Subbers: How did you learn Japanese?

Discuss everything Gaki no Tsukai here.
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My father taught me japanese while my mom taught me french. ^^
Team GnT FR // Japanese Subber/ ------- Moderator / Co-TeamLeader of GnT FR
Both of my parents are from Japan, so I grew up speaking it. English is actually my second language, but since I've been living in the states for my entire life, my English is much stronger. But in order to keep up with my language skills, I double majored in Japanese.
Hey guys, I'm not very active here but this post caught my attention, so i'll add my two cents.

I'm learning Japanese at the moment at a class I attend weekly in my city. I started learning in high school and took to it well, but a few years had passed before I decided to start it again. I'm looking to start subbing soon as a way of improving my vocab and as a bit of extra motivation to study. The key to learning Japanese (or anything for that matter), is wanting to. Even if it is only so you can watch their television or read their books. It is difficult, and a huge commitment (going a couple of weeks without study can really degrade what you have learnt). So if you can see yourself spending the time and effort, then it will be a worthwhile venture and lots of fun.

If you do decide to take the plunge, this is what I would recommend doing:

- Finding a class or tutor that speaks native Japanese. (A tutor may be expensive, but my class is relatively cheap at $200 per quarter (Australian))

- If you want to also read and write (which is the most fun part IMO), learn both Hiragana and Katakana early on in your studies. Using romaji will make things harder in the long run

- DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM KANJI. After reading many blogs and peoples experiences with Kanji, they all mention that it's difficult and you wont enjoy it etc etc. However I've found it the most useful part of my Japanese studies. Start early on in your studies and just learn a few Kanji for words that you would commonly use 私 - watashi - I  今 - ima - now 日 - hi - day 今日 - kyou - today (see how now + day = today? simple!) Knowing Kanji makes it easier to "guess" japanese when learning, and also to split the words up within a sentence. Granted, onyomi and kunyomi can make it difficult, but the more you learn, the easier it will become.

- Find a use for the language. Most of you here will already have an intended use. Watching Japanese comedy or other TV shows is a great way to put your language to use. If you would like to go and live in Japan for a year or so on a working holiday etc, set your goals on that and tailor your learning to work towards that. If you have an end goal in mind, it will keep you on the right track, and make minor accomplishments worth while.


Those are just a few suggestions. I am working on a blog at the moment documenting my own journey to becoming fluent, and it will be filled with tips, tricks reviews and questions for any other people in similar positions. I'll have a link in my signature once it's up. So i'll start to be more active on this forum and other Japanese related communities to get some ideas and to spread the word :)
I am now obsessed with lang-8.com thanks to a suggestion by soudou in one of the threads :bow: , I forgot which one, but it really helps to be in touch with native speakers!!
Chiruba wrote:
learn both Hiragana and Katakana early on in your studies.[/b] Using romaji will make things harder in the long run

I wasn't aware that japanese was sometimes thought only in romaji :?:
TokyoAshes wrote:
I am now obsessed with lang-8.com thanks to a suggestion by soudou in one of the threads :bow: , I forgot which one, but it really helps to be in touch with native speakers!!


Oh awesome. Maybe it was when I posted about how someone on Lang-8 helped me translate a bit of Housei's old kid's show work. I was able to help them with their English in return.
I'm not formally studying Japanese myself but I've been enjoying helping people in Japan with their English. I like looking at English from a different perspective, words that I use everyday and don't even think about become fascinating.
Plus people there are super friendly.

TokyoAshes wrote:
I wasn't aware that japanese was sometimes thought only in romaji :?:


I think a lot of people wanting to learn Japanese for watching TV shows are primarily focused on the speaking part and romaji is attractive for that. Hiragana does help you in figuring out the pronunciation better though. When I learnt Hiragana I decided to use mnemonics which also utilizes romaji e.g. へ he (an arrow pointing to *he*aven)

I've been able to look up some Kanji using OCR tools with newer TV shows that put them on-screen, but the Kansai is tough to look up, outside of a few sites that tell you what the standard Japanese grammar equivalents are... It'd be easier if there was a Kansai to Kanto convertor haha.
Oh, something I can reply to.

