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To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Astral Abraxas » Thu 11.05.2009 2:24 am

Magamo, you want to know what the problem is when you ask a native Japanese
what sounds more natural? You'll get a different answer from each native person
you ask and none of them can give you a reason why. I've learned this the hard
way -_-.

"natural" Japanese is something that can probably only be attained after living
in Japan for so long. How many native Japanese talk in standard Japanese
naturally anyways... I asked a few Japanese once and they said "speaking
in standard Japanese feels like acting"

If it feels like you're acting then it's NOT natural. That's why I decided once I
master 標準語 I'm going to learn how to speak in 関西弁。

EDIT:

So, non-native speakers should first learn textbook-style Japanese before they
learn "natural" Japanese.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby coco » Thu 11.05.2009 3:16 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.


相当傲慢で失礼な物言いに思えますが、引用文を日本語で書いていただけませんか。
それによってMagamoさんの日本語がいかに自然な表現に満ちたものか明白になるでしょう。

私がみる限り、NileCatさんの日本語が不自然だとは思えません。学習者の習熟度に応じて硬軟とりまぜ、いろいろな文体で書いていらっしゃいますよ。

このフォーラムは丁寧語を基本にやりとりしているのですし、教科書にそった表現を学ぶ機会が多いので、多少教科書的な日本語になったとしても、それはいたしかたないことです。

それよりもMagamoさんの人を見下したような横柄な投稿の方が、よほど学習者に誤解を与えるのではないかと私は危惧しています。
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 11.05.2009 3:55 am

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


I felt that that was kind of a low blow myself.

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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby magamo » Thu 11.05.2009 4:04 am

Astral Abraxas wrote:Magamo, you want to know what the problem is when you ask a native Japanese
what sounds more natural? You'll get a different answer from each native person
you ask and none of them can give you a reason why. I've learned this the hard
way -_-.

"natural" Japanese is something that can probably only be attained after living
in Japan for so long. How many native Japanese talk in standard Japanese
naturally anyways... I asked a few Japanese once and they said "speaking
in standard Japanese feels like acting"

If it feels like you're acting then it's NOT natural. That's why I decided once I
master 標準語 I'm going to learn how to speak in 関西弁。

I'm not saying he has to ask which is natural. But the point is that you can be exposed to sentences at least one native speaker finds natural. I think the very idea that "Teachers/textbooks/native speakers said this is a good example, so I use this." is a failure-prone learning method. It's massive exposure to native material that is essential. I don't think you can learn to speak natural Japanese (or any foreign language for that matter) by any other methods if you don't immerse yourself into the target language. That's why I think feedback from native speakers is good. Actually I don't think correction from native speakers is that important. Being exposed to native material is. If your sentence gets corrected, it just means you're exposed to a sentence by a native speaker. Also you can always get context this way, so I think getting corrected can be better than random exposure.

Astral Abraxas wrote:So, non-native speakers should first learn textbook-style Japanese before they
learn "natural" Japanese.

I don't think so. What you feel is natural is your own natural phrases, regardless of whether they're standard or not. Whether it's grammatical or not doesn't matter either as long as you think it's natural. I think what learners are supposed to do is refine intuition to the extent that it doesn't contradict native speakers' intuition very often. Everyone has their own language. Non-native speakers are no exception.

It's not fun to always think your speech style is "unnatural," is it? My English may not sound natural to you, but I don't care because I speak what I want to (as long as it's not a social faux pas, etc.). As long as it's getting better each day, it's totally ok.

And where did you get that idea? Some linguists don't think learning textbook-style language would help learners, though there doesn't seem to be any consensus when it comes to second language learning.

