All this arguing about baseball flashcards will inevitably lead to everyone remembering all those words more easily.
In English, I’d say “I’m sorry, but I don’t follow baseball”. In Japanese, I’d say やwhatever はなにですか. And then we talk about something else. It happens in English all the time - in my experience, boss/coworker/taxi driver/date/friendly person doesn’t really want to talk sports with someone who’s only vaguely aware that the Seattle team is called the Mariners (it is, isn’t it?). And I’m well past the stage in my life where I have to kiss up to bosses. Or dates, for that matter…
It’s all a matter of priorities. You learn what interests you, and ignore what doesn’t. Except professionally, and when/if a**kissing is required.
Btw, do we ever learn the Japanese for a**kissing? That would be interesting…
All I’m saying is that it’s okay to not want to learn words you have no use for. I’ve been to half a dozen baseball games, used to watch it with my dad, and I still don’t know some of the vocab WK includes here.
If I ever happen to come across those words (as was quickly the case with ～局), maybe I’ll reconsider. But until then… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Not really. I make no judgements about people who are into sports - I personally just don’t care. And I’m not insulted if you’re not into sewing or knitting - I just don’t have conversations with you about it.
The problem for people who don’t follow baseball closely is that these words are abstract. Most people (even those who don’t watch baseball) know what a homerun is. But a sacrifice fly needs a bit more explanation than just “this is a word that is often used in Japanese conversation so just learn it without knowing the meaning”.
Really? I don’t follow baseball closely, and I think the only baseball-related word on WaniKani that’s obscure is “pitcher’s stuff”.
I think it’s useful to be able to recognize all these words, even if the translation is just “baseball stuff.”
I think we underestimate how many terms we recognize - and that it’s important we recognize - but don’t actually know what mean. You can watch any crime or sci-fi to notice that. Cross-spectrum analysis? Uh they, they examined it somehow. Which is actually the only important bit for most of people.
For me personally, this also comes up whenever I’m learning words for plants/food (or plant foods). A lot of them - in both Japanese and English - just translate to “edible plant thingies” in my brain because I know noooothing about food. Still need to recognize them though.
Yeah, “pitcher’s stuff” is especially bad. Sounds like just stuff a pitcher has at his/her house.
You’re kind of missing the point though. The word for pitcher is there to reinforce the on’yomi for the character 投 - とう at an early level. Before the content revamp it was just な and I don’t remember studying the word 投手. It sounds like you already know the word pitcher, so is it really hard to put together “throwing person” and realize that it is pitcher? I never talk about baseball either, but the kanji make sense. It’s one of the simpler words that uses the とう reading. Other examples that could be used to reinforce this reading, which you’ll probably run into later and will want to know the reading, for tend to be other specialized words like 投薬: medication administration, 投じる: to invest or dedicate yourself to, 投機: financial speculation, etc.
Even “pitcher’s stuff” is obvious if you already know the meaning for “stuff”.
the basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone
At the same time I get where people are coming from, I’m also always kind of confused by these types of complaints basically for this exact reason. My reaction is always that there is not a single English word I know that I wish I didn’t know (except ‘preggers’), so why would I ever begrudge learning any particular word in Japanese?
Most of the time I have to assume it’s different goals. My goal is total fluency and near-native comprehension. Other people want to be able to have a conversation. And that’s fine. It’s just difficult for me to relate to.
But even if your goal is “have a conversation”, how often do you want to respond with “sorry I don’t know what that is”?
Don’t forget YOLO
It’s a matter of priorities. If your goal is to have a middling command of the language, it’s understandable you might want to curate your limired vocabulary. If your language is just for office talk, you don’t need to know how to discuss politics or wax philosophical about the human condition. Or baseball.
I work with a lot of immigrants and that describes a lot of them.
I need to know yolo so that I can use it ironically so often that it becomes unironic.
I dunno, if you only want to have a middling conversation it’s hard to know what the point of memorizing 2000 odd kanji is.
The word exists to reinforce the とう reading of 投、I don’t see how “um” as a synonym helps that but you have to enter the reading anyway so it will probably do the job of reinforcing the reading whether you want it to or not. Maybe a better dummy synonym would be “throwing person” or “pro thrower” to keep the meaning at least somewhat related to the intent of the kanji. Idk.
A bit off-topic, but:
Uhmmm… Is that what “stuff” means? English might be a second language for me, but to me: stuff = things. I just checked dictionary.com and they put that definition as the fifth one. But I’ve never ever seen “stuff” used in any other way, meaning I didn’t even realize there was another definition for it. (I read a lot, so that is unusual.)
Is “stuff” in this matter mostly used in domain knowledge? Such as in this case baseball terminology? And science and stuff? (Um… yeah, that is how I use “stuff”…)
I really don’t know either. But we see enough threads like this that indicate a lot of people do feel this way, and treat this as a vocabulary learning tool instead of a kanji learning tool.
If you say “a pitcher’s things” it sounds like you’re talking about their equipment… physical objects they use to play baseball, which is not what’s meant here, so that’s why the definition mentioned probably does seem more accurate than “things.”
This “stuff” is more like the stuff in the idiom “to have the right stuff” etc.
Also, in American Football, a tight end is not what you get from doing squats…