Crash & Burn. Respawn in 3… 2… 1….

As with most things people do like this, I set out with high hopes & dreams, but soon after my last post my motivation died out. After quite a bit of searching around the net I didn’t find any places with similar goals of learning just the spoken word & romaji (Latin/English alphabet), and adding in Kanji, Katakana & Hiragana never seemed like a hill I wanted to climb. That combined with zero interest from anyone on what I was attempting to do just burnt my motivation right out.

Since then I’ve been trying to maintain the Japanese I have learnt, while waiting for my motivation to return… this hasn’t been entirely successful, but I’m definitely not back where I started.

As I type this I am listening to refreshers, with the hope of moving on to something completely new in a week or so, this doesn’t really mean that my motivation has returned, but it isn’t currently at zero, so I’ll see how I go.

Lets hope all you non-existent fans of mine hear from me again soon. :)

Still working on it.

I’ve been watching anime, and whenever I hear a word that I learnt since I started this whole thing I make a note of it. So at this stage I’ve skipped all the words I learnt myself (I’ll add them later) and have a collection of about… 15… words.

They all sound reasonably clear at least, though at a later time if I am re-watching some of the classics I think it would be a better idea to switch to some more recognizable character pics/voices e.g. Narusegawa, Vash, Spike, Shinji, Lina, Onizuka, Kenshin etc.

I’ll see if I can find something useful to capture the sound bits, and have a fiddle with it this afternoon. So expect a download for what I have so far to appear soon.

Going to make an Anki deck.

I currently have 2 Anki decks that I have kept on my phone. The “Basic Japanese” one I checked has about 70 words, most of which I knew so it was good for reviewing. The second one I have is a bit over my knowledge grade at the moment, it’s called – Smartfm Japanese Core 2000 Step 1. As I haven’t been learning Kanji I would have thought this one wouldn’t be much use to me (for those of you who don’t know, Core 2000 is referring to the main Kanji you need to learn to read Japanese) however this particular one is pretty good.
First of all it will say a basic sentence to you, and then in answer to this it will show the kanji & english writting for the sentence. Now I’m not understanding the full sentences at this stage, but I’m picking up words in alot of the sentences. It’s good for when I have a few minutes just to sit there & properly listen to the Japanese & try to work out what they are saying on my own, and then pat myself on the back when I get some of it, or think over how the answer fits in with what I heard.

There was a handful more that I’ve tried, but they all had the question or answer in kanji so I couldn’t read it & it didn’t really help me. Will try out some more soon.

I’m also going to try and make my own deck, starting some time this week. I’ll try and get it released so everyone can download it properly through Anki. I’ll be using small pictures of anime characters, with snips of them saying words, and both Romaji & English writings of the words (maybe Kanji too if I get some help).

eg. A picture of Alphonse & Edward Elric, with one of them saying Kyoudai. (with Kyoudai also written there). On the answer side of the card would be the word sibling. (I did think Brother was the translation of this word, but I don’t think it’s actually gender specific, just most translators of anime use a gender to make it sound better in english.).

Or a picture of Shenlong with the word Dragon written below it, and then Ryuu written on the answer side with Shenlong saying Ryuu also.
So I guess the first release my group (of just me so far) is going to do won’t even be a fansub, but every step gets us/me a little closer.

As always, anyone wanting to join or help out would be appreciated, just leave a comment.

Anki – Flash Cards

So, I had actually started making myself some flash cards when I came across this site last week.

The site is the home of a program called Anki, and it’s available for most operating systems & phones. You can make your own flash cards with this program, or download any from hundreds of pre-made decks that others have uploaded.
I’ve only had a brief look so far, but I downloaded (on my phone) one of the pre-made basic Japanese decks. It showed a card on my screen with a Japanese word written on it in Romaji, and it had a voice say the word as well. At the bottom of the card was a button to show what the word meant. When you press the button the translation is shown, and a new set of buttons are shown giving you the options to review this word again in a few minutes, tomorrow, in a few days, or in a week (you pick whichever one you think you need based on how much trouble you had remembering the words meaning).!

There’s a link to the demo video on youtube so you can see for yourself.

Moving along.

Some days I feel like learning Japanese is a wall that’s too high to climb, but then I sit down and watch some anime & hear a word mentioned that I’ve only recently learnt and that wall seems just a little bit smaller, and the little voice inside my head gets all excited.

I think the hardest thing so far is working out all the little bits that go between words. Wa, Ga, O, etc. I’m only just starting to see that these things have meanings, but I think understanding them is still beyond me. I’m sure as I pick up more words these extra bits will come to me little by little. Some feel like they just make the sentence flow nicely, others I think change the meaning of the word they are near.

