Author Topic: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress  (Read 1726 times)

Kwill

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East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« on: September 22, 2018, 05:31:48 AM »
I'm starting this to spin off one topic from a journal discussion. Feel free to join in with your goals, progress, tips, and tricks related to studying an East Asian language.

I started studying Japanese in 1991 and passed level 1 of the JLPT in 2009. I use Japanese at work, but I'm also using Crunchyroll for listening practice.

I started studying Korean on my own in 2016, and I'm still very much a beginner. I'm feeling unreasonably frustrated with it because my Korean is so far behind my Japanese, and I'd love to hear tips for speeding up the process. So far I've finished 'First Step Korean' and 'Learn to Speak Korean 1' on Coursera, in addition to trying and giving up on various other books and websites. I'm using flashcards on Quizlet to review vocabulary, and I occasionally watch Korean dramas on Dramafever. I read a little bit of Korean at work but could do a lot more if I could catch up.

What languages are you studying? What are your best tools? What do you find the most difficult?

Not There Yet

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2018, 04:04:09 PM »
I'd like this information also - I'd like to learn Korean, but without spending a lot to do so. 

Freedomin5

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2018, 04:20:34 PM »
Attend weekly meet ups with Korean native speakers and do a language exchange (one hour Korean lesson for one hour English lesson). Years back, when DH wanted to learn Chinese, that was what he would do. Found people wanting to chat with a native English speaker through meetup.com, then hung out with them for several hours. Two hours every week turned into four hours, to the point that we were traveling and taking weekend trips with these new friends and using Chinese most of the time.

He also started reading Chinese (for you it would be Korean) books and newspapers, and writing down the translations of whatever words he didnít know.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2018, 04:23:30 PM »
Hi Not There Yet!

Here are the links for the things I've used and liked for Korean so far. All are potentially free with subscription options. I pay for Dramafever but use the others for free.


For Japanese, the ones I still use are Crunchyroll and sometimes Kanji Koohii.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2018, 04:32:33 PM »
Attend weekly meet ups with Korean native speakers and do a language exchange (one hour Korean lesson for one hour English lesson). Years back, when DH wanted to learn Chinese, that was what he would do. Found people wanting to chat with a native English speaker through meetup.com, then hung out with them for several hours. Two hours every week turned into four hours, to the point that we were traveling and taking weekend trips with these new friends and using Chinese most of the time.

He also started reading Chinese (for you it would be Korean) books and newspapers, and writing down the translations of whatever words he didnít know.

Hi Freedomin5! That sounds great. Part of my frustration is related to not feeling like I have much connection to the country to be putting so much effort in--this is coming from work rather than an independent personal interest. Maybe it would help to be practising with real people.

I've met a couple times with a native speaker, but I didn't know enough Korean to really be doing language exchange. It seems like there's an initial hurdle to get past before it's possible to spend time talking. Or maybe it would have worked better if we had gone into the meeting with an agreed structure for language exchange, rather than just meeting for coffee.

When you were spending all that time with the Chinese speakers, did you start learning the language as well?

Freedomin5

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2018, 04:43:14 PM »
The first several months, DH brought his textbook with him, or brought the book he was currently reading and asked about words and phrases that he didnít understand. For example, there were often phrases or idiots for which the translation didnít make sense. So yes, it was very structured.

I already spoke conversational Chinese, so I only joined them for trips and the first meetup (so the other party would know that DH isnít some creepy white stalker with an Asian fetish).

The way Iíve improved my Chinese over the years is to use it more at work (started accepting Chinese clients), and I took a position teaching a university course in Chinese. Iíve found that you really have to use the language with native speakers in order to build and maintain it, so if you have no job opportunities to use Korean, then find social opportunities to do so.

Not There Yet

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2018, 08:30:52 PM »
Thanks Kwill!  I've also heard it's useful to watch Korean Language videos with English subtitles.  I'm thinking of ordering this - https://www.amazon.com/dp/581990608X/?coliid=IWJJ2MWJR10JM&colid=2I9TBW5PR7FJ0&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Twelve discs - that should do it!

Freedomin5

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2018, 09:30:34 PM »
Thanks Kwill!  I've also heard it's useful to watch Korean Language videos with English subtitles.  I'm thinking of ordering this - https://www.amazon.com/dp/581990608X/?coliid=IWJJ2MWJR10JM&colid=2I9TBW5PR7FJ0&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Twelve discs - that should do it!

Having spent many years teaching Chinese people how to speak English as a second language, experience tells me this is not true because you end up reading the subtitles and not paying attention to the oral language. Also, itís hard to figure out which Korean word you just heard matches which English word on the screen.

A better method is to watch Korean videos with Korean subtitles (you will need to learn the Korean basics first). Then youíre getting both auditory and visual input.

yakamashii

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2018, 11:48:42 PM »
Thanks Kwill!  I've also heard it's useful to watch Korean Language videos with English subtitles.  I'm thinking of ordering this - https://www.amazon.com/dp/581990608X/?coliid=IWJJ2MWJR10JM&colid=2I9TBW5PR7FJ0&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Twelve discs - that should do it!

Having spent many years teaching Chinese people how to speak English as a second language, experience tells me this is not true because you end up reading the subtitles and not paying attention to the oral language. Also, itís hard to figure out which Korean word you just heard matches which English word on the screen.

