Verbs and の

And now I know how to nominalize verbs!  Hooray.  Now I can say things like 自転車に乗るのが好きです (I like riding a bicycle) or 日本語を勉強するのは面白いです (Studying Japanese is interesting/fun).

As I was going through my vocabulary for this week, I started running into old friends in slightly new clothes.  For example, unpleasant/disgusting comes out to be 気持ちが悪い.  Well, that particular little phrase is made up of words that I already knew, so the whole phrase was easy, and I could have told you in advance that the opposite (pleasant/agreeable) would be 気持ちがいい, since that is a familiar pattern.

The point is this:  When you start learning a language, it’s like climbing a mountain.  There just so much stuff to learn!  It can seem impossible if you look at the entire mountain, so don’t.  Just look at the part of the path right in front of your feet.  As you climb, however, you’ll find the path generally getting easier and easier.

The more you learn, the easier it gets to learn more.  Why?  Because things that you already know will help you out.  気持ちが悪い is made up entirely of familiar words and they are put together in a familiar way, so this new vocabulary term is, in fact, something I already knew.

You just have to get through the hard beginning parts.  Learning a new musical instrument is boring at first, because you have to learn the rudiments, and that’s hard.  Once you have those building blocks, though, the learning process gets much easier.  A lot of people give up during that first stage because it’s hard or because it’s boring or because they can’t play like Leo Kottke right out of the box.

So, don’t give up.  If Japanese is hard at the beginning, it really does get easier!

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