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Dec 19, 2015 7:11 PM
Anime Relations: Aikatsu!, Kiniro Mosaic
just throwing this out there, but you don't learn Japanese from watching subbed anime. subs are only there to help you understand what's happening in the show, nothing more or less. The translation is not necessarily accurate or even correct, which is why relying on subs to learn the language is a terrible idea. Not only that, but you're not so much as "understanding" what the characters are saying, but rather their body language. Heck, in some cases, you could mute the sound and still feel as though you "understand" what the characters are saying. One example is Aikatsu from episode 44.

In that episode, some guy with funny hair gets in the entrance of the idol school and asks Ichigo to tell Suzukawa some message. Now, at this point, you might not know who the "guy with funny hair" is, but even with a muted sound, it is clear that he was asking Ichigo for a favor: to deliver a message. Only a few seconds after, the photo of the "guy with funny hair" is shown, and Ichigo friends call him "King".

Even if you don't know Japanese, associating the picture with the name King is fairly simple. You didn't need to know what the characters were saying when they showed the picture of King - the visuals told you the information you needed. From King looking nervous and telling Ichigo about Suzukawa, and later Ichigo and her friends looking at the photo of King. It's easy to kid yourself into thinking, "hey, i understand what the characters are saying, i totally got this language". - probably more so for those who took 1 year of Japanese. You were able to understand the situation through body language, and such body language is virtually everywhere.

Now, i also mentioned that the subs are incorrect in some cases, and that they are only for entertainment purposes. This is evident a few moments later in the same episode:

Ichigo comes to Suzukawa and asks him,

while the translation says
"But it seemed really important."

the given translation makes sense in the context, but is not strictly correct. You wouldn't use that same phrase in other occasions where you would use the English phrase "it seemed really important". The correct translation would be along the lines of "But he really wanted to meet you". The phrase makes more sense if you understand the たがる conjugation and the ます form, but the point is - you can't simply take the same phrase corresponding to a sub, and use it as though they were equivalent - more often than not, they are not equal. The translation is just one interpretation of the original dialogue, and the translation makes sense only in that particular scene.

if you still think you can learn Japanese from sub, then consider this scene from Kin-iro:

the actual dialogue is
or "What is this difference [in treatment]?"
the character Ayaya acts annoyed towards Yuko for being late, but when they notice that the other girls were late as well, she acts worried, thus the difference in treatment. The actual meaning is quite different to the sub i'd say.

Now, could anime be used as one of many sources for learning the language? Possibly (even that is debatable), but relying on subs to try and learn the language is a recipe for disaster. 日本語を学びたがる方はまず日本語のクラスを取ったほうが良いと思う。

inb4 the formatting somehow breaks when posting :L

edit: for some reason, post image doesn't work. fixed. i think / hope.
Posted by DreamingBeats | Dec 19, 2015 7:11 PM | 6 comments
Spurningar | Apr 5, 5:38 PM
I dont think i can say that i know japanese. But at least i can understand almost anything that is spoken in japanese, except formal and complex phrases. And speak too, (after the nervousness goes away hahahaha).
Even the inaccuracies that the subs show is easy to perceive.
Of course its not a manageable thing to be useful or worth to counting with.
I did not "try" to learn japanese with the sub, i even not realize that i was learning. At some point, was hardly looking to the sub anymore.
I guess the way that i learned is the associations with the sounds, words and context of the scene. I can remember the first (probably) word that i recognize from the repetitions in the anime, that was "Happy". The name of the cat of the mc of Fairy Tail. That was the first anime that i watched (Not counting with Naruto and related from the my native language, that is portuguese). Perhaps the not translated word caught my attention. And i know that its not even a japanese word, but was the first, followed by "はい" (yes) and so on...
But even if i can understand the spoken language, i cant the written part. Probably because i was exposed to the spoken language, and almost never to the written. And of course i can say that i understand, but not that i know, especially the grammar.
AkihiraBaka | Nov 27, 2017 5:04 PM
Whoa, thanks for the warning. I was thinking I could actually learn a language just by watching it subbed ^^;
MiziTami | Dec 10, 2016 9:20 PM
@Yales makes some point.

A nice post. Could feel your hard work. Thanks!
EyeOfIce | May 16, 2016 11:42 AM
I've got maybe like 140 days of anime watch-time and i will be studying japanese as my second main language in university 5 months from now... i'll get back to you guys in a year and a half and tell you my experiences from watching so much anime and actually studying japanese
Peabot | Apr 11, 2016 3:35 PM
I don't think you can learn Japanese from anime alone, except for a few words or phrases. Learning hiragana, then reading manga starting with easier stuff that only have a few Chinese characters or kanji is a better idea. I think anime has a role, but it comes later when someone has the basics of reading and writing already and need to train the ear for pronunciation and listening comprehension.
Yales | Mar 16, 2016 9:37 PM
でもですね、たくさんアニメを見るとたくさん言葉を聞くですね。 ですから学びながら言葉を思い出すも可能性があるでしょう。

But, if you watch lots of anime, you'll hear lots of vocabulary. So when you'll be learning japenese, you might remember of those words. Hence, I think anime can be helpful to learn japanese as long as it's not the primary ressource!
Kyuutoryuu | Dec 27, 2015 1:11 PM
Great post!