Some More Japanese

I added to my Learning Project Voicethread (click that hyperlink to check it out) today.  Its neat to be able to listen to the progress that I am making with my learning project.  Although realistically I am no Japanese prodigy it has been nice having my Voicethread as a sort of tangible way for me to see what I learn.  Its encouraging to see my Voicethread getting longer and longer each week and I think this has been important to me because it shows me that I am progressing in my project. I even find myself having to watch the subtitles less when I’m watching One Piece.

Image by: pppp808

I think that a physical way to keep track of progress is important not just in this project but in learning in general.  I could see something like this being useful for some students that may find a certain subject discouraging.  Physical evidence of their progress would help to prevent them from becoming discouraged as well as helping them set personal goals.


4 thoughts on “Some More Japanese

  1. Hi Cole, my friend Trina referred me to your learning exercise. Here are some things that stood out for me.
    1) The vocabulary and phrases you’re learning seem inconsistent to me in terms of level of formality. “I’m sad” or “it’s sad” has to have the -desu suffix, and unless in a very casual environment you wouldn’t have a one-word sentence like “kanashii” on its own. “Dare desuka” is pretty casual as well; “donata desuka” is more polite. There are lots of alternates that you haven’t learned yet (which is fair enough) but, this means you have a very irregular mix of politeness, which isn’t ideal.
    2) If you’re looking at Japanese words written out in western alphabet, I think it’s all the more important to group sounds together in the way they’re written in hiragana/katakana. That is, Japanese sounds are either pure vowels, or consonants that are combined with vowels.
    3) I noticed some word choices were questionable in how you claim they should be used. For instance, “daisukidesu” is used in the sense of, say, a favourite food or music band. Unless you’re a grade schooler, you wouldn’t tell your girlfriend that you like her a lot using “daisuki” – suki is platonic, e.g. “like” or “fond”. “Ai” is romantic love, and “koi” would be closer to “crush” or “infatuation”. Also, “mikan” is clementine. And for days of the week, you were consistently dropping the “bi” suffix, which is the sound for “day” – informally that’s fine, but to be formal, you need to keep the -day suffix on all the weekdays.
    4) You also dropped quite a lot of sounds in the middle of phrases, which often do sound less emphasized by native speakers, but are there nonetheless. I’d have to re-listen to your audio to cite specific examples.

    If you want to go over any specific terms or have questions for me, feel free to email me.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to listen to my progress Mayo. I’ve been trying to just focus on basics for now and I know that is one thing that has seemed overwhelming, is the number of alterations within different settings. I understand what you are saying when you talk about how I should group things together as they are pronounced in Japanese as well as how I drop sounds in the middle of phrases. I think both of these are coming out of how I am trying to learn. I’m using videos on youtube as much as I can because I find that there is an actual audible example. When I can’t find videos I look for stand alone words or phrases and find myself grouping things together like they sound to me and how I’ve learned, despite their difference. In regards to dropping sounds more often than not examples provided are by a native speaker, and I think I’ve been dropping sounds because I don’t hear or recognize them there so figured they must not be important. I’m going to try slowing it down in the future. I’m definitely going to try slowing it down in the future. Would you recommend I focus more on the basic sounds? I just tried to dive right in thinking I might be able to pick up the different sounds as I go. Once again thanks so much for taking time to help me out. You have helped me realize I need to focus a lot more on some of the smaller intricacies of the language.

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