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Off topic: Chinese or Japanese or Russian
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
Sep 1, 2003

At a nearby language school, I can attend language courses, among them:
Chinese, Japanese or Russian.
I have known a Chinese geologist for about 10 years and have Russian acquaintances.
I understand a lot of Russian words and can read a bit of Cyrillic.
However, the Japanese course has been on my bookshelf since 1983. Never found time to study it. Japanese and Russian are given on the same day. From a financial point of view Japanesepays more. So, what to choose?
Feedback from the experts in those languages welcome. Arigato gozaimasu or Spaziba bolsoj.


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:33
German to Polish
+ ...
I am not able to judge your Japanese, Sep 1, 2003

but the Russian version should be rather "bolshoye spasiba"

Regards
Andrzej


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Nobody is in your shoes Sep 1, 2003

if I were you, and wasn't able to choose with the information you have, I'd try to meet the teachers. Learning is also a question of feeling with the person who teaches. As you hesitate between three languages you cannot choose with a coin. I'd suggest to draw lots, too.

My three pesos.


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Yuri Smirnov  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:33
English to Belarusian
+ ...
Or, to be exact... Sep 1, 2003

Andrzej Lejman wrote:

but the Russian version should be rather "bolshoye spasiba"

Regards
Andrzej


Or, to be exact, either "bol'shoye spasibo" (the way it is spelled) or "bal'shoye spasiba" (the way it is said)


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Choice made Sep 1, 2003

Thanks for the answers. No, nobody is my shoes. I think I will take Japanese. Reasons being that from an economic point of view it offers more possibilities:
I already had an offer to interpret for three months at a good rate for a Japanese car-manufacturer. Unfortunately, I did not know the language. There are a number of Japanese companies producing high quality goods and who knows I might consider inhouse employment. I have alread been in the three countries and maybe next time, I will not get lost in Osaka.
So, it will be learning Hirgana, Katakana and Kanji...
The other languages will have to be "assimilated" (assimil).


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Alexandru Pojoga
Romania
Local time: 15:33
Japanese to English
+ ...
Japanese, Japanese... Sep 1, 2003

How can you pass?

Best of luck!


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ALAIN COTE  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:33
Japanese to French
Excellent program for Kanjis Sep 2, 2003

Williamson wrote:
So, it will be learning Hirgana, Katakana and Kanji...


Take a look at this Web Page. You will find an excellent program for learning Kanjis. It is free...

http://web.uvic.ca/kanji-gold/

Good luck


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vladex  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:33
Polish
+ ...
dark and clear l Sep 2, 2003

Yuri Smirnov wrote:
to be exact, either \"bol\'shoye spasibo\" (the way it is spelled) or \"bal\'shoye spasiba\" (the way it is said)


Well, in Russian \"dark l\" and \"clear l\" are different phonems, but in English they\'re not (although both exist as different sounds). Therefore, Englishmen won\'t write \"l\'ondon\" to express clear l contrary to \"bell\" (dark l). And so, in an English-way transcription it is unusual to write \"l\'\", as English doesn\'t use diacritic marks any more (apart from some french origin words).

In my and Andrzej\'s language dark l is not pronounced any more (as it used to be in past, now it remains only in eastern dialects) as it was replaced by \"w\", when we transcribe Russian, we use \"l\" for clear l, and special Polish letter \"³\" (capital is similar to a symbol of pound) for dark l. That\'s why Poles hardly ever write \"l\'\"...

Forgive my English - I know it is not pefect


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:33
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Good luck! Sep 2, 2003

Good luck learning Japanese...perhaps you can let us know how it goes. I'm sure it'll be enjoyable and that you've made the best choice for you!
Best wishes,
Aisha


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:33
English
+ ...
Choose Japanese Sep 2, 2003

Japanese offers a number of interesting challenges, (some of which you have already mentioned) such as having to learn hiragana, katakana AND kanji just to be able to read everyday material. Add to this such things as grammar that probably does not resemble anything that you are already used to, learning to use keigo(kenjoogo, sonkeigo, teineigo) properly, three or more readings for almost every kanji etc. and it looks really daunting indeed. But you may find that, like life itself, you can get out of it what you put into it and you may be pleasantly surprised once you start. A little goes a long way in my experience. Gambatte.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You can not learn them all... Sep 3, 2003

Still a difficult choice:
This is a business forum so one may not be sentimental:
From a sentimental point of view, I would choose Russian. I have a friend there could become my wife. I also picked up a bit of the Slavonic mind. Except for the New Russians, most people in Russia strive to survive, but have learnt to cope with it.
At times their attitude seems a bit blunt, but if you get to know them better when you drink that "chut chut" (a correct spelling would be welcome)-which turns out be a bottle-of vodka, you become one of them, you are "familia".
My friend's knowledge of English is elementary and my knowledge of Russian is limited to the daily words I picked up when I lived with her.I would like to communicate a bit better.
The interest for Japanese is more practical: I practiced Shotokan for 5 years, wanted to see Japan, go lost there (5 hours in that underground in Osaka), there are a lot of Japanese firms in Europe, I have a German acquaintance who has grown up with Japanese neighbors and the Japanese mentality and who has made "Japan" his profession.
However, Japanese people are more difficult to get through than Russians or Chinese. Is Japanese mentality the "Borg"-kind of mentality?
The interest for Chinese stems from my Chinese friend who taught me the basics of Tai Chi and who translates from time to time into Chinese for me.
He always asks me "when you come to China" and his wife always stresses the importance of learning Chinese.
When I go to the "Cercle Polyglotte" and there are Finnish people present it strikes me that there are resemblances in the pronunciation of Finnish and Japanese?


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:33
English
+ ...
resemblance of Japanese and Finnish Sep 3, 2003

If anything, maybe it's the predominance of vowels (take a look at any page of Finnish) but having been exposed to both i don't notice any really strong resemblance. The stress patterns are different and Finnish definitely has vowels that Japanese lacks but then again maybe it's because when i hear Japanese i understand it so it's not quite "neutral" to me in a way it may be to you. Anyhow, pick Japanese and good luck.

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