Onwards and Upwards

Now that I’m level 60 and feel pretty confident about reading kanji, and basic grammar, I’ve been trying to really focus on grammar. I use Nihongo sou matome, and New College Text as my primary textbooks along with The Japan Times, Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. I make flashcards and study them, but am finding my progress slow. Some points I pick up easily, and others I struggle with. It is really hard to stay motivated and less enjoyable than other parts of studying. Any help or suggestions on how to make get better at grammar would really be welcomed.

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Reading is the antidote to this problem. Grammar targeted at beginners is usually stuff you will run into very frequently and are pretty basic structurally. Once you get into intermediate grammar, it becomes less obvious what is grammar and what is a word. Reading helped kind of ground the concepts more for how and when they are used. If you just learn grammar in isolation it is not impossible, but very difficult. Example sentences help to, but I think finding them in the wild give that mnemonic like power an English explanation just cant. 読めれば読むほど上手になるよ!

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I highly recommend joining a book club or two or even just reading past picks as there will be a lot of help available to you for understanding the grammar in context and at various levels.

Other than that, I would also highly recommend Game Gengo’s videos if you like video games. He has grammar series for the N5 and N4 and is currently covering the N3, although with shorter videos. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for making me aware of the book clubs. It could be a while before I can be active in a club because of my busy schedule but the list of books organized by difficulty level is gold. Only book that I’ve read so far is Japanese Stories for language learners, which is a collection of folktales e.i. Urashima Taro,Yuki Onna, nothing really all that long.

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Thanks. I think now that I have been tackling intermediate level grammar I really need to try to find books.

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No problem! And if the schedule doesn’t work well for you, you don’t have to keep pace or you could read the discussions of clubs that already finished :slight_smile:

If you want something along the same level as the folktale collections, the new prefectures book club might work well for you! Right now there’s “prereading” of the prologue and people have posted every line and question in it already I believe.

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Yeah, nows the time to make that transition. Try to go for material aimed at elementary students. Not Shounen Jump though, I mean like Doraemon, or Chibi Marukochan.

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Tbh, I think there’s no need to limit oneself to elementary school stuff at that level. There are plenty of other works that will have more basic grammar without being meant for children. Slice of life and (いや)(けい) are good I find.

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You can definitely explore. I’m not saying that, but I think when people think “For Kids” they jump to Shounen Jump when actually SJ is pretty advanced for that level depending on the series. Like One Piece isn’t too bad. Its a resource already posted here but Natively.com is really good to find stuff you can read based on your level.

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I see what you’re saying now. I think it’s really going to depend on OP’s working grammar level, which doesn’t seem very tested beyond knowing that they know the basics. There shouldn’t be much vocab they don’t recognize at 60, so it’ll probably mostly be a grammar battle. Tbh, I think most battle based manga probably don’t have a lot of advanced grammar other than when villains start talking about their goals and ideas. More philosophical stuff should probably be avoided, but I don’t know much of what’s currently running in SJ to give any recommendations.

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Chainsaw man is also pretty dope and easy to read.

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I’ll be looking into all these suggestions. I have been working my way through N3 level grammar on Nihongo sou matome. I’m just interested in finding ways that I can run across the grammar that isn’t in a text book or study prep for JLPT because it isn’t much fun. The recommendations have already led me to some great resources. I’ll let everyone know what seems to work once I get a chance to try some. May need to order some new reading material. Thanks.

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