A better method is to watch Korean videos with Korean subtitles (you will need to learn the Korean basics first). Then youíre getting both auditory and visual input.

I agree that same-language subtitles are most effective. I started learning Japanese 17 years ago and am now a J-E translator (so, like, understanding Japanese is half my job), and I still take something away almost every time I watch Japanese TV with Japanese subs.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 01:37:23 AM »
Thanks Kwill!  I've also heard it's useful to watch Korean Language videos with English subtitles.  I'm thinking of ordering this - https://www.amazon.com/dp/581990608X/?coliid=IWJJ2MWJR10JM&colid=2I9TBW5PR7FJ0&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Twelve discs - that should do it!

Having spent many years teaching Chinese people how to speak English as a second language, experience tells me this is not true because you end up reading the subtitles and not paying attention to the oral language. Also, itís hard to figure out which Korean word you just heard matches which English word on the screen.

A better method is to watch Korean videos with Korean subtitles (you will need to learn the Korean basics first). Then youíre getting both auditory and visual input.

This seems a good point. Dramafever is a streaming site for Korean dramas and maybe some Taiwanese ones as well, but I think it only offers foreign language subtitles (English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese) on and off, not same-language captions. I wonder if it would help if I tried re-watching a series I liked, this time without any captions.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 01:47:53 AM »
I agree that same-language subtitles are most effective. I started learning Japanese 17 years ago and am now a J-E translator (so, like, understanding Japanese is half my job), and I still take something away almost every time I watch Japanese TV with Japanese subs.

That's neat. Until you and Freedomin5 mentioned it, I wouldn't have thought of watching TV with same-language subs as a method to seek out.

Japanese is a big part of my job, but my options for legal viewing of Japanese TV are more limited because I live in the UK. I've used Crunchyroll for Japanese anime for years, watching with the subtitles turned off, but they recently changed their viewer to one that doesn't allow you to turn off subtitles. For now I'm watching with Spanish or German subtitles, but I think it might be time to find a different site.

Do you or does anyone here know of good, legal ways to view Japanese or Korean TV from abroad with same-language subtitles?

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 01:57:34 AM »
The first several months, DH brought his textbook with him, or brought the book he was currently reading and asked about words and phrases that he didnít understand. For example, there were often phrases or idiots for which the translation didnít make sense. So yes, it was very structured.

I already spoke conversational Chinese, so I only joined them for trips and the first meetup (so the other party would know that DH isnít some creepy white stalker with an Asian fetish).

The way Iíve improved my Chinese over the years is to use it more at work (started accepting Chinese clients), and I took a position teaching a university course in Chinese. Iíve found that you really have to use the language with native speakers in order to build and maintain it, so if you have no job opportunities to use Korean, then find social opportunities to do so.

Sorry, I had forgotten you've been in China a long time. That's great that you've gotten to such a professional stage with the language.

Structuring the meetings would help, I think.

Googling around my current town, there seem to be a lot of potential options for meeting Korean people, but it's hard to know quite where to start. It's also depressing to think of setting aside more time to do something for work on weekends when I'm already doing a lot on evenings and weekends, but I think I could put in for comp time for it if it is sufficiently structured that I feel comfortable calling it work. From that point of view, setting up a formal language exchange might be best.

expatartist

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 02:41:37 AM »
A better method is to watch Korean videos with Korean subtitles (you will need to learn the Korean basics first). Then youíre getting both auditory and visual input.

+1 On every visit to China I watch Chinese TV, it's really helpful to see the characters as people speak. Reading English is translation vs immersion.

yakamashii

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2018, 05:38:09 AM »
Do you or does anyone here know of good, legal ways to view Japanese or Korean TV from abroad with same-language subtitles?

Nothing free, but Netflix has plenty of Japanese content, and a lot (if not most) of it is subbed. VPN + Netflix = East Asian Netflix here we come. Can't speak to the quality of the Korean content, but the original Netflix Japanese dramas are better than anything I've seen on TV here.

omachi

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2018, 11:17:37 AM »
Joining from the previous journal discussion. I started learning Japanese a little over 3 years ago, though I wasn't all that serious about it for a while and took about a year's worth of break in the middle. I've been pretty serious for about a year and a half now. I passed the JLPT N5 last December (97th percentile) and will be taking the N4 this December.

Thus far I've used Remembering the Kanji, Kanji Koohii (for RTK SRS), Human Japanese, Human Japanese Intermediate, Genki I, and I'm almost done with Genki II. I use Anki for SRS on everything but writing kanji. I use Forvo to get native pronunciation of any words I add that aren't spoken in the textbooks.

I've found the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books really useful for looking up details on grammar points. I've started reading NHK News Web Easy, and rather like that.

My current goal is to pass N3 - conversational level, then assess where I want to go from there. I'd like to enjoy native material without looking up every other word. I'd like to spend six months to a year abroad. I'm not sure about making N1 a goal, though I may well end up able to pass it following the others.

Reader

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2018, 09:32:58 AM »
Thus far I've used Remembering the Kanji, Kanji Koohii (for RTK SRS), Human Japanese, Human Japanese Intermediate, Genki I, and I'm almost done with Genki II. I use Anki for SRS on everything but writing kanji. I use Forvo to get native pronunciation of any words I add that aren't spoken in the textbooks.

