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Is this acceptable criticism?

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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby IceCream » Fri 11.06.2009 9:03 pm

cocoさん. sorry i can't reply in japanese again tonight, i'm too tired! it would be incomprehensible :oops:

coco wrote:Hypotheses: The textbookish Japanese, which is written by a native speaker, is not natural Japanese and it possibly has bad influence on learners.

there are 2 important things here, i think:

1. if the reader thinks that your answer shows a normal way of expressing something, and it doesn't, then yeah, i think it can be damaging. I think it's better to learn to express yourself in a more natural way right from the start. Especially using textbooks, and grammar rules, people tend to think, "this is the way you should say x". Which can be a problem later on when you realise that people really don't talk that way at all.
But, if the reader knows that's what you're doing, there's no real problem with it.

2. Whether it's the most helpful way of answering. I said a little about this in the post above. For some learners, definately, it will be the most helpful. But, also, there's lots of people who can answer questions in that way. There aren't many people who can answer questions with the kind of natural feeling and style that comes from being a native speaker.

The "boredom" thing really wasn't meant to be the main point!!

coco wrote:私でよければ、後で投稿しますね。今は時間がないので後ほど。

ありがとうございます!!:D 

leonl: i get what you're saying, but, i think it's kind of wrong in terms of language. I don't think its necessary to jump into some high level abstract japanese or something as a beginner, and i don't think that people shouldn't learn the basics either. But, there are easier and harder examples of natural language to be found in real native texts. Why can't you read manga if you want to, for example? Why is this an example of advanced japanese to you? The same thing with real spoken japanese. I'm not sure why you consider this to be harder than a textbook example. Whichever you choose to study, you will need to learn the grammar and vocabulary to understand it. A real language isn't about vacuum packed clean cut examples, its about expression.
If you say you "can't" do this, well, i guess i've been doing the impossible then...

Astral Abraxos, sorry but i don't understand quite what the matter is with you. I understand you like the idea of prescriptive grammar rules, but the rest of the world disagrees with you on that one, not just magamo. I'm not sure if your first language is english or not, so sorry if this sounds rude, but i think you need to look a bit more carefully at those quotes you posted, and you will understand the meaning better.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Infidel » Fri 11.06.2009 10:35 pm

Mike Cash wrote:People who complain about "textbookish" examples/speech tend to be people who want to skip learning "textbookish" things and jump straight into highly colloquial/idiomatic speech, probably in a rush to be able to say things that their acquaintances learning textbookish stuff won't be able to understand, out of a desire to "one-up" them while not having to put forth any real effort.


I disagree. To me textbook examples are overly simplistic, and stay overly simplistic. I can even remember a few examples where I really got thrown for a loop.

In grade school. Textbook example. 1+1=2, 2+3=5. Ok, piece of cake I think. Gimme my problems! So I get the problems and they start out easy. Then around question 10 I get: 16+18=? and wonder wtf? How do I add 16 and 18. I only know how to add single digit numbers. Then around question 26 I get blindsided with
Code: Select all
 
  156
  48
  247
  7
+ 68
_____
?


And promptly had a nervous breakdown. Not only had I not been taught how to add numbers that were on top of each other, but I didn't know how to add more than two numbers! And OMG there are now THREE Digit numbers! If the textbook examples weren't overly simplistic, and a few bridge examples were given to show how there were multiple ways of expressing the problem then I would have been cool. But my mind focuses on differences not similarities. Changing the order and it's a whole different animal. Just like words. I don't see "taco" and "coat" and think, "Ohh same, word they just mixed up the letters!"

Same thing in English. Textbook example. "See Jane run" Jane is the noun. Ok, no problem. Then the example sentence. "Frank bought a book." cool. Frank and book are nouns. Then around sentence 25 I get "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." and I freak out again.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Sairana » Sat 11.07.2009 12:19 am

IceCream wrote:1. if the reader thinks that your answer shows a normal way of expressing something, and it doesn't, then yeah, i think it can be damaging. I think it's better to learn to express yourself in a more natural way right from the start.


