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Wan Zafran’s Guide to Japanese

Wan Zafran, kanji hero and reader of this site (also reported to be unbelievably handsome) has completed a series of tutorials on the methods and tools he uses to learn the Japanese language (with more to come, son). Here’s a link to them.

  8 comments for “Wan Zafran’s Guide to Japanese

  1. April 17, 2008 at 01:17

    “also reported to be unbelievably handsome”

    Khatzumoto-先生, 誇張しないでくれますか!

  2. Rob
    April 17, 2008 at 03:03

    That’s an interesting method you’re using. The main question (concern?) I have would be using an English translation right next to the Japanese. Ultimately, isn’t this what we should be avoiding or moving away from? Any thoughts on this Khatz? Thanks.

  3. quendidil
    April 20, 2008 at 22:57

    I’m not Khatz, but I don’t reckon it should be a problem while you still need a translation at the beginning/incubation phase. It’s the same as using a 和英 dictionary. It’s quite different from subs on a TV show or movie, where you need to focus on what is happening on screen, the audio and the subtitles. Here, you can read the translation for clarification on a word instead of searching through a dictionary. You can also easily cover up the translation when you think you should be reading the raw text.

  4. April 22, 2008 at 19:30

    I tried this out for kicks, but immediately found a problem – The punctuation for translations will not typically be identical, meaning you have to go through the entire file to check that the contents of each cell match up nicely. That’s pretty tedious, and you’d have to understand the source text anyways! Did I miss something here?

    (single sentence, one cell)

    [Translation]My arms are folded. I’m sitting at the bedside of a woman lying on her back. I’m about to die, she says in a quiet voice.
    (three sentences, three cells)

    (Sidenote: “I sit next to the bed, arms folded, and a woman lying on her back gently whispers, ‘I’m going to die.'” Could have done it in a single sentence in English, too.)

  5. April 26, 2008 at 20:01


    I admit that the method is not catch-all in its approach.

    Its main usage is to help you create parallel texts very quickly. In some cases, the parallel texts will be perfectly aligned as soon as they are made, whilst in other instances, they won’t be. In the latter case, you’d still need to spend some few minutes sorting the sentences out. Shouldn’t be too hard; to expedite the process, just customize your keyboard shortcut keys. (Still, compared to the traditional means (e.g. copy-paste), this method is a cheap and easy way of creating a large number of parallel texts for personal study.)

    And yes, even if you can’t read the Japanese words when you’re trying to align the sentences, the kanji themselves should suffice as a guide to let you know which sentences goes where. (This is where RTK also helps.)

  6. Amanda
    January 3, 2009 at 15:38

    Aw, he doesn’t have the blog anymore?
    I got so excited too Dx

  7. Tyler
    April 12, 2009 at 00:55

    Yes, I’m very confused as well. What happened to the blog?

    I can’t learn from Wan Zafran. 🙁

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