Ok so we have 便所, お手洗い, and トイレ…and probably more that I just haven’t learned yet.
I feel like that’s already too many ways to say bathroom, but then again English isn’t really any less guilty of this, lol. But as far as I know, there’s just one word “bathroom” that’s acceptable in all contexts in English, which I guess keeps it simple.
I used to be the king of shut-up-until-you-can-understand-all-input, but then I listened to this Japanese With Noriko episode and realized she made some great points. (Plus, the leading proponent of no-output-until-you’re-good is someone I can’t stand who I suspect relies on pseudoscience and exaggerates his proficiency.)
I eventually bit the bullet and started writing on LangCorrect. I still don’t write much, but I feel huge gains from doing it. Outputting seems to strengthen the “encoding” of the words in my brain. I don’t feel like I’m scanning my brain as I read each word.
Really, no matter what, learning any language means getting laughed at a lot. A lot. I still get flashbacks to the time I referred to a group of Japanese girls I’d just met as 「あんたたち」. I shit you not: those three girls pointed and laughed every time they saw me for the next ten weeks. No matter when you start speaking, you have to get past that period of sounding ridiculous.
That seems…a bit harsh? Maybe I don’t understand the significance but that seems like the same thing as me getting ridiculed for 2 months just because I referred to a group of acquaintances as “you guys” or something similar.
Is the use of the word “you” just that frowned upon in Japanese?
The warnings about あなた tend to be exaggerated a bit. It does get used by natives in specific situations, the key is to just generally get learners out of the habit of saying every “I” in their head as 私 and every “you” in their head as あなた.
あんた is not the same though, it’s often used with contempt (though affection is possible in the opposite extreme), and I think it would especially feel that way with a stranger.
Yeah it seems to me these ideas are half-rooted in Krashen, who to my understanding was basically just saying that output should happen “when someone is ready.” His opposition to output, inasmuch as there was one, was that learning, and classroom models especially, focused on forcing output early in a way that likely stressed people and thus made them struggle more with learning. Unless OP actively dislikes outputting, one could argue they are indeed ready. I mean his model for that claim was what children do, and outputting incorrectly and getting it fixed would map perfectly.
People seem to have piled on a whole lot of claims about hard fossilization that just… don’t seem to have a lot of scientific backing? I mean if others know more than me about research on that I’d be happy to read more, but it kinda seems like a thing people have just invented because it sounds like it makes sense to them.
There have, of course, been more ideas since then. There’s a whole output hypothesis (Swain and whatnot) that I’m nowhere near qualified to evaluate, but you sure don’t hear about those arguments online much, heh.
I say all this as someone who has entirely avoided output because I don’t feel like doing it! I’ll do it some day when I want to more and will actually probably follow much closer to the model the hardcore input people are advocating. But I guess the point is, we all likely know a whole lot less about how this truly works than we think we do
This is related to a question I’ve had: how do you refer to someone (that you’re not talking to) whose name you don’t know? Is that a case where it’s acceptable to just use an impersonal pronoun until you learn a “proper” thing to call them? Or should you come up with some sort of brief description as a placeholder? (e.g., “that girl in the red shirt”)
In my experience, this depends fairly significantly on where you are. In the Southwest United States (my home area), that tends to be correct, though “restroom” often seems considered politer when traveling. But, when I visited London, England for work, saying anything other than “restroom” (at work or in public) or “loo” (in casual conversation) always resulted in a decent chuckle or snicker. And, when I overheard a co-worker ask where the “bathroom”, there was almost a look of confusion, at first.
I’ve made quite a few “embarrassing” mistakes like that myself. I always find them fun. What’s funny, in most anything, I tend to try to minimize mistakes. But, with language learning, mistakes are so ridiculously useful that I don’t mind making them!
I probably should have been clearer and said what I said in the context of the USA since that’s where I’m from (and that’s what I meant), but yeah regional variance and such still applies. “Bathroom” and “restroom” are pretty much the only words I hear in the Southeast US.