Wow. Considering all of the overwhelming amount of comments here, I guess that - against my better judgement - I'll put in my two cents worth.
*drops two cents*
If the argument is that Coco-san's sentence is grammatically incorrect, then we're at a loss. There are many things in English that are grammatically correct that we do not say in order to say something that sounds more natural. I had to come to grips with that one day in the following manner:
According to grammar rules as set in English, you cannot grammatically end a sentence with a preposition. However, when we meet someone new, what is the first question we ask?
"So, where are you from
*hits the buzzer*
To be grammatically correct, we would have to say something more like:
where are you?"
Just reading that throws most native english speakers for two to three loops. Mostly because of the fact that, in America, where english is the native language, the things that we say are not grammatically correct, yet they are acceptable just because (as AJBryant aptly put it) we are used to hearing things a certain way
. I'm a little more grammar conscious than most, so to hear how many times a day that anyone (including me) ends a sentence with words like "at" or "good" or "from" brings me close to a need for a strong drink and a bullet.
Now, if you are going from the standpoint of what sounds natural
, we have a little more footing from which to lodge any type of a correction. Mostly because as far as things that sounds natural are concerned, "Japanese" is used as a descriptive word (read as: adjective) in that sentence. If you say something like, "I am a Japanese", then my instinctive reaction would be "You're a japanese ____....what
?" Mostly because, as a westerner I am accustomed to (note the HUGE part that experience and hearing play in my treatment of this sentence as opposed to grammar
) hearing the word "Japanese" describe some other noun, especially after an article
. For example:
- a japanese book
- a japanese movie
- a japanese song
- the japanese word for....
- the japanese newspaper
So to answer Coco-san's question (as if it hadn't been by now), grammatically, you are just fine. Naturally speaking, if you are concerned about westerner's ears (I'm not really), then you probably want to say "I'm Japanese".
By the way, as to those two cents, you can all keep the change.