I have been self-learning for around 4 years now during my free time. Started by learning Katakana/Hiragana slowly, then Kanji of course. I have not taken a single course so far, and playing Japanese games/watching Japanese shows has helped me a lot. Met quite a few Japanese people too for work and what not. The previously mentionned "lang-8" is actually a great site too, though I haven't been using it for a few years now... maybe I should think about using it again!

Though I've been self learning all this time, I will be entering a French university (it's called INALCO, some people might know) this year and learn it more "thoroughly", though I already speak it fluently.

So to people wondering if you can really learn Japanese by yourself: yes, you can! It just takes a lot of willpower and curiosity. And needless to say, time.
My dad is Japanese and I grew up in Japan while my mom is half American and Filipina I think. So when I communicate with my family it's either I speak Japanese or English. I'm not even confident if my English is good yet so it's hard doing my job as a pilot.
TokyoAshes wrote:
Chiruba wrote:
learn both Hiragana and Katakana early on in your studies. Using romaji will make things harder in the long run

I wasn't aware that japanese was sometimes thought only in romaji :?:


Obviously as people progress they will move on to using proper characters. However some self learning sites, text books and even classes will use romaji for an extended time, which just makes it harder to ween off of.
The only exception is if someone is only wanting to learn to speak.
I always thought Kanjis where the hardest thing to learn than Romaji.
Image

Kawaii~
Chiruba wrote:
The only exception is if someone is only wanting to learn to speak.


What advice would you give for someone only wanting to subtitle TV shows? :rofl:
It's as good a goal as any but working or living in Japan I guess has a wider spectrum to learn (e.g. writing). Or maybe I just hope that. :(

Anyway it's great that you're aiming to subtitle stuff in the future. Here's hoping we see you on here someday posting some goodies for us. Best of luck in your studies! I admire your dedication :D
soudou wrote:
What advice would you give for someone only wanting to subtitle TV shows? :rofl:

you already know kana and some kanji, right?
soudou wrote:

Oh awesome. Maybe it was when I posted about how someone on Lang-8 helped me translate a bit of Housei's old kid's show work. .



Yes! I even met Pino :D ..
soudou wrote:
Plus people there are super friendly.

tell me about it!! and they reply within seconds to correct paragraphs... just amazing!
TokyoAshes wrote:
Yes! I even met Pino :D ..


They are an amazing person, they're even reading Shakespeare!! Even as a native English speaker that was a headache for me in school haha.

tell me about it!! and they reply within seconds to correct paragraphs... just amazing!


Yeah it seems like a very active site. :) Glad you're getting use out of it.

EDIT:
TokyoAshes wrote:
you already know kana and some kanji, right?


Oops sorry, didn't notice this other post.
I can recognise Hiragana, as in what the symbols sound out. Katakana not really in writing but on TV at least they're sounding out the Engrish e.g. タオル - towel.
I've got a basic understanding of sentence structure and the different です endings but don't know much grammar, e.g. I think した is past tense, して is present but then in Kansai shows you get stuff like しくて and んどき :^)
I know a few random vocabulary picked up from anime, Gaki, etc. I don't know much Kanji though I did know the two Chiruba mentioned (私 and 今).
soudou wrote:
Kansai shows you get stuff like しくて and んどき :^)
I know a few random vocabulary picked up from anime, Gaki, etc. I don't know much Kanji though I did know the two Chiruba mentioned (私 and 今).

oh cool, I have never seen しくて and んどき...I just know something is kensai when the "r" is really rolled :lol: . i think that animes like one piece have furigana to tell you the reading of most kanji. since people of all ages watch it. I wish that furigana was used all the time for all kanji, but i think its just used for ambiguous kanji? :?:
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