Jan. 18th, 2017

marchionessofmustache: (Default)
I made a little video to show what battles are like in SGSG. I had to like... stack my PS3 games up into a weird arch thing with a little gap for the phone camera and then put my psp in between the stack of games on the floor at the 'wider' part of the arch stack XDDD

Jan. 18th, 2017 11:40 am
marchionessofmustache: (Default)
I got my 100-day streak badge on KA~~~



I was getting kinda worried because today was day 102. I was about to write support about it because I really wanted my badge hahahah XD But it just popped after my mastery challenge today for some reason.

And speaking of study stuff, I started taking notes on SaGa SCARLET GRACE as I play, and I'm actually taking the notes in Japanese. I haven't written in Japanese in so long... my handwriting is so wonky anymore. Not that it was amazing to start with or anything.

I'm basically keeping notes on where all the blacksmiths are and what they specialize in -- though I mentioned this in the play diary, I think. And then I'm also taking notes on what materials I need to upgrade certain things that I want to upgrade, so I'm not constantly running to blacksmiths and looking through every last item to see what I can and can't upgrade and what stuff costs lol.

I'm also taking notes of words that I have to look up or words I don't know how to read. As in like, I know what it means and I know the word, but I can't say it.

Japanese is different from English in this way in that in English, even if you don't know a word, you can at least GUESS the pronunciation, and you'll generally be close enough that someone else could probably understand you.

But in Japanese, characters can have many different pronunciations which are vastly different, so you could guess one and be so far off it sounds nothing like the word at all. I mean, there are certain ones it's more likely to be in certain situations or whatever, so you can make educated guesses but...

And then there's the fact that characters carry meaning as well as readings, so it's possible you could come across a word you've never seen before, gather its meaning through context easily, but have absolutely no idea how it would even be pronounced.

And I have a lot of words like this -- words that I actually know, and could read or write them, but if I had to say them, I wouldn't even be able to tell you how to say it. I guess it's similar to reading something with emoticons or emojis in it -- you see them, understand them, can produce them in your own writing, but if you have to SAY them, you're suddenly stuck. For emoticons of course you can just describe them, but for Japanese words you just... have no phonetic component to your lexical entry for this word so there's just... no pronunciation for you. It's so weird. But you can still read entire sentences with words like this in it and they make perfect sense, you just wouldn't be able to say them aloud???

But yeah, I have many words like this in my vocabulary because I have so many words I've picked up through reading and haven't been diligent enough to actually look up how to say them. It's not particularly hard, but it gives me a headache because it's sort of like doing a word search -- when you just have to look through a jumble of characters and try to pick out the one you're looking for. That always makes me feel dizzy and my head starts hurting. I can't do word searches because of this, and I hate stuff like looking up words in dictionary or whatever because of this (which is why I'm very fortunate for electronic dictionaries these days, because you just TYPE the word and it finds it for you!)

But with Japanese, you can't just... type the word. Because there are thousands of Japanese characters, you can't have that many keys on a keyboard (well, you could I guess XD), so when you type Japanese, you actually type it by sounding out the word (you type in Romanization, like... Japanese keyboards are also QWERTY XD) and then there's like an autocomplete thing that lets you pick the characters (since almost every word is a homophone with like fifty other words in Japanese, which is why it's nice to have the Chinese characters that have meanings XD) Also, this means in order to type in Japanese, Japanese people have to know not only their own script, but the roman script, too, and how Japanese is Romanized. that's just... too many characters to memorize XD How do they do it?!

So if you want to look up a word you don't know how to say, you have to look it up by its radicals, which are the little like... pieces of the character, like... I don't really know how to explain it, but each character is made of like... lots of little characters jumbled together in various ways. If you're using a paper dictionary for this, you have to know which is the 'major radical' and how these are ordered and stuff, but thankfully with electronic dictionaries, you just can click on all the radicals and it will show you all the characters containing those radicals... and they're ordered by the number of strokes (like, penstrokes) it takes to write the character, so if you can count those you can find it easily enough.

But if you have like, a word with many characters, something like 帝国図書館 (Imperial Library, to use an example that shows up in SaGa SCARLET GRACE a lot haha) you'd have to look up five separate characters, then paste them all together and search in a dictionary for them. These days, there are 'advanced' Japanese dictionaries online thanks to WWWJDIC, and you can paste as much text as you want and it will attempt to parse it into separate words and look them all up for you. It's not perfect and doesn't translate anything, just brings up a bunch of dictionary entries, but it's still super helpful. For example, "Imperial Library" would not come up with a single definition, so if you didn't know the words and only could look up one at a time, you'd have to try to figure out how many words there are (is this 5 words? 3 words? 2 words? 1 long word? Who knows!) by splitting it up into different sized chunks of characters and searching for each... XD

Anyway, we don't have to do that these days.

