Learning Japanese from zero by listening

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golyplot
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Sat May 14, 2022 8:53 pm

(crossposted from my Wanikani log)

A Year of Wanikani Reviews

Since starting Wanikani (again) a year ago, I’ve done a total of 32550 reviews and spent nearly 154 hours on Wanikani. Of those, I passed 24032 reviews, for an overall average accuracy rate of 73.831%. However, that average conceals important variation.

Here is a graph of my (smoothed average) accuracy rate over time:

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As you can see, my accuracy was very poor, back when I first started a year ago. It makes sense since I had tons of high level items awaiting review that I never learned properly in the first place, and I hadn’t touched WK in four months, so I barely remember most of the low level stuff anyway.

39 days in, I was forced to give up and reset from level 60 to 48, leading to an immediate jump in my accuracy rate, since I didn’t have to deal with so many of the high level items I never learned in the first place. Note that this graph is a smoothed average, and thus understates the jump in accuracy.

Soon afterwards, I reset to level 47, and then 46, which helped a bit more. However, even ignoring the resets in the first two months, my accuracy has since very slowly climbed over time. It makes sense, since when I keep missing reviews over and over, I’ll eventually start remembering them sometimes, and so I’ve gotten a lot more familiar with the items on WK over the last year. (And getting better at Japanese in general probably helps slightly as well.)

Accuracy wasn’t the only major improvement over the last year either. Here’s a graph of my (smoothed) average review speed:

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As you can see, when I first started out, reviews took forever because I couldn’t remember anything. I was only managing 1.5-2 reviews per minute. Even after resetting, I was lucky to even hit 2.5 reviews per minute. Since then however, my average review speed has slowly improved, and I’m now hovering around 5 reviews per minute, and often even better than that.

These two improvements are of course closely related. The biggest thing that slows me down when doing reviews is missing reviews, especially when I check the correct answer or look up related words so I’ll hopefully remember it next time. Familiarity with the words in general helps a lot as well - having more words I know instantly and fewer that I have to agonize about helps me go through reviews more quickly.

Meanwhile, here’s a graph of my (smoothed average) review time spent over the last year:

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Counterintuitively, this shows the opposite pattern. In the early months, I spent a lot more time each day doing reviews. (The big dip at the start was when I was on vacation, as are most of the other big dips).

Part of it might have been the initial enthusiasm wearing off, but I think that increasing review speed also counterintuitively decreased the time I spent on reviews each day. When I go through reviews faster, I get mentally tired faster and have to stop sooner. Additionally, going through a higher number of reviews makes me feel accomplished so there is less incentive to keep pushing myself to try to spend an insane amount of time each day doing reviews.

Lastly, here’s a graph of the (smoothed average) number of reviews per day:

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As you can see, the number of reviews per day has generally gone up slightly, even though I’m spending generally less time on them, thanks to the greatly increased average review speed.
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golyplot
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Sun May 15, 2022 3:20 pm

でも僕、他の人間に見つからないようにしなきゃいけないんだ。

I've heard the shinakerabaikenai/naranai form and the casual contraction form, but I don't think I've ever seen someone use the casual contraction and then include ikenai anyway before.

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Glass Mask ep19:

A lot of plot developments in this episode and I didn't remember them at all. I guess it's a good thing, since it means that it's not boring to watch these episodes a second time. Anyway, the most interesting part is when Maya is speed reading the new script and her eyes are quickly going up and down. In Western animation, characters eyes move back and worth while reading of course. It makes sense that they would be vertical in Japanese, but it's still interesting to see, since I'm not used to seeing that.

Image

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あるえー!?なんかいきなり展開はしょってハッピーエンドになっちゃったよ!?

I presume the って is quotation, but I couldn't figure out what the しょ is supposed to be. Unless that は is not a wa-particle and it's actually a form of hashoru (to abridge)? I'd never heard of はしょる before, but he says it several times further down, so maybe.

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うーん……しかし納得いかん。

What is いかん here? Is this an abbreviation of いけない?

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After a week of hard work, I finally managed to get through the giant backlog caused by the interval changes on JPDB last week and did my first new card in a week.

