2,348 reputation
318
bio website
location Beijing, China
age 32
visits member for 2 years, 11 months
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 Grammar books and dictionaries are very important, but they get out of date easily, as language itself is evolving.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.


Sep
8
comment What is this dash-like punctuation mark?
@user54609 A "dash" takes up the space of two character, with no space in between (if it is displayed with proper font). Also, hiraganas and kanjis don't take a long vowel mark. Thirdly, it is usually very easy to tell from the context around.
Feb
3
comment Why do English sources for learning Japanese leave out pitch?
@nkjt For the JSL textbooks written in Chinese, some include the accents, some don't. Also, not all Japanese dictionaries have this information. I even heard some dialect in Japan does not have accents (accents are not used to distinguish words).
Jan
28
comment Does the 助動詞「ます」 still have a 連体形 in modern Japanese?
I heard a lot of ...ますので when I was in Japan.
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
comment What is the difference between mannenhitsu and pen?
Do you mean "mannenhitsu" (まんねんひつ,万年筆)?
Nov
27
comment 形容詞 ending in /ei/ and /ii/
What about 大きい ...
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.
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
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
12
comment Translation of 出証意 and 長官殿
Can you give some context of the second term?
Jun
5
comment 王将用語 and Chinese
As a Chinese native speaker, I cannot understand the example sentence in the question. Even with the help of the translation, I can only figure out a few characters.
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.
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.