NileCat wrote:
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:

Why? By "contrived," I meant 普段通りの自然体というわけではない. As Astral Abraxas said, I also think "if it feels like you're acting then it's not natural." And you also said "どうしても意図的に作ってしまいます" in another post, didn't you??

coco wrote:私がみる限り、NileCatさんの日本語が不自然だとは思えません。学習者の習熟度に応じて硬軟とりまぜ、いろいろな文体で書いていらっしゃいますよ。

このフォーラムは丁寧語を基本にやりとりしているのですし、教科書にそった表現を学ぶ機会が多いので、多少教科書的な日本語になったとしても、それはいたしかたないことです。

"学習者の習熟度に応じて...多少教科書的な日本語になった" is "contrived." I'm not saying he sounds 不自然. Actually he said in another thread:

NileCat wrote:「文体」はねえ、このようにきちんとした(素晴らしい)フォーラムでは、どうしても意図的に作ってしまいますので、学校の先生っぽくなってしまっているのは否めません。が、自分では微妙に思ってるんですよ!

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13850&start=15#p160174

@coco
「あんなのは不自然な日本語だ!」と言っているわけではありません。英和辞書には単純に「不自然」と書かれていることもあるのかもしれませんが、私の感覚では「計算された」や「意図的な」という意味での「自然体ではない」だと私は理解しています。NileCatさんのコメントにあるような、「意図的に作った」と言う意味です。もし私の英語力が単に足りないがために、単語の意味を誤解して覚えていたのでしたらお詫びします。

実はときどき、上手く意思伝達が英語でできていないかもしれないと感じることがあるのですが、まぁ私も精進あるのみですね。誤解されないようにもっと英語を勉強します。傲慢な発言をしたつもりではありませんので、もし誤解を招いたのでしたら本当にすみません。後学のために正しい意味をここで知っておきたいと思っているのですが、もしよければ正しい用法を教えていただけませんか。と、思ったのですが、母語話者からコメントいただきました。どうも申し訳ありませんでした!

Harisenbon wrote:I felt that that was kind of a low blow myself.

Remember everyone -- play nice.

I said that because he himself said that he deliberately uses a different writing style than he normally does and that it's 微妙 (=not quite natural/right/etc), hence "contrived." I apologize if it was too strong a word to be used in that context.
Last edited by magamo on Thu 11.05.2009 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Astral Abraxas » Thu 11.05.2009 4:26 am

magamo wrote:I'm not saying he has to ask which is natural. But the point is that you can be exposed to sentences at least one native speaker finds natural. The very idea that "Teachers/textbooks/native speakers said this is a good example, so I use this." is a failure-prone learning method, if you ask me. It's massive exposure to native material that is essential. I don't think you can learn to speak natural Japanese (or any foreign language for that matter) by any other methods. That's why I think feedback from native speakers is good. Actually I don't think correction from native speakers is that important. Being exposed to native material is. If your sentence get corrected, it just means you're exposed to a sentence by a native speaker. Also you can always get context this way, so I think getting corrected can be better than random exposure.


You honestly believe it's best for someone that lives in an area that doesn't use the language at all should jump head first into native material? Sure, he maybe able to learn that way eventually. Although it'll take him longer than normal to communicate naturally. If he spends around 1 year studying grammar diligently then perhaps he can jump into native language material and pick up more natural sounding expressions.

Grammar is indisputable. There is absolutely no reason for him to not learn grammar from a textbook. Expressions on the other hand he is best to learn from native materials. What person goes and memorizes advanced expressions before they have an understanding of basic grammar? That doesn't even make sense. You don't see children that learned natively running around using advanced expressions. They don't really understand them because they are still learning the basics. They're only learning in a different way. The only thing you're recommending is a slower method for accomplishing the same thing.

Through this order he can learn to speak natural Japanese in a fraction of the time. I'm not disagreeing with you that exposure to native material is a good thing. But, he needs to work himself up to that point first since he doesn't live in Japan and can't get that kind of exposure in a realistic way.

Also, the word "contrived" has a very negative feeling. It's very difficult to use that word without being at least a little insulting. Contrived Japanese is implied to be unnatural Japanese.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby magamo » Thu 11.05.2009 5:05 am

Didn't he say he also bought a textbook and stuff? I'm not saying he mustn't use learning materials like dictionaries. I thought his experiment is kind of interesting, so I suggested he start a new thread.

I agree that there is no such thing as THE method when it comes to language learning. But I do believe it's exposure to native stuff that is necessary to improve your language skills. I'm not sure what would work best for him. I don't know if it would work better for him to get input from native material now either. But I think getting feedback from native-near-native speakers is always good regardless of your level.

