Speaking Japanese: Learning the Language and the Cultural Etiquette

December 11, 2008 by admin · Leave a Comment 

The Japanese language is considered by many to be easy to learn. Whether you wish to speak Japanese for personal reasons like travel or for professional reasons, it is important for you to consider that learning Japanese etiquette is as important as learning commonly used words and phrases.

Why is it that learning to speak Japanese is relatively easy? To begin with, there are only 5 vowel sounds:

·A is voiced as “ah,” or the way English speakers pronounce the a in “la;”
·I is pronounced as the English e in words like “need” and “tea;”
·U is vocalized in much the same way as “oo” in words like “cool” and “soon;”
·E is spoken with the same sound of the first e in the word “letter” and the e in “set;”
·O is expressed as it is in the word “told.”

Knowing how each of the vowels sounds phonetically makes speaking the Japanese words less difficult.

In addition, the Japanese language is less complicated than many others because nouns are not tied to gender or number – the same word is used for one tree or many trees – and verb remains the same regardless of the subject. Unlike English, Spanish and French (and other Latin-based languages) in which you must learn different ways to conjugate the verb based on the subject, when learning Japanese, the verb will be either past tense or the present tense (ongoing actions or the suggestion of what may happen in the future are expressed with the present tense verb).

While pronunciations can be simple once you know how the vowels are spoken, and nouns and verbs are relatively easy as well, one way in which you may stumble with the language is word order. While in English sentences are typically in a subject – verb – object format, in Japanese they are presented in the order of subject – object – verb. Of course, just as we have prepositions in English, there are a number of articles in Japanese. One article used often is “ka,” which is used at the end of the sentence to ask a question (which is important because the question mark does not exist in Japanese).

Though challenges like punctuation exist in the written language, learning to speak and understand Japanese can be accomplished. There are many resources available online, books and flashcards, as well as computer software. By finding the one that will be most beneficial to you and practicing often, you will surely be able to learn the language.

Once you have learned the language, and even while you are learning, it is important to keep etiquette in mind because how you act has as much of an impact on how you are received as the words you use to express yourself.

Make sure that you keep the following in mind:

·Unless you are very familiar with the person you are talking with, you should avoid using casual phrasings;
·Avoid being loud to get someone’s attention. It is better to wave or to approach them with a bow and then speak;
·Use a quiet tone when speaking;
·Be cautious with your body language as much of the communication that takes place is unspoken;
·Always show respect for the person with whom you are speaking.

By maintaining respect for the people and cultural etiquette – you will find that beginning to communicate in Japanese is simple and, in time, you will become quite good at it.

Learn Japanese: Hiragana Symbols

April 15, 2008 by admin · 25 Comments 

Katakana Version is here:

http://genkienglish.net/genkijapan/katakanasong.htm

Hiragana to a dance beat. A simple way to Learn Japanese Symbols. Which do you prefer, this or the katakana symbols song?

http://genkienglish.net/genkijapan/katakanasong.htm

http://genkienglish.net/genkijapan/hiraganasong.htm

A few people have commented on the ko こ and て characters. I ure you they are correct in the video, and that is how some people write them. But we maybe could have chosen a more distinct font for newcomers. Sorry about that!

Duration : 0:1:44

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Using A Learn Yoga CD-ROM Is Ideal For Beginners Yoga

December 3, 2006 by admin · Leave a Comment 

In today’s modern world of computers it is quite easy to look for information about yoga exercise to enable you to decide exactly which yoga posture and yoga exercise you want to practice. You have no need to find a yoga class just pop in a cd-rom and follow the instructions. Two excellent yoga exercise cd-roms are Wellness Yoga and Shiatsu Relaxation. Lithe young women demonstrate these ancient Eastern techniques while mellow-voiced narrators speak over somnambulant music, the better to relax you and make you all well.

Most of us are familiar at least with the concepts of yoga, its slow stretching exercises and its often almost unattainable physical positions. Wellness Yoga is a nicely designed program that packages 74 asanas, or positions, into several packages such as the Quick and Easy Course, the Beauty Course and the Health Course.

The program consists largely of what it calls procedure screens, in which each position is demonstrated in one window while described textually in another. A narrator reads that same text aloud. In addition to the usual tape-recorder buttons to pause, stop and restart the action, there is a graph that displays the approximate duration of each segment of the routine.

The practical difficulties of using this CD-ROM are fairly obvious. The manual, dragged kicking and screaming into English from its Japanese roots, advises the user to First practice forming the pose while watching the screen and try memorizing the whole procedure.” This, unless you have a 24-inch monitor or keep your monitor on the floor, is likely to be difficult. Clearly the actual learning of the poses could be more readily done with a videotape.

On the other hand, you can hunt around in the CD-ROM, choose from the positions you want to learn, and collect them into personal groups. And maybe you’ve got a really big monitor, and a cordless, long-distance mouse.

This is a nice program, well-made and instructive. My only complaint is that it does not emphasize clearly enough that unless you are as slender as the model executing the poses, you are not going to be able to do many of them — the Crow, the Heron and the Frog, for instance — correctly. On the other hand, we can all do the Corpse.

Shiatsu Relaxation, which teaches a massage technique clearly related to acupuncture, is another kettle of fish.

The theory is that rubbing, kneading or poking specific points on the body, called acupressure points, will make other parts of the body feel better. I am not prepared to argue that premise, but the entire procedure seems shiatsu yourself is not clear, either; the program initially suggests you find some of your own more accessible pressure points, but they are not all available to your own hands and all the demonstrations show one person ministering to another.

Perhaps one of yoga’s major attractions is that it combines physical and mental exercise. It is excellent for posture and flexibility, both key physical elements for most sports-people, and in some respects, there are strength benefits to be gained. Yoga teachers say that the approach of yoga therapy is one of the most effective ways of achieving the mental edge that athletes seek.

Let's Learn Japanese Basic 02 – What's that

November 10, 2006 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Learning Japanese has never been easier! There are 52 episodes (2 seasons) so look out while I upload them! Just so you know these were made back in the 80's.

Duration : 29 min 34 sec

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