Japanese Grammar

I’m new to WordPress so I want to apologize as I organize myself here. All of the information I post, I will have saved and backed-up in at least two places, so if you notice that one day you found something you liked and then you returned and couldn’t find it… I’m probably adjusting files and stuff so just send me a note or email or contact me on twitter or G+ or wherever and let me know what you were looking for and I’ll get it to you or show you were I moved it.

Now… as for grammar. Japanese has a lot, doesn’t it? I mean, it seems so at first, but once you start digging into the grammar you realize that a lot of Japanese grammar overlaps and much of it becomes intuitive as you progress. Meaning – as you get better, you stop thinking about what you’re supposed to say and how to say it, and you just speak/write/think/hear/and understand Japanese. Intuitive…

A binder that I created to hold all of my notes from my first 2 years of Japanese study at UH Manoa.

For grammar, I have attempted to organize my notes and materials from my first year of Japanese college-level study. That would be JPN101 and JPN102 at the University of Hawaii. When I moved to Hawaii in March 2006, I was set to attend UH in the Fall of that year. My husband said, “Maybe you’d like to take a Summer class so you can learn the campus and get comfortable.” I asked if he had any suggestions because my Fall schedule was already set and most of the other classes I could take would need prerequisites that were not yet processed from my transferred transcripts. Nick said, “Maybe they offer a language class. Like Japanese, or something.”

I called the school and enrolled in JPN101 in the Summer. For those who know all about Summer courses at a University, you’re aware that these courses are generally shorter, faster, and a bit more intense. “Concentrated” in a sense. I wasn’t really concerned, though. I knew it would be very basic and I had reviewed my syllabaries (hiragana and katakana) prior to moving, so I felt confident I could do well in the 6-week course. (Regular university courses are 16 weeks.) And I did do well – I passed with an A, then added JPN102 to my Fall course load.

In JPN102, we did several oral exams where the teacher provided us with a situation and we were to prepare for the exam. The first exam we were put into pairs, given a dialogue between a student and tutor, and basically told to memorize it. When my partner and I performed our dialogue, the instructor said that, for someone without Japanese-speaking friends I had “an impressive ability to replicate perfect Japanese pronunciation, body language, and facial expressions.” It was a compliment that really boosted my ego at the time, but it was a short-lived boost. At our second exam, I was tested alone. The same teacher would exchange questions and comments with me, and at that exam he said that I basically sounded like I was either “uncertain of my response, lacking confidence and shy… or progressively slow…” Meaning – I was either really lacking confidence in my Japanese skills or I sounded like I was mentally retarded. (Go ahead, chuckle… I laugh about it now too…)

That lack in confidence followed me for the remainder of my time at UH. The following semester, I was in JPN201 and half-way through the semester I had a bad reaction to a medicine I was given briefly. I was on a step-ladder hanging up a shelf in our new home when I was hit with a seizure that sent me crashing head-first, backwards, onto cement-reinforced tile. I was knocked unconscious and it was just an awful experience. With the concussion and seizure, I didn’t actually feel like MYSELF for almost 2 full years. I struggled with memory and studying and concentration and everything for the remainder of my undergraduate education… but I managed… even with my faltering confidence.

FULL of Japanese books, study materials, and even novels and manga!

Anyway… so I struggled, but I passed. And I got better, and I finished grad school. And I’ve made a lot of progress… and now I’m attempting to share what I’ve learned regarding Japanese (and Japanese-related topics) so that perhaps it’ll help someone who struggles now. 🙂

The large storage container holds TONS and TONS of notes, cads, study materials, notebooks, etc. All of this is stuff I’m reviewing, organizing, condensing, and getting ready to add to this blog!

For simplicity, I will list out grammar one structure at a time. I’ll provide separate entries with practice sentences, common sentence structures, and tips and other stuff… which I’ll explain more as I complete it haha

As always, if there are any constructive comments, questions, requests, or suggestions… I’m all ears! Feel free to comment below, follow this blog, I also set up a widget that allows you to follow by email if you like… and I appreciate it!


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