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Japanese language beginners shouldn't use kanji?

RockLee

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Recently I've been posting on a Japanese board my Japanese friend invited me to. Most of the posts I put in Japanese but it's far from perfect.Well at least I try and it's good to improve my skills.Everytime I make errors my friend says I should say it different, or the structure is not correct.I'm grateful she takes the time to tell me what my mistake is though.

But today she said something that sounded to me as if non-Japanese can't learn/master Japanese in a few years or less.I use kanji in my texts and words I don't know I look up.She said my level of Japanese is not so high,and when there is a lot of kanji in my text it looks weird to her because I'm still at a beginnerlevel.I can use it when my level is higher ? what is that supposed to mean? If I can write/understand the kanji I use it, that's the only way I'll learn.It seems to me that Japanese think you can't understand or write kanji or are not supposed to write it unless you studied it for lots of years and Japanese is a very difficult language.It seems to me they are jealous of people who can master the language in a few years or have little difficulty with it.Did you experience something like this before?


There might be a thread similar, but I didn't find anything about it.
 

misa.j

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That's about the strangest thing I've ever heard, Rock.

I completely disagree with your friend about one should not use Kanji till his language skill increases.
My opinion is you should start using Kanji as soon as you learn them otherwise you won't be proficient.
As you study, I'm sure you have felt that you can only discribe what you mean by using Kanji instead of Kana.
 

RockLee

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misa.j said:
That's about the strangest thing I've ever heard, Rock.

I completely disagree with your friend about one should not use Kanji till his language skill increases.
My opinion is you should start using Kanji as soon as you learn them otherwise you won't be proficient.
As you study, I'm sure you have felt that you can only discribe what you mean by using Kanji instead of Kana.
That's what I think too, I absolutely don't get it why she said such thing :sick: She thinks it looks weird when I write difficult sentences filled with kanji yet my language level isn't that high.But if I try to learn/write new things I didn't see yet in class I think it's not that bad.It's the only way to learn, so what if the structure isn't 100% correct.You should see most Japanese people their English ! Looks like they used a damn machine translation :eek: One can only learn out of the mistakes he/she makes.
 

nice gaijin

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I think that once you get the basic writing systems down, you should immediately start learning kanji and consistently use it as you learn the language. One of the important things about kanji is knowing how to write it by hand, but i think being able to use and recognize it are more important.

I'll admit that sentences full of kanji with grammar mistakes can be hard to read, but that's not so much because of the kanji as bad grammar. Perhaps what your friend means is that when she sees people using a lot of kanji she expects a higher level of grammar? Perhaps she would be the best person to clear this up.
 

Harvey

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Could you show us an example of the sentences she said was weird?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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RockLee said:
But today she said something that sounded to me as if non-Japanese can't learn/master Japanese in a few years or less.I use kanji in my texts and words I don't know I look up.She said my level of Japanese is not so high,and when there is a lot of kanji in my text it looks weird to her because I'm still at a beginnerlevel.I can use it when my level is higher ? what is that supposed to mean? If I can write/understand the kanji I use it, that's the only way I'll learn.It seems to me that Japanese think you can't understand or write kanji or are not supposed to write it unless you studied it for lots of years and Japanese is a very difficult language.It seems to me they are jealous of people who can master the language in a few years or have little difficulty with it.Did you experience something like this before?
I don't know anything other than what you've posted here, but my gut reaction is that your friend probably doesn't have this in mind at all.

This will probably come out wrong, but I think that your friend is comparing your Japanese to the Japanese of native Japanese children. For example, this was written by a 1st year primary student several years ago.

ツ 窶堋ケ窶堙ア窶堋ケ窶堋「ツ、窶堋?窶堙娯?堙仰。
ツ 窶堋ォ窶堙・窶堋、窶堙債、ナ?wツ校窶堙娯?堋ゥ窶堋ヲ窶堙ィツ、窶愿ア窶扼ツ青カ窶堙娯?堙懌?堋「ナスq窶堋ソ窶堙。窶堙ア窶堙??愿アツ人窶堙??堋ゥ窶堋ヲ窶堙ィ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。
ツ 窶堋「窶堙や?堙?窶堙ヲ窶堙ィツ、窶堋キ窶堋イ窶堋ュ窶伉≫?堋ュ窶堋、窶堋ソ窶堙俄?堙や?堋ォ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。窶堋、窶堋ソ窶堙俄?堙や?堋ュ窶堙?、窶堋「窶堋ヲ窶堙俄?堋セ窶堙ェ窶堙?窶堋「窶堙遺?堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス窶堙娯?堙?、窶堋キ窶堋ア窶堋オツ、窶堋ウ窶堙昶?堋オ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス窶堙??堋キツ。
ツ 窶堙??堙?ツ、窶堙壺?堋ュ窶堙債、窶堋ェ窶堙ア窶堙寂?堙ィ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。窶堙懌?堋クツ、窶堋ォ窶堋ェ窶堋ヲ窶堙ー窶堋オ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。窶堋サ窶堙ェ窶堋ゥ窶堙ァニ弾ニ椎槌池窶堙ー窶堙や?堋ッ窶堙?、窶堋ィ窶堙寂?堋?窶堋ソ窶堙。窶堙ア窶堋ェ窶堋ゥ窶堋ヲ窶堙≫?堙??堋ュ窶堙ゥ窶堙娯?堙ー窶堙懌?堋ソ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。ナスOツ十窶堙補?堙ア窶堋ョ窶堙ァ窶堋「ツ、窶堙懌?堋ソ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。
ツ 窶堙坂?堋カ窶堙溪?堙??ェツ人窶堙?、窶堙ゥ窶堋キ窶堙寂?堙ア窶堋オ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。窶堋ォ窶堋ソ窶堙ア窶堙??堙ゥ窶堋キ窶堙寂?堙ア窶堋ェ窶堙??堋ォ窶堋ス窶堋ゥ窶堙ァツ、窶堙昶?堙ア窶堙遺?堋ゥ窶堙ァ窶堙吮?堙溪?堙ァ窶堙ェ窶堙懌?堋オ窶堋スツ。窶堋、窶堙ェ窶堋オ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス窶堙??堋キツ。

