Yotsubato! Is hard. The reason that it’s hard is because it’s so casual. The words are conversation, and they apparently mimic natural conversation pretty well, and natural Japanese conversation is confusing! For example, as near as I can figure it, there are about a million (a rough estimate) different ways to say some form of です depending on whether you are writing or speaking, being formal or informal, are male or female…and Yotsubato! Makes use of several of them.
This is definitely a challenge.
You have to love Japanese if you’re going to spend time studying it.
For example, people who speak Japanese leave stuff out. They leave words out of sentence, they leave syllables out of words. You have to love that.
The first word in Yatsubato! number one is just an exclamation: お——————. But then we get もうすぐだぞ—–. Now, if I break that down:
もう = already
すぐ = immediately
だぞ = the informal form of です with a little emphasis on it (as spoken more by males than females)
And, somehow, that magically comes out as, “We’re almost there!”
And Yotubato! Is a little casual in how the people speak.
For example: すげえ pops up a couple times in just a couple of pages, and that is, apparently, sort of a slang version of すごい
And then we have とうちゃん which is an affection version of おとうさん (father), so I guess it is “dad”.
Well, I did want to read Yotsubato! Because I expected it to be every day Japanese, and it is definitely that!
I read a book once that took place in the Netherlands, and someone was described as sounding like a foreigner because his Dutch was too good. It sounded like “book Dutch”. When you learn Japanese from a text, I’m sure it comes out sounding like “book Japanese”. Yotsubato! will give me exposure to something other than “book Japanese”.
Mind you, the textbook is still important. Chapters 14 and 15 – the て form are really important. Even though I studied the vocabulary and did the homework, I feel like my grasp on that information is somewhat tenuous, so I am going to spend another week with those two chapters before moving on to the next chapter, which, I hope, is something other than the て form.
And I am very tired of the て form song! But it works, so I have at least another week of singing it ahead of me!