French is infinitely more rewarding and helpful for so many fucking reasons I can't even begin to list them
French is like a bag of seeds that are tasty and edible in themselves, but you can also plant them and grow whole new strains and start a farm or even a business and do ten billion things. French has ten thousand times as much good lit, and I'm saying that even though I fucking hate the French and their ugly language, but it's still true. Their philosophy is one of the most dominant traditions in history, even today.
You can go back a thousand years and still find tons of literature to read. You can spend a lifetime exploring the Enlightenment authors or Renaissance/Reformation. You can delve into the most cutting edge critics of Heidegger and the best existentialists and literary theorists and it just literally never ends. French and German are the two most important languages aside from English in the entire world to learn, for intellectual purposes. When in doubt, learn them.
Japanese is nice and I'm sure the culture is fine but they're xenophobic and their history starts like a century ago, and most of their shit is imitation of Western forms, provincial in interest at best. Before that it's all quaint medieval shit. Don't learn Japanese, or any language other than French and German for that matter, unless you have a special personal reason to do so.
>>7692018 I read and speak Japanese at an almost native level. I have lived in Japan for 10 years though and even then it is a difficult language. I had four years of French at university and can converse with my French and Moroccan co-workers fairly well.
>>7692070 they're xenophobic except to people who speak the language. also their history starts before french history
the best of japanese culture is the literature of the courts, which isn't an imitation of any form. it is entirely their own. yes it is quaint but it certainly isn't shit. and it is in fact the french who had the greatest interest in japanese art when it became available to them.
not saying french is shit, but you're really underselling the japanese
Though more niche, Japanese will probably give you access to a more foreign perspective in your literature, with Eastern and Western philosophical differences being what they are.
Personally, I'd learn French, since it will likely be quicker to learn. Once you are pleased with your level of fluency, begin learning Japanese. Why stop at just one? If you are interested in both, learn both. You will not regret the time you spend learning if you really do have an interest in the languages and cultures.
You're probably not enthusiastic enough to learn any of these. It takes many years to get a decent level, especially if you're searching for literature to read. To babble with some French expatriate or painfully go through “The Stranger” with a dictionary aside isn't “speaking French”, nor watching an anime with subtitles is “speaking Japanese”. In my opinion, Japanese and French are equally difficult. The first one is easier to speak and looser in syntax rules but is significantly harder to read and write.
>>7692497 Actually >>7692508 is right. The only true way to properly learn a language is to hang out with and talk to the native speakers. And Russia is not that bad, I don't regret moving to St. Petersburg.
>>7692553 For Visa reasons I'm teaching a bit on the side but I make my money in my home country Germany (over the Internet). I actually learned Russian in school although I was really bad at it and only when I got here I actually got into it. It's a tough language but if you stay away from other expats and hang out with locals you'll get there. Can proudly say that I read quite a few of the russian classics in their original language and it's a hundred times better that way, naturally. And Petersburg is a beautiful city.
>>7692070 Regarding Japan: baseless and quasi-intellectual. You base their xenophobia on myths. Statistics show that Japanese aren't more xenophobic than the European average.
Your hyperbolic language is for style's sake, and your point that French is more beneficial isn't incorrect, and I wouldn't argue that much with you on that. My point is that we are talking about relative variables, if you like the Japanese language and find it more attractive, learn it; same principles apply to French if you like French.
>>7692437 >>7692473 The point being people with that mentality only know Japan for anime/manga, and horribly few ones at that.
You'd have to be dogshit retarded to think a nation that has lived in isolation for hundreds of years wouldn't have its own developed artistic traditions, even with the widspred Western influence today.
>>7692723 I assume you've been working and speaking English far longer and stronger than French or Japanese, so I imagine you're not that much knowledgeable in any of these languages. Why should I value your opinion?
>>7692742 >If you only value the opinions of people who are fluent in both French and Japanese Who the hell would value the opinion of someone who's not fluent in either when the very point of the discussion is to compare them? The original poster is probably assuming all the answers he has come from such people.