I've found the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books really useful for looking up details on grammar points. I've started reading NHK News Web Easy, and rather like that.
thanks so much for recommending Anki, Forvo and the NHK News Web Easy. they're really helpful.
i've passed N5 a long time ago (JLPT4) and failed JLPT3 a couple of times mainly due to the listening comprehension section.
any recommendations on effective ways to improve understanding of spoken japanese for N4/N3? japanese dramas seem to be too much of a stretch.

lhamo

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2018, 10:56:52 AM »
One thing that really boosted my listening comprehension in Chinese when I was at low-intermediate level was listening to talk radio type programs -- when I was in Taiwan doing language study for a summer, I would put on late night talk radio call in programs and fall asleep to them.  Listening to real life conversation patterns really helps get the feel for the language embedded in your brain.  And I picked up a lot of useful vocabulary around various family/relationship/life problem type issues.

TV programs can also be good for this.  Once I moved to the mainland I developed the habit of listening to the national news broadcast in Chinese at 7pm, and then watching the English-language equivalent later at night (I think it aired at 10 or 11) to see how much I "got" from the Chinese version.  This works in China because the propaganda department pretty much determines what goes on the national news, so the stories are pretty much aligned.

omachi

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2018, 11:47:28 AM »
Thus far I've used Remembering the Kanji, Kanji Koohii (for RTK SRS), Human Japanese, Human Japanese Intermediate, Genki I, and I'm almost done with Genki II. I use Anki for SRS on everything but writing kanji. I use Forvo to get native pronunciation of any words I add that aren't spoken in the textbooks.

I've found the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books really useful for looking up details on grammar points. I've started reading NHK News Web Easy, and rather like that.
thanks so much for recommending Anki, Forvo and the NHK News Web Easy. they're really helpful.
i've passed N5 a long time ago (JLPT4) and failed JLPT3 a couple of times mainly due to the listening comprehension section.
any recommendations on effective ways to improve understanding of spoken japanese for N4/N3? japanese dramas seem to be too much of a stretch.
~99% of my Anki flashcards have a spoken component to them. So each card has three ways that come up:
  • English shown, answer is in written and spoken Japanese.
  • Written Japanese shown, answer is in English and spoken Japanese.
  • Spoken Japanese, answer is in English and written Japanese.
#3 forces listening comprehension. If I have to replay the audio, I mark the card hard instead of good or easy, even if I get it right. But it's useful to have the audio played every time. If it's a flashcard, it's level appropriate. Thus every time I answer a flashcard, I'm hearing audio that I am capable of comprehending.

I started making cards to support kanji readings that I don't have other vocabulary for, like 的 (まと - target) which is an N1 word from an N3 kanji that Genki II introduces. Genki provides it as the kun-yomi example for the kanji, but never speaks it and never uses it in a sentence. I found words like this (no audio, no context) really difficult until I found Forvo and got the spoken component involved. It's just really helpful to have it spoken every single time you answer a card. As a bonus, because I can remember this word now, I can get the kanji readings correct more easily.

I haven't moved to much native media yet, because I'm still at a level where I have to look up way too much stuff and there just isn't really audio at my level. The exception I've found is NHK News Web Easy, which has an option to listen to a commentator read the story in very well spoken standard Tokyo dialect. I've learned it's possible to extract that audio, so I'm likely to start making some flashcards from that source for words or grammar I pick up in those stories. Some of the stories are still well beyond me, with more new words than I want to tackle, but a lot are at that sweet spot of mostly comprehensible.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2018, 01:52:55 PM »
Thus far I've used Remembering the Kanji, Kanji Koohii (for RTK SRS), Human Japanese, Human Japanese Intermediate, Genki I, and I'm almost done with Genki II. I use Anki for SRS on everything but writing kanji. I use Forvo to get native pronunciation of any words I add that aren't spoken in the textbooks.

I've found the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books really useful for looking up details on grammar points. I've started reading NHK News Web Easy, and rather like that.
thanks so much for recommending Anki, Forvo and the NHK News Web Easy. they're really helpful.
i've passed N5 a long time ago (JLPT4) and failed JLPT3 a couple of times mainly due to the listening comprehension section.
any recommendations on effective ways to improve understanding of spoken japanese for N4/N3? japanese dramas seem to be too much of a stretch.

Omachi and Reader, even though people are saying shows with English subtitles aren't helpful for listening comprehension in the long run, maybe at your stage they might help to get the sounds in your head and consolidate what you're getting through flashcards. You wouldn't want that to be your only thing, but flashcards and news shows can be dry by themselves. I've already mentioned Crunchyroll.com, which I like for anime. On there, 'Space Brothers', 'Sakura Quest', and 'Sword Art Online' were three different kinds of series that I found engaging. 'Naruto' is a classic, which I'm finally getting around to watching now that I'm a little more used to anime.

