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To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

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To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby ヴェンリメル » Mon 10.26.2009 6:44 pm

Continued from here.

Astral Abraxas wrote:There is a difference between explaining a grammar point and explaining every grammar point in every sentence. I don't know anyone who would do that. No offense intended but, when you say something I'm not even sure where to begin with the corrections. That is why it's best if you go pick up a textbook and teach yourself AT LEAST the basics. That way you won't be a nuisance.

EDIT:(...)
If you would rather struggle like hell because you're too stubborn to buy a textbook you can try reading children books or something I guess instead of pestering people.
Grrr. Okay, I don't quite understand why this point might need to be made more than once, but what I'm requesting is simple interactions. I make small sentences to try and comprehend the basics. People respond in small sentences to demonstrate those basics and make use of words I probably don't know, causing my understanding (in grammar, syntax and vocabulary) to increase.

It's supposed to create a basic conversation that almost anyone could read and learn from. Lessons tailored to me, having to do with my experiences, making it easiest for me to learn. I don't think that every sentence needs to be "corrected". I think that I need a similar sentence to demonstrate the way it should go, if I've done something incorrectly. Doing that, the best would be to merely say "almost correct" and give a response within the conversation that can show me how it's supposed to be. That way, I know that what I did wasn't quite right and can recognise that the difference I'll see in the response is due to that and not (perhaps) that it is just another way to say something (or one of the cases where the same thing is said in a different way, depending on the perspective of the person describing that same event).

今日私はDoctorと会います。けれどもよんりんしゃがありませんから歩行しなければなりません。十六時十五分に会います。
Today, I have a doctor's appoitment. Also, I don't have a car, so I must walk.

While I do request that someone offer corrections, more important than that is seeing someone use the language in a relevant response, so that I can actually have a conversation.

I am saddened that this understanding has not occurred and that people seem more irritated with me, now. It has taken me this long to scale back the complexity of my attempted Japanese sentences, but it has also taken this much experience to understand just how impaired I am in my endeavor to speak Japanese.

I'm trying to find the balancing point. Creating sentences that aren't beyond my (correct) understanding of Japanese; people willing to respond to those sentences and possibly correct them.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Mon 10.26.2009 10:30 pm

I haven't been part of this conversation thus far, and I only read the first page and the final post in the previous thread (by the way, I've been playing FFXI for almost 6 years on Odin and Seraph). Anyways, with that in mind, here's my take:

I understand where you're coming from and agree that what you are looking for could be extremely helpful, not only for you, but for anyone who might be willing to read through the ensuing conversation. However, I also understand how it might be a nuisance to others, especially if you weren't supplementing your experiences here with study on the side -- either through a class or a self-study using a textbook like myself and many others here.

What you want would definitely allow you to start learning nuisances, "slang" and other such things that you won't easily learn from a textbook. But constantly making mistakes and being corrected is what a child does when learning their first language. Such a method requires a lot of work on the instructors part. I have no children, but I have almost a dozen younger siblings, and I know firsthand how much time and frustration is involved in teaching a child to speak properly.

The last part of that sentence brings up a second problem. As an adult or maturing adult, as the case may be, you are certainly capable of learning in a way that a child can not. Aside from vocabulary (which a child in a native setting picks up very rapidly after a certain age), you can learn and understand not only how to use grammar but the 'why' behind it.

Hmm. I get wordy sometimes, so I apologize. I'm sure that many of the people on these forums are more than happy to help you. Should I see an opportunity for myself to assist you, I will certainly jump on it without hesitation. However, you should being doing your primary studies elsewhere and seeking such guidance here on the side.

I hope I helped clear things up a little bit, and please don't feel discouraged in seeking assistance.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby jcdietz03 » Mon 10.26.2009 11:40 pm

There is a difference between explaining a grammar point and explaining every grammar point in every sentence. I don't know anyone who would do that.
Here is someone who will explain every grammar point in every sentence. I'm not saying anyone should do this. I can't understand (most of) those sentences on my own and the grammar explanation does not help either.
http://mangahowto.dnsdojo.org/howto/index.html
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby wccrawford » Tue 10.27.2009 7:13 am

I agree that this could be helpful as well... But perhaps this isn't the forum for it. There are places like Lang8 that are set up to do this already and are perfect for it. You won't get any grief there and you'll get a lot more native response.