>>7692745 Indeed, don't respond, you totally won this round, mate.
>>7692739 please highlight the part in that page you linked where it justifies your use of language in that way. I don't necessarily believe in linguistic prescriptivism but I do believe in not writing things in a retarded way if it can be avoided
Man, you do not want to do this. You do not want to know how often they (do not) shower. You do not want to know how often they (do not) change their underwear. They are the most disgusting European population, even worse than the British.
I suggest whichever one you would more realistically expect to use in day to day life. If Japanese is more likely to get you a job, even if you're obsessed with everything French and religiously watch their cartoons and are addicted to their sushi, go with Japanese.
Yeah, I can agree with that when it comes to warm showers. I avoid showering hot every day. You most definitely need to rinse your armpits, ass and crotch in some way or another. I personally shower ice cold like a man, but you can just wipe those parts with a wet towel or something if you're a wimp.
>>7693038 >You most definitely need to rinse your armpits, ass and crotch in some way or another. no you fucking don't. not by nature. don't you think it's kind of ridiculous how we've decided we like perfume which is really just moose asshole dissolved in sweetened alcohol better than a little natural BO ... except when we're having sex, then everything goes
also from my experience when i was a caretaker, the area that gives off the absolute worst smell on unwashed humans is actually the head. oily hair is godawful.
Enjoy smelling like shit and women (and men for that matter) staying as far away from you as they possibly can. How the fuck is it unnatural? Our ancestors have always washed frequently. I don't know what perfume has to do with it, that's just you trying to change the subject. It's just as repulsive with someone who doesn't wash regularly if they cover it up with perfume.
>>7693071 >Enjoy smelling like shit and women (and men for that matter) staying as far away from you as they possibly can. the funny thing is that most people can't actually tell.
i had a coworker who once told me he showers once or twice a week and doesnt change his underwear inbetween unless it's summer. he never smelled bad. most people have rather mild BO. it's only a problem if you get your body accustomed to daily showers, oils, shampoos etc. since you remove your the natural coat of oils and bacteria every day your body will start to overproduce them. so if you just quit at some point your chronically overproductive skin will have you marinaded in your own juices.
>I don't know what perfume has to do with it are you literally (literally) retarded? ofc it's related to the whole showermania / faux hygiene bullshit. before compulsive showering was the meme thing french noblemen would powder and perfume it up to 11. two sides of a coin.
>Our ancestors have always washed frequently. no they didn't, not way, way after the neolithic revolution when communal life made strict hygiene a necessity (which is also why there's all those restrictions on which animals you may interact with in which ways in the quran and the bible). however even then it wasn't daily showers and shampoos, not even fucking close
>>7693033 >>7693038 >>7693059 >if you don't want acne you have to wash your face everyday >if you want nice hair you have to use a sulfate free conditioner everyday >if you want nice skin you have to moisturize everyday Showering everyday isn't necessary but if you want nice things, it's necessary. Also if your a /fit/-fag you have to shower away the BO
>>7693033 >you absolutely do not need to shower daily from a hygienic perspecive It really depends of the weather. On winter I usually go several days without taking a shower, but in summer I take two or three showers a day.
Everything has pretty much been said at this point, but basically:
If you're wanting to learn it for reading, I would recommend French, since it doesn't involve a new alphabet and shit. Plus, it is very similar to Spanish and Italian, so if you become reasonably proficient at French, you're already several steps ahead in being able to read two other languages (though independent study of Spanish and Italian will obviously be required).
Japanese is interesting, and I wouldn't say it is a waste of time or not worth learning, but it will take significantly longer to read and write well in the Japanese script. This will especially hamper you when trying to read serious fiction, as it will likely make wide use of Kanji, the most difficult part of learning Japanese.
If it interests you more, then go for the Japanese. However, French is a better bang for your buck and will be quicker to learn for reading/writing purposes.
