2,426 reputation
317
bio website
location Beijing, China
age 31
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen yesterday

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 Grammar books and dictionaries are very important, but they get out of date easily, as language itself is evolving.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.


May
31
revised Is 「3人いるだと」 grammatical?
added 213 characters in body
May
31
comment Is 「3人いるだと」 grammatical?
That だと came from だって does not mean they are interchangeable.
May
19
comment (noun) です vs. がある when either is appropriate
I'm not the downvoter. May be you should add the whole sentence in the examples, or at least make it する予定です. I didn't figure out what you mean by "予定です" until I did a search.
May
14
comment How to say “quarter to” or “quarter past” some hour?
Made a mistake as I'm opening two language site at the same time (both in beta), sorry.
May
10
answered Is タオル used for the towels used at onsen?
May
8
answered 気を遣う versus 気を使う
May
8
answered What does it mean when a sentence ends with しなくもない?
Mar
29
comment When does a suru-noun require し in front of a purposive-に?
@dainichi, I think it depends on the meaning. By the way, I t think 読書に行く is also valid.
Mar
29
answered When does a suru-noun require し in front of a purposive-に?
Mar
27
comment What are the valid potential forms of special “suru” verbs?
I believe the 4th is not valid ...
Jan
22
comment How do I convey “As you all know”?
What about 言われたように良くない
Jan
22
comment 「鉄道関係{てつどうかんけい}の言葉{ことば}を書きなさい」- “Write words about railroads?”
In the sentence, I think it can be as broad as "phrases", but not "remarks" or "comments".
Jan
22
revised Is 眠たい an adjective?
typo 眠{ねぶ}りい甚{いた}し
Jan
22
comment Is 眠たい an adjective?
What do you mean by "an exceptional case"
Jan
21
comment Want to be sure I understand the nuance of 払{はら}う
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was saying the @DaveMG should including more context in the question. I was about to comment on the question, but got some interruption ...
Jan
21
comment Want to be sure I understand the nuance of 払{はら}う
So it is important to provide enough context.
Jan
21
answered Is パートナー likely to be interpreted as a same-sex partner?
Jan
21
revised Want to be sure I understand the nuance of 払{はら}う
Wrong Furigana markup
Jan
19
comment How do you say “[amount of time] later”?
@NattyBumppo It is too short. The system won't let me submit as an answer.
Jan
19
comment How do you say “[amount of time] later”?
Should be: [二時間後]{にじかんご}