Shitsumon from brain-dead sensei

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Sean Holland

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Jan 13, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/13/00
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It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
that I wrote on the board:
それをだれにもらいましたか。
A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
I said that my instinct was that, while it isn't "wrong" wrong,
native-speakers would tend to use the word order I wrote. I
couldn't explain why, and I didn't have any native speakers handy
to verify my instinct.
So, my questions are two: Was my instinct right? If so, what is
the explanation. I suspect it is something obvious that I should,
as a so-called teacher, know, but there it is...brain dead.


s_y...@my-deja.com

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Jan 14, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/14/00
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In article <387E49D4...@islandnet.com>,

seho...@islandnet.com wrote:
> It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
> that I wrote on the board:
> それをだれにもらいましたか。
> A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。

I can only say that these two are equally good. That means I can be
excused from making any explanation that is being requested of, right?
;-)

Just a quick, dumb reply from a BDNS.

--
Sho


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Lei Tanabe

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Jan 14, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/14/00
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"Sean Holland" <seho...@islandnet.com> wrote in message
news:387E49D4...@islandnet.com...

> It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
> that I wrote on the board:
> それをだれにもらいましたか。
> A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
> I said that my instinct was that, while it isn't "wrong" wrong,
> native-speakers would tend to use the word order I wrote. I
> couldn't explain why, and I didn't have any native speakers handy
> to verify my instinct.
> So, my questions are two: Was my instinct right? If so, what is
> the explanation. I suspect it is something obvious that I should,
> as a so-called teacher, know, but there it is...brain dead.

A word close to the verb is emphasized.
For a straightforward question like this, usually "dare-ni" is important and
so you are right.
However, if you want to specifically point out "sore", your student's way is
preferable.
In this case, we'd probably say like "dare-ni son'na mono morattandayo?"

Lei

Sean Holland

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Jan 14, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/14/00
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Lei Tanabe wrote:

> A word close to the verb is emphasized.
> For a straightforward question like this, usually "dare-ni" is important and
> so you are right.
> However, if you want to specifically point out "sore", your student's way is
> preferable.
> In this case, we'd probably say like "dare-ni son'na mono morattandayo?"

Thanks for your response. As for your suggestion about what a native speaker
would actually say, most of these students are in their second year of studying
Japanese and so they are still putting together the basics. The topic of that
day was how to use ageru, kureru and morau. They won't be dealing with the
explanatory -nda until next year.


s_y...@my-deja.com

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Jan 14, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/14/00
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In article <_hDf4.217$Jw5....@news.clear.net.nz>,

"Lei Tanabe" <l...@clear.net.nz> wrote:
>
> "Sean Holland" <seho...@islandnet.com> wrote in message
> news:387E49D4...@islandnet.com...
> > It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
> > that I wrote on the board:
> > それをだれにもらいましたか。
> > A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
> > I said that my instinct was that, while it isn't "wrong" wrong,
> > native-speakers would tend to use the word order I wrote. I
> > couldn't explain why, and I didn't have any native speakers handy
> > to verify my instinct.
> > So, my questions are two: Was my instinct right? If so, what is
> > the explanation. I suspect it is something obvious that I should,
> > as a so-called teacher, know, but there it is...brain dead.
>
> A word close to the verb is emphasized.
> For a straightforward question like this, usually "dare-ni" is
important and
> so you are right.
> However, if you want to specifically point out "sore", your student's
way is
> preferable.
> In this case, we'd probably say like "dare-ni son'na mono
morattandayo?"

I know this is going to be nitpicking. Please feel free to ignore
whatever you feel is irrelevant.

I can understand your message as a general statement, but I cannot help
getting the impression that in fact his student's version is somewhat
more common. The degree to which one is better than the other is
minuscule, at any rate, but isn't there an advantage in making it
clear in the first place that the sententce is going to be a question?

I'd agree with you if the question were on how to arrange "dare" and
"nani", both interrogative pronouns, but here the comparison is between
what's undoubtedly stressed (the interrogative "dare") vs. "sore,"
which we don't know for sure as to whether or not it should be
stressed.

Can't we place an emphasis on "dare", regardless of where it is placed,
if "sore" is unstressed?

If I were to make any suggestion, leaving aside the qustion of what
really ought to be taught at this stage, I would delete the particle
"wo" from Sean's sentence, granted that it is a colloquialism, and I
would look at the following two as equally natural.