I don't know your native language, but French will be so much easier to learn if you're a native English speaker, and has a lot more utility (and a large amount of quality literary works)
Learning Japanese as your first second language is silly, it's pretty much the hardest language you could choose to learn (depending on your native language/what languages you know of course) and doesn't really have that much utility.
Depends why you want to learn the language too. People need to understand that if you want to read complex works of literature, you can't just become fluent in that language you need to truly master it. I mean, how much do people struggle with literary works written in their native language that they have know and been immersed in their whole life? Literature is all about playing with language so it's not as simple as just getting basic fluency which is a pretty hard goal in itself.
>>7694031 I would also add to this that learning French will open the door to other romance languages. I studied French for 6 years in school, learning Italian was like a breath of fresh air after that. Currently studying Portuguese, which is a lot more difficult and does have some confusing aspects if you're used to French (took a while to get my head around ele meaning him in Portuguese, whereas Elle means her in French, for one).
Japanese is a large time sink for what's essentially a linguistic orphan.
>>7693545 Depends how intently you study and your aptitude for language in general, but around a year or less is enough time to get decent proficiency in French. Note that i said decent proficiency. You aren't going to master it in a year.
Depends on your level of interest really. So many worse languages you could pick. Not a good first second language for westerners though, however if you have a high level of interest, there's no reason you shouldn't.
People are breaking it down to how easy a language is to learn, and it's general utility, but personal interest matters more than anything.
You are going to do so much better with a language and culture you are actually interested in, and is pretty much a necessity for learning any language, considering the level of dedication and immersion required.
>>7694136 To babble a couple of sentences doesn't make a language “learnt”, not mentioning English is easier to get acquainted with. Immersion is rarely a good idea since you'll mostly practice short, simple structures with a restricted vocabulary and incomplete grammar. In addition to natives speech deficiences, it makes you able to “survive” in a foreign environment, which shouldn't be compared to learning a language especially in a literary perspective.
>>7694136 French would be easier but not easy and certainly not easily mastered in a year.
>>7694108 You're not going to be fluent to any extend and the kind of conversation—more like communication to this point—you would have can't be compared the slightest with a “normal conversation”, which includes many years worth of vocabulary, conjugation and grammar study, practice and reading. I knew people that settled in France eighteen years ago and still had trouble finding the correct gender for a rather frequent word. Most people I taught to couldn't read a paper in French without struggle despite having studied it for four to six years in school. Speaking it fluently in a year is laughable, even in the most extreme setting.
>>7694212 >it's arguably the most important element to learning a language It depends on what you're expecting from a language. It's a good idea to quickly exchange with the others and live in a foreign country but more of a burden if you want to read literature and speak a slightly less natural “academical” French, in which case it's better to stick with teachers.
>what level of schooling are we talking about here? College. Many aren't wholeheartedly interested in French but still show dedication, independant study and initiatives. All are required to read among a selected corpus, in addition.
>yeah, and the average person constantly fucks up stuff in their native language, it's not really any different It's entirely different. Mismatching the gender is extremely unusual, particularly on common lexicon, just like a native English speaker wouldn't say “I doesn't know”. Frankly, I've never seen such an error except for a rare or a double-gendered word.
>>7696886 >>7696875 French is easier. Japanese requires to know more than 3.000 characters to read with ease. It has an irregular accentuation mark whereas French is consistently oxytone, approximately the same amount of sounds yet more chaotic and pronounced dialects among the Japanese territory. The absence of a formal gender—Japanese is still heavily gendered through other linguistic features—is balanced with more tenses, more erratic rules, the declension of adjectives and the multiple layers of politness. Its orthography is more fluctuent and doesn't reflect the oral speech. An unknown term is unreadable without a reading provided and the lexicon is more familiar to an English speaker. French has less a sharper number of words per written document, which means less vocabulary is required to read most of an article than in Japanese.
Anyway, the shortest experience is enough to be led to this obvious conclusion.
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