It wouldn't necessarily be good for career-building, but teaching English abroad can be great for really getting the listening comprehension. It's just so different living somewhere vs. studying a language from a distance, especially if you make the effort to get to know people and do things locally.

diapasoun

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2018, 02:15:54 PM »
PTF. I haven't worked on my Japanese in a while (and it's not something I'm going to pick up again in the next month or so) but there's already a ton of great resources in here and I do want to work on it again at some point!

omachi

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2018, 03:06:18 PM »
Thus far I've used Remembering the Kanji, Kanji Koohii (for RTK SRS), Human Japanese, Human Japanese Intermediate, Genki I, and I'm almost done with Genki II. I use Anki for SRS on everything but writing kanji. I use Forvo to get native pronunciation of any words I add that aren't spoken in the textbooks.

I've found the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books really useful for looking up details on grammar points. I've started reading NHK News Web Easy, and rather like that.
thanks so much for recommending Anki, Forvo and the NHK News Web Easy. they're really helpful.
i've passed N5 a long time ago (JLPT4) and failed JLPT3 a couple of times mainly due to the listening comprehension section.
any recommendations on effective ways to improve understanding of spoken japanese for N4/N3? japanese dramas seem to be too much of a stretch.

Omachi and Reader, even though people are saying shows with English subtitles aren't helpful for listening comprehension in the long run, maybe at your stage they might help to get the sounds in your head and consolidate what you're getting through flashcards. You wouldn't want that to be your only thing, but flashcards and news shows can be dry by themselves. I've already mentioned Crunchyroll.com, which I like for anime. On there, 'Space Brothers', 'Sakura Quest', and 'Sword Art Online' were three different kinds of series that I found engaging. 'Naruto' is a classic, which I'm finally getting around to watching now that I'm a little more used to anime.

It wouldn't necessarily be good for career-building, but teaching English abroad can be great for really getting the listening comprehension. It's just so different living somewhere vs. studying a language from a distance, especially if you make the effort to get to know people and do things locally.
I've been watching subbed anime for... huh, about two decades now, so I'm way ahead of the curve on just hearing things without understanding them. It was nice to get some things for free when I started learning the language, the little interjections or common responses. No questions about いってきます or いってらっしゃい when starting out. It is also nice to now be able to sometimes catch what somebody says in a show, and occasionally fun (and disorienting) to see the subs and audio not really match. I'd still be lost without subs, though.

I've thought about the teaching English thing, but being married, owning a house, and being well into a career makes it a bit of a non-starter. Might be a fun way to live there for a year and really solidify the language after I'm FI. Then again, I could get a fast track visa to work in my career area there if I really wanted; 10 day turnaround on paperwork if you have a job offer! And they offer a special 6-month, renewable tourist visa to people that can show something like $300k in liquid assets, so I have options aside from English if I want to spend a good quantity of time there.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2018, 03:47:31 PM »
I've been watching subbed anime for... huh, about two decades now, so I'm way ahead of the curve on just hearing things without understanding them. It was nice to get some things for free when I started learning the language, the little interjections or common responses. No questions about いってきます or いってらっしゃい when starting out. It is also nice to now be able to sometimes catch what somebody says in a show, and occasionally fun (and disorienting) to see the subs and audio not really match. I'd still be lost without subs, though.

Oh. Okay, well forget what I said. I didn't start watching anime until I'd already been studying Japanese for about 20 years, so when I finally got over my reluctance to try it and found some shows I could enjoy, it was this amazing revelation. Maybe it's time you just watch without subtitles whether you like it or not. Even if you feel like you don't understand, you probably do a little bit, especially with the visual context. If you were living in Japan, there wouldn't be any subtitles to your life.

When I first started watching anime, I felt tired when I watched without subtitles, and I didn't enjoy it as much. Even though I ought to have understood already without the subtitles, I had to force myself to go without them for some time before it felt natural and comfortable to listen at speed. I've found my listening comprehension and speed / fluency has improved a lot in the couple years I've been watching.

Reader

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2018, 04:13:27 PM »
~99% of my Anki flashcards have a spoken component to them. So each card has three ways that come up:
The exception I've found is NHK News Web Easy, which has an option to listen to a commentator read the story in very well spoken standard Tokyo dialect.
Yes the commentator is super helpful and it is great to hear it spoken at the normal speed in the video, and have a slower version to "catch the sounds". thanks for the anki recommendations!

Omachi and Reader, even though people are saying shows with English subtitles aren't helpful for listening comprehension in the long run, maybe at your stage they might help to get the sounds in your head and consolidate what you're getting through flashcards.

It wouldn't necessarily be good for career-building, but teaching English abroad can be great for really getting the listening comprehension. It's just so different living somewhere vs. studying a language from a distance, especially if you make the effort to get to know people and do things locally.
watching anime sounds like a fun way to do listening comprehension :) thanks for the recommendations.
would be looking into teaching english abroad as an option for semi-retirement.. sounds interesting.

Freedomin5

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2018, 05:09:49 PM »
Teaching English abroad is definitely an option. Once your students find out you can speak a bit of their language, they will try to talk to you all the time in their native language, because itís easier for them than talking in English. I find this to be true more with the younger people (university/high school students) than with adults though.

YYK

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2018, 05:45:19 PM »
I've been studying Japanese for about 15 months.

I started with Genki then moved to Tae Kim, which I think is a fantastic resource. I read all of Tae Kim (both the Complete Guide and the Grammar Guide) then starting consuming media. Jisho.org is my main dictionary.