Sore, dare ni moraimashita/morattandesu ka?
Dare ni sore wo moraimashita/morattandesu ka?

Sean Holland

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Jan 14, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/14/00
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s_y...@my-deja.com wrote:
(snip)

> If I were to make any suggestion, leaving aside the qustion of

> whatreally ought to be taught at this stage, I would delete the particle


>
> "wo" from Sean's sentence, granted that it is a colloquialism, and I
> would look at the following two as equally natural.
>
> Sore, dare ni moraimashita/morattandesu ka?
> Dare ni sore wo moraimashita/morattandesu ka?

If they delete the "wo" on the Provincial Exam next school year, they will
be marked down. It's like in Japan when you have to teach students a whole
lot of fake English for the entrance exams. Also, the students are still
at a stage where they need to master particles. Colloquial comes later,
mostly after they have left my tender tutelage.


Hisashi FUKUI

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Jan 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/15/00
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Sean Holland wrote in message <387E49D4...@islandnet.com>...

>It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
>that I wrote on the board:
>それをだれにもらいましたか。
>A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
>I said that my instinct was that, while it isn't "wrong" wrong,
>native-speakers would tend to use the word order I wrote. I
>couldn't explain why, and I didn't have any native speakers handy
>to verify my instinct.
>So, my questions are two: Was my instinct right? If so, what is
>the explanation. I suspect it is something obvious that I should,
>as a so-called teacher, know, but there it is...brain dead.
>

I think your instinct is right.

I think Japanese sentences sound natural when the word order goes
from *global* to *specific*. E. g.:

けさ6時ごろ東京都豊島区池袋の民家で火事がありました。

(けさ -> 6時ごろ;
東京都 -> 豊島区 -> 池袋 -> 民家;
time -> place -> specific event)

それを is so global beginning of a sentence that one can only get
what is the topic. (In real conversation それ or それは might be
more natural.) On the other hand だれに is so specific that one can
guess at least you want to ask a who-question.

Hisashi

Annie

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Jan 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/15/00
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>"Sean Holland" <seho...@islandnet.com> wrote in message
>>news:387E49D4...@islandnet.com...
>>> It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
>>> that I wrote on the board:
>>> それをだれにもらいましたか。
>>> だれにそれをもらいましたか。


>On Fri, 14 Jan 2000 23:53:30 +1300, "Lei Tanabe"
><l...@clear.net.nz> wrote:
>
>>A word close to the verb is emphasized.

>>For a straightforward question like this, usually "dare-ni" is important
and
>>so you are right.


I wonder if it is true.

>>However, if you want to specifically point out "sore", your student's way
is
>>preferable.
>>In this case, we'd probably say like "dare-ni son'na mono morattandayo?"


Yes. It sounds natural.

Nona Myers wrote in message <73ju7sk9bvgc4blek...@4ax.com>...
>
>_Sore_ dareni morattano? Emphasis and importance on sore (most
>likely pointing out the object of sore by a nod or some other
>jesture).


I'm not sure it.
"Sore (wo) dare ni morattano/moraimashitaka?" is in the normal word order.
I don't think any word is emphasized.

>_Daareni_ sore morattano? Emphasis and importance on dareni.


I agree, also in "Dare ni sore wo moraimashitaka?"


--

Annie
<ann...@gol.com>


s_y...@my-deja.com

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Jan 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/16/00
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In article <387F7B58...@islandnet.com>,
seho...@islandnet.com wrote:
> s_y...@my-deja.com wrote:

(snip)

> > Sore, dare ni moraimashita/morattandesu ka?
> > Dare ni sore wo moraimashita/morattandesu ka?
>
> If they delete the "wo" on the Provincial Exam next school year, they
> will be marked down. It's like in Japan when you have to teach
> students a whole lot of fake English for the entrance exams. Also,
> the students are still at a stage where they need to master
> particles. Colloquial comes later, mostly after they have left my
> tender tutelage.

Haven't I made it clear enough that, in that case, I personally like
your student's sentence better than your own? ;-)

I understand your situation very well, but I don't like the analogy
made here when your students are under the "tutelage" of such a
knowledgeable, experienced, competent, ardent and well-meaning teacher.
No sarcasm intended. Your classes can't be *that* bad.

