Thanks for treating me as “the other person,” it feels really nice and comfy and welcoming. Humanizing, even.
And understanding some sentences in a paragraph amounts to nothing. I can tell you, by own experience, that you’ll run into N4 and N3 level sentences rather soon if you try reading and vocabulary alone won’t be anywhere near enough to get those without studying grammar first. I’ll fetch a few phrases for you:
Sure anyone with lvl 15 can understand “夏休み,” “国,” and “帰る,” but that そうです? Though luck. You’ll know there’s something about summer holiday and returning and a country. You might be able to infer the meaning of the particles に and へ, although then again maybe not. But at best you’ll think it says “I’ll go back to my country during summer holiday,” when the phrase actually has uncertainty woven into it. And that little detail could well make the difference between understanding something or not.
Same as before. 明日, 雪, and 降る are WK-level vocabulary. The かもしれません, however, which is what gives the whole sentence meaning, isn’t.
Same issue. “ようです”? What is that?
There’s something pretty about looking at the sea and taking a stroll. Even assuming the reader knows the past tense, if you don’t understand “ながら” the actual meaning of the sentence will fly above your head.
Anyone with some WK experience can read all kanji there. But without grammar you won’t know that 降って is present continuous, that 降っていない is its negative, that のに means “even though”, or that 差しています is, once again, present continuous.
There are even worse cases, cases where knowing the vocabulary but no grammar will make things worse. Example:
Somebody who knows WK vocabulary but no grammar or extremely basic one will think this says “The match starts in a place. Quick, quick.” They won’t ever consider that ところです has little or nothing to do with 所, and that its meaning changes based on whether you use dictionary form, te- form, or ta- form of a verb before it.
All examples taken from my N4 textbook. All of them basic Japanese.
So my point stands: At early levels grammar is actually even more important than kanji or vocab. Grammar is king to understand a language - and it’s much easier to look up words you don’t know in a dictionary than trying to look up/understand grammar you never studied while reading something.
I really don’t get why so many people around here believe just cramming word after word after word equals learning a language. Vocabulary helps, and once you reach a basic/medium level of Japanese it becomes THE main thing you need. But first? Knowing how to say “Imperial palace” in Japanese won’t mean anything if you can’t even ask where the bathroom is at. Knowing how to read the kanji for “I” won’t mean a thing if you can’t understand sentences using it.