Watashi = Me

Watashi no = My

Watashi mo = me too

Watashi to = with me

When I get a better grasp on all these things I’ll probably come back & edit posts like this to avoid giving out false information, this is just some of what I think I know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m off the mark quite a bit.

I think it’s about time I started making some flash cards to carry around with what I’ve been learning too, there’s been plenty of times that I’ve tried to remember what a word I learnt was & just couldn’t think of it.

F-Zero Falcon Densetsu

F-Zero Falcon Densetsu is the first anime I plan on subbing. If somebody subs it before I’ve learnt enough Japanese to do it then that saves me the trouble & I’ll put my amateur skills towards a different project.

Here is a rundown on the current translation effort for this project:

The series is 8 years old. It has 51 episodes

The first 2 episodes were subbed 8 years ago by Miyuki Fansubs & Anime Malaysia Fansubs.

The first 8 episodes have been subbed by Mr Morris on youtube, the most recent of which being over a year ago.

The last 11 episodes have been subbed on youtube, not sure who by.

Anonymous Russian Rippers has released HK DVD rips of episodes 1-8 & 27-51. ARR has no plans on releasing the missing episodes. These episodes do come with english subs, but they are very bad, and I’m not even sure if I can use them as a guideline for proper translation.

4-kids butchered the first 11 episodes into english, had a falling out with nintendo, and abandoned their dubbing effort. To my knowledge nobody currently owns the english license of this series.

These guys have translated the first 9 episodes into French over the last few months which is awesome news for French people, and may also help me along the line because french is much easier to get a computer translation to english for. Keep up the great work Zeus Team.
Here is a rundown of how I currently plan to tackle this project:

I’ve been learning Japanese for just over 3 weeks now, I am hearing words I know quite often in the anime I watch. I would not be surprised if I’m starting to get a grasp on understanding what I hear by the start of next year. (I’m not saying I can learn Japanese fluently in 3 months, far from it, but that’s where I expect to start crawling).

I will start by making srt files using the current translations out there for the first 8 episodes. These srt files will work with the rips from ARR. I will probably do this when I feel I’m nearly ready to start crawling through the rest of it to get a feel for the Japanese terms I don’t know yet used in the series.

For episodes 9-26 I do not have any RAWS for these eps. These eps are on youtube RAW, so in the worst case scenario I can make srt files to work with youtube rips, but I’ll keep looking. If anyone has good rips of them let me know. :)

For episodes 9-11 I can use the 4-kids butchery as a guide to help me translate.

For episodes 12-26 I’ll be on my own, crawling through translating it myself. If the french translation effort is still going I might be able to use babelfish to translate their work & use it as a guide to help me.

27+ the HK rips may be able to help as a guide again.

41+ I can use the existing subs for.

If I find HK rips for the gap then I’ll probably have some form of guide for the whole series making it much easier to sub (hopefully).

Anyone who can assist in any way is appreciated, or anyone who wants to join this group (Raising the Dead) is also most welcome. All members must be interested in learning Japanese, this group is intended to help each other learn basic Japanese & basic fansubbing.

Learning Japanese

So today I went to Pimsleur’s site to purchase their “Learn Japanese” audio books. I’ve listened to a handful of them from various sources, and I find them quite good & worth me spending money on (even though I started out trying to learn Japanese for free).
As I am essentially trapped with my mp3 player as I travel too & from work these audio only lessons are a great way too force me to learn some japanese.
They start you off learning one sentence, and add a few extra words each lesson, they repeat the words a decent amount, ask in english for you to say the japanese of something you’ve learnt, and then give you a few seconds to think of it before they will say it in japanese, and then they’ll give you a few more seconds to repeat it afterwards. They also ask questions which you need to think of different combinations of the words you’ve learnt to answer them.

The link Pimsleur provides to the online store wasn’t working today, though I got to the online store myself. The first lesson is listed as free for anyone interested in giving it a try. There are 30 lessons total in Basic Japanese, and also two higher levels so 90 lessons in total. The site lists the complete 90 lesson pack as $99.99 (I assume USD). This seems like quite good value in my opinion, though everything I clicked on sent me through to a site called “”. No matter if I clicked the book title, or the buy button for the book, both of them sent me to audible.

Well Pimsleur, today your dodgy online store has caused you to miss a sale. Despite this I will probably try & buy it again at a later date, when the store has got it’s shit in order.
I’ve been looking at other sites on the internet also, I’ll post some reviews about them too some time.