Saturday, February 22, 2014

More than a year passed since I started learning Japanese

It's difficult to calculate how much time did I really spent on learning Japanese. I started in October 2012 and and I have been spending ~2-3 hours every day and even more on weekends for several months. Then I began slowing down. I even made a break in July - October. Recently I spend ~1-2 hours every day.

I passed different stages of motivation and success, some of them can be described like this:

  • Learning Japanese is difficult, but I will surely do it and really soon;
  • Learning Japanese is difficult, but I will do it;
  • I don't know whether I can do it, but I'm determined to continue;
  • It seems all my efforts give no result;
  • I won't be able to do it;
  • I stop;
  • ...
  • I'll try again, I still want to learn Japanese;
  • If I use dictionaries, I can really read in Japanese - wonderful! I hope to be able to read without dictionaries one day though

Learning a foreign language, which radically differs from those you know, is really difficult. Also, if you learn by yourself - without teachers or textbooks - you can easily take a wrong path and lose your way.
I had successes and failures, I made a lot of mistakes, I even lost motivation for several months due to encountered problems.
But since August I renew studying German and realized that I should try learning Japanese again.
I should lower my expectations and just practice again and again.

So for a couple of months since last October I did it. Every day I read Japanese news, this really was interesting and helpful.
But with time I realized once again that to do something good, you should be interested in it. But reading news was becoming more and more boring. I had to find something else.

I turned to light novels. In fact I have a list of Japanese light novels which I want to read. I understood that it would be difficult... and it was really so.
I made one more mistake here - the novel, which I chose, wasn't interesting enough. Before I noticed, I began spending less than an hour each day on studying Japanese.

It was sad, so in January I decided to turn to origins.

The last thing which pushed me into studying Japanese in October 2012 was one visual novel.

Eien no Aselia

I played it in English and it really captivated me. I completed it twice and then I found out that the version which I played wasn't the full game. Of course I wanted to play the full game, but I faced a critical problem - the full version wasn't translated from Japanese into English.
With this my desire to learn Japanese prevailed over my laziness and hesitancy, and I began my adventure of acquiring the knowledge of the new language.
And my target was to play this game in Japanese in a year.

I didn't have high enough level of Japanese in October, so I failed this goal

And so in January I decided to try.
This is difficult, but possible. Here is a screenshot of my desktop:

Visual novel is in top-right corner.
When a new text line appears, it is captured and recognized by a program in low-left corner.
The text is copied in clipboard. And from clipboard it captured by a program in top-left corner.
This program shows furigana for kanji and used several dictionaries (i set four) to translate text in English.
And I copy interesting sentences to a notepad to study later.

The quality of this translation varies. Short and simple sentences are translated fine. But complex sentences are to difficult to electronic dictionaries.
But at least I have translation for words. I just have to use my brain to create a normal translation.

It's a pity though that only "normal text" can be captured; this, for example, I have to translate by myself:

But this is fun :)

At last I completed my original target - completing the game in Japanese. But I still have a long way to go.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trilingual post 14.

Суеверие: подкова на счастье
Люди из многих стран верят в то, что лошадиная подкова приносит счастье. В результате есть много легенд, объясняющих появление этого суеверия. Говорят, что эта примета появилась в Древнем Египте. У фараонов были колесницы, в которые были запряжены лошади. И эти лошади были подкованы золотыми подковами. Лошади часто теряли золотые подковы. Естественно, тот кто находил золотую подкову, мог считать себя счастливым.
Кроме того существует легенда о дьяволе и о кузнеце Святом Дункане (или об обычном кузнеце). Дьявол попросил кузнеца подковать копыто, а вместо этого оказался приковал к стене. Кузнец отпустил дьявола только тогда, когда тот поклялся не входить в дом, где висит подкова.
В реальности любая подкова стоила денег, поэтому найти её было полезно. Возможно так и появилось суеверие.
В разных странах принято вешать подкову по-разному. В России подкову вешают рожками вниз для защиты от зла. Если повесить подкову рожками вверх, то она будет приносить удачу. В других странах говорят, что если повесить подкову рожками вниз, то в дом будет литься счастье. Мексиканцы украшают подкову лентами и монетами, а потом вешают высоко, чтобы никто не мог коснуться её. А итальянцы вешают подкову так, чтобы каждый вошедший задевал её. В любом случае, все верят, что найденная подкова это символ удачи.

