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The Japanese Language Help Thread

farewell friend

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That's a little too vague for me, unfortunately.
If you need help with language learning, then there is advice I can give.

What level are you? Or, how much do you know of the Japanese language?
 

Muur

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Are the written ones like Gomensai or Konichiwa actually ever used or is it all the symbols? like I know a good amount of the Japanese words but I'd be fucked if I ever had to differentiate between the kanji?.
 

Serpentsounds

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Are the written ones like Gomensai or Konichiwa actually ever used or is it all the symbols? like I know a good amount of the Japanese words but I'd be fucked if I ever had to differentiate between the kanji?.
Luckily, these two common expressions have strayed away from using their original kanji. Nowadays, you'll find them most often written in hiragana, like so:
ごめんなさい - gomen nasai
こんにちは - konnichiwa
 

Muur

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Aha I'd just be screwed with the symbols, I Was asking are the actual non symbols words used when writing and stuff?
 

SobriquetP

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Generally speaking, no. Not many Japanese-speaking people write Romanji (if I am not mistaken?). It is pretty much there so that Latin-based languages (that use these letters you are looking at :p) can phonetically see how the Japanese words are pronounced. It can be helpful to learn pronunciation and start learning the language, but I have heard others say that it is terrible to depend on if trying to learn how to understand Japanese. So take what you will.
 

Muur

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Shame, I'll stick to knowing how some of it sounds whilst be u wot at the symbols D:
 

SobriquetP

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Generally speaking, no. Not many Japanese-speaking people write Romanji (if I am not mistaken?). It is pretty much there so that Latin-based languages (that use these letters you are looking at :p) can phonetically see how the Japanese words are pronounced. It can be helpful to learn pronunciation and start learning the language, but I have heard others say that it is terrible to depend on if trying to learn how to understand Japanese. So take what you will.
I would like to make a correction to this actually. I noticed my Korean co-worker this morning typing away in Korean and saw that he was going at it on a standard English keyboard. So, I can only assume that he was typing the Korean equivalent to Romanji.

This got me thinking: for native Japanese speakers, I would assume that they would almost certainly have to use E-keyboards in E-Countries in cases like this where they have to keep in contact with speakers of both languages frequently.

This leads me to think that Romanji would probably see more use than I previously stated as a go-between for J→E speakers. I am not sure about E→J speakers yet. I need to consult a native Japanese speaker and think more on this.
 

Serpentsounds

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English tends to be a required subject of study throughout middle and high school, so even a lazy student should be very familiar with the latin alphabet. You would still run into these letters on signs/labels/etc, especially in metropolitan areas that are likely stops for international businesspeople/tourists, and especially for things of western origin/influence. But it would probably take a lot more searching to find a Japanese word like "gomen nasai" to be written like that somewhere.

Generally speaking, no. Not many Japanese-speaking people write Romanji (if I am not mistaken?). It is pretty much there so that Latin-based languages (that use these letters you are looking at :p) can phonetically see how the Japanese words are pronounced. It can be helpful to learn pronunciation and start learning the language, but I have heard others say that it is terrible to depend on if trying to learn how to understand Japanese. So take what you will.
I would like to make a correction to this actually. I noticed my Korean co-worker this morning typing away in Korean and saw that he was going at it on a standard English keyboard. So, I can only assume that he was typing the Korean equivalent to Romanji.

This got me thinking: for native Japanese speakers, I would assume that they would almost certainly have to use E-keyboards in E-Countries in cases like this where they have to keep in contact with speakers of both languages frequently.

This leads me to think that Romanji would probably see more use than I previously stated as a go-between for J→E speakers. I am not sure about E→J speakers yet. I need to consult a native Japanese speaker and think more on this.
This is a fair point. Keep in mind, though, that as far as actual keys go, you can easily compare a Japanese keyboard to ours. A frequent computer user would also be staring at these latin characters every day.

Because the keyboards are similar, it becomes possible to more or less transform a keyboard we would use into using Japanese-style kana entry via just software. I think it then becomes a matter of preference based on what you are used to, honestly. I still use Japanese IME style entry where I enter kana based on the latin characters that phonetically correspond to them, because that's how my brain is currently wired.

If you so wished, you could probably configure a computer to operate like that even you were working with Japanese hardware. The reverse should then become possible, so I guess it's just a question of how much effort do you want to put in vs. just adapting? The latter proves more useful if you're operating any machine that isn't your own personal one. This whole point really only applies to someone moving countries, though.
 