You seem to believe that adults can't learn a language the same way as kids. It may be true, I don't know. But at least it seems to be working for me, and there is no reason not to be exposed to native/near-native speakers' Japanese.

Astral Abraxas wrote:Also, the word "contrived" has a very negative feeling. It's very difficult to use that word without being at least a little insulting. Contrived Japanese is implied to be unnatural Japanese.

Oh, I knew it has a negative connotation but didn't think it could be that strong. I don't think it's a good idea to speak to non-native speakers in a deliberately created speech style if the learners are serious. So I used a negative word, but it seems it was too negative. Thank you. My English needs work!

I'm sorry, NileCat. It wasn't my intention to insult you. I still don't think it's always good to talk like a textbook, but I was too careless when I made that post. I wouldn't complain if I get banned because of this.

EDIT: Reading my own post, I also think "stilted" was insulting. I apologize for using such words. Maybe I was in a bad mood...

Astral Abraxas wrote:You honestly believe it's best for someone that lives in an area that doesn't use the language at all should jump head first into native material?

It may not be best. But that's basically what I did. I learned English at school like your average Japanese, but I totally failed (Well, actually I did slightly better than the average Japanese guy, but the average "engrish" is..., um, not what I'd be satisfied with.). My English sucked harder than this poor "engrish" I am using now, and to be honest, I had to forget what I learned from teachers and textbooks and re-learn a lot of things. I guess it's good to have textbooks and dictionaries for reference and such, but I don't know if learners should learn textbook language first. If anything, it seems anecdotal evidence suggests the opposite. But you may disagree. I'd like to know what makes you think that learners should master textbook style speech first.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby coco » Thu 11.05.2009 5:27 am

magamo wrote:
coco wrote:私がみる限り、NileCatさんの日本語が不自然だとは思えません。学習者の習熟度に応じて硬軟とりまぜ、いろいろな文体で書いていらっしゃいますよ。

このフォーラムは丁寧語を基本にやりとりしているのですし、教科書にそった表現を学ぶ機会が多いので、多少教科書的な日本語になったとしても、それはいたしかたないことです。

"学習者の習熟度に応じて...多少教科書的な日本語になった" is "contrived." I'm not saying he sounds 不自然. Actually he said in another thread:

NileCat wrote:「文体」はねえ、このようにきちんとした(素晴らしい)フォーラムでは、どうしても意図的に作ってしまいますので、学校の先生っぽくなってしまっているのは否めません。が、自分では微妙に思ってるんですよ!

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13850&start=15#p160174

@coco
「あんなのは不自然な日本語だ!」と言っているわけではありません。英和辞書には単純に「不自然」と書かれていることもあるのかもしれませんが、私の感覚では「計算された」や「意図的な」という意味での「自然体ではない」だと私は理解しています。NileCatさんのコメントにあるような、「意図的に作った」と言う意味です。もし私の英語力が単に足りないがために、単語の意味を誤解して覚えていたのでしたらお詫びします。

実はときどき日本人の方が私の投稿を誤解されているように感じることがあるのですが、まぁ私も精進あるのみですね。誤解されないようにもっと英語を勉強します。傲慢な発言をしたつもりではありませんので、もし誤解を招いたのでしたら本当にすみません。後学のために正しい意味をここで知っておきたいと思っているのですが、もしよければ正しい用法を教えていただけませんか。


coco wrote:
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.


相当傲慢で失礼な物言いに思えますが、引用文を日本語で書いていただけませんか。
それによってMagamoさんの日本語がいかに自然な表現に満ちたものか明白になるでしょう。


私がお願いしたのは、引用文を日本語で書いていただくことでした。
もう一度お願いします。 引用した部分を日本語で書いていただけませんか。

現在のところ、私のつたない英文理解では以下のような内容と想定しておりますので「傲慢で失礼に思える」と表現した次第です。

Coco脳内変換 wrote:いっとくけど、俺はNileCatなんかのようには話さないぜ。アイツはここで「自然体ではない」日本語を使ってんだろ。たぶん、教科書みたいな日本語を書くのがいいとか思ってんだろうな。でもさ、それは日本語学習者に害を及ぼすだけだってのが俺の意見。だって、日本人はいつもそんなに堅苦しい言葉で話してるっていう間違った印象を与えかねないだろ。せっかくネイティブから自然な表現を学べたかもしれないってのにさ。