Superstition: horseshoe for good luck
People from many countries believe that the horseshoe brings good luck. As a result, there are many legends explaining the emergence of this superstition. They say that this omen appeared in ancient Egypt. And these horses were shod with golden horseshoes. Horses often lost golden horseshoe. Naturally, the one who found the golden horseshoe, could consider himself lucky.
Also there is a legend about the devil and the Holy Duncan smith (or an ordinary blacksmith). The devil asked the blacksmith to shoe his hoof, and instead was chained to the wall. Blacksmith released the devil only when he vowed not to enter the house with a horseshoe hanging.
In reality, any horseshoe cost money, so finding it was useful. Probably this is how the superstition appeared.
In different countries, people hang a horseshoe differently. In Russia, a horseshoe hanging horns down protects from evil. If you hang a horseshoe horns up, it will bring good luck . In other countries they say that if you hang a horseshoe horns down, happiness will fill the house. Mexicans decorate a horseshoe with ribbons and coins, and then hang up high, so that no one could touch it. And the Italians hang a horseshoe so that each newcomer touched it. In any case, everyone believes that founded horseshoe is symbol of good luck.

多くの国の人は、蹄鉄は幸運をもたらすと信じています。 これにともない、この迷信にまつわる多くの伝説があります。 この瑞気は古代エジプトに登場していると言います。 ファラオには馬に引かせる兵車がありました。 これらの馬は金色の蹄鉄を付けていました。 馬は、しばしば黄金の蹄鉄を失しました。 当然のことながら、金の蹄鉄を見つけた人は、自らを運が良かったと思えたでしょう。
また、悪魔と聖ダンカン・スミス(または普通の鍛冶屋)に関する伝説があります。 悪魔は蹄を履いて歩く鍛冶屋に尋ねたが、代わりに壁に鎖でつながれました。 鍛冶屋は、悪魔が蹄鉄を吊した家へは入らないと誓ってはじめて、悪魔を放しました。
実際には、どんな馬蹄でもお金がかかるので、それを見つけるのは都合がよかったのです。 おそらくそれが迷信のはじまりです。
さまざまな国では、別々に蹄鉄を垂れ下げます。 ロシアでは、悪からの保護のために蹄鉄に角を下にぶら下げます。 角を蹄鉄の上に乗せれば、それは幸運をもたらすでしょう。 他の国では蹄鉄の角を下に垂れ下げれば幸福が家に舞い込むと言われています。 誰も蹄鉄に触れることができないように、メキシコ人は蹄鉄リボンやコインを飾り、高く垂れ下げます。 各々の新人が蹄鉄に触れられるように、イタリア人は蹄鉄を掛けます。 幸運の象徴 - いずれにしても、誰もが馬蹄を見つけたいと考えています。 いずれにしても、誰もが見つかった蹄鉄は幸運の象徴であると信じます。

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Trilingual post 13.

Российское суеверие: осина
У крестьян в России было двойственное отношение к осине. С одной строны, по Библии крест Иисуса был сделан из осины. Поэтому осина считается проклятым деревом. С другой стороны, осина считалась оберегом и была полезной в хозяйстве. Славяне верили, что осина обладает целебными свойствами. Если у больного лихорадкой отрезать волосы и ногти и спрятать в осиновом пне, то больной вылечится. Любой больной человек может вылечиться, посидев на свежем осиновом пне. Если положить ветку осины в кровать, то она поможет от бессонницы.
Вообще говоря отвар из коры и листьев осины действительно могут вылечить многие болезни. Кроме того дома, построенные из осины, стоят очень долго. При горении осиновых поленьев не появляется сажа.
Осина - удивительное дерево!

Russian superstition: aspen
The peasants in Russia had an ambivalent attitude towards aspen. On the one hand, according to the Bible Jesus' cross was made of aspen. Therefore aspen was considered to be a cursed tree. On the other hand, aspen was considered a talisman and was useful in the household. Slavs believed that Aspen had healing properties. If the patient has a fever, you should to cut his hair and nails and hide in aspen tree stump, the patient will recover . Any sick person can be cured, after sitting on fresh aspen stump . If we put an aspen branch in bed, it will heal insomnia.
Generally speaking a decoction of the bark and leaves of aspen can actually cure many diseases. Also houses built of aspen stand for very long. When burning aspen logs soot does not appear.
Aspen is an amazing tree!