Learning Japanese - The Nihongo FAQ

Discussion in 'General Tutorials' started by Densetsu, May 1, 2011.

May 1, 2011
  1. Densetsu
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    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    When the hiragana that follows the kanji is okurigana (する at the end of a verb doesn't really count as okurigana), then yes, generally you would use the kunyomi. But there are always exceptions. Off the top of my head I can think of 存じる (honorific form of the verb "to know"). I know there are a lot more, but I'm drawing a blank.

    As for kanji compounds, they usually use the onyomi, but again there are a lot of exceptions. For example, the word for "exit," 出入口 (pronounced "deiriguchi" and not "shutsu-nyuu-kou"). And this post.

    That's just one of those weird exceptions that breaks away from all the conventional rules. Another one would be 煙草. If you pronounce it using the onyomi, it would be "ensou" (literally "smoke grass"). But the correct pronunciation for it is "tabako" (tobacco). And another one would be 海老, which is pronounced "ebi," not "kairou." In fact, a lot of foods have unique kanji pronunciations, like sushi "寿司."
     


  2. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    Yes, okurigana! The word escaped me when I was writing the question. Yeah there are always exceptions to every rule, but it's good to know how it works in most cases (for a beginner like me).
    する at the end of a verb doesn't count as okurigana? What about other (hiragana) verb endings?

    Ah yeah, I read about 煙草, so it's the same with 美味しい (and basically every other word that doesn't use the dictionary readings), I see...

    Thank you for the very informative reply! :D
     
  3. Densetsu
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    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    No problem!

    No, する doesn't really count as okurigana because it can stand alone on its own as a verb. する by itself is already a word.

    Some examples of okurigana:

    行・く
    承・る
    存・じる
    食・べる

    In the examples above, if you separate the okurigana from the kanji, they don't mean anything by themselves (く, る, じる, べる).

    You can add the verb する to almost any noun and it will turn that noun into a verb. But since する can stand alone on its own, it's not really considered okurigana.

    愛 = love
    愛する = to love

    勉強 = (one's) studies
    勉強する = to study

    協力 = cooperation
    協力する = to cooperate
     
  4. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    Ah yes, now that you say it it's so obvious! :D Damn language to use logic and make sense! ;)
     
  5. Read DxD

    Newcomer Read DxD Member

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    Hello, I'm greatly interesting in learning Japanese, however I am very hesistant to learn myself due to a fear of learning wrong and screwing it up, and dont have funds for a tutor or a college that has a class nearby.
    Any Advice?
     
  6. Tomato Hentai

    Member Tomato Hentai Now you're playing wiþ PowerPC

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    I'd suggest sites like Memrise if you're looking to learn for free.
     
  7. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    Get a text book that you think would suit you. If you have the opportunity to look through some in a library or in a book store, do that, and pick one that you think will suit you. Also, check the book recommendations here, but remember that a book that I might like and think is great, may suck for you because you don't like the method, style it's written in, etc. :)

    But if you're afraid of learning "wrong", get a text book (and work books, of course), learn the kana (hiragana and katakana), and dive straight into it. Also, remember to listen to the pronunciation and speak aloud a lot...
     
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  8. kprovost7314

    Member kprovost7314 I AM 14, NOT 25!

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    arigatou gozaimasu! That Hiragana42 guide really works! Memrise is also a good platform for learning Japanese. I can pick up words quickly! :toot:
     
  9. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    I'm happy you found it helpful! I personally found it a lot easier to just memorize the Kana without connecting it to mental images. Kanji on the other hand, I like to connect some meanings and images to them ;)

    Don't hesitate to ask any questions here!
     
  10. leafeon34

    Member leafeon34 GBAtemp Regular

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    Well if your after a teacher you can try www.italki.com . Search for a native Japanese speaker who already speaks good English to teach you. The way it works is that you speak with them in Japanese and they speak with you in English. As for making mistakes... well its gonna happen. It might be hard, but its something you've just gotta embrace and get over. You should be able to torrent some of the books mentioned in the first post.
     
  11. Februarysn0w

    Member Februarysn0w GBAtemp Maniac

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    "美味しい" =  美しい "beautiful" + 味 "taste"

    so that can read 美味しい。

    so if you want to know the mean or read such kanji word. You have to study kanji means. that give you more understanding.
     
  12. Marcus Aseth

    Newcomer Marcus Aseth Advanced Member

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    I started it maybe 3 years ago,never took a class and just used books & online material, at the present time I played and finished japanese version of Shin Megami Tensei 4,Breath of fire 3,4 and playing now Tales of Destiny and still improving,I know all the basic grammar and around 2700 words. So don't be scared,it can be done xD

    1st)Learn hiragana & katakana,(boring part,should take 2 week)
    2nd)Use study material aimed at begginners,like Textfugu.com, "Tae Kim's guide to learn japanese grammar",the book Genki
    3rd)improve your grammar & hearing skills with japanesepod101
    4th)keep learning new words all along,with Anki or iknow.jp or renshuu.org (imo is the best
    5th)youtube channels,like "GameGrammar", "LearnJapaneseFromZero!", "nihongomori"
    6th)push even furter your grammar knowledge with the book "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", read that from cover to cover!

    Anyway,nothing of this will work if you don't keep pushing trough your fear of screwing up,it's ok to have some so to keep you doublechecking stuff and learning better,but don't let that stop you from even attempting :)
     
  13. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    Densetsu explained it well above, but my question was about the reading of that compound.
    Since it doesn't use the individual kanji readings I was confused why it was that. As Densetsu said above:
     
  14. Marcus Aseth

    Newcomer Marcus Aseth Advanced Member

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    I didn't saw that question,but when you have this kind of doubt you can just paste the word on jisho.org, the word with a "green seal" (that spells "common word") is the common pronunciation you're probably looking for :)
     
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  15. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    Yeah, once again, the question wasn't about how it's pronounced, but WHY it is pronounced the way it is, WHY it doesn't follow the rules of compound kanji :)
     
  16. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    Here's a common tip for anyone who want to get used to Japanese.
    Write labels on stuff that you see every day. A label that says "refrigerator" on your refrigerator and so on.
    I have put the first kanji for each day of the week on my pill dispenser (5 pills a day, yay).
     

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  17. nihlathak

    Member nihlathak GBAtemp Regular

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    That's a pretty great tip. Where did you get those kanji stickers from? Were they part of a training book?
     
  18. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    No I made them myself. My dad has a vinyl cutting machine (amongst other machines). I'm sure there are places to buy stuff like this online though... I think they should sell it where they sell flashcards (the training tool, not the pirate tool :P ), but I'm not sure.
     
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  19. Februarysn0w

    Member Februarysn0w GBAtemp Maniac

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    こんばんわー。お元気ですか?
     
  20. Issac

    Global Moderator Issac oh!

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    こんばんは!元気です。あなたは?
     

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