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Losing faith in learning Japanese

kinjo

後輩
15 Mar 2002
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Well My first attempt at learning begain with getting a couple of language books and tapes from the library. I worked hard for about 2 months but eventually lost faith. The time it was taking was unbelievable. I tried various methods and techniques to learning but I always felt like I was trying to learn something far more alien than a foreign language.

Second attempt I bought "Japanese for Busy People". I liked the book but again I found it hard for vocab and grammar to 'stick' in my head.
koko, soko, doko, asoko - they all jumble in my head and become a confused mess. The grammar just baffled me. I felt like I needed to translate TWICE and it took literally 30-60 seconds before I could translate: Is this Ashiro's phone to kore wa Ashiro-san no denwa desu ka?

Even after large ammounts of practive it took ridiculous ammounts of time to work it through and retrieve it all in my head. I've done German and Spanish before at school and they were nothing in comparison.

Then I see people on these forums with complex Japanese signatures. Discussing things that although I thought I knew, like a simple greeting, I actually had no clue.

Should I give up? Do I have a chance? When in gods name will I finally be capable of saying something without spending my life figuring out and translating what I have to say.
On top of all that I have no way of knowing if my pronunciation is correct. 😭
 
Have you tried watching subtitled anime ? It's probably too hard if you are a real beginner, but otherwise makes miracle !
 
Well if it's any consolation. I just stole my Japanese signature. I'm been at Japanese for nearly 5 years and I'm still a beginner. In every sense of the word. There's no denying it is a "different" language to learn. But persistence does pay off. Slowly but surely. I just depends how bad you want it.
 
Already?

If you're really gonna learn Japanese, then learn Japanese.

It isn't easy, it isn't something that just comes to you, you have to work at it, never give up and as a beginner, start in the right area. I'm surprised you even considered "giving up" as an option if you truly want to learn it, but I can understand your frustration.

It sounds like you're actually starting too fast. You do not learn a language in a month, and you really will be lucky to say 2 year old phrases after a few weeks of on and off study, but you get better.

Here is what I recomend. Take a Japanese class at a community college or another teaching area near you. When you first start a language you will NEED to know how to correctly begin and say the first few words and sylables. You don't want to show up 2 years later and find out you're pronouncing "ra" entirely wrong when you could have learned it the right way first.

Before you start the class, I recomend doing what I did. Learn all of hiragana. It isn't hard, it just takes some time and practice. Say the sounds (as best you can) as you write them, and write a LOT of them. Not everything at once, just one line at a time. It will give you a head start when you take a class or continue. Really, I detest romanji, so if you can start using hiragana as soon as you can, do it.

If you finish up on hiragana, I suggest learning very VERY basic sentences. I.E. "Anata wa Yamadasan desu." Get them down well, and practice saying them. By this time you should be very prepared for any class (unless the class is just taught horrible, which could happen, but don't get discouraged just look for another teacher).

Good luck. Don't give up so easy ;) If you really want to learn it, then learn it.

And yes, that is far harder than it sounds, but you will not regret the time you put into it.
 
I have only 10 lessons of japanese behind me(Total:7,30h)!
Before I start japanese I thought I was mad to learn a so different language!
But fun too! Once I started, I learned very fast, I find japanese easy!

But I still cant read real japanese, only romaji!
 
Ive been at formal japanese lessons (high school and uni) for 8years now. Its not an overnight thing, i remember it taking about 2 years to be able to read and write hiragana perfect and another year for katakana. Still for get nu and ne alllll the time :S
 
2 years for hiragana + 1 year for katakana? that's a bit too long in my opinion... i'm currently in my third term of japanese class in college (so a bit more than half a year), and we are already finished with kana and are starting to work on kanji!
we went through 24 units of the pimsleur tapes and learned hiragana during the first term.
another 24 audio units + katakana in the second term...

however, that's college and the pace in highschool would be slower i guess... 3 years for kana still seems like too much to me though...


anyway... i hope you don't give up, Ashiro, especially since you've already learned German and Spanish... in my opinion japanese is much easier than those two, but it takes a while to adjust to it... english, german, spanish, french, etc... are very closely related after all... but once you get more and more into japanese, you will find that it is much more structured than any of those four languages (esp. french) and that it has very few, if any, exceptions to its rules.
however, textbooks generally do a very poor job of explaining these rules... so i really recommend that you try to find a way to take lessons from a teacher, for example in a nearby college.
 
I agree with the suggestion to take classes. It's very hard to study by yourself! and it's too easy to lose motivation. Learning a language is a looong road. I get very annoyed with people who ask me back home if I'm fluent yet! (just because I have a Japanese husband and have lived in Japan for a year...)
anyway, I know how you feel - I've been there. My suggestions:

- take classes. The environment is better for learning, plus you have someone to help you and to answer any questions.
- *Don't* compare yourself to others. They have probably been studying for many more years than you. and we all learn in different ways and at a different speed.
- Don't expect to learn over night. Pace yourself. Learning little by little is better than giving up.

