Post-study chillout room…
Ok so I’m watching vid 33 (and just popped into vid 27 on cue), and it’s suddenly dawning on me. Are teachers of Japanese, and textbook writers, trying to enable indo-european Japanese learners to leap instantly to being able to give natural language “translations” of Japanese without actually learning Japanese?
It really freaks me out to see students of Japanese actually recommending memorization of sentence structures…it’s like, that kind of thing can only be a substitute for understanding, and all that time spent memorizing I would think would end up being a hindrance to being able to listen to or read native content because instead of learning Japanese (allowing your brain to develop a partition for thinking in Japanese) you’re never really having to exit your native language thinking.
Is this true??
I just don’t understand why it’s reputed to be so hard when it’s just a matter of learning words and basic rules…other than the fact that the teaching is just a total cluster. Why did teachers of Japanese resort to the kinds of distortions for teaching Japanese to English speakers that teachers of German didn’t ever seem to rely on for teaching English speakers German, for example? Is it that we’re so so hung up on particular grammar concepts? Is it that some highly influential western linguists some time back thought that western grammar concepts were more universal than they actually are?
I can also imagine some beleaguered native Japanese speaker trying fruitlessly to get an English speaker to accept that “just” is a noun in Japanese and simply hitting a wall. It’s so inconceivable that maybe it was only possible to teach by creating a bit of haze and just dodging all that, or, just accepting the English speaker’s insistence that certain things can’t be nouns…and that could have happened with a bunch of concepts…
This this will all be supposition on my part. Just guessing. I don’t know any languages other than English and what I know of Japanese.
I imagine English and German (and other European languages) are similar enough to one another that teaching one to another is fairly straight-forward. I expect Korean to Japanese to be similarly straight-forward, because of the grammar similarities.
For English speakers learning Japanese, a lot of earlier resources were written pre-World Wide Web. (I wish I had my late-90’s Japanese textbook from high school so I could see if all of it was as bad as the bad parts I remember.) If you wanted to write a resource for learning Japanese, you couldn’t just look up anything you weren’t certain of. You had to know the Japanese grammar and the English grammar, and be familiar with the Japanese usage, and how to make it understandable in English. That’s asking for multiple areas of knowledge and skills, and not everyone has the talent stack to pull it all off.
I don’t think it’s intentional, but sometimes that’s the result. For example, I’ve never seen かもしれない broken down by any resource other than Cure Dolly. A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui) doesn’t break it down. Japanese the Manga Way (Wayne P. Lammers) doesn’t break it down. Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication (Taeko Kamiya) doesn’t break it down. They all effectively treat it as an expression to memorize.
And then there’s pigeon-holing Japanese into English grammar concepts, such as absurdly suggesting that Japanese has a passive form. I can understand why every single resource out there does this, but I think it’s very harmful to learners to think of the うけみ form as being passive.
By the way, aside from actual Japanese resources, one place Cure Dolly pulls a lot of insight from is Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don’t Tell You (Jay Rubin). It’s a collection of essays. I found it to be a bit of a dry read (although it’s certainly not written as such), but it’s a good source of information. (I recalled this book because he wrote a bit on the so-called passive form in Japanese, including why it’s bad to translate the うけみ form into passive English.)
Your study log’s just filling up with grammar to make sure you learn from Cure Dolly (or Jay Rubin’s essays book) rather than other resources =D
Fabulous!!! I’m gonna have to get that Rubin.
I bought all these books that I have in trust that they weren’t chock full of b.s. heheheheheh welp. xD
Thank you. Cure Dolly truly is alien, just as she says she is.
That means “possible, but unknown” correct? I mean, literally? Or does it mean “x? Also unknown.”
wait don’t answer that I’ll look it up on Cure Dolly! Thank you for soooo much help!!!
There really are better resources available more easily now than there used to be!
Kept up with reviews and lessons today! Woooo! job, me.
Did my morning reviews and 10 lessons!
In the process, ran into this:
ぢ (typed in as “di”)
Ok. So, it’s …lol. there’s …um… well.
