Friend wants to learn Japanese

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  1. I have this friend who is interested in learning Japanese for when he gets stationed in Japan. Do you guys know of any places or anyone that might be useful in working with him on the language? He has taken an introductory course at college but he still needs some help and the teacher doesn't offer tutoring. Thanks a bunches.

  2. best way is to make a nihonjin tomodachi :smile: japanese friend or a japanese speaking one so he can practice. that is the only way IMO - and i've studied for four years!

    and i still have trouble because i am not surrounded by japanese friends, i'm somewhat embarassed to speak now that i do have some, and classmates who are japanese. -___________-
  3. Try the Rosetta Stone. It's supposed to make someone fluent in the language the person wants to learn.
  4. Some cities have Japanese Cultural Centers where they offer classes in Japanese language.
  5. If he can arrange with his satellite company to get a Japanese language TV package, or failing that, rent videos, and obtain music in Japanese, and effort to hear Japanese as much of the time as possible, that will go a long way toward making the things he learns in class "stick."

    We speak the languages that we hear. This is true whether we are two or a hundred and two. :smile:
  6. Thanks for all of you guys advices. He's currently in an elementary Japanese class but the pace is so fast he feels that he is not learning it to be fluent in (which he wants to be) he is only doing it to pass the class in order to keep up with the pace. I'll pass all of your ideas on.
  7. Everyone I have known who has studied Japanese agrees that fluency may take some more time than with some other languages. I have one friend in particular who has lived there for over twenty years, and he will be the first to tell you that Japanese is an extremely complex language, and while to you and I he might seem as fluent as a native, his friends and colleagues are still an invaluable source of help to him, as he continues the process of learning Japanese!

    So it might help your friend to adjust his goal from fluency to competency, at least for now, listen to the language, "immerse" himself as much as possible, study the grammar, and use the class as an aid to a larger multi-pronged language learning program.

    Most of all, I would advise him to enjoy it! Learning a language is one of the most rewarding and life-enriching things we can do, at any age. If only there were enough lifetimes to collect 'em all! :biggrin:
  8. ShimmaPuff, that's some great advice! i was going to say the same thing about watching programs and listening to music in japanese... and it would also help to make some friends who are native speakers as well. i love how you said "we speak the languages that we hear." so true!

    there's a lot of available sources online... i used to watch some anime and japanese tv dramas, and they are readily available. you can probably find videos on youtube, with english subtitles. the same with music... there are forums and websites dedicated to jpop, and you can even find romanized lyrics to help with pronunciation, as well as translations.
  9. George and Keiko Show - Main Page is a supplement I've used and highly recommend. I actually wouldn't suggest that he listen to pop music or watch anime -- he should learn proper, polite Japanese before launching himself into super-boy and squealy-girl talk.

    Otherwise, tell him to be conscientious in his studies. It'll pay off later.
  10. ^ that's not what i meant... exposure to the language and pronunciation is important. he doesn't have to watch anime or listen to pop music, although they are popular amongst the younger crowd. there are plenty of other programs or even movies to watch and other types of music to listen to. just stating that there are many resources available. i feel that exposure will be of great assistance in additon to the classes he's taking.
  11. That's one of the best uses he can make of his class - learning the different forms, clarifying the way something is expressed by the anime character as opposed to how it would be expressed in different "real life situations" etc. And with Japanese especially, there are a lot of different forms of everything.

    Listening to the language - whatever he likes and is interested enough in to pay attention to and enjoy, is essential to making some things happen with neural pathways.

    If he were a little kid, growing up in Japan, he would hear plenty of squeakyboy stuff, as well as the "regular" stuff from mom and dad. :smile:

    This is one of the advantages of getting actual TV stations, if he can. On the news, he can hear one kind of speech, and while he jogs or showers or whatever he does, he can listen to pop music (if pop is the music he likes most). Liking it makes the neural pathways do what they do better and more efficiently
  12. i agree!!!!
  13. but anime is like really hard to understand.... my japanese teacher, even she said she don't understand it. and the anime language, normal people don't use it even when chatting among friends using "plain form"
  14. I think you make a good point, and though English is in no way comparable with Japanese in terms of complexity, etc. I have heard the same argument made with regard to people learning English listening to hip-hop music!

    And unless the language learner has an interest in understanding anime (or hip-hop) there is no need to make a special effort to include it.

    However, if they do have an interest, it will help them with all kinds of things that are just so hard-wired into native speakers that they won't make sense - the very things you cite, those differences between the anime form and plain form, the differences between the structure and syntax of hip-hop lyrics and the English one might hear at a business meeting - all of that can contribute to the overall process.

    I would not suggest that someone listen to either anime or hip hop only - but just as with a child learning to read - even though comic books might not be the only thing you ever want the child to read - and even though it is hard, from our viewpoint, to understand how reading them is going to help the child understand Shakespeare - oh wait! That's a bad example LOL But you know what I mean, if s/he likes comic books, then give them comic books, and the very basic reading and mysterious "para-reading" skills - just that very arcane and primordial stuff having to do with written language itself - those zany and madcap neural pathways again - will be pleased, and when they are pleased, they will wriggle delightedly, and that wriggling will gradually cause the child to get more enjoyment from reading things that are not comic books!
  15. Exactly. It's a bad habit that's best avoided. It's your prerogative to watch cartoons in your spare time, but there are much better learning resources available.