Just out of curiosity, what benefits does taking the Provincial Exam
bring to your students? I'm assuming that your students are mostly
college-bound and that it won't have much meaning in job-hunting in the
near future. Is the Provincial Exam more like GCE A-levels in the UK?

Sean Holland

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Jan 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/16/00
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s_y...@my-deja.com wrote:

> Just out of curiosity, what benefits does taking the Provincial Exam
> bring to your students? I'm assuming that your students are mostly
> college-bound and that it won't have much meaning in job-hunting in the
> near future. Is the Provincial Exam more like GCE A-levels in the UK?
>

In British Columbia every student in a Grade 12 course must take the
Provincial Examination in that course in order to get credit. Actually,
there is a distinction between "Provincially Examinable" subjects and
those that don't have a Provincial Exam. Japanese became provincially
examinable about four years ago. The effect on my "customers" is that kids
who are good at Japanese and think they can do well on the Provincial will
take the course, while those who are interested but not confident might
avoid the course so as not to adversely affect their grade point average
for university entrance. It's so much more complicated and high-pressure
than when I was in Grade 12 around 1970. Then there was no such thing as a
Provincial Exam, and if you'd kept your grades up you didn't even have to
write a final exam at all. This was called "being recommended". I slacked
my way through Grade 12, and the whole thing was over by May since I was
lucky enough to get recommended. Then it was off to the hippy commune and
all that. It's very different for today's kids.


Sean Holland

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Jan 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/16/00
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Jim Breen wrote:

> (snip)
>
> As a matter of interest, I think Japanese is now the second most popular
> foreign language for Year 12 study (after French) in Australia. It has
> been the most popular language for tertiary study for some years.
>

When I started teaching Japanese in Canada in 1991 I had to use the Alfonso
text series for high school. Made in Australia. Finally I got the funding to
switch to the Kimono series for the younger grades and the Yoroshiku series for
the higher grades. Both text series are produced in....(drum
roll).....Australia. The Alfonso series had too much "Niwa ni kangaru ga
imasu", but the Kimono and Yoroshiku, while still clearly Australian with
Australian references, are more international in scope. From what I can see
Australia leads the English-speaking world in Japanese-language education.


Jim Breen

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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Sean Holland <seho...@islandnet.com> wrote:
>>s_y...@my-deja.com wrote:
>>> Just out of curiosity, what benefits does taking the Provincial Exam
>>> bring to your students? I'm assuming that your students are mostly
>>> college-bound and that it won't have much meaning in job-hunting in the
>>> near future. Is the Provincial Exam more like GCE A-levels in the UK?

>>In British Columbia every student in a Grade 12 course must take the
>>Provincial Examination in that course in order to get credit. Actually,
>>there is a distinction between "Provincially Examinable" subjects and
>>those that don't have a Provincial Exam. Japanese became provincially
>>examinable about four years ago.

Here in the State of Victoria, Japanese has been a Year 12 subject for
many years. As such it is a formal part of the Victorian Certificate of
Education (VCE), and counts towards the national grading for entrance
to tertiary courses. The VCE subjects probably sit between the UK O and A
levels in standard, but then students typically do 5 to 7 such subjects in
Year 12, and are about a year younger than UK students in the final year
of secondary education.

As a matter of interest, I think Japanese is now the second most popular
foreign language for Year 12 study (after French) in Australia. It has
been the most popular language for tertiary study for some years.

--
Jim Breen [j.b...@csse.monash.edu.au http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/]
Computer Science & Software Engineering, Tel: +61 3 9905 3298
Monash University, Fax: +61 3 9905 3574
Clayton VIC 3168, Australia ジム・ブリーン@モナシュ大学

Hisashi FUKUI

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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This is a copy of an e-mail from Jim Beard, and I post it with his permission.

-----Original Message-----
差出人 : Jim Beard
宛先 : sci.lang.japan
日時 : 2000年1月14日 20:00:27 -0500
件名 : Re: Shitsumon from brain-dead sensei

>Sean Holland wrote in message <387E49D4...@islandnet.com>...

