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"Doing Japan" after 5 years dedicated to "Doing China"


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If any of you folks want to discuss the US or American society, please make a new thread for that. New threads are free!

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12 minutes ago, Lu said:

If any of you folks want to discuss the US or American society, please make a new thread for that. New threads are free!

 

Are we discussing that here?

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1 minute ago, xinoxanu said:

Are we discussing that here?

I had the impression some of the thread was going in that direction and was attempting to head that off.

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I mean, it's my thread in the end so I don't mind if people digress a little bit... I do that in other people's threads so I'd feel guilty otherwise 😱

 

But yes, this is more about Japan and China so let's stick to that topic 🙃

 

Thanks @Lu for watching over us 哈哈

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Insectosaurus
54 minutes ago, Lu said:

If any of you folks want to discuss the US or American society, please make a new thread for that. New threads are free!

 

There has been one single post about the US in four pages, and that post also mentioned Japan.

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As I said, I hoped to head off that potential discussion before it got underway. Please proceed with discussing Japan and China, and/or discussing why my request was premature.

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Insectosaurus
35 minutes ago, Lu said:

As I said, I hoped to head off that potential discussion before it got underway.

 

If you're talking about the last posts, then these are about Japan, not about the US. It's a fact that Japan are way less accepting of behavior that stands out, and that has nothing to do with violence, as was (weirdly) hinted.

 

26.4 percent of Japanese don't want homosexuals as neighbours, the same figure for Sweden is 2.4 percent. 29.1 percent don't want immigrants as neighbours, the same figure for Sweden is 3 percent. 14.3 percent don't want pepole of a different race as neighbours, the same figure for Sweden is 1 percent.

 

The figures are somewhat lower in Tokyo, and thereby even higher in smaller cities. These are just a few of several examples. Since the thread is about moving to Japan, I think it's highly relevant. It's also relevant for me personally, since I'm gay and my partner was adopted from India, and we won't be living in Tokyo, but a smaller city.

 

 

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For fun:  to see an American who has been successful with both languages, check out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGZOMugso1k

She both studied in China and had a Chinese boyfriend.  Although I've only watched fragments of a few of her videos, it seems 

 

Takeshi:  I loved reading your cultural insights.   Two Japanese friends once discussed with me the importance of "reading the air around your face", i.e., being able to know your thoughts & feelings without you actually speaking.  They also mentioned that when you're really good friends with someone, you finish their sentences for them, to show them you fully understand your feelings.    

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/28/2020 at 12:59 PM, xinoxanu said:

"Started" reading Sputnik Sweetheart, by Haruki Murakami. Let's see how it goes.

 

An update on this: I've put this one on hold because something else caught my attention.

 

A few weeks ago I started getting invested on a manga called "I Shaved. Then I Brought a High School Girl Home." (awful, awful title - more on that below), which is the visual adaptation of the Light Novel of the same name. The problem is that the manga is published monthly and covers the story at a snail pace - and, while the Light Novel is already on its third volume, it hasn't been translated into English aside from a unofficial translation of Volume 1. Luckily, Chinese fans always come to the rescue and all the volumes are available in Chinese under the name "刮掉鬍子的我與撿到的女高中生", so I've been able to continue reading. Since this is originally a work aimed at "younger" audiences***, the translation is also pretty accessible for those with limited vocabulary: you'll be fine if you have an HSK5 level and know some other common words on the side. Pleco reader is your ally.


***The Japanese "audience" classification is weird: in this case we are talking about the accessibility of the language more than demographics. Bear in mind that while this is not a story that will leave you heavily traumatised (it's a rom-com after all), this book is still for adults that can cope with reading about the physical and psychological consequences of sexual abuse.

 

Here's the premise and some comments on the matter (beware of some light spoilers that cover the first 10 pages of the book)

 

Spoiler

 

 

Quote

Yoshida was swiftly rejected by his crush of 5 years. On his way home after drinking his sorrows away, he saw a high school girl sitting on the street. "I'll let you do it with me, so let me stay at your place" (she said) - "Don't even joke about something like that" (he said). And so, the story of living with the high school girl Sayu began. The slice-of-life romance story between a runaway high school girl and a 26 year old salaryman ensues.

 

Yes, both the title and the premise are off-putting and something that we are only accustomed to see on a news broadcast about the latest sex offender. But no, for one the novel is rather popular in the country with plenty of different audiences, so it's a not a weird niche thing; it's also neither porno or something shameful that one has to hide under the bed (well, it's Japan after all so nudity is depicted but it's kept PG - kinda 🙃). Instead, this is the story between a runaway, troubled high school girl that has been abused by society at many different levels, and a kind-hearted guy with strong morals that develops a parent/guardian relationship with her without expecting anything in return (he's pretty clear on not wanting to do anything illegal - and, so far, sticks to that). This book is not for the faint of heart, though, since the core of the story is none other than a hard reality: running away from home has meant for her to be sexually abused, which is even more shocking when you consider that "technically" she agreed to this out of her own volition ("technically", since circumstances forced her to act that way). Plot aside, the characters are pretty engaging because they feel "human", with the good and bad bits of what that entails, the drama doesn't go overboard, the story itself is pretty realistic and the pacing is great as well.

