2005
03.08

Japanese study has hit the backburner of late. My progress is often undone by these periods of inactivity but I don’t seem to be able to sustain a constant effort with no course to follow. I took a small trip to a volunteer lesson last week to give me a boost.

The lesson was using みんなの日本語II, a book which I’ve used before. Most of the points that were raised I’d studied before. But that didn’t mean that I could readily produce my own sentences using those grammar points. I’m so used to skim reading rather than actual sentence production. So I felt like the lesson was a little slow even though I couldn’t answer all the questions perfectly.

The main grammar point was this kind of sentence:

日本語を勉強すれば、勉強するほど上手になる。
The more you study Japanese the better you will become.

Two interesting points I did come across were:

①家賃(やちん)は駅から近ければ近いほど高くなる。
I found this strange because やちん is the topic and yet the sentence refers to how far an unmentioned house is from the station. If I tried to write this I’d write something like:
家は駅から近ければ近いほど家賃が高くなる。
Is this correct? Perhaps just a different nuance in meaning?

②パソコンは操作(そうさ)が簡単ほどいいです。
This is what the Japanese teacher said, though later she realised that the book teachers a longer (more technically correct?) version. I think it’s:
ぱそこんは操作が簡単ならかんたんなほどいいです。 (should the な be there before ほど?)

The teacher said I could try the more advanced group next time. The people in the advanced group were all Chinese and they were reading a Japanese newspaper article – way way beyond my skill level. Ah, what to do?



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  1. Aim high I`d say: By going for harder and harder levels, you will get even better. Good luck 🙂

  2. 家は駅から近ければ近いほど家賃が高くなる。
    Grammatically, it’s correct but it sounds a bit odd because the topic is not houses; you’re talking about rent.
    If you really wanted to put houses in there, this is how I would do it.
    家が駅から近ければ近いほど、家賃が高くなる。
    But really, the original sentence sounds most natural to me.
    Since ほど is kind of like a noun, you do need な after 簡単.
    I usually don’t see this grammar used with na-adjectives.
    I would probably just say:
    パソコンの操作はなるべく簡単な方がいい。

  3. I rarely hear this grammar pattern myself and when challenged to make a na-adjective pattern I couldn’t remember how to do it. Thanks for the info – I should remember not to add the な before ほど next time.
    Ah, が is more appropriate for my sentence? Yes, I was talking about rent, but the rent of what exactly? The original sentence seemed to be missing something.

  4. ??? No no, you need to ADD な. An easy way to check these things is to search for 簡単なほど vs 簡単ほど. The first returns 2,000 results while the second returns 70.
    Doesn’t rent imply houses/building? I can say in English, “The rent in the Manhattan area is really high.” Doesn’t it seem odd to force the word “houses” in that sentence? I say it’s the same thing for Japanese.
    Oh, an here’s my tip for keeping up motivation for studying Japanese. Don’t make it a studying thing. Do something fun that involves Japanese. For instance, It’s fun hanging out with Japanese friends and I also enjoy reading books and comics. I also たまに play Japanese video games. (Actually, I really don’t have a choice in that since I can’t buy English games here.) (My work is also Japanese only, but that’s not fun really.) I never study Japanese just for studying it. That’s becomes a 勝負 with motivation. Whoops, my English is バラバラ…

  5. Haha, I know the feeling with mixing in Japanese words into English sentences. Also, maybe you are right about the rent thing. It’s just that to my brain I translated to English (probably where I went wrong…) and so the ‘rent being closer to the station’…
    Sorry, I misread your sentence about needing the な before ほど. Ok, hopefully I have it the right way in my head now.

  6. Everyone studies differently, but I would recommend giving that newspaper reading class a try. While you might be apprehensive at first, you’ll likely find that newspaper articles aren’t that hard to understand. And I have always found that challenging myself (ie: putting myself in situations slightly more difficult than I personally felt ready for) benefitted my Japanese in the long run. It will force you to internalize what you already know and at the same time introduce you to mostly new concepts.

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