thegluups
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Hi, I'll be studying law next year, so nothing to do with languages, but I'd like to continue learning japanese. I've heard quite a lot about the language center, but I wanted to know, how many people really use it, is it as good as people say?

Do we really have enough time to learn a language? also, i heard that if you stuided a language all throughout your degree, you were entitled to get the equivalent of first year uni degree in that language...

thanks...
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epitome
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I know an Engineer who learnt Japanese through the language centre for his first two years (at least -- I'm not sure if he carried it on to his 3rd). He really enjoyed it.

You take qualifications/certificates as you go along, so there's always a record of your progress -- what level you get to is up to how much time you put into it (like everything else, really).

Plenty of people use it: linguists wanting a 3rd or 4th language; an Historian wanting Arabic; an English student interested in Spanish. Whatever. It's a really good resource but, like most things, you'll normally get out of it what you put in.

As for whether there's enough time...if you make time for it, there will be time, yes. "There isn't enough time" is generally not truthful. Just make time, and prioritise your real priorities, and get rid of as much of the other rubbish as possible. Therein lies the ability to Do Many Things.
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scout5
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ooo, good questions. I would like to continue to learn French hopefully to a near fluent level as I have always wanted to live and study in France. Having realised the usefulness of having a second language, I would also really like to pick up Spanish. Is it over ambitious to want to continue one language and pick up a completely new one?
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Supergrunch
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I remember looking and seeing that the language centre didn't have any courses for Japanese, but I hear they have all sorts of materials and things, not that I had the chance to investigate last year. I also remember something about an independent speaking practice thingy, not sure if that still exists or not. How good are you at Japanese currently? You might find that your needs are better suited by books and the like.
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Supergrunch
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(Original post by chris1200)
Yeah they don't have any taught course in Japanese... it's all self-study. Which I would think is very hard to get to a good level from scratch, especially in a language so foreign.

They do have CULP courses in Mandarin though... and the AMES faculty has an All Comers Chinese course.
Oh yeah, forgot about the Mandarin courses... might do one of those this year.

As for Japanese self-study, it's definitely possible, though not necessarily alongside a Cambridge degree. This is probably one of the most useful resources for self-studiers.
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coldfish
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I really wish I'd done German or Mandarin. Alas, opportunities lost.
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Supergrunch
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(Original post by chris1200)
Omg no I hate that website. It contradicts nearly every textbook out there, including the Cambridge one.
Oh noes! Tae-Kim is a bit full of himself, but it's pretty useful for teaching basic grammar. Which contradiction are you talking about, the wa/ga distinction?
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Supergrunch
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(Original post by chris1200)
Stuff like that, and I remember there being another particles issue (what he called them maybe?). And also using kanji so early without any idea of what they mean or how they're read is bad I think (though he makes a point to say how it's such a good idea).

I had to stop reading it he annoyed me so much! lol
The problem is probably that he's not a language teacher, just someone who knows Japanese, so he gets some terms incorrect and makes up others (like "gobi"). He also gets angry about people calling "ga" the subject particle, though this is really just a useful label for linguists. I think it's a good guide all the same, and I have to say I agree with him about kanji. I suppose it depends on whether or not you want a steep learning curve.
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Supergrunch
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(Original post by chris1200)
With the kanji... Yeah it's good to learn quickly, but you need a foundation. Someone utterly new to Japanese needs to learn the kana first. Then, the concept of kanji must be explained (such as readings, radicals, combinations, stroke order etc.) and THEN they can be used... but only when the reading is written next to them. With all that, I'd agree with having them early
Just so long as we're agreed on missing out romaji and starting with kana. :p:
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Zhen Lin
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(Original post by Supergrunch)
The problem is probably that he's not a language teacher, just someone who knows Japanese, so he gets some terms incorrect and makes up others (like "gobi"). He also gets angry about people calling "ga" the subject particle, though this is really just a useful label for linguists. I think it's a good guide all the same, and I have to say I agree with him about kanji. I suppose it depends on whether or not you want a steep learning curve.
I'm fairly sure I've seen gobi (語尾) used elsewhere. There is, of course, a whole lexicon of native (well, Sino-Japanese) grammatical terminology for Japanese.
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Supergrunch
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(Original post by Zhen Lin)
I'm fairly sure I've seen gobi (語尾) used elsewhere. There is, of course, a whole lexicon of native (well, Sino-Japanese) grammatical terminology for Japanese.
It is used, but as far as I'm aware it's only used to denote the inflected endings of words - for instance, "-iru" in Japanese, or "-ism" in in English - basically, I think 語尾 is usually a technical term in Japanese descriptions of morphology. Tae-Kim uses it to describe the sentence enders such as "yo" and "ne", which don't class as part of the inflected terminal word, and as such are not part of its morphology. He's aware of this, and just uses the term for convenience, but I suppose it could confuse someone.
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Undiscovery
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(Original post by thegluups)
Hi, I'll be studying law next year, so nothing to do with languages, but I'd like to continue learning japanese. I've heard quite a lot about the language center, but I wanted to know, how many people really use it, is it as good as people say?

Do we really have enough time to learn a language? also, i heard that if you stuided a language all throughout your degree, you were entitled to get the equivalent of first year uni degree in that language...

thanks...
Come to SOAS and learn Japanese! You'll never look back
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Zhen Lin
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(Original post by Supergrunch)
It is used, but as far as I'm aware it's only used to denote the inflected endings of words - for instance, "-iru" in Japanese, or "-ism" in in English - basically, I think 語尾 is usually a technical term in Japanese descriptions of morphology. Tae-Kim uses it to describe the sentence enders such as "yo" and "ne", which don't class as part of the inflected terminal word, and as such are not part of its morphology. He's aware of this, and just uses the term for convenience, but I suppose it could confuse someone.
Ah. That is indeed a misuse of 語尾. Those are called shūjoshi (終助詞).
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Supergrunch
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(Original post by Zhen Lin)
Ah. That is indeed a misuse of 語尾. Those are called shūjoshi (終助詞).
Many thanks, never knew what to call them.
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thegluups
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(Original post by chris1200)
Yeah they don't have any taught course in Japanese... it's all self-study. Which I would think is very hard to get to a good level from scratch, especially in a language so foreign.

They do have CULP courses in Mandarin though... and the AMES faculty has an All Comers Chinese course.

Oh ,pity then, I'll just have to continue Mandarin then... I did about a year of Japanese, and really enjoyed it. I've been doing Chinese for three years, but don't like it at all...

So basically, what you're saying, is that, as long as you took A-levels in the language, you can get some language certificate??

Thanks for all the answers btw
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thegluups
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(Original post by chris1200)
You could always just randomly turn up to my (results tomorrow morning permitting) Japanese classes if they don't clash with your lectures.

I remember reading that all students are allowed to attend any classes/lectures they like. Though I don't know how this works in practice...
Yeah.. that isn't a bad idea, thanks! The only problem is that my level in Japanese is probably not nearly good enough...
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Supergrunch
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I hear you should check with lecturers before turning up to lectures for small subjects like Japanese... not that I ever had the free time for such things last year.
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