This question popped into my head while reading some information on grammar for languages I am interested in studying. Has anyone here been discouraged from learning a language purely because of the grammar of the language? I fear that the grammar aspects of the languages are pushing me away from studying new languages.
What are y’all’s thoughts?
Oh yes, when it comes to Icelandic and Ancient Greek the monster-complexity of the grammar is definitely a discouragement for me! I know that there are many people who will tell you that you don’t need to focus on the grammar, etc, but that’s simply not how I personally am wired - if I’m going to learn a language, then I have to have a solid grasp of the grammar. I just have to.
I’m glad that I was young and foolish when I first got into German - if I were starting even that now, I’d most likely feel that it is too hard to master…
I’m an anxious type of guy about everything. If I was learning a language that had cases I’d probably kill myself worrying about using the wrong case. Even in English I find myself thinking way too much as I speak.
I will eventually have a go at both Latin and Greek. The university I may be going to next year offers them in lieu of the foreign language requirement, and I’m seriously thinking about going for it since I tested out of the French classes. Should I get to where I can understand how those grammars work, I should have less stress when I learn a modern highly inflected language, I figure.
This is why Steve doesn’t care much for gtammar at the beginning. It just makes the language so hard and difficult. He tackles grammar bit by bit. I think. He does say he consult some resources for grammar reference from time to time. But like as I said, he doesn’t start with grammar and then the interesting content.
We shouln’t focus on grammar, otherwise it would be too difficult and boring.
But some rules of making phrases and of verb tenses we have to know in my opinion.
I had some bad expierence with Romance languages that I started to learn here without knowing Grammar at all.
And what I have:
I know 10,000 French words, but I make my phrases with the difficulty as if I swim for the first time in the sea.
I know 900 Spanish words, but I can’t make even one phrase because I don’t know how the verbs should be changed.
I’m not someone who learns large numbers of languages, but the only thing that has scared me off is tones. I would like to try Chinese, but it’s hard to imagine myself speaking tonally, although I know it’s possible.
But different things scare different people. I remember one guy, when he learned that Japanese attaches different counters to numbers depending on the thing being counted (for example, -mai for flat things like pieces of paper, or -hon for long things like bottles, so ichimai, nimai, or ippon, nihon), he just threw up his arms, said the language was crazy, and gave up.
So I supposed that’s an example of grammar scaring someone off.
@Bortrun: “…the only thing that has scared me off is tones. I would like to try Chinese, but it’s hard to imagine myself speaking tonally, although I know it’s possible…”
I agree. I once tried to get into Mandarin, but the tones completely killed my motivation. Try as I might I just can’t seem to hear the one which goes up, and the one which goes down then up. I just can’t pick them out at all. (I struggle pretty hard to hear the other two tones as well.)
" I remember one guy, when he learned that Japanese attaches different counters to numbers depending on the thing being counted […] he just threw up his arms, said the language was crazy, and gave up."
The same thing almost made me wanna stop learning English…
one piece of cake
two slices of bread
three cars (now they DON´T use a counter?!? It´s so unlogical!!!11eleven"
Hang around with the finnish language for a while, after a week or two, you’ll be running back and kissing, whatever grammar book that holds you back, right know… ( :
What is it really like studying both Russian and Finnish? Does Russian seem like a walk in the park after a day of hard Finnish study? :-0
Yes it is. I know it sounds strange, but it is.
At least when reading. Russian words is still really hard to remember, and alot of them sounds
really really exactly the same to my ears, so I’m sure it will even out soon as I´m stepping into B1 -land,
and they will both feel euqally impossible to learn…
“one piece of cake
two slices of bread
three cars (now they DON´T use a counter?!? It´s so unlogical!!!11eleven”
You can also get pieces of cars if you want. Slices of cars require a little more specialised equipment, but can certainly be done too.
AND you can have pieces of bread and slices of cake!