lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
List of stuff I think is N2 level, as I find them. At N2 you can puzzle out probably anything in normal, modern, everyday-ish (not extremely poetic etc) Japanese as long as you have a dictionary.

• (Kabaneri):

(Go look at the animelon list)
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
Here I'll link to / list things that I consider to be N1 level as I find them, since everyone needs reading practice but even at N1 we're still not at "native level" yet. N1 is essentially made up of archaic grammar, irregular or rare kanji usage, jargon, and extremely poetic stuff/flowery writing.

• 愛よ愛 by 岡本かの子:

• (Kabaneri)

(Go look at the animelon list)
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
We're all probably studying Japanese, right? So why doesn't anyone ever tell us the actual useful words for learners?? I'll start making a list here as I find them.

違い a difference (ex. in word usage: 何 の 違い what kind of difference?). when i want to know the difference between two different kanji i just write something like "熱 暑 違い" into google and see what comes up.
語源 word origin = etymology
読み方 "read-method" = pronunciation
動詞 move word = verb
複数 more than one (layer) number = plural
形容(詞) modify (word) = adjective
同義語 same duty word = synonym
辞書 word (compared to grammar) writings = normal dictionary
字書 letter writings = kanji dictionary (though i don't know if they have another term for it)
意味 meaning
さま (様) means the same as 様子 which is "tends to behave like; form", in the case of words: "tends to be used like, tends to mean".
ニュアンス nuance
外来 arriving from overseas = foreign/loanword. 外 is short for 外国 or 海外 and 来 for probably 出来.
略語 short(ened) word = abbreviation (ex. JD, JP)
熟語 a 2+kanji word where the individual kanji have almost exactly the same meaning (ex. 思想)
宿題 (at-)lodging (work-)theme = homework
試験 test-try(?) = exam
受[試]験 receive-try(?) = taking an exam
模試[験] imitation test = mock exam
授業 receive-knowledge work(?) = class lesson
卒業 ? = graduate
予習 pre-learn = study in advance
練習 ? = practice exercise (ex. listening drill)
復習 ? = review-study
自習 self-study (ex. study at home the material you learned in class)
習う learns (under someone's instruction; not necessarily a school-teacher)
勉強 study (not necessarily with anyone's help)
締め切り tie-up(?) run-out/cut-off = deadline

Mod Post

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:19 am
lusentoj: (布団)
[personal profile] lusentoj
1. I've cleaned up the tags and fixed the profile, hopefully things are more organized now.

2. Remember that you guys can post too!! Post whatever you want!! How's learning going? What did you learn/read/listen to yesterday? Confused about anything?
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
Okay, everyone hates kanji. Even Chinese people hate kanji (because in Chinese, every character has more or less only ONE pronunciation). And the dictionary definitions for kanji are really bad, so you don't know why x is also used for y which seems like completely different meanings to you. In reality kanji are pretty easy.

First off, each kanji only has 1-2, very rarely 3, individual pronunciations and/or meanings worth knowing. In most texts, anything more than those 2-3 pronunciations — or any rare kanji, or kanji not taught in school, even if it's standard pronunciation or actual common words, — will almost always have hiragana (furigana) to the side showing the correct pronunciation. Even usually in newspapers, which are the hardest things to read in Japanese (aside from archaic stuff). The exception is often really famous words, ex. certain place-names, but even those actually might also be written in/with hiragana instead. Stuff written for highschoolers and younger (meaning: most manga) will ALWAYS have pronunciations on kanji, even if they're super common kanji. (About the list of kanji people learn in school: by adulthood Japanese people have forgotten hundreds of them, but they know hundreds more that are outside of the list.)

Read more... )

Finally: never "memorize" a multi-kanji word unless you know for a fact it's "missing" a kanji or written for sound and not pronunciation. It's a complete waste of time and brainpower to memorize "puppy" when you already know it by sight and context (because it's actually "child dog"). Japanese people do not see something like "child dog" as a unique, individual word like our "puppy": they see it as two separate words they can mix and match whenever they like. That's how kanji are used: like LEGOs. So that's how you have to learn them. A good example is the word "keigo" you'll see when people write about politeness levels in Japanese, as if it's untranslateable: this is literally just 敬 respect 語 single word, language = "respect-showing word(s)".

Here below, I'm going to put a few very clear examples (as I find them) of why you NEED to learn individual kanji and completely ignore whatever your translation dictionary may say about the resulting compound.

