Back

Japanese - what the texbooks don't tell you - the movie!

#51
Sou desu ne.

So here we have not one rule but two.

One for casual conversation among young people and one for standard conversation.

And it is a rule - even the slang use. You can't just turn any word on its head and sound cool! In most cases it will just sound foreign.

Same in English. The "cool" ways to break grammar rules are mostly quite clearly defined and other uses will get eye-rolls. The people "breaking the rules" are actually just making new rules (quite strongly enforced by peer-pressure) - most of which won't last very long. Because by definition, what is "cool" today is old stuff tomorrow.
Edited: 2017-05-22, 2:55 pm
Reply
#52
Frankly speaking I don't see it as a rule, or anything to sounds "cool".
When I speak a foreign language I want to sound myself first.
I wouldn't be using it if it didn't suit my personality and since it is not harmful then why not use it?
I also like to use awkward words sometime just because it is fun, and because I am a foreigner.
It helps breaking the ice with people I don't really know.
Reply
#53
Wow, a lot of interesting things here!

CureDolly, what do you think about Japanese being an "impersonal" language?

It's hard to translate this concept in english, but in italian we have a regional dialect which resembles this concept.

Maybe in english it could be something like:

"as for me, there is great hope in humanity"

or even better:

"as for me... the hope in humanity is (is->equivalence) great"

in contrast to a personal version of the sentence, where we say:

"as for me, I HAVE great hope in humanity".


Maybe we made an error when we read a japanese sentence like:

"私はバスで行きました。"

as:

"As for me, I went by train"


and

"As for me, THE means of transportation is train"

or

"As for me, (there is) the train (as a mean of) going"


So there is not even a real "subject" like the one we have in english or italian etc..
Reply
May 15 - 26: Pretty Big Deal: Get 31% OFF Premium & Premium PLUS! CLICK HERE
JapanesePod101
#54
(2017-05-22, 2:43 pm)CureDolly Wrote: Sou desu ne.

So here we have not one rule but two.

One for casual conversation among young people and one for standard conversation.

And it is a rule - even the slang use. You can't just turn any word on its head and sound cool! In most cases it will just sound foreign.

Same in English. The "cool" ways to break grammar rules are mostly quite clearly defined and other uses will get eye-rolls. The people "breaking the rules" are actually just making new rules (quite strongly enforced by peer-pressure) - most of which won't last very long. Because by definition, what is "cool" today is old stuff tomorrow.
Actually in English when you break grammar rules, you just sound like a moron.  (I work in an office with grown ups).
Reply
#55
(2017-05-22, 6:08 pm)cophnia61 Wrote: Wow, a lot of interesting things here!

CureDolly, what do you think about Japanese being an "impersonal" language?

I am not certain what you mean by impersonal here, but what I would say - and I think this is closely related to what you are asking - is that Japanese does not strongly favor a personal doer or subject the way English does.

A very large number of sentences of different types that in English either have to have, or usually do have, a personal subject (a human actor) in Japanese normally don't.

For example in English we normally say

I can speak Japanese

In Japanese we normally say

(私は)日本語がてきます
(Watashi wa) nihongo ga dekimasu
(in relation to me) Japanese is possible

The ga-marked actor is not "me", it is Japanese, which is doing the action of being possible.

This is so alien to modern English that it leads some people to argue quite seriously that Japanese has no grammatical subject.

I would say that it is alien not merely to the grammar of modern English but also to the prevailing sentiment or ideology, which dislikes even the English passive voice (which is correct English grammar but is derided to the extent that much English grammar checking software flags it for removal).

In terms of Japanese learning, the habit of "translating" such sentences not into what they say, but into what they would say if they were English sentences is extremely deceiving. It can be defended as producing more natural English but the problem arises when even teachers genuinely believe that the "translation" is a literal one (presumably because they can't believe anyone would use such non-personal grammar) and proceed to give "lists of exceptions" of cases like this where "ga does not mark the subject".

Of course ga marks the subject. The subject is nihongo. It only doesn't mark what would be the subject if it were an English sentence.

So yes. If that is what you mean by impersonal, then absolutely.
Edited: 2017-05-22, 8:08 pm
Reply
#56
The next lesson is now uploaded.

I tried some things with the sound but I don't think they achieved much. The visuals are the same as ever.

However I have a surprise in store for next time, though whether folks will find it a pleasant or an unpleasant surprise I don't knowʕ•ᴥ•ʔ I'll be interested to see reactions.

This one is about the old wa vs ga question and I hope I have done a little to clarify it by making it clearer how wa and ga actually work.

You can take a look here

https://youtu.be/UA8cdXsYxd8
Reply
#57
Just noticed a little typo: At 6:25 in the bottom line there's a か instead of が (same at 6:39) (It mystically appears around a minute later, I'm having too much fun tracking this... )

Still watching the video (3 Minutes to go) and so far I like it. Smile
Reply
#58
Good video, I may be mistaken but I noticed a slight improvement of the audio from the half of the video onwards, it was easier on my non native ears to understand.

@CureDolly, have you ever read the stories on Hukumusume, specifically the ones about native tales? Those stories have a very, how shall I say it...."nativeness" in their way of using particles, especially "to" and "mo", what I mean is that their way of using them and arranging the sentences makes the Japanese language seem much more different than Europen language than textbook Japanese does. I hope I made my point clear, I would love to see a coverage of Japanese sentences being used within the scope of more "exotic" sentences in future videos, if that is possible.
Reply
#59
@sumsum-san So glad you enjoyed it. 喜んでくれて嬉しいです

Oh dear - that か! I spotted it in the editing process and thought it was fixed. But I guess it wasn't fixed in all scenes. How embarrassing. Unfortunately YouTube doesn't currently have a facility for editing videos once they go live*:゚*。⋆ฺ(*´◡`)

@Iuri-san Thank you. I tried a few things. Not sure which one of them might have worked but I'll keep experimenting.

By the way, if you do have trouble with the audio, we now have proper subtitles for all the lessons so you just need to click the cog-wheel thing and turn them on.

Hukumusume! Yes indeed. I used to put Hukumusume audio on my iPod all the time.

I am not sure about the "native-ness". Truthfully I have had very little exposure to textbook Japanese. Even when I used Genki I never bothered with the dialogs or drills - just the grammar explanations. I was using my anime method at that time among other things (including Hukumusume).

Could you possibly give an example or two of the kind of thing you have in mind? I think the language in some Hukumusume tales can be a little bit "old-fashioned" rather the way European folk-tales can be. I don't recall it being terribly uncommon usage though.
Edited: 2017-05-24, 10:51 pm
Reply
#60
It's hard to explain what I mean, just sometimes I feel that the way of the stories to express meaning through the particles to be very different than that of European languages, I'll try to pinpoint something and post here later.
Reply