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!