I have two Anki decks, one for reading and one for writing. The reading cards show the kanji on the front and the kana and the English definition on the back. The writing cards are the reverse of that. Both cards are the same note type so when I add a new word it gets added to both decks. I wish I had started with Anki right away, but I only started the reading deck in January and the writing deck a few months later. I find that writing a word helps a lot with being able to remember it when I see it later in the wild or in the reading deck. I add enough words so that I have twelve new words in the reading deck each day, though I only do five new words a day in the writing deck as that takes a lot longer. All in all about 30 minutes of Anki time each day.

I think it is best to learn words in context, so I add all my words from things that I read or hear in the wild. Each time a word comes up in Anki I can then recall the context in which I first encountered it. For learning new words, I have been reading manga and books, watching anime with Japanese subtitles, and playing games. For me it seems to be best to hear the word spoken as I encounter it, so I find anime and games to particularly useful in this regard, especially voiced VNs/galge that are text heavy. I haven't gotten into any live-action TV or movies yet, though I think I will start watching some toku soon, perhaps Garo.

Unfortunately I have no practice with speaking or writing (other than writing individual words). I'd love to find people to speak to but I can't find any Japanese groups in my city. There are language partner sites on the internet but I've been too nervous to use one.

Anki is a fantastic tool that I would recommend to learners of any language. It's made Japanese so easy for me that I'd now like to learn a whole bunch of other languages. Spanish is next on the list, though I'd like to get better with Japanese before I start any new languages.

暗記最高!草

yakamashii

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2018, 11:26:50 PM »
How about finding an anime based on something you love/have expertise in, and doing the watch-listen-watch technique?* You're already very familiar with the subject matter; it's just in a different language. When you learn new words or look stuff up, it's like traveling a well established highway of understanding in your brain, and adding a lane in your non-native language.

*I did this with a baseball anime my first year in Japan. I'd watch an episode and take copious notes, then play the episode again and listen while looking at my notes (not the screen), and finally watch one more time. I planned to do this for all 150 episodes, but found that it wasn't necessary after about 100; by then, I was getting most of it the first time through. It worked wonders for me (although it also taught me things that didn't work in the real world, but were great conversation starters).

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2018, 04:55:24 PM »
I've just found Viki, which has shows in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. I decided to try rewatching an episode I'd seen before on Dramafever with subtitles, but this time without subtitles on Viki.

It amazed me to find there is a 'Learn Mode' for subtitles. If you turn on Learn Mode, you get both the original language subtitles and your chosen language subtitles. Then if you click a word in the original language, the video pauses, and you get the translation into your chosen language. It looks like the translations for individual words you click aren't great at interpreting like small bits of grammar or conjugated verbs, but it's good for nouns. https://support.viki.com/hc/en-us/articles/231829048

I don't have time tonight to go through a whole episode, but I'm really hopeful that this will be a good next step for me with Korean. I also had a good conversation with a coworker today about how to find a language exchange partner locally. It sounds easier than I thought.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2018, 02:52:00 AM »
How about finding an anime based on something you love/have expertise in, and doing the watch-listen-watch technique?* . . .
*I did this with a baseball anime my first year in Japan. I'd watch an episode and take copious notes, then play the episode again and listen while looking at my notes (not the screen), and finally watch one more time. I planned to do this for all 150 episodes, but found that it wasn't necessary after about 100; by then, I was getting most of it the first time through. It worked wonders for me (although it also taught me things that didn't work in the real world, but were great conversation starters).

This sounds like a great technique. Can you say a little more? Did you watch with original language subtitles, no subtitles, or English ones? Were you pausing it a lot to take all of those notes? Ever since you posted this, I've been wanting to try it, but I've hesitated.

I'm currently watching a Korean drama in 'learn mode' with both Korean and English subtitles. That is a little better than before when I just had the English subtitles because I'm paying more attention to the words that are being said. Occasionally I'll pause and replay bits of dialogue. But it would be good to be more proactive and focused about learning from the conversations.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2018, 03:16:50 AM »
I was home with a bad cold all day yesterday, and apart from sleeping and handling a few more urgent emails, I was mostly watching Korean dramas.

I also found a new site I hadn't used before. Has anyone mentioned italki yet? It's a site where you can find language exchange partners, professional language teachers, and 'community tutors' (non-professional teachers who charge less per hour). I've messaged with a couple potential language exchange partners, and I scheduled a trial lesson for this afternoon with a community tutor. Here's hoping it will be good and helpful. The link above is a referral link, which will give you (and me) a bonus of $10 after you schedule your first lesson using credits you've purchased. So the bonus won't show up immediately but will if you actually end up using it. For Korean, the lessons range from $5 for a 30 minute trial lesson with a community tutor to $20 per hour for a professional teacher. For Japanese, the lower end was the same, but there was a wider range, up to $24 or even $50 per hour.

yakamashii

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2018, 08:18:58 AM »
How about finding an anime based on something you love/have expertise in, and doing the watch-listen-watch technique?* . . .
*I did this with a baseball anime my first year in Japan. I'd watch an episode and take copious notes, then play the episode again and listen while looking at my notes (not the screen), and finally watch one more time. I planned to do this for all 150 episodes, but found that it wasn't necessary after about 100; by then, I was getting most of it the first time through. It worked wonders for me (although it also taught me things that didn't work in the real world, but were great conversation starters).

