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Thread: Translate help

  1. #1
    HCIG is offline Member Newbie
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    Default Translate help

    I had no clue where this should go, so I hope its okay here, look im confused about kanji, ive studied it for a while now, but its too annoying/hard to memorize all those words and strokes, there is no way thats how everything works in japan, if so, the keyboards there would have thousands of keys, and that leaves out plenty of words, there has to be a simple way of writing there, i mean if not, why is it that when i read on the bag for my paper owl hobby kit from japan, that it has five times the number of characters than the english translation, when in kanji, one entire word is represented by a single character, someone, if you have anything to aid me in my quest to read japanese, then please provide information.

  2. #2
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    umm, a basic Japanese learning textbook?

    I recommend Elementary Functional Japanese: Intercultural Communication by Yoshiko HIgurashi.

    Also, I could be wrong here, but I believe when they use Kanji, as far as everyday life is concerned, the use of Hiragana/Katakana is used. So Kanji isnt really that big a deal if youre not trying to be a scholar.

  3. #3
    HCIG is offline Member Newbie
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    Yea, well I just thought about katakana, I know how to write with that, but i cant say any of them, ill assume your right about using katakana for everyday things. Thanks for the book recommendation.

  4. #4
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    np. Its kind of like an alphabet, and makes everything much easier once you know it.

  5. #5
    Digital_Eon's Avatar
    Digital_Eon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    Okay. You need to know kanji to survive in Japan.

    A lot of words are written in kanji, which are basically pictures or basic meanings of the word. Sometimes they have an ending in hiragana, which is what other words, and often particles, are written in. If a kanji is written phonetically, it will be written in hiragana (this use is called furigana).

    Names are often written in kanji or katakana. Katakana are used to write foreign words - if you can pronounce them out loud you might recognize a few.

    Romaji is rare but it's common among people learning to speak Japanese. =P

    Basically, you CAN write Japanese using hiragana only - but most things are written using kanji as well. Therefore, if you want to study Japanese seriously or go to Japan, you're screwed without knowing kanji (same goes for reading - manga is much easier if you know kanji).

    Really, it's not that hard. There are some pretty easy ones.... I mean, I've studied Japanese for a few years, but not long for kanji and I know about 50-100. It's simpler than it looks - but you have to be willing to try.
    ~Digital_Eon~




  6. #6
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    DE, have you been to Japan? Just wondering.

    When I said that, I was referring to most Japanese publications that I've seen. They oftentimes write out the hiragana above the kanji.

  7. #7
    Digital_Eon's Avatar
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    Yeah, furigana. I've bought manga in Japanese and they mostly have furigana, but not all do - and it makes it easier to read. However, most newspapers and whatnot don't have them (again, I've seen).

    I haven't been to Japan, but I have asked people who are from there.
    ~Digital_Eon~




  8. #8
    pentaelemental is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Kanji usually is made out of pieces. Each piece has a meaning in the kanji, sometimes in terms of definition or in pronounciation (although it's far more relavant in Chinese than Japanese, sometimes Japanese sounds like Chinese).

    In Japan, you can get by knowing around 2000 kanji. If you can figure the patterns out, then learning all the kanji is easier than you'd think.

  9. #9
    AKofC is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Well, you could sell your soul to Satan. Since he has Japanese (or any of the Chinese languages / dialects) as the official language of hell, I'm sure any of his thralls get to learn it automatically, as opposed to the bad people roasting there.

    Or Satan may just teach you Mandarin. Which is also okay.

  10. #10
    pentaelemental is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayangelus

    Edit:


    Actually, if you try to go by patterns, it can present some problems. In many cases, the meaning of a kanji is completely different from the meaning of any of its parts. You should just memorize how to write each of the parts. There should only be around 100 or them, and they can be found at the beginning of any dictionary that is used to translate kanjis. It is also useful for looking up meanings of kanjis. Than, you can just memorize what parts each kanji is made out of, instead of memorizing around 5 to 15 lines for most kanjis.

    Also, the 2000 kanji number depends on what you need it for. By the end of elementary school, you learn over 1000. Around 1500 is enough to read newspapers, read street signs, read books, and get around every day life, as well as work as a janitor or basically anyone who doesn't work with the brain. If you want to be a secretary, scientist, etc, than you need at least 2000 of them to understand most of the conversation.
    Well, when I run into the problems, I usually fix them individually, since memorization limits memory space in your brain, and isn't the most efficient way to learn a language. I like pattern recognition and comparitive ability more than straight memorization.

 

 
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