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I'm not actually sure how many characters I can say I know... I probably know about 1,300 more or less well, with another 200 or 300 I can probably make out through context. That gets me through regular articles and Japanese RPGs, though sometimes not without a few headaches in the process (and a dictionary is always handy, just in case there's a key word I can't make out).Originally Posted by Nihongaeri
Most "high level" terms are compound Kanji words.
The "cool" (infuriating?) thing about compound Kanji words (words with two or more kanji) is that often, two or more of the characters which make up the word carry the same meaning, and when this isn't the case, it's often the more common Kanji which captures the semantic essence.
In the game I'm playing right now there is like a shit load lots of different compound words for castles, palaces and fortresses and the like, but all you need to know to get the gist are a couple of basic characters like 城、塔、堂, and you know they're talking about a "big, important building." All these characters are among the 1,500 most frequent, and two of them are among the 1,000 most frequent.
Note that if you stick to certain subject matter things are bound to go smoother. I think I know more than one non-standard character for weapons/armor that I would not know if I did not play Japanese RPGs.
I also doubt I would know that the character 古 can be read いにしえ (yore, more or less; antaño in Spanish) if I did not play games and read manga as much as I do.
But what does it mean to "know" a kanji anyway? People seem to be so sure of the what it means to "know" a character until they really start thinking about the issue. The only conclusion that I've ever come to on the issue is that "kanji" have very little practical usage when removed from the context of a language that uses them, and to that extent one's knowledge of kanji cannot be readily represented with some arbitrary number...Originally Posted by Iwanin
(This, of course, isn't any kind of rebuke directed at you Pete, but more so the countless people that I have seen proudly assert that they know exactly XXXX kanji, many further claiming to have learned them in the course of X months. *sigh*... people...)
Ah, Nicholas! Whatever happened to the good old days, when we would rebuke each other for hours on end over such trivial nonsense as the most suitable qualifier for Kisame's Samehada? Could it be we've - heaven forbid - grown civilized?Originally Posted by Nihongaeri
But I enjoy this bitching about the presumption of others rather than on account of one's own.
On that note, allow me to bitch about the "how many languages do you speak" thread, where people with a passing knowledge of one Romance Language or another would claim to "know" the rest by virtue of said fact; and where so many people claimed to speak Japanese that I wondered where it was that they kept their translations so well hidden, that I'd never seen them.
I was tempted, upon contemplating this phenomenon, to claim I spoke not only Spanish, English, a bit of French and some Japanese, but also Portuguese, Galician, Catalan, Italian and heck, why not Basque - it may not be lingüistically related to Romance Languages, but the Basque know either French or Spanish or both!
And that's not all! Since Kanji are technically Chinese and may be used to write Korean, I guess I'll add this last language plus at least Mandarin and Cantonese to my repertoire!
Truly, I know so many languages I amaze myself!
But yes, expressing one's ability to speak a given language is difficult. For instance, I say my English is at native speaker level, but then every native speaker I encounter says my English is better than that of 90% of the native speakers they know. Of course, I would actually put the number closer to 95% (at least), but that's not the point.
I don't consider myself fluent in Japanese, but then again I'm not quite sure what fluent means. I think what the nikyuu goukaku explanation says is about right: I can hold a conversation on general topics and read everyday articles well enough, but not well enough that I don't encounter any problems. Also, my knowledge of grammar and kanji far outstrips my ability to express myself naturally in the language. Is that fluent? Proficient? Sufficient? Excentric? Eclectic?
Me does not know. All me knows is me understand big plot in games and manga. That good, but want to understand more, better, quicker. And want to put moves on cute little Japanese girls using Japanese. That まだまだ.
Plus, I've gone off topic.
Er... what was the topic, again?
I've come to the conclusion that that is the fate of anyone who engages in any kind of academic study of a "second" language...Originally Posted by Iwanin
Related to this...
I took this test and got a 71. My wife took it and got a 49. My wife is no doubt better at Japanese than I am, but apparently my knowledge of the overall prescriptive technicalities that are thrown around relating to Japanese is markedly better. Go figure.
A German who doesn't speak Japanese would prolly piss himself laughing...
btw most chinese dialects writes using the same chinese words just pronounced differently. so technically, u can also include other chinese dialects like foochow, hokkien, hakka, teochew in your repertoire as well.Originally Posted by Iwanin
Yeah, I figured on something like that - that's why I was careful to say "at least Mandarin and Cantonese."Originally Posted by Brede
I remain completely ignorant on Indian languages, though, even by this forum's loose standards.
But back to the topic...
I think your teacher was referring to the first Kanji, which are said to have started as symbols for chinese divination practices. They would write the characters in turtle shells. The catch phrase "spare a turtle: remain iliterate" was said to be popular in ancient China. (note: the first bit (about divination) is no joke).Originally Posted by Saithan
I sometimes have that problem myself. It's related to your knowledge of usage more than to vocabulary per se. In other words, if you know what words to expect, it's a lot easier not to get confused on this.Originally Posted by Saithan
Well, as far as I know the author of the Tale of Genji was in fact a woman, and there was a reason why she was so well educated. Although I read somewhere else that she did not like Chinese influence on the Japanese language (my kind of girl):Originally Posted by Hanabi
'just felt I needed to point that out. I dunno, but the suggestion that she was a man *might* be no more than the misbegotten brainchild of some misogynistic scholar or another.
Can someone confirm the meaning of abaremawaru ? thanks!
Abaremawaru : to rampage; to run riot, so said the Japanese <-> English Dictionary and and a friend that happens to be from Japan.
hehe thanks KTFS
someone enjoying changing their names often eh?Originally Posted by Abaremawaru
Is it something exlusively reserved for Khal ?Originally Posted by njt
No problemOriginally Posted by Abaremawaru
Hey! That's offtopic! Stick to the language here! ...Originally Posted by Abaremawaru
*feels like everybody is staring at him*
Errr, guess i'll just leave then