これでは「不自然な日本語」か「計算された、意図的な、自然体ではない日本語」かどうかにかかわらず、非常に失礼な発言です。
たぶん私の勘違いだと思うので、stilted language ではない natural expressions で、ぜひとも日本語にしていただきたいのです。

誤解されないために必要なのが英語の勉強なのかどうなのか、今の段階ではわかりかねます。
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby magamo » Thu 11.05.2009 6:15 am

coco wrote:私がお願いしたのは、引用文を日本語で書いていただくことでした。
もう一度お願いします。 引用した部分を日本語で書いていただけませんか。

現在のところ、私のつたない英文理解では以下のような内容と想定しておりますので「傲慢で失礼に思える」と表現した次第です。

Coco脳内変換 wrote:いっとくけど、俺はNileCatのなんかのようには話さないぜ。アイツはここで「自然体ではない」日本語を使ってんだろ。たぶん、教科書みたいな日本語を書くのがいいとか思ってんだろうな。でもさ、それは日本語学習者に害を及ぼすだけだってのが俺の意見。だって、日本人はいつもそんなに堅苦しい言葉で話してるっていう間違った印象を与えかねないだろ。せっかくネイティブから自然な表現を学べたかもしれないってのにさ。


これでは「不自然な日本語」か「意図して作った自然体ではない日本語」かどうかにかかわらず、非常に失礼な発言です。
たぶん私の勘違いだと思うので、stilted language ではない natural expressions で、ぜひとも日本語にしていただきたいのです。

誤解されないために必要なのが英語の勉強なのかどうなのか、今の段階ではわかりかねます。

Sure thing.

とはいうものの、私はNileCateさんのように意図的に作った日本語で話すつもりはありません。NileCateさんは学習者のためを思って教科書的な日本語で書き込んでいるんでしょうが、私はむしろ弊害にしかなり得ないと思っています。(←今思うと「弊害になりうる」と書くべきでした… 申し訳ありません…)というのも、せっかくのネイティブスピーカーとのコミュニケーションであるというのに、そういう日本語を使ってしまっては「教科書っぽい日本語を普段から使っているんだ」と誤解させかねないと思うからです。

ちなみに私がもし、cocoさんの脳内変換を英訳するとすると (Here's what I'd say if I meant something like Coco脳内変換. Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEANT!):
Coco took it as wrote:By the way, I never talk like NileCat. EVER. Read his posts. It's NOT natural Japanese at all. I don't quite understand what the guy is thinking. Maybe he's the kind of idiot who blindly believes his textbook speech is helping them? I don't know. I don't think it'd work at all. You know, learners might take it as "natural" Japanese he always uses in real life, don't you think? Seriously, if you're a ******* native speaker, talk as you always do already.

まあこれだと一発ban喰らってもおかしくないですが、ともあれ↑のような意図ではありません。意図的に作った教科書的日本語で話しかけることが、学習者の大きな助けになるとは思わない、というのは本当の気持ちです。もちろん学び方はひとそれぞれですので、それにあわせるというのは理解できるのですが、うーん、日本人とまったく区別できないレベルにまで上達した友人と、私の英語学習経験からくる、まぁ「思いこみ」というやつです。どうにもこういった慣習が足を引っ張っているように思えて仕方がないんです。

いずれにせよ、あなたの気を害したことは確かですし、私自身後悔しております。以後気をつけます。

Edit: fixed my Japanese...
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby ss » Thu 11.05.2009 7:18 am

Astral Abraxas wrote:
So, non-native speakers should first learn textbook-style Japanese before they
learn "natural" Japanese.


Magamo wrote:
I don't think so. What you feel is natural is your own natural phrases, regardless of whether they're standard or not. Whether it's grammatical or not doesn't matter either as long as you think it's natural. I think what learners are supposed to do is refine intuition to the extent that it doesn't contradict native speakers' intuition very often. Everyone has their own language. Non-native speakers are no exception.