Switch to an English example for a moment:
Textbookish: "I do not know."
More natural: "I don't know."
Natural to most people: "I dunno."

Would you suggest that people learn "dunno" before "don't know" or "don't" before "do not"? Is it a disservice to the English Second Language student to teach them "do" and "not", and how they form a contraction because it's frankly contrived, and no one speaks that way?

Which can be a problem later on when you realise that people really don't talk that way at all.


Continuing with the previous example, say we have taught Elmo, our ESL student about "don't" because it's more natural.

One day, Elmo hears Oscar say, "I do NOT want Big Bird as my neighbor any more!"

By the mentality you demonstrate above ("[it] can be a problem later on..."), isn't Elmo going to have issues with understanding what Oscar said? Elmo may know both "do not" and "don't", but he hasn't been taught that one is a contraction of the other. Maybe Elmo thinks Oscar sucks at his own language and is using the wrong words.

It's really a two way street. Either you learn "natural" Japanese, then you lack the grammar behind it, so if you encounter it you're going to have to...... ask someone what they mean. OR... if you learn textbook grammar, when you hear someone use a contraction you're going to have to...... ask someone what they mean.

In a Japanese example: ~ている. This is very textbookish. Most Japanese contract it to ~てる. The first time someone encounters 言ってる, they ask what that is. Someone can say, "It's a contraction of ている." This is generally enough, they'll remember that. On the flipside, if someone only knows ~てる as "the present continuative, similar to ~ing", the first time they see or hear ~ている, they will have to ask what it means. One way or the other, you have missing information that must be supplemented SOMEWHERE.

Ultimately, my point here is if you think that using textbook-like examples can be damaging, then using natural expressions are equally damaging, and your argument becomes null.

2. There aren't many people who can answer questions with the kind of natural feeling and style that comes from being a native speaker.


Everyone has their own style. Learning from a neutral standpoint gives you the ability to create your own style. People who learn a second language develop their own "voice" in the language.... but it can't be taught or learned. It just happens. If you only learn sounding natural by copying other "natural" input, you are probably dooming yourself to talking like someone else.

Imagine someone learning "natural English" from a Valley Girl. Would you suggest someone do that? Why or why not?
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Sat 11.07.2009 2:47 am

Infidel. Your argument there is extremely solid. I do indeed remember some math book I was teaching myself out of a couple years back where I encountered the same situations. In fact, I eventually got so fed up with repeatedly doing the same problem over and over again in a different form (the first, easy problems). Instead, I would skip ahead to the ones where I had to eventually go "Ah! I get it! They didn't tell me this, but it makes sense if you think about it this way." Or something along those lines.

Fortunately, I have not really encountered such issues in Genki*. I do every exercise, unless it requires a group or something like that. Lately, I've been doing some of the partner exercises and just asking friends the questions in English, and then translating their responses into Japanese to the best of my ability. I've only just started doing it, but it's resulted in some of the best practice I've had yet because I have had to attempt to translate conversational and "natural" English responses into Japanese, which required me to write sentences that I previously would not have even thought about trying.

Speaking of which:

coco wrote:子どものときは、よく外であそびました。また、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えていました。


This is one of those examples I wrote, except modified from a literal translation into something that captures the actual meaning better. I know it's slightly off topic, but can I ask how an adult from Japan might say something like this? :?

Back on topic: Again, I think you made some great points, Infidel, but I still believe textbooks provide great structure and stepping stones for beginners. I know from experience that I've made great progress using my textbook and then supplementing it with great instruction and help from the wonderful people here. I would like to add that I realize you were not necessarily arguing against textbooks, but rather Mike's statement on the matter. Since we have a slightly more legitimate conversation on the subject, I would like to participate.