Image

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I got curious about how many non-WK kanji there were on Satori Reader, so I wrote some scripts to download all the stories and calculate the frequency of non-WK kanji. It turns out that there are a lot fewer than I expected.

Note that this is purely based on kanji appearance. Sometimes a WK kanji will appear on SR, but with a reading that WK doesn’t teach you.

Also note that in some cases, Satori Reader has multiple versions of a story available. In these cases, I went with the more advanced version.

Anyway, here’s the list of all non-WK kanji on SR, along with the number of times they appear:
370: 彦
28: 窟餌
14: 頬
12: 拭覗
11: 呑撫腫
10: 掴溜潰瞑頷
9: 唾
8: 吊癌罠
7: 掻揉眩舐辿釘
6: 嗅揃溢
5: 凧吠笹糞餃
4: 侶呟嚇柿騙
3: 俯唸惚惹獺膿茸踪麓
2: 佇冴只堵塞妬姪嫉扁捧晦柚桁歪毯滲爺甥碗稀筑絆絨腺苔蘇賑轟辰這馳鷹
1: 些仇倦冤剃剥厨叶唖囁垢壺幇廻恍悶掟攣斡晃暢杖桶棺椀槌洲淹溺炒痙瘍睨祟箋脾腎腑膏膳茄葛蓋蕎薪薫藁蝕襖躇躊閃陀頓

And here are the lists broken down by story:

Akiko’s Foreign Exchange:
6: 溜
3: 拭揃
2: 唾掻筑釘
1: 佇凧呑垢廻悶捧撫溢腫蘇辿頬頷騙

Closeup: After the Tokyo Subway Attack:
2: 潰
1: 冤揃晃躇躊

Closeup: Obon Society:
2: 辰

Closeup: The Zama Nine Murders:
8: 吊
1: 幇斡稀脾腎

Dialogs: Airport:
1: 潰薫

Dialogs: Bus Stop:
None

Dialogs: Hospital:
7: 腫
3: 膿
2: 扁腺
1: 塞溜箋

Dialogs: Hotels:
2: 只桁

Dialogs: Restaurants:
5: 餃
1: 厨炒膳茄襖

Dialogs: Train Station:
2: 鷹
1: 洲這

Fujiki Consulting Services:
11: 餌
4: 侶
2: 辿
1: 唸攣歪淹痙祟藁覗頷

Hole in the Wall:
8: 罠
3: 嗅
2: 拭爺頷
1: 唾掟潰眩睨絆腫膏賑頬餌

Kiki-Mimi Radio:
6: 呑
2: 吠
1: 撫柿潰轟這

Koibito:
3: 掴揉
2: 妬嫉惚騙
1: 些俯冴塞恍惹歪滲眩釘閃

Kona’s Big Adventure:
2: 吠撫辿
1: 嗅眩苔覗釘頬餌

Kona’s Big Adventure II: The Journey I Live:
15: 餌
8: 癌
7: 舐
6: 撫
3: 覗
2: 嚇掴掻頬
1: 佇倦冴剃呑嗅晦毯溢瘍稀絆絨腫薪蘇蝕釘頓馳麓

Meditation:
10: 瞑
2: 溜
1: 囁

My Sweetie Is Japanese:
5: 糞
2: 姪甥
1: 拭揃暢椀槌潰碗頷馳

News:
3: 踪

Oku-Nikkou:
28: 窟
5: 笹
4: 凧頷
3: 拭獺茸
2: 呟唾嚇掻柿頬麓
1: 剥吠唸壺捧掴杖桶棺溢碗苔葛蓋蕎覗賑轟釘騙

Sakura and Suzuki’s Long Distance Relationship:
1: 彦惚

Secret:
339: 彦
7: 頬
4: 唾揉
3: 呑拭溢眩
2: 俯呟堵惹掴辿
1: 仇叶唖嗅掻揃晦毯溜溺滲絨腑腫覗釘陀頷

Streetside Interviews:
None

The Jam Maker:
2: 柚
1: 撫柿

The Neighbor:
4: 覗
2: 掴

The River Sanzu:
30: 彦
4: 潰
1: 唸眩覗
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vonPeterhof
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby vonPeterhof » Sun May 15, 2022 9:45 pm

golyplot wrote:あるえー!?なんかいきなり展開はしょってハッピーエンドになっちゃったよ!?