How does this compare to your Japanese? Your friend probably had this kind of composition in mind when she told you that. This was written exactly as I typed it by a native Japanese speaker. Granted the writer was only like 6 or 7 years old, but just by reading this, one can see that this child, although good for his or her age, has limited control of the Japanese language. Many 1st year students would write in a similar manner.

Japanese people come into the most contact with such writing from young Japanese children, not foreigners of a more mature age, so their ideas of what "normal" for "students' of Japanese" writing is based primarily on this.

Japanese people learn kanji over an extended period of time (minimum of 6 years primary school and 3 years middle school), so their first reaction is most likely that it takes a long time to learn kanji regardless of nationality. It's not a direct insult to you as a foreigner; it's just what your friend knows from her own experience.

Please bear with your friend. Your friendship is making her more worldly and knowledgeable about people language in general.

I find it's much better to try to find an alternate reason for comments such as that than to assume prejudice. It will save you a lot of stress, for sure!
 

Elizabeth

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nice gaijin said:
I think that once you get the basic writing systems down, you should immediately start learning kanji and consistently use it as you learn the language. One of the important things about kanji is knowing how to write it by hand, but i think being able to use and recognize it are more important.

I'll admit that sentences full of kanji with grammar mistakes can be hard to read, but that's not so much because of the kanji as bad grammar. Perhaps what your friend means is that when she sees people using a lot of kanji she expects a higher level of grammar? Perhaps she would be the best person to clear this up.
Well, I've never reached the point of being able to write more than a handful of kanji well by hand so naturally I disagree it is that important. For what, really ? The only good reason I can think of is that it it would improve my ability to read handwritten characters generally....or for kanji that are used out of context.

@RockLee -- Haven't you picked up most of your kanji knowledge from Chinese ? If she is aware of that, I don't see the issue with jealousy or prejudice or whatever. :? It's a little hard to say just from the information you've written so far.

窶版ス窶堋ソツ最セ窶堙懌?堙遺?堋「窶堙??堋ア窶堙娯?堙懌?堙懌?愿コ窶怒ナ津ェ窶堙娯?「テ冷?ケツュ窶堙ー窶伉ア窶堋ッ窶堙??堋「窶堋ォ窶堙??堋ュ窶堋セ窶堋ウ窶堋「窶堙仰。 😌
 

RockLee

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Elizabeth said:
@rocklee -- Haven't you picked up most of your kanji knowledge from Chinese ? If she is aware of that, I don't see the issue with jealousy or prejudice or whatever. :? It's a little hard to say just from the information you've written so far.

窶版ス窶堋ソツ最セ窶堙懌?堙遺?堋「窶堙??堋ア窶堙娯?堙懌?堙懌?愿コ窶怒ナ津ェ窶堙娯?「テ冷?ケツュ窶堙ー窶伉ア窶堋ッ窶堙??堋「窶堋ォ窶堙??堋ュ窶堋セ窶堋ウ窶堋「窶堙仰。 😌
Erm, I don't study Chinese nor can I read/write Chinese...

It's just the fact that if I write a simple text like that one Mikawa Ossan mentioned and put a lot of kanji in it, she thinks I should cut back on the kanji.Because it's supposedly not of my "level".She thinks the people will find it weird my texts are of a simple level or aren't 100% correct and yet I write difficult kanji. What if my Japanese is not that good but I use kanji, at least I'm making an effort in using kanji...it has a purpose afteral :mad:

David I like to use kanji , because else maybe too long ne *-)

Reika i dont think so , your japanese level is not so high as who use that case... feel something strange, the 1st you can learn usuall one

Reika that's I mean you dont understand
Reika your using that kanji is strange yo
Reika after 1 year or more years you can understand
This is what she wrote, iow : it's not logical to write simple texts filled with kanji, implying I should only write hiragana/katakana which is to me the biggest BS I ever heard.


It feels kind of discriminating, like I can't use kanji unless my Japanese is better.Some people on the other hand complement me on the fact I know kanji and make an effort in studying.
 

misa.j

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Not only that you are making an effort in learning Japanese by using Kanji as much as you can, but also you simply have to use them to clarify the meaning of words.
There are many, many words that sound same but mean different, and Kanji differentiates those words.

I wouldn't worry about what your friend said too much if I were you, Rock. I don't think you should let it discourage you.
 

RockLee

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misa.j said:
Not only that you are making an effort in learning Japanese by using Kanji as much as you can, but also you simply have to use them to clarify the meaning of words.
There are many, many words that sound same but mean different, and Kanji differentiates those words.

I wouldn't worry about what your friend said too much if I were you, Rock. I don't think you should let it discourage you.
Thanks Misa !
On the other side I kinda understand what she means though.But still, I like kanji and enjoy translating and looking up things I don't know...

A while ago a girl posted in almost nothing but hiragana, such pain I tell ya !
 

Elizabeth

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RockLee said:
Erm, I don't study Chinese nor can I read/write Chinese...
OK, er, it's my mistake then. I just noticed how many Chinese pronunciations you sometimes come up with in answers. Must have picked itall up from visiting. :p
 
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