If you're speaking to a Japanese person and unintentionally use "wa" when you should have used "ga" (or vice versa), is it possible that the sentence could now be drastically changed? Will the person you're speaking to still understand what you're trying to say?
Beautiful question. The answer is it won't be that big of a problem. As a matter of fact WA and GA are probably the most commonly dropped particles. What I mean is that many times even Japanese people don't say them. Plus you have to remember the "Gaijin Factor". You are not a native Japanese speaker so if you mess up WA and GA it will for sure be forgiven.
The worse thing that can happen is you will sound weird and will perhaps be corrected.
wa ga There was that posting on wa and ga about a month ago. I'm starting to beleive George (not that I didn't of course!) about "you just get a feel for it, it becomes natural"
My penpals in Japan used to try to explain it when I was asking the same question, and they really couldn't articulate it. They would become frustrated trying, but they didn't know how to say what they understood. They used the classic textbook answer, but that doesn't really help alot (subject and topic are synonymous to me, without context in each case). It's a Japanese thing, and Georges aproach might actually work well. (I've been playing at studying for ....mmmm let's just say a looonnggg time, and the common book aproach never helped much.) Only 1 of my books helped at all. I have found that the YJ repetition with only certain uses of WA and GA has become second nature now. As time goes on I expect more stressing, and of course conjunctive sentences with ga as "but", etc. to be introduced. This program has helped me not have a text book reason for an instance, but a feel for the right use when needed.
Good exaplanation for wa and ga. I have found this website to be incredibly useful in explaining "wa" and "ga" in a understandable way. Maybe you should give it a try, it isn't long and doesn't requiere any memorisation but it is, in my opinion, very easy to understand.
later I, as well, did not give it much more attention than 5 minutes review. With that said I would say the following:
The report appears to take about 13 chapters of one of the books I read, take half of the references to WA and GA, and compress it into a short, but not too sweet summary of the aforesaid chapters' explanations. It would probably be a great summary, or essay on the subject for an appendix of a book. It packed more differing uses such as stressing and vauge implications, that noone but a serious student could possibly, after reading it once or twice, come away with anything other than , "huh?".
-Did it review alot of the subtleties of Wa and Ga - Yes.
-Does it stand as a great reference for an early student to clearly direct his learning properly---perhaps if redirected a bit, say with something softer than the sledgehammer that was used in the paper.
The best I can see it's use is to point out holes in ones education, not in aiding the understanding.
again, I didn't have much time to read it. The paper was written by an analytical, and might not lend itself well to the amiables and others.
Explanations Well, I do not think it was intended as a full course on the subject but rather only a patchwork job to explain things after a lesson. Second, she does clearly states she has taken most of her information from a book which she names(standard academic practice). And, yes it is very analytical and that is probably the best way I can understand things. Again, I did not post it as an ultimate way to fix all your problems. Just as an, if everything else fails, why not give it a try approach. Just like you can buy 4 different technical books on the same subject just so you can compare the different views. =)
Please don't take it as the ultimate answer to everything, nothing is.
Thanks, Meldrin... ...the link did help me alot (meaning I took another little step towards unterstanding wa & ga).
It's approaching the problem rather scientifically causing many people to back off immediately. Which is a pity, I think.
To Jamie85: Those grammatical terms used (in my eyes) make it easier to understand because they are predefined and keep long, confusing explanations to a minimum.
Anyway, each person has another approach to learning - so good luck with those nasty particles everyone!
anata wo wakaranai ne I didn't intend for you to think that I dismissed it because it was not the ultimate reference. On the contrary, I did say it was quite thick. I am probably more analytical than anything. If my memory was quite fast, then the document would be great. However it(memory) is not.
I have a great workbook that includes those and many more uses thereof. I am beginning to get a feel for WA/GA, and think that My Japanese friends, and George's explanation were the best yet. They don't really know how to express it, they just know it sounds right (because they've used it this way over and over again). So while I appreciate a nice streamlined, but thick reference to things, in this case I've stopped studying the references, and go with YESJAPAN. I think that when I have completed this course, and maybe a college course, I'll go back to my references, and yours too, and see what I missed of screwed up.
once again, sorry for the confusion I may have created
oh BTW, I'm not advocating the dismissal of all other study materials. When I started this course, I was at odds with some of the lack of analytical reference. Since then I have found this course to be great. The only way I have found to succeed herein, is to give up my way of thinking about it, and go with the instructor's way.
If it works for you, then great. This way is working for me, and maybe Jamie85 too (maybe nothing works for 85, noone is sure).
I quit worrying about why I should use this here, and just keep going over it, and using it as prescribed. I just go with the flow here, and things seem to come to me easier than ever.
none I totally agree with you. The more sources you use, the better your Japanese will get - the different perspectives are a big help in seeing complicated issues more clearly. And YesJapan works very well for me, too. Mainly because it manages to be much more fun than a drab textbook by using everyday phrases/vocabulary/conversations.
As far as the method (getting the feel of it vs. trying to analyze it) is concerned: I think that "learning by doing" works perfectly well, unless you are taking a somewhat linguistical approach, which is not at all necessary to speak a language well - it's just a special interest and that is what the above link aims at.
Don't have to be a physicist to use a microwave, do you!?