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Old 04-09-2007, 12:40 AM   #1
Bourne
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Arrow i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

It's kind of depressing. A white person learning Japanese is frowned upon. They even have a word for it, I'd be called a gaijin, with I think is a white wannabe-asian. That isn't the case, I wanted to learn another language, and I wanted one that is radically different from English.

I do believe I have the motivation to actually learn it if I wanted to. But I'd face bull**** everywhere japanese is spoken. So what if I maybe live in Japan one day, or go on a long vacation there. They have seen it all before! You are not special to japanese people if you can speak their language, you are just another westerner. And among people my own age, I'd be another white westerner trying to find a cure for the yellow fever (yeah, they have a name for liking asian girls too) that I don't have. Yes, a country with a housing problem definitely would react well to my ass taking up space.

"yeah I speak japanese"
"you some kind of asian wannabe?"
"no, I just though I'd learn it"
"whatever, go back to watching DBZ and reading manga in your moms basement"

That is what I encountered when I simply told someone I am going to try to learn the language. What if I actually could speak it? Stereotypes up the ying-yang, none of which are true.

Damn, ****ed from the get-go. I'm just glad I came to this full realization before I wasted too much time.
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Gaijin means outsider, from Tokyo Drift
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:59 AM   #3
Bourne
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtTheDriveIn
Gaijin means outsider, from Tokyo Drift

That ain't where it's from.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Hey Bourne,

Why you wasting your time learning Japanese when you should be brushing up on your Mandarin? In 25 years, China is going to be the superpower of the world anyways and all business will run through it. If you want to learn an Asian language, at least put it to practical use in the future.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:10 AM   #5
Bourne
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

I know. Romaji (I figured it could be a stepping stone, but now I figure starting with it might be a handicap later if now abandoned quickly) and the way Japanese only has ~46 sounds got me doing that. Inflection is important to Japanese to avoid homonymns, but to a much lesser extent than Mandarin. That would be too hard.

As a business and economics student, mandarin would be very helpful. Only problem is that there are millions who have spoken it since birth that would do a much better job of it. I don't have an affinity for languages, I don't enunciate well, Mandarin and me are........... apples and mandarins.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSub
Hey Bourne,

Why you wasting your time learning Japanese when you should be brushing up on your Mandarin? In 25 years, China is going to be the superpower of the world anyways and all business will run through it. If you want to learn an Asian language, at least put it to practical use in the future.

Sure. Keep thinking that.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

As a 7 year student of Japanese, who has lived in Tokyo for half a year, I must say that your motivation to quit is quite weak. First off, Gaijin means foreigner, not "Wanna-be Asian." My professor has noted my Japanese to be almost accent-less but people in Jpan will still call me a gaijin though I am of Asian descent. Secondly, while the Nihon Jinron-thinking is quite annoying, it should not be a deterrent of studying Japanese. The language is quite beautiful and studying it allows you enjoy the classic literature/performing arts they have. Moreover, Japan is a beautiful country that everyone should visit. I don't understand by you mean "just another westnerner." I don't get it, do you want to be looked as like some Holy God, cause well if you're not in your own country, you certainly won't be over there. I bet it plays into your reasoning why you want to quit Japanese, you wanted other people to think you're special, but truth is there are so many people learning Japanese that you're really not.

Lastly, you're mentally weak if all somebody has to do is insult you to stop doing something. I play basketball all my life and since I stepped out onto a court when I was 5 I was mocked/insulted by others as a "wannabe-black," but you know what? I don't give a rat's ass. It's a sport I love and I nobody will take it from me because they feel it belongs to another group of people and them only. If you choose to stop learning Japanese because you're afraid to be labled as a "wanna-be," or learn or do anything you enjoy because of this fear of others making fun of you, you're on a road of failure. If you want anymore information about Japanese culture, langauge, I can provide answers as it is part of my degree, but if you're gonna give it up quickly, I guess there isn't a use.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Me and my (also) mixed friend have been to Japan twice...we've NEVER experienced anything like that. People laugh a bit if we fudge a phrase or something...but they'd help us out anyways so it was all in good fun. Like wang said, gaijin is NOT a word specifically for white people learning Japanese...not sure where you got that from.

Our former (white) teacher (who took us there in the first place) now lives there with his Japanese wife, and X amount of children (a bunch...don't even remember how many), and he's pretty well respected, at least in the community he stays in (somewhere in kitakyushu).

Sucks that you experienced all that racism. I guess maybe I've just been very lucky.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:21 AM   #9
albertpujols
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=applemilk1988

White girl on Youtube who speaks Japanese. She stood apart from others as very much different, and is praised for that- with just under 10,000 subscribers.