This sounds like a great technique. Can you say a little more? Did you watch with original language subtitles, no subtitles, or English ones? Were you pausing it a lot to take all of those notes? Ever since you posted this, I've been wanting to try it, but I've hesitated.

I'm currently watching a Korean drama in 'learn mode' with both Korean and English subtitles. That is a little better than before when I just had the English subtitles because I'm paying more attention to the words that are being said. Occasionally I'll pause and replay bits of dialogue. But it would be good to be more proactive and focused about learning from the conversations.

At the time, I carried a pocket-sized notebook with me everywhere I went, and made notes all day long. I'd hear or see a word or phrase I didn't know, write it in Japanese, write the kanji if I was able to understand the speaker telling me how to write it, and then my best guess at the English translation. When I got home (no smartphones in these times), I'd check everything in dictionaries or online, and then add the best stuff to flashcards I rotated through on a regular basis.

I used the same notebooks for the baseball anime. Subtitles were not available; it was all based off listening, just like real life. I often heard things incorrectly or incompletely, and was unable to find meanings online or in the dictionaries I had on hand. This worked to my advantage though - I cross-referenced nearly every word with locals anyway, and was usually able to get them to fill in the blanks or point me in the right direction.

I paused on occasion. I knew a listening-only run-through was coming with the second go-round, so I didn't worry too much the first time through.

Most of my methods were rudimentary and brute-force (I also pounded the 2000-odd joyo kanji using a plastic bag full of bits of construction paper, each with one character on them, drawn at random), but they really helped me build a solid foundation of reading and listening skills. With the notebooks, I was constantly conversing with Japanese people about Japanese in Japanese, so I learned how they deal with words or characters that are unfamiliar to them (more likely to children, not the adults I was talking to).

There was also a lot of trial-and-error with my initial guesses at meanings and translations, through which I was unwittingly building the foundation for my translation career. English subtitles would have made all of this easier, but perhaps the lessons wouldn't have been as sticky.

Of all of the above, access to native speakers was key, but if I hadn't come up with my own material (all the questions), I'd have spent a lot more time with the "Where are you from? What are your hobbies?" type conversations that, while important, must be surpassed at some point.

East Asian languages are tough for native English speakers, but the effort pays off big time. It's quite a rush to conquer the challenge of expressing yourself and understanding others, and then run into yet another slice of the boundless complexity to tackle. Hope you find your ways and stick with it!

What are your interests? Do any intersect with existing Korean/Japanese content?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 08:21:17 AM by yakamashii »

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2018, 12:02:11 PM »
@yakamashii This is great. I was much more rudimentary and brute force when I was starting to learn Japanese -- I couldn't even look things up online because it was so long ago. But I did get an electronic dictionary that I carried around everywhere while in Japan. I feel like with all this technology around it should be easy now with Korean, but there's still a lot of basic hard work that has to happen.

My first 30-minute trial lesson with italki was good. I chose a community tutor who teaches Korean using Japanese, and it was helpful. I think I'm going to go ahead and so some more lessons with him rather than doing other trial lessons. Because the sentence structure is similar and the Sino-Japanese vocabulary overlaps with the Sino-Korean vocabulary, I'm hoping that learning via Japanese will be more efficient than it would be via English. Today was very basic getting to know each other, figuring out the level of the lesson, etc, but it sounds like for the next lessons we'll be using a beginner book that is all in Korean. Even though this was on Skype, it was nice to have a private lesson with a live teacher after only using online courses and flashcards and books.

I also scheduled my first language-exchange session with a real-life Japanese friend who wants to learn English. It's been a long time since I tried formal language exchange. I hope we can work it out so that it's helpful for both of us. For my Japanese text, I'm planning to use 女性の美しい話し方と会話術 (Conversational skills and how to speak beautifully, for women), which I found some years ago at Book Off. Photos attached. My goal for Japanese is to sound more natural and professional, especially in meetings, on the phone, and in work-related social settings. My language exchange partner wants to feel comfortable with basic everyday conversations and to improve her listening comprehension.

yakamashii

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2018, 12:09:50 AM »
@yakamashii This is great. I was much more rudimentary and brute force when I was starting to learn Japanese -- I couldn't even look things up online because it was so long ago. But I did get an electronic dictionary that I carried around everywhere while in Japan. I feel like with all this technology around it should be easy now with Korean, but there's still a lot of basic hard work that has to happen.

My first 30-minute trial lesson with italki was good. I chose a community tutor who teaches Korean using Japanese, and it was helpful. I think I'm going to go ahead and so some more lessons with him rather than doing other trial lessons. Because the sentence structure is similar and the Sino-Japanese vocabulary overlaps with the Sino-Korean vocabulary, I'm hoping that learning via Japanese will be more efficient than it would be via English. Today was very basic getting to know each other, figuring out the level of the lesson, etc, but it sounds like for the next lessons we'll be using a beginner book that is all in Korean. Even though this was on Skype, it was nice to have a private lesson with a live teacher after only using online courses and flashcards and books.

