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Anyone studying a second (or third) language?
Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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最近、僕は日本語をまた勉強し始めることを決めた。日本語はすごく面白い言語だけど、勉強することがたいていちょっと難しくてつまらないよ。ここの誰でもも日本語を勉強してるか?

I recently decided to start studying Japanese again. Japanese is a really interesting language, but studying it is a bit difficult and boring. Anyone else here studying Japanese (or another language for that matter)?

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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I studied 3 years of Japanese in high school, but all I remember is hiragana and katakana. My kanji skills are useless.

I've also taken 3 semesters of French, but I need to study up on my vocabulary and grammar before I could really have a decent conversation in French again.

That said, (American) English is my native language.

Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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I studied 3 years of Japanese in high school, but all I remember is hiragana and katakana. My kanji skills are useless.

That's cool. Did you study because you were required to do so, or because you wanted to, and could you understand what I wrote? I'm three years into studying Japanese right now, though I took several months off after getting burned out a few times... I studied Spanish for two years in high school, but never had a passion for the language and never really used it, so I recall little of it now.

[EDIT]
And kanji sucks. >:(

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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I took two years of Spanish in high school and last year looked into learning Japanese, but I've been busy working on fan projects to bother with getting started learning Japanese. I also never used my Spanish so I'm extremely rusty on it.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
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Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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I took Japanese because I wanted to. Our high school was the only school in the area to offer it too.

I can read the hiragana and katakana letters, but I don't remember any kanji, and most the words you used are not in my vocabulary, so I don't really have any clue what you said. I think the only word I recognized was nihongo (Japanese).

Rodolfo Lam
Member #16,045
August 2015

My native tongue is Spanish, but I can say I can speak (American) English almost as a native. All my Primary and High School were given in a bilingual model so maybe that influenced. I took two years of French in High School like Specter but I no longer recall the language.

I no longer study English, but maybe I don't have to as I use it almost every day.

Now that we are on the subject, why some people apologize for their English in a post? They often have good structure and grammar. Maybe lack of confidence?

MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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why some people apologize for their English in a post? They often have good structure and grammar. Maybe lack of confidence?

Most likely the case, as often when I see this, they have the best English in the group. Sometimes I notice someone who does have a legit reason to apologize however.

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Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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@Edgar: the English in my original post is more or less what I wrote in Japanese. You are spot on about my use of "nihongo". :)

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

I'm learning English still. My vocabulary is pretty good at this point but I'm not making any progress with pronunciation.

Having an especially hard time with the "r" sound (I substitute a German "RRR" instead :P). [edit:] English "r" is more like German "l" or "w", but also not really :/

Also don't really hear the difference between "z" and "s" as that difference does not exist in German. So I pronounce "sip" and "zip" the same - but I also can't hear any difference when someone pronounces them in the different ways, so no chance really of trying to improve my pronunciation there :/

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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The difference between 'sip' and 'zip' is in the throat. Both have the same mouth shape and position, but the 'z' sound comes from the throat. 'sip' has a hissing sound, and 'zip' has a buzz sound coming from the throat. Also, in 'zip' the teeth are together, where they are apart in 'sip'.

DanielH
Member #934
January 2001
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2 years of Spanish in High school, 1 year in High School and 2 years Russian in college, semester of French, and took a special intensive summer course in Tatar at my University. I have forgotten so much.

Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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So your native language is German, Elias? Your written English is superb; I had no idea it wasn't your native language. :o

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

Also, in 'zip' the teeth are together, where they are apart in 'sip'.

I can say S both with teeth together and not :P My mouth muscles just don't know how to differentiate the sounds. I probably always say something sounding in between S and Z to an English speaker. A German speaker would not notice whether you say "Da(s) i(s)t (s)o" or "Da(z) i(z)t (z)o" (unless you extremely overdo it into either direction).

[edit:] Don't think I talked to you all that much in Canada, but if you remember anything about how I talked it is probably my strong German accent :)

DanielH said:

2 years Russian in college

Why are so many people in the states learning Russian? Someone from Ohio I met back home also could speak Russian. For me there would be several other languages I'd want to learn first...

So your native language is German, Elias?

I mostly learned my written English in the #allegro IRC channel over the years. Means I have some strange "international oddities" because of some of the people in there who are not native speakers :P

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

DanielH
Member #934
January 2001
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The first year I took it was in 1990. My high school offered it for the first time. It was something new and with the tension between the Soviet Union, it was interesting.

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

Four languages in gymnasium (high school). That's not as hard as it might sound. Those include two official languages of Finland (Finnish and Swedish) and English. Those were obligatory. Then I picked German as an extra language.

25 years after high school I studied 2 years Italian.

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someone972
Member #7,719
August 2006
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Attempting to learn Japanese. I could recognize bits and pieces of what you (OP) wrote but my grammar is extremely lacking :-/. I've been using WaniKani for learning Kanji and so far it's been going great, at least when I keep up with it. I'm level 12 right now and supposedly by level 30 you can get by pretty well. We're planning a trip to Japan in October so I hope to at least be able to read a little bit better by then.

______________________________________
As long as it remains classified how long it took me to make I'll be deemed a computer game genius. - William Labbett
Theory is when you know something, but it doesn't work. Practice is when something works, but you don't know why. Programmers combine theory and practice: Nothing works and they don't know why. -Unknown
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Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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Grammar is a pain in any language, someone972, but things really open up once you get over the initial hump. I imagine you're mostly studying formal Japanese? Feel free to message me if you have any Japanese-related questions. Where in Japan are you headed?

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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I took a couple intro Spanish courses years ago. I figured it be very helpful if I went into business.

But I never had anyone to practice with so most of that knowledge faded away.