It's not fun to always think your speech style is "unnatural," is it? My English may not sound natural to you, but I don't care because I speak what I want to (as long as it's not a social faux pas, etc.). As long as it's getting better each day, it's totally ok.

This is especially so if they're learning Japanese using textbooks and/or taking classes.

I still don't think it's always good to talk like a textbook,

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 guess it's good to have textbooks and dictionaries for reference and such, but I don't know if learners should learn textbook language first. If anything, it seems anecdotal evidence suggests the opposite. But you may disagree. I'd like to know what makes you think that learners should master textbook style speech first.


You know, to speak fluent Japanese or even communicate in natural Japanese is the sum of life and experiences. It doesn't come out naturally before investing in a good quantity of time and effort, to actually sit down and concentrate on the studying. In real life, if opportunity favors, you get a lot of chances to communicate with native Japanese and it just quickens the pace to proficiency, it can happen that way, no doubt.

But then, what's wrong with talking like a textbook?? Do we talk to impress or to convey the idea across? How can one communicate naturally when one hasn't even come across those grammar points and nuances that need particular attention to focus on? Surely learners have to start somewhere, no? If no one can understand you, you are only a piece of dog dirt, I really think so.

Some people have spent money on purchasing good textbooks which are highly recommended, and are keeping up with their studies. They are encouraged to post questions when they need to clarify grammatical points and its usages. When you see their posts in Japanese, even when they write "textbookishly", they are trying their very best, it's nothing to be ashamed of!

I can't judge as to whether native Japanese are using textbook style to communicate with us. I do appreciate their kindness to write something they think we can comprehend mostly and can interact in return. Natural or unnatural, we stand corrected, and we do like to be corrected in that way.

Sorry it seems like I'm a bit narky on this, I just want to point out, one thing I don't like about your comment is that you keep repeating "textbook style" /"taking classes". I'm just worried people may not want to try to post in Japanese anymore, due to that remark. You might want to re-read your own signature and perhaps should learn to give more encouragement to learners instead. If you care to humble down yourself a little, others might feel more comfortable asking questions here.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby magamo » Thu 11.05.2009 8:41 am

SS wrote:But then, what's wrong with talking like a textbook?? Do we talk to impress or to convey the idea across? How can one communicate naturally when one hasn't even come across those grammar points and nuances that need particular attention to focus on? Surely learners have to start somewhere, no? If no one can understand you, you are only a piece of dog dirt, I really think so.

Some people have spent money on purchasing good textbooks which are highly recommended, and are keeping up with their studies. They are encouraged to post questions when they need to clarify grammatical points and its usages. When you see their posts in Japanese, even when they write "textbookishly", they are trying their very best, it's nothing to be ashamed of!

Sorry it seems like I'm a bit narky on this, I just want to point out, one thing I don't like about your comment is that you keep repeating "textbook style" /"taking classes". I'm just worried people may not want to try to post in Japanese anymore, due to that remark. You might want to re-read your own signature and perhaps should learn to give more encouragement to learners instead. If you care to humble down yourself a little, others might feel more comfortable asking questions here.

If my posts discouraged members of this forum to post in Japanese and ask questiongs, I sincerely apologize. I'm just a random guy on the internet. Don't be discouraged just because a random guy said he didn't think it's not good to post in a certain way. I am also sorry for my inappropriate comment about NileCate's posts. As I have been doing on this site, I'm more than happy to help learners who are having trouble understanding grammar whenever I can. Otherwise I wouldn't have posted here. I recommend learners immerse themselves into Japanese and not relying too much on translation though.

About the "Do we talk to impress or to convey the idea across? " question, I think if you lean a language just to impress others, you would probably fall by the wayside... But anyway, when posting on learners' forum to get feedback, do you think the purpose is to convey the idea across? I though it was to try your best and improve language skills, especially when the purpose of the thread is "Correct my Japanese," no? Are you the kind of person who takes it as showing off when learners try to their best Japanese? If that's the case, I don't know what to say.

