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Old 11-21-2016, 03:20 PM   #451
OkikuMew
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Ah, the reading direction reasoning slipped my mind ^^;

But yeah I'm with you Talon. I still find it particular though how two very similar boxes (even by design), made by the same company, yet have a different order of text! Maybe, I guess, with the Mario Pikachu one, they wanted to take a more traditional take? *shrugs* And the fact that although the text is a bit slanted, the image of the box is more vertical than horizontal, so... I mean look at the picture from the auction page:




Edit: Just for comparison's sake, here's some other of Nintendo's hanafuda boxes:
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traditional, Daitoryo/Napoleon:


Mario-style:

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Old 11-21-2016, 07:19 PM   #452
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Yeah both of those have the order reversed (they would read LtR as 大統領 [president] and マリオ [Mario], respectively). It must be some kind of nod to the traditional hanafuda cards or something of that sort
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:49 PM   #453
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Huh. Seems the one that was actually in order is the one odd out! XP It's still strange and funny though! At least I know it's something to keep in mind when reading things that are more in a "traditional" context. Good thing it isn't a long text though, because I would find it confusing to start reading and it feels like non-sense at first but then you go "wait a minute, it's written right to left" ^^; Out of pure curiosity, is there situations like that that happened to you guys?
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:01 PM   #454
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Not really, no. But I was already used to RTL reading conventions. The closest example I can think of when I began studying Japanese is when you see words that are each other's backwards order. So like ...
  • 日本 vs. 本日
  • 会社 vs. 社会
  • 腹切 vs. 切腹
  • 神風 vs. 風神
When I first started, this would slip me up some since often times it's the pair of characters (and in no particular order) that your brain identifies at a glance rather than the individual characters (and in a particular order). But it was only ever the occasional slip-up. And it doesn't much happen anymore. Familiarity with both words in a given AB-BA relationship helps with this. It's much easier to misread 本日 as 日本, for example, when the only word you know is 日本. Know 本日 too and the spell is broken. (Though perhaps not for dyslexics.)
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:53 PM   #455
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BORKED

A Japanese variety show polled news announcers across Japan for their top 10 hardest-to-say words in Japanese. For those who don't want to watch the video (or who can't understand it very well) the top ten are, in descending order

Spoiler: show
10) 火星探査車 (かせいたんさしゃ)- Mars Rover/Exploration Vehicle
9) 暖かく (あたたかく)- Warm (adverbial)
8) 老若男女 (ろうにゃくなんにょ)- Men and women of all ages
7) 栃乃洋 (とちのなだ)- The name of a sumo wrestler
6) 出場 (しゅつじょう)- A performance, a stage
5) 白装束集団 (しろしょうぞくしゅうだん)- a meeting of people in white clothes (associated with this)
4) 取り沙汰される (とりざたされる)- to cause rumors to spread
3) 貨客船万景峰号 (かきゃくせんマンギョンボンごう) - A North Korean ferry that used to run beetween North Korea and Japan
2) 手術中 (しゅじゅつちゅう)- in surgery
1) 高速増殖炉もんじゅ (こうそくぞうしょくろもんじゅ) - Monju Fast-Breeder Nuclear Reactor


Even if you can't understand it very well, it's worth watching to see all the professional announcers bungle words.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:59 PM   #456
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>Talon
Oh alright, so just a question of getting used to see them in whatever order to mean the same thing.


>Jeri
That was quite the interesting video. I didn't really understand what was being said (I'm still very much a beginner ^^;) but it was still great to see the difficult words being said with the Hiragana displayed, so I was able to read it aloud, and agree that they are difficult to pronounce, like tongue twisters... Admittedly though I found the sumo wrestler's name fairly easy to say, despite my limited practice/experience.



In other news, I've actually been keeping up on what I said last time about finally learning how to read Japanese (and at the same time following up on a new year resolution about it) and guess what? I've actually made some major progress! \o/ While I used to know only very few Hiragana by heart, I know fully know how to read Hiragana (although admittedly I still mix up し and ち, and have trouble remembering the dakuten variants) and a few basic kanji, along expanding my vocabulary a lot! ^^ It may not be much, but I still feel proud of myself for getting improvements despite my restricted time to study

