View topic - Self Study Plan
Which is by way of example a way of saying, a lot of times counters aren't just extra, they are just the correct grammatical position for words like 'slice' and 'loaf'.
Does anyone know for sure which counter is more common, btw? I've come across examples for both 枚 and 切れ in the dictionary.
I would really recommend learning to use the counters 枚、匹、本、個 and つ in fairly early study. After that just learn to recognize the others, and the usage will usually come naturally, or if it doesn't, you can always fall back on つ・個 until you get around to studying them.
I wouldn't put counters before things like conjunctions, embedded sentences, and conditional clauses though... being able to form and understand the basic structure of sentences comes first, I think. One of つ or 個 is enough for that.
If you speak Japanese at that point, it'll be pretty halting and broken anyway, so who cares if you can count correctly before you can use or understand normal sentences.
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SomeCallMeChris wrote:... who cares if you can count correctly before you can use or understand normal sentences.
A very important point indeed...
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Shiroisan wrote:furrykef wrote:it just grates on the ear and sometimes makes it difficult to understand what they mean. For instance, if you refer to bread with 'ko', how does the listener know if you mean a slice or a loaf?
True, but can't you just do what we do in English? That is to specify the word "slice"? Mind you it would be just as easy to say mai...
If you know the counter, why of course use it. I don't think there is any reason to avoid using the counters, even taking copious amounts of time to memorize them. I just personally would like to learn more Mandarin than study all the counters. Sometimes the counters are even useful. However I think counting chickens, pigs, and horses in different counters to be counter productive. Equivalent to a herd of sheep, vs a flock of birds, a pride of lions, a murder of crows... Realistically "group" would work. So if a person learning English said to you, "look at that group of birds", would you find that difficult to understand, or unacceptable? This thread is directed a new students of Japanese looking to self study. "Broken" Japanese is to be expected at this level. It grates your ear, so what?
Edited to say: sorry, flock of sheep. I herd a flock of sheep. Where is the sceaming smiley?
So yes, "pan no kire futasu onegaishimasu" (slice of bread, two please) or "pan marugoto mittsu onegaishimasu" (whole bread, three please) works, right? I don't think it is being lazy, just practical. Is it worth losing your place in queue while you look up mai in your beginning japanese handbook? Now that I am thinking more nitpicky I guess "futasu pan no kire onegaishimasu" is more correct using the same words. (for my education: "pan nimai onegaishimasu" is the counter version for slice, what is the counter for "loaf"? Arrrrrgh!)
Also realistically, you are at the sales counter asking for a 2 slices of bread. "pan nikko" or "pan futastu onegaishimasu" plus a hand gesture will get you there. Loaf would be a large round form using both hands and slice would be maybe hand cutting through air. Don't forget to bow your head a little when you say "onegaishimasu". I think that when learning a new language it is better to dive in to practical usage and not sweat the details. Make mistakes, get corrected, but just do it. Then proceed to refine, forever.
Oh and by the way, I do know the most common counters and use them when I am not feeling to testy about it. But it is a pet peeve of mine. The counters need to be simplified, they simplify kanji all the time, why not eliminate the overly specialized counters and just use a useful handful?
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