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    kon-nichiwa

    kon-nichiwa, ogenki-desu-ka

    Hello. How are you?
    ~ Мастерадминов Мастерадмин Мастерадминович ~

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    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    amari benkyou shinai hito wa jouzu ni naranai yo.

    unn.... boku wa heta desu kara ne

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    I wish I could speak Japanese...
    What is more useful, Japanese or Chinese?
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    - How would you say российские дороги in Japanese?
    - Toyama tokanava

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    What is more useful, Japanese or Chinese?
    If China completely embraces capitalism then Chinese; otherwise Japanese.

    I think Japanese has more of a cultural presence in the Occident than Chinese due to the mass exporting of Manga, Pokemon, anime, cinema, etc.

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    Heh, just realised that my second sentence doesn't actually make sense.

    So... thanks Masterrussian for making me realise just how rusty my Japanese has become

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    Ok then, but what if I don't like manga, anime, Japanese cinema or Japanese films, can Japan offer me more than that? They don't have a particularly rich history (compared to China that is - I mean, Japan was only inhabited since the 8th century or something), I don't know of any good works of literature to come from Japan... China does have all that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    Ok then, but what if I don't like manga, anime, Japanese cinema or Japanese films, can Japan offer me more than that?
    Watching the Kurosawa back catalogue in its original form is, IMO, worth the effort all by itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    They don't have a particularly rich history (compared to China that is - I mean, Japan was only inhabited since the 8th century or something),
    What, you mean 1200 years of history isn't enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    I don't know of any good works of literature to come from Japan... China does have all that.
    Bare in mind that to read any literature from either culture in its original form you would need to master their writing systems. Both are a lifetime's study in any event, but Japanese is significantly more simple than Chinese by all accounts (you only need to know about 2000 kanji characters + two easy-peesy syllabaries to be up to native school-leaving standard, whereas Chinese has tens of thousands of unique characters).

    I've still no idea which one would be more useful though

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    What's Kurosawa?

    What, you mean 1200 years of history isn't enough
    Well, you know, the first couple of hundred years don't really count as they've still got to invent pottery and the wheel. Samurai are cool, of course, as is the Golden Age, in which Holland was the only nation to get to trade with Japan. And of course their video-games and gadgets aren't too bad either... Maybe learning Japanese would entertain me briefly. But I still think Chinese could be more interesting.
    I'm not much of a visual learner, so how on earth can I learn all 2000 kanji (or 10's of thousands of Chinese characters)? How did you do it, Scotcher? Or were those sentences the only ones you knew?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    Ok then, but what if I don't like manga, anime, Japanese cinema or Japanese films, can Japan offer me more than that? They don't have a particularly rich history (compared to China that is - I mean, Japan was only inhabited since the 8th century or something), I don't know of any good works of literature to come from Japan... China does have all that.
    Actually, it may be that all that long history of China is a fake. For example, the Chinese have long boasted that they knew advanced math a lot earlier than Europe, and they would frequently cite a table of logarithms published God knows how many centuries ago. However, I recently read somewhere that the book had been found to contain errors, which is not all that unexpected for a table of logarithms calculated with lots of pebbles and sand. What was unexpected was that the book had exactly the same errors as a table published in Europe in the 18th century.

    Likewise, the great wall appears to have been constructed quite recently, too. Which of course can be explained by the need "to renovate", but still.
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    What's Kurosawa?
    Legendary film director famous for such films as Throne of Blood (a sumarai retelling of MacBeth) and The Seven Samurai (which was later brought to English speaking audiences as The Magnificent Seven).

    Without Japanese/Hong Kong cinema then all of Quentin Tarantino's projects would be excessively dull. You can see a lot of influence from today's Japanese enfant terrible, Takashi Miike in Tarantino's films.

    "Beat" Takeshi is another excellent exponent of Japanese media - actor, director, singer, painter, writer...

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    Bah! You blasted Japanese are all the rage around here... CHINESE, man, CHINESE! It's all about the ZHONG WEN!

    I would definitely say Chinese is much more useful. There are Chinese everywhere - we, ahem, they, are the real businessmen of Asia. Japanese may have lots of wide-eyed cartoon characters but they mainly stay on their little island, methinks. Chinese, however, we, ahem, they, are all over.

    Also, if you wanted to join MI-5 or whatever, you'd be in much higher demand if you spoke Chinese. I don't remember Japanese being on the CIA's hot list of "We'll pay you 50,000 bonus upon joining if you know this language."

    As for the writing system, Japanese has tens of thousands of unique characters too which they borrowed from Chinese. The thing is, they don't use most of them, and the same thing applies to us,ahem, the Chinese. You only need to know a couple thousand to read Chinese newspapers. With Japanese you've got to learn two "alphabets" and use them in grammatical endings and stuff.