Not that this isn't a good forum... It's just that there are better places for this particular need.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 10.27.2009 4:03 pm

I'm not sure that's a good idea because the ratio of reading Japanese to reading about Japanese is way off. The author of that page spends pages and pages of English talking about a few sentences of Japanese.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Astral Abraxas » Tue 10.27.2009 5:38 pm

1) Being a teacher is a profession. People are paid to teach Japanese. Why should we teach you for free? No, you're not asking us to help you, you're asking us to teach you. It's one thing to say "hey, what is the difference between 飲んでみる and 飲もうとする " and "explain every grammatical problem in this paragraph for me please :D :D :D" when you clearly don't even have a handle on the basics...

2) You're not going to understand barely anything for awhile, at least until you get the basics done. It's not like were there talking to you in person etc. You're going to be reading an explanation off of a forum, which is the same thing as reading an explanation from a textbook. However, the textbook more than likely has a better explanation than some random guy putting 5-10 minutes into their post.

3) You need to realize that you're not living in Japan. You're not immersed. You can't learn like a native learned Japanese.

This is ADVICE. I'm trying to help you. Please, listen to me.

EDIT:

Your simple interactions are not simple enough for you. A textbook will define your boundaries.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Dustin » Wed 10.28.2009 10:44 pm

Astral Abraxas wrote:1) Being a teacher is a profession. People are paid to teach Japanese. Why should we teach you for free? No, you're not asking us to help you, you're asking us to teach you. It's one thing to say "hey, what is the difference between 飲んでみる and 飲もうとする " and "explain every grammatical problem in this paragraph for me please :D :D :D" when you clearly don't even have a handle on the basics...

2) You're not going to understand barely anything for awhile, at least until you get the basics done. It's not like were there talking to you in person etc. You're going to be reading an explanation off of a forum, which is the same thing as reading an explanation from a textbook. However, the textbook more than likely has a better explanation than some random guy putting 5-10 minutes into their post.

3) You need to realize that you're not living in Japan. You're not immersed. You can't learn like a native learned Japanese.

This is ADVICE. I'm trying to help you. Please, listen to me.

EDIT:

Your simple interactions are not simple enough for you. A textbook will define your boundaries.



Seconded, sorry ^_^
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Hyperworm » Wed 10.28.2009 11:32 pm

The sentence in the OP wasn't too bad.
(not saying that to support his approach, just to soften the blow of the "not simple enough"s >_>)
Slightly odd vocabulary choices* and I'm not sure you can use 「医者に会う」 to describe an appointment(?), but there were no sentence-destroying grammar problems.

*more standard choices: 車 and 歩く
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby ヴェンリメル » Wed 11.04.2009 6:23 pm

First off; though I figured the question of schooling would come up, I didn't expect it would seem quite so spiteful. You can bet that if the nearby college offered a Japanese language coarse (and the other wasn't asking for my limbs as payment), I'd be there.

People also sell books for you to learn languages. I've purchased books, though obviously not quite the right ones. Working on that.* That I have such a terrible understanding of the basics of the language is important information, so I'm glad someone finally informed me.

I've been trying to practice what I've learned just in FFXI, but I knew that people there wouldn't always want to take the time from their gaming to help someone understand yet another aspect of Japanese. I came here, because I understood that to be the purpose of the site (although, current responses seem to contradict that).

I understand that it's one thing to ask for an explanation of the differences between a couple of phrases and another to have an entire post critiqued. Understanding, now, that my grasp on the language is so loose, I discontinued such a ridiculous request. I must admit that I'm surprised that having a conversation with people in simple sentences is still so much to ask.

Despite my misunderstanding of basic structure, I actually do pick up meaning quite often. The big problem, really, is my small vocabulary, compared to that of random conversation. I'm also not asking for an explanation of anything. I learn best by doing. All I'm asking for is people to speak simple Japanese to me and I'm certain I'll pick it up. With simple sentences, learning new words at this stage is easier. I even just learned the words for "car" and "walk". =) I'm sure that 5-10 minutes is more than sufficient for a simple sentence or two.

I'm sure we'd all agree that I'd be daft to not recognise that living in the US, I'm not immersed in Japanese. I'm doing the best I can.

Perhaps I wasted too much of everyone's patience on my overcomplicated attempts; I'm not sure. Obviously, though, if everyone agrees that I'm some kind of lost cause, I'll have no choice but to stop posting, since it would be a waste of time.

I have been a bit busy, as I described previously, but the seasonal of my two jobs is finished and I'll have much more time to read through everyone else's posts and do what learning I can.

