Quoteing sean.zuzu / gmail.com, on Thu, Oct 07, 2004 at 11:45:42PM +0900:
> On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 23:06:59 +0900, Joey Gibson <joey / joeygibson.com> wrote:
> > Jamis Buck wrote:
 
> > I have been learning Japanese for a few years now through a combination
> > of cds/tapes and books. I bought the Pimsleur Japanese I set on cd
> > (which I'd be willing to sell...) and then checked out levels II and III
> > from my local library. These are collections of 30 half-hour lessons
> > that you can do in the car. And that's what I did. I would do a lesson
> > on the way to work in the morning. Then in the afternoon I'd either do
> > that one again, if I didn't feel like I got it, or move on to the next
> > one. Sure I looked funny to passers-by, but who cares? I learned a lot
> > from doing it.
> > 
> > The "problem" with courses like this is that they teach you things at
> > times without a good explanation of /why /something is so. For example,
> > they don't explicitly explain the various patterns of verb conjugation.

I agree, I think this is because Japanese is taught to English speakers
the way English is taught to Japanese speakers, or how
French/Spanish/etc. are taught to English speakers.

This is a problem, because Japanese is an /incredibly/ regular and
consistent language. I taught myself (living in Japan, and knowing only
native Japanese speakers, mind you), and basically I learned from:

 Handbook of Modern Japanse Grammer, Yoko Matsuoka McClain, The
 Hokuseido Press

I can't say enough good things about this book. Anybody who likes
computer languages will like it.

Its presentation of verb conjugation, alone, was so simple, and yet
people in my second year japanese class (I took it when I got back from
japan in a vain attempt to not forget what I had known) weren't even
aware that verb conjugation was so systematic!

I've studied French all through high school, I've had a Quebecois
girlfriend for 3 years now, and only recently has my French become as
good as my Japanese was after a year in Japan, working through this
book. :-(

Cheers,
Sam