Using the Tanaka Corpus: Warning / Caution
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Japanese Reading Practice
- Warnings about the English Sentences
- This corpus has many sentences that don't sound natural in English.
- Many English sentences sound old-fashioned and are not likely to be used today by any native speaker.
- Many of the sentences are of the kinds found in older "study for entrance exam books", and thus are likely to have contrived examples of grammar usage or archaic English examples passed down from generation to generation by (Japanese) English teachers. They are not examples of normally-used modern English.
- Warnings about the Japanese Sentences
- This corpus has many sentences that don't sound natural in Japanese.
- Many Japanese sentences are obviously detailed translations of the English and are not the most natural way the ideas would be expressed in Japanese. (However, if you are an English teacher, they are good examples of how to explain English sentences in Japanese.)
- Warnings about Both Languages
- Most of the sentences were typed in by students as part of a project, but were not proofread by the teacher.
- Some sentences sound as if they are computer translations.
- Some sentences are not sentences.
- There are many good examples, too.
- If you know the target language somewhat, and don't trust the examples too much without verifying them with a native speaker, then this is a usable set of examples and you can learn a lot by browsing through the sentences.
- These sentences may also be good for Japanese reading practice. However, just remember that if these sentences are a high percentage of your "Japanese input," you may be indirectly learning unnatural-sounding Japanese, which could affect the way you sound when you speak Japanese, in much the same way as men who learn most of their Japanese from a girlfriend start to sound a bit gay.
- Further Warning
- There are multiple, fairly impressive-looking websites using the Tanaka Corpus without ample warning. Remember this when you are on those websites. For a programmer, it's easier to put together a website, than it is to proofread and edit sentences.
- Invitation to Help
- The Tanaka Corpus is now being maintained by tatoeba.org. You are invited to become a member and help make corrections and additions.
- If you do decide to help, I would encourage you to only translate from your non-native language into your native language.
- Yet Another Warning
- Since there are a large number of non-native-speakers contributing to the Tatoeba.org database, additional errors and "less than natural" sentences are being created by those who are over-confident in their own foreign language ability.
This page is part of www.manythings.org/japanese and ケリー兄弟のインターネット上の英語教材.
Copyright © 2008-2011 by Charles Kelly