日本語 (Japanese Practice)

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BryanRabbit
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby BryanRabbit » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:31 pm UTC

So I understand that the construction "verb + 事が出来ます" means one can do the verb, e.g. 日本料理を食べる事が出来ます, "I can eat Japanese cooking." I've always used this as a shortcut if I didn't know the potential form of a verb, in this case if I didn't know how to say 食べられます. Does it sound bad at all if I do this? Is there any nuance in meaning between 食べられます and 食べる事が出来ます?

Also I just came across a usage I've never seen before...

このホテルは便利ではありませんでしたが、山や湖でいろいろなことができました


This looks like to me; This hotel wasn't convenient but there were things to do, such as a mountain, a lake, etc. But I've never seen ことができる after an adjective, so I'm a little unsure how this should be translated.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Daimon » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:22 am UTC

.................
Last edited by Daimon on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Suzaku » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:10 pm UTC

BryanRabbit wrote:So I understand that the construction "verb + 事が出来ます" means one can do the verb, e.g. 日本料理を食べる事が出来ます, "I can eat Japanese cooking." I've always used this as a shortcut if I didn't know the potential form of a verb, in this case if I didn't know how to say 食べられます. Does it sound bad at all if I do this? Is there any nuance in meaning between 食べられます and 食べる事が出来ます?

Also I just came across a usage I've never seen before...

このホテルは便利ではありませんでしたが、山や湖でいろいろなことができました


This looks like to me; This hotel wasn't convenient but there were things to do, such as a mountain, a lake, etc. But I've never seen ことができる after an adjective, so I'm a little unsure how this should be translated.

I think the confusion here stems from how ことができる meaning "can do <some verb>" works.

To first principles:
できる means can do. This takes a noun as its subject: 野球ができる - I can do (play) baseball. 高跳びができない - I can't do the high jump.
こと, when used with a verb, is a nominaliser - like 'ing' in English, it turns a verb into a noun (OK, technically a gerund, I know): 走る - run, 走ること - running. 食べる - eat, 食べること - eating
So, because verb + こと is a noun, it can be used with できる to say "can do": 走ることができる - I can run. 食べることができる - I can eat. 「~ことができる」is often taught as a unit phrase, but I think it's more helpful to see it as I've described it here.

You can easily see a parallel with 「が好きだ」 - I like:
納豆を食べることができる - I can eat 'Natto', vs. ステーキを食べることが好きだ - I like eating steak.

To the sentence in question, here こと is being used in its related sense of an abstract thing, i.e. as a pure noun. いろいろな, meaning various, is simply modifying the noun, as you would expect an adjective to do. So the translation 'I/We could do various things' is spot on.でis a particle of location (effectively the English 'at'), so 「山や湖でいろいろなことができました」 becomes 'We (could|were able to) do various things at the mountains and lakes.' (Plurals because that seems more natural, but if there was only one mountain and one lake, they could be singular.)

There is a slight difference in nuance between 「~られる/~える」 and 「ことができる」, but it's a) not terribly significant in most cases, b) rather difficult to express in English, and c) midnight and I need some sleep :)
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:31 am UTC

Looking at Daimon's sig, I noticed 変態 really means both 'pervert' and transformation'. I guess that explains why 変身 is more like 変態 most of the time :)

Also, Anyone else taking Remembering the Kanji here? I'm wondering what should I do if I encounter those kanji in sentences I'm studying (Core2k, the first 400 to be specific) I could recognize them but I couldn't recall their meaning, not to mention I don't have a clue what reading will they bear. It felt like the memorizing that I did in RtK had no purpose except for writing.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:04 am UTC

RTK helps with distinguishing and remembering the kanji, trust me. Trying to retain information about kanji can be difficult. You'll try and memorise something and then only a minute later trying to remember it you'll come up blank. RTK means you'll never have that problem so when you do learn the readings and various meanings as you go on.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:19 am UTC

I checked the koohii forums on the other side the internet, and they kind of agree with what I'm experiencing: RtK only barely helps you learn the readings, and you'll usually start from scratch when dealing with vocab. So just a warning: It's recommended to do RtK together with other japanese learning activities.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:41 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:So just a warning: It's recommended to do RtK together with other japanese learning activities.


