Worries about learning Japanese in the beginning stages
I was going to write about some worries I had about Japanese during my initial learning just in case this gets wiped from my memory.
most of my issues I was worried about with Japanese was stuff that’s not also present in Korean such as long-short vowels and intonation. Well yes Korean has intonation too but it’s not as big a deal in Korean because Japanese is more reliant on it with the lack of consonant sounds etc.
I honestly pondered in the beginning how do the Japanese people not trip up when they talk fast and uninhibited with all damn long-short vowels そう じゅう しゅう だいいち おねがいいたします
徒労 灯籠 とろう とうろう
粗相 そそう= this means to crap your pants etc
which do not exist in Korean. The stressed syllables was one thing but having to hold a vowel for 2x longer etc was MIND-BOGGLING. I remember when I was reading Japanese or trying to output Japanese when I was talking with myself I was very deliberate in my pronunciation of the long/short vowels and also with particles with wo which was unnatural but couldn’t be helped. I’m like I spent 0.3 seconds saying this so if the long vowel means you hold it out longer then I should hold this for 0.6 seconds lol… so there would be all this unnecessary stressing in the talking/reading because this was a challenge. of course I would be SUPER LIVID when I watched a Japanese talk/variety show and somebody said something I didn’t understand and I wanted to look it up and there was a possibility that it was a long or short vowel or there was a possibly there’s a stress with the small tsu and sometimes i’d have to type out various possibilities and figured out what was said ( of course there’s homophones so typing out the variations is half the battle). ALSO there’s words like DAIICHI or KEII where it’s the LONG-VOWEL for i which at the time i would’ve never been able to catch and loook up. oF COURSE if i could go back in time i would say bug the crap out of lang-8 japaese poeple.
The reason why the long vowels aren’t a big deal is because Japanese has intonation so like a 2 syllable word of long – short will always have the same intonation and the opposite of 2 syllable word of short-long always has a certain intonation. and 2 syllable word of long long will have a specific intonation etc etc. I’m sure there’s exceptions but for the most part the intonation is a dead giveaway. I went from not even knowing there is intonation to noticing it then being able to copy it from hearing Japanese so much. my advice to japanese beginners is to listen to alot of japanese because what will happen is you will remember the word pronunciation with the intonation which becomes effortless after a certain point and i don’t go oh shit is it short vowel or long vowel. it’ s really obvious from the intonation whether that word is short and long or short short etc etc. In fact I think it’s incredibly DIFFICULT to speak Japanese and pronounce the short/long vowels with the opposite intonation while dragging the sound for the correct duration because it just goes against all the japanese input. Kpop stars usually suck at japanese so their intonation is always wrong so it’s grating and sometimes they speak japanese with the polite korean intonation which sounds REALLY ARROGANT and unpleasant in Japanese. Also they suck at the long/short vowels so shoujojidai usually call themselves shojo jidai which means virgin generation…. probably everyone except sooyoung!
from all my previous entries about learning japaese and getting used to it this is also something you will get used to and not worth worrying about. nowadays when i read or speak japanese with myself I don’t think twice about whether it’s a long or short vowel… it just comes out correct with the correct intonation. it’s effortless and automatic.
as far as intonation is concerned i wasn’t aware of its existence and ignored it. when somebody brought up the diff in intonation between hashi and hashi i honestly can’t hear nor mimic the difference lol. I still cannot do it now actually lol. I probably pronoumce hashi with the wrong intonation. I”m fine with pronouncing japanese with correct intonation for the most part but isolated words like hashi is just like… goes over my head. But obviously context will fill in the gap and HONESTLY not everyone in japanese uses the same intonation for hashi since there’s kansai-ben etc
Knowing korean provides advantages for learning Japanese but they are still different languages. Think of SPanish and english yes they’re similar and whatnot but they’re STILL different languages and you gotta put the time in and get used to the spanish or the english.