Learning Japanese

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48 Replies - 4345 Views - Last Post: 31 August 2012 - 05:02 AM

#31 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 25 August 2012 - 05:08 AM

Kinda like using 'du' conjugations and commands verses 'Sie' in German?
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#32 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:42 PM

So there is a polite way to say "ef you" in languages with different levels of politeness? Hmmm... bears some more investigation...
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#33 Mina-no-Hime  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 25 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

View PostSkydiver, on 25 August 2012 - 03:42 PM, said:

So there is a polite way to say "ef you" in languages with different levels of politeness? Hmmm... bears some more investigation...

I wouldn't put it that way, but the differences in things like that are less related to language and more to culture. For example, the equivalent of your example there in Japanese would be, for example, to call a senior student by さん (san) or ちゃん (chan) instead of 先輩 (senpai). The difference here being that each denotes a different relative level of social standing -- 'san' is for peers or strangers, 'chan' is a "cute" term for young children and girls and 'senpai' is essentially referring to "seniors" - such as senior students, the elderly, or in some cases superiors in the workplace.

Of course, as with all languages (especially English), there are exceptions and special circumstances. For example, some people who are very close may drop the suffixes altogether, or use more "diminutive" terms (such as 'chan') when referring to each other. It's all specific to the people involved, because there are even many Japanese couples who continue refer to each other with 'san' throughout their entire relationship, denoting a level of respect for each other.
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#34 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:45 AM

Thai does the whole social standing thing... from what I've seen, its taken to a much greater extreme in Thai, but I'm not fluent in japanese and so can't comment authoritatively on that. What I can tell you is tho same spiel I always seem to give when prodded- nine words for 'you' each communicating social standing and so on, with the bottom level meaning "you (motherfucker)" and the top meaning "you (holy royal god)", and a vast number of important levels between.

The insults here are great, though... scatological references, declarations of sexual incompetency, unfavorable comparisons to animals and plants...
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#35 Robin19  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:39 AM

I only know "blue tree" (青木) in Japaneese. I need it when scoring ball at home. I would like to learn it, but don't know anyone that speaks it and probably never will.
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#36 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:53 AM

Plants? Love it.

If you watch anime, you'll occasionally see words like temei translated as "bastard." Temei literally just means "you", but it's one of those bottom rung pronouns. Pronouns are avoided in spoken Japanese. If a subject is required, a proper name seems to be preferred. Even for native speakers, pronouns are treacherous.
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#37 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:17 AM

In bullet points, since my ham-hands have reloaded the page while trying to reply three (count 'em) times now. Aaah, the joys of a full conversion to dvorak.

  • Soft green eggplant = "มะเขือเผา" = "old-man-penis (incapable of getting erect)"
  • "Temei" ~ "you in front of me" (implies a lack of standing, and this in a country where the fishmongers know their own pedigree), was used by, eg, samurai when addressing peasants = (roughly) = "มึง" ~ "you (implying something like 'motherfucker', without actually communicating anything more than 'you')", was used by people with high authority (eg, monks, judges, generals, royalty) when addressing 'low class' people, eg slaves and criminals.
  • Thai metaphor/comparisons are generally more logical than English - Thai references to oysters, for example, leave them confused when translated to English because they don't understand what that could possibly have to do with a cat.
  • Strangest 'swear' word (not really swearing in the English sense, but kind of qualifies in Thai by being a breach of taboo) is "ล้างตู้เย็น", literally "(to) clean (a) refrigerator", which is a metaphor for saying "To prepare for (recipient) anal sex"

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#38 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:14 PM

Brb, guys, gotta clean the ol' fridge out....
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#39 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:28 PM

View PostNeoTifa, on 28 August 2012 - 04:14 PM, said:

Brb, guys, gotta clean the ol' fridge out....

Let me help ;)
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#40 h4nnib4l  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:40 AM

Just seconds after I finished reading the new comments in this this thread, an office-wide thread titled "Refrigerator Cleanout" showed up in my inbox. This may be my last post of the day...
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#41 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:55 PM

I wanted to learn Japanese back in 2009 but decided against it after I had my "demo" first class sit in. 15 to 20 anime fans wearing ninja headbands, dressed as King of Fighter parodies. It was just too distracting for me, so I said thanks to the administrator and left. I still want to learn the language, but these people are off putting.
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#42 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:20 PM

This. I studied it officially twice and a bit more on my own, but gave up because of a combination of unbearable Otaku ("anime retards"), surprising amounts of casual cruelty, racism and xenophobia, and the fact that I can communicate with all the Japanese people I know in at least one and usually two other languages.

edit: derp in italics.

This post has been edited by Choscura: 29 August 2012 - 04:22 PM

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#43 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:27 PM

View PostSergio Tapia, on 29 August 2012 - 10:55 PM, said:

dressed as King of Fighter parodies. It was just too distracting for me

You mean this?
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#44 Mina-no-Hime  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:58 PM

View PostSergio Tapia, on 29 August 2012 - 03:55 PM, said:

I wanted to learn Japanese back in 2009 but decided against it after I had my "demo" first class sit in. 15 to 20 anime fans wearing ninja headbands, dressed as King of Fighter parodies. It was just too distracting for me, so I said thanks to the administrator and left. I still want to learn the language, but these people are off putting.

Unfortunately, those types seem to be fairly prominent in most Japanese courses. However (at least in my Uni), I've noticed that the otaku who do that sort of thing tend to be the ones who drop out of or fail the class -- few of them seem interested in learning the reality of Japanese culture and language beyond their "everything is kawaii and exciting!" impressions they've taken from anime. So usually, courses past the first one or two tend to be blissfully free of their ilk (or by that time, those who were like that tend to mature a little).

This post has been edited by Mina-no-Hime: 29 August 2012 - 06:59 PM

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#45 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Learning Japanese

Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:34 PM

There's obnoxious people in just about any lower level course. They vanish as you advance to the higher courses, you'll have to show some pateience. I'm kind of an anime fan myself, I don't think there's anything wrong with learning the language because of it. However, I completed three years of it and wanted to actually learn it. The patience and passion is the only thing seperating the two.
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