Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GasparAKAShiggitay

Considering Taking Elementary Japanese I Fall 2012

Recommended Posts

Hey all. I'm considering taking a Japanese course at my area/local community college. I'm already semi-familiar with the language thanks to anime fansubs and the like, but will this help me at all? Will it give me the edge over everyone else in the class that may or may not watch anime or is/isn't an Otaku like I am? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should take a language because you are interested in it. If you like japanese as a language, then go for it. it's a difficult language, and even after so many years of studying it without nearly the skill i wish i had, i'm still glad i'm working on it. Anime exposure is a double edged sword. It still sometimes carries that stigma "oh, you're only in the class because you like anime" with teachers. But, the benefit that it has is listening exposure. it really does help when it comes to listening practice and following conversations. Most seiyuu fans do really well on the listening part of the JLPT exams :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should take a language because you are interested in it. If you like japanese as a language, then go for it. it's a difficult language, and even after so many years of studying it without nearly the skill i wish i had, i'm still glad i'm working on it. Anime exposure is a double edged sword. It still sometimes carries that stigma "oh, you're only in the class because you like anime" with teachers. But, the benefit that it has is listening exposure. it really does help when it comes to listening practice and following conversations. Most seiyuu fans do really well on the listening part of the JLPT exams tongue.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PRO TIP: Take Japanese as an elective. Don't take Japanese for a language requirement. I could have finished college a whole semester early if not for that mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PRO TIP: Take Japanese as an elective. Don't take Japanese for a language requirement. I could have finished college a whole semester early if not for that mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good. It can be really tough to get through 201 for some people, I didn't get past 102. Granted, this was at UMBC, and the Japanese professor there is really tough, but the language can be very difficult compared to taking a romance language. I know a couple of people who lost a bunch of time trying to do Japanese as their language requirement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word of advice that I observed in my Japanese classes at school--anime characters are frequently very rude! A lot of people who took Japanese at my school were anime fans, myself included, of course, and most of us had problems with remembering not to slip into overly casual or rude speech. It's really hard to forget something once you've learned it wrong, so for the most part anime is helpful for pronunciation and sound but not for grammar or vocabulary. Fansubs and subs in general are much better now at trying to accurately portray the feel of what's being said instead of just the words, but I find they don't usually tell you things that are culturally understood beyond what's necessary for the plot. So they'll translate a rough character shouting "Uruse!" as "Shut up!" or "Be quiet!" when word choice and tone might more directly translate to "Shut the ---- up!" A friend of mine made that exact mistake--while talking to the grandmother of her host family. Needless to say, she got in a ton of trouble!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word of advice that I observed in my Japanese classes at school--anime characters are frequently very rude! A lot of people who took Japanese at my school were anime fans, myself included, of course, and most of us had problems with remembering not to slip into overly casual or rude speech. It's really hard to forget something once you've learned it wrong, so for the most part anime is helpful for pronunciation and sound but not for grammar or vocabulary. Fansubs and subs in general are much better now at trying to accurately portray the feel of what's being said instead of just the words, but I find they don't usually tell you things that are culturally understood beyond what's necessary for the plot. So they'll translate a rough character shouting "Uruse!" as "Shut up!" or "Be quiet!" when word choice and tone might more directly translate to "Shut the ---- up!" A friend of mine made that exact mistake--while talking to the grandmother of her host family. Needless to say, she got in a ton of trouble!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My situation is a little flipped than yours but let me share it anyway:

I tried taking a beginning Japanese for Freshman year but ended up dropping the middle of first semester cuz I had an IT-related major and frankly...the combination stressed me out...plus I wasn't able to keep up with the pace that the class (I mean the Japanese class) was going.

But from the very little stuff I did manage to pick up from the class, it's proven rather useful as I know a little more about the various grammer rules and can read/recognize katakana and romaji a little more easier thanks to the fact that one of the first things we had to learn/do was to memorize the katakana and romaji alphabet (though I'm not perfect) I also picked up some other simple things like how to count in Japanese.

It was only after taking those x-some weeks of that Japanese class that I started to watch subs/fansubs more and my listenting recognition [or whatever is the correct technical term] improved as well.

----

So...in your situation, yes I guess picking up some Japanese from anime may put you at a slight advantage....but in some cases may not depending on what types of anime you've watched....keep in mind that a lot of anime tends to use a very casual and/or "slangish" way of talking thus if you go into a Japanese class with that knowledge do not think that "the way it's said in the anime" is actually the correct way to say it because it may not be (<---a mistake I a lot of notice anime-lovers whom later on decide to learn Japanese seem to have a tendency to make...resulting in utter embarressment)

Edit: Oh I guess toujourspret said the exact same thing already tongue.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not a bad idea, IF you actually want to learn the language and not just take it for anime reasons. One of the things we were told was that Japanese is only hard to learn if you think it's hard. Once I dropped the 'hard' notion, it actually did feel easier.

As for your anime experience, it doesn't really do much; as mentioned, the politeness factor is quite different. (Using words like 'boku' isn't necessarily bad, but...) About the only thing I actually got was pronunciation- the professor complimented me on how I said things based on hearing the sounds in anime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm of mixed feelings about this, as a translator.

Japanese isn't exactly any harder than a Romance language; in some ways it's a LOT easier (verb conjugations, for example) and in some ways there are tricks. Most of the difficulty comes from the fact the language might be different from what you're used to (be it Italian or English or Mandarin or whatever).

But ever since 2003 or so, a lot of people taking elementary Japanese classes in college and in high schools too take it because they have seen anime or manga, and so they may have a bit of a head start - they know more of the pronunciation, some may know the kana systems already, or the honorifics. This isn't necessarily bad, but a lot of people I went to college with had started out that way and dropped after a few weeks in (or after a semester or two) because that was their only interest in the language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×