Thursday, July 4, 2013

Japanese education ~6~ the question in English class

  Today, I introduce the questions from English exercises book.
Japanese junior high school students are practicing the exercises
like below.

  3rd degree at junior high school (14~15 years old)

Q Fill in the blank using the words of (       ).

1 My father  ____________  the piano for two years. ( practice)

A.  has practiced

Q Order the words correctly

( it / easy /  speak / is / English / me / for ).

A  It is easy for me to speak English.

( have / had / lunch / you  / yet / ? )

A Have you had lunch yet ?

(I/ told/ on time / you / to come).

A I told you to come on time.

Q Translate the sentence  into Japanese.

 Mike calls her  Kei.

Q Translate the sentence into English.

A I want her to play the guitar.

Japanese and English are so different.
In Japanese, we sometimes omit the subject in our conversation or
at writing. So, when we try to translate English sentences into Japanese,
we face a difficulty. For Japanese, we feel strange somewhat to
read sentences that have the subject every time. And we feel strange
when we answer the Japanese translation with subject.
And as you may know, Japanese sentences consist
Subject(we often omit) → object → verb.
But English is...
Subject (English mostly require to say) → verb → object.

I heard that Japanese language is so unique in the linguistic sense.
So, some foreign people may have difficulties to learn.
I heard that Finnish is also very unique that it is almost impossible
for foreigners to speak.


Shantal ForSD said...

When I first started studying Japanese I could not help it but compare Japanese to a programming language that I used when I was young - it is called "Lisp" and the way instructions are written there is roughly:

(function, argument1, argument2)

in Japanese it seems to be the oposite order

(argument1, argument2, function)
(subject, object, verb)

but still pretty close to Lisp :)

Nvaier said...

I've heard Polish is the hardest of the Slavic languages phonetics-wise(we also do have a lot of useless grammar rules). Hungarian's very tough too.

Yes. Japanese is very different from English. When I started learning, I didn't find it particularly difficult though. The thing is: you have to be very open-minded and try to comprehend the meaning, instead of just learning formulas(which could work for English). The only painful thing is learning the kanji. I still haven't found an efficient way to memorize those.

marimari said...

Shantal ForSD

That's interesting.
Have you been already used to the order of Japanese language?
I think learning the difference of the order of each words may be one of the burdens for Japanese.
Hou about Bulgarian? Is it close

Shantal ForSD said...

Um, I think I am starting to get accustomed to the order in a Japanese sentence, but I am still a beginner and have a long way to go. Its a struggle :)

As for Bulgarian - it is very different from Japanese. We tend to say everything and not ommit much.

There is another major difference in the languages that (I think) comes from the difference in mentality. Bulgarians are very straight forward people and we tend to talk directly and not leave things to be guessed. We express everything and do not leave place for misunderstanding. So, in that sense, Bulgarian is a language of the speaker.
Japanese seems to be a language of the listener. You guys seem to say as little as possible and leave a lot to be guessed or sensed.
That is one difference that I am struggling with as Bulgarian that is used to direct talk.

Um, not sure if I can explain this - does it make any sense to you?

marimari said...


It would be hard for people
who are not familiar to Kanji
to learn that.
But Japanese people also feel
hard to learn Kanji.

marimari said...

Shantal ForSD

You know very well.
When I lived in Canada(more than
ten years ago) I feel uneasy so much. Because I needed to speak directly. Whenever I speak English, I had to say directly.
It was because of the structure of English sentence. I always had to
say subject clearly.
Each Japanese expression tend to become vague.
If Bulgarian ask speakers to
say clearly and directly, it must be different language. And it has
relation to the cultural background. Yes, language reflects its culture indeed.