The Aristasia Forums Archive Forum Index The Aristasia Forums Archive
See current activity at www.aristasia-central.com/heartbook
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Starting the Group
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Aristasia Forums Archive Forum Index -> Japanese Conversation Group
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Starting the Group Reply with quote

The Japanese Conversation Group is an idea that has been plipping about since Raihiranya Sai Rayanna founded the Empire.

Well, perhaps not quite that long, but a jolly long time, anyway. Those among us who are Japanese scholars or would-be Japanese scholars or know the odd bit of Japanese that they found among the fluff in under the sofa cushion, have long agreed that it was an excellent idea.

In my case, never having managed to get on a course (Dea seems to protect me from such involvements with Telluria, which is doubtless necessary - but it does leave me just a touch under-educated) I should simply welcome any opportunity to practise or to get a vague idea how to go about learning properly.

Honoured Minami-chei (you have no idea how welcome that name sounds in these chill-ridden climes!) has come back to Virtualia and brought with her some very helpful thoughts on setting the group in motion.

I have asked her to share them on this Forum, so I think she will be posting soon.

Naturally, we can also use this Forum for any purpose the Group has - making a membership list, posting texts, transcripts of conversation (if we want them), assignments (if we have them) or any other material we want to share.

And naturally any and all of you who want to be in the group are welcome to post here with your thoughts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Alissa Lily



Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rayati,

Thank you for establishing this little corner of the forums, honoured Madonna-chei! (Or should I say Madonna-san now?)

May I suggest that all interested pettes leave a note and a brief evaluation of their skill level here ? I think it would be most useful in planning possible assignments and setting our goals. Madonna-san did so already, and I will give mine as a further example: I've taken five semesters of Japanese courses, but the pace of the teaching was so fast, I had to concentrate on desperate cramming for each exam and forgot most of the subject afterwards. Furthermore, it has been several years since then, so my Japanese has gotten terribly rusty. I can form basic sentences and discuss very simple things (likes, dislikes, what I did yesterday, what a nice dress you have etc.). I can read and write hiragana and katakana and some of the most common kanji. The rest might resurface from the depths of my mind with some (read: a lot of) practice!

I'm looking forward to learning together with all of you!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mengxia Yu
Contributy supermaiden


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 435
Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have taken two semesters of Japanese courses at my university. However, my professor was a rather absentminded maid--I believe she may have been in the first stages of Alzheimer's disease--so we really did not learn much; we did not even finish the textbook! However, I have continued to study on my own for several years. I can carry on a basic conversation unaided (Hello, how are you? The weather is nice, let's get something to drink.) and with my dictionaries I think I can handle just about anything.

I can read hiragana, katakana, and some basic kanji. (What kanji I do not know I can look up in my dictionary.) My ordinator can both read and write Asian text.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said above, I been able to have no formal instruction in Japanese. I am also not really a "fan" of Japanese entertainments (I could easily be one but they aren't a part of the life of our household).

I have worked on an audio Japanese course and I think I have about the same basic conversational level as honoured Yu-san (Hello, how are you? The weather is nice, let's get something to drink.) Since I have never had the opportunity to practice conversation (beyond a few sentences in the White Rose Room now and again) I really don't know how well I can manage this. But I know enough to try.

I cannot really read hiragana or katakana. I know the characters (though I get confused by a couple), but I am at the stage of thinking carefully about each one rather than "reading" them. This is because I have no idea how to get any practice in reading them. Most Japanese texts contain kanji and so are unreadable. I have tried to find simple kana texts but have not been able to.

I have tried learning some kanji, but again I have not really known how to practice and "fix" them so I have forgotten most of what I have learned.

Left to myself, my working methods are so random and chaotic that I have not managed much progress except in the audio area even where I have a vague idea how to proceed (which mostly I haven't).

The audio learning has been achieved by doing audio lessons every day in my bath and while applying make-up. Probably the only regular thing in my life apart from sleeping and eating is bathing (none of these are regular in the sense of happening at any particular time or on any schedule - except recently sleeping thank to honoured Elder Sister! - but they do tend to happen most days). So by tying my audio lessons to my bath I have managed a degree of consistency.

Heehee - I do blather!

Why do I want to learn Japanese? I often wonder. I do not watch Japanese entertainments much at all and I am unlikely to have real conversations (I hardly have real conversations in English outside Virtualia and the White Rose Room - I can't imagine how they could ever arise in Japanese).

But I am fascinated by the language itself. Its very structure contains certain cultural assumptions that are different from those built into Western Tellurian languages, and which feel somewhat closer to those of my native Novaria.

