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Various questions about Japan **Somewhat long**
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Apsara



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 2142
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:

Maybe it's just coming from NZ and I'm used to the sounds of Japanese and so never had any trouble with them, but do people actually find and perceive of Japanese as being a difficult language to learn &/or use? How on earth would they react to Thai or Vietnamese or Chinese or any other complex tonal language? *Those* I find a nightmare. Smile


I have always found Japanese to be far more difficult than other languages- I started Spanish at university and could hold a fairly natural conversation with a native speaker after a year- it helped that I learned French at high school.

With Japanese on the other hand it took me years of study and more years of living here to reach the same level of fluency- even though the basic grammar is simple, it is just so different to English that I feel like I had to learn to think in a different way to be able to speak well.

The pronunciation isn't the issue, it should be dead easy even for people who haven't been exposed to the sounds of Maori because almost all the sounds in Japanese also exist in English- thank goodness it's not tonal because Thai and Chinese both totally defeat me Laughing

And part of the difficulty everyone talks about has to come from the written language- no-one is going to be able to read a newspaper in Japanese without years of solid study. It took me less than a year to be able to read a newspaper in Spanish and I'm sure it would be the same with Italian, Portuguese or even Greek for example.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1009
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
Constructive criticism here: "alright" is not a real word.
Yes it is! Just like "always" (as opposed to "all ways"), "also" and so on are real words.

Sure, the spelling is non-standard, but it's a common and quite sensible variant. I use it all the time!
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not in any English course I've taken. "Alright" has never been all right, with the exception of very recently in colloquial settings. Between both my native education and my own pedagogy training, I was always taught that "alright" was simply wrong.

Good explanation here, including a little note about the very recent colloquial usage:

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/all-right-versus-alright.aspx
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fairly confident that it's alright to use "alright" in English(British English).
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightsintodreams wrote:
I'm fairly confident that it's alright to use "alright" in English(British English).


Seems it's gaining a small footing in British English, but it is far from being accepted academically.

It is absolutely unacceptable in American English. I've never known an English teacher in the States to not mark it in red (including myself).
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Seems it's gaining a small footing in British English, but it is far from being accepted academically."

And from what source did you make that judgment?

It's in the Oxford dictionary and I used it all my life while living in the UK. That's enough for me.

To question a native speaker on his dialect, I guess you must have studied British English in great deal, right?

Hang on! Wait a second if I type in "small footing alright all right" into google, it gives me this link.

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/all-right-versus-alright.aspx

"But the esteemed Brian Garner (6) notes that “alright” as one word “may be gaining a shadowy acceptance in British English.” And the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style (7) seems to contradict itself. It states that “alright” as one word “has never been accepted as standard” but it then goes on to explain that “all right” as two words and “alright” as one word have two distinct meanings. It gives the example of the sentence “The figures are all right.” When you use “all right” as two words, the sentence means “the figures are all accurate.” When you write “The figures are alright,” with “alright” as one word, this source explains that the sentence means “the figures are satisfactory.” I’m not sure what to make of this contradiction. The many other grammar sources I checked, including a large dictionary, reject “alright” as one word. Regular listeners of this show know that language is always in flux, so perhaps “alright” as one word is gaining a small footing."

Could it be that the all knowing Kinnon from the glorious United States of America, chosen by God to show the world how to properly teach the English language, does a quick google search, reads one article written by an American known only as "The Grammar girl" and then proceeds to spout his new found wisdom as if he's some kind of expert.

Thanks again for your pearls of wisdom, I'm glad you cleared this issue up about my country's language. I've only been using it for over 20 years with no problem, but I guess the "The Grammar Girl" from Boston knows better.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1009
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kionon wrote:
Pitarou wrote:
Glenski wrote:
"alright" is not a real word
Yes it is! Just like "always" (as opposed to "all ways".... Sure, the spelling is non-standard....
Not in any English course I've taken. "Alright" has never been all right ... I was always taught that "alright" was simply wrong.

Good explanation here, including a little note about the very recent colloquial usage:

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/all-right-versus-alright.aspx


Grammar girl is making the same mistake as pretty much everyone else in this discussion: confusing the word with it's spelling.

(Her confusion is evident when she writes, "The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style seems to contradict itself." It doesn't!)

Consider this sentence:

"Janet's answers were all wrong: she scored 0% in the test. John's answers were all right: he scored 100%. I scored 60%, which was all right, I guess."

Different meanings, you see? The latter usage is well established, and passes every test I can think of that distinguishes a word from a collocation or idiom. "alright" is a word. The spelling is non-standard, but the word certainly isn't.


