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夜中 confusion

seaDonkey

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I am starting the arduous journey of studying the japanese language and my first reference has ended up being 'Concerning the Sound of a Train Whistle in the Night'. A character says '夜中の汽笛くらい'. Furigana of 夜中 is given as よなか in the book but Tenjin dictionary example sentences all translate as やちゅう. Is it common to have multiple readings not only for kanji but also for multi kanji 'words'? Upon seeing 夜中 is there a single reading that would spring to mind to at least a vast majority of 日本人. Please help me.
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, there are many kanji compound words that can have multiple readings, some in the same meaning(e.g. 昨日 - きのう/さくじつ, 牧場 - まきば/ぼくじょう), and some in different meanings(e.g. 人気 - ひとけ/にんき, 下手 - へた/しもて/したて). よなか/やちゅう for 夜中 belongs to the former, and よなか is far more commonly used. (やちゅう is more likely a stiff written word.)
 

Mike Cash

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I am starting the arduous journey of studying the japanese language and my first reference has ended up being 'Concerning the Sound of a Train Whistle in the Night'. A character says '夜中の汽笛くらい'. Furigana of 夜中 is given as よなか in the book but Tenjin dictionary example sentences all translate as やちゅう. Is it common to have multiple readings not only for kanji but also for multi kanji 'words'? Upon seeing 夜中 is there a single reading that would spring to mind to at least a vast majority of 日本人. Please help me.

If this is where you're starting, you're starting in a poor place.
 

seaDonkey

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Edit: punctuation. Edit 2: Do not tell the life story. Thankyou toritoribe. Everything in your post has been valuable and i am very glad i posted. Mike Cash. My first idea was to get grade 1-3 joyo kanji textbooks or an English textbook made for japanese students at highscool level. But then...
 
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Mike Cash

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It is painful to try to decipher Japanese without having learned Japanese first. It is frustrating enough even when does approach the task by learning the language before attempting to read Japanese texts. To do it without learning the language is simply masochistic.

There are textbooks available for beginning learners of Japanese. The most frequently recommended is the Genki! series, but there are others available as well.
 

mdchachi

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Edit: punctuation. Edit 2: Do not tell the life story. Thankyou toritoribe. Everything in your post has been valuable and i am very glad i posted. Mike Cash. My first idea was to get grade 1-3 joyo kanji textbooks or an English textbook made for japanese students at highscool level. But then...
Why not get a textbook made for foreign learners of the language?
 

seaDonkey

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I'll detail my intentions here then. It's quite simple. Like 'Remembering the Kanji' by Heisig. Mnemonics utilising radicals. Also by assigning an actor to each hiragana based on pictograms. The visual memory is stimulated. Eg. よる. 夜. At night a 'insert pictograph' bangs a pot lid attracting a 'insert pictogram' . Sorry to be so verbose but it is difficult to express.
 

Mike Cash

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I'll detail my intentions here then. It's quite simple. Like 'Remembering the Kanji' by Heisig. Mnemonics utilising radicals. Also by assigning an actor to each hiragana based on pictograms. The visual memory is stimulated. Eg. よる. 夜. At night a 'insert pictograph' bangs a pot lid attracting a 'insert pictogram' . Sorry to be so verbose but it is difficult to express.

RTK doesn't concern itself with readings.

Is it your goal to learn the Japanese language? If so, we can help you.

Is it your goal to stimulate your visual memory by farting about with kanji? If so, I don't see a role for us in that.

Editing out of your post something which has subsequently been referenced or addressed in a reply is annoying, to say the least.
 

seaDonkey

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Sorry Mike i had not read your second post. I was never going to make any freinds here talking about myself like that and i knew as i was writing it but it is just where i am at. In any future posts i will try to be constructive. So trawling through reams of script gets easier after learning a few tricks. I only got through two lines and it was painful. I owe it i guess to at least have a stab at somthing like Genki. Thanks for the kick uo the ***.
 

mdchachi

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On the face of it, it appears that you are trying to learn Japanese by learning kanji. But that's a secondary concern if you are just starting out. Even in Japan kids start with zero kanji. Trawling through reams of script gets easier after learning a few tricks but, more importantly, trawling through reams of script gets easier after learning grammar. It's relatively easy to look up words and kanji these days (just point Google Translate at it) but not so easy to understand a sentence.
 

seaDonkey

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So to outline a study program that includes a complete set of grammer examples would be a good place to start. Here is what i know so far with a few guesses thrown in. Particles indicate a connection between people objects and actions. Verbs conjugate to give tense: past, current etc. Also the polite form is important to make the language sound not abrupt. The sentences are backwards with things like please and desu appearing at the end. Am i barking up the wrong tree? Which order to focus my studies and any experience that might benifit a noob would be appreciated. And dont tell me just to buy a textbook. I need to be cross referencing internet tutorials and getting down to the nitty gritty using my own notes. Thanks
 
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Mike Cash

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Why does every person who has not learned Japanese always tell people who have learned Japanese not to tell them how to learn Japanese if it doesn't match the way they think they should learn Japanese?