>>It came about in a Grade 11 class I was teaching the other day
>>that I wrote on the board:
>>それをだれにもらいましたか。

>>A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
>>I said that my instinct was that, while it isn't "wrong" wrong,
>>native-speakers would tend to use the word order I wrote. I
>>couldn't explain why, and I didn't have any native speakers handy
>>to verify my instinct.
>>So, my questions are two: Was my instinct right? If so, what is
>>the explanation. I suspect it is something obvious that I should,
>>as a so-called teacher, know, but there it is...brain dead.
>>

On Sat, 15 Jan 2000 00:36:22 +0900, in sci.lang.japan Hisashiwrote:


>I think your instinct is right.
>
>I think Japanese sentences sound natural when the word order goes
>from *global* to *specific*. E. g.:
>
>けさ6時ごろ東京都豊島区池袋の民家で火事がありました。
>
>(けさ -> 6時ごろ;
>東京都 -> 豊島区 -> 池袋 -> 民家;
>time -> place -> specific event)
>
>それを is so global beginning of a sentence that one can only get
>what is the topic. (In real conversation それ or それは might be
>more natural.) On the other hand だれに is so specific that one can
>guess at least you want to ask a who-question.

Apart from common progression in identification, perhaps one might
posit that a Japanese sentence usually starts off with by declaring
what the sentence is about, and then follows up with what one wishes
to say/ask about the posited subject/topic/focus of attention. And
yes, in declaring what the sentence is about, the progression is
usually from the general to the specific, but still within the scope
of the declaration of topic.

THAT, who was [it] received from. vs FROM WHOM, that received
from.

As the thing being talked about is more commonly the thing close at
hand (THAT), the first will be more common. But when you really
want to talk/ask about the FROM WHOM, it moves to the front.

And if this sounds a lot like subject/predicate in English, it does,
but you really have to redefine the meaning of subject and predicate
before it works smoothly with Japanese. E.g. sore [wo] may be what
one is talking about, but the definitions of English grammar make it
an object rather than a subject. :-)

Cheers!

Lei Tanabe

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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<s_y...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:85npr5$8no$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

> In article <_hDf4.217$Jw5....@news.clear.net.nz>,
> "Lei Tanabe" <l...@clear.net.nz> wrote:
> > "Sean Holland" <seho...@islandnet.com> wrote in message
> > news:387E49D4...@islandnet.com...
> > > それをだれにもらいましたか。
> > > A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
> >
> > A word close to the verb is emphasized.
>
> I can understand your message as a general statement, but I cannot help
> getting the impression that in fact his student's version is somewhat
> more common. The degree to which one is better than the other is
> minuscule, at any rate, but isn't there an advantage in making it
> clear in the first place that the sententce is going to be a question?

You are right.
As you suggest, my comment is a general statement.
It's irrelevant to determine which is better than the other.
Both are good sentences as each means.
I don't see the student's version is better because it shows the sentence is
a question from the start.
In the first place question forms in Japanese aren't supposed to be clear
from the start, are they?

Lei


Chuck Douglas

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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Jim Breen wrote:
>
[edit]

>
> As a matter of interest, I think Japanese is now the second most popular
> foreign language for Year 12 study (after French) in Australia. It has
> been the most popular language for tertiary study for some years.
>

What about Italian or Greek or don't those count?

As another point of interest, when I did VCE all those many years ago,
there was only one guy in our Year 12 class that took French. No getting
out of avoiding the teacher's questions in that class. ;-)

--
Chuck (茶気) Douglas -- chuc...@gol.com
"I don't pretend I have all the answers/Just the obvious ones"
--_Backbone_ by Baby Animals
Homepage down until further notice.

s_y...@my-deja.com

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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In article <TDCg4.457$Jw5....@news.clear.net.nz>,

"Lei Tanabe" <l...@clear.net.nz> wrote:
>
> <s_y...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:85npr5$8no$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...
> > In article <_hDf4.217$Jw5....@news.clear.net.nz>,
> > "Lei Tanabe" <l...@clear.net.nz> wrote:
> > > "Sean Holland" <seho...@islandnet.com> wrote in message
> > > news:387E49D4...@islandnet.com...
> > > > それをだれにもらいましたか。
> > > > A kid asked if she couldn't say だれにそれをもらいましたか。
> > >
> > > A word close to the verb is emphasized.

[snip]

> As you suggest, my comment is a general statement.
> It's irrelevant to determine which is better than the other.

I don't think your comment was irrelevant at all. It's just that it
doesn't seem to work well when two items different in the degree of
emphasis are compared with each other. My impression is that there is
an element to be considered other than simply the word order.

> Both are good sentences as each means.
> I don't see the student's version is better because it shows the
> sentence is a question from the start.
> In the first place question forms in Japanese aren't supposed to be
> clear from the start, are they?

