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The topic is the subject is the topic, .. huh? 「は」 and 「が」, Is using them correctly impossible for foreigners?

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#1
Dec 27, 2009 5:49 AM

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I read somewhere that for the foreigner learning Japanese, we're inherently doomed if we didn't learn as a child, the very distinct differences and uses for 「は」 and 「が」.

How do you feel about this remark? How do you look at these two pesky grammar demons? Have you found an explanation that just made it click for you, and all of a sudden you were able to use them better than natives, or at least understand them the way they are intended?

And, just so we're clear, I'm talking about 「は」 and 「が」.

I figure, just about everyone has come into contact with both of these by day one of Japanese, if not, certainly after a week. So, it's open to everyone. :)
Modified by Zealous, Dec 27, 2009 5:52 AM
 
#2
Dec 27, 2009 10:28 AM

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No, I don't think so.
They can be annoying at times, but they can be understood with practice, like any other language tool.

Also the same could be said about で and に for places, or へ and で for transportation.

Particles in general are very similar, they are package, you understand them all or none at all. xD

If someone started learning Japanese in casual form, where you don't use particles, it might difficult, but I don't know.
 
#3
Dec 27, 2009 9:43 PM

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で and に only caused me trouble in the beginning. Like, when I knew absolutely nothing about them. In particular, に has a very interesting function, that, when you continue to see it used and use it yourself, you realize just how abstract it really is, and then you realize how useful this abstractness is in expressing ideas. I guess, similarly, this should happen with all of the particles and special expressions in Japanese.
 
#4
Dec 28, 2009 10:15 AM

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ばかな

Why would it only be は and が?

I would like to see the link for their arguments, cuz it just seem ridiculous XD

Certainly I still do not "master" them, but to say that it's impossible... A language is supposed to be learned anyway no? ;)
 
#5
Dec 28, 2009 10:51 PM

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> Why would it only be は and が?

Because they are of similar difficulty of "a" and "the" in English. Most learners never get it down right. Ever.
 
#6
Jan 5, 2010 6:05 PM
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Zealous said:
> Why would it only be は and が?

Because they are of similar difficulty of "a" and "the" in English. Most learners never get it down right. Ever.


Ah, but therein lies the key to your frustratrations, young Padawan. If you know how to use "a" and "the" correctly, you can most certainly learn use は and が without screwing it up...well, most of the time anyway. XD
 
#7
Jan 21, 2010 7:04 AM

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は and が are something that were something I couldn't really grasp when I first began studying. I'll still falter with them from time to time, but I feel like exposure to them is what helped me get a feeling for their use.

The only source that I've ever seen explain their grammatical function/s well came from the book Making Sense of Japanese.

I like the above book, mostly because I enjoy the author's tone. It made me grin and chuckle a lot, which made it a quick and easy read.
 
#8
Jan 23, 2010 12:32 PM

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kurichan said:
は and が are something that were something I couldn't really grasp when I first began studying. I'll still falter with them from time to time, but I feel like exposure to them is what helped me get a feeling for their use.

The only source that I've ever seen explain their grammatical function/s well came from the book Making Sense of Japanese.

I like the above book, mostly because I enjoy the author's tone. It made me grin and chuckle a lot, which made it a quick and easy read.


Ah, that's probably the best comparison I've read. Combined with just figuring out things on my own, that really made a difference in my understanding. Now it's just getting all the false information out of my head that I have to do.
 
#9
Jan 23, 2010 1:41 PM

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I used to get them mixed up, but I don't think I really ever have much trouble with them anymore. At least, it's been a long time since anyone corrected my use of them, and it used to happen fairly frequently. (Actually, looking back, the last time was in September). Obviously I still don't have it down perfectly either, but I'm still far from a native level myself...

I don't think it's something a foreigner can't learn, I think it's something a foreigner can't learn with grammar study. Which of course, I've always been against as a means of learning to use the language.

IMO, it's not something you can have explained to you and then "get it" and be able to use it right, you just have to know it intuitively.

「俺の顔は見ないほうがいい」
Note: You wouldn't use を in this case either.
「俺の顔が悪いのか??」

For an example maybe, heh
 
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