Again, thank you all very much for your assistance.

* I don't really trust searches and advertising as much as the opinions of people, so: Could someone recommend manga for children that might be quite useful for me? I'm trusting that those who've helped me, so far, will know best which ones I'd benefit most from.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby keatonatron » Wed 11.04.2009 7:20 pm

ヴェンリメル wrote:All I'm asking for is people to speak simple Japanese to me and I'm certain I'll pick it up.


There are sections of this site, and even a real-time chat, dedicated to practicing simple Japanese with others.

Perhaps the problem is that you posted in the Grammar section (which is where people go to get grammar explained) and tried to mix it with conversation practice. That sounds like a very daunting task, and the people that spend time answering questions in the grammar section usually aren't the ones that also spend time in the "practice speaking Japanese" section.

I know it sounds condescending, but those of us who can answer grammar questions with some authority are well beyond the point of practicing speaking Japanese (or at least we don't need to do it here).

So I would suggest finding one of those other sections/posts and spending some time with people at your own level practicing simple Japanese conversation. When you have specific questions about a grammar/vocabulary point that you have problems looking up, feel free to come back and ask the more advanced speakers for concrete answers.

And try the chat! (link at the top of the page) There are some native speakers that spend a lot of time in there, and they'd be happy to practice with you.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Wed 11.04.2009 7:41 pm

ヴェンリメル wrote:Obviously, though, if everyone agrees that I'm some kind of lost cause, I'll have no choice but to stop posting, since it would be a waste of time.


Keatonatron pretty much said everything that came to mind when I read your post, but I wanted to comment on this. The last thing anyone here wants to do is make you even think you might be a lost cause. There's no such thing, or else there would be people who literally never learn to speak a language at all.

You are encouraged to post and seek help. That is indeed the purpose of these forums, unless I've been misunderstanding over the past year. However, just make sure you consider the time of others in the type of request you make. Asking for help on an entire post probably isn't a big deal when put in the correct sub-forum (a point that Keatonatron pointed out). This is a problem that new users at all forums face, despite the subject surrounding the community. Just try to make sure your post is as relevant to the section as possible. You'll get the right people reading it that way, and you'll also get better responses.

For now, I'd say let this particular conversation go. What can be said has more or less been said already. Welcome to the community, and, in the future, I hope you get as much from it as I have.

Edit: I realize that nobody really answered your question regarding manga. I'm only at maybe the middle beginner's level, but I don't think using manga is a great idea, unless you want to actually try out something like Mangajin's Basic Japanese Through Comics. I have it, but haven't even looked at it yet, because my Genki textbook has been working pretty darn well for me so far. If you have a textbook, I encourage you to take the time to do all of the exercises. A single chapter can take me 3-5 hours to copy all of my answers to my notebook, depending on a few factors, and I always find the material pretty solidified in my memory afterwards. It also helps with reading/writing speed, as well as vocabulary and kanji retention.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby tiestotaku » Wed 11.04.2009 7:48 pm

おい! 私はインタネートを使って日本語を勉強しています。 
このサイト ー> http://www.gwu.edu/~eall/vjg/vjghomepage/vjghome.htm が僕の気に入りんです。

Ok, what I was trying to say was:

Hey! I'm using the internet to study Japanese. This website ->(above) is my favorite.


I know most of the folks on this site would recommend a book, but until I have the $s to purchase one I'm using that. As I'm more of a hearing-learner, it helps, but the kanji on that site also do so along with the visuals, vocab lists, and quizzes. Check it out!
Please forgive me if my attempts at communicating in Japanese come off as rude or vulgar.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Astral Abraxas » Wed 11.04.2009 8:26 pm

The second you asked for someone to explain your grammatical problems IN Japanese is when I was like "O.O What's the point? You're never going to understand".

Grammar Questions and Problems is technically a section for... grammar questions and problems! Not conversations lol. But if you insist let's give it a go~

日本語で書かれた説明が絶対に分からないよwww ところで、俺もFF11と言うゲームをしてる。 とても楽しいね。FFXIをしてる間に、日本語の音が音楽みたいだし、日本の文化が好きだし、日本人の友達を作ったし、日本語を勉強することにした。 ヴェンリメルさんはどう? なんで日本語を勉強することにしたの?