I also scheduled my first language-exchange session with a real-life Japanese friend who wants to learn English. It's been a long time since I tried formal language exchange. I hope we can work it out so that it's helpful for both of us. For my Japanese text, I'm planning to use 女性の美しい話し方と会話術 (Conversational skills and how to speak beautifully, for women), which I found some years ago at Book Off. Photos attached. My goal for Japanese is to sound more natural and professional, especially in meetings, on the phone, and in work-related social settings. My language exchange partner wants to feel comfortable with basic everyday conversations and to improve her listening comprehension.

That teacher who teaches Korean in Japanese sounds like a great find for you, as does the Japanese language exchange partner. (By the way, I reread the thread. I forgot that you passed JLPT 1 and already use Japanese at work, so I feel a bit ridiculous for extolling the virtues of learning an East Asian language <赤面>)

Are your goals to sound more natural and professional in Japanese more about vocabulary and other content-related stuff, or more about pronunciation? Both or neither? I ask because I have some tips for the latter. If it's not a concern, ignore the following:

-Record yourself speaking Japanese/Korean if you can. Really hear how/where your pronunciation differs from native speakers, and drill down on those sounds. For NES learning Japanese, that's typically the ラ column; the rhythm of the ん sound, double vowels and double consonants; the ん sound itself; the quickly voiced/unvoiced い and う sounds; and eliminating all schwa sounds from speech. You have my sympathy with Korean vowels :)

-Find someone whom you think speaks beautiful Japanese/Korean, record/get recordings of them, and imitate their pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. Treat it as though they're singing a song, and sing along; the languages aren't tonal, except that they kind of are. I don't know about Korean, but as you know, Japanese is very rhythmic, and getting that rhythm right improves how you are received just as much as adding new vocabulary.

-Focus on beginnings. If people are finishing your sentences, they are right there with you and you're phrasing things like a native. If they're hanging onto every word, there might be a more native way to phrase your thoughts (of course, this doesn't apply in all situations; however, mentally checking this every now and then is a good way to check how you sound).

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2018, 01:34:31 AM »
Thanks, yakamashii. Extol the benefits of learning an East Asian language as much as you like. I'm all for it.

My concerns about sounding professional and natural were mainly around situation-appropriate vocabulary / phrasing and levels of politeness. I also get nervous speaking on the phone, and I'm rubbish at composing professional emails in Japanese. At work, I usually speak a mix of Japanese and English with a Japanese co-worker, and we're very informal and all about getting stuff done. Usually reading is more important, and I often write work emails in English for the person to respond to in Japanese. But then occasionally I will need to greet a visiting Japanese person, who sometimes turns out to be important. Sometimes I know that in advance and other times it is sudden. A few weeks ago I ended up interpreting at a wedding reception, including speeches. I have several occasions in the next few months that will involve meeting important Japanese people. It's not really that my job is so fancy but that I'm the only full-time person in my institution who speaks Japanese.

I like the idea of recording a speaker and practising that. That might be something I could ask my language exchange partner and also offer her for English if she doesn't mind my American accent.

Focusing on beginnings is good advice. In more polite situations, my defence mechanism is to use casual forms followed by だと思います / 思っております etc. (. . . . so I think) or でしょうか。(could it be?) or some other sentence ending that feels like it might make things sound nicer. But I think it's time to learn to be properly polite or at least expand my repertoire of things I can add to the end of sentences.

yakamashii

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2018, 08:24:05 AM »
OMG I was put on the spot at a wedding once, too! It was the worst! I was so nervous and probably said all the words to be avoided on wedding day.

Great goals. For me, the big hurdles were learning to wield keigo/kenjogo and させていただきます properly. Seasonal greetings also buy some goodwill.

As a J-E translator, I look at Japanese writing all day every day, and a decent portion of it is correspondence. Also, 90% of my own correspondence with clients is in Japanese. If you can't get your Japanese coworker to look at your writing, I'd be happy to take a look and give my opinion (and benefit from the opportunity to see how another NES communicates in Japanese). Confidential information redacted, of course. Your call.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2018, 01:30:54 PM »
Thank you for the offer, but I think I'd probably better struggle with the writing on my own for a while. I can ask my co-worker to read it if it's important to write in Japanese, and I should be able to ask my language exchange partner about how to get started writing more.

Now to learn the Korean for 'Hello. My name is Kwill. I am an American. I live in England.' I should have learnt basics like that already, but I kept going with the online lessons without ever getting any conversation practice.

halftimer

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2018, 09:07:48 PM »
Chiming in, but I'm at a more beginner level than anyone listed so far. Learning Japanese, and making some progress but miles behind in my listening skills. It definitely shows that I do most studying on the bus, where I can't do audio as effectively. I'm heading over to Crunchyroll now to test out some of the recommendations. Thank you

havregryn

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2018, 08:28:35 AM »
I joined a Korean course recently for fun and I am finding it terribly hard to keep up (full time job, two kids ages 5 and 2, utterly unrealistic to study much between the sessions and the pace of the course is insane) but also determined to rise to the challenge.
I don't even know why I am doing this, it has no direct relevance for my private or professional life, but on the other hand that is maybe precisely why. I want to learn something new just for the sake of learning and expanding my horizons, without the feeling that everything needs to fit into a career narrative.
Checking in here for thinking it might give me extra motivation.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2018, 09:33:15 AM »
I joined a Korean course recently for fun and I am finding it terribly hard to keep up (full time job, two kids ages 5 and 2, utterly unrealistic to study much between the sessions and the pace of the course is insane) but also determined to rise to the challenge.
I don't even know why I am doing this, it has no direct relevance for my private or professional life, but on the other hand that is maybe precisely why. I want to learn something new just for the sake of learning and expanding my horizons, without the feeling that everything needs to fit into a career narrative.
Checking in here for thinking it might give me extra motivation.