I go through phases of binge learning. So right now I'm focusing on learning advanced D programming as well as architecting techniques.

Eventually when things aren't so tight I'd love to learn some Spanish, German, maybe even Russian and Chinese. But we'll see how time permits.

Life is so damn short! I'd love to live forever if just so I could learn the depths of biology, physics, math, and computer science. They all have an intrinsic beauty. Hell, biology is downright staggering when you begin to realize the shear astronomical depths of processes going on in your body right now just to allow you to sit there. Like how your skin has a pH wall. Highly acidic on one side, highly basic on the other. Bacteria that's adapted to one will most often die from the other. And what's left gets mauled by your white blood cells. And did you know they're actually a class of cells? There are like 5 or 6 subclasses of white blood cells and they all have unique functions.

But I digress...

It always makes me happy to see people trying to learn new languages. It's not easy and requires repeated effort. It's encouraging to see other people bettering themselves.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Bruce Perry
Member #270
April 2000

私も、大学生のころに日本語を勉強し始めました。私の場合、コンピューターサイエンスがつまらないと思っていて、アニメを見ていまして言葉を習ってみようと思いました。実は、漢字があることを忘れていましたけど、きれいな書き方ですから嬉かった^^

Hope that wasn't too much :) Translation: I also started learning Japanese when I was at university. In my case, I was finding computer science boring, and I was watching anime, so I thought why not try learning the language? Actually I had forgotten that it had its own writing, but it's pretty, so I was happy when I realised :)

So, whenever I lost motivation, my solution was to watch more anime. It must be noted that my progress slowed down massively when I started working, and then gave way even more as I started to focus even more on music. Right now I couldn't justify getting back into it since I'm supposed to be learning German in order to be able to live in this country and not be run circles around by a possible future kid ;)

Elias said:

Also don't really hear the difference between "z" and "s" as that difference does not exist in German.

Are you sure? Maybe Austrian German is different? As far as Lore's German goes, the English 's' sound would correspond to 'ß' or 'ss', while the English 'z' would correspond to the German 's' in a word like 'sauber'. Does that help at all?

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Elias
Member #358
May 2000

Maybe Austrian German is different?

Maybe just me :P "Sauber" I would definitely pronounce more like (S)auber than (Z)auber, but both would sound right to me. Something like Wasser/Faser there is a difference of course - but when I say "Faser" that s is not really a (z) sound either, just a softer s (my teeth are in the exact same position for both, but the tongue is more forward for "Faser" than for "Wasser" I think).

[edit:] I think the main difference between "Wasser" and "Faser" for me is that in the first one the "a" is very short and in the second one the "a" is long :/

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

Polybios
Member #12,293
October 2010

Quote:

Maybe just me :P

At least all of Swabia, too. ;)
I even remember hearing it in some English-sung song by some band out of the area (don't remember who it was).
I think the difference is called "stimmhaft" vs. "stimmlos" in German and I think it might be called "voiced" vs. "unvoiced" in English. - So would you pronounce "reisen" and "reißen" the same?

About languages: Improving my French is a project I haven't started for years. I usually end up programming instead. :P
Apart from that, my mother tongue is German, and I've learnt English, Latin, French, and Spanish at school. Don't remember much of anything apart from English and some French, though. I have the tendency to mix up Spanish, French, and Latin as soon as I try to speak or write either of them, which is quite annoying. So I mostly give up and use English instead.

Onewing
Member #6,152
August 2005
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Wow, what a weird coincidence! I took many Japanese classes in college 10 years ago and just recently started trying to pick it back up this past October.

I passed 8 of the 9 classes I took. The problem was the classes I took were way too structured and memory-focused. The 9th class was Advanced Conversations in Japanese and was taught by a different person than the other 8 classes. I fell apart and was miffed that I spent so much time but never really had a handle on the language.

So I recently started again. This time, I'm trying to think in Japanese and completely cut out English translations in my study sessions. No "um" filler when I'm thinking of words, but rather "anou" or "eeto".

I'm starting with Kanji and in the past four months I've vastly increased my skill. I took flash cards and taped them to my monitors and office walls so they're always in view. I spend the first 15 minutes each day practicing writing them correctly and then I switch the keyboard to Japanese to type them to make sure I know the correct romanization of the characters. During lunch, I'm using the "HJ Lite" app, which is a great companion.

My work just announced that employees who have been with the company for at least 7 years (I'm in that group) are able to take a 1 month sabbatical. I'm thinking of taking a trip to Japan in 2018 or 2019.

やった!

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Bob Keane
Member #7,342
June 2006

High school French but I don't remember any. I learned the hand letter alphabet but have no practice. I wouldn't mind learning International Sign Language though I have no use for it.

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someone972
Member #7,719
August 2006
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I have no idea where we'll be going in Japan, we have always been historically bad at planning ;). My main problem with grammar is by the time I come home from work and do the reviews/lessons on WaniKani I'm usually beat and fall asleep, thus not having time to read up and practice grammar. May try doing more reviews at work to try and open up the latter half of the day. Neat to see that Japanese is a popular choice around here ;D, and all the other languages people are learning/have learned.

______________________________________
As long as it remains classified how long it took me to make I'll be deemed a computer game genius. - William Labbett
Theory is when you know something, but it doesn't work. Practice is when something works, but you don't know why. Programmers combine theory and practice: Nothing works and they don't know why. -Unknown
I have recklessly set in motion a chain of events with the potential to so-drastically change the path of my life that I can only find it to be beautifully frightening.

jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
avatar

English is my third language (even though I started it before swedish in school). I've also studied french and latin in some point in time or another. Turns out that even though swedish is the second official language, french has been useful on occasion, swedish has never.

You don't deserve my sig.

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