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6 Problems About Studying Japanese In 1899 — 15 Comments

  1. Interesting that they call out a Japanese equivalent to the English “2 birds with one stone” expression, but it’s not 一石二鳥. I wonder if that was actually adopted more recently? I had assumed it was coincidence that we had the same idiom.

    There’s actually some great stuff in there beyond the rather unmotivating first few paragraphs. Despite his apparent longing for romanization, the author’s response to people who don’t want to learn kanji is hilarious and awesome XD

    • According to Wikipedia 一石二鳥 is taken directly from the English phrase which was around a few hundred years ago. It doesn’t say when the phrase became popular in Japan though.

      Yes, the part about him ripping into people who think they don’t need kanji is great. A lesson to anyone hesitant about the need.

  2. Talk about an English overload. I suppose if this is your only source, you’d want to fit in as much explanation as possible.

    This is a great source for looking into older Japanese though.

    • Aside from the playful nature of this post, the book actually does have some useful parts, even relevant to 2014 and it’s just fun to read the intro.

    • Extremely difficult. That and depending on where you live, could take months on a ship just to get there.

  3. It’s incredible this book was written so long ago when in the introduction at least, it describes a lot of things modern Japanese learners swear by, like learning kanji readings by learning the words they’re used in or learning to read native stuff people actually use as opposed to stuffy instructional texts.

    I’m definitely interested in seeing how far through the book I can get before I’m confused/bored.

    • Makes you wonder what books were like before this on the subject of studying Japanese.

      If the writing wasn’t set up in that old block text not seperated by paragraphs style, it would be a lot easier to read.

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