What is often forgotten (owing to the cultural autism of West Telluria) is that if Japanese contains cultural assumptions, so do the West European languages which West Tellurians like to think of as "neutral" or "transparent". Only by stepping outside those languages can we perceive their assumptions at the linguistic level.

So I think a lot of my reason for wanting to learn Japanese is to gain a different cultural-linguistic perspective. It seems to me that only knowing a West Tellurian language restricts one to a particular linguistic "point of view": and not necessarily the soundest one.

And while I am aware that immersing oneself in the whole Japanese culture, not just the language, is the only way fully to understand "Japaneseness", that is not necessarily my aim. I am not a "Japanophile", I am an Aristasian. And in any case, my participation in West Tellurian culture scarcely goes beyond the linguistic and literary, so I feel there would be at least a degree of balance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Mengxia Yu
Contributy supermaiden


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 435
Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A proposal for the Japanese Conversation Group:
Would it be useful for us to make a thread for learning Japanese writing? Perhaps we could start with hiragana and katakana charts, then do...oh, maybe five kanji a week to study together?



I shall follow Madonna-chei's example and explain why I want to learn Japanese as well!

I am a fan of Japanese entertainments, and have been so for years and years, so one of my goals in beginning my Nihongo education was to be able to watch Japanese entertainments without subtitles. There are many nuances of the language (especially in puns!) that one just cannot capture in English subtitles.

Part of this interest also stems from my Tellurian education. In history classes, my teachers would spend an entire month on World War II, but only one week on the whole history of all of Asia. I hardly got to learn anything about Asia. I think that has contributed to my interest in Asian language, history, culture, etc. One of the reasons I feel drawn to these subjects is a desire (originally subconscious, now actively pursued) to fill in a gap that my Tellurian education left empty.

So, my interest is not just in Japan, but the rest of Asia as well. Concerning languages, I have been picking up some Korean from being around native Korean speakers, and plan to study that language as well. I have been learning Mandarin Chinese. These languages are so very different from English; they are really fun to learn!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Minami Kohime



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologize for taking so long to post a reply. Gomennasai...

As Madonna-chei has mentioned on her first post, we had a nice chat about the japanese conversation group and I offered my help to organise its beginning. The ideas I presented concerned mainly the usage of a book or method, but not with the intention to make it a proper Elektracourse, but instead use it as a guideline for the subjects that will be discussed and learned upon. And as the group progresses, it would be very important to have the opinion of all of you regarding the efectiveness of the current "method" - although I do not like defining our work with this word - and suggestions about how it could be improved and what would make the discussion lighter, fun, interesting and educative.

I also suggest that we make a new thread with every new subject that arises and that, even if we begin with a very basic subject, all of us should take part on the development of this thread, according to the level of knowledge each of us carry, and leave it as complete as possible for us and for any pette who might become interested in Japanese, but does not have any basis to begin with. And who knows what kind of new discovery we could make with basic subjects, ne?

Well, all of this put into words, allow me to present my own humble educational experience with the Japanese language. About ten years ago (oh dear, didn't know it was so long ago!) I began a kind of "self learning" course at an estabished Japanese institute near to my school. It was only me and the ordinator, and it would have been a complete disaster was I not an asian person with a considerable knowledge of Korean language and culture already. It was delightful to learn how these two ways of speaking are so alike! Well, this course lasted for an year, and then I thought it was time to learn with a real teacher who would interact more personally with me. And, although it was very nice, the growing demands of my regular school made me give up on the course even before I could take an exam to evaluate my level then.

I still have very strong ties to japanese culture and try to keep my so-far-learned basic Japanese in shape. I mainly do it through listening to music and going after their translations on Elektraspace, and sometimes peeking over Miss Haruka's shoulder when she is doing her Japanese class assignments (Miss Haruka is a good friend of mine who had a brief contact with Aristasia). Oh, and by the way, it was listening to japanese music with the lyrics booklet in hands that I learned how to read hiragana, katakana and a bit of the kanjis as well!

Oh, and this talk about music reminds me that it would be interesting if we pinned fixed threads with suggestions of music, articles, videos and other media regarding Japanese language. I believe this would enrich our experience very much!

Well, I have already talked too much already. I would be happy if my suggestions could be of help to the conversation group and will be looking forward to our development. :)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
AshinBrigid



Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Ladybright Manor, near Jenilow, Arcadia (In Telluria I live in Clovis, Culveria)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I posted here before, but I obviously did not, or my ordie ate it, either way, I am here at last!