Is this actually pronounced the same as ji?
Current fan theory: it’s pronounced exactly like ji, because these tenten are getting applied in compound words to make the correct sound whatever base syllable the unaltered word was. Like in music, where you can refer to the exact same note multiple different ways, and for ease of reading composers mark the notes on sequential lines and spaces through a given scale/key and apply the alterations using sharps or flats or naturals so that the musician knows what scale degree they’re playing first and then knows what tweaks to apply by seeing the musical equivalent of tenten applied to the correct scale degree in the context of the particular key that it’s “in.”
Correct? Dead wrong?
whoops, just did 5 more lessons because it was an easy batch of compounds! Yay!
Opened up a new chapter in Human Japanese and read a little ways into it.
How could I miss this? I hope you’re doing alright, I was missing your posts on the other thread!
You’ve levelled up so much compared to me, at one point you were always just one level ahead of me.
Human Japanese is a great app, I finished the beginner one twice, I never managed to finish intermediate one though.
ぢ is ji you’re correct, I find typing that and づ as du is pretty confusing and takes time getting used to! Great study log. ^^
Thank you so much, FireFairy!! It’s been a wack few months for everyone, self not excepted, and so I think all progress can go at its own pace…? Yee-haw 2020?
~♫! singing the gritting-your-teeth song
How are things for you? Feel free to post here whatever! Sorry for disappearing. I was going through “a dark time” that has kinda culminated in everything being large-scale ok again for the moment! Woooo!!!
Re our current levels: congratulations for sticking with it!! Even if there are breaks or pauses in progress, it’s still great because a lot of the information will still stick, and what doesn’t has a big leg-up for the re-learn! I’m finding that when burn time comes, or master even, a lot of elements that I thought I’d learned have disappeared. That’s unsettling, but I tell myself that even getting them wrong at a high percentage is good because it moves them back into my study queue.
For a little bit I was not levelling much at all, but even when things were most rough I didn’t seem to get too deep of a review stack – 500 max – probably because when I got super stressed I stopped taking lessons. People have so many different paces on here! It’s part of the strength of the program for me, to be able to slow down when I need to.
Thank you so much for posting!! I’m so encouraged to know you’re another Human Japanese fan!
Stayed caught up today too! I’m on a roll!!
(thank you @beckswithspecks! )
Oh no! I’ve been called out from the sidelines! But since I have I might as well cheer you on even louder than with just likes. ファイト!
I’ve been off and on at times, sometimes I’ve been finding things hard and then just try to move on - Riya has been so supportive to me and helped me so much! I’m sorry you were going through a bad time as well, I hope it’s all better for you now.
Most days I can’t manage to do a new lesson - health or life gets in the way. If I leave it too long I feel so guilty! At the very least I just do all my reviews everyday and keep it down to 0. I’m a bit slow with new kanji as I’m psychical writing them all down with the readings but it’s worth it for me, I feel so proud looking at my book with all the kanji I’ve done so far! (even if my handwriting is awful!)
I loved Human Japanese so much I just had to buy the Intermediate version after I finished the first one! I’m still aiming to finish the Intermediate some day - I love being able to level up on it and looking at the nice photos on it!
I love the photos too! And that’s awesome about your writing practice! I’d do that, but it’s really …I don’t know. Intimidating. I’m worried that I’d get bogged down and scrap the whole endeavor (learning kanji/Japanese). So keep telling me how it’s going!
And i’m sorry about your health and life difficulties. Really makes things hard. giving you high fives!!!
Things are a lot better for me now.
Today I’m keeping up with reviews and I did 5 lessons, and that’s it.
Hi-hi!! Do you ever feel like you are dealing with a different brain, depending on the day? Yesterday I didn’t have the wherewithal to handle more than five lessons, but today I gulped down 15 without feeling like it was any trouble at all?!
Zero lessons, caught up on reviews. just finished a hundred some…whew!
Didn’t do any reading or anything, but vols. 3 and 4 of GUNNM arrived! Super large size…really looking forward to working my way through these.