I thought it would be interesting if I put here the study sources I've been using, in case some fellow UPNers want to start learning but taking perhaps a different route than usual:
  • about.com Japanese lessons: This is where I started to introduce myself to Japanese for the first time, a long time ago. Although it is very extensive and have regular lessons/things to read for practice, the fact that there's a LOT of information and put a bit all over the place makes things quite daunting and confusing on where to start.
  • My Japanese Coach: This is the second source I've ever used, and one of the rare ones that actually cost something. (They're about 25$ on Amazon.) It's also one of the sources that has the best results for me in terms of learning, namely because everything is divided in lessons (and you can't go to the next one until you mastered all the words/characters of your current lesson) and the way you master them is by playing mini-games, like whack-a-mole and timed crosswords. The lessons themselves are very informative too, covering everything from writing to pronunciation, and has a "I'm actually going to a class with a teacher" feel. The problem I have with it? I found it way too easy for the game to consider I "mastered" the words/characters, when in reality I haven't mastered/remembered them much. Plus when you master them, it just doesn't force you to go back to them for a refresh. (You can do it by tinkering with the settings and going back to the related lessons, but it isn't something you'll intuitively do.) Because of that, I eventually lost interest to continue. There was also the fact that they showed a lot of romanji, but it didn't bother me that much.
  • Tofugu's Hiragana guide: To slowly get out of my Japanese-learning funk, I ran into that little page. Admittedly I haven't gotten through the whole site (it might be good but I cannot tell), but just that one page was very useful for me. It uses imagery to relate to the pronunciation/meaning of Hiragana.
  • PuniPuni Japan (and YouTube channel): I seriously have NO idea how I ran into this website. It looks so random and silly and childish... but I think that's what makes it work and teach you basic vocabulary, grammar and phrases. It reminds of a children animation show (which is how a lot of kids learn new languages without a parent's or teacher's help... I mean look at me, I learned most of my English that way when I was very little!) and, like Japanese Coach, has that "class" feel. Only downside is that there's nothing for keeping a regular schedule of looking at those videos nor practicing it.
  • Shiritori: I think this was referenced here before, but I am not sure. Basically it's your regular game of shiritori (where you have to say a word that starts with the same character as the previous word, until you say a word that has been already said or that finishes with ん) but with a computer to check the words out. I haven't played it much as my vocabulary is still too low to my tastes (and my keyboard isn't set up for Japanese yet), but it is still a cool thing.
  • Memrise: Now we're in business. This app (and website) is the thing that made me not only go back to learning Japanese, but also made me do everything regularly (both learning and practice). I heard it is similar to Duolingo, but has Japanese lessons available. It has a similar "mastering" mechanic like Japanese Coach, but a lot of things makes it stand out. It gives you more of a push to use the app again and again, as you can set up a notification every day to warn you about your time to study, set up daily goals, and on top of that going through the exercises raises your "level" and gets you badges for, say, studying 10 days in a row. Although the games are not as playful, they are pretty effective. When you have problems learning a things, you can read up on tricks to remember written by other users, or write up your own. My actual favorite mechanic is the fact that even if you master a word, they still "force" you and remind you to continue to practice on them every now and then, so you don't actually forget them over time. All and all, out of all the things I used and read, it was the most effective. All that said, I am disappointed in a few things, and it isn't perfect. The first thing is as much as it is amazing to make you retain hiragana and basic kanji, it doesn't show any katakana whatsoever (which is why I haven't learned it yet.) It also doesn't explain grammar at all, as they teach you everything through phrases and sentences (with no explanation besides the meaning of individual words). The other thing is that some very good available mechanics, including video learning (shows you native speakers speak the phrases you're learning), relearning difficult words and speed practicing, are reserved to that "premium" version, which is a very expensive prescription (ie. full price of 85$/year.) One little thing that annoys me is it doesn't ask you to practice on pronunciation or hand writing (just comprehension and typing-writing) but that isn't too bad.
  • Learn Japanese To Survive! Hiragana Battle: A Steam game I picked up on curiosity and because it is pretty cheap. Through a nice simple storyline, it teaches you hiragana through lessons which after you apply on a small basic quiz... and then to old-school Final Fantasy battles! Although when I played it I was at the point I already learned hiragana, I thought it was an interesting way to learn. Plus, one thing that surprised me, is that of all the sources I've tried, this is the only one that actually asks me to both take physical, paper notes during the lessons AND to practice my writing! (I was very horrible at it, but it made me realize that I'll may want those papers with the characters put as faded dotted lines in the future.)

Hope this will help someone in the future Now off I go back to studying!
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #457
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In 2015, I flirted with the idea of taking the N2 but ended up not registering for the exam because of prior obligations that autumn. Last year, the same flirtation arose -- and this time, I determined to make good on it. I quickly decided that I would prefer to sit the N3 first. It would help serve as a diagnostic tool, and given the horror stories I'd read about online, not to mention my own difficulties with the N2 practice tests, I could avoid wasting years sitting an N2 I'm not ready to take were my level more deteriorated than I realized.

Signing up for the N3 was first and foremost a motivator. I used my registration to get myself to formally review material I've sat on for nearly 10 years. I used the looming "threat" of the exam, and the very real payment of $60 to register and an additional $60 to make the trip to Chicago and back, as a sort of "fire" lit under my own ass to get me to study seriously. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. For the first time since 2007, I formally studied Japanese rather than casually absorbing it. It felt really nice. It was hard, satisfying work.

I ended up studying for the months of October and parts of November. The exam was on December 4, the first Sunday of the month. Because of the short time window, my thoroughness, and a few other factors, I was actually not able to complete all of what I would have liked to have reviewed before exam day. (As we speak, after a three-month sabbatical, I am working on and have been working over the past week towards completing this.) But I did make fairly good progress. And like I said: the effort I put in was very satisfying.

You can find an explanation of the JLPT exam levels here. The scoring for the 2017 JLPT N3 was such that a passing score for each section was 19/60 and a passing score for the exam overall was a 95/180. You can read more about scoring here.

If you have any questions, either about the exam itself or about my studying regimen, feel free to ask. For now, I'll wrap this post up by saying that my next goal is the N2. This is "the big one," the one that really makes a difference on your resume. The N3 is like "Oh that's nice, dear," but the N2 is what gets you hired as a translator for a Japanese or American corporation with ties to the other country. Anecdote pulled from my own life: a friend's friend applied for a job with Subaru here in Lafayette and they told her she needed to get certified for the N2. She signed up for the exam, she passed, she re-applied, and they hired her within the week. My personal hope is that with an N2 certification I can possibly open some doors within my own fields of interest.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:45 PM   #458
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Oh daaam, congrats Talon! ^^
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:22 AM   #459
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I took N2 a couple years ago - I managed to do pretty well on everything except the listening, which is why I ended up flunking despite a pretty good score overall.

Don't ignore listening kids.
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