May 15, 2007

Will I ever learn to shut up about grammar?

EDIT: I have since determined that due to the だ that is usually attached to them, na-adjectives are effectively verbs.

It started with me wanting to know if they taught, in English class, the difference between "like" and "好き". How "like" is a verb in English, and "好き" is an adjective in Japane-- what? A verb? You really think so? Teachers were called in to give opinions. The kokogo sensei made a guess and then said, "I really don't know". And I learned that it might as well be, because when a nihonjin says it, they are thinking of 好む, in a casual sense. I presented the word "likeable", which is how I think of it. We never came to a satisfying conclusion.
But how many times do I have to learn that when speaking to nihonjin, leave grammatical terms out of the conversation, before it sticks? Somehow, I feel there is some cultural clue I am missing. Some reason as to why they don't do language the same way, though they have equivilent terms. If I find that out...
Oh and a little later I found this page.
But that is pretty advanced, so if you are starting, I suggest seeding your mind with this (one read-through now and another after a couple of months of study should be good).