Uh, sort of. RTK itself explicitly tells you that it won't work with traditional learning paths. It really is just for recognition. It doesn't teach you readings or meanings, just how to distinguish. But it is kind of its own thing. When you finish RTK you should be able to distinguish one kanji from another, you shouldn't have trouble getting confused over kanji that look similar or forgetting kanji because 'it is all just a blur'. But that is all it does.

In that sense, yeah of course you absolutely need to do other learning before you can do anything with kanji. But RTK teaches the kanji in it's own very specific order that has nothing to do with anything except RTK's goal of getting you to distinguish kanji. In this sense RTK specifically advises AGAINST using RTK while, say, learning Kanji in a typical Japanese course because the aims and paths of the two cirriculums are so absolutely different that they'll clash.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:05 pm UTC

Well, by other Japanese activities I didn't mean learning Kanji, since that would be redundant. It just felt unfair that RtK doesn't help you in readings despite the big investment you give on it.

So, as a goal I want to watch K-ON!! without subs. Does anyone has other anime (or a genre of anime) recommended for learning? I hope to learn more words beyond ケーキ and 茶 .

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:23 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:Well, by other Japanese activities I didn't mean learning Kanji, since that would be redundant. It just felt unfair that RtK doesn't help you in readings despite the big investment you give on it.


It is a lot of effort if you want perfect fluency but RTK is one of the things that'll get you there with Kanji.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

I'm sorry if this has already come up, but it's a tough question to search for.

If you're starting from the polite form of a verb, how do you tell the difference between a る verb with an i-sound as the last character in its stem and a う verb?

Like how would I know that 呼びます comes from 呼ぶ while 浴びます comes from 浴びる without having seen either word before? Do you just have to know the word already?

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Suzaku » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:03 am UTC

Unfortunately, you have to know the word already; there is no reliable rule.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:21 am UTC

Ah, as I thought. Thanks.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:24 am UTC

Hmm, sorry for the double post but it's been a while, at least.

I picked up today (I think) on the fact that, apparently, there's a common greeting in Japanese that is specifically for people who have met only once before? Something like that. I jotted down おぎさしぶります because that's what it sounded like, but that isn't it. Anyone have any idea what this could be?

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:51 am UTC

Sounds like you're thinking of

おひさしぶりです 

But I wouldn't say that is for people who you've only met once before... it translates basically as "long time no see" or "long time no talk" and I would use it in situations where you'd use that English phrase like that. Of course you can switch です for だ or whatever.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:51 am UTC

Ah, yes that's definitely it. I missed the phrase itself and apparently I misunderstood the context as well, but that makes sense looking back on it. Thanks.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:06 pm UTC

A few of unrelated questions:

1) I find myself lacking expressions to convey humility. Say for instance I got a 100 on a test and someone says "いい学生だね。” or like "頭がいい” or something, what's the appropriate response? Like if someone says "Oh, you're a good student" or "You must be very smart" I don't want to go full bore into "No, I'm not a good student" or "No, I'm an idiot" unless that's the normal thing to say. In the states I'd say something like "I just have lots of time to study" or something, but I'm afraid that in my broken Japanese it might just sound like "I study a lot" which would come across more like bragging. I know how to wave off complements on my Japanese speaking with, eg, まだまだです or いいえ、あまり上手じゃありません, but are there any other good stock expressions to use in more generic circumstances?

2) What's the appropriate valediction when leaving a store or restaurant? I know さようなら is only really used infrequently and has a sort of permanent connotation, similar to goodbye. じゃ、また seems too familiar or friendly but is my best guess. I feel weird being told "thanks for coming in, goodbye, goodnight" and whatever else is being said to me as I walk away from a cash register and just, like, nodding and waving.

3) Is there a way to use そうです to express that something looks to have already occurred? My understanding is that, for instance,
雨が降たそうです。 would mean you heard that rain had fallen (or heard it falling, even?) while
雨が降りそうです。 would mean that rain appears (specifically, looks) to be about to fall
but is there a way to convey something like "it looks like rain fell here," using this form?