In case you have troubles I'll put the translation in a spoiler tag

Spoiler:
You'll definitely not understand an explanation which is written in Japanese lol. By the way, I play the game which is called FF11 too. It's very fun isn't it. While playing FF11 I decided to learn Japanese because the sound of Japanese is like music, I like Japanese culture, and I made Japanese friends. How about you? Why did you decide to study Japanese.
Last edited by Astral Abraxas on Thu 11.05.2009 10:10 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby magamo » Thu 11.05.2009 1:28 am

@ヴェンリメル

It seems to me that what you want to do is kind of a Japanese chatting thread where people correct each other a la lang-8 (I'm assuming you're not a jerk who only asks for correction and doesn't contribute to this forum.). While this sounds like a good way to improve your Japanese, I don't think a lot of non-native speakers can correct your sentences so you sound more natural. This is especially so if they're learning Japanese using textbooks and/or taking classes. Those learners may be able to tell if your sentences are following rules they learned from their textbooks, but it's very difficult even for "advanced learners" to tell which is more natural and idiomatic, let alone give an alternative sentence that sounds perfectly idiomatic.

With that said, I personally think your approach is interesting. You just posted it on the wrong place, I guess. As some other posters already said, it seems "日本語の練習 (Practice Japanese)" is the best place to experiment your idea:

Forum Description of 日本語の練習 (Practice Japanese) wrote:Feel free to practice writing in Japanese or romaji. Help each other out with corrections or replying back in Japanese

I don't know how much I can contribute to your thread, but I'm more than happy to correct your Japanese and post bilingually if you start a new thread over there. Or if you don't feel like starting a new thread here, some members of RevTK are trying to create a new sub-forum for something similar to what you just described. I'm guessing your idea is welcome over there as long as you correct non-native English speakers' English when they explicitly state that they want to be corrected.

Note that I don't speak like NileCat. Apparently he uses contrived Japanese here probably because he thinks writing in textbook-ish Japanese is good for learners. But I'm of the opinion that it only does a disservice to non-native speakers because it could give a false impression that native speakers use such stilted language when they could have learned natural expressions in Japanese from native speakers. Here's what I posted as a disclaimer on a chat-in-Japanese thread for beginners on RevTK:

magamo on another forum wrote:Disclaimer: I write what I'd say when I'm on a Japanese forum and don't dumb down my Japanese a bit because I think everyone is already fed up with a plethora of simplified artificial Japanese in your textbooks. Instead, I'll post the same thing in English as well so everyone can at least get the gist of my post. The English version isn't a literal translation of the Japanese text. I'll post what I normally write in English when the same thing pops up in my mind.

Also, I may not give an explanation for each correction. Actually it's extremely difficult to answer to a question that basically says "Why?" because the answer is always "That's the way it is." If you're having trouble understanding some grammar points, you might want to be specific when posting a question, e.g., "My textbook says that XXX should be YYY when ZZZ is in the past tense. So I thought I could say AAA too. Why can't I say this way in this context?" "You corrected the word XXX so it reads YYY, but my dictionary says they are synonyms. Is there a difference in nuance?" This way you will more likely get helpful replies.

Oh, and I can translate this post into Japanese if you want; I've been speaking Japanese my entire life, so it's a piece of cake for me. You can correct my English if it makes you feel bad to be corrected by others and do nothing. I don't know if correcting non-Japanese languages is ok in the 日本語の練習 (Practice Japanese) forum though. If in doubt, you can always start a lang-8-ish thread on RevTK. If you're interested in language learning methods, you can necromance this thread on RevTK by posting your learning regimen in Japanese too.

By the way, "今日私はDoctorと会います。けれどもよんりんしゃがありませんから歩行しなければなりません。十六時十五分に会います。" would be better worded as:

今日16時15分に、お医者さんに診てもらいます。でも車がないので歩いていかなければなりません。

"けれども車がありませんから..." also works, but it could sound a little stilted. "私は" is usually left out when it's clear from context.

Good luck!

Edit: Should I correct other posters' Japanese in this thread? I found a very minor error, but I don't want to be rude by correcting Japanese when I'm not asked to do so.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby NileCat » Thu 11.05.2009 1:52 am

magamo wrote:Note that I don't speak like NileCat. Apparently he uses contrived Japanese here probably because he thinks writing in textbook-ish Japanese is good for learners. But I'm of the opinion that it only does a disservice to non-native speakers because it could give a false impression that native speakers use such stilted language when they could have learned natural expressions in Japanese from native speakers.

Should I take it as an insult?? I didn't know I used contrived Japanese. :shock:
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