So to look up 帝国図書館 , assuming you don't know how to say any of the characters, you would have to start by trying to find 帝 .

And to do that, you have to look at a chart like this:



Which just looking at it makes me dizzy. These are all the radicals that can be a part of a character. So you have to have a pretty good handle on what all these look like in different shapes (because often they don't really look like what they look like on this chart lol) and where they begin and end... and then look at the character you're trying to look up and try to pick out the radicals and then click them on this page...



This is the newest and most helpful kanji dictionary I've found online, and it actually greys out radicals that are not possible combinations with the ones you've selected, which is very helpful. Before, most dictionaries did not update while you were using them, so you just clicked checkboxes next to each radical you wanted, typed in a number of total strokes for the character, and pressed search, and it would come up with a new page of all characters that matched. A lot of times you didn't realize you may have made a mistake counting strokes wrong or whatever. There's also stuff where like... some radicals are actually just combinations of other radicals, so you might forget that some random combination also counts as its own radical, and select the individual ones that make it up and it won't show up... and sometimes stuff just looks like something else but isn't that for some reason... it's very frustrating LOL. Usually it's easy enough, though, and you can find them somewhat quickly...

But it still makes me dizzy and gives me a headache looking for the radicals in the chart X_X But this is what I have to do to look up words I don't know how to say, and this is why I often just decide not to learn how to say it. Especially since it's quite possible to look up how to say it, say it to yourself a few times, say it as you read it... then not see the word again for a long time and forget by the next time you see, and have to look it up again. And I forget things easily so I can easily look up a word, say it to myself, then forget it like by the next sentence and have already exited the dictionary tab or whatever lololol.

So I've started writing down all the words I don't know how to say and looking them up, which helps me remember just from writing them down, and then if I forget, I usually will remember that I wrote it down, have an idea whereabouts I wrote it down, and be able to find it way more easily than doing all of THAT.

It's also helpful if you happen to know other words that contain the same characters, because you can just type the other words you know and then delete the characters you don't need lmao.

For example in 帝国図書館 , the first two characters mean emperor and country, so you might already know those words as 帝 mikado and 国 kuni for some reason, and then you can just type "mikado" and "kuni" and you'll get 帝国 , but despite it being possible to read those characters as mikado-kuni, the word 帝国 is said as "teikoku" which is nothing at all like "mikadokuni" so this is why you can just have no idea how to pronounce stuff in Japanese despite probably easily being able to pick up the word "empire" from context if you saw it being used in a way that made sense and the characters literally mean "emperor's country."

For a more convoluted example, for the library part you could know words like 書留 kakitome (registered mail) and 館内図 kannaizu (indoor map) which contain all the three characters you need, so you'd have to type those words, and then delete characters and rearrange them... still easier then looking them up in the kanji clicker thing. Also only the 館 kan part is pronounced the same, the 書 kaki from kakitome and 図 zu from kannaizu are pronounced as syo and to respectively, so "library" is 図書館 tosyokan and not something like zukakiyakata, which would still be using completely valid readings of those characters but it would make no sense and no one would have any idea what you're trying to say, because there are like 100 different characters that can be pronounced with those sounds, too, so it's not like you can just guess LOL.

Anyway, I guess I'm just kind of venting the frustration that is trying to look up Japanese words and learning them without knowing how to say them XD And hopefully you can get an idea of why I often just choose NOT to look them up in a dictionary. Usually if I know all the characters at least, I'll just look it up (and of course, if you're reading something online, you can copy/paste the text into a dictionary!) but in games there's always tons of WERID words, and games in fantasy settings like to use obscure or obsolete characters instead of the normal ones, similar to how in fantasy settings in English we like to use lots of weird ~old sounding~ words and fake middle English and stuff. So a lot of times it can even be a word I know but they're just using some ridiculous old character to write it that is like 25 strokes and hard to see because it's all so tiny and mushed together, when they could have just used the modern character that is like 4 strokes. But it doesn't ~look cool~ so they write this weird crap in the game XD
marchionessofmustache: (Default)
I spent a lot of time kinda running around and doing whatever, so I hope this isn't too random. I have about 400 screenshots on the Vita from these play sessions since the last time...

But yeah, I'll try to cut out a lot of the random stuff, so it shouldn't be longer than normal entries for these, and some pretty interesting stuff happened!

I feel like this game has an unusual amount of story for a SaGa game. And Leonard is supposed to have the least amount of story, so I really wonder what the other characters are like!

Read more... )

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