And about the "piece of cake" comment you referred to in bold, English to my first language translation isn't difficult if it's my own post. Well, I'm kind of thinking translation is always wrong, so it's difficult in this sense. And I'm also a human just like anyone else, so I'll make errors here and there. Besides, I can't write in English like I do in Japanese so it's sort of a subset of my thought. But is it arrogant to claim that translating what I wrote in my poor second language into my first language is a piece of cake? If so, I apologize for being rude. I never imagined someone could take offense when I said it's a piece of cake to translate my own post in my second language into my native language. I agree that translation in general is a very very tough and difficult task. But I thought you would also found it very easy to translate what you write in Japanese into your mother tongue. But maybe not.

As for talking like a textbook, if that's what you want to do and you think it's working well for you, then why not? It doesn't seem that the OP was thinking it's his favorite learning method though. I wouldn't force him to use a textbook or anything; to each his own. I think different methods work for different people. You might disagree though.

Anyway, I'm not claiming everyone should not talk like a textbook. If you want, go ahead. I do too when I don't know any other phrases but must get across my idea. But I do agree that the basic principle is that "Don't speak words you don't know," which, if I remember correctly, is what the OP said. I believe that if you generalize grammar rules and such, most likely you come out sounding like a machine translator. And I don't know how talking like that would help your production ability. Then again, as you can see, I also get tripped up fairly often like anyone else even when I think I'm using the words/phrase/sentences/whatever I know very well.

I think learning basic grammar may be very useful for beginning learners, especially when they think it's working well. That's one of reasons I post about some grammar when someone asks about Japanese grammar. And I also think if you get past a certain level, you do need to learn proper grammar to hone your language skills. Of course, this is just my personal opinion, so don't take it personally and take it cum grano salis.

I still don't buy the idea that learning from text would help improve your production skills very much. Like I said, I think it'll be good to have textbooks and stuff. I guess it'll improve your reading skills quickly. If you are the kind of person who can benefit more from textbooks, I don't know why you shouldn't take advantage of them. But I personally think the so-called silent period is important to language acquisition, regardless of whether it's L1 or L2, and also think it's possible that it's longer than second language acquisition experts claim (If you don't know what "silent period" is and if you're interested, please refer to some academic books/articles, or internet sites you believe are reliable.).

Edit: fixed typos and errors

Edit2:

SS wrote:I can't judge as to whether native Japanese are using textbook style to communicate with us. I do appreciate their kindness to write something they think we can comprehend mostly and can interact in return. Natural or unnatural, we stand corrected, and we do like to be corrected in that way.

I'm sorry if my posts discouraged people from posting in Japanese or asking questions. That was not my intention.

SS wrote:Sorry it seems like I'm a bit narky on this, I just want to point out, one thing I don't like about your comment is that you keep repeating "textbook style" /"taking classes". I'm just worried people may not want to try to post in Japanese anymore, due to that remark. You might want to re-read your own signature and perhaps should learn to give more encouragement to learners instead. If you care to humble down yourself a little, others might feel more comfortable asking questions here.

Thank you for your advice. And you don't sound narky at all. Besides, I'll never forget the word "narky" because I learned it this way!
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby Astral Abraxas » Thu 11.05.2009 9:06 am

Magamo just misunderstands the purpose of textbooks. They aren't meant to get you to a "talk naturally" level. They are a "get you to a communicative level" at a faster rate. Once you reach that level then you go and practice in real life situations and eventually learn natural Japanese like she is suggesting. This process is suppose to hasten the learning and make it more fun. Why struggle twice as long and get discouraged because you can't communicate when you can use a textbook and almost right away start communicating.

She just wants to skip that step which is utterly ridiculous and has no point what-so-ever. The person who used the textbook to get to that communicative level then went to native material to pick up more natural sounding expressions isn't going to sound less natural than the person that jumped straight to native level material.

You don't want to learn how to speak natural English. The average native English speaker talks like a moron. It's the same with Japanese. Go ahead and be proud about having the ability to talk like a moron. I'd rather sound intelligent than natural. Not saying that I do but it's ultimately my goal.

