Q: First of all, I’d like to thank you for you website. genkijapan.net is the first place where I started learning japanese. I would also like to thank you for your “genki” way of answering to others japan-related questions (I like this language because I like “anime”-s, which probably doesn’t sound as a convincing reason. I would never have the nerve to star learning it, but due to you and genkijapan I had).
Secondly, I have some questions about adjetives. Now I’m learning japanese from the website www.livemocha.com (wich I appreciate mostly because I have my exercises evaluated by japanese native-speakers), and from some books and CD-s I have. I started by learning some grammar, but soon I realised that I can’t do this if I don’t know some basic words. So I started learning words. The problem is that I found the same word written (in romaji) in different ways. Some forms are different just because of the “-na” termination, but others are practically other words.
Another problem is that I don’t understant the difference between, let’s say, “kirei” and “kireina” (aren’t them both adjectives?)
I also don’t know wich is correct:
Kore wa takai desu/Kore wa sega takai desu. (what does “sega” mean?is it “height”?)
A: Hi Eleana,
Secondly I’d say there are two problems here. One is that of using romaji. Before doing any grammar I’d really 100% definitely recommend ditching the romaji. Once you do many of the problems just disappear. This is one cool thing about kanji, you see it and it makes the meanings of things so much easier.
The second thing is to forget the grammar! Just like learning English then memorizing rules just won’t work. The only way to remember grammar is by listening and then trying to use it. Once you’ve heard (from CDs, livemocha chats etc.) “kirei” or “kirei na” several times in several contexts it naturally sinks in. If you have to think of the rules you’ll really slow down the learning.
So, forget the romaji and forget the grammar. Pick things you do want to talk about, anime being a great example, and just try and chat away on livemocha. As you talk and look up vocab you’ll begin going “oh yeah, that’s how it works!” as your brain automatically figures it all out!
Plus it’s a lot more fun!
P.S. Sorry about the link to video in the last email (Youtube’s new code didn’t like the blog!) you can now see it here: ”Japanese Oysters in Obama Town Japan“