I presume the って is quotation, but I couldn't figure out what the しょ is supposed to be. Unless that は is not a wa-particle and it's actually a form of hashoru (to abridge)? I'd never heard of はしょる before, but he says it several times further down, so maybe.

はしょる makes perfect sense in context: the developments got cut short and it's a happy ending all of a sudden.

golyplot wrote:うーん……しかし納得いかん。

What is いかん here? Is this an abbreviation of いけない?

いかない, the full default phrase is 納得がいく.
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golyplot
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Mon May 16, 2022 5:50 am

Glass Mask ep20: I'm mostly just watching passively, but I did learn two new words from this episode.

The first is when talking about The Miracle Worker. When they said Helen was "deafblind" according to the subtitles, I heard something like sanjyuukun, but I was puzzled because when I looked up "deafblind" on Jisho, it only listed 聾盲 (roumou) and its reverse (mourou), which are completely different. I had to listen to the line a second time and then do some trial and error on Jisho before I figured out that they were saying sanjyuuku (三重苦).

The second was when Tsukikage said she was expelling Maya and again later when Maya was musing about being expelled, they said hamon (破門). I didn't quite catch it the first time (houmon?), but I did the second time, and this time I managed to guess the reading on the first try when looking it up on Jisho. (No tricky long/short vowel issues here)

Incidentally, I wonder how much of Tsukikage's cruelty towards Maya here was an act. Maya refuses to audition for the role of Helen because she assumes she'll lose to Ayumi, and then in the next scene Tsukikage berates Maya for acting in Muen Sakura despite being "on probation" and says she'll expel Maya unless she manages to win the role of Helen. It's easy to interpret this as intention manipulation, rather than just being a jerk - she knows that this will motivate Maya to audition for the role and work hard on it, and Tsukikage probably doesn't actually mean to expel Maya.

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P.S. I did an image search for ツーブロック tonight. The translation was listed as "undercut", but I had no idea what that was, even in English. Same with umiyuri (sea lilly) from the title of my recent favorite song (umiyuri kaiteitan). Speaking of which, the last part is officially spelled with a kanji I haven't seen before (譚).
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golyplot
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Tue May 17, 2022 5:40 am

While listening to 4989 American Life this morning, I happened to catch いきなり, a word I first encountered in a sentence I wrote about previously (あるえー!?なんかいきなり展開はしょってハッピーエンドになっちゃったよ!?), so I was pretty happy about that.

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でも、何も起きなかった。

I'm not sure which I'm more annoyed by - the fact that there's both 起きる and 起こる that mean "to occur" or that 怒る and 起こる sound the same, so they're easy to mix up.

父ちゃんが怒り出す前には、必ず頭の毛が立つ。

Speak of the devil! 怒る showed up just two sentences later!

でも、落第はしなかっただろうという感触はあった。

I was surprised that 感触 was used here to refer to feeling as in the sense "I have the feeling that at least I didn't fail a class", since I thought that 感触 referred more to the physical sense of touch. Why wasn't this something like 感じ instead?

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Glass Mask ep21: When Maya is reading the letter Hayami left for her and gets to the part where he says his only condition is that she doesn't try to discover his identity, I noticed an old WK nemesis, 条件, show up. I missed 条件 a lot on WK back in the day due to putting "clause" instead "condition" like WK expects (and also mixing it up with 条約 a fair bit). Eventually, I decided that "clause" was close enough and just added it as a synonym. Anyway, it was interesting to see it show up in the wild.

Image


Also, the sequence where Maya blindfolds herself to try to understand Helen Keller was even sillier than I remembered. It did make me wonder how the inexplicably improvised Japanese fingerspelling thing worked. Presumably they were just tracing kana shapes in each others palms, though it's hard to imagine how that would actually work, especially with stuff like dakuten.

Another mystery of this episode is how Tsukikage and Maya ended up in a building while it was being demolished. Presumably, they had just been squatting in an abandoned church for the last 10 episodes rather than getting permission to use it normally like I assumed, but even so, surely they would have noticed the wrecking equipment outside. Also, you would think that the workers would check that people are inside and make them leave before demolishing the building. Also, they'd probably want to remove the stained glass, furniture, etc. first. I suppose that would explain why Tsukikage was so nonchalant about smashing a vase just to tormet test Maya though...