SSJ_Jup81

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English tends to be a required subject of study throughout middle and high school, so even a lazy student should be very familiar with the latin alphabet. You would still run into these letters on signs/labels/etc, especially in metropolitan areas that are likely stops for international businesspeople/tourists, and especially for things of western origin/influence. But it would probably take a lot more searching to find a Japanese word like "gomen nasai" to be written like that somewhere.
Slightly off topic, and probably better suited for the culture thread, but it seems that the Japanese government wants English taught as early as 3rd grade in elementary school. Seems Japan wants to get ready for the 2020 Olympic visitors. Nice ideal....but they still need to fix their broken language teaching system as far as the schools go.

Hm, and yeah, it would be difficult to find something like "gomen nasai" written in romaji anyplace like you said. To be honest, I think another reason you don't see romaji of actual Japanese phrases and words much is because it's difficult to determine how to maybe romanize it. For example, some people even romanize their own names...well, not wrong, but sometimes awkwardly. There's one student I know of named Daijuu, but...they romanize it as Daizyuu. That type of situation is common. Even when romanizing non-Japanese words, it's sometimes wrong or awkward. There's a shop here. The katakana reads シャイン but the romaji reads "Shane".

Oh yeah and it's easy, as you pointed out to go in between language choices. I have a Japanese laptop and have for the past three years. Of course the keyboard has both roman letters and hiragana (use caps to change to katakana). It's easy to go back and forth...then again, I did uninstall the Japanese OS and put in a US OS so that I can actually understand any error message I may receive. lol
 
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FANG-TAN

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Shame, I'll stick to knowing how some of it sounds whilst be u wot at the symbols D:
It isn't that mind-numbing. The hiragana/katakana chart, at least, is easy to get the hang of for beginners. It's like learning the Roman alphabet again.

After that, kanji's the real hurdle, but it is a learning process and is very satisfying once you've memorized a fair amount of those. An electronic dictionary always helps. Plus, Japanese is sooooo much easier to read and understand once you know the kanji for different words. Homophones and other mishaps are an ass in this language when you use only hiragana let alone romaji, so kanji really helps.
 
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CrystaI

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Actually, kanji is part of the Japanese language. You can't separate the kanji learning from Japanese language learning. Without the kanji, not even the native Japanese can fully understand the meaning of one sentences.
 

みさあき

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Some kanji even have the same readings in hiragana:

橋 bridge
箸 chopsticks
端 edge

they are all "hashi"
 

chikorita157

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I have finished Intermediate Japanese text book sever months ago and of course the Kanji remains tricky. However, once you realize that some parts of the Kanji hence Radicals, it makes some more sense as a good amount of these radicals appear quite often. Memorizing the most common ones will make memorizing kanji a bit easier… Adding vocabulary you already know that uses a particular kanji can also help.
 

Kynn Master

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One thing that is really important in Japanese (and even makes the reading easier) is furigana - a hiragana text above the kanji text - they are very useful when writing names with kanjis that have a lot of different pronunciations.

An example is my sister's artistic name, Uryū, it is written with these kanji: 雨瑠 (this is, practically speaking, the translation of her name), this can be read as 'Ameru', 'Amaru', 'Uru' and so on. Now if I put the furigana above her name: うりゅう, people will already know how to read her name correctly.
 

-Polaris-

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Is it hard to learn Japanese for an extra language?

Currently at GCSE level, my only language is French. But in college i was hoping to move this onto German/Chinese/Japanese.
 

xThomas2

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English to Katakana questions

I'm teaching myself basic katakana.

Hardware: US QWERTY
Q: How do I write 初代 on my keyboard? Is that Kanji or Katakana?

初代 means first generation (I think). I have to copy paste for now. I can write ポケモン but not 初代

初代ポケモン means first generation Pokemon. like in this youtube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w728lfxAwwE

Q: How do I write Team Rocket Hideout in Katakana or Kanji?

What about Cerulean Cave?

I want to look up piano playing of these tunes on youtube but I can't figure out how to spell them.
 

Serpentsounds

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Re: English to Katakana questions

Q: How do I write 初代 on my keyboard? Is that Kanji or Katakana?
Those are kanji. If you're using an IME to enter kana, you should be able to type out kanji by converting the reading typed out in kana. For me, I use the Microsoft IME in Windows. With that, type out the hiragana (katakana will also work), and hit the spacebar to scroll through kanji that match what you have typed.

Q: How do I write Team Rocket Hideout in Katakana or Kanji?

What about Cerulean Cave?
ロケットだんアジト (Roketto-dan ajito)
ハナダのどうくつ (Hanada no doukutsu)
Here, "group (team)" and "cave" do have kanji (団 and 洞窟 respectively), but are written out in the pokemon games as だん and どうくつ.
 
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