People who think they shouldn't have to buy a textbook (which is practically everybody) always ends up asking questions which require us to do the equivalent of typing up just for them what they would find already exists in a textbook if they weren't too cheap to buy one.

If you don't want to buy a textbook, that's your perfect right. But don't be surprised when you ask for explanations of stuff and people point out that the explanations already exist in textbooks and aren't as eager as you think we ought to be to type it up for you.

If you want to learn from free crap you find online, knock yourself out. Much of it is even worth exactly what you pay for it.
 

mdchachi

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So to outline a study program that includes a complete set of grammer examples would be a good place to start. Here is what i know so far with a few guesses thrown in. Particles indicate a connection between people objects and actions. Verbs conjugate to give tense: past, current etc. Also the polite form is important to make the language sound not abrupt. The sentences are backwards with things like please and desu appearing at the end. Am i barking up the wrong tree? Which order to focus my studies and any experience that might benifit a noob would be appreciated. And dont tell me just to buy a textbook. I need to be cross referencing internet tutorials and getting down to the nitty gritty using my own notes. Thanks
A lot of people learn in a random fashion when they try to use the Internet. Many use Tae Kim's guide and think they know everything and then it becomes clear they don't really understand the things Tae Kim covers let alone the things he doesn't. Whether you use a paper textbook or not, I recommend learning specific grammar points one at a time in a logical (textbook) fashion. Try to understand them, ask questions here, etc.
Don't just tackle random text from video games and try to parse it out. The problem with that is that you end up encountering several grammatical forms you don't know at once and then asking people to explain it. By explaining it they end up writing a textbook here in a thread. And it is less effective for you too because you end up asking about the same things over and over.
 

seaDonkey

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Thank you for taking time to teach a stubborn student. I have taken a lot out of this thread. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. I might benifit from studying in a conventional manner. Again thanks.
 

Mike Cash

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Thank you for taking time to teach a stubborn student. I have taken a lot out of this thread. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. I might benifit from studying in a conventional manner. Again thanks.

If we didn't sincerely think that the most practical and beneficial approach we wouldn't suggest it.
 

Shibui

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I am starting the arduous journey of studying the japanese language ......... Please help me.
Hi seaDonkey
Everyone has there own way to learn and of course what level they want to obtain. For me I am at a basic level (JLPT N5) which is enough to kind of get around and that's about it. But that's enough for what I need at the moment. I am older and don't seem to remember things as easy as I did when young. This is how I got to where I am now;
Learnt hiragana and katakana on youtube (japanesepod101) and a free kana app called 'kana mind'.
I have done three units of Japanese at uni. What the first unit brought home is the difficulty of using kana instead of kanji to write sentences as it makes working out the separate words from the kana with the various particles as punctuation. I was fine with を and の but は、と、も、に、か、が etc would get lost in the sentence. It was bloody frustrating and I barely got through the unit. Luckily one of our Japanese exchange students read the full kana text that I was supposed to learn and she struggled pointing out that no japanese would ever write like this but use kanji with kana particles. In a nutshell if you are say a native english speaker you dont actually read most words you just recognise them and seeing as there is a space between them it makes sense. Trying to use all kana without kanji means you cannot easily spot the japanese word amongst the particles and the fact there are no spaces makes it doubly hard.
Also, similar to english knowing some words helps with others. Such as konbanwa (こんばんは)good evening helps learn konban (こんばん)which is evening.

Sooooo... I took a break from the Japanese units and focused on learning as many japanese words as I could using CRAM online and app which uses a game like candy crush to remember them. I also began to learn the kanji using Howell Peebles apps 'learn kanji' and 'learn Japanese'.

Over about six months this let me learn about 800 japanese words, the kanji and vocab to JLPT N5. I then completed the second two units of Japanese and found it soooooo much easier particularly knowing the Kanji that would be used.

Anyways that how I got to a very basic level. Perhaps there is something in there that may help. I also tried text books but found that did not work for ME.
So this worked for ME and may only work for ME but could be worth a try, particularly to get started and you can do this in your free time not so much at 'study time'.
Good luck mate.
 

seaDonkey

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Your post has been insightful Shibui. A story like yours has more than one use for a beginner. Thanks
 

Zizka

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In case you want to ask questions as you begin studying Genki (if that's how you end up studying) and want to ask what you feel are beginner questions, make sure to title ''Genki:+your beginner question here'', it'll make it easier to get support and the help you might end up needing.
Good luck in your studies.
 

Toritoribe

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@ the OP, there is no need to write that you are asking beginner's questions, as no one does such things. We can easily judge whether the questioner is a beginner or not, and we would reply according to their level. You can ask anything you want to know.
 

seaDonkey

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I appreciate the helpful attitude. I will try to find examples of Genki:+... to figure out how post in a helpful manner. I look forward to making progress with the app (for pronunciation) alongside the textbook. I see the words learned early as tools to learn grammer. A textbook is a logical place to start for this reason. Any questions and i know where to come. Now time for many hours of diligent study. ":-|
 
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