2,348 reputation
418
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location Beijing, China
age 32
visits member for 3 years
seen Oct 11 at 9:57

A Chinese PhD student in Tsinghua, and English is my second language, and Japanese is my third language. (I don't know which one is better now ...)

I learned Japanese by myself in China (long) before I stayed in Ishikawa, Japan for almost a year. As I didn't take any classes, there are a lot grammar concepts I cannot explain in detail.

My method of learning a foreign language is through using it (including English, though we have English classes in school). Also, I would check the grammar books and dictionaries, but what I want to see most is examples. In China I'm only able to read and listen to Japanese, while I can only speak to myself. I got my chance to speak Japanese when I was in Japan. I'm also keeping a Japanese diary now (I won't make it public).

IMO, to learn a language you are trying to know how the language is used by natives. Grammar books and dictionaries are very important, but they get out of date easily, as language itself is evolving. Also, they don't cover every aspects of the language.

In language study, most times there is not a reason why a usage is correct. It is correct just because the natives use it in that way. Rules can be summarized into grammar, but there are always exceptions for grammar rules. So when a weird thing is found to be correct, just memorize it.

I always prefer to read grammar books or dictionaries that are written by natives and for natives. The versions written for foreigners often get simplified to cover only a small portion. Also different languages are so different that you are not able explain one language in another.


Dec
8
comment 足って used in Ponyo Song
How does it read? あし? はし?
Dec
5
comment The surname 粂 【くめ】
And there is also 麿 for 麻呂
Dec
5
comment The surname 粂 【くめ】
We do not have blocks on papers. Blocks are for learners, or for writers to count characters. In real writing, different character may have different sizes. In some specific writing style (e.g. 草书), they can vary a lot. And it is not always easy to identify character boundaries, especially in the old days when a lot of people are not well educated.
Dec
5
comment The surname 粂 【くめ】
In the old days, Japanese is written vertically ...
Dec
4
comment I have no idea what this is saying. Can you have two topics in a sentence?
@dotnetN00b Well, I don't know ...
Dec
4
comment I have no idea what this is saying. Can you have two topics in a sentence?
I think the two part are sharing a verb.
Dec
2
revised What does イケメン mean?
edited body
Dec
2
comment What is the difference between mannenhitsu and pen?
Do you mean "mannenhitsu" (まんねんひつ,万年筆)?
Dec
1
awarded  Yearling
Nov
27
comment 形容詞 ending in /ei/ and /ii/
What about 大きい ...
Nov
25
answered 「七つの海商社」“7 Seas Trading Co.” as formal name for a company
Nov
24
comment What does ~と見てよい/~と見ていい mean? How did it have its meaning?
@Flaw I think so.
Nov
24
answered What does ~と見てよい/~と見ていい mean? How did it have its meaning?
Nov
24
revised Why does 皮肉 mean “irony”?
edited body
Jul
1
revised Why are the words for prefecture so complicated?
added 377 characters in body
Jul
1
answered Why are the words for prefecture so complicated?
Jul
1
comment Why are the words for prefecture so complicated?
I have experienced [野々市町]{ののいちまち} becoming [野々市市]{ののいちし}
Jun
23
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
19
comment How does the katakana lengthening mark (長音符) sort?
@sawa I found the page, I cannot read the file due to adobe reader problems.
Jun
19
answered How does the katakana lengthening mark (長音符) sort?