I have had no formal training in the language, but have picked up random greetings and phrases, especially from Takarazuka interviews and the like. I know some basic kanji, some kanji that pops up a lot in the names of Takarasiennes and other related things. I know a very little hiragana and katakana, but am working to learn more. I know next to nothing about grammar, however, so cannot construct sentances yet. And many of the words I know are of the very flowery kind learned from Takarazuka shows... so not very useful in daily life, alas. However, I want to learn more, so am thankful there are those to help me!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Alissa Lily



Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hajimemashite, Minami-sama! Yoroshiku onegaishimasu! I find your suggestions excellent, especially this one:

Miss Minami wrote:
Oh, and this talk about music reminds me that it would be interesting if we pinned fixed threads with suggestions of music, articles, videos and other media regarding Japanese language. I believe this would enrich our experience very much!

Yes, please, let's do this! I am sure we all have something to share, and some of us are veritable experts in one area of Japanese culture or another (for example, Brigid-sama and Takarazuka come to mind). Since most of us are not surrounded by native Japanese speakers in our daily lives (I boldly suppose), exposure to the language as used by natives through media is the next best thing.

As for my reasons for wanting to learn Japanese, apart from love of and interest in languages in general... well, one has already been mentioned by Yu-sama, and that is wanting to enjoy Japanese entertainment without the influence of a translator (or, Dea forbid, American dubbing, which is often accompanied by heavy bowdlerising). Another is my long-held fascination with traditional Japanese culture and its aesthetic values. I almost feel I owe it to the culture to learn its language, in order to understand it on its own terms as much as possible.

There is also an Aristasian matter related to the above. As I get better acquainted with Aristasia, I find that the Province that most tugs at my heartstrings is Novaria. Now, since there is no era in the Tellurian past that would correspond to Novaria, one is, perhaps, grasping at straws a bit more than one hailing from the other Provinces when seeking for things like clothing, images or entertainment. This is where Japan, among other things, comes in. Please understand that I am not saying Japanese and Novaryani cultures are one and the same, or even that they are very much alike as such (I am not knowledgeable enough in either to make such judgments, anyway). However, I do feel there is some connection there... apologies for not being able to put it into clearer words at this point!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mengxia Yu
Contributy supermaiden


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 435
Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

However did I miss that wonderful suggestion? I must have been reading too fast. Thank you for pointing it out, Lily-san! I think it is a wonderful idea. Should these threads be in English or Japanese? I am leaning toward English--we shall have a hard time learning anything if we cannot read our own descriptions of learning tools!

I think I understand what you are saying, Lily-san! You feel drawn to the sound elements of Japanese culture, and feel that they maybe in the same spirit as elements of Novaryani culture?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This would be helpful for me!

I have never really quite "got the hang" of Telluria and therefore tend to rely on those around me to show me what music and kinnies are good to watch - and since no one around me is interested in anything Japanese I have not gotten very far in that direction.

Lily-chei, you are certainly right about there being a certain likeness between Japan and Novaria and Japan. It is not that Novaria [i]looks[/b] much like Japan, but I think there is a certain analogy between the two cultures. Many Japanese ways of expressing things seem much more natural to me as a Novarian.

The Japanese attraction to the cute and the fantastical are also very similar to certain aspects of Novari culture.

There are other similarities too, I think they are subtle but quite profound. Just now I cannot put them into words, but I will think about it!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Calista Elytis



Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[i]... and since no one around me is interested in anything Japanese I have not gotten very far in that direction.[/i]

No one around you? For shame!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alissa Lily



Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mengxia Yu wrote:
I think I understand what you are saying, Lily-san! You feel drawn to the sound elements of Japanese culture, and feel that they maybe in the same spirit as elements of Novaryani culture?

Yes, that's it exactly!

And Madonna-chei, if you feel moved to put your thoughts into words at any time, I'd be delighted to read them.

As a side note, I would be glad to take correction from anypette if I use the Raihiralan language incorrectly. Can one use "Novaryani" for Novarian culture, or does the "-yani" suffix refer to maids only (as in Filyani)?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honoured Miss Lily,

The word Novaryani as an adjective means "belonging to Novaria".

As a noun it means either "a brunette Novarian" or "several Novarians (of either sex)".

A blonde Novarian is called a Novaryana; and Novaryana can also mean "belonging to Novaria" in the case of a blonde - so the name Sushuri Novaryana means "Sushuri of Novaria".