My hillbilly parents for example can't get arrogant/ignorant right. I know a lot of people that mix up attain/obtain. Some even mix up then/than! It's a very contagious habit. One that I consciously avoid.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby furrykef » Thu 11.05.2009 9:34 am

I think you guys made way too much about magamo's comment about NileCat's speech (although, unfortunately, I can't read what was said about it in Japanese). Yes, it probably came off as a bit harsher than it was intended, but it really wasn't all that bad.

keatonatron wrote: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).


I dunno about that. I think I do a decent job, and I'm still a beginner myself. Of course, I take care only to respond when I'm fairly sure, and sometimes I still get it wrong anyway, but I generally have an appropriate disclaimer when I'm not 100% sure. (And when do I get it wrong without such a disclaimer, I remind myself not to spout off about things I don't know about. :lol:)

Astral Abraxas wrote:You don't want to learn how to speak natural English. The average native English speaker talks like a moron. It's the same with Japanese. Go ahead and be proud about having the ability to talk like a moron. I'd rather sound intelligent than natural. Not saying that I do but it's ultimately my goal.


I dunno about that. I think a sprinkling of very colloquial English -- like "dunno" in my previous sentence -- is good to have, so long as you don't use it when it's inappropriate (such as in an academic paper). Sometimes I even say things like "a little rain ain't never hurt nobody", which drives my mother up the wall ("driving [somebody] up the wall" is another useful colloquial expression right there), but I always do it very deliberately and only on rare occasions. Or specifically to annoy my mother. :mrgreen:

A foreign speaker saying things like "I dunno" and using slang does often sound a bit awkward if the rest of his speech isn't very native-like, though, which is, I think, a legitimate reason to master the "textbook language" first.

Astral Abraxas wrote:My hillbilly parents for example can't get arrogant/ignorant right. I know a lot of people that mix up attain/obtain. Some even mix up then/than! It's a very contagious habit. One that I consciously avoid.


I think this is a bit of a strawman argument, because I don't think any of us are advocating anything remotely like mixing up such words. Speaking naturally or even colloquially doesn't necessarily imply butchering the language.

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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby hyperconjugated » Thu 11.05.2009 9:37 am

Astral Abraxas wrote:Magamo just misunderstands the purpose of textbooks. They aren't meant to get you to a "talk naturally" level. They are a "get you to a communicative level" at a faster rate. Once you reach that level then you go and practice in real life situations and eventually learn natural Japanese like she is suggesting. This process is suppose to hasten the learning and make it more fun. Why struggle twice as long and get discouraged because you can't communicate when you can use a textbook and almost right away start communicating.

She just wants to skip that step which is utterly ridiculous and has no point what-so-ever. The person who used the textbook to get to that communicative level then went to native material to pick up more natural sounding expressions isn't going to sound less natural than the person that jumped straight to native level material.

Quoted for emphasis.

If I remember correctly, someone said here once that most of the learners coming here will probably never reach a level in Japanese in which they have to really worry if they expression is "natural" Japanese. It's probably quite fair assessment. When someone has reached that level, proficient people and natives easily spot it and will address it accordingly. There's just no reason to dwell in the fine points when someone doesn't have grasp of the rudiments.
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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby furrykef » Thu 11.05.2009 9:46 am

hyperconjugated wrote:If I remember correctly, someone said here once that most of the learners coming here will probably never reach a level in Japanese in which they have to really worry if they expression is "natural" Japanese.


Unfortunately, probably true, technically. If language learning were easy, well, everybody would be doing it. (I'll address the "technically" part in a sec.)

When someone has reached that level, proficient people and natives easily spot it and will address it accordingly. There's just no reason to dwell in the fine points when someone doesn't have grasp of the rudiments.


Here I disagree: bad habits are hard to break, and a person who has studied for several years with no concern for sounding natural will have developed a lot of them. Also, the tendency is not to correct mistakes -- whether they are actual mistakes or just slightly unnatural wording -- except when this is explicitly asked for, regardless of one's language ability. This is one reason why I use lang-8 for most of my foreign language writing, because I can count on them to tell me when I'm saying something that's a bit off.

I do completely agree that the rudiments are much more important. I'm just saying that this doesn't mean that the details are unworthy of attention.

