Does it make any sense to focus on written Japanese first?

General discussion about learning languages
Ezra
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Re: Does it make any sense to focus on written Japanese first?

Postby Ezra » Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:52 am

Gordafarin2 wrote:If you do go forward with this method (and if you do, more power to you, and keep a log of your progress so we can see how it goes!), you might be interested in investigating Victor Mair's teaching style, where he teaches Classical Chinese without requiring Mandarin or a background in Chinese characters. I don't know how he does that, precisely (do students learn pronunciations? or just English glosses?), but he has done it for years.
There are several ways to pronounce Chinese characters, Mandarin's pronunciation is only one of them. As far as I remember, his students can choose which one to use (besides Mandarin there are Japanese, Korean etc). The bigger problem, I think, is not how to pronounce characters but projecting grammar and other linguistical expectations from Modern Chinese to Classical. Those are very different languages, and trying to conform Classical Chinese to Procrustean bed of the modern variety will make more harm than good.

The real reason one might want to learn Modern Chinese first is to gain access to different resources to Classical Chinese. But Victor Meir thinks there is enough resources in English. I am not sure this is the case but provided one can read German and French there is enough (German has best grammars, while French has Gran Ricci dictionary). Also, if a student wants to pursue an academic career in Classical Chinese he will eventually need Modern Chinese to get access to modern scholarship.
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Ezra
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Re: Does it make any sense to focus on written Japanese first?

Postby Ezra » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:42 am

adam11j wrote:I'm just curious about the question, why more and more people prefer classic Chinese instead of Modern?..

This is a gross overstatement. Absolute majority of those who intend to learn one of Chinese languages are going to learn Mandarin. There is a handful of those who contemplate serious studying of classical variety, especially if we talk about Western learners.
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jimmy
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Re: Does it make any sense to focus on written Japanese first?

Postby jimmy » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:23 am

tdpl wrote:It's been my dream for a while to be able to read novels in Japanese. However, this seems to be the last skill that non-native learners of Japanese acquire so at a relaxed pace I'm probably looking at a 10-20 year timeline. I'm very much an absolute beginner at the moment, I now hiragana, katakana, and a few common kanji and I can read some simple sentences. I find it much easier to retain the meaning of words based on kanji than their pronunciation so I'm wondering if it makes any sense to ignore the spoken language for a while and just to try to get as quickly as possible to the point where I can read things that I find interesting. For example, I could work through the lessons in the "Remember the Kanji" book and then just learn vocabulary based on meaning, ignoring kanji readings. If at some point I can read books and enjoy them, I could in principle listen to an audiobook at the same time and try to get used to spoken Japanese as well.

The thing is, I don't even know if that's possible. My native language has a relatively direct, phonetic orthography and when reading books in English or French I try to at least remain conscious of pronunciation so that I don't "mispronounce" words in my head. I know that it's possible to read without subvocalizing and I'm sure there are Japanese people who are completely deaf but can read and write just fine, perhaps largely unaware of pronunciation or hiragana spelling of words that are always written using ideograms.

I couldn't find any info on the Internet about anyone attempting to learn Japanese that way, it's usually the other way around (people want to speak withouth having to learn kanji). Does anyone have any experience with a similar approach?

I only overviewed the topic and the text for several seconds and I would like to remind you a point.
YES,IT WILL DEFINITELY MAKE SENSE!
now I have applied to wipo for ePCT but they will require me to write my patent document in the target country's language('s') I would like to hold right of patent.

I have many patent files. More than 5 in the current position.
I was previously thinking like this: While studying chinese is very entertaining to me, I shall not be able to learn the pronunciation (well) for a long time. What is more this language is tonal,so its pronunciation will more complex. <<<------ I was just thinking like this.

The thing I emphasis here is that I was supposing that it would be almost nothing even if I learn by heart more than 2.000 chinese caharacters of mandarin.

but now ,I am frustrating by the lack of this knowledge.

What is more,I am planning to open a website and presumably I shall be able to represent information in only three languages.

But the more option you have , the better conditions you have.
The more qualifications you have, the better one you are.

...
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