I am still wresting with passive, causative and passive-causative voice verbs. I have written out for myself side by side examples of how to form the verbs (using the same group I and group II verbs each time) and then written out some sentences using the same verb in each form. Practice, practice, practice.
Also, I’m still working on getting some regular conversation going. I have four different people that I meet with on Skype each weekend – two on Saturday and two on Sunday, as well a couple of people that I chat with if we simply happen to be online at the same time. Now I have a regular Thursday morning meet-up as well, even though it means having to get up an hour early so we can chat before I go to work.
My friend this morning made the mistake of asking if I had any Japanese questions, so I whipped out my homework on these verb forms. That was fun for both of us, since we had a little linguistic difficulty. This largely stemmed from the fact that we both knew the word 受身 which means passive voice, but neither one of us knew the Japanese word for causative voice verbs. I would pull out 食べさせられます, and he would tell me that it was a passive verb, which is true but not the whole picture.
We got there in the end, though, by using some specific examples. He then told me with a (friendly) laugh that it was so easy that Japanese children could do it. That’s true, but they’ve been learning Japanese for longer than I have! He really is a lot of fun to talk to.
If I had been learning Japanese 50 years ago, how would I have done it? A box of cassette tapes, probably, and no chance at all to ask anyone else questions or get any language practice in.
I finished my lesson for this week and, during the lesson, found myself trying to explain geocaching in Japanese. I experienced a vocabulary shortage. Still, I got the point across, so that was good. Also, I got some good explanations of 使役 and 受身 and, of course, 使役受身, i.e. causative, passive and causative-passive verbs. On top of that, all of my homework on the topic was right, so I guess I’ve got it, even though I don’t feel like I’ve got it.
I am continuing to pack in new vocabulary with Memrise. Today it was 37 new words related to the body and their kanji. This is where Takoboto, which I just added to the app list came in handy. It is one of many free dictionary apps out there, but it has a lot of nice feathres and works really smoothly.
Now it’s time for a brain break, and then, later on, I have some grammar that I want to review.
I suppose it all sounds like hard work, and it does definitely take effort, but it’s fun. Actually, breaking down the kanji that make up a word is really interesting.
For example, today I learned 裸足. 裸 means naked and 足 meand foot, so 裸足 means barefoot. Or how about 神経. 神 means mind or soul and 経 means sutra, longitude, pass through. If you put that together, it isn’t too strange that 神経 means nerve.
Make it fun. You learn a lot more that way.
(By the way, 頑 means stubborn, firmly and 張 means lengthen. So, if you lengthen the time for which you are stubborn, I guess you’ll do your best.)