12 In Japanese learning journey (:

I don’t know how to study grammar…

without a textbook, I mean.

I’m so used to studying grammar points from a textbook that I’m feeling so lost without one. -.- I’m quite a systematic person, and I like the idea of chapters in a textbook where each chapter, I’ll learn a few new grammar points. Everything is arranged neatly and the grammar points taught are likely to correspond with official language tests’ difficulty level, so I don’t have to think much about it.

That was for Korean.

I’ve been learning Japanese in a more free-style way. Why not stick to your textbook method, you ask? Well, the answer is that I have no money to get more textbooks and I much prefer Korean textbooks over whatever I can find in local bookstores. Besides that, I genuinely want to try a new method and explore a new style of language learning.

To be honest, I’m quite envious of people who study languages without textbooks. hehe. I don’t pick up things that naturally and I always belong to the 노력파. Besides, I like my explanations clear and in depth, so I prefer having a grammar dictionary. Picking up grammar from reading / watching stuff involves a lot of guesswork, which honestly isn’t my first choice of learning style.

But I think I’ve been doing quite well in this new free-style method. Seeing the same grammar points used in various contexts and sentences made me more attuned to its meaning / uses and I guess being an ‘experienced’ language learner helps too. I pick up stuff faster and I’m more sensitive to patterns and nuances.

Still, I miss my books. Right now, I feel that my Japanese knowledge is all over the place and whatever I know, it’s very cursory in nature and I still cannot grasp the grammar points properly. Meaning that I can recognize it and kinda know the meaning when I see it, but I cannot use it and I don’t know how to.

So I’m back to flipping through this 일본어문법사전 that I have. Let’s see if this method works.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Clayton Wong
    14 July, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    I hope it works too – that’s how I study Korean lol. Actually, I have recently considered studying a little more formally – I too like to know what each word means. Where it came from etc. thanks fir the post

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      15 July, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      It’s good to study both ways I think! 😀

  • Reply
    Kat
    14 July, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I’m one of those non-textbook learners who loves to just learn by listening and parroting. Trying to memorize verb conjugation tables in French ruined me for the textbook way of learning. But it is definitely nice to have an explanation for why you say what you say sometimes, as I have misunderstood usage simply by listening before as well.

    I really like ChinesePod because they have a show that just focuses on grammar points and sentence patterns and if there are new grammar points in the individual dialogues they might explain why they use such and such a phrasing versus another which is nice. Maybe there is a similar Japanese podcast?

    Anyhow I should try textbooks because I have a problem with my learning being very unstructured since I learn pretty much whatever pleases me and not what is actually practical. I’m trying a new tactic working through my word lists, each day I choose a new word or phrase I learned and then study a podcast that uses that word in context.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      15 July, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I tried Japanesepod101. It doesn’t work for me, cos I feel like I want to fast forward through a lot of things. I’m more visual than audio person, so I prefer reading at my own speed. >< Your new tactic sounds interesting! 😀 Hope it works for you!

      • Reply
        Kat
        15 July, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Makes sense! I’ve gotten used to slower speeds through audiobooks and podcasts because I have a very long commute (and no reliable public transit system here, sadly) and like to listen to fill up the time. Sometimes you can play the audio at a faster speed in your program but going at your own pace always feels better.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    14 July, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    lol how expensive are they?  but for me, i just look up the grammar stuff on the internet like google or yahoo.dic. i reserve my money spending on japanese on actual japanese stuff like dvds and books (actual enjoyable reading lol).

    • Reply
      Lauren
      14 July, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      And I’m totally with you for learning korean with Japanese like whe I google for korean grammar things I google it in japanese. The information is more accessible and available In japanese than English and you know korean and Japanese are similar while English is really not and Id rather be efficient than not

      • Reply
        Lauren
        15 July, 2013 at 4:50 AM

        I’m sure you’ve already heard of it but tae kim’s japanese grammar guide is really good if you hvaen’t heard of it. i’m not sure how much of the stuff in his grammar guide you already know (probably a lot lol). he has a .pdf version so you can print it. what do you mean by grammar? do you even single grammar point from beginner to advanced or just the ones for beginner to intermediate? for me i did tae kim to get the basics down but I didn’t memorize everything and some of the stuff is not that useful for beginners (he does say this section is advanced blahblah). and there are grammar things he doesn’t include in his guide… but i’m able to loook it up in japanese and understand it in japanese on google for free so you know… the way i go on about it is look up and learn the unknown grammar as i encounter it.

        I don’t think you should be so tied up about textbooks since you already know korean and it’s pretty easy to google the answer to your question about whatever grammar point in korean. sometimes it’s faster to google then look through a book unless you really prefer learning about the grammar thing before you encounter it your “immersion”. I presonally just like FREE a lot lol.

        • Reply
          hangukdrama
          15 July, 2013 at 11:19 AM

          I’ve been using a grammar guide in Korean. Similar to tae kim and it’s online too! mmm I’m looking at the intermediate-advanced grammar! I’m thinking of investing in a grammar dictionary. I have one now but it’s grouped according to functions and I want something that list grammar points in alphabetical order (or whatever you call that in Japanese).

  • Reply
    Guus
    15 July, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    LOL, I can really identify with what Kat wrote – learning French conjugations from textbook before even being able to speak a single phrase really ruined my motivation to learn French.

    But I think grammar books can be useful. You can phase in and out of using them. First pick up some everyday usage language; eventually you’ll want to understand the inner workings of the language.

    Plus, if you’ve studied a few languages, grammar becomes a sort of meta-language and it can really be a time saver. I’m grateful that my primary and secondary school taught me the grammar of my mother tongue. It has helped greatly later when learning English, French, German, Mandarin, Spanish

  • Reply
    Oegukeen
    15 July, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I didn’t even know it’s possible to learn grammar by picking it up. I could never guess a grammar rule, even if I knew every word of vocabulary.

    Even with a Korean textbook, I often don’t understand the grammar point 😛

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      19 July, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      I didn’t think it was possible too! But now that I’m learning a 2nd foreign language that is similar to Korean, it somehow becomes quite easy to just pick up grammar points from contextual clues!

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