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Did you forget that you speak English?

Posted: April 26th, 2008 10:54 pm
by Javizy
I'm probably not alone here, but after studying a lot of Japanese grammar, I've realised that I have less clue about English grammar (from a technical standpoint) than I do about Japanese! I'd like to learn more about English grammar and language (especially as used in literature), and get to a point where I really know "what's going on", but I'm really not sure where to start...

I was wondering if anybody else went down a similar path, and what their approach was, what books they used, etc.

よろしくぅぅ!

Posted: April 27th, 2008 8:33 am
by sashimidimsum7250
Ever since high-school, my knowledge of English grammar has steadily deteriorated. Just recently, my wife, who is an English teacher, asked me to do a test run on one of the tests she was preparing for one of her classes. I failed! :(

But I'm finding that as I learn Japanese I'm re-learning grammar terms that I knew way back when, that also apply to English.

Posted: April 27th, 2008 11:40 am
by kc8ufv
Strange thing about learning a second language (doesn't matter what it is) - you tend to learn more about your native tongue. This is do to learning how language works. Even though you use it every day, you don't think about how it works. When you start learning as second language, you are forced to break things down to the simplest level. You end up doing this with your native language as well for comparison.

Posted: April 28th, 2008 11:19 am
by JonB
I'm often saying that perhaps I should learn English grammar before trying to learn Japanese.

The Japanese teacher throughs words around like subjunctive and transitive but what the hell does that all mean? :oops:

Posted: April 28th, 2008 4:11 pm
by jkid
Have a look at this book I found it very useful:

http://www.amazon.com/English-Grammar-S ... 0934034168

The overview of grammar is basic but I still recommend it.

Posted: April 28th, 2008 11:04 pm
by Belton
I found I had to dredge up my knowledge of Latin to understand some of the grammar terms encountered when studying Japanese. We never really learnt grammar at school except when studying a foreign language.

Because you just don't learn grammar for your first language. The way you learn your mother tongue just doesn't work that way. (you may study it later on) Grammar isn't so much part of language as an attempt to categorise and explain language that already exists. For second language learners grammar makes sense. You learn the rule and apply it. Rather than the child's way of copying speech and working out the rules themselves.

And yes I bought a couple of books on grammar. Offhand I can't remember which but I'm sure Oxford University Press published one of them. Partially I find it interesting and partially so I could try to explain things to Japanese friends. Actually what is even more interesting is how language is acquired in the first place.

However... The more I study Japanese the more I see how things don't overlap neatly and the English grammatical ideas are to an extent imposed on it for English-speaking learners benefit. (another case of lies to children) But by the time I might understand Japanese concepts of grammar I'll be able to speak Japanese I reckon!

Great Reference/ study book

Posted: June 16th, 2008 9:08 am
by spidey
This book has stayed on my top shelf for a long time:


"A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar"

by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui

Published by the Japan Times

ISBN 4-7890-0454-6

It's a great reference and study book.

:o

Posted: June 17th, 2008 11:53 am
by rooraa
kc8ufv wrote:Strange thing about learning a second language (doesn't matter what it is) - you tend to learn more about your native tongue. This is do to learning how language works. Even though you use it every day, you don't think about how it works. When you start learning as second language, you are forced to break things down to the simplest level. You end up doing this with your native language as well for comparison.


I agree! While learning Korean, I realized taht English is such a difficult and crazy language! There's so many ways to pronounce a word (Example: live, present, produce) and good luck with trying to sound out words! yes, I think Japanese would much easier at sounding out words when I got all the sounds that is