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.
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.
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 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!
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