Hope you decide to keep going! 🙂
 
Emoni said:
Before you start the class, I recomend doing what I did. Learn all of hiragana. It isn't hard, it just takes some time and practice. Say the sounds (as best you can) as you write them, and write a LOT of them. Not everything at once, just one line at a time. It will give you a head start when you take a class or continue.

i'm not gonna PUBLICALLY support any kind of warez, but theres this fantastic program for this called "Power Japanese X" (yeah, it really is fantastic for learning hiragana and katakana and it has voices pronuncing too) it's floating around all the anime DC hubs.. or so i've heard 😊

Emoni said:
Really, I detest romanji,
that's Romaji there, buddy.. no "n"... just a heads up as alot of people are killed for saying romanji :giggle:

MikeH85 said:
2 years for hiragana + 1 year for katakana? that's a bit too long in my opinion... i'm currently in my third term of japanese class in college (so a bit more than half a year), and we are already finished with kana and are starting to work on kanji!

dude, i'd say even that is way slow! I didn't learn any words while doing hiragana and katakana, so ofcourse i didnt do as much as you did in school, but i mastered both in 2 months and im pretty fluid at them now 👍 (i'm not saying I've downloaded power japanese X and used that to learn.. 😇 but that is one great proggy for this, despite it's simplistic windows 3.11 look 😲 )
 
I didn't learn any words while doing hiragana and katakana

i think that's a big difference... you see, we went through hiragana in 3 weeks, the rest of the term was dedicated to practice, dialog transciption, conversations, hearing comprehension, vocabulary, etc... same thing with katakana, except we only spent one week on that, since we already had the concept down from learning hiragana.
 
ganbatte!

こんにちは。秋葉原(あきはばら)と申(もう)します。
このフォーラム初心者(しょしんしゃ)です。よろしくお願(ねが)いします。
Kon'nichiwa. Akihabara to moushimasu.
kono fo-ramu shoshinsha desu. yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Hello. My name is Akihabara.
I'm a newbie to this forum. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.


I've read those of your efforts and trials for acquiring My Language for the first time. It definitely makes me feel proud and happy.
I think 3 months interval(*) is necessary to gauge your improvement in the first 2 years, and 6 months in the second 2 years. Learning languages might be a life time event. Never quit is the goal.


おねがいだから、あきらめないでくれーーっ!!!
Onegai dakara, akiramenaide kure----- !!!
 
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MikeH85 said:
i think that's a big difference... you see, we went through hiragana in 3 weeks, the rest of the term was dedicated to practice, dialog transciption, conversations, hearing comprehension, vocabulary, etc... same thing with katakana, except we only spent one week on that, since we already had the concept down from learning hiragana.

exactly..

but now i know that stuff fluently, so now when i do start my jap classes, i wont need to worry about that.. fantastic ^_^
 
Hum..actually it took me only 2 weeks to memorize the hiraganas but the problem is about...REMEMBERING THEM ...
indeed it took me less than 1 month (exams you know) to forget everything ^^'

Morality: you shoudn't try to go too quickly

As for grammar....well...i'm doing it slowly since yesterday ^^' (my book's named shin nihongo no kiso)
 
I'VE BEEN STUDYING ON & OFF FOR OVER 30 YEARS

and still haven't got beyong beginner! It seems to be a language you have to hear & use everyday for it to really take hold. Having a good reason to learn(motivation) seems to be a big factor. Anyway, never give up, just take breaks and go back at it. Good luck!

Frank

👍
 
I highly, highly recommend Berlitz Basic Japanese if you are trying to learn on your own. The Berlitz programs are great, their methods are aimed at giving you an intuitive understanding of the material instead of just having you memorize rules.

Also, taking a class is good because they set goals for you and make you work towards them. Having goals is key, right now I am studying for JLPT level 2, and my study habits are so much better now that I decided to take the exam. Before I was just trying to brush up on stuff I learned at school or maybe pick up some new material, but I wasn't really getting anywhere.
 
Yeah, its a long time but at the same time we were doing everything else, learning grammar, vocab, counting, phrases. Looking back it was 2 japanese teachers doing about 6 classes of 32 students each in yr8 alone, and considering I was one of 4 students to make it to yr12 level (after yr10 japanese was no longer compulsary) and we got into the kanji.

Its not what you know, its how well you remember it in a year/two years/ten years time. ;)
 
Year 8 of school i started, Year 12 is the last year of school (高校3年生). Didn't start kanji till year 10 i think, just basic verbs and adjectives.
 
Learning a new language needs one thing that can make or break the language barrier : people to actually practice with...

Thus why I am failing despite knowing about 200-300 kanji. I have no conversational skills, grammar is somewhat limited, but moreso limited since I do not have the habit of piecing it together....

Unlike french where I was helped every step imaginable. And now I am perfectly bilingual en/fr.

(willing to switch jp for fr with anyone if we have a common english base.)
 
people seem to have this idea that kanji is the key to learning japanese, and spend waaaay to much effort on it. General grammar and vocab is needed first.
 
Ewok85 said:
people seem to have this idea that kanji is the key to learning japanese, and spend waaaay to much effort on it. General grammar and vocab is needed first.

i sure hope the school i'm starting at agrees with you on that... 😡
 
Yeah, class would be good, I lost motivation after what? 5 minutes after picking up "Japanese for Dummies" haha :p my 3rd book on how to pick up Japanese, no language is hard, its just how you approach it, school would be your best bet because theres other people around you and you dont wanna be behind, but if its yourself, you can't ask questsions to a book can you? you can with this forum though :)
 
I've been studying japanese for about 7.5 months or more. in the first 3 months I had diffucullty in learning the basics , after I have mastered the very basics, other sentence structures stick into my mind directly!
and I have tested my japanese here Japanese Proficiency Test
and have got the rank of "Advanced beginner"
you are in your first 2 months it's normal to be hard just study more master hiragana and katakana and GAMBATTE KUDASAI!!
(try understanding my signature's text)

*I will try doing the test again and tell you the new rank I get.
 
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