So yes "Novaryani culture" is absolutely correct.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Tea and Universal Sympathy Reply with quote

I have been thinking very carefully about the Novaria/Japan connexion and I am certain there are many things to be said. Here is one that concerns the language itself and its "structural assumptions". I have half-known this for a long time, but the whole of it just sprang into my spongy mushroom-top while I was taking my bath, listening to my Japanese lesson and pondering Lily-chei's request.

I then took my thoughts to honoured Raya who helped me hammer them into shape!

Let us take a very simple example, and you will see that the same principle applies to a lot of japanese constructions.

I like tea = Watashi wa ocha ga suki desu

The two sentences are equivalent, but the Japanese, if I understand correctly, actually means "In relation to me, tea takes the action of being liked".

Now this is a very important difference. The Western form places the emphasis on the personal human ego as the active entity.

According to West-Telluri philosophy, this is simply correct. To like something is an "action" taken by the liker, not by the thing liked.

Most Modern Japanese would presumably, if asked, take this view too, being steeped in the modern Western rationalist perspective. But their language says something else, and I suspect their real thinking contains elements of both perspectives.

So what are the perspectives, and how far are they "Eastern" or "Western" in an absolute sense?

Without getting too deeply into the "background theory", let me explain briefly that modern West-Telluria's rationalist perspective is not "the Western outlook" but a "heresy" base on the legitimate Western outlook.

So in many respects traditional West-Telluria, even as late as the Middle Ages, thinks more like the Tellurian East than does modern Western Telluria.

In Aristasia there was no Rationalist Heresy, but the legitimate characteristics of the West, were still, in subtler ways, "carried too far" in the West: which is why Westrenne Aristasians tend to regard Estrennes as their spiritual superiors.

(This is almost the exact opposite of the "inferiority complex" that the Tellurian East feels in relation to the Tellurian West and the corresponding "superiority complex" of the Tellurian West).

Phew. Sorry. I needed to explain that much in order to continue.

Getting back to our tea:

The Western formulation puts maid at the centre. Maid is the "subject", tea is the "object". It is egoic. In terms of religion, it develops into the will-centred faith of Christianity, with an emphasis on sin (that is, faults of the individual and collective will). This perspective also exists in Aristasia, particularly in the West.

See this page on the Filianic understanding of "original sin" and its differences and similarities with the Christian concept.

When it is taken to excess this outlook leads to the cultural "malpractice" of individualism (which, in the late Iron Age has happened in both Westrenne Aristasia and Telluria) and when taken even further leads to the outright heresies of rationalism and humanism (as has happened in West Telluria, but not Westrenne Aristasia)

The Japanese formulation - that tea does the action of being liked in relation to a particular person - expresses a quite different perspective, and one that is much closer to the Novarian (and generally Estrenne) outlook. It is a view that modern West Tellurians would be likely to categorise - rather misleadingly - as "animist".

According to this view maid is not the sole experiencing centre. The quality of "amity" exists not only in maid but in the tea itself - indeed more importantly in the tea.

Tea is one of the "ten thousand things" of cosmic manifestation that each express (insofar as they approach perfection) small aspects of the Divine Totality.

Between those aspects of the Divine Whole, and the individual being that constitutes "oneself" (which is really another aspect of the Divine Whole, but in some senses more separated from Her - by her sin or her ignorance, depending on perspective - and in other senses closer to Her, being made in Her image) - between those two aspects of the Divine whole exists an Affinity.

That Affinity is seen in the West from the egoic perspective and in the East from the perspective of the Totality of which an external object may act as the representative.

That is the fundamental reason for the two ways of expressing the liking of tea. And of course similar considerations will apply with many other linguistic formulae.

I have expressed all this in very Deanic terms, of course, because I am a Deanist. But the second of these two outlooks is exactly that of much of the Aristasian East - and in Novaria tends to be that tempered with a certain amount of the Westrenne outlook.

Thus it is very close - in broadly analogous terms, not in cultural specifics, and of course excluding the various errors induced by the adoption of West-Tellurian rationalism - to the position of modern Japan.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Alissa Lily



Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much, Madonna-chei! Your thoughts about the subtle implications of the different sentence structures are very illuminating.

I am curious, though: Why do you think it would be rather misleading to categorise the Japanese/Novarian/general Estrenne views as animist? Is it because animism tends to stop at "every thing contains a living spirit" without (necessarily) acknowledging that every thing is also a part and a manifestation of a larger whole?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Aristasia Forums Archive Forum Index -> Japanese Conversation Group All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group