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Differences between Japanese grammar and English grammar
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Thread: Differences between Japanese grammar and English grammar

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    Junior Member Arsudar's Avatar
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    Jul 2016

    Post Differences between Japanese grammar and English grammar

    As I really like Japanese films and movies, I become more interested in learn Japanese. The more we learn about a language, the better we understand about the culture. And in here I would like to share some differences between Japanese grammar and English grammar based on my experience.

    1 - Difference in Characters:

    The most obvious difference between English grammar and Japanese grammar is probably the characters. In English, or Italian, or Frence, .etc.., all of these languages follow Latin characters from A to Z. However, Japanese grammar does not have Latin characters, it has its own 3 types of characters: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji symbols. Sounds terrifying isn't it? While Latin script has 26 characters, Hiragana and Katakana script each has 46 and 45 characters. We also have to learn thousands of Kanji characters (based on Chinese characters) in which each character/word holds a difference meaning. So yes, in terms of characters. Japanese is hard indeed.

    2 - Difference in Verb Tense:

    Unlike English grammar which has tons of verb tenses, ranging from past tense to the future tense and each tense has 4 forms: simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive; Japanese grammar only has 2 verb tenses: past and present tense and each tense has formal and informal form. 2 tenses, in details, verbs in Japanese has "masu" ending. In present tense, the positive form will be "masu", negative form will be "masen"; and in past tense, the positive form changes to "mashita" and negative form changes to "masendeshita". On the other hand, the formal and informal aspect are quite easy to get. Therefore there is nothing to worry about in term of Japanese grammar's verb tense.

    3 - Difference in Particles order:

    So normally in English grammar we follow this order: Subject - Verb - Object, for example: "I eat rice." But in Japanese grammar, the order is little bit different which is: Subject - Object - Verb. Sounds weird isn't it? If we follow this order in English, the example above will be: "I rice eat." Sounds nonsensical and funny, but actually that is how it works in Japanese. In Japanese, the sentence "I eat rice" will become "わたしはごはんを食べます" (watashi wa gohan wo tabemasu - I rice eat). This order is not that complicated as we gradually learn Japanese. However, it means that during our Japanese learning process, especially for Japanese beginners, we cannot just translate whatever sentence you see into English since the two particles orders are different. Not to mention that there is higher chance of confusing between the two language structure, and that will not be good.

    Overall personally I find it hard to compare these 2 languages since people from different countries may not think the same. These are personal opinion so it is open for debate.
    Last edited by Arsudar; 09-19-16 at 04:30 AM.
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