Japanese in two years - Doable?

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Le Baron
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Apr 30, 2024 9:18 pm

rdearman wrote:I plugged in your numbers and to B2 (upper intermediate) you will need: 8 years, 1 month, 16 days.

No news like bad news. :lol:
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby Querneus » Wed May 01, 2024 12:12 am

rdearman wrote:You might be interested in the Study Time Calculator

https://autolingual.com/study-time-calc ... motivation

I plugged in your numbers and to B2 (upper intermediate) you will need: 8 years, 1 month, 16 days.

What an interesting little page! Do we have a thread on it anywhere?
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby golyplot » Wed May 01, 2024 4:36 am

Sizen wrote:The one thing I'd recommend (read preach :lol: ) is learning how to read characters through actual vocabulary and not just memorizing a list of kun-yomi and on-yomi for each character. Although some generalizations can be made, it's not always clear whether a word will use one reading or another and some words will mix kun and on-yomi. Through vocabulary, you'll develop a sense of which readings are used when, which can never be 100% trusted, but it's something.


Not just vocab study - you'll have to do a lot of reading in order to reinforce both kanji and vocab study.
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby rdearman » Wed May 01, 2024 11:23 am

Querneus wrote:
rdearman wrote:You might be interested in the Study Time Calculator

https://autolingual.com/study-time-calc ... motivation

I plugged in your numbers and to B2 (upper intermediate) you will need: 8 years, 1 month, 16 days.

What an interesting little page! Do we have a thread on it anywhere?

Here

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 19&t=16803
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby alaart » Thu May 02, 2024 7:38 pm

JLS wrote:[...] I've got a two-year timetable by which I'd like to be ideally "fluent" (ie. to be able to converse, give speeches, reason, persuade, talk somewhat professionally in it). [...]


If conversation is your goal, you will have to make it a priority in your study. Since the phonology is not too complicated, achieving a decent level of speaking is generally possible and I have observed many fellow students reach a conversational level, in Japan and outside. But I also know people who can't speak but know other aspects of the language well, it's just about making it your focus or not.

I speak well, and I started speaking early, but I can't read too well and forget about 1/3 to 1/2 the characters all the time. I am only around ~N2 level after 7 years and 5000 hours. There are certainly faster people around.

If you want to speak professionally, be aware that Japanese has politeness and specific vocabulary for professional speech and these things need to be trained.

I don't know about your time limitations, they don't sound too realistic, but I tried something similar with Korean - so who am I to judge. In the end there will be some result which will enrich your life.

Living in Japan helps, I observed my roommates from Mexico reaching around N3 level coming from nothing in a year, all of them reached conversational levels.

Good luck!
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby leosmith » Fri May 03, 2024 2:38 am

JLS wrote:- Focus mainly on spoken Japanese and audible comprehension
- For reading and writing, concentrate on just getting what's needed to competently move around (eg. sign forms, order from menus, ask what aisle the soap is in)
- Beyond "everyday Japanese," focus on reading and writing and speaking related to what I'd be mostly doing if I went

To reach the highest level in conversation possible, you could just stick to kana. It is the phonetic script they use. Kanji is mostly what’s making your goal impossible; it is composed of Chinese characters. Or you could even just stick with Romaji, the romanized script. But two possible problems occur to me.
1) It may be difficult to find enough stuff to read/stay immersed since the vast majority of Japanese is a mixture of kanji and kana. You can convert text to kana/romaji, but it might drive you nuts if you have to do it all the time.
2) You are still going to need kanji (maybe 500 or so) to understand signs and menus, which you said was one of your goals. If that’s the only time you’ll use them, it’s going to be pretty hard to stay on top of them. You might consider dropping this requirement entirely until you meet your two year goal.
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby JLS » Fri May 03, 2024 1:09 pm

Le Baron wrote:
rdearman wrote:I plugged in your numbers and to B2 (upper intermediate) you will need: 8 years, 1 month, 16 days.

No news like bad news. :lol:


I was trying to figure out just where he low-balled me :P

I appreciate the insight and honesty of everyone here. There's obviously no way to short-cut the reading aspect, so I'm not going to try. Reading and writing are going to be quite important for me anyway. If I want some kind of meaningful proficiency in Japanese it looks like even two hours each day may be ambitious (but that's better than nothing). Either I increase the study time or stick to one hour per day, make it the most effective study possible, and then have an immersion joyride if/when I get to Japan. But it any case, I need to know it well enough to do real good with it.
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby JLS » Fri May 17, 2024 12:47 pm

A friend of mine made a bold claim. I'm not sure how well he really communicated it. English is a second language to him, and (not being mean, just real) he's got a little ways to go in speaking it. But he said that if you already know Chinese then you know 30% of the Kanji you need to know for Japanese.

Like I said, I'm not confident he communicated well in English. But how true is this? It seems like many Japanese kanji mimic traditional Chinese kanji, with a few like Chinese simplified, but other kanji are modified in a distinctly Japanese fashion.

My impression is that spoken Chinese / Japanese reciprocity is very low, although knowing some Chinese kanji can help you get a rough idea of what you might be reading (though it may not help with pronunciation).
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Re: Japanese in two years - Doable?

Postby leosmith » Fri May 17, 2024 8:32 pm

JLS wrote:if you already know Chinese then you know 30% of the Kanji you need to know for Japanese
If you know traditional Chinese characters, then it's got to be over 90%.

Maybe he was talking about mainland Mandarin, which simplified about 2000 common use characters in 1958. Some of them match their Japanese counterparts, but most don't. However, in addition to the ones that match, there are some characters that didn't get simplified which are also use by Japanese, so maybe the total of these two groups of characters equals about 30%.

Take a glance at the Joyo Kanji (the "most common" 2136) to see if you recognize any.
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