This, I think, has a lot to do with what Hisashi Fukui is saying. I'm
talking as if I were analyzing English sentences, right? Again, as a
general statement you can't be truer than you are. Yet, there is a
tendency, particularly in colloquial speech, for us to first of all say
what needs to be said. I hear Sean protesting again, but the
sentence(s) in question is definitely a part of conversation, and
there's no way he can deny it.

I don't go along with Hisashi when he applies the principle of "global
to specific" arrangement to the discussion of these sentences. It works
respectively within the framework of a series of locatives, a series of
temporals, etc., but not with a mixture of different kinds of items.
"Sore" is a pronoun pointing to a specific object and I don't see a
whole and part relationship anywhere, when we are comparing "sore wo"
and "dare ni".

On the other hand, I agree with him when he says "sore wo" at the top
of the sentence, despite its grammatical correctness, is rather, very
slightly, unnatural. He didn't explicitly mention that the same
sequence "sore wo" as placed in the second sentence doesn't stand out,
but I suspect that both he and you agree with me in this regard. Oh, I
almost forgot to include Annie.

I don't know exactly what the issue here is, but I think all this has
to do with the use of the pronoun "sore". We don't normally say "sore"
unless it is meaningful to place an emphasis on it. As long as we see
it written, we look at it as stressed, and this is where English "it
(unstressed)" and Japanese "sore" radically differ. Shouldn't we NS
categorically take the "sore" as "that (stressed)"? This certainly
explains why you wanted to change the "sore" in the second sentence to
"sonna mon." It might likely explain why Hisashi and I couldn't resist
our urge to change the "sore wo" to "sore (ha)".

And if the "sore" was meant to be unstressed, or something equivalent
to "it", why don't we, four of us, agree on leaving out the "sore wo"
altogether in both sentences? As a result, there won't be any
difference between the two. --- "Dare ni moraimashita ka?" ---
The case closed.

I don't care if Sean is happy. I don't think his students will ever
have to face a situation where they have to make a judgment on the
relative naturalness of these two sentences. Judging from the extremely
delicate nature of the problem, it only needs to concern Sean and his
ilk, not his students.

Sean Holland

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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s_y...@my-deja.com wrote:

> (snip)
> I don't care if Sean is happy. (snip)

Well, same to you buddy! (It's fun to quote out of context.)


Jim Breen

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Jan 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/17/00
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Chuck Douglas <chuc...@gol.com> wrote:

>>Jim Breen wrote:
>>> As a matter of interest, I think Japanese is now the second most popular
>>> foreign language for Year 12 study (after French) in Australia. It has
>>> been the most popular language for tertiary study for some years.

>>What about Italian or Greek or don't those count?

Well they count. AFAICR Italian was slugging it out with German for 3rd place
with (Modern) Greek a way behind along with Vietnamese, Mandarin, etc.

>>As another point of interest, when I did VCE all those many years ago,
>>there was only one guy in our Year 12 class that took French. No getting
>>out of avoiding the teacher's questions in that class. ;-)

Oh to have the budget. I am Council President of a smallish secondary school
and we can't afford more than one LOTE (= Language Other Than English) all
the way. We do Japanese to Year 10 and French to year 12. This year there
are only 3 year 12 kids doing French, so they do it via Distance Education.
(The school is a specialist dance/music school, and the general academic
subjects are pared to the bone. Almost no maths/science.)

s_y...@my-deja.com

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Jan 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/18/00
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In article <8607a1$ofp$1...@towncrier.cc.monash.edu.au>,

Jim Breen <j...@nexus.csse.monash.edu.au> wrote:
> Chuck Douglas <chuc...@gol.com> wrote:
> >>Jim Breen wrote:

Thank you, Sean, Jim and Chuck for the information. It's been very
interesting to learn about how Japanese courses are offered at schools
overseas. I'd be happy to hear more about this from other parts of the
world.

Philip Brown

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Jan 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/18/00
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2000 20:59:36 +0000, seho...@islandnet.com wrote:
>.... From what I can see

>Australia leads the English-speaking world in Japanese-language education.

And it's ALL thanks to Jim!

Wow, he's a busy guy...