On the bright side, Hayami berates himself in this episode for chasing a girl more than ten years younger than him, so at least the writers realize how creepy that romance subplot seems.
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golyplot
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Wed May 18, 2022 2:43 pm

Haven't had much luck with trying to study Japanese lately, but I guess I can talk about Glass Mask at least :D .

Glass Mask ep22: The Helen Keller auditions were a lot more elaborate than I remembered. I only remembered there being two stages, the toys and the fire alarm, and I mistakenly remembered the fire alarm happening first. However, there were actually four rounds in the auditions - toys, lunch, a scene from the play, and then the fire alarm. It's interesting how memory can play tricks on you like that.

Maya had blue rather than white eyes when doing the "putting on a mask" thing again. I guess that's just how they're drawing it now. I wonder why they switched.

Image

However, the thing I was really wondering about was Ayami and Maya's heights. In the last couple episodes, Ayami appeared to be much taller than Maya, and it made me wonder if she had grown over the last 2-3 years.

I looked at the earliest episodes where they met to try to see what their heights were like at the start. Unfortunately, it's hard to get a good comparison, since they rarely happen to conveniently by standing side by side. E.g. this is what their first meeting looks like in ep3 - Maya is in the background here so you can't get a reliable comparison.

Image

Fortunately, they are conveniently on stage together with a wide side shot in ep5, so their heights can be compared here. It looks like Maya is perhaps half a head shorter than Ayami here.

Image

Even more conveniently, Ayami and Maya are standing together in another straight show in ep22 as well, making it possible to reliably compare them:

Image

It looks like Ayami is slightly taller in comparison to Maya here than she was in ep5. In ep5, Maya looked to come up to around her eye level, while now it is more like chin level. However, it's a lot more similar than I thought. A lot of shots made it look like Ayami was a full head taller than Maya, but that's probably just due to her being in the background.

Incidentally, while going through ep22 again to look for shots to compare their heights, I happened to notice that Maya is wearing a cross necklace. I'm surprised I didn't notice it before, but I guess it makes sense, since when I'm watching an episode for the first time, I'll of course mostly be focused on looking at the subtitles, and even then it's hard to notice background details like that. Anyway, it's interesting, since there's no indication in the show as far as I know that Maya is Christian. I wonder if she's just wearing it to look cool.

Image
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby Arctagon » Fri May 20, 2022 12:48 am

Hi, I’ve been reading your major updates, and it’s been interesting seeing your progression. I’m a bit confused as to why you’ve been spending such a significant part of your valuable time learning kanji, though, when the premise of your learning approach is through listening. In your one year update you even state that you didn’t really spend that much time reading, meaning learning kanji hadn’t had much of a purpose, and not being able to reinforce what you’ve learned through reading, making further learning of kanji increasingly difficult. Kind of a vicious cycle, no?

It also seems that you may have bitten off more than you can chew with your selection of anime in the beginning, opting to watch anime that is far too difficult for your level. It’s difficult to get good at deadlift if you start trying to lift 300 kg and go at it until the weight somehow leaves the ground. I mean, you may get there eventually, but it will likely be a slow and painful process, and there are certainly better options out there.

Do you focus on listening when watching anime? You say you rarely pay attention when listening to podcasts, which means you will get very little out of it.

You were originally planning on doing Japanese for one year. Have you set yourself a new time frame, or do you see yourself keeping this up for a while?

Anyway, good luck!
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Fri May 20, 2022 5:56 am

トムは正午についた。

I was confused by this one since I saw についた and immediately thought "について = topic", but that didn't make any sense here.

火事の時は、火の粉をかぶらないように何かまとったほうがいい。

I was surprised by the reading here, since I thought 粉 was kona in kunyomi, but apparently it's just ko when it's on fire. I also couldn't imagine what "fire powder" could be until I saw the answer (sparks).

