What level before you can hold a conversation?


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Oops, I meant English and Spanish, but I was thinking about Japanese haha. I fixed it, sorry about that!

Okay, well at least the sentence makes more sense, though I’m not sure I agree with it. English and Spanish are both SVO, so there must be some other aspect of the languages you are considering here.

As a Spanish teacher, and someone who’s been learning Japanese off and on (mostly off) for thirty years, I can say that Japanese is nothing like halfway between English and Spanish. I am constantly surprised by how different the structure of Japanese is from any other language I’ve studied. (It’s my first non-Indo-European language.)


That sounded very abrupt, sorry.

If Spanish is the only other language you’ve studied, I can see how you might feel this way. Your second new language often has things in common with your first new language, and that makes you feel that they’re alike, when all that may be happening is that you’re noticing ways in which the languages aren’t English. One way or the other, the fact that you already have learned both English and Spanish will make this easier for you.

What strikes me most about Japanese is that (a) everything is ruled by particles that define the role of the elements of the sentence; and that (b) these particles and other sorts of phrase-ending words combine in complicated ways that create unpredictable (to me) meanings (although they’re looking more logical as I go through it this time). I’m still trying to sort out whether the transitive/intransitive verb pairings belong on this list, too, as a significant part of Japanese structure, and I’m inclined to think that it does.

Whereas in Spanish we spend the bulk of our grammar study on pronouns, verb forms, and verb tenses and moods, in Japanese we don’t really use pronouns and the verb forms are relatively simple. But your whole understanding of a Japanese sentence can switch depending on a “に” or a “で” or something. (I’m not very advanced so I can’t give good examples at this point.)

This doesn’t answer your question about what to use for study, though!

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lol I’m sorry buddy, but you’re killing me :joy: Anyway, I’m sure once you start getting into grammar you’ll realize how wrong/right you were about this, and I think that learning kanji/vocabulary first could be a good approach and it might work for some people, but if you get into Japanese grammar expecting a mix of English/Spanish you’re in for a big disappointment and a whole lot of frustration.


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