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fryfry
October 27th, 2015, 04:58
I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on or even knew about this site. I discovered it maybe 6 years ago at the beginning of my japanese language study. Haven't visited it in ages, but it gave me some valuable (imo) insight into how grammar works from a Japanese perspective.

日本語資源 - Nihongoresources.com (http://www.nihongoresources.com/language/lessons.html)
The lessons require you to memorize kana before anything else, and then move into explanation of particles and especially verbal grammar (conjugation, authentic grammar terms).
It stresses vocabulary and writing/reading far more than actual conversational practice, which can be viewed as a downside.

Since I've never lived in Japan, I thought I'd get some more experienced opinions on the worth of this site.

Ebi
October 27th, 2015, 09:40
(Disclaimer: I've not used that site before so my opinion is based on a little bit of browsing right now.)

I admit, I'm pretty impressed how ridiculously thorough everything is. The author(s) explain the inner workings of Japanese grammar well and clearly. But aside from the hiragana/katakana section, I would never recommend this to a beginner. I don't think studying grammar = learning a language. Grammar is important, but I think the focus should be on meaningful communication.

If your first exposure to the language is a ton of different and complicated rules (even if they're explained excellently) you're going to have a heck of a time keeping everything straight and knowing how and when to use them appropriately.

And yet the first "basic" lesson covers the particles の, は, が, と, を and に, all forms of basic verb conjugation, ます form, using です, conjugations of irregular verbs, transitive vs. intransitive, AND writing sentences. And that's all before a single break for practice. And the only "practice" is a word quiz and "In your own words explain the difference between が and は".

Honestly, I think this method of learning might do more damage than good since you're basically learning ABOUT Japanese, not how to use it. And if I had this as my first lesson I'd probably be overwhelmed and assume Japanese really is "too difficult" to understand.

The grammar section of the website is pretty good if you need thorough explanation of a particular aspect of Japanese explained in English, but I think that's only useful for more advanced students.

That said, I know rote grammar study does work for some people so go for it if this style works for you. But I prefer more communicative methods and at the very least the lessons should be broken down into smaller chunks with more practice. If you want something similar, Tae Kim's website focuses specifically on grammar but I think it breaks it down into more reasonable chunks.

fryfry
October 27th, 2015, 10:03
That said, I know rote grammar study does work for some people so go for it if this style works for you. But I prefer more communicative methods and at the very least the lessons should be broken down into smaller chunks with more practice. If you want something similar, Tae Kim's website focuses specifically on grammar but I think it breaks it down into more reasonable chunks.

I've already gone through it, and it helped me mainly in the areas you pointed out (grammar, and all that). I was mainly interested in whether I should show it to a beginner, and I agree it's a little much to take in at first. :rolleyes: Then again, I got a heck of a lot out of the grammar explanations, the like of which I've yet to find in any western textbook replete with romaji. The kana prerequesite is a nice touch, too; I've always thought learning pronunciation would be aided by learning the actual script.
I'll check out Tae Kim, thanks.

Jiggit
October 27th, 2015, 10:08
Smart

I agree with everything you said. Seeing people who studied Japanese at uni in Japan, I've always been underwhelmed at their speaking abilities. Having said that, after a few years here those people are obviously way ahead. Having that knowledge base and then building upon it does seem to be pretty effective.

I also thinks it depends on the individual a lot. I tend to have problem remembering something unless I can work out what it means in a lot of detail. If I can't figure out what each part of the sentence is doing, it just doesn't tend to stick. I know other people for whom that kind of explanation is just more information to commit to memory though.

It's why I like jgram.org on top of using the kanzen master books for studying JLPT. Learning Japanese in Japanese is undoubtedly beneficial, but I find I just need a bit more detailed explanation.

Gizmotech
October 27th, 2015, 11:19
Another good example of this type of thing is imabi.net

Ya, I agree with Ebi, more practical application and less theory would help quite a bit. I wouldn't show that to a learner, in the same way I wouldn't show taekim or imabi to a new learner either. These are grammar resources, which are very valuable to have, but only useful to a small percent of learners based on how we acquire language.

Jiggit, the only danger with many uni learners is they fosilize fast. They are confident in their abilities, and progress very quickly, but have little desire to fix their language after reaching that basic level of communicative ability.

fryfry
October 27th, 2015, 11:51
Another good example of this type of thing is imabi.net

Ya, I agree with Ebi, more practical application and less theory would help quite a bit. I wouldn't show that to a learner, in the same way I wouldn't show taekim or imabi to a new learner either. These are grammar resources, which are very valuable to have, but only useful to a small percent of learners based on how we acquire language.

Jiggit, the only danger with many uni learners is they fosilize fast. They are confident in their abilities, and progress very quickly, but have little desire to fix their language after reaching that basic level of communicative ability.

but grammar is fun!!! :^_^:

at least I found absorbing the grammar I know to be quite satisfying, lol. maybe I'm just a theory kinda guy. I wish I had as much time as I used to for poring over sites like the ones you and ebi referenced. Anyhoo, hopefully I'll have an opportunity in the near future to learn from a more aural perspective.

Ebi
October 27th, 2015, 17:04
Then again, I got a heck of a lot out of the grammar explanations, the like of which I've yet to find in any western textbook replete with romaji. The kana prerequesite is a nice touch, too; I've always thought learning pronunciation would be aided by learning the actual script.
I think I can agree with that. Most of the textbooks I've used that are written in English kind of skimp on the explanations and just tell you the rule. If you're the type who feels lost without that, then I can see the appeal.

However, I've noticed a lot of people who crave grammar-based learning cling to the rules too much and are afraid to explore unfamiliar language, which makes it difficult to communicate as a beginner. Experimenting and making mistakes is a natural part of learning a language.

And I wholeheartedly agree that learners should drop romaji as soon as possible.


I agree with everything you said. Seeing people who studied Japanese at uni in Japan, I've always been underwhelmed at their speaking abilities. Having said that, after a few years here those people are obviously way ahead. Having that knowledge base and then building upon it does seem to be pretty effective.
As much as I hated my university's Japanese course since it was all theory and rote translation without any communication, I have to admit it set me up with a good foundation that made it a lot easier to pick up the language when I got here. But it took a lot of work to catch up to where I should have been after so many years of classroom study. That was mostly accomplished by talking with native speakers any chance I got. (I've only used textbooks sporadically during JET, mostly for JLPT study.)

So your assessment rings true for my experience.


I also thinks it depends on the individual a lot. I tend to have problem remembering something unless I can work out what it means in a lot of detail. If I can't figure out what each part of the sentence is doing, it just doesn't tend to stick. I know other people for whom that kind of explanation is just more information to commit to memory though.
Yeah, I learn better by trying and learning from mistakes than extrapolating from explanations. But looking at example sentences really helps me get an idea of how and when to use things. I usually need a solid uncomplicated example to latch onto or I'll forget it.


It's why I like jgram.org on top of using the kanzen master books for studying JLPT. Learning Japanese in Japanese is undoubtedly beneficial, but I find I just need a bit more detailed explanation.
I vastly prefer learning Japanese in Japanese. The biggest leaps I've made have been while studying with books and teachers who only used Japanese. But I know it's not for everyone and it can be harder depending on your level. But I think ideally people should try to avoid using their first language when studying as much as possible since otherwise you tend I make incorrect associations. (Like assuming "と" can link sentences together because it means "and" sometimes... Well it can connect sentences, but the meaning is very different.)

But again, everyone has different preferences and comfort levels.