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Coud you help my survey?? Why did you study Japanese?

kaz

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Hello. I am trying to write an essay about why people start studying Japanese. Could you do this survey for me? But I am still working on it and this is my first time to do a form on the internet. So please forgive me if it does not work and I come back to ask you again.

estat.us/form/survey.htm

I also prepared it in Spanish, so por favor!
 

mdchachi

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For the reasons, you should put an Other box besides your yes/no questions -- that way you might learn some reasons that you didn't think about. For example, you didn't list martial arts as a possible reason but I'm sure there are some people who started learning Japanese after they started learning Judo or Kendo or something.
 

Elizabeth

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I wondered about that too since I got interested largely because of Japanese literature.
 

kaz

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THat is a good idea. ALternatively I can put a link to here, so we can all discuss. Thank you very much for your input.
 

kaz

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Gosh my programming skill is not yet good enough to add new things to it. But I guess I can add new items.
 

Uncle Frank

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True Love!!

I met and fell in love with a young Japanese girl who spoke no English. Sign language and looking everything up in a dictionary got old fast. It was a great incentive to learn!
 

avarame

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The page times out for me. I'm using Safari/1.0 on Mac OS X 10.2.6, on Charter cable internet in central California.
 

Mandylion

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Some thoughts-

I think you should add a box asking how many years people have been studying Japanese and if they still are. "What year did you start learning Japanese" is not the same as "how many years have you been studying Japanese." People may have studied some other language for a year or two after they first began Japanese or have since stopped. I also think adding something about where/how they studied is important (just from manga/movies, high school, college etc).

Nice survey! Good luck.
 

kaz

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Thank you, I got about 20 responses so far. I am now writing a SAS program to do an analysis.

Seems like some people have a problem with it. I wonder why. Avarame, someone else also complained the same thing, but I think she uses a windows.
 

kaz

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Mandylion, thanks, it is a good point. I will try to improve this. Actually I am also interested in creating a place where you can measure the level of your Japanese competency. I studied statitical measurement that does that sort of thing.
 

Elizabeth

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It is a good survey overall, but one other thing which might help is an item rating by importance the four skills you asked about
(reading, listening, speaking, writing) as a way to tease apart the emphasis put on each rather than trying to correlate competence with the raw number of years. Also, how much time if any you've actually spent in Japan and other strategies for learning (classroom, tutor, self-taught, manga reading, anime watching) etc might be useful.
 

tripbeetle

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Couldn't complete your survey

Kaz, I tried to do your survey, but couldn't find the reason why I started studying Japanese in your pre-prepared list. Why don't you have an 'Other' section at the end where the responder can fill in his or her own reason?
 

westsan

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Could you help my survey?? Why did you study Japanese?

because it was the most challenging foreign language offered at my university.

Other languages like German and Spanish I had taken before and found it to be a cakewalk. I needed something more stimulating.
 

budd

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no "i was disgusted with the American justice system after the police detective refused to arrest the crackheads that broke into my apartment because they wouldn't come to his office so he didn't have to go get them" selection available?
but will try to fill the rest out later
 

kaz

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I need a few more people

Hi, if you have not done my survey yet, could you do it?
estat.us/form/survey.htm

Thank you.
 

cowo

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i wonder why there is always the race-question in american surveys. What kind of relevant informations you can get from it? Why is my skin-color more important than my size of shoe or me being left-handed?
No offense. I'm just curious, because for me as german it's feels a little awkward. And i do stumble across it everytime doing such surveys in the net.

cya
cowo
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by cowo
i wonder why there is always the race-question in american surveys. What kind of relevant informations you can get from it? Why is my skin-color more important than my size of shoe or me being left-handed?
Because you find ethnic/racial differences with almost every topic worth surveying ;).
 

westsan

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its an american thing...phhhht
they call it whitemans guilt or something like that.
 

kaz

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I am a sociologist, so I should answer this question. Many of us sociologists are generally interested in the issue of social class, social inequality, differences of quality of life across social groups. Race is a social group. Although race is not a definate thing, it still put people under similar social experiences. So we want to understand it.

