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svines85



Joined: 30 Sep 2011
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Very, very interesting topic, thanks a lot for sharing your take on it Smile

And I know the main topic here is "spoken" in anime, but I do kind of wonder if this extends to "written" in manga as well. Just out of curiosity is all Smile
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1404
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Agreed 100% with Justin's answer. Even someone like me, who has only a single semester of Japanese class during my college years, completely understands the difference between "anime Japanese" & :natural Japanese". Another thing to consider, alongside the over-enunciation Justin brought up, is that natural Japanese usually comes in two major flavors: Fast & fluid (so much so that non-speakers may not properly hear distinct words) or completely filled with pauses & the ever-prominent" "etto", or "ummmm". The latter is especially seen in things like interviews, commentaries, & the like.

Anime can be a way to learn a basic (& I mean very basic) understanding of Japanese, but it's no replacement for a proper education. Hell, if you have a DS or 3DS then try to hunt down UbiSoft's My Japanese Coach, as even that's a better learning tool than anime will ever be for the language.

svines85 wrote:
And I know the main topic here is "spoken" in anime, but I do kind of wonder if this extends to "written" in manga as well. Just out of curiosity is all Smile


It's there to an extent as well, especially if the manga is originally aimed at a younger audience (i.e. kids manga, shonen, shojo, etc.), but most who are unfamiliar with Japanese will never notice, as all of the dialects use the same kanji, hiragana, & katanana; the changes are about pronunciation & endings. The various dialects are there, but you'd more or less have to be familiar with them beforehand to really tell the difference visually. Someone who's not familiar with written Japanese to any extent will almost never really notice the difference between keigo & kansai, for example.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:37 pm Reply with quote
I studied formal Japanese in college, though I admit I am no expert. But one thing I did notice (and I'm glad that Justin pointed out) is that there's not just one example of "Japanese". There are different dialects spoken in different parts of the country. You have everyday speech and you have polite speech, and so on. We talk about ":English", but ask yourself: does an Appalachian hillbilly speak the same as a New York businessman? What about the writing on a legal document? A soldier barking orders. An old-fashioned professor? British royalty? A Shakespeare play? Do you talk to your school buddies the same way that you talk to the CEO at work? It might all fall under the umbrella of "English" but all those things are radically different.

When I was studying Japanese I found I learned to understand everyday Toyko-style Japanese fairly quickly. It was much harder to understand the Kansai dialect, or even worse: legalese or highly technical stuff. You see the same thing in Anime. The characters in One Piece don't talk anything like those in, say, Ghost in the Shell. Characters in a historical setting like Ruroni Kenshin don't talk like those in a slice-of-life highschool comedy.
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slau783



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Very good article. While anime is a bad way to learn conversational abilities, it is pretty good in terms of expanding your vocabulary.
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 892
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:00 pm Reply with quote
My tutor's from Osaka. (far too old and busy with life for college)

So I have the 'proper' language students telling me I'm wrong.

And I know Anime is way too casual. And then my tutor has her own Osakan charms to add. I can't win.
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russ869



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 237
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:00 pm Reply with quote
Interviews with Japanese creators are definitely full of run on sentences. I often find them hard to follow.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1156
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:01 pm Reply with quote
I was aware of this having listened to live interviews with VA's, Directors, Animators & other production people. It's kind of like myself and Spanish, I learned from a teacher that had a background in diplomacy, so when I talk to local Spanish speakers here in Florida I get funny looks and the comment, "You sound like a Spaniard."

Then there was a co-worker from Monterrey, Mexico who learned much of his English from US TV programs in the 70's. Sometimes he would say interesting things.

Such fun it all is. Then there is German.

Mark Gosdin
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:14 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
It's kind of like myself and Spanish,


Yeah, I hear there is a massive difference between "Castilian" Spanish spoken in Spain, and Latin Spanish spoken in Mexico. And even then there are surely local and situational variations in both countries too.

I remember following a cooking program in which an American chef wanted to learn Thai so he could learn more about cooking when visiting in Thailand. He took classes at a Thai language school and found that the formal Thai they taught him was useless for talking to street vendors and restaurant cooks. He had to specifically seek out someone who could teach the "street slang" as opposed to what the textbooks say.
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Tenebrae



Joined: 26 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Pretty much every language has different ways of speech for different situations.

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MetalUpa1014



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 283
Location: USA
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:15 pm Reply with quote
University student majoring in Japanese (with English writing), and everything Justin said here is 100% true. I've always likened it to foreigners trying to learn English through shows like Adventure Time or The Simpsons. Sure, it's English, but not the kind of English the majority of people speak to each other in normal conversation.
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peno



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 232
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:19 pm Reply with quote
Shiflan wrote:
Do you talk to your school buddies the same way that you talk to the CEO at work? It might all fall under the umbrella of "English" but all those things are radically different.

