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How did I do? (ブログの2017年6月4日)

Julie.chan

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At Mike-san's suggestion, here is an example of the (lately sparse) blog posts I have written, with the intended meaning interspersed. I'd appreciate any feedback, especially on grammar.

一ヶ月たと!?何と長いよ!ごめんなさい!

Holy crap, it's been a month [since my last post]?! That's so long! I'm sorry!

先月はとてもいそがしいでした。じじつは、たくさんのことをわすれてしまいました。それじゃ・・・

Last month was really busy. In fact, I forgot a lot of stuff. Well, then...

たくさんの新しい漢字を学びました。例えば、今まだ勉強している漢字の少しは「転」、「銀」、「辞」、「紙」、「動」、「低」、「全」、「話」、「計」、「重」、「近」、「理」、「母」、「新」、「米」。たくさんがあります。その数は・・・ええと・・・56字。でも、たくさんのこの漢字は本当に新しいじゃありません。あたしはわすれないことのためにまだ勉強します。本当に新しい漢字の数は21字だけです。

I learned a lot of new kanji. For example, some of the kanji I'm still studying are [kanji list]. It's a lot. That number is... um... 56. However, a lot of these kanji are not really new. So I don't forget them, I still study them. The number of actually new kanji is just 21.

あたしは今タンゴモンと語を学んで勉強します。でも、書くのも読むのもたいせつですね。

I'm now learning and studying words with Tangomon, but writing and reading are also important.

すぐ新しいしごとを始めます。あたしにはもっといいしごとです、多分。おもしろいことは、この店はタイ料理のレストランが近い。もちろん、タイ料理が一番好きな食べ物。これからもっとタイ料理を食べるかもしれません。(^_^)でも、あの時に見ますね。

I'll be starting a new job soon. It's a better job for me, probably. The interesting thing is that this store is close to a Thai restaurant. Of course, Thai cuisine is my favorite food. This means I might eat Thai food more. (^_^) But we'll see about that when the time comes.

もちろん、パトレオンページは・・・全く同じ。やれやれ・・・じゃ、がんばらなければいけません。それだけです。

Of course, my Patreon page... is exactly the same. Oh well... I'll just have to keep trying, then. That's all there is to it.

あら、再び自転車をつかう時に雷が見えました。でも、今回はちがいました。雷は遠かったから、安全でした。でもまだこわいでした。つづいて、死にませんでした。(^_-)

Oh yeah, I saw lightning while I was using my bike again. This time was different, though. Since the lightning was far away, it was safe. It was still scary, though. I continued along, and I didn't die. (^_-)

今少しブレスレットを作ります。すごいじゃないけど、今日作ったブレスレットはちょっとかっこいい。みらいに多分しゃしんに見せるべきです。先週作ったアメリカのブレスレットも見せるべきかもしれません。でも、それは今じゃありませんよ。

I make bracelets a little bit now. They're not amazing, but the bracelet I made today is a little cool. I should probably show pictures some time in the future. Maybe I should also show the America bracelet I made last week. But I'm not going to do that now!

それだけですか・・・?うん、そうと思います。じゃね!

Is that it...? Yeah, I think so. Bye-bye!
 

Toritoribe

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Julie.chan

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Ah, OK, thanks. Should those have been the following, or is there something else I just haven't learned about?

いそがしかった
新しくないです
こわかった
すごくない
 

Toritoribe

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The first and third ones are non-polite forms, while you must be going to use polite forms in your blog.
As for the third one, there is another problem about the translation of "still". まだ means "it is still scary for you even now".
 

Julie.chan

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OK, so then I don't know how to make a polite past-tense adjective. Unless it's ~かったです?

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Toritoribe

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Yes. There is another past form; the politer/formal version is ~くありませんでした.
How about "still"?

EDIT:
Sorry, I was somehow confusing polite past form and polite negative past form. The one I mentioned above is a polite negative past form (e.g. いそがしくなかったです vs. いそがしくありませんでした).
 
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Julie.chan

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I had to think about that a bit, but having done so, I think it should have been 「それでもこわいでした。」. How does that look?

Another possibility I came up with which is a bit wordier: 「でも、安全なず雷も[こわかった/こわい]です。」. Is that any better or any worse?
 