Also in America people like me working in social science are interested in improving people's lives. It happens that people of some social groups are having tough life. For exaple, minority children often lag behind in academic achievement. We want to help them through policy interventions. For this we need to understand about them.

If you are German, I guess that you want to know if german people and immigrants are receiving equal opportunities or not in education systems. For this purpose, you need to ask about about their immigration status in a survey.

Japan is a strange case. Though social scientists want to know about children's ethnicity or their home backgrounds, teachers refuse to give such surveys to students. THey feel it is a violation of privacy. But they also need to understand, if there are social groups in Japan that are not doing well academically, then we need to know about it. Otherwise, we cannot make good policies based on social scientific reasonings.
 

kaz

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And without race question, sometimes, things don't make sense. Maybe a bad question, but if we want to know about obesity we really need to control for race---because weight does vary by race. Asians are a lot smaller than Blacks or whites.

We need to control for RACE factor in order to understand things. Imagine medical researchers conclude something without thinking how things differ by race. That is not good.
 

kaz

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Thanks, NZ

Well I am going over the results of my survey (I wish I asked people's emails so I can report back to them. From next time). I got 50 people. I want 50 more if possible.

Anyways I noticed some people were genuinely interested in a non-European language. I did not think about it before, but it makes sense. Learning Spanish or French for Europeans can be a bit borning ??? and maybe it is not very useful, given that Europeans all learn English anyways.

Now I am thinking of next surveys.
 

kaz

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COWO, one more thing I want to say about asking about race of a respondent. When we analyze data, we "control" for lots of factors. Race is an important control. In America, black students tend to score low on achievement test. But often when we control for their economic level, the effect of race tends to weaken a bit. This shows how it is not really race but it is an economic status related to race. Without asking race we will make a mistake when making a causal analysis.

One exiciting analysis that some people did was a study of Catholic schools in America. THey found that generally black students do worse than whites in mathematics test, but in catholic schools this gap did not exist. They then studied what makes Catholic schools egalitarian. They found that all students, regardless of race or economic level, are forced to take same math classes.

So asking race is really important in what we do in social science. It is very important for us to study race issues.
 

cowo

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Hi Kaz
Thanks for your explanations.Sounds like an interesting job you've got there.
But this race-question still bothers me. :sorry:
Many of us sociologists are generally interested in the issue of social class, social inequality, differences of quality of life across social groups. Race is a social group. Although race is not a definate thing, it still put people under similar social experiences.
Sorry, but i disagree with that. Race is not a social group. (at least it shouldn't) Why not asking for level of education, salary or living conditions instead? Imho that would make more sense. Isn't it wrong to put a doctor and a homeless into the same social class because their ancestors came from the same kontinent?

They found that generally black students do worse than whites in mathematics test, but in catholic schools this gap did not exist. They then studied what makes Catholic schools egalitarian. They found that all students, regardless of race or economic level, are forced to take same math classes.
Doesn't that proof that race itself isn't important, but the motivations of black students to choose the lesser math classes. I hope it is by choice isn't it? So the quetion should be: why are more black than white students not interested or not in the position to attend to the better classes.

Mhhh.... So it seems asking about race isn't that wrong after all. It helps to detect flaws in our society. But i stick to it that race is as much a social class as weight. They are a sort criterion.

Would you agree with me than, that we have to ask about race in order that we hopefully won't need to do it anymore in the future?

cya
CoWo

p.s.: Asking the "weight-question" could be interesting too. Especially in the US. ;)
 

kaz

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response

COWO,

You said:
Would you agree with me than, that we have to ask about race in order that we hopefully won't need to do it anymore in the future?

I think race will forever influence how we think, behave, work, and make earning in American life, both in good ways and bad ways. It is an important variable that we always need to keep asking, I think.

There are somethings that we used to be aware of but not any more. For example, I read that Italian immigrants were considered "Europe's Black"--according to Thomas (forgot if first name or last name)'s book called Ethnic America. But they are now considered just white in America.

So maybe eventually race will disappear? Maybe not. It may get complicated. "Hispanics" for example is becoming more complicated. There are lots of different kinds.

By the way what are the major divisions of people in Germany? Is it like white versus immigrants? West Germans and East Germans?
 
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