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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #51

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Haha, classic. Mostly I would like to learn east Asian languages because I currently know next to nothing about them. I have studied throughout the years in several different "exotic" languages, Arabic, Ukranian, Dutch, French, Portuguese, but never any East Asian languages. I assume they can't be too much more difficult to understand than Arabic (as every sound in Arabic sounds extremely similar haha) Which reminds me, I should start brushing up on that again, I plan a trip to Egypt soon.
Thai has fairly simple grammar (no tenses, no verb conjugations), but it is a tonal language and a subject-verb-object structure.

Japanese, on the other hand, is a non-tonal language, with a subject-object-verb structure, multiple verb conjugations, at least three levels of formality, omission and implication as part of the language structure, regional variations and three scripts!
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:36 AM   #52

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I hope not too soon! How hard was Arabic?

Learning Japanese has been the single hardest thing I've ever done. Learning French was 123820382038544050480458 times easier.
You should hear me when I'm drunk. My French turns into some kind of bizarre French-Japanese hybrid. "Iie, je ne wakaranai pas la francaise..."
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:37 AM   #53

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Thai has fairly simple grammar (no tenses, no verb conjugations), but it is a tonal language and a subject-verb-object structure.

Japanese, on the other hand, is a non-tonal language, with a subject-object-verb structure, multiple verb conjugations, at least three levels of formality, omission and implication as part of the language structure, regional variations and three scripts!
I remember when I first felt like I could read Japanese fluently. My tutor brought in a poem written by someone in Hokkaido. I almost cried.....
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #54

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You should hear me when I'm drunk. My French turns into some kind of bizarre French-Japanese hybrid. "Iie, je ne wakaranai pas la francaise..."
I do this all the time even if I'm dead sober! I don't know why, but it's hard to shake. It's also weird that I never mix English (my native language) with French and Japanese. It's always a mixture of French and Japanese.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #55
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Sorry to break up the discussion, just a bit more about Frois' writings, apparently the book below heavily quotes Frois.

History of Japan by James Murdoch published in 1903. It is a three volume set. Volume 1 covers from the origins of Japan to 1543, Volume 2 covers 1543 to 1651, and the third volume covers 1651 to 1868.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:40 AM   #56
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I do this all the time even if I'm dead sober! I don't know why, but it's hard to shake. It's also weird that I never mix English (my native language) with French and Japanese. It's always a mixture of French and Japanese.

Understandable, I speak Ukrainian with a heavy French accent, because I learned French first.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:40 AM   #57

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Yes I found French to be extremely easy as well. Arabic was quite difficult because there are several pronunciations that all have VERY different meanings, they write from right to left, and there are several sounds that are so similar it is almost impossible to discern them, unless of course you are a native speaker. I have not used it in about 4 years, wonder how well I can still speak it, never had much of a knack for reading it. Writing it? Yeah right.
Considering I grew up in Qatar, you'd think I'd be able to do more than count to ten, tell someone they're a donkey and say "No Arabic" in Arabic...
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:40 AM   #58

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Sorry to break up the discussion, just a bit more about Frois' writings, apparently the book below heavily quotes Frois.

History of Japan by James Murdoch published in 1903. It is a three volume set. Volume 1 covers from the origins of Japan to 1543, Volume 2 covers 1543 to 1651, and the third volume covers 1651 to 1868.
I think it's free, too.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:41 AM   #59
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I think it's free, too.
Library of Congress says it is in the public domain, I'm going to check it out.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:43 AM   #60

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Sorry to break up the discussion, just a bit more about Frois' writings, apparently the book below heavily quotes Frois.

History of Japan by James Murdoch published in 1903. It is a three volume set. Volume 1 covers from the origins of Japan to 1543, Volume 2 covers 1543 to 1651, and the third volume covers 1651 to 1868.
I've heard of Murdoch's work, but I'm not familiar with it. I don't doubt it's worth a read, but I find early works on Japan very, very archaic. I've read Lafcadio Hearn's work, it's very hard going, especially in light of more modern work and a deeper understanding of Japanese society.
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