さすが、お嬢様。自由奔放な生活をしていたわけじゃないんだ。

It's funny because I already knew the word being introduced (お嬢様), but didn't know the other words in the example sentence (さすが and 自由奔放). Apparently 奔放 is on WK lvl58 though. I was also embarrassed that I misread 生活 as sewa (世話). To be fair, the kanji do look like the same readings.

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I finally finished 濁った瞳のリリアンヌ ch6 this morning!

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血が喉を競り上がってくる。

This is a reading of 競 (se) that I hadn't seen before. More significantly, I can't make sense of the sentence! Jisho lists 競り上げる as "to bid up the price of", but how is blood bidding up the price of your throat? This must be some figurative language, but as it is, it seems very strange. And since it's just an example sentence on JPDB, there's no context or translation either.


ブライアンさんは、「無理しなくていいですよ

I always thought 無理 meant "impossible" (or rather, I thought it meant useless/pointless/futile, which is close enough), so this sentence seemed odd. Apparently, 無理 can also mean "excessive work". TIL

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Glass Mask ep24: It's interesting what I remember from before and what I don't. For example, I remembered that following The Miracle Worker, Maya had a brief taste of fame and success before getting isolated from her friends and sabotaged. I remembered that someone stole her mail to make her think her friends weren't writing to her and vice versa, and I remembered that her mom dies while watching one of her movies.

What I did not remember at all was that Tsukikage was responsible for Maya's isolation! Of all the tortures that Tsukikage has put her through, this might be the harshest yet. At least Maya was smart enough to personally confirm it with Tsukikage first, rather than just taking Daito's word on the matter.

I also got a bad feeling when I saw the ship set, since I vaguely recalled some sort of accident, but apparently that is not happening yet.

One other background detail I noticed - the hotel they visit appears to be called 新日帝ホテル. What on earth kind of name is New Japanese Imperialism Hotel?

Image

Anyway, it is interesting how studying Japanese lets you notice little details that you wouldn't appreciate as just an English speaker. There was also the scene where it sounded like Maya was speaking in an excessively formal manner to Hayami (only to stick out her tongue when he turned his back), though my Japanese isn't good enough to understand it well.

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Arctagon wrote:Hi, I’ve been reading your major updates, and it’s been interesting seeing your progression. I’m a bit confused as to why you’ve been spending such a significant part of your valuable time learning kanji, though, when the premise of your learning approach is through listening. In your one year update you even state that you didn’t really spend that much time reading, meaning learning kanji hadn’t had much of a purpose, and not being able to reinforce what you’ve learned through reading, making further learning of kanji increasingly difficult. Kind of a vicious cycle, no?

It also seems that you may have bitten off more than you can chew with your selection of anime in the beginning, opting to watch anime that is far too difficult for your level. It’s difficult to get good at deadlift if you start trying to lift 300 kg and go at it until the weight somehow leaves the ground. I mean, you may get there eventually, but it will likely be a slow and painful process, and there are certainly better options out there.

Do you focus on listening when watching anime? You say you rarely pay attention when listening to podcasts, which means you will get very little out of it.

You were originally planning on doing Japanese for one year. Have you set yourself a new time frame, or do you see yourself keeping this up for a while?

Anyway, good luck!


Even at the beginning, I never said I would *only* practice listening, just that it was my main goal. It's still useful to be able to read (even anime has text on screen), and you need to be able to read in order to look up words, etc. And that turns out to be a lot more true than I initially appreciated. And the skills are complimentary - you need reading to reinforce listening and vice versa.

You may have missed it, but I've actually been doing a lot more reading practice since last fall. Mostly with Satori Reader, but I've even been occasionally trying to read real web novels in Japanese.

As for biting off more than I can chew on Anime, I think that is true. It's a bit ironic, but for the first 1-1.5 years, I watched a lot of shows in Japanese with no subtitles in the hopes of developing listening skills through immersion, etc. But in the last year, I've almost exclusively watched anime with English subtitles enabled, despite my Japanese obviously being much better than before. I just got tired of not understanding everything. I do try to catch bits of what they're saying (and already knowing the meaning from the subtitles helps a lot), but I'm primarily just watching for entertainment.