You just gave me a mental image of your average American High Schooler talking to President-elect Trump (who is also a well known businessman) like: "Hey Donnie, how are you? Congratulations, dude, for beating that b***h! What was her name, anyway?" Yeah, such a person would be definitely considered a total uneducated idiot (and forget for a moment, such a person would be very unlikely to get anywhere close to Trump, anyway). I imagine one would be coming similarly idiotic if they tried to pull anime Japanese in everyday speech.


Last edited by peno on Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 841
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:19 pm Reply with quote
Personally, anime has played a pivotal role in my Japanese language education and it was my starting point. Interestingly enough, it seems that I was able to pick up on the distinction between the different politeness levels and I never had any issues transitioning into formal Japanese language education. In fact, I always default to the polite style and find it hard to speak in plain style with Japanese friends (not that I have that many). When I meet with Japanese politicians, businessmen, industry people or voice actresses, I litter my speech with honorifics and it's kinda fun to see how impressed they get ("oisogashiitokoromoushiwakearimasenga, sainshiteitadaitemoyoroshiideshouka" for just "Can I get your autograph?"). That course in business Japanese was super helpful. (^.^;) Not to mention, because listening was how I first exposed myself to Japanese, it was far easier for me to catch what others were saying and pick up the proper (Tokyo dialect) accent.

But also, as others have pointed out, I think that it really has to do with the kind of anime you watch as well. I don't think it's a good idea to homogenize all anime when you really have an extremely wide variety that covers everything from formal political diatribe to high-school banter. Maybe one of the reasons I was able to differentiate between all the different kinds of Japanese speech styles was because of how many different kinds of anime I exposed myself to.

Regardless, for those who are interested, the example that was given in the article ("jyanai" to "jyanee") is an example of vowel fusion and is one of three distinct features of casual/fast speak in the Tokyo dialect. The other two features are nasal syllabification ("tsumaranai" to "tsumannai") and contraction ("sore wa" to "sorya"). These are actually way more common that the article would lead you to believe and it's pretty much how most young people in Japan speak to each other. So, in this sense, anime is not entirely inaccurate. It's just not going to be of use to a foreigner interested in business opportunities.

However, one of the things that I can definitely say is unique to fiction is role language or yakuwarigo. These are elements of language that are used to instantly tell the viewer what kind of character is on-screen in just one sentence to save on time that would have otherwise been used on characterization. One of the most common ones is roujingo (old man speak) or hakasego (professor speak). If you've watched enough super robot anime, you'd know that almost all old men or professors always use the first-person pronoun "washi" instead of "watashi" and end their sentences with "wai" or "nou". This is 100% exclusive to fiction as people don't suddenly change the way they speak when they become a certain age. In fact, the origins of this date way back to when Kyoto was the capital of Japan and most of the learned individuals came from the west of Japan and spoke with a western Japanese dialect (Kamigata style). The stereotype was born and this was then propagated by popular culture and media up till today. Other varieties of role language include military speak (de arimasu), ojou-sama speak (koto) and more.

So yeah, anime is great for learning Japanese, but it all depends on what kind of anime you watch and what you're learning Japanese for.


Last edited by Actar on Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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FackuIkari



Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Posts: 262
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:21 pm Reply with quote
Shiflan wrote:
mgosdin wrote:
It's kind of like myself and Spanish,


Yeah, I hear there is a massive difference between "Castilian" Spanish spoken in Spain, and Latin Spanish spoken in Mexico. And even then there are surely local and situational variations in both countries too.


And if you try to speak Mexican Spanish in any other country of Latin American they won't know that the hell are you talking about
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Paulo27



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 300
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:23 pm Reply with quote
I don't watch much Japanese stuff outside of anime and maybe the occasional movie (which is basically the same) but when I listen to an interview or watch some idols play some random games, damn does it sound different, at times it's kinda hard to imagine certain people voicing certain character. The other day I listened to a drama CD and then there was an interview afterwards and that was another moment that really made me notice the contrast between how clean and scripted anime sounds (well, duh) and how normal people in Japan actually talk.
One thing I noticed in these interviews and whatnot is that a lot of the time people will be saying what you could translated to "yeah, yeah" when other people are talking, like, this happens all the time in all sorts of scenarios, sometimes it gets really annoying because I just want to hear the other person speak normally and there's someone always "commenting". I wonder if that's something the producers encourage people to do or if that's just something that's more cultural. (Though I do see some street interviews here and there and that usually isn't the case so I'm betting more on the former, or it's something that happens more between friends so you'd not see that in random street interviews).
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hurafloyd



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 77
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Anime does help a lot to start and recognize the language by listening, it takes time but at least a real speaking Japanese will sound like a walk in the park compared to anime. Also, it helps build vocabulary and sometimes when you study the language you will remember "Oh, I heard that from this anime, this is one of its meanings"...

This method worked for me since I was completely DEAF when I tried to listen Japanese for the first time.
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