 

 

Personally, this is my first time reading something not considered "mainstream" as well as... "uncomfortable", for lack of a better word. Regardless, I am really enjoying it and I constantly find myself going past the daily 30min I have allocated to read in Chinese - while at the same time I'm getting in touch with the inner workings of Japanese society, so a win-win of sorts. I don't really know where the story is going though, so I might end up scarred for life... but well, that's how books work!

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Oh yea, I found learning hiragana and katakana really hard and boring too. Kanji is much more fun, even though it's technically harder I guess, so it's a much more enjoyable experience. Luckily there aren't much kana, so you'll get over it eventually.

 

Btw 青 and 赤 are Chinese words too xp.

 

There are sound relations between 音読み and Chinese pronunciations. After you learn a bit of Japanese you'll get a feel of the relations, and should be able to guess the pronunciation of new words you see based on their Chinese pronunciation (to some degree only.........).

 

I can't imagine studying Japanese and Chinese at the same time, sounds really hard. I really did one after each other.

 

That light novel sounds interesting, I'll check it out next time I do an amazon purchase. I've been getting into light novels lately. Recent read is やたらと察しのいい俺は、毒舌クーデレ美少女の小さなデレも見逃さずにぐいぐいいく, I like it, but it's pretty 中二, so ymmv.

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Yes, I'm fine with the Kana now - and the Kanji words I've learned so far have characters that I already know from Chinese. Overall I am progressing quite rapidly, mostly thanks to how vocabulary is much easier to remember since homophones are not really a troublesome thing in Japanese as they are in Chinese.

 

9 hours ago, Takeshi said:

There are sound relations between 音読み and Chinese pronunciations. After you learn a bit of Japanese you'll get a feel of the relations, and should be able to guess the pronunciation of new words you see based on their Chinese pronunciation (to some degree only.........).

 

I'm actually not sure how to tackle the On'yomi (the Chinese pronunciation of Kanji for those who don't know) - need to read more on that. I guess that at this point my main question is if I am supposed to know/remember all the On'yomi or can I get by with only the most common ones... and then use the actual Chinese pronunciation for the rest, even if it sounds weird? For example: something like 水, of which the On'yomi is read as すい (sui), is kinda pointless to learn for a Chinese speaker since the pronunciation is so close to Mandarin (and Sichuanese!). 

 

9 hours ago, Takeshi said:

I can't imagine studying Japanese and Chinese at the same time, sounds really hard. I really did one after each other.

 

I am following the procedure I wrote about on last month's report and so far no issues whatsoever: for one, it seems I am indeed capable of separating both languages in my head... and then the rest is all about time-management. Definitely my Japanese progress will be slower than if I was solely focusing on that language, but it's ok, nothing I can do about it considering all the other stuff I have to juggle with; and for Chinese, well, when I left China my only goal was to maintain what I had already learned until that point, so I am content with doing that and moving forward at a snail's pace - in fact, I can confirm I've made progress in the past year with very little effort, so things are better than I originally expected.

 

I don't know how long I'll be able to maintain this status quo, though, but I am confident on the above average plasticity of my brain since I am natively trilingual. At least that's the BS school teachers and psychologists told me way back then... not like learning Chinese was a breeze to start with, so whatevs 🙃

 

9 hours ago, Takeshi said:

やたらと察しのいい俺は、毒舌クーデレ美少女の小さなデレも見逃さずにぐいぐいいく

 

Really, what's with the long-winded titles and how silly they sound? Marketing? Japanese creativity is both equally amazing and weird.

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You definitely need to learn all the 音読み, using the actual Chinese pronunciation when reading in your head is common for Chinese people who passively understand written Japanese (from lots of videogames usually), and it's definitely helpful, most of the hardcore Chinese videogame otakus I know can play games in pure Japanese and understand everything, but they don't know how to speak a sentence.

 

Long titles has been a thing since 俺の妹はこんなに可愛いわけがない (but it's not at all long compared to the new names; it was just the start of the trend), I dunno why either.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/25/2020 at 10:26 AM, timseb said:

I guess the reason Nokia exists is because Finnish people can't stand being in a room together.

Fun fact - Nokia had been in existence for over 100 years before mobile telephones were even invented, and was widely ridiculed for moving in to the mobile phone business when they did (they used to be predominantly a rubber/paper company, with a side business in cabling and then electronics).

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nokia

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Insectosaurus
On 11/8/2020 at 5:03 AM, imron said:

Fun fact - Nokia had been in existence for over 100 years before mobile telephones were even invented, and was widely ridiculed for moving in to the mobile phone business when they did (they used to be predominantly a rubber/paper company, with a side business in cabling and then electronics).

 

I'm a Swede, so this I know, but I agree it's a fun trivia. It actually seems to be the case for a a lot amount of tech companies (Samsung to take another cellphone company, but I remember there are also similar Japanese examples).

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