* I'm starting to notice that I probably sound like I'm advertising Genki sometimes. I'm not. I just happen to only own one textbook. 8)
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby NileCat » Sat 11.07.2009 4:51 am

lonelytraveler8 wrote:Speaking of which:

coco wrote:子どものときは、よく外であそびました。また、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えていました。


This is one of those examples I wrote, except modified from a literal translation into something that captures the actual meaning better. I know it's slightly off topic, but can I ask how an adult from Japan might say something like this? :?

Male in his 60s:
子供の頃は、よく外で遊んだがなあ。それに、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えてたな。

Female in her 60s:
子供のときは、よく外で遊びましたよ。それにね、いつもテレビゲームのこと考えてたりして。

Male in his 40s:
子供の頃、しょっちゅう外で遊んだね。と、いつもテレビゲームのこと考えてたかもな。

Female in her 40s:
小さかったときね、ずっと外で遊んでたわ。で、いっつもテレビゲームのことを考えてましたよ、ええ。

Male in his 20s:
子供の頃はね、よく外で遊んだよ。でもさ、ずーっとテレビゲームのことだけ考えてた気もするね。

Male in his 20s at a job interview;
子供の時の私は、よく外で遊びました。とは言っても、やはりいつもテレビゲームのことを考えていた気もいたしますが。

Female in her 20s:
子供の頃ね、よく外で遊んだなー。けどね、なんかいつもずっとテレビゲームのこと考えてたような気もするんだけど。

Male in his late teens:
子供んときって、よく外で遊んだよ。でもやっぱ、ずっとゲームのこと考えてたかも。

Female in her late teens:
子供んときってさ、なんかずーっと外で遊んでた気しない? でね、でね、でもさ、やっぱ、ゲームっしょ。

Female in her late teens at a speech contest:
子供の頃の私は、よく外で遊びました。しかしまた同時に、いつもテレビゲームのことが頭の片隅にあったかもしれません。

Male in his early teens to his friend:
ガキんとき? 外かな。んー、でもやっぱゲームっしょ。

Male in his early teens to his uncle:
子供の頃は、よく外で遊んでました。けど、たいていテレビゲームのこと考えてました。

Female in her early teens:
ちっちゃいときねー、外! でもって、ゲーム! ずーっと考えてんの。


Adult male & female in their marriage speech:
子供の頃は、よく外で遊んだものです。また、いつもテレビゲームのことばかりを考えていたようにも思います。
Last edited by NileCat on Sat 11.07.2009 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 11.07.2009 5:33 am

It doesn't bother me that some people disagree with what I said (or perhaps even take offense). I will just say that what I wrote was based on a quarter century of watching people wander into (and out of) the study of Japanese. Come back and talk to me about it five or ten years from now; I would be very interested to see if you've maintained your interest in learning Japanese. I'll still be here and still using the language as the means of earning my daily bread.

Anyone who thinks they can skip over the drudge work of learning the basics and go right to more advanced/colloquial usage, figuring they will just magically intuit the "easy" stuff later is perfectly free to go about learning in any matter they consider appropriate for themselves. It is no skin off my nose, in any case. To be perfectly frank, I really don't give a hang if anyone learns Japanese or not, though I do wish everyone the best in their endeavors.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Infidel » Sat 11.07.2009 5:54 am

Well, I wasn't really arguing against your point in entirety either. There certainly are a lot of people that dislike textbook because it is proper, and want more slang etc. And those people deserve a talking to. Got to learn to walk before you can run. There is no getting around the drudge work as you say.

I was just trying to show that there are some people, like me, that hate textbook examples for an entirely different reason. Because often they teach you only how to crawl, but then test your running ability.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby IceCream » Sat 11.07.2009 7:16 am

Saraina: please bear in mind that my answer was specifically directed towards coco's question, and wasn't meant to be taken as a general argument about which phrases you should learn first.

