How To Know If Something Is Good or Bad For Your Japanese

Is it in Japanese?
Was it made for Japanese people?
Then it’s good for your Japanese.

Is it boring?
Then it’s bad for your Japanese.


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  9 comments for “How To Know If Something Is Good or Bad For Your Japanese

  1. ライトニング
    February 15, 2012 at 08:15

    I hate when people speak bad about learning from anime. They are all like “It is distinctively different from real spoken japanese!” When in reality, it’s just real japanese. Sure, you probably won’t say お前をゲットしてやるぜ! in a normal day, but you will say
    お前
    ~~して
    やる
    and ぜ
     

  2. derpaderpa
    February 15, 2012 at 16:31

    That’s some terrible advice.
    Learning from anime is like learning English from R-rated movies.  Sure, it’s “real” Japanese.  But conversely, you’ll be saying “damn” or “hell” every other word if you learn sentence patterns from anime.
     

    • ブライアン
      February 15, 2012 at 18:36

      Um, have you ever been around English speakers?  ‘Cause that sounds pretty damn accurate to how we speak in relaxed, casual conversations.  Sure, I don’t go around saying “fuck you” to my boss, but that is because I’m not an *idiot* and I can recognize the appropriate context for different speech styles.  (I also don’t talk to my friends with “How do you do?” or call them sir or ma’am, because we’re not on a formal footing.)
       
      No one’s saying “you can/should/must learn *everything* from anime”.  That doesn’t work, any more than watching exclusively dramas or only listening to music, not speech.  (And frankly, there’s so much other good media in Japanese, I dunno why anyone would *want* to limit themselves to anime.)  Fluency requires more than keigo; yes, it’s nice to be polite, but you’re not going to bother with clunky phrasing like 「・・・いたしませんか?」 when hitting on girls in a bar.  (Not to mention, overuse of keigo makes you sound like you’ve got the world’s largest stick up your 尻.)  Even if you don’t use it personally, understanding slang and impolite language is pretty important — and anime provides a nice first step.  (Because 声優 speak clearly, rather than mumbling like the average person; and once you learn a phrase, it’s easier to recognize it mumbled.)
       
      (And for what it’s worth, I’ve learned useful Japanese that I use on a daily basis… from playing エロゲー.  I don’t think your argument holds water.)

    • February 15, 2012 at 18:53

      I know what you’re saying: if anime is your only source of Japanese then you’re probably not going to learn how to talk like a normal person, but this site is All Japanese All The Time. If a person is following the guidelines that Khatz has lain down, they couldn’t possibly only be using anime as input. Anime is perfectly fine to watch sometimes. If you read Japanese books, listen to Japanese podcasts, and browse Japanese websites, I highly doubt watching anime will hurt you. You can think of anime as like dessert. Something to do after you’ve had your fill of healthy salad Japanese. People who denounce anime seem to think you’re going to be eating anime ice cream for every meal. Even if you deem anime not a genre worth sentence mining, and I won’t say you’re wrong, there are still definite advantages to watching it (with no English subs, of course): listening practice and comprehension, and reinforcing words and grammar you already know. 
      I just don’t get the anti-anime argument. I don’t know of a person who seriously studies Japanese and at the same time ONLY watches anime. That person just doesn’t exist.

  3. アンソニー
    February 16, 2012 at 00:14

    I pity the person who seriously believes anime is bad for their Japanese.

  4. Eri
    February 16, 2012 at 01:27

    Are people seriously saying the whole ‘you can’t learn Japanese from anime’ again? I thought we’ve been over this:
    1. If learning from anime would make you incomprehensible to Japanese, the Japanese wouldn’t be able to understand anime
    2. People argue that anime isn’t the way people really talk, which isn’t true. The pronunciation is the same, it’s the words they use. And trust me, a not stupid person isn’t going to go around talking about giant robots or aliens in their normal sentences.
    3. Every anime has some ‘everyday words/sentences’. (‘Hello’, ‘Goodbye’, etc.)

  5. Cush El
    February 16, 2012 at 02:18

    So what if anime isn’t “real” Japanese? It’s Japanese so it’ll help you learn.

  6. February 25, 2012 at 06:28

    Are people still asking this question? Wow, I mean, how can you learn languages if you don’t USE the language?
    Tell you what, I’ve been brushing up on my French by reading the Smurfs. Some people would say it’s not even real French–I disagree.
     
     

  7. March 20, 2012 at 10:52

    Saying that Japanese you hear in anime isn’t real Japanese is like saying that the cartoons in America don’t use real English. 

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