;-)


--
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[ Do NOT email-CC me on posts. Pick one or the other.]
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The word of the day is mispergitude

Jim Breen

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Jan 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/18/00
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Philip Brown <phi...@bolthole.no-bots.com> wrote:
>>On Sun, 16 Jan 2000 20:59:36 +0000, seho...@islandnet.com wrote:
>>>.... From what I can see
>>>Australia leads the English-speaking world in Japanese-language education.

>>And it's ALL thanks to Jim!
>>Wow, he's a busy guy...

Ho, ho.

Last time I saw stats, Australia was the country with the largest
per-capita Japanese language study going on (other than Japan itself, of
course.) This may have changed, as there has been a reported drop-off
of interest in Japanese language, at least at tertiary levels.

As for texts, I thought Sean's comments on Alphonso (?) and Yoroshiku
interesting. In my own tertiary studies (at Swinburne Univ. in
Melbourne) we used texts written by the staff there. This was partly
because Swinburne stuck to a non-romaji approach, which rules out
many other texts, particularly those from the Jorden school.

Emily Horner

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Jan 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/18/00
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>
>
>Philip Brown <phi...@bolthole.no-bots.com> wrote:
>>>On Sun, 16 Jan 2000 20:59:36 +0000, seho...@islandnet.com wrote:
>>>>.... From what I can see
>>>>Australia leads the English-speaking world in Japanese-language education.
>
>>>And it's ALL thanks to Jim!
>>>Wow, he's a busy guy...
>
>Ho, ho.
>
>Last time I saw stats, Australia was the country with the largest
>per-capita Japanese language study going on (other than Japan itself, of
>course.) This may have changed, as there has been a reported drop-off
>of interest in Japanese language, at least at tertiary levels.
>
>As for texts, I thought Sean's comments on Alphonso (?) and Yoroshiku
>interesting. In my own tertiary studies (at Swinburne Univ. in
>Melbourne) we used texts written by the staff there. This was partly
>because Swinburne stuck to a non-romaji approach, which rules out
>many other texts, particularly those from the Jorden school.

Hmm. Where I go to school in the US, we used to use the Alfonso books, and
this year we switched to another Australian series, Mirai. I don't have much
to say about the Alfonso books (part of the reason we switched is that we
didn't have enough class copies), but I like the Mirai books fairly well.
-The Sewing Minion

Philip Brown

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Jan 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/19/00
to
On 18 Jan 2000 22:39:00 GMT, j...@nexus.csse.monash.edu.au wrote:
>...

>Last time I saw stats, Australia was the country with the largest
>per-capita Japanese language study going on (other than Japan itself, of
>course.) This may have changed, as there has been a reported drop-off
>of interest in Japanese language, at least at tertiary levels.

But do you have any indication as to WHY that is?
There can't be a huge influx of Japanese-speaking people there :-)
Has the financial interest of and by Japanese companies just been huge
recently there?

Hisashi FUKUI

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Jan 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/19/00
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s_y...@my-deja.com wrote in message <85vbij$bif$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>
[snip]
>

I think we all agree that we are arguing an extremely delicate problem.
Perhaps any explicit answer may not appear soon. I expect that Lei's
idea or my own will be still valid for explaining this particular case, but
for the moment I have to make do with your summary, which I think
represents the situation well.

Only I can do now is to suggest some ideas which occurred to me after
my first post. I'm not sure they can improve our situation of the
argument, but at least they will be materials to think about this issue:

1. Japanese people don't care if the most important word is placed at
the middle or even the end of the sentence. Or rather, they are
accustomed to that and even consider it natural. In fact one cannot
tell if a sentence is a positive or a negative one before he reads/hears
the very end of the sentence.

2. The most important word/phrase is usually uttered with the highest
intonation in the sentence. Therefore, if Lei's observation is true, i.e. the
most important word/phrase is normally placed at the nearest to the
predicate, normal intonation has its climax just before the end of the
sentence.

3. A proposition: it is a bit hard for Japanese people to continue
grumbling utterance in low intonation after they uttered some with the
highest intonation. Or they just don't like and tend to avoid that if they
have enough time, while talking, to choose the best one out of the
possible word orders.

4. We may conclude from above three that the idea that the most
important word/phrase must preferably be placed at the front is
questionable. Uttering the most important word/phrase first is not only
unnecessary but also could cause a bad shape of intonation.