As for podcasts, it's true that I'm rarely paying attention, but I do occasionally, and also even when it's just in the background, sometimes my mind will latch onto a random interesting word or phrase, so I think it is still useful. It is certainly something I've questioned myself many times, but the opportunity cost is low.
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golyplot
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Sat May 21, 2022 5:47 am

Last night, I was searching the history of my log and came across this post, where I talked about learning 手応え and seeing it come up in the wild. It was a bit disheartening to see that, because I had no memory of 手応え, and it made it seem like all my learning was potentially pointless. Oh well.

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これは注目の的になりそう。

I always thought of 的 as teki. I had no idea that it had another reading (mato). I would have never guessed that it had any other readings.

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I watched a Hayato video tonight and discovered a new word - 食らう. I actually looked it up because I assumed it was some grammatical form of 食う, but it turned out to actually be a separate word. Among other things, it can mean "to receive (e.g. a blow)", which makes a lot more sense in context than say, to be eaten.

Image

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I looked up なら this evening, and ended up on Maggie Sensei, which as usual, has so many examples that you fall asleep halfway through. (On the bright side, hopefully it will help me fall asleep, now that I need to go to bed). Anyway, one of the examples caught my eye (before I got too sleepy and gave up trying to read it)

Ex. 「小型犬なら飼ってもいいよ。」
= Kogataken nara katte mo iiyo.
= If it is a small dog, we can have one. (limiting the choice/giving a condition)

I had no idea that 犬 even had an onyomi! I guess it makes sense, since I did learn 献, which looks similar and is normally read "ken".
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Re: Learning Japanese from zero by listening

Postby golyplot » Sat May 21, 2022 6:07 pm

This morning, I briefly listened to Utaco talking about See's Candies, and the word "narande" jumped out at me. I thought "huh, narande, I wonder what that means", but none of the common verbs seemed to fit, until a second later, it suddenly came to me - oh, she must be talking about the way the chocolates are lined up inside the box (i.e. 並ぶ). 並ぶ is on WK, but I could barely remember it, and probably wouldn't have been able to guess the reading correctly if asked out of the blue, so it was really cool to see my subconscious able to pull it out of latent knowledge like that.

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One thing I found interesting about the Miracle Worker arc of Glass Mask that I didn't mention before: Besides the aforementioned 三重苦, the characters often refer to Helen Keller as "目も見えず耳も聞こえず言葉も話さないヘレン" (or sometimes variants like 目も見えず耳も聞こえないヘレン for short). It's interesting because it isn't at all the way we would phrase things in English. In English, you say that a person can't see/hear, not that their eyes/ears can't see/hear. We also don't use relative clauses so much in general, and would just say "deafblind", rather than those convoluted phrases. As far as I could tell, the show never uses the term 盲聾, despite that being the dictionary translation of "deafblind". (Though it's possible that they did and I just didn't notice.) I also found it interesting how they use the -ず form for the first 1-2 verbs and only put the last in the regular negative potential. I wonder why.

Also, apparently the Japanese title of The Miracle Worker is 奇跡の人, which I found interesting because it seems more like "The Miracle Person" rather than a literal translation of "The Miracle Worker". I also remember hearing "kiseki" constantly in the Japanese dub of Encanto, and it's interesting to see it come up again here.

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もちろん、人が歩道橋を歩いて危ないことなんてひとつもない

Why is this wo instead of de?


「断ることも覚えないとダメよ」「いや、その必要はないよ」
"You need to learn to say no." "No, I don't have to."

I was confused by this, since I thought oboeru just meant "to memorize", but apparently it can mean "to learn" as well. I wonder what the different with 学ぶ is.


クミコが、「おはよう。準備はできた?さあ、私の手に乗って」と、僕に手を伸ばした。

This also confused me somewhat, as I thought of できる as "to be able to", so I interpreted 準備はできた as "Were you able to prepare", which luckily kind of fits anyway. But apparently, it really means "to be finished". Per Jisho, it also has five other meanings, including "to get pregnant" of all things. It also occurred to me that this might be where 出来上がる (to be finished), a word I always struggled with on WK, derives from.

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I heard Utaco say something that sounded like zuratte when talking about the wide selection of greeting cards in American stores. I couldn't find anything like that on Jisho, but it did list ずらずら (in an endless stream), so that might be related.
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