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Suzaku » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:20 pm UTC

A few hopefully related answers:

agelessdrifter wrote:1) I find myself lacking expressions to convey humility. Say for instance I got a 100 on a test and someone says "いい学生だね。” or like "頭がいい” or something, what's the appropriate response? Like if someone says "Oh, you're a good student" or "You must be very smart" I don't want to go full bore into "No, I'm not a good student" or "No, I'm an idiot" unless that's the normal thing to say. In the states I'd say something like "I just have lots of time to study" or something, but I'm afraid that in my broken Japanese it might just sound like "I study a lot" which would come across more like bragging. I know how to wave off complements on my Japanese speaking with, eg, まだまだです or いいえ、あまり上手じゃありません, but are there any other good stock expressions to use in more generic circumstances?

There's no one way of expressing this (as it shouldn't surprise you to hear). A couple of good general expressions would be:
そんなこと(は)ありません。 - That's not so.
そうでもない。 - Not really.

2) What's the appropriate valediction when leaving a store or restaurant? I know さようなら is only really used infrequently and has a sort of permanent connotation, similar to goodbye. じゃ、また seems too familiar or friendly but is my best guess. I feel weird being told "thanks for coming in, goodbye, goodnight" and whatever else is being said to me as I walk away from a cash register and just, like, nodding and waving.

If it's a restaurant then 「ご馳走様でした <ごちそうさまでした>」 is appropriate. Otherwise, just 「ありがとうございます。」

3) Is there a way to use そうです to express that something looks to have already occurred? My understanding is that, for instance,
雨が降たそうです。 would mean you heard that rain had fallen (or heard it falling, even?) while
雨が降りそうです。 would mean that rain appears (specifically, looks) to be about to fall
but is there a way to convey something like "it looks like rain fell here," using this form?

「Verb + そうです」, as you correctly state, means that you heard something, in the sense that you were told it. So 「雨が降ったそうです。」 means "I heard that it rained," as in that you heard it on the news, or a friend told you, for example. This construction can be used with verbs in any tense, and even with other parts of speech: 明日は天気が悪いそうです。 <あしたは てんきが わるいそうです> - I heard that the weather will be bad tomorrow.
「Verb stem + そうです」 means "it appears that," or, "it seems that," something is about to happen, or is likely to happen. So not specifically 'looks'. You could use 「雨が降りそうです」 if the sky was overcast, but also if you heard thunder. For that matter, you could have got the information from a weather chart. The core implication is that you're drawing a conclusion about the (relatively) near future, with some fairly clear evidence. Be warned that there are other, somewhat similar meanings for this construction as well.
The formation you're looking for for, "it looks like rain fell here," is 雨が降ったようです。 This implies a conclusion drawn, from some evidence, and can refer to past, present or future states.

There is, as you'd expect, some overlap between these three, and which is more natural/correct is somewhat situational.
Sticking with weather examples:
来週は寒くなるそうです。 - It's going to be cold next week (I heard them say so on the weather forecast)
来週は寒くなりそうです。 - It looks like it's going to be cold next week (They're forecasting strong northerly winds and snow)
来週は寒くなるようです。 - It'll probably be cold next week (Based on meteorological evidence) - This is what they usually say on the weather forecast.

I hope this is coherent, as it's getting a bit late.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:52 pm UTC

No, that was very helpful, thanks.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:46 am UTC

Is it bad form in Japan to ask a question in the form "Do you know...?" or "

For instance, English speakers don't really go up to one another and say "Excuse me. What time is it?" -- you'd typically say something like "Excuse me, but do you happen to know the time?" to be more polite. But if I ask someone something like 「今何時か知っていますか。」or 「駅は何時までか知っていますか。」 to a Japanese person, is that more rude than just asking 「今何時ですか?」 or 「駅は何時までですか」? Or does it just sound like an odd question to Japanese speakers, maybe?

I guess that's more of a cultural question than a language question.

But here's a language question: Is there a difference in the usages between 全く and 全然? For that matter, what are the guidelines for when to use ちょっと Instead of 少し? I tend to think of ちょっと as being more like "sort of" (ie only figuratively "a little bit" when used as, say, "a little bit rude") while 少し applies to things that could be maybe quantified in some way. Like 日本語が少し分かります -- ie some small portion of all of the Japanese language is understood by me. So I'm thinking maybe ちょっと好きです。 Would convey "I like it a little bit" whereas 少し好きです。would convey something more like "I like a little bit of it."