I am Filipino, but learned German over the years sparked by having an interest in German history and culture. Usually the odd "What the hell, you speak German" now and then, I get more positive attention then negative.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:33 AM   #10
Bourne
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Quote:
Originally Posted by wang4three
As a 7 year student of Japanese, who has lived in Tokyo for half a year, I must say that your motivation to quit is quite weak. First off, Gaijin means foreigner, not "Wanna-be Asian." My professor has noted my Japanese to be almost accent-less but people in Jpan will still call me a gaijin though I am of Asian descent. Secondly, while the Nihon Jinron-thinking is quite annoying, it should not be a deterrent of studying Japanese. The language is quite beautiful and studying it allows you enjoy the classic literature/performing arts they have. Moreover, Japan is a beautiful country that everyone should visit. I don't understand by you mean "just another westnerner." I don't get it, do you want to be looked as like some Holy God, cause well if you're not in your own country, you certainly won't be over there. I bet it plays into your reasoning why you want to quit Japanese, you wanted other people to think you're special, but truth is there are so many people learning Japanese that you're really not.

Lastly, you're mentally weak if all somebody has to do is insult you to stop doing something. I play basketball all my life and since I stepped out onto a court when I was 5 I was mocked/insulted by others as a "wannabe-black," but you know what? I don't give a rat's ass. It's a sport I love and I nobody will take it from me because they feel it belongs to another group of people and them only. If you choose to stop learning Japanese because you're afraid to be labled as a "wanna-be," or learn or do anything you enjoy because of this fear of others making fun of you, you're on a road of failure. If you want anymore information about Japanese culture, langauge, I can provide answers as it is part of my degree, but if you're gonna give it up quickly, I guess there isn't a use.

I will calm the air with a funny pic I just saw:


Matt Damon-Wayans


Now, I'll start with gaijin. I guess I was wrong about it, but the definition I gave is from the only sense of the word I've gotten from hearing it spoken. Interesting that you would be one too.

Secondly, about me possibly wanting to be revered or something, that's wrong. The only times that has ever happened for more than a trivial one-minute-time-filler, it pissed me off. I see why you'd say that after reading what I wrote. It's cool but you are wrong if you were insuing.

Third: the quitting of it. I'm not mentally weak for needing to be insulted to stop doing something (which doesn't really make sense... change insulted to adversity and maybe we got something), I was just foolish for thinking that the benefits could compare in any light to the costs and non-benefits.

costs = all the time and money i'd put into it
non-benefits = being able to have a conversation in japanese (it's a non-benefit because I dont plan on going to japan for any longer than 2 weeks, if at all)

I do have 2 questions for you though. Is "ka" used to indicate a question more often than simply raising your voice/inflection/whatever it's called, or is that a very informal and uncommon thing to do? The second question is how long, and by what process, did you learn kanji, and how far are you in learning it to a sufficient extent?
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

learn Arabic and get paid too
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:37 AM   #12
Bourne
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Matt Damon-Wayans can speak Arabic.

"MATT DAMON JIHAD DERK DERKA MATT DAMOONNN"

god damn I'm going to bed.
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:10 AM   #13
wang4three
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

Well Bourne, if you have no use for the language it would be meaningless to learn. Moreover, until you've spent time in the country you probably couldn't learn enough. Ultimately it's up to you. I started out learning Japanese cause I I didn't want to take AP Spanih in high school and my school was cool enough to offer Japanese, and I instantly fell in love with the language, mostly cause I had two great teachers, one of which was British.

Secondly, "ka" does indicate a question in formal speech. If you're speaking informally you do not use ka and just inflect your voice upwards, just like in English.

Kanji came easy to me cause I had learned Chinese all my life. So when it came to reading it, I never really had a big problem. Sometimes they'll use simplified Chinese, which I had to learn because I was only taught traditional, but as far as brush strokes, and using radicals to figure out the meaning of the character, it was never a huge problem. The biggest problem I have with it is reading it because, there are so many different readings that even the Japanese can't remember all of them. The best way to learn kanji is really just to work at it tediously, write a lot and use them when writing papers. You'll go through two phases 1. hating it and wishing hiragana/katana was the only thing used to 2. loving it and realizing that Japanese would be so much harder without it.

But in all honesty, I've forgotten a lot of Kanji since I moved back to the US. Seeing it everyday in signs was really effective, now I can't remember all the ones I used to see and look it up a lot.
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

I like Japan, but I prefer to admire the country from afar.
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: i WAS learning japanese, but I've stopped

I'm a fan of people who could speak endangered languages. Why don't you learn a language no one has ever heard, or isn't as widely spoken? Then you'll really be special.
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