Read more... )


Aug. 5th, 2017 10:55 pm
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
Most Japanese "phrases" are super clear and instantly understandable (stuff like "your work, your result = you've made your bed, now lie in it") but of course there's still many that aren't so clear. I've slowly started learning some, as I find more I'll list them here. Feel free to post your own!

詰め が 甘い、詰め の 甘さ = fuck-up. ex. "you're a fuck-up, you always fuck-up right at the last minute" — but it's slightly more polite than the english version (closer to "slip-up" in politeness, but still putting blame on the person). sounds like it should be 爪が甘い (and some people do write it that way) but it apparently comes from chess slang, where 詰め means checkmate, so "your checkmate is (too) weak" i guess.
念 の ため: "feeling's reason", just to be safe
役 に 立つ:"stand in(to the) role", be useful. "role" is the same as in ex. "we're playing the role of the fox, and he of the hunter".

苦労:ご 苦労 様、ご 苦労 さん "(You Mr.) Painful Work" = good job today! thanks! You can also put でした after it.
疲れる:お 疲れ さま、お 疲れ さん "(You Mr.) Become-tired" = same as above. You can also put でした after it.
今日は:こんにち は、こんにち わ "this day is", good afternoon!
今晩は:こんばん わ "this night is", good evening!
お 早い ござる:お はよう ござい ます "(your) early exists", good morning!

気(気分 mood):
気 が 早い "feeling is fast" = is rash about something
気 が 短い "feeling is short" = short-tempered (he's got a short wick)
気 が 遠い ?? I thought I saw this somewhere but maybe not.
気 が 遠く なる "feeling becomes distant" = passes out
気 が 付く "a feeling sticks" = notices something
気 が 入る "feelings go in", put effort into
気 が 難しい "feelings are difficult", difficult to please, grouchy
気 を 付ける "can stick to a feeling" = watch out!
気 を 失う "lose feelings" = pass out
気 を 落とす "feelings are dropped (by something)" = get disappointed
気 を 引く "draw feelings" = draw attention (引く is pull as in drag, pull a gun trigger)
気 に 入る "enter into feelings", (start to) like something, be pleased with something
気 に する "causes a feeling", lets something get to one, is bothered by something (short-term??)
気 に なる "becomes a feeling", worries about something (long-term??)
気 の せい: "feeling's fault", it's just (my) imagination
気味 の 悪い(きもい) "bad (to the) feelings", gross
気 安い "feelings are easy/cheap", too friendly. in anime i see this constantly used for BAD stuff, ex. "you're touching my butt" "you're trying to help me when i haven't asked", but i don't know if that's the normal connotation
lusentoj: (布団)
[personal profile] lusentoj
Japanese doesn't "really" have plurals so when they need/want to specify, they add in extra words that make the meaning clear. For example, "a bunch/group of", "ten", "diverse types", "all", "every", "countless". Usually people feel confused about this, but we have the same thing in English.

In a phrase like "every dog has its day", we know we're actually talking about multiple (countless) dogs even though we're using the singular "dog". In "they said that's their hat" we assume "they" refers to one single person because probably multiple people aren't sharing a single hat. But in "they announced it on the news" we can assume multiple people because we're referring to the multiple people who work at the news station.

Read more... )
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
(x-posted to the japanese comm on LJ)

there's one thing i've noticed. with certain grammar points either it comes up completely randomly in one sentence out of 10 anime episodes or there's "that one character" who always says it, like "albeit" versus "but/however" in english. now there's points even rarer than that, and what i don't understand is WHERE these points are being used in the japanese language to make them be this or that level on the JLPT.

for example, ものの is something i've only ever seen like once out of like 80 anime eps so far; and i've been watching everything from detective shows to slice-of-life to sports anime. yet ものの is JLPT level 2, and level 1 is the hardest test level. obviously there's some kind of genre where ものの is in constant use that the JLPT is expecting you to be reading/watching, right? what is that genre?!

EDIT: I've now met a Hokkaido person who uses ものの a ton, I wonder if it's dialectal how much you use it?

