October 14th, 2007

learning languages online

hey guys! i'm new to this community (and to liverjournal as well) so i'm not sure if i'm doing this properly.

anyway, i just wanted to share with you guys something i've been using for the last few weeks to improve my Spanish. It's <a href="http://myhappyplanet.com/register.php?refid=O16cMjgI">this.</a> it's basically an online networking site dedicated to connecting people from different countries to help each other learn their friends' language. and you can look for and upload content for any level (basic, conversational, etc.) so it's very user-friendly and you can use it no matter what level you are. it's totally free also! no credit card checks, whatsoever.

hope you check it out! and i hope you also post links to useful sites that can help me learn more foreign languages.

question re: chinese/japanese script.

i'm still unsure about how these two languages compare, in terms of learning the written part to accompany the spoken language. am i right in that, chinese does not have an actual alphabet, with smaller pieces that you then use to construct more complex words - instead, each character corresponds to each syllable that you actually say?

whereas with japanese, i'm more confused because there are three different script forms. in order to be able to read something in japanese, would i have to know all three of these forms? and do i need to know about 3,000 characters for each to be able to read a japanese newspaper (which is what i was told i'd need to do, in order to perform the equivalent task in chinese.)
or is it less characters i'd need to know and memorize for japanese?

i'm curious to hear more about your experiences, if you've studied/are studying either of these languages. thanks guys =)

p.s. however do you manage the task of committing to memory, all these characters! i marvel at those of you who do. i don't know if my visual memory is capable of such. =/
ambigram, seraph, hebrew, sx
  • varpho

kotobuki 寿

i was searching the Internet to find what does this calligraphed kanji mean. Collapse ) i tried searching Nihongoresources, but it was too difficult, because i wasn't able to count the strokes and recognize radicals. after that, i assumed that the sign is popular enough to be found through graphic search, and i succeed to find that it reads "kotobuki" and means 'congratulations, long life' etc.
now, i found that the kanji for "kotobuki" is 寿. but it doesn't seem too similar to the kanji in calligraphy [the dot is replaced].
so my question is: are these two [the one on my picture and 寿] just two representations of one kanji, or was the old kanji for "kotobuki" substituted with a new one [寿] and remained only in traditional calligraphy? or was it simplified to 寿?
and what is the equivalent in Chinese, both simplified and traditional of this / these kanji?
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