The grammar geek in me

19 June, 2011

I’m weird. I find it easier to learn new vocabulary for Korean and easier (not really) to learn grammar for Japanese. Somehow new Korean words will automatically get installed in my brain after seeing them once or twice, but I can’t seem to remember any of the Japanese vocabulary. Maybe it’s because of the level of proficiency?

But I LOVE learning new grammar structures. It’s like solving a puzzle 😀 I still remember the awesome times spent poring over the Korean grammar a few years ago. I’m glad I can do that again now, for Japanese. And it’s a more complicated puzzle this time. *excited*

At the 7th lesson of the KUJAP book now! I aim to complete the book by the end of summer. Am I too ambitious? (>.<)

6 Comments
    1. I enjoy grammar too! But I’m not as good as you at having vocab stay in my head. I need my vocab level to rise to my grammar level 🙂 But I thought Japanese grammar was supposed to be LESS complicated than Korean grammar. Is it more complicated? (I was never really tempted to learn Japanese b/c I really don’t know any kanji and the prospect of learning them wasn’t a challenge I wanted to take on.) BTW, do Singaporean schools teach Mandarin along with English? I know most Singaporeans are ethnic Chinese, but how would people be able to learn the writing without going to school to study it?

      1. Japanese grammar is much more complicated. There’s alot of conjugations that are quite daunting to the beginners like me D: The kanji is easy for me – there’s just minor differences between the chinese characters and the jap kanji. Yup we do take Mandarin lessons in school, from elementary school all the way to high school. It’s compulsory for the ethnic Chinese >,< There's alot of memory work involved though. We had to memorise tons and tons of example sentences as one of the test components is making a sentence with the given vocab. O.o

    1. I think you are right that the existing level of proficiency is the reason Korean vocab is easier to absorb than that of Japanese. Personally, I think it is due to having a larger pool of target words to link with the new word. In other words, the more target language words you know, the easier it is to learn new ones since they will be more likely to attach to words you already know in that language.

      As an example: “물 = water” and “개 = dog” weren’t difficult to learn but, like most foreign words, took multiple repetitions to stick when learned the first time. However, much later when I came across “물개 = seal”, it stuck perfectly after seeing it only once since I already had two well-learned, related Korean words to which my brain promptly attached the new word (seal = water dog…got it).

      I’ve also found a similar effect with new Sino-Korean words that use 漢字 that I already know (I’m studying Hanja on the side, but not at a very fast pace). For example, I recently looked up the word 연말 which means “year-end”. However, once I saw the attached 漢字 were both characters I had already learned (年末) the meaning stuck much better than it would have without having that extra link.

      1. Ahh I was trying to think of how to phrase that feeling and you hit it right on target (: Yeah I think the linkage makes everything alot easier. The more links there are, the easier it is to remember a word. That’s also why I prefer learning a word in context; the context provides an extra link

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *