And…We’re Back

Whew!  It has been a busy week, but I am (almost!) caught up.  I still have some work to do on Anki, but I have cleared out the backlog on Memrise and finished all my homework for Chapter 26, so, Chapter 27, here I come.

When I was going through Minna no Nihong0 1, I hit a chapter that, for whatever reason, just wasn’t fun, and I had to simply slog through it.  Chapter 26 of Minna no Nihongo 2 was like that.  I simply didn’t enjoy the chapter.  Now, it didn’t help that it stretched over two weeks or that a lot of that time I was ridiculously busy and then on a trip with my wife where studying was off the table.

Then I was sick last night and didn’t get any sleep, but I still had my lesson this morning, so I had to gut it out.

Then, when I got to work this morning, I had a conversation with a colleague about language learning, something he found very difficult.

I looked back at the last two weeks and basically told him that, in my opinion, the average person is quite capable of learning a new language, if (and it is a big ‘if’) they can find a way to motivate themselves to put in the consistent daily effort.  If you do that, you’ll learn.

These last two weeks have been really tough.  It was a struggle to finish off all the homework and get through this chapter.  There were times when I didn’t want to put forth the effort, but I got it done anyway, and that’s the trick.

You don’t have to be some kind of genius or have a remarkable gift to learn a new language (even Japanese!).  You just have to have the self discipline to make yourself do it。

The main grammar point this week is potential verbs.  I didn’t know what potential verbs are, so I looked it up.  They are verbs that express the ability (or potential) to do a certain thing.

In other words, “I can speak Japanese” and “I am able to speak Japanese” would both be in the potential form.

I already know one form:  the dictionary form of a verb followed by ことができる.  I always thought that form was a bit clunky.

日本語を話すことができます. I can speak Japanese. (Hey, use example sentences that make you feel good!)

Apparently, that isn’t the only way to do it.  You can conjugate the verb in a certain way so that it means the same thing.  すごい。  I don’t know how to do it yet, because I haven’t looked over the chapter yet.

I seem to recall that the book Learn Japanese From Some Guy by Jeremy Rasmussen has a chapter on this.  I’ll probably dig it out and read that chapter.

Anyway, I’m back on track, thankfully.

Hang in there and don’t let life derail your studies too much!

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