Last edited by Pitarou on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightsintodreams wrote:
Could it be that the all knowing Kinnon from the glorious United States of America, chosen by God to show the world how to properly teach the English language, does a quick google search, reads one article written by an American known only as "The Grammar girl" and then proceeds to spout his new found wisdom as if he's some kind of expert.


Dude, I cited the link in the previous post. Rolling Eyes

I've used "The Grammar Girl" for years. I've found her to be an excellent source. Well researched and accurate. Therefore, when I run into something that contradicts my own experience, her site is one of multiple resources. I am always open to new resources and citations if you should wish to provide them.

Instead, you've been intentionally provocative numerous times. Please grow up.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
Consider this sentence:

"Janet's answers were all wrong: she scored 0% in the test. John's answers were all right: he scored 100%. I scored 60%, which was all right, I guess."

Different meanings, you see? The latter usage is well established, and passes every test I can think of that distinguishes a word from a collocation or idiom. "alright" is a word. The spelling is non-standard, but the word certainly isn't.


The spelling changes the issue. There is certainly recognition of two different usages, but I have never come across any English teacher from about sixth grade to graduate school who would have allowed a single word no matter what the usage.

You make a good case, a case which both I and Grammar Girl recognise as compelling, that perhaps "alright" should be formally allowable. That being said, I've yet to experience a case in secondary or post-secondary education the United States where it is formally allowable.

Nightsintodreams asserts such is already the case in British English, and his cited source, the Oxford Dictionary, does back him up on this:

Quote:
The merging of all and right to form the one-word spelling alright is not recorded until the end of the 19th century (unlike other similar merged spellings such as altogether and already, which date from much earlier). There is no logical reason for insisting on all right as two words, when other single-word forms such as altogether have long been accepted. Nevertheless it is still considered by many people to be unacceptable in formal writing.


This includes pretty much the whole of my own education, so I'm inclined to mark it wrong when I see it.

Oxford also says this:

Quote:
Although all right can also be spelled alright, you should use all right in formal writing.


I very rarely type differently on forums ("dude" accepted) than I do in formal writing, and I believe that is also the case for Glenski. Hence why would have issues with the usage of "alright."
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1009
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kionon wrote:
I have never come across any English teacher from about sixth grade to graduate school who would have allowed a single word no matter what the usage....


I don't think I've explained myself well.

My beef isn't about the spelling. I choose to spell it "alright" but I freely acknowledge that this is not the standard they teach in schools.

My beef is with Glenski, Grammar Girl et al's assertion that all right / alright "isn't even a real word". I hope I've convinced you that, regardless of how you spell it, there really is a single English word distinct from the two words all and right.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
Kionon wrote:
I have never come across any English teacher from about sixth grade to graduate school who would have allowed a single word no matter what the usage....


I don't think I've explained myself well.

My beef isn't about the spelling. I choose to spell it "alright" but I freely acknowledge that this is not the standard they teach in schools.

My beef is with Glenski, Grammar Girl et al's assertion that all right / alright "isn't even a real word". I hope I've convinced you that, regardless of how you spell it, there really is a single English word distinct from the two words all and right.


Oh, we definitely agree that there is a unique second usage here. I can't speak for Glenski, but for me, and for Grammar Girl (I think she explains it well enough), we know that the definition of the second usage is different from the first.

My "beef" is with the idea that the single word spelling is allowable in the classroom. I would say it is not.

Seems like the odd man out here is nightsintodreams.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightsintodreams wrote:
It's in the Oxford dictionary and I used it all my life while living in the UK. That's enough for me.
Not to make this tangent of the thread that much longer, but if you go with Oxford, then you had better read what it says:

http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/all-right-or-alright-american
Similar ‘merged’ words such as altogether and already have been accepted in standard English for a very long time, so there is no logical reason to object to the one-word form alright. Nevertheless, many people regard it as nonstandard, so it is best to avoid using alright in formal writing. Write it as two words instead:

She calls them whenever she is traveling to assure them she is all right.




Go ahead and use it casually if you like, but be prepared for many English teachers and other academics to mark/see it as wrong.

Can we return to the topic of the thread now?
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't use words such as cool, OK, nice, sh1t or arse in formal writing, but they are still words.

"If it's not done the way we do it stateside then it's wrong!"
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you would say, rubbish. I'm not even sure Glenski is an American. I've worked with Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, and yes, even Brits (Welsh, to be specific, from near Cardiff).

I myself use British "s" in words like recognise, conceptualise, minimise, etc.

I don't use that silly extra "u" of yours, however. Wink

(HINT: THAT WAS A JOKE.)
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*adjusts bow-tie and spectacles* Very Happy

I do believe the word you are lookihng for is "register". It miht not be acceptable in very formal writign such as a letter to the Queen but the word "alright" is alright with Supergrass! Cool

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9nY9axjaWo
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