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Waseda Japanese Pronunciation Course EdX Review — 14 Comments

  1. A question I had for a while now,

    can you pick up pitch accent just by listening to native japanese and then just kind of reproducing it naturally? Or is it really necessary to study it?

    • I think with lots of active modeling and shadowing over native voices it can come.

      I’m one of those lucky people that can hear accents and sounds and reproduce them pretty well. Comes with music training. However, I think some level of active training on it has to be there somewhere to reach “super awesome almost native level.”

    • People will have mixed opinions, but here is what I think.

      You should learn what pitch accent is, how it works, and practice it to some extent. This is why a course like this (or the above mentioned Dogen course) is helpful. With this knowledge, when you listen and talk, and Japanese people correct you, you understand what they are talking about when you think you are saying a word right, but actually aren’t. Also, as you as you listen to more native material, pitch accent starts to stand out.

      Shadow immersion, and having Japanese people correct you go a long way to giving you more natural sounding Japanese.

      How far you decide to take it is up to you.

      I personally wouldn’t, for example, add the pitch accent to every single flash card I did. But others will, and if they can pull that off, then by all means go for it. You find the balance that works for you.

  2. I took the course, thought it was helpful, and look forward to rewatching the main lectures (as well as some of the interviews) again. For a free series on pitch accent, I haven’t seen anything better.

    I’m also following Dogen’s series on Patreon, and am glad to be paying for it. The lectures are crystal clear, the presentation is interesting, and the message that a foreigner can speak like a native is constantly shown (rather than stated). The whole production feels like a course on pitch accent designed by Apple.

    • I agree, so far the Waseda course is the best I’ve seen (though there isn’t much to compare it to yet.)

      And Dogen’s course is well put together, and quite impressive. I think by the time he finishes it, he will have created something special.

  3. I just joined Dogen’s Patreon group. Great stuff. Since I am starting over with intermediate, this is a great opportunity for me to add pitch accent diagrams and native audio from the following free websites:

    forvo (dot) com
    www(dot)gavo(dot)t(dot)u-tokyo(dot)ac(dot)jp/ojad/eng/phrasing/index

    (the t after dot is not accidental)

  4. Do different words using the same kanji with the same reading of that kanji tend to have the same pitch accent? I am under the impression that pitch typically only changes once per word, so I doubt this is the case.

  5. Lol, I should have figured that you would write about this course. It was definitely worth while, though I probably should have gone at 1.25 speed too. It can be hard to hear the pitch at times, but I’ll look out for it in the future.

    • You know me haha.

      It can be hard to hear, but once you are on the lookout for it, it can become a little easier.

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