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A question regarding adding emotion to speech

Zuba

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おはようございます、皆さん。元気ですか。私は元気です。

This a odd question I am sure, and one that I believe I already know the answer to, however I am always interested in hearing all of your thoughts and seeing what I can glean from them.

To give a short backstory, I have been going for walks in the morning and as I walk about I talk to myself in Japanese and this morning I noticed that my tone is flat and there is very little emotion injected into the words. I am pronouncing the words right, or at least I hope I am, but the conversation sounds flat and lifeless.

I realize that I am still a long journey to being fluent, but is this something that I should start actively fixing now or is this a issue I should simply ignore for the time being?

よろしくお願いします。じゃ、また。
 

Mike Cash

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This is something that you can really only work on effectively through ample exposure to natural speech and picking up on how native speakers of Japanese add emotion to speech. Otherwise you'll inevitably just end up doing it the same way you do it in English.

As foreign learners, we tend to phrase and express things in Japanese in a way that is affected by the way we do it in our native languages, which is why it is possible to end up with Japanese sentences which are grammatically correct but still unnatural. If you listen to just the rhythm of speech, you can hear people who voice their Japanese sentences overlaid with English sentence intonation patterns, for example, even if they do a good job pronouncing the individual words. The tools we use to add emotional content differ as well and you adding emotive cues according to your own lights doesn't mean that someone from a different background is necessarily going to catch them.

Yea, this is something that you should definitely pay attention to. But that doesn't mean you should just do it without modeling it on something. Like so many other aspects of language learning, this is something that effort alone can't fix; it requires lots of exposure to the language as well.
 

Zuba

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こんにちは、皆さん。元気ですか。私は元気です。

Thank you, Mike.

I see what you mean. If I just try to inject emotion right now I will do it in a "English" or "American" way. Putting stress on words and phrases that would make sense in a English sentence, but in Japanese would sound awkward.

This is more of a exposure issue that cannot be fixed by just trying. However, I should expose myself to more Japanese and pay attention to how they add emotion, and more specially where.

I watch a fair amount of anime, shout out to Saga of Tanya the Evil, I am hesitant to mimic where and how they add emotion as I am somewhat confident that how they speak in anime is not "real world." Would it be better to learn from a Japanese drama instead?

よろしくお願いします。じゃ、また。
 
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Would it be better to learn from a Japanese drama instead?
Dramas are just as scripted and acted as Anime are, and the quality of the acting is... wide-ranging.

Slice-of-life or school-life Anime are probably the most realistic sources you'll find, although some of the 'family dramas' are reasonably normal.

It's really more about the genre of the story than the means of production. Daily life stories use normal daily life language. Other stories use other kinds of language.
 

Mike Cash

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Actually, a little exaggeration may be helpful. And in the case of many dramas the acting is arguably just as cartoonish as cartoons are anyway.
 

Zuba

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こんにちは、皆さん。元気ですか。私は元気です。

Thank you both.

I need to simply absorb emotion from all aspects of Japanese culture; from anime and drama and whatever else. From these I will progressively integrate emotion and understand it.

よろしくお願いします。じゃ、また。
 
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