Cafetalk Lesson #7

Is it really lesson number 7 already?

My tutor is great, and these lessons are one of the high points of my week.   I am learning Japanese just because I want to, and one of my goals is to do it as inexpensively as possible. In fact, my ideal goal would be to do it without spending any money at all, but Cafetalk is simply too good resource to pass up. The lessons aren’t really all that expensive – you can almost certainly find something in your price range – and the amount you learn absolutely makes it worth it.  In fact, I have gotten so much out of my Cafetalk lessons that I have made “Cafetalk” a category on the blog.

I was not exactly at the top of my game this morning due to an almost total lack of sleep, but, hey, Japanese waits for no one, right? Fortunately, the topic today was one that is not too complicated – adjectives.

日本語の形容詞は難しくないですがやさしくないです。

A chance to practice what I learned while talking about what I learned. How cool is that? 素晴らしいです!すごいです!

As always, the hardest and best part of the lesson is when Makisan deviates from the material to ask me questions…I suddenly found myself having to describe my family members, the city I live in, my country…all using the limited number of adjectives on which are on my palette.

Back to our sentence: 日本語の形容詞は難しくないですがやさしくないです。

日本語の形容詞は – Japanese adjectives (with the two words connect by の and followed by the topic marker は)

難しくないです – the negative form of the adjective 難しい followed by です so are not difficult

が – but – connects two thoughts which are opposites

やさしくないです – the negative of the adjective やさしい so are not easy

Adjective are not hard because the rules really aren’t all that complicated. Adjectives fall into two groups which are handled differently with regards to

-how the adjective is formed when it immediately precedes the noun as in “the red book” instead of follows the noun as in “the book is red”

-how the negative is formed (yes, some Japanese adjectives change form when they are made negative)

-how the adjectives are connected if they are strung together as in “the big red book”

But adjectives are not easy since remembering all the rules on the fly can be tricky

And you have to think in kana not in romaji.

One of the classes is いー形容詞 which is generally translated i-adjectives and, while that might be an accurate translation, it is a bad one because it is romaji based.

In English we would say that i-adjectives end in I, and that can be confusing.

But, it’s such a simple statement! How can it be confusing.

Let’s take the adjective 元気。 In romaji it would be genki, and we would say that it ends in i and might therefore call it an i-adjective. In hiragana, however, it is げんき which means that it doesn’t end in い, it ends in き and therefore cannot be an いー形容詞. See how that works? It’s easy when you have plenty of time to think about it, but not so easy when you have about a half second or less because you are in the middle of making a sentence.

At least, it isn’t easy (やさしくないです) until you get the rules really embedded in your brain, and I am not at that point. Yet.

今週は9課を勉強します。 This week, I am studying Chapter 9. I have started the vocabulary on Memrise and will dig into the homework beginning tomorrow.

If you are learning Japanese, I hope that your studies are going well.

If you aren’t learning Japanese, well, welcome to the blog anyhow.

If you are thinking about learning Japanese but haven’t started yet, what’s holding you back? I really started this blog to help keep me motivated, but hopefully this blog is proof that anybody can learn Japanese if they are willing to put forth some consistent daily effort. Go ahead and take the first step.

頑張って

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2 thoughts on “Cafetalk Lesson #7

    • Thanks. I love free, and I will probably check them out. I do really benefit from the organized instruction I’m getting on Cafetalk, but extra chances to use Japanese are always welcome!

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