といい といい, ごとき, 極めて, 始末, ってば have shown up at least 5-10 times. ぶり, それまでだ, すら at least 20 times. and yet these are supposedly N1 level! だって shows up like every two pages in half the manga you'll read, but it's N2 level and not N4!

have you guys noticed anything with this? where the heck am i supposed to go if i want to drill ものの into my brain for example? and there's plenty of N1 ones i feel like i haven't seen even once (though i might have just not noticed them when i did see them), ex: だの~だの, かれ~かれ, も顧みず, のなんのって, とみるや, のみか (though i've seen the plain のみ).
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
With a lot, lot of words there's actually 2 forms in common use: usually the "everyday" one is English, the "formal/archaic" is either originally Japanese or Chinese. Make no mistake, these Chinese ones ARE used and WILL come up when reading in Japanese! It might be in the newspaper, it might be in the title of an anime, etc. These are NOT "katakana words that have kanji forms", I mean actual synonyms that are more than just one-time borrowings.

From what I understand, Chinese/kanji words sound "tough, manly, harsh" while English words sound more "cool, fun, mysterious". So an action manga will use tons of kanji in the attack names but an advertisement will use a ton of English, for example. But ignoring that, here's the list! I don't know so many of them so please add in any you know!

電脳 コンピュータ コンピュ コン computer (kanji = used a lot in scifi: ex. 電脳コイル "Dennou Coil", anime name)
自動車 車 カー car (カー is hardly ever used)
乗り合い自動車 乗合自動車 バス bus
動力 力 エネルギー エネ energy
Read more... )

Easy Talk

Aug. 1st, 2017 03:11 am
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
My friend linked to this on twitter and I was shocked, I could actually understand most of the speech in the beginning! So if you can understand all this, you're at at least N2 level:
lusentoj: (布団)
[personal profile] lusentoj
When you're just starting out, I advise you to learn katakana first. This is because you already know most katakana words! Here I'll make a list of all the ones I find in reading so that you can practice your katakana: note that this list will, eventually, get reaaally long.

NOTE!: These words are "officially" supposed to be written in katakana because they're foreign; in reality there's no such limit, you'll constantly see "katakana" words written in hiragana and vice versa. Don't memorize them as if they can "only" exist in katakana.

Last Updated: 2017.07.30

Read more... )


Aug. 3rd, 2017 04:25 am
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
I've been playing some online games and reading "Overlord" (manga about an MMORPG) and slowly learning chatspeak so I'll start making a list of what I figure out here!

おは: おは[ようございます] "good morning!"
ノ: 乗る "riding" as in "i'll ride/hop on the bandwagon" = "i agree", "i'll come join the raid" etc. usually someone will ask something and then a string of people will "raise their hand" like this to agree.
あざーす: あ[りがとう ご]ざ[いま]す "thanks"
イベ: イベント "event", ex. キルイベ "kill event" (event where you're supposed to kill enemy soldiers)
サブ: "sub" as in "sub-account, my non-main account"
アカ: アカウント "account", ex. サブアカ "sub account"
イン(している): ログインしている "is logged in" (インする to become logged in = to log on). note that instead of saying someone's "offline" they tend to just say "not logged in" (インしていない).
テレポ: テレポート (アイテム) "teleport(ation scroll etc)"
引退: "retirement" = quit the game (or guild)
神: "god" = what you'll be called if you're online constantly, appear whenever someone needs you, or can translate between japanese and another language
kwsk: 詳しく "in detail" = details/source please
w: 笑、笑う "laugh" = lol
g: ゴールド "gold" (in-game money)
(お)ひさ:久しぶり "long time (no see)"
萌え: 萌える "buds, becomes sprouting" but actually this is the kanji for "moe". Ex. ギャップ萌え "gap moe", the moe of a gap in looks vs personality.
ノンケ : ノンゲイ "non-gay", straight.
i am japanese! : this actually means "i only speak japanese, i don't understand a single word of what you're saying, slow down and be nice" etc.
native : too foreign/not japanese (as in "i only understand broken english, not authentic english!" = "too native lol i'm japanese lol").
モン: モンスター monster
ハン: ハント、ハンチング hunt(ing), ex. モンハン monster-hunting

General useful vocabulary:

同盟 "alliance" = guild (in certain games)
合併 "merge" = merging 2 guilds into one etc
兵士 = soldiers
切れ(た) = ran out of something, ex. スタミナ 切れ "out of stamina"
敵 = enemy
襲う = attacks, robs
敵襲 (=敵 襲う) = raid (enemy attacking you)
攻撃(される) = (become) attacked
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
In English we often shorten phrases by omitting an entire half or more: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls (it tolls for thee)", "Birds of a feather (flock together)". Words are the same way, "(inter)net, teach(er), sis(ter)". Strings of words also get their first or last sounds or letters taken and merged: "Government Issue = GI, Tele Vision = TV", "shark tornado = sharknado". Japanese is exactly the same way. Each kanji is a unique word and they mix and match these words in order to say what they want. For example:

公 public/popular/wide 安 safe 局 department = 公安局 government department of public safety (3 words)
安 calm/safe 心 core/mood = mental relief (2 words)
不 not 安 calm/safe = worry (= mental upset) (2 words)
安 calm/safe 全 complete = safety, security (2 words)

公安局, 安心, 不安 and 安全 aren't unique words worth memorizing. You instead need to remember the kanji meanings, because each kanji is a separate word. Japanese people always mix and match words this way to create whatever it is that they want to say; we in English say "library, librarian", we say "Washingtonian, laundrette", but, for some reason, we don't say "libroshop, librette, bookian, bookette" — Japanese people (and most cultures in the world in general) do exactly that however. For the most part it doesn't matter what a word's origin is, they'll mix and match it to say what they want.

The trouble with this only comes when what we think is "a complete word" is actually short for a longer word. For example:

少年[男] = "few-years [male]" = young boy
少[年]女 = "few-[years] female"= young girl
妖怪[獣] = "uncanny-suspicious [beast]" = ghost, demon
妖[怪]力 = "uncanny-[suspicious] power" = demonic/supernatural power
[犯]無実 = "[crime] not true" = innocent (of a crime)

These appear in real life as: 少年, 少女, 妖怪, 妖力, 無実 and the dictionary won't show you the origins I've pointed out above, despite that if you actually do know what the full word/phrase must have at some point been (as a native speaker does!) then the shortened word is instantly recognizable and memorable without any special study.

It's my goal to make a dictionary and textbook that teach Japanese in exactly that way: showing you that what you're learning isn't actually a special, unique word and thus making everything a lot easier to learn. The problem is, this takes an amazing amount of time, especially since I'm still learning Japanese myself — I have to create the entire dictionary by gathering words MYSELF, figure out all the kanji meanings MYSELF because the existing materials are completely awful. For example, a "word" like 妖力, despite being constantly in use in manga and anime, isn't in the dictionary. I myself have to find this word and realize 妖 is short for 妖怪, as well as that 妖怪 itself is short for 妖怪獣.

So anyway, my idea was to make a dictionary that only gives kanji meanings, except it'll also point out when compound words are abbreviations (like 妖: 1. uncanny, 2. 妖怪[獣] and then I might have 妖怪[獣] as a separate entry because its meaning isn't obvous). What do you think? What should I make sure to do or not do? What are the problems you've been finding in dictionaries and textbooks? What's your ideal dictionary/textbook?
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
I'm going to gather up "easy reading" here and translate it so you know what's going on. Here's the first one, which I found on Twitter (without a source):

Read more... )
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
Hey guys, I've started making a list of example sentences for JLPT grammar points, I'm pulling them from anime, manga, fanfic, chatrooms, Twitter etc. They're in no particular order aside from general JLPT level. As I find better examples I'll update this list, feel free to add your own!

[JP] = Japanese explanation (when I can think of one).

{word} = Where I've seen it used. Only for hard-to-find grammar points that even if you watch anime/read stuff you might not find easily.

EDIT: Note that nuance is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT between dialects, standard (Tokyo) Japanese and anime! Ex. in anime わし "I" is only used by old people, but in Hiroshima even kids use it. In anime おれ "I" is constantly used by men; but IRL it's rude or used by women. Anime "gangster-talk" was borrowed from dialectal movies, so ex. while in anime うるせー is the rude/gangster way to say うるさい, in many dialects it's just the normal way.

Last updated: 2017.08.16

Read more... )


Jul. 3rd, 2017 11:45 am
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
yesterday i took the JLPT (N2 level). my advice / experience:

• study so that you could clearly pass N1 if you're taking N2. in particular, make sure you can understand formal nonfiction (newspaper articles, modern-history texts, business-anything) in both spoken and written form EASILY. you want to be at the point where you can VERY EASILY read all kinds of NONFICTION, adult books in japanese. you should use an app like "mazii dict" (dictionary where you can easily read news blurbs inside it) or "mondo" (purely intended for reading news) to read some news articles every day.