Does that seem about right?

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby agelessdrifter » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:08 pm UTC

Ok no takers on that one -- fair enough.

でも、もう一つ質問があるんです:

「妻が病気時、会社を休みます。」と 「妻が病気時、会社を休みます。」と、どちらがいい文法ですか。

I think I've been told that 病気 is treated as a noun, in general, but here it seems awfully adjective-like, so I'm leaning toward な.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Daimon » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:03 pm UTC

Why do I still read this thread when I vowed to stop.

It is a noun. All "adjectives" that use な are nouns. The な is just rentaikei for da

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Daimon » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:14 pm UTC

Daimon wrote:Why do I still read this thread when I vowed to stop.

It is a noun. All "adjectives" that use な are nouns. The な is just rentaikei for da


And since I rushed that and have lost the edit function, here is the cont:

All な users are still nouns at heart 100%
な is 連体形 for だ
病気 is not an "adjective" that uses it
This is the time of illness, as referred to by the text.

If you do not know what 連体形 is, know that modern Japanese only really uses it in the above example. As such I only know two "true" forms of it. Here are examples

変な夢
夢は変だ

儚き思い
思いが儚い

The above are the only forms I know. Below is another example, except the verb won't change form and ask somone know knows older Japanese about t

壊れている建物は...
建物は壊れている

Stupid know nothing me with misconceptions OUT

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:56 pm UTC

久しぶり、このthreadに来たね。 言葉がたくさん習いますから、今度、日本語で話してはできます。

四年前から日本語の勉強を始めて。今日はレベルがN4です。N2に達したい~

Please correct if possible!

P.S. Now I am studying with iknow core 2000 deck in Anki and some anime included for fun. It is besto setuppu.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Suzaku » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:49 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:久しぶり、このthreadに来たね。 言葉がたくさん習いますから、今度、日本語で話してはできます。

四年前から日本語の勉強を始めて。今日はレベルがN4です。N2に達したい~


お久しぶり :)
N4とかN2はわからないけど、がんばってね。

tastelikecoke, when corrected by Suzaku, wrote:久しぶりこのthread*に来たね。 言葉たくさん習っていますから、今度、日本語で話しできます。

四年前から日本語の勉強を始めて今はレベルがN4です。N2に達したい~


*You could use スレッド or トピック here, but colloquially スレ (sometimes トピ) would be more natural.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby ConMan » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:01 am UTC

Welp, I think I'd better get ready to start posting in this thread again soon, given that my fiancée's going to spend a year at Kyodai from March and I plan to visit at least once and I'd like my Japanese to be a little less rusty than when I visited her in Osaka last year.

Also, I've given myself the challenge of trying to read/translate some Japanese texts, so I may come here when I have a question to ask.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:46 pm UTC

Suzaku wrote:
tastelikecoke wrote:久しぶり、このthreadに来たね。 言葉がたくさん習いますから、今度、日本語で話してはできます。

四年前から日本語の勉強を始めて。今日はレベルがN4です。N2に達したい~


お久しぶり :)
N4とかN2はわからないけど、がんばってね。

すみません~ N4とN2はJLPTのレベルです。JLPTは外国人のために日本語の試験です。

I guess I suck at distinguishing the uses of に,が, and を.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby ConMan » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:51 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:
Suzaku wrote:
tastelikecoke wrote:久しぶり、このthreadに来たね。 言葉がたくさん習いますから、今度、日本語で話してはできます。

四年前から日本語の勉強を始めて。今日はレベルがN4です。N2に達したい~


お久しぶり :)
N4とかN2はわからないけど、がんばってね。

すみません~ N4とN2はJLPTのレベルです。JLPTは外国人のために日本語の試験です。

I guess I suck at distinguishing the uses of に,が, and を.