Majestic

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一ヶ月たと!?何と長いよ!ごめんなさい!
Holy crap, it's been a month [since my last post]?! That's so long! I'm sorry!
一ヶ月たと→ doesn't work as a stand-alone expression. Or, it works, but not for the sense that you intend it to mean. By itself it is more of an expression of surprise you would target (aggressively) at someone else ("What do you mean 'one month'?"). And, I think you meant だと instead of たと?
何と長いよ→ Again, doesn't really work as a stand alone expression, and doesn't combine well with the previous one to form a complete thought. From the previous phrase we can get the gist that you are talking about the "one month", but it doesn't work here.
Omitting the key bit about "since my last post" is confusing for the reader, and makes the reader guess at the meaning of the "one month".
ごめんなさい → OK, this bit is fine, but the apologetic tone clashes with the first two bits, which sound more accusatory or plaintive.

So...how to fix these to form one coherent statement? Something like
一か月ぶりのブログポストで、たいへんお待たせしました。But that is a bit formal. Or, この前の投稿からもう一か月たってしまったっけ?ごめんなさいね。That's a bit more colloquial and familiar. But it is difficult to be colloquial and friendly in Japanese if you don't have a good grasp of the concept of politeness levels. I've been learning for 30 years and even I don't have great confidence that my two examples above don't have some kind of error in them. Anyway, familiarity is something to be handled with caution, as its easy to be unintentionally rude..

You can see why your study habits are letting you down in a big way, and you can get a feeling for how difficult it would be to fix large chunks of your text.
 
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Toritoribe

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I had to think about that a bit, but having done so, I think it should have been 「それでもこわいでした。」. How does that look?
Yes, それでも is the word you should use there instead of まだ. You used the wrong past form again, though.

Another possibility I came up with which is a bit wordier: 「でも、安全なず雷もこ[わかった/こわい]です。」. Is that any better or any worse?
安全なずの雷もこわかったです。
安全なはずの雷なのにこわかったです。 is better, but sounds repetitive. それでも is the best.
 

Julie.chan

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Alright, I'm going to do a re-write of what I would write at that time now (if that makes sense). So talking about most of the same stuff, but not exactly the same meaning. A lot shorter, in particular.

先のポストは本当に一ヶ月前でしたか。ちょっと長すぎ待つ期間です。ごめんなさい。先月いそがしかったからです。

Was the last post really a month ago? That's a bit of a long wait. My apologies. It's because I was busy last month.

すぐ店で新しいしごとを始めます。その店はおもしろく一番好きなタイ料理のレストランが近いです。だからタイ料理のひるごはんをよく食べられます。それからうれしい。

I'm going to be starting a new job at a store soon. That store is nearby my favorite Thai restaurant, which means I can Thai for lunch. I like that.

再び自転車を使う時に雷を見ました。今回遠いから安全から、止まりませんでした。それでもこわいです。

I saw lightning while riding my bike again. It was far away this time, so it was safe enough that I didn't stop because of it, but it was scary nonetheless.

今多少ブレスレットを作ります。先週作ったブレスレットはかっこいいアメリカこっきのブレスレットです。多分みらいに見せます。

I occasionally make bracelets now. Last week's bracelet was a cool American flag bracelet. I'll probably show it to you in the future.

まったね。

See you next time.
 

Julie.chan

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Ah, gotcha. I didn't notice that I hadn't changed that, so I misinterpreted your statement as saying that present tense should be used.

再び自転車を使う時に雷を見ました。今回遠いから安全から、止まりませんでした。それでもこわかったです。
 

Mike Cash

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Just some random points:

1. 〜ぶり(の/に)

A very useful suffix for indicating degree of time lapse.

1ヶ月ぶりに投稿します
1ヶ月ぶりの投稿です

3日ぶりにお風呂に入りました
3日ぶりのお風呂でした

10年ぶりに帰国しました
10年の帰国でした

See?

2. Adverbs instead of adjectives (style difference)

たくさんの新しい漢字を学びました
たくさんの漢字を新しく学びました

新しいメガネを作りました
メガネを新しく作りました

おそいカメが道をわたりました
カメがおそく道をわたりました

3.

たくさんのこの漢字は

No no no no no no no

この漢字の多くは
この漢字のほとんどは

4. 〜ように

わすれないことのために

Dear God, no.

忘れないように

日本語で会話が出来るようになりたいです
カゼをひかないように気をつけてください
かれに電話くれるように言ってください

5.

つづいて、死にませんでした。

Time to learn a compound verb and a useful phrase

そのまま (to keep on or continue just as things are)

乗り続ける continue riding

そのまま乗り続けて、死にませんでした

歩き続ける
食べ続ける
読み続ける
住み続ける
し続ける
やり続ける
働き続ける
Etc etc etc

6.