    Chinese grammar is much easier than Japanese. Japanese is filled with all sorts of set phrases you've got to learn, and there's so many of them, and let's not even get into past - negative - honorofic forms of "i" adjectives combined with "de wa arimasen" and so on. The verbs seem at first very unmenacing, until you have to start combining them and using the different forms with all sorts of crap.
    In Chinese, however, you don't even have to conjugate verbs. The grammar is really simple and in my opinion much more 'fluid' than Japanese. I also think Chinese sounds nicer, but let's not get into that...

    I won't argue with bad manners over Chinese history, at the risk of losing one of my greatest benefactors on this board, but let's just say that most people agree China has one of the richest and greatest histories of any world civilization. Better than "living on an island then borrowing bunches of stuff from the Chinese and later Europeans, losing a war, then becoming beloved in the West for funny cartoon characters, cars and karate", IMO. Let's not go into "kung fu vs. karate", but you know where I stand

    I'm no economist or anything but personally I think China will become much greater and more powerful in coming decades.

    So as to your choice: Learning BOTH is always an option.

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    ..aren't there a couple distinct languages called 'Chinese?'

    i.e. Mandarin Chinese, which is the only one I know of off-hand..

    or maybe I'm just dumb.. I don't really know anything about far Eastern languages..

    but if so.. which Chinese language are you [Pravit] talking about here?
    i dont try to be different, i am.

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    Well, the two main ones are Mandarin (Northern) and Cantonese (Southern, Taiwanese, Hongkong). Mandarin is the official language of China. I believe there's also an 'educated' language, like the french of nineteenth century Russia, but I've forgotten the name.

    All dialect differ in speech, but not in writing. If you write something down, every (literate ) person in China can read it.
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    Jasper:
    I'm not much of a visual learner, so how on earth can I learn all 2000 kanji (or 10's of thousands of Chinese characters)? How did you do it, Scotcher? Or were those sentences the only ones you knew?
    To be honest, I didn't really try to learn Kanji. I learned both Hiragana and Kitakana (the two syllabaries/ alphabets) inside a couple of days, but I was more concerned with the spoken language and didn't really foresee any need to use Kanji regularly enough that I wouldn't just keep forgetting the characters I'd already learned. Even then, just through occassional interest or notes in my textbooks, I probably knew upwards of 300 really common characters. There is an absolutely fantastic dictionary out there called The Kanji Learner's Dictionary, published by Kodansha, but even armed with that I suspect you'd still have to learn by just practicing your strokes ( ) over and over and over and over again, like the natives have to do when they're at school.

    Pravit:
    Chinese grammar is much easier than Japanese. Japanese is filled with all sorts of set phrases you've got to learn, and there's so many of them, and let's not even get into past - negative - honorofic forms of "i" adjectives combined with "de wa arimasen" and so on. The verbs seem at first very unmenacing, until you have to start combining them and using the different forms with all sorts of cr@p.
    In Chinese, however, you don't even have to conjugate verbs. The grammar is really simple and in my opinion much more 'fluid' than Japanese. I also think Chinese sounds nicer, but let's not get into that...
    Can't argue with you as I don't know any Chinese myself, I was just going on what I'd been told by others who do. You're right about the complex grammar in Japanese if you take into account all the different 'levels' of speech of course, but as a wide-eyed gaijin in Japan you won't ever be expected to understand, let alone use, most of them (probably only the 'normal/ intimate' form + 'desu/ ~masu' form, tops), so it's only really as complicated as you want to make it. Maybe I just didn't notice how much of a ball-ache it was because I found the system so interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    CHINESE, man, CHINESE! It's all about the ZHONG WEN!
    Оптимисты учат английский, пессимисты китайский, а реалисты - автомат Калашникова.
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    Почему только оптимисты учат английский? Мне кажется что было бы ужасно если все на свете знали бы английский язык. Было бы скучно...

    But what I wanted to say is: Create a forum for the study of 中文 (zhong wen - Chinese)!! If needed delete the Norwegian and (it breaks my heart)Dutch forums... Can't see anyone seriously wanting to learn those languages.
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    Согласен. Но зато как удобно. А то приезжаешь, например, в Хельсинки, а в аэропорте ни один таксист по-английски не говорит. Равно как и по-русски. Но, странное дело, многие говорят по-немецки. Странные там таксисты. Но, что характерно, никто не говорит по-китайски. Не пессимисты, что не может не радовать. И все как один, наверное, ворошиловские стрелки.
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    but as a wide-eyed gaijin in Japan
    Ahem, ahem....I think I've made it clear from this thread and many others that I am most certainly not white or wide-eyed(not that that's a bad thing). Sure I have said my family was from Thailand, but do remember...."we are everywhere " Ah, enough subtlety already! I am Chinese! *pumps fist* I've heard there is a bit of racism in Japan(against non-Japanese), is that so? At least they don't get violent about it...

    You could use those books which explain the origin of the characters. If you break it down into radicals and learn what each one means, gradually each of the characters comes to mean a story. I used to keep forgetting "wo"(I) until I realized it was "hand" and "pike", like a hand holding a pike, or "I".

    BTW, today's the first day of Chinese New Year....yay....yay....I need some red bean cakes...

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