When we start reading next month, chances are you’ll encounter content that’s covered in the videos you’ve seen, and…you won’t recognize them at all. But what happens next is where the magic starts. Either you’ll ask, or some else will ask, for help on breaking down that sentence. “I know all the words, but I can’t figure out what they mean.” Then a reply will be received with some grammar information to help tie the words together, and that’s where you may think, “Wait, this seems familiar.”
Those who’ve seen enough of my posts are probably tired of seeing me write “pattern matching, pattern matching”, but the brain is a pattern matching machine. (Not a very good one, but that’s beside the point.) Through the volume, you’ll encounter the same grammar over and over, and your brain will start to recognize it. Maybe not from reading (as you may not the vocabulary words very well), but rather by seeing it come up again and again in the discussion.
Then, after reading the volume (or even at any time during), if you decided to re-watch a Cure Dolly video on that content, it should seem much more familiar, and maybe even more memorable.
I’m painting a overly optimistic picture, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come to you quite that fast. When I read through volume one of ごちうさ, I looked up every word and every bit of grammar, a process that spanned several months. Next, I read through volume one of しろくま with the book club here, and I felt like I hardly knew anything. I think it wasn’t until later in that year that I started watching Cure Dolly, so I’d already had some (meager) reading experience.
(Sorry if that was way too wordy…)
Learning the different forms of adjectives took me way longer than I’d care to admit. It’s like I had this blind spot where even though I was looking up sample sentences and writing them 20 times each, multiple days per week, if I stopped for a month I’d completely forget everything I knew about the different forms for adjectives.
I have no explanation for why it was so difficult for me, but I will say this: if anything comes as being too difficult to grasp, don’t worry too much about it. You have so much grammar waiting to be learned to let any specific grammar slow you down for too long. If you keep up reading, you will encounter the grammar again and again. So long as you occasionally look them up to ensure you understand it, pattern matching will slowly kick in. (It just takes longer for some of
me us than others…)
It might not get easier right away, but over time you’ll start to get a feel for it. だ comes after a noun, and だ is used for the past-tense of verbs that normally end in a " (such as ぐ).
Once you have a good grasp of は and the topic-comment structure used in Japanese, and the logical particles (such as が, を, で, に, and へ), that’ll make it easier to use a little detective work on simple sentences to deduce the meaning.