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Re: To (probably) discuss a lot of basics

Postby coco » Thu 11.05.2009 9:53 am

magamo wrote:
Coco took it as wrote:By the way, I never talk like NileCat. EVER. Read his posts. It's NOT natural Japanese at all. I don't quite understand what the guy is thinking. Maybe he's the kind of idiot who blindly believes his textbook speech is helping them? I don't know. I don't think it'd work at all. You know, learners might take it as "natural" Japanese he always uses in real life, don't you think? Seriously, if you're a ******* native speaker, talk as you always do already.

こそっと変えるのお上手ですね。おもしろいから、これも脳内変換してみました。
NileCatさんのお名前を「mamago」に変えてみました。

Coco 脳内変換2 wrote:てかさぁ、俺、mamagoみてーに話さねーよ。マジだよマジ。みてみろよ。全然ヘンだろ? っーか、あいつ何考えてんのかわかんねーっつんだよ。教科書みたく話せばいんだってバカみたいに信じてんだろ。そんなふうにいくかってーの。みんなあれがフツーの日本語だと思っちまうじゃんな。ちげーっーの! ネイティブなら普段話してるように話してみろっつんだよ。


知能指数低そうですね。mamagoに対する憎しみに満ち満ちています。よろしければこちらも英訳をお願いします。
これ、意図して文体変えてます。というのも私は普段こういう言葉を話したりしませんので。

NileCat wrote:「文体」はねえ、このようにきちんとした(素晴らしい)フォーラムでは、どうしても意図的に作ってしまいます。

この発言が意味するところも「普段自分が話す言葉とは、意図して違う『文体』で書いている」というだけのことではないですか。

magamo wrote:とはいうものの、私はNileCateさんのように意図的に作った日本語で話すつもりはありません。NileCateさんは学習者のためを思って教科書的な日本語で書き込んでいるんでしょうが、私はむしろ弊害にしかなり得ないと思っています。(←今思うと「弊害になりうる」と書くべきでした… 申し訳ありません…)というのも、せっかくのネイティブスピーカーとのコミュニケーションであるというのに、そういう日本語を使ってしまっては「教科書っぽい日本語を普段から使っているんだ」と誤解させかねないと思うからです。


少なくとも私の脳内変換文章の方が、Magamoさんの文章より「教科書っぽい日本語」からは離れたところに位置していることは確かですね。 Magamo さんは、「教科書的っぽくない日本語」 で話すと標榜していらっしゃったので、楽しみにしていましたが、少々意外な印象を受けました。

NileCatさんが「教科書っぽい日本語」しかこのフォーラムで使わないと思っていらっしゃるのなら、365本の投稿を読んで認識を改めた方がよろしいと思います。

このスレッドで前にNileCatさんとやりとりしたことがありました。お分かりのようにNileCatさんご自身、どのような回答が学習者にとって望ましいか当初から心を砕いておられました。
その上で質問者の状況や質問内容に応じて、その都度回答されていらしゃるように私はお見受けしております。
(「あれ?酔ってる?」と思うことも稀にはありますが。 :mrgreen:

「教科書的日本語とは何か」「自然な日本語とは何か」は、おもしろいテーマですし、いくらでも建設的に話題を進めることがきたでしょうが、もともとこのスレッドに書き込みをしていなかったNileCatさんを引き合いに出し、「NileCatさんのように意図的に作った日本語で話すつもりはありません」、さらには「弊害になり得る」とまで言われて、不快に感じない人はいないのではないでしょうか。
これは英語力の問題ではなく、良識の問題だと思います。
私がNileCatさんなら、憤慨してTJPでの投稿を控えるようになるでしょう。
幸いNileCatさんは、Magamaさんの投稿に反応してくれたので、ここでのやりとりに気づきましたが、このような不愉快な思いをして、TJPを離れてしまう人が出ないように願っています。

magamo wrote:私自身後悔しております。以後気をつけます。


今回の反省が活かされるのであれば、MagamoさんがTJPで貢献できることはたくさんあるでしょう。
「になる/となる」のMagamoさんとNileCatさんのとのやりとりは興味深く、今後もなにかの折にあのようなやりとりが見られるのならば、皆さんの日本語理解に資するところ大だと思います。
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