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An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese - UniLang

An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese

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Dome
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An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese

Postby Dome » 2014-09-03, 19:11

First post here, so I hope I'm not breaking any protocols.

My 11-year old has announced his desire to learn Japanese.

I am looking for advice on the best way to proceed with his request

I speak a good bit of Russian and a small amount of Spanish. English is our native language. Any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Ciarán12
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Re: An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-09-03, 20:00

As I'm not American (let alone from the specific part of the States you live in) I'm not sure what the availablity of exposure to the language is locally, but I have known Americans who were able to study Japanese at high school, so when the time comes for that you might think about looking around at schools that offer it. Other than that, luckily, Japanese has a huge online presence and there is a wealth of materials available for learners. I started with "Japanese for Young People" (a high school textbook) when I was about 15 and I found that to be a nice introduction to the language (the layout is not too formal/boring and the dialogs are interesting), there are also a few books that teach Japanese through manga* such as this, that might provid the right level of language instruction and stimulation an 11 year old Japanese learner would enjoy ;)

A slight word of warning: manga and anime in Japan are not just for kids, there are comics and cartoons for people of all ages and demographics spanning all sorts of topics and genres, so when picking something out for your son (even a book that teaches Japanese through manga, like the one I linked to above), you might want to flick through it first to see if the content is age-appropriate.

*manga is the term for Japanese comic books, or more generally any comics drawn in the style of a Japanese comic. They are hugely popular both in Japan and the West, I'm sure your son has either read some in English translation or has watched anime (that's the TV/movie cartoon equivalent of manga) such as Pokémon or Dragonball Z.
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Meera
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Re: An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese

Postby Meera » 2014-10-25, 17:34

Hey Ciarán12, Sorry this is off topic but I was wondering how is Japanese the Manga Way? Can a beginner learn from it? (I'm up to chapter 9 in Genki) and is it just specifically for Manga or can you apply it to real spoken Japanese? I saw it in my local bookstore and looking through it and the amount of content in it looks great.

To Dome, I would suggest getting your son a book on Hiragana and Katakana first. I used this one and I thought it was great:
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Hiragana ... d+KAtakana

It also has illustrations of the letters, and is very kid friendly in my opinion although some of the exercises might be a little frustrating. It is like a workbook where it teaches you how to write the letters. It's a great book. Another book you might want to try is Japanese from Zero.
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Zero-Tec ... e+for+kids

It is a pretty laid back book, and I think it would be okay for kids. Another two things that I wouldn't normally recommend but maybe your son could try Pimsuleur or Rosetta Stone for Japanese. I normally don't like either, but with Pimsuleur he could take the tapes anywhere with him and listen to it as much as he wants, and the directions are simple to follow. Another option might be "Speak Japanese" from teach yourself, it's not very kid friendly as it centers on tourism and adults speaking Japanese in Japan, however it is a lot like Pimsuleur and much cheaper. I heard Rosetta Stone works great for children, since it is immersion. But it is EXPENSIVE and really not worth the price, but many people do like it. I started another language with Rosetta Stone (the very old version) when I was about 13-14 and I liked it a lot.

This book may also be useful, I am a beginner and like it although sometimes the Kanji is difficult.
http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Japanese-Be ... k+japanese
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Re: An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-10-25, 23:31

Meera wrote:Hey Ciarán12, Sorry this is off topic but I was wondering how is Japanese the Manga Way? Can a beginner learn from it? (I'm up to chapter 9 in Genki) and is it just specifically for Manga or can you apply it to real spoken Japanese? I saw it in my local bookstore and looking through it and the amount of content in it looks great.


I've never actually used the book myself, but I just got a copy online now and looking through it it looks geared towards beginners, so you shouldn't have any problem using it. I've only looked over it briefly, but the language it teaches looks useable for conversational purposes, but you should be wary of the different registers used by the different characters - sometimes it's two high school kids talking to each other, sometimes it's the president giving an address, sometimes a CEO of a company shouting at his staff etc... so obviously you can't just use all of the content in the same situations. Also, the writting style is irratic with lots of non-standard stuff used which you shouldn't emulate in an essay or anything like that, but getting used to the various ways Japanese writing conventions can be "broken" for effect in literature is something you should eventually get used to anyway.
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Meera
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Re: An 11-year old aspiring to learn Japanese

Postby Meera » 2014-11-02, 17:02

Ciarán12 wrote:
Meera wrote:Hey Ciarán12, Sorry this is off topic but I was wondering how is Japanese the Manga Way? Can a beginner learn from it? (I'm up to chapter 9 in Genki) and is it just specifically for Manga or can you apply it to real spoken Japanese? I saw it in my local bookstore and looking through it and the amount of content in it looks great.


I've never actually used the book myself, but I just got a copy online now and looking through it it looks geared towards beginners, so you shouldn't have any problem using it. I've only looked over it briefly, but the language it teaches looks useable for conversational purposes, but you should be wary of the different registers used by the different characters - sometimes it's two high school kids talking to each other, sometimes it's the president giving an address, sometimes a CEO of a company shouting at his staff etc... so obviously you can't just use all of the content in the same situations. Also, the writting style is irratic with lots of non-standard stuff used which you shouldn't emulate in an essay or anything like that, but getting used to the various ways Japanese writing conventions can be "broken" for effect in literature is something you should eventually get used to anyway.


Thanks that's really good information Ciarán! I think I will get the book. I guess it never hurts to have too many books :P
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