Learning Japanese

Hey all I'm just curious if anyone has used this site alone for learning Japanese or will this just give a fundamental basis for it? Any other recommendations for learning the basics or tips that anyone has would be awesome.

Thanks in advance
posted by oranqe

Comments 19

  • MintyHippo
    MintyHippo
    This will help with 2/3 of the work. Vocab and kanji. No Grammar is currently taught here. It's a great resource to use with others but by itself can't teach you everything to be fluent.
  • DS25
    DS25
    A solid grammar base is needed. Also you need to work on pronunciation and listening.
  • Fr0thgar
    Fr0thgar
    im currently using a book called Japanese from Zero 1 (there are 5 or 6 other books) and that has got me started pretty good. i would recommend it :) but i guess its always a case of personal preference
  • Mangan
    Mangan
    As others have said before me, you'll need an additional source for grammar and stuff. I use http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete its really comprehensive :)
  • purin
    purin
    For grammar, Anki is really good! It's a flash card system, and it's free! I really recommend it! :)
  • oranqe
    oranqe
    I appriciate all the feedback everyone! I love how friendly everyone is on this site thanks for all the tips. :)
  • Kant_Lernjap
    Kant_Lernjap
    This site has like 2,000 vocabulary words, you need around 40,000 if you want to be on high school level.
  • Hirage
    Hirage
    Kant_Lernjap: So what level is the 2000 words here? Elementary school?
  • DS25
    DS25
    40,000? This is absolutely impossibile. N1 test asks for no more than 10,000 terms and 2,000 kanji. And it's the hardest.
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    40,000 definitely sounds far too high, unless you are counting every different conjugation of each verb as a unique word. :P

    If you check out http://www.jisho.org, search for words and type just "" (two quote marks, nothing else) in the search field, then it shows all the words in the EDICT dictionary. Next, click the "common words" checkbox then click search = 22,654 common words in the whole dictionary.

    In my offline Japanese dictionary, ticking N5-N1 JLPT vocabulary shows at total of 8035 vocabulary words in the JLPT levels combined!
  • Kant_Lernjap
    Kant_Lernjap
    I'm sorry, but the average vocabulary size is higher than you think it is. I can't give you the actual book without paying a sum of money, which I'm not willing to do, but here's two separate people quoting the statistics, each also giving a test site where you can test how many of those words you know (it's approximated).

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100808191519AAyCaoG

    http://www.jref.com/forum/threads/estimating-japanese-vocabulary-size.31485/

    JLPT doesn't really test for fluency and I find it largely pointless to even take the test. You might learn one word for X in the course of JLPT when in reality there are 10 different words for it. I can only hope that JLPT assumed that you would go off on your own and learn more than the necessary 10k to pass.

    If you still don't believe me and think that 8k is all you need, consider the following: In English, do you think you only know 8k words? Basic colors (~15), basic body parts (~23), and basic weather (~20) would already add up to around 60 words. By the time you learned what everything in your house was called, you would probably be around 500 words at least. Are you saying that, out of 8k of the words you need to know to be fluent, 6% of that is just the stuff in your house? Add what's well over a few hundred words for foods and drinks and you're already at 10% of your vocabulary size and you can only talk about what you own and what you eat. Now go back to Japanese and notice how they have different words for the same thing, many of which are still common words. Even if you won't consider that you need 40k, you definitely need more than 8k.
  • Kant_Lernjap
    Kant_Lernjap
    All this said, learning the language isn't impossible. You can start reading material such as "Yotsuba&!" with a very low vocabulary size (the first volume only has around 600 unique words, I think). Once you get to the average Visual Novel, it shoots up to about 20k unique words. You don't have to know the entire language to start reading and enjoying the material it offers.
  • DS25
    DS25
    More than 8k means 10-12k (12k means high-end, for high marks) items. Especially if you learn things like "rape blossom" and "dandelion" which i don't know how to translate even in my mothertongue (italian).

    40k means 1/5 of the Koujien...
  • Kant_Lernjap
    Kant_Lernjap
    I'm just giving you the numbers that two scholars from Japan came up with and wrote in their research.
  • DS25
    DS25
    I'm ok with that, but i took that 10k from the official pre-reform N1 test page... Anyway, that's a lot of words :D
  • Kant_Lernjap
    Kant_Lernjap
    I'm glad they reformed.
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Sure, I understand that high school level would (or should) be higher than JLPT N1 vocabulary (as JLPT is aimed at foreigners).

    However, I followed those links and did those 3 quizzes. My results are
    ・Test 1, scored 17/50 -- 14000 words
    ・Test 2, scored 22/50 -- 34200 words
    ・Test 3, scored 25/50 = 21200 words

    There is no way I know 14-34k words!

    Although, I now realise that I was probably not supposed to tick words which I did not know existed before seeing them on those pages for the first time. However, thanks to being able to read their kanji perfectly fine, I could read and understand new words correctly on the first time seeing them. So I should probably have scored a few points less on each test. I can't really go back in time and do it again now, because now I've seen those words I know they do exist! :P

    When I said "40000 [words] definitely sounds far too high", I was thinking of words in a much more specific context. Even the numbers I had listed in my previous post were higher than what I mean by words, as those numbers include phrases, names, etc.

    It depends what we're including as "words"... County names? And then if so, if we're including names of prefectures/cities/towns/villages? Names of people? Company/brand names? Then there are set expressions and phrases of multiple words, whether they're counted as a "word"? Different conjugated forms of each verb counted as different words? Auxiliary verbs affixed to different verbs as separate words? And then there's semantic differences, different meanings and usages of the same word, are these counted as separate words? Even how we're counting compound words of multiple kanji or even multiple words.

    Is 来年 meaning "next year" an individual unique word in Japanese? Is it an idividual word in English too? Too many questions. :P
  • click
    click
    らいねん or 来年 is indeed a specific individual word in Japanese. It is not in English, but it can be one TERM (like "post office", etc). Japanese is a lot easier to figure out the meaning of most anything once you get going as opposed to English.
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Yeah, 来年 was a bad example. I ended the comment quick because I needed to leave for work. 来 is a prefix in that word--it is morpheme but not an individual word of itself (来 can't be used on its own like noun, it is only used as a prefix or suffix).

    Even 郵便局 "post office" would have been a slightly better example, as both 郵便 and 局 can be used on their own as nouns (according to the dictionary I'm looking at).

    Some other questions I meant to ask: Alternative kanji spelling usage counts as different words? Alternative readings of a word too? Different okurigana usage?

    And katakana foreign loan words when there is already a perfectly fine commonly used Japanese word written in kanji/hiragana. I guess these have to count as unique words. Things like 赤 and レッド...

    And is 赤い counted as a different word to 赤? But then where do you stop with conjugations...

    I think I can accept 40000 pretty easily now that I've thought of all the possibilities. :P
oranqe

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