakana).

The Wikipedia page on Japanese grammar gives a good idea of what to expect.


Oh and there's no way English is the 3rd most difficult language in the world. English is very easy, and it's by far the most simple language of the Indo-European familly, and that familly has dozens of languages which are all much more difficult than English.
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Last edited by haku; 19-07-2006 at 02:34.
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Old 19-07-2006, 03:42   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Japanese is in my opinion a very hard language, it's an isolate language (which means it's not related to any other languages) and its internal logic is very different from what we know in Indo-European languages.
Some theories link it to an extended family with Turkic-Altaic family of languages. I've also read somewhere Korean and Japanese have similar grammar but completely different vocabulary, so it almost seems like some proto-koreans came to the Japanese islands a long time ago, maintained the old grammar rules while replacing the vocab with that of Japanese indigenous people. (which makes sense since Koreans and Japanese have much similarities genetically as well)


Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Oh and there's no way English is the 3rd most difficult language in the world. English is very easy, and it's by far the most simple language of the Indo-European familly, and that familly has dozens of languages which are all much more difficult than English.
I agree it's pretty easy to learn the basics, but a tough nut to crack if you want to master it properly. Completely opposite to German which as complicated grammar, but once you get past that it's pretty easy to catch it's nuances and get more intimate with it. Imo at least.
For example: I've had english in school for 5 years (not to mention I knew some basics before as well) and when I went to the States there were still some subtle socio-lingual nuances which were uncomprehendable to me, until someone explained them to me. English is a very expressive and flexible language, which is one of it's strenghts but also one of it's downfalls, since this contributes to a prolongued learning process. I firmly believe that someone who learned english as a second or third language will never ever master it as well as a random native speaker.
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Last edited by freddie; 19-07-2006 at 03:58.
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Old 19-07-2006, 06:00   #105
dradeel dradeel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyro
I've been learning French at school for 6 years now, as well as teaching myself some Russian, so I don't think that's much of a problem.
Aaah, hehehehe.. I see.
Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Japanese is in my opinion a very hard language, it's an isolate language (which means it's not related to any other languages) and its internal logic is very different from what we know in Indo-European languages.
Excactemundo ... it's a language with no similarities to our own, but if one is able to look at it from a neutral POW, then the grammar are pretty easy. I mean: it's easier for me to learn japanese by myself as it is for a japenese guy to learn Norwegian. Alot... hehehe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
And of course i didn't even mention the writing system which is actually a combination of no less than three writing systems, one ideographic (kanji) and two syllabic (hiragana, katakana).
Yeah, I know... three combinations with three different "levels of complexity", aye? I recall reading the following: The easiest one is used in the everyday happenings, the middle one is used for docuements and stuff which is a bit important, and the most complex one is used in passports and stuff? This is just something I remember reading months, maybe years ago, so I can't say I know for sure... either way, that's for writing, and when you use the japanese alphabet as far as I know. You can write japanese with the latin alphabet, and then it's pretty much whatever..? Hehehe.
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Old 19-07-2006, 09:11   #106
shizzo shizzo is offline
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Pff, Japanese is easy, y'all.

Really, it isn't all that awful. Way different, but not difficult. One of the
key components to the language is that they don't deviate sentence
structure much at all, and they use particles to indicate which words in
the sentence are nominative, accusative, dative, etc. So once you get
into the mindset of thinking according to those sentence structures and
just replacing words as needed, forming sentences and learning vocabulary
is a breeze. The difficult part to learning Japanese (or any language, I
guess) is just detaching yourself from your own native language enough
for these things to become readily evident.

All it takes is practice. Once you get the core basics down, Japanese can
be an easier undertaking than most other languages. At least 'til you
have to learn the writing systems, which suck (and not in the good way).



Offtop:
Know which language I myself think is hard? Abkhaz, an ugly bitch of
a language if there ever was one. Ugly grammar, ugly consonant clusters,
ugly everything.


No language is too hard to learn. Just remember, there's probably a
fat little retarded 6-year old somewhere on the planet learning a language
that people say is hard, and if he can do it, so can anybody else.

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Old 21-07-2006, 14:21   #107
samegirl samegirl is offline
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I agree with shizzo, but the older you get the more difficut is for you to learn a language, i Don't know why...
I speak spanissh and english and I can understand portuguese, but my brain can't make me pronounce the words, specially the ones that are a little bit alike with the spanish ones...I feel like I'm "misspeaking"
Russian and japanese have a relativetily easy structure but the part that has ben most difficult for me is in russian get used to the alphabet and in japanese, I'm unable to write kanji (i'm clumsy...) whatever i tried to write turned out like a baby's encounter with a pencil...
Regarding english, I just learned it because I like it and regarding the dominance of engilsh, I'm not so sure anymore...
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Old 21-07-2006, 16:56   #108
dradeel dradeel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzo
Just remember, there's probably a
fat little retarded 6-year old somewhere on the planet learning a language
that people say is hard, and if he can do it, so can anybody else.
Haha.. true, true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzo
The difficult part to learning Japanese (or any language, I
guess) is just detaching yourself from your own native language enough
for these things to become readily evident.
Yeah, I guess that must be the hardest problem for any language really. You have to put your mind into another set of thinking. Could be hard. I thought it was when I was learning German.

You don't wanna learn how to speak Norse then? There are plenty of books and stuff about Norse grammar and plenty of dictionaries as well. Hehe.
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Old 29-07-2006, 12:43   #109
Khartoun2004 Khartoun2004 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
Serbo-Croatian
Freddie, I thought you might like to know that while I was at the Hospital last night I saw a sign for a Serbo-Croatian interpreter This is the US and it's full of insipid morons, so I don't think anyone is smart enough to make up a language that doesn't already exist
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Old 01-08-2006, 18:37   #110
freddie freddie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khartoun2004
Freddie, I thought you might like to know that while I was at the Hospital last night I saw a sign for a Serbo-Croatian interpreter This is the US and it's full of insipid morons, so I don't think anyone is smart enough to make up a language that doesn't already exist
Offtop:
*giggle*
I think they just consider it as a common "Yugoslavian" language (eventhough it'd SO piss of both Croatians as Serbians). When I was in the States for those 2 weeks the guy at the custom's office had Slovenia filled under Yugoslavia which itself was filed under The Soviet Union... so two countries which have long since stopped exisiting.
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Old 02-08-2006, 20:05   #111
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yes is truth!-- but the english is the most important language in the world right now!.. maybe in 10 years or more.. the people needs speak french, spanish, chinese, japanes.. o don´t know!.. the history change everyday!
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:36   #112
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Well. it's true, English is the most important and dominant language in the world, and it will be for the long term , It's perhaps a way to counterbalance the fact that England - or should I say, Britain - has nothing else positive to give to the world right now.
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