What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Can I learn?

Gaijinology

Kouhai
Joined
28 Aug 2003
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I am scheduled to start a japanese course soon. However I am having second thoughts. I have a neurological condition called benign essential tremor which means that I have a constant mild tremor and thus my writing can never be totally straight... When doing my exams I have extra time to allow for this, and to allow for me to correct my writing where it is bad... Do you think it would still be possible for me to learn japanese to a reasonable degree? Ive tried writing kana and kanji, and although my kana isn't too bad (although, it not looking perfect, I worry that people may misinterprete it) some of the kanji i try writing look terrible - even when using squares i cannot at all get them right...

Do you think i should just stop? (because i think the calligraphic nature of chinese characters means you need a lot of control) or did others have a lot of difficulty when starting to use kanji?
 

Seppuku

先輩
Joined
26 Aug 2003
Messages
126
Reaction score
0
You shouldn't give up if you really wanna learn japanese. take tony iommi(guitarist for black sabbath) when he was younger he had a work related accident that cut of the tips of three of his finger(i think three anyway) but he didn't stop playing guitar he just found ways to deal with it and work around his "disability" and now hes one of the most well knows guitarist and was in one of the most influential bands for metal. so just keep at it and don't let life's problems hold you back man 👍
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
I agree completely with Seppuku. I've never taught myself to write kanji, either, but I can type Japanese, read most newspapers and magazines, and speak (to some degree ;)), any one of which is pretty much a full time job in itself. So you definately don't need to put yourself through a program that emphasizes writing to the exclusion of anything else or creates any additional pressures and stressors unless your goal is living there long-term or working for a Japanese company. And are you even sure kanji practice is part of a first level curriculum? I had the same problem in Japan of nearly failing a class when everything else was A's & B's because I have absolutely no visual/artistic sense and couldn't be bothered on something so non-relevant to my reasons for being there. Although that wasn't for credit, either....
 

Gaijinology

Kouhai
Joined
28 Aug 2003
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
cheers guys.. i have actually decided not to pursue a full time japanese course but i still will learn as a hobby.. also, what puts me off learning japanese full time is the fact that many japanese people dont really know their language too well themselves (not all the kanji, or all the pronounciations etc) so i sometimes worry that it is almost a lifetime struggle to be good at japanese.. Basically, in the amount of time it takes to learn japanese you could probably learn about three or four european languages, and i dont plan to settle permanently in japan so perhaps there are better ways to utilize time..

thanks for the help!!

oh and btw.. in many university japanese programs you expected to know kana before the course even starts so i can guess that various kanji are introduced from the get go..
 

budd

先輩
Joined
10 Jul 2003
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
18
Use flash cards! I would have flunked if not for flash cards.
i made my own from my textbooks, but exambusters has a set
japanese_larger.png


also university is better for me (wish I had gone this semester) because i am such a lazy person
plus i am only learning that which interests me -- but not necessarily that which will encourage communication (and understanding), but in any case, something is definitely better than nothing! good luck!
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,906
Reaction score
1,299
Good call. If you have no real drive to learn Japanese then don't do it. There are a lot more "useful" languages to learn especially if you're likely to be in the EU often.

As for Japanese not knowing their language that well -- I don't believe the issue is that much different in other countries. I know plenty of Americans who can't spell worth a damn, don't have a large vocabulary and don't know proper grammar either.
 

Gaijinology

Kouhai
Joined
28 Aug 2003
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Well, I've really wanted to learn japanese for a few years.. But, i don't think i would live in japan for longer than a year or so so perhaps it isnt worth spending years and years learning .. This may be obvious but is it much easier to pick up japanese whilst living in japan? (i picked up quite a lot of vocab in two weeks) Eg. do you think it is possible to learn as much japanese as a four year course would teach in america in a year or two actually living in japan? - with spanish i didn't find it at all easier to learn in spain because everyone speaks so fast! and thus, for a while i couldn't make it out hardly at all. however, japanese is much easier to hear..
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,906
Reaction score
1,299
Definitely you will learn far more immersed in a Japanese environment than outside. I sure did. I took 6 semesters of Japanese over 3 years in America. I'm sure I learned far more in a year (or less) living in Japan than I did in those courses. Simply because in Japan, even though I wasn't there to study, I was using/learning the language every day. In America, I'd study the lessons and do the homework but it didn't occupy a significant part of every day.
 

kinjo

Sempai
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
1,257
Reaction score
32
It is easier to learn a language being immersed in it, I think it's especially easier after you have had some basic grammar, structure, and flow of the language down before you immerse yourself fully.

If you know the basic grammar structure, and can understand most of the more common-used words, it will be a hell of a lot easier to pick up and start speaking sooner.

If you know even a minimal amount, just enough to express [poorly] most general things you'd need to say, you'll probably gain A LOT more from being there for a year.

If you can understand the gist of what everyone is saying, and give some kind of reply or feedback to what is said, this will allow you to expand your language skill much further and faster. As opposed to just hearing jibberish, and being unable to say anything. Not knowing anything will make it daunting and frustrating.

I've been around a lot of exchange students the past few years. Whenever I talk to the outbound students and ask how much of the language [of the country they are going to] they speak, they usually tell me "None really, I know I'll learn it once I'm there just naturally" This is true for the program we are in, because you go to school and live with a family, so you'll hear the language ALL the time. I think that's a stupid approach though. Imagine how much more you will learn if you start learning it before you go to japan.

I have two friends that went to Japan, one of them just left and I haven't heard from her since she arrived, she knew a decent bit of japanese before she left and had a drive to learn it. I think her experience will be much more enjoyable. The other person who went to Japan said stuff like "We went to an orientation, but I felt it was such a waste of time. We could have been outside having fun, but instead we just sat inside and listened to people talk for hours and hours. They were talking in japanese too, so it was just a complete waste of time, I just zoned out and stuff" Since he made no effort to learn any before he left, he lost a lot of oppurtunity to learn fluent japanese in a year. He could have used those "Talking for hours and hours" as an oppurtunity to learn new words and get a better feel for the language.

It will make it a hell of a lot easier on you if you take some classes before-hand. The effort required to learn before you go will be nothing compared to the stress on your brain if you go without adequate preperation before-hand.

I can understand though why you don't want to learn Japanese, as it's so hard and you could learn so many other languages in the time it would take. I'm in agreement with you there I think. I probably wouldn't want to live there, I still have a lot of germanic languages I want to learn. If you really are going to live there for a year though, do yourself the favor and start now :)
 

budd

先輩
Joined
10 Jul 2003
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
18
oh yeah, even my instructors say immersion is better
after two days over there, it's like a switch in my brain clicks :)
 

serewen

Sempai
Joined
5 Sep 2003
Messages
152
Reaction score
0
Maybe you should learn it from simple, (it would help) like: see a drama, books, anime (hehe, my favorite).

降参せず、よく続きます!!!!
 

Himura

Hadoken!!!!!
Joined
19 Jun 2003
Messages
642
Reaction score
1
NEVER GIVE UP!!! the one who tries, may fail, but the one who´s never tried is already failed!!! remember...
 
Top Bottom