Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learn Basic Japanese

Learn Basic Japanese - Watching your Ps and Qs

Learning about Japanese culture will help you to being able to learn basic Japanese more quickly. This will keep you in line with how the Japanese greet each other and the prevalent emphasis in Japanese culture of being polite and humble.

In Japanese culture, greeting someone is considered a MUST when you encounter people as you move through your day. In Western culture, this is equivalent to saying please and thank you. Below are three greetings:

Ohayō gozaimasu = greeting in the morning
Konnichiwa = greeting during the day
Konbanwa = greeting after dark

Whenever you are addressing or speaking to someone there are different levels of formality and politeness in Japanese. Therefore, in Japanese you must always be conscious of the social relationship between you and the person you are speaking to (friend, family member, professor, doctor, stranger, boss, colleague) .

The morning greeting Ohayō gozaimasu is a good example to show the different levels of formality and politeness:

Every morning you go to work, you greet your colleagues by saying Ohayō gozaimasu .
Every morning you go to the kitchen to have your breakfast, you greet your family by saying Ohayō.
To a few of your colleagues you are very friendly with, you greet them saying Ohayō.
To your boss or your teacher, you greet them by saying Ohayō gozaimasu.
To a stranger you walked past on the street in the morning, you greet him/her saying Ohayō gozaimasu.

Note: Thankfully for Konnichiwa and Konbanwa, there's only one version for everyone.

Learn Basic Japanese

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Learn Basic Japanese

Learn Basic Japanese - Romaji and some Japanese music

The smart way to learn basic Japanese is to start by memorizing the basic common words in Romaji. Romaji is written with the Latin alphabet, therefore you shouldn't have problems with the pronunciation.

When you want to learn basic Japanese, it's easier for you to learn Japanese written in Romaji, especially if you are not familiar with Hiragana and Katana. Also listening to your favorite Japanese music can assit you to learn hearing and pronouncing Japanese in a correct accent. This can help to solidify and improve your learning progress and process.

Learn Basic Japanese

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Learn Basic Japanese

Learn Basic Japanese - Japanese Anime (part III: The Impact of Anime)

Some, or should I say, most of us would find it difficult to learn basic Japanese but that doesn't mean we can't find ways to "jazz up" how we learn and motivate our interest in Japanese. Many of us don't realize that Japanese Anime and Manga is one of Japan's biggest multi-milliion dollar industries and that it is gaining in popularity internationally.

Anime has set in motion a phenomenon of fresh ideas that have inspired many films (the Matrix whose action scenes mirrored the Anime Ghost in the Shell) and TV shows (especially Saturday morning cartoons such as Pokemon, Dragon-ball Z, Sailor-Moon and Nickelodeon's popular Avatar: The Last Air-bender whose characters are similar to the Anime Naruto ). The growing popularity for Anime in the media market is seen in the many world-wide conventions, fansubs and fandubs and cosplays.

Anime is a revolution and is taking the world by storm. Are you going to be left behind? Like it or not, Anime or Manga is a means to learn basic Japanese and keep up with our ever-changing world.

Learn Basic Japanese