Amy (my fiancée) is apparently somewhere between N1 and N2 (for Suzaku's reference - N1 is the highest level), and she still has trouble with "wa" and "ga". Her tutor gave her the following advice (paraphrased): "If you're not certain but think it should be 'wa', use 'ga', and if you think it should be 'ga', use 'wa'. I have trouble with 'a' and 'the' so that's what I do."
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:13 pm UTC

I feel like it helps to have a very literalist style of translating when you do practice. That way the difference between が and は becomes much more obvious.

「<X>は」 sets the topic, it can be handy to translate this like "As for X" or "On the topic of X". This makes it clear that you're just setting a new topic of conversation. If you don't need to set a new topic, then you shouldn't be using 「は」.

「<X>が」 identifies or specifies, it is handy to translate this like "X is the one" or "X, specifically" or simply "It's X who/which" or just "X" with an emphasis in your voice on the X clause (Ex: Bob made this mess!).

It's clear to see the different functions when you have both 「は」 and 「が」 in the same sentence.

私は、犬がすきです。
(As for/On the topic of) me, dog(s) (are the one) (I) like (polite copula).

The topic is about you (specifically what you like) and 'dogs' which is what you're specifying. Another way of thinking about it is in terms of answering questions. In this case you are the topic and 'dogs' is the answer to the unvoiced question 'What do you like?'/'What animal do you like?' etc.. If the thing you're trying to say is an answer to a question, asked or unasked, then you should use 「が」 just like you would when answering a question.

Of course, when asking questions, if you open your sentence with a question word you always use 「が」 so as long as you phrase your questions as 「何が」 or 「誰が」, etc., you'll never screw up there.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Suzaku
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Suzaku » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:55 am UTC

They've clearly changed the JLPT grade names since I sat it in 1997 :)
I actually did know they'd changed the test, but I didn't connect N# with it.

Particles are a pain in the proverbials, and every rule you learn has an exception somewhere, but Gelsamel's hint is extremely helpful. I still use it sometimes, especially if I'm translating.
Pronouns: he/him/his > they/them/their >> it/it/its
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ConMan
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby ConMan » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:11 am UTC

I'm generally ok with the main particles (or at least I was, and hope I still am). And unfortunately Amy's mind does not operate on the same logic as mine (and I suspect a lot of yours), so suggestions like yours are unlikely to help - but thanks for the explanation anyway.
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:38 pm UTC

Yeah, first time I studied there were 4 levels. Now there's five! :o

俺の勉強初めはJLPTが四の段いました。いまは五の段いました。

The ones I'm currently having trouble with is the transitive and intransitive verbs, since I didn't consider it while studying the core vocabulary in iknow.jp.
Hmm, I want to type "俺の勉強の初め", but that's like "flower of Persephone of Greece". Hope my grammatical intentions were right.

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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby Suzaku » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:36 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:Hmm, I want to type "俺の勉強の初め", but that's like "flower of Persephone of Greece".
Yeah, it's easy to get clunky with things like that. I would reword it as something like: "勉強し始めた時、" (When I started studying,...)

They've changed the name of the test in Japanese as well, it seems. Used to be 日本語能力検定試験, but now it's 日本語能力試験. I guess the biggest change is that they introduced statistical normalisation on the scoring; when I took it it was based on raw scores.
Pronouns: he/him/his > they/them/their >> it/it/its
Time Zone: JST (UTC+9)
─────────────────────────
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Re: 日本語 (Japanese Practice)

Postby tastelikecoke » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:10 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:久しぶり、このthreadに来たね。 言葉がたくさん習いますから、今度、日本語で話してはできます。

四年前から日本語の勉強を始めて。今日はレベルがN4です。N2に達したい~

Please correct if possible!

P.S. Now I am studying with iknow core 2000 deck in Anki and some anime included for fun. It is besto setuppu.

I'm correcting myself!
このスレにきたのが久しぶりですね。 単語がたくさん習ったから、日本語が話せます。(と思ったけど、実は日本人に話すことが難しい。)
四年前から日本語を始めた。今日はレベルがJLPT4じゃないです。 JLPT5ですよ。 JLPT2は達したいです~

I probably have some mistakes here, like the "話すことが" part. I'm not sure if I can do that grammar thing. After self-studying for very long I discovered that I fail so hard at grammar that I couldn't even pass N5 tests.


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