Languages can be just for fun, right?
I studied Japanese for 2.5 years in college and I used it for 3 years while living in Japan. I've decided that I can keep it going for no reason at all! Or ya know, just because LEARNING IS GREAT!
So I’ve been progressing in WaniKani and while I was pretty peeved that I felt like I was taking so many steps backwards, I think it’s actually giving me a firmer foundation than I had before. I knew a lot of words, yes, but I think I was missing some of the basics and now, I’m finding, WaniKani is helping fill in those gaps.
One of those gaps?
I still cannot correctly use the transitive or intransitive form of a verb. I may get it right most of the time I’ll think I know the answer and feel pretty confident, but I ultimately just feel like I’m taking a guess and picking whichever one sounds the most correct. I’ve even posted on this failing of mine before. It haunts me.
And what do you know? It came up in WaniKani lessons today. OF COURSE IT DID.
But you know what? WaniKani gave this little hint and I simply must repost it for you all here:
"…intransitive verbs tend to have an あ sound right before the う sound (though not always). It’s just one way to guess if you can’t remember on your own."
I love little hints like this.
The two pairs of verbs I reviewed today were:
上げる あげる transitive to raise, to elevate
as in, “I raised the curtain.”
上がる あがる intransitive to rise, to be raised
as in, “the curtain rose.”
下げる さげる transitive to lower, to hang
as in, “I lowered the rope.”
下がる さがる intransitive to hang down
as in, “the rope is hanging down.”
I THINK. I’ll practice more and maybe come up with some example sentences with these buddies soon.
Why is this so hard for me? Is it difficult for you, too?
kiyotea asked: Hi. I have kind of a weird (maybe not?) question. I am studying japanese at Uni right now, and it's very fun and interesting, but obviously we're studying more formal japanese as opposed to colloquial japanese. But so I was wondering, how severe is the word "くそ"? I mean I know it's an interjection and it's not polite, but I think when we hear that it's a cuss word (like the s-word?), it gets a bit blown out of proportion. Is it really as bad as it sounds?
Just going off the usage I heard? Not as severe at all. I means, kids would say it, like in the presence of adults, and not get scolded so I guess it’s not so bad. After hearing students say it I figured it was more like saying “dang” or maybe somewhere in between “dang” and “damn” but very few Japanese words carry the strength of English curse words. That being said, there are some and I did see students being scolded for saying those other words, so they definitely do exist.
The vocab: 嫌 （いや）
na adj: detestable, disagreeable, unpleasant
File under: “words I like to use too much” and ‘words I heard all the time from my students”
Winter? Ugh, no way!
And now it’s time for a made up conversation!
A. Have you paid your rent?
B. Not yet. It’s too expensive. It’s the worst!
A. Can’t be helped.
One of my education professors told me that, when she was still an ES teacher, she had a big banner along the back wall of the classroom that read:
The things we are good at are the things we practice everyday.
We were talking about making sure we engage and encourage our children in lessons so that they don’t become unmotivated or discouraged, but ain’t that the truth?!
I want to keep my Japanese, but when I’m no longer taking it at uni and hen I’m no longer speaking it with my coworkers, where’s the motivation supposed to come from?
Well… me. But I haven’t really learned that skill yet, or at least not well anyway. I want to keep my Japanese and I write emails and send letters weekly or biweekly which does help, but it’s not everyday and
the things we are good at are the things we practice everyday.
I need to carve out time in my day for Japanese. If it’s just playing around in an app, that’s fine. If it’s checking something in my grammar dictionary? better. If it’s actually making a post on this tumblr and taking advantage of the fact that tumblr is this sweet community-building tool? best of all!
When I was in uni, practicing wasn’t difficult. When I lived in Japan it was even easier. But what now? I’m gonna keep working and see where I go, try to carve out that time, but what do you do? What keeps you motivated to practice a language so it doesn’t fall out of your brain? What keeps you learning Japanese, tumblr friends?
I started grad school and while things haven’t picked up enough to be super busy quite yet, I am adjusting to having to be awake/alert/being busy during the day. Since there’s no actual themes for my posts, here’s just some vocab for when you’re feeling tired!
へとへと adj: to be completely exhausted, super tired, knackered
疲れる つかれる verb: to get tired
I most often heard/used it as 疲れた、or I’d often toss in a whiny 疲れたあぁぁ～
And if your friend is looking drained, toss an お疲れ their way, thanking them for all their hard work today (and an お疲れさま their way if you need to be polite or an お疲れ様でした if you’re in a staffroom/office and everyone, everywhere is gonna say this to someone as they leave.) I’d even have friends use this outside of work - just anytime you’ve finished something annoying or difficult (like cleaning your house really well or breaking down a whole lot of cardboard for recycling because it’s hard to recycle in Japan and you had 3 years worth of boxes and you conquered it somehow…)
But if you’ve crossed that border from tired into sleepy…
眠い ねむい adj: sleepy
眠たい ねむたい adj: also means sleepy
experience note: I almost always heard 眠たい being used when someone was talking about their current state. I learned to say things like 眠いです when I was studying Japanese, but in Japan I only ever used 眠たい (which means more like “I want to sleep” b/c of the たい ending, but it functions like an adjective when used this way) because that’s what everyone around me used.
ecclemon asked: I think you need は too... I asked my mother and she agreed with me that without the は the sentence sounds off. I can't tell you the exact grammatical reason though, it just feels not quite right. She also said that when using など to give an example, you need to have more than one thing e.g. 光や音などは to give a feel for what kind of things you are talking about. 光 on its own doesn't give an indication of what other things you might be referring to.
Thanks! Sometimes things sounding right is all ya need. Needing more than one thing in the list is something I didn’t think about, but it definitely makes sense. :D