As far as coco's question goes, i really think there's no problem as long as the learner knows what kind of answer they're getting. In the same way, i don't think grammar rules shouldn't be learned, as long as you don't take them and apply them rigidly to every situation. And, i don't think textbooks are a bad thing, just a waste of time past reading the basic grammar points as a total beginner.

The reason that i said it can be a problem later on isn't a question of the order of things presented. Its because naturally, we take native japanese speakers to be a voice of authority. So, it's easy to end up with thoughts like, oh, so this is how i should say x. The same goes for grammar rules. If you beleive that the grammar rules you're learning for composing sentences are rules that are going to help you speak naturally, or that it's how you should speak, then your going to run into problems later.

As for textbooks, definitely they're helpful for a total beginner. I read through tae kim's first couple of sections a couple of times, looked at a few grammar books, and srsed a bunch of smartfm sentences. On the other hand, i think that context is the most important thing in a language. So, i'd rather spend my time looking at real stuff in japanese, and refer to a textbook to help me understand things i come across in context. If you want to be fluent in a language, you do have to learn to intuit the rules eventually. And anyone CAN intuit rules. This is the whole concept of beginners programs like Rosetta Stone, right? (which i also did - well, i got bored before the end, but i did a lot of it).

Probably anyone who'se worked their way through a textbook will have better output than me for a while, because they can use these rules to help them form correct sentences. For instance, i found it difficult to write the japanese i wrote above, and theres probably a million mistakes. But, my listening and understanding of written japanese is probably better than someone who'se spent the last 6 months learning from textbooks, and the grammar falls into place piece by piece. So, i guess you sacrifice one skill for another when you choose, no matter what.

Infidel wrote:I was just trying to show that there are some people, like me, that hate textbook examples for an entirely different reason. Because often they teach you only how to crawl, but then test your running ability.

this is kind of the problem, but it doesn't occur within a textbook. It's like, a textbook teaches you to crawl then goes, ok, now we're done. And you go out in the real world and see cars zooming around at 100mph and go, wait, what?!

Soooo often i see people saying stuff like "japanese words are so difficult to remember". The truth is, they're really not, if you use an SRS, with sentences, with audio and picture from where you took it. Context is king, when it comes to pretty much anything.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Sairana » Sat 11.07.2009 11:52 am

NileCat wrote:
lonelytraveler8 wrote:Speaking of which:

coco wrote:子どものときは、よく外であそびました。また、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えていました。


This is one of those examples I wrote, except modified from a literal translation into something that captures the actual meaning better. I know it's slightly off topic, but can I ask how an adult from Japan might say something like this? :?

Male in his 60s:
子供の頃は、よく外で遊んだがなあ。それに、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えてたな。

Female in her 60s:
子供のときは、よく外で遊びましたよ。それにね、いつもテレビゲームのこと考えてたりして。

Male in his 40s:
子供の頃、しょっちゅう外で遊んだね。と、いつもテレビゲームのこと考えてたかもな。

Female in her 40s:
小さかったときね、ずっと外で遊んでたわ。で、いっつもテレビゲームのことを考えてましたよ、ええ。

Male in his 20s:
子供の頃はね、よく外で遊んだよ。でもさ、ずーっとテレビゲームのことだけ考えてた気もするね。

Male in his 20s at a job interview;
子供の時の私は、よく外で遊びました。とは言っても、やはりいつもテレビゲームのことを考えていた気もいたしますが。

Female in her 20s:
子供の頃ね、よく外で遊んだなー。けどね、なんかいつもずっとテレビゲームのこと考えてたような気もするんだけど。

Male in his late teens:
子供んときって、よく外で遊んだよ。でもやっぱ、ずっとゲームのこと考えてたかも。

Female in her late teens:
子供んときってさ、なんかずーっと外で遊んでた気しない? でね、でね、でもさ、やっぱ、ゲームっしょ。

Female in her late teens at a speech contest:
子供の頃の私は、よく外で遊びました。しかしまた同時に、いつもテレビゲームのことが頭の片隅にあったかもしれません。

Male in his early teens to his friend:
ガキんとき? 外かな。んー、でもやっぱゲームっしょ。

Male in his early teens to his uncle:
子供の頃は、よく外で遊んでました。けど、たいていテレビゲームのこと考えてました。

Female in her early teens:
ちっちゃいときねー、外! でもって、ゲーム! ずーっと考えてんの。


Adult male & female in their marriage speech:
子供の頃は、よく外で遊んだものです。また、いつもテレビゲームのことばかりを考えていたようにも思います。


I guess from now on, we should make sure you Japanese folk give answers like this so the person asking the question doesn't get confused. :twisted: :roll:
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby NileCat » Sat 11.07.2009 12:48 pm

Gangster:
餓鬼ん時分は、ようく表で遊んだもんよ。ま、大概はテレビゲームの事を考えてたがな。

Sumo-wrestler:
子供ん頃は、っく表で遊びまっした。まった、いづもデレビゲムの事ばかりっ考えてっましたっ。

Kindergarten teacher:
小さな頃はね、よく先生もお外で遊んだんですよ。それからね、いっつも先生、テレビゲームの事考えていたんですね。

Teen's throbbing idol:
子供の頃はさ、よく外で遊んだぜ。けどさ、俺、いつだって、テレビゲームのこと、考えてたんだっ!

Crying widow:
子供のときには、よく外で遊んだんです・・・また、いつもテレビゲームの、こと・・・考えておりました・・・

Kitano Takeshi:
おいらの餓鬼ん時分って、よくさ表で遊んだね。またさ、そんでもっていっつもテレビゲームのことしか考えてないでやんの。

Enka-singer:
わたくしの子供のころには、ようく外で遊んだものでございます。またいつも、いつもわたくしが考えておりましたのは、テレビゲームのことなのでございました。

Rakugo-performer:
えーわたくしどもの子供の頃はと申しますと、それはもうよく表で遊んだものでありまして。また、いつでもテレビゲームのことを考えておったという次第なんでございます。

Geisha-girl:
うちのこどものときでございますか、ようくそとで遊んだもんでございます。まあた、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えていたのでございます。

Ginza club hostess:
子供のとき、よっく外で遊んだわぁ。で、ね、考えてたのよいつも、テレビゲームの、こ・と。
Last edited by NileCat on Sat 11.07.2009 2:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby ss » Sat 11.07.2009 1:21 pm

Gangster:
餓鬼ん時分は、ようく表で遊んだもんよ。ま、大概はテレビゲームの事を考えてたがな。

Kitano Takeshi:
おいらの餓鬼ん時分って、よくさ表で遊んだね。またさ、そんでもっていっつもテレビゲームのことしか考えてないでやんの。


Nilecatさん、
You didn't explain what's 餓鬼. Hungry ghosts???!!! :lol:

私の自宅には冷蔵庫も扇風機も炊飯器もあります、しかし、テレビとコンピューターと携帯はありません。猫も犬もいません、しかし蛇やネズミやゴキブリはいます。蚊はいません、幽霊もいません、煩い餓鬼もいません。天国です。 :twisted: :lol: :P
(I wonder how many different versions can be formed from the above textbookish sentences ...)

Just kidding, thank you very much.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby NileCat » Sat 11.07.2009 1:51 pm

My pleasure, SSさん.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Sat 11.07.2009 2:28 pm

Wow, I never expected so many examples. Thanks, Nilecat! I'm going to read through them all later and try to get a bit of a feel for the various differences :D
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby NileCat » Sat 11.07.2009 2:37 pm

Enjoy, lonelytraveler8 !
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby IceCream » Sat 11.07.2009 3:15 pm

loool now your fulfilling my expectations! ;p

なーんちゃって!すっげー!

they made me laugh. i wish i had sound effects for all these!!

it's definately nice to be able to see them all side by side like that to compare... ty :lol:
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