日本語: the Japanese language.

297628_7512So I decided to finally write a post about the Japanese language; the language I’m a beginner at but which I’ve already fallen in love with.

You may be wondering: “why in the world would I learn all these crazy symbols if I know nothing about Japan?” For starters, the fact that something is different from what you know doesn’t make it crazy; besides, it’s easier, way easier, than you think.

When I had decided to study Japanese some people suggested me to study Chinese instead, due to its economical advantages. What people don’t get it, and I hope you do, is that no matter what you study, work with, and do, you must feel connected to it somehow. Yeah, it sounds cheesy, but I mean it! Maybe you’re just curious and attracted by the exoticness of Japanese “letters” or the richness of this language’s culture, it doesn’t matter: go for it!

I want to introduce you to this wonderful language, may I?

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They’re not “f”, “s”, “d” nor “t”; they’re the “th” sounds.

th_mouth_position_YYBFor non-native English speakers these sounds might be very difficult to be learnt. There’re 2 standard sounds represented by the letters “th” in English.
And there is no way out: you can’t replace them with sounds you consider ”alike”. They’re unique sounds and once you learn them you – and others – will notice a watershed in your English pronunciation ability.

When travelling for instance, people may not understand if you pronounce “three” and “tree” the same; they might get what you’re saying from the context but still, this kind of mistake definitely affects the quality of the communication.

Let’s dive into it, shall we?

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Take control over your tongue: learn the IPA.

einstein_tongueOne thing that frustrates everybody learning a new language is pronunciation.

We get shy, think we are not able to do it, that it’s too hard, that we are dumb, yada yada yada. The reason for this is probably the social pressure we are usually subjected to. Quite often we have that friend, who speaks the language we are learning, and who may tease us for not being able to reproduce the sounds of that language properly. And the jokes are everywhere, not only in our social circles, but in the internet – obviously – as well. Here are some…

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Homophones you might be speaking “heteroly”: there, their, they’re; clothes, close; knew, new.

837375_98129162I know, grammar might be boring. Oh, what am I saying? I don’t really mean that: I love grammar. :P

Let me introduce you to homophones. As you probably know, the prefix “homo” means “the same” and homophones are those words who have the same pronunciation but different meaning and spelling; that is, they sound exactly the same but they’re not. BTW, “phone” comes from a Greek word and means voice or sound.

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