• instead of (panicking and) re-reading the long reading pieces, read and answer each question SLOWLY. once slowly saves time and comprehension, versus thrice fast.

• work on memorization techniques for when listening to conversations. just youtube "memory champion" etc and you'll see what i mean. you can reread text, you can't replay audio.

• if watching anime to learn, i'd say watch it once with japanese subs (looking everything up) and then once without subs. i didn't realize how much i was still relying on subs for comprehension of high-level stuff until the long listening came. (vlogs, "let's learn japanese grammar!" and other everyday stuff i'm understanding just fine without subs).

• it's very important to remember, on the JLPT there's basically NO CONTEXT for anything. obviously this makes things a lot harder than normal reading/listening.
——— my study / experience under the cut! )
lusentoj: (布団)
[personal profile] lusentoj
Since I read a few threads discussing it when I was looking for stuff, I might as well write a rant about it here too. Manga or anime (with Japanese subtitles; not with sound-only, because you won't catch everything) is AMAZING for learning/practicing even N1 grammar. People (English-speakers) online say differently, however.

Read more... )
lusentoj: (汗)
[personal profile] lusentoj
hey guys! at you can watch anime with japanese subs that are connected to an english pop-up dictionary. i thought it'd be good to rank series according to difficulty level, so please help me improve the list! i'm judging both grammar and vocabulary; if i've watched the whole series i also take into account how easy it feels by the end of it. pick the level you're studying to pass right now and move upwards (ex. if you want to beat N2 level on the JLPT, watch everything you can stand at level 3 then move on to level 4).

♫ means there tends to be background noise, music etc. that makes it harder to hear the words.

ⓜ means the manga's easier to understand than the anime (but usually i haven't tried the manga).

last updated: 2017.08.17

1. (N4-N3 level): Chobits, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren, Flying Witch, Kobato, Ping Pong the Animation
2. Angel Beats, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Furusato Saisei, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Nyan Koi!, Slam Dunk, ♫Tokyo Ghoul
3. (N3-N2): Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Kuroko no Basuke, Parasyte, Shiki
4. Baccano, ⓜHunter x Hunter, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S
5. (N1): Fate Zero, Psycho Pass, ♫Attack on Titans, ♫Death Note

Special Notes:

— Flying Witch, (less so) Kobato: really useful for "everyday Japanese" in case you're going to actually live in Japan. "Pass me the frying pan" "Take the trash out" "Mind the gap between the train and the platform" etc.
— Psycho Pass: almost every sentence uses N1-N2 grammar points in VERY clear contexts, so if you're studying grammar try this series.
— JoJo: Uses tons of literary/formal/archaic-polite language (であろう、なかろう、おる), at least in the very beginning, so it's good for learning politeness.

lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
hey guys! here's my progress after 1 1/2 years of learning japanese. i'm just barely at N2 level. i highlighted next to the kanji meanings i don't know (not the words i don't know, ONLY the kanji). i wrote the wrong year so ignore that, they're all from 2017.

i think this thing is pretty fun to do, you can really check back and see a huge jump in progress in the future. wanna try it?! highlight whatever you want, grammar, vocabulary, kanji, katakana letters... i just took photos then added highlights using an app.
joltkun: A drawn picture of a character looking calm and happy. (there there)
[personal profile] joltkun
Greetings members! I'm a bad mod, but I'm surprised and happy to see that there's a few people on our member list now.

Since I'm a very slow and inactive user, we now have a second mod of the community, [personal profile] lusentoj. We're best friends and roommates IRL and have both been learning Japanese on and off for some time. He's very interested in alternative study methods and memorisation techniques, as well as etymology and decoding grammar, so I'm sure he'll be happy to talk with those of you struggling with remembering kanji, or kunyomi/onyomi readings, etc. (I'm more of a "intake media in the target language and naturally learn all the common stuff" and "I already gave up on kanji 10 years ago" type of person.)

Feel free to contact him as well as me if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the community. PMs are fine, comments are fine. Since I work long days and barely have time to go online right now, please don't think you're being ignored if it takes some time to get an answer.

We're planning on changing the community layout soon, to make it more accessible for users like lusentoj (who is visually impaired). If you have any suggestions or requests about anything to do with the comm, leave a comment.

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