Good luck with it. There's a freedom in learning something just because. It's great to have the opportunity to take a course, but it must be hard to keep up with a formal class with that much going on.

I just finished watching 'W', a Korean drama. I enjoyed this one, and it has a lot of repetition of things like who, what, when, where, why. Sounds like you have plenty to do already, but if you want listening practice later on: https://www.viki.com/videos/1105299v-w-episode-1

The MOOCs on Coursera from Yonsei were pretty good if you want a refresher at your own pace when the course you're doing is done.

YYK

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2018, 02:01:23 PM »
Great goals. For me, the big hurdles were learning to wield keigo/kenjogo and させていただきます properly. Seasonal greetings also buy some goodwill.

Question about 敬語. Several times in fiction I've come across a situation where characters are conversing with ~ます and です, what I understand to be called 丁寧語, but another character remarks that they are speaking in 敬語. My impression is that 敬語 refers to 尊敬語/謙譲語 i.e. お~する, いらっしゃる, 申す, いただく, etc. What am I missing here?

diapasoun

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2018, 02:49:18 PM »
Great goals. For me, the big hurdles were learning to wield keigo/kenjogo and させていただきます properly. Seasonal greetings also buy some goodwill.

Question about 敬語. Several times in fiction I've come across a situation where characters are conversing with ~ます and です, what I understand to be called 丁寧語, but another character remarks that they are speaking in 敬語. My impression is that 敬語 refers to 尊敬語/謙譲語 i.e. お~する, いらっしゃる, 申す, いただく, etc. What am I missing here?

They might be using an honorific verb in its polite form -- is that the case? X to mousimasu, etc? (sorry, am on a computer w/o a Japanese keyboard right now)

It's also possible that the character is using "keigo" in a very broad sense to refer to any sort of polite language, versus just the humbling/honorific forms that are the sort of Platonic ideal of keigo.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2018, 03:12:35 PM »
Great goals. For me, the big hurdles were learning to wield keigo/kenjogo and させていただきます properly. Seasonal greetings also buy some goodwill.

Question about 敬語. Several times in fiction I've come across a situation where characters are conversing with ~ます and です, what I understand to be called 丁寧語, but another character remarks that they are speaking in 敬語. My impression is that 敬語 refers to 尊敬語/謙譲語 i.e. お~する, いらっしゃる, 申す, いただく, etc. What am I missing here?
Can you find the passage again for us? If you post a photo of the page, we could give you more of a sense of what's going on with that. But maybe what Diapason said

YYK

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2018, 03:14:02 PM »
They might be using an honorific verb in its polite form -- is that the case? X to mousimasu, etc? (sorry, am on a computer w/o a Japanese keyboard right now)

It's also possible that the character is using "keigo" in a very broad sense to refer to any sort of polite language, versus just the humbling/honorific forms that are the sort of Platonic ideal of keigo.

Regular verbs with polite endings is what I was encountering, so that's what was confusing me. I didn't realize the usage of "keigo" was broad enough to include politeness in general, but that makes sense.

omachi

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2018, 05:52:09 PM »
Just took my first practice test for the JLPT N4 tonight and passed it, with plenty of points to spare, though nowhere near as perfectly as I'd have liked. I botched a whole group of listening comprehension questions by second guessing - going from the correct answer to a wrong one. Oops. Still, looks like I'm in good shape with weeks to go. Two more practice tests in the book, so hopefully I can pass those with increasingly good scores.

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2018, 10:19:15 PM »
That's great! Congratulations, Omachi. That must be a confidence boost.

I'm now planning to do the Korean version of that in April, but I haven't done a proper practice test yet, only one online. The TOPIK has a tiered passing system where you can get either the lowest or the second-lowest level on the same beginner test. So far on the sections I tried, I just barely passed the lowest level with little to spare. I am hoping to get in a stronger position by spring.

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2018, 12:52:51 PM »
The practice tests were a good confidence boost. I took the actual test this past weekend and I'm pretty sure I passed. We'll see when it's scored. I'm less worried about the listening section than I was for the N5, and I passed that, so I think that's a good sign. I also have my new mental list of things I need to improve on. And likely some revisions to past flashcards to fix some of those issues going forward.

Good luck with the Korean test. If it's in April and you're already passing practice tests (even just barely) you should have plenty of time to get to a really solid position for the real thing if you just keep to your regular study.

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2018, 08:45:16 AM »
おはよう! After much procrastination, rethinking my approach to Japanese. Gonna mull it over. Thanks for this thread!

Kwill

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2018, 12:01:35 PM »
おはよう! After much procrastination, rethinking my approach to Japanese. Gonna mull it over. Thanks for this thread!

Thanks for joining us. Good luck with the study!

YYK

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Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2018, 02:02:25 PM »
Some 18 months into my study, I am finally starting to understand かける.