5. Even if the speaker is so urgent to utter the most important word/
phrase first, still he has one option to avoid bad shape of intonation: to
place the predicate immediately after the most important word/phrase
and finish the sentence, then continue the rest:

だれにもらいましたか?それ(を)。


(This is why I'm strongly interested in Lei's idea.) One might call this
*inversion*, but I would rather give a special term, like "kire-ji" sentence
etc. (I know that it is a bit hard to associate this casual sentence with
that elegant old poems.)

Hisashi


Jim Breen

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Jan 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/19/00
to
Philip Brown <phi...@bolthole.no-bots.com> wrote:
>>On 18 Jan 2000 22:39:00 GMT, j...@nexus.csse.monash.edu.au wrote:
>>>Last time I saw stats, Australia was the country with the largest
>>>per-capita Japanese language study going on (other than Japan itself, of
>>>course.) This may have changed, as there has been a reported drop-off
>>>of interest in Japanese language, at least at tertiary levels.

>>But do you have any indication as to WHY that is?
>>There can't be a huge influx of Japanese-speaking people there :-)
>>Has the financial interest of and by Japanese companies just been huge
>>recently there?

Well, it is a big hard to disaggregate from the general decline in interest
in Arts/Social Science courses. The numbers of Business/Science/Engineering
students doing Japanese as electives is still growing.

There is some feeling that it has lost the "flavour of the month"
kudos. Some suspicion that the economic down-turn in Japan, and the
endaka problem, which makes travel to Japan rather tougher, may be factors.

Japan continues as Australia's largest trading partner, of course.
Australia has runs a trade surplus with Japan, so it's pretty important to
us.

Sean Holland

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Jan 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/19/00
to
Jim Breen wrote:

>
> (snip)


> As for texts, I thought Sean's comments on Alphonso (?) and Yoroshiku
> interesting. In my own tertiary studies (at Swinburne Univ. in
> Melbourne) we used texts written by the staff there. This was partly
> because Swinburne stuck to a non-romaji approach, which rules out
> many other texts, particularly those from the Jorden school.

I had several complaints about the Alfonso series, and its romaji approach at
the beginning levels was a major one. The Yoroshiku series and the Kimono series
are utterly different.


Sean Holland

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Jan 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/19/00
to
Jim Breen wrote:

> (snip)


>
> There is some feeling that it has lost the "flavour of the month"
> kudos. Some suspicion that the economic down-turn in Japan, and the
> endaka problem, which makes travel to Japan rather tougher, may be factors.

I think the same thing is happening in Canada. A few years back all the parents
were foaming at the mouth to have their little darlings in Japanese. But now
it's math math math. I lost my Japanese 7 and Japanese 8 classes to make room
for more math.


Don Kirkman

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Jan 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/19/00
to
It seems to me I heard somewhere that Chuck Douglas wrote in article
<388312B5...@gol.com>:

>Jim Breen wrote:

>[edit]

>> As a matter of interest, I think Japanese is now the second most popular
>> foreign language for Year 12 study (after French) in Australia. It has
>> been the most popular language for tertiary study for some years.

>What about Italian or Greek or don't those count?

>As another point of interest, when I did VCE all those many years ago,


>there was only one guy in our Year 12 class that took French. No getting
>out of avoiding the teacher's questions in that class. ;-)

You win. We had two in my final university Greek class. :-)
--
Old age brings pleasant memories, sometimes of things that really happened.
Don

Lei Tanabe

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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I wrote:

A word close to the verb is emphasized.

This is just a general statement.
In the question of asking something unknown, naturally the words like
"dare", "doko", "nani", etc. are emphasized.
In the conversation, the speaker put stress on the important word to
emphasize.
In the written statement, katakana-writing, brackets, dots, underline, etc
might be used to emphasize the word.
As Sho mentioned, pronouns might be less emphasized than specified nouns.
So, here I try a neutral type of example to explain my statement.

anata-wa X-o A-ni moraimashitaka?
iie, B-ni moraimashita.

anata-wa A-ni X-o moraimashitaka?
iie, Y-o moraimashita.

Lei

Sean Holland

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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Lei Tanabe wrote:

だから、上記の理論によると、「だれにそれをもらたんですか」より「それをだれに
もらたんですか」の方が自然で論理的だろう。

Alexander Chavera

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Aug 6, 2022, 1:03:43 AM8/6/22
to
Hello everyone, I just stumbled upon this Google Groups conversation and thought it was very interesting. I was watching an anime called "Call of the Night" that mentioned a 'shitsumin' pressure point. I think this convo is a time capsule and super neat
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