写真にみせる

ノー ノー ノー

写真を見せる

For a blog post 写真を載せる (のせる)

That's not everything, by a long shot, but it will give you something to chew on.
 

Mike Cash

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That is indeed a lot to chew on. Thanks!

You're welcome.

I'm not suggesting the following reference book instead of a textbook, but rather in addition to a textbook. The series continues on through Intermediate and Advanced and they are all cross-referenced to each other, making it easy to get good, clear explanations of target points.

If you have a spare forty bucks burning a hole in your pocket you could find worse things to spend it on.

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar: Seiichi Makino, Michio Tsutsui: 8601405255785: Amazon.com: Books
 

Julie.chan

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Wow, that looks really helpful. I've ordered it, and will probably order the others once I get the basics straightened out. (No sense in buying a book for something when it's probably way beyond my league.)

For the record, I also ordered the first GENKI textbook after getting an inkling of a sense of how much I need to learn.
 

Toritoribe

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I saw lightning while riding my bike again. It was far away this time, so it was safe enough that I didn't stop because of it, but it was scary nonetheless.
再び自転車を使う時に雷を見ました。今回遠いから安全から、止まりませんでした。それでもこわかったです。
Did you ride your bike again or see lightning again? Judging from "this time" in the next sentence, it's the latter, right?
 

Julie.chan

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Yes, it was in reference to a previous blog post where, again, I mentioned that I had seen lightning as I was biking home from work. I bike almost every day (it's my primary form of transportation), so biking again was certainly not unusual.

Is this just an ambiguity, or was my use of 再び incorrect?
 

Toritoribe

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The position of 再び is the point. It should be 再び雷を見ました. I would use また instead, though. 再び sounds too stiff.
My attempt:
自転車に乗っているとき、また雷を見ました。今回のは遠くて心配なかったから止まらなかったけど、それでも怖かったです。

This is a bit advanced (maybe even for advanced learners), but using sentence final particles makes your Japanese sound natural, for instance それでも怖かったですけどね.
Besides naturalness, 遠いから安全から is ungrammatical.
自転車を使う時 actually means "before I used my bike" in that sentence. Refer to the following threads.
Use of 時 after verb | Japan Forum
時 in the following sentence | Japan Forum
 

Julie.chan

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Thanks!

The position of 再び is the point. It should be 再び雷を見ました. I would use また instead, though. 再び sounds too stiff.
By "stiff", do you mean overly formal, or overly casual, or something else entirely?

This is a bit advanced (maybe even for advanced learners), but using sentence final particles makes your Japanese sound natural, for instance それでも怖かったですけどね.
Ah, yeah. That's something to practice, for sure.

Just one question: other than ぞ and ぜ (which I probably wouldn't use at all), are there any other common particles that should be avoided in certain contexts?
 

Toritoribe

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By "stiff", do you mean overly formal, or overly casual, or something else entirely?
Overly formal.

Just one question: other than ぞ and ぜ (which I probably wouldn't use at all), are there any other common particles that should be avoided in certain contexts?
It's often said that sentence final particles are one of the hardest things to grasp for non-native learners, even for advanced or fluent learners. Even the most common ones such like ね or よ can change the nuance or meanings completely when misusing it.
 

Toritoribe

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@ The OP, one of the most important grammatical point you need to learn in this sentence is the difference between 自転車を使うとき/自転車に乗るとき and 自転車を使っているとき/自転車に乗っているとき. As I explained in the posts linked in my previous post, "the present form of action verbs + とき" mostly means "before", and "the -te iru form + とき" is "while", thus, you need to use 使っているとき/乗っているとき in your case. Unlike most resources on the net, decent textbooks explain about this difference in detail.
 

Julie.chan

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As I explained in the posts linked in my previous post, "the present form of action verbs + とき" mostly means "before", and "the -te iru form + とき" is "while", thus, you need to use 使っているとき/乗っているとき in your case. Unlike most resources on the net, decent textbooks explain about this difference in detail.
I didn't even learn much about it in Japanese class. The only thing I recall learning is "死んでいる has a different meaning from 'dying' in English; it means 'died, and is still dead'." But of course, someone has already commented on how low of a bar high school Japanese classes set....
 

Toritoribe

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That's exactly why you need to learn from Genki. What you are trying to do is similar to trying to write an English blog even without knowing the present progressive tense or sentence structures to express cause/reason completely.
 
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