Grammar’s Dead. Yay?

Yo. Brent here.

I’d like to think I don’t usually jump on the bandwagon with my posts, but I really want to chime in here.

Grammar’s Dead.

Yup. No bringing it back either. (Look how Latin’s doing, lol) Now, I understand. I hear you, grammar supporters. “But it’s easier when we have guidelines.”

It’s not. (Man, I love bold. Makes things pop.) It really isn’t. Like Khatz and Ramsies have said, it’s a really bad guideline. Yeah, I know. I used to be on the “Grammar’s not all that bad” group, and to an extent, I still am. I just don’t think you can learn a language by grammar. You have to have a lot of immersion. Tons. Years and Years. (Luckily, we’re adults. We learn faster.)

Besides, the “Critical Period” hypothesis was made in the 1960s. You know what else was in the 60’s? Hippies. Yeah, suck it 1960’s. We don’t have no stinking hippies, this is the 2010’s now. lol

Grammar is never (Aside from conlangs) the first created part of a language. Evar. So why should you learn it first? You learned English, right? (And if you haven’t…Keep reading. Maybe I’ll help you learn English. ^^) How did you do that? Did your parents read a grammar book to you while you went to sleep? Probably not. (My mummy read me Harry Potter. I was a good boy.)

You just learned it. By….showing up, perhaps? Hmmm? Is that the case? I know I read. A lot. I didn’t really have much else to do. Probably read my library out of books. I also listened to people and watched T.V.

In fact, I think the only reason children are “better” at learning languages is because they don’t really care. Yeah. Take that in.

They don’t care about the unnecessary things. They only want to talk and play and have fun. They want to exist in that language that everyone else is talking in. We as adults are firmly stuck in our L1, this I will agree on. Our brains are almost our enemies in this one. They have us thinking one way, and because we’ve been told all our life that it’s damn hard to learn a language, we assume it’s true, and we then become convinced of it, even if only subconsciously.  Then, we try to learn a language by grammar, and we go somewhere to talk, and we realize we can’t say shit. We failed, and languages are impossible to learn.

I can’t believe how many friends I’ve got (and had) who just for the life of them swore they couldn’t learn a language. They’ve got themselves held back, and with that mindset, of course they can’t learn a language. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. There was always something that amused me though.

They were complaining and complimenting me in English. Last time I checked, English was a language.

They’ve fallen for that cruel joke that the linguists played on all of us. That joke that the only way to learn language is through grammar. Well, I’m tired of it. I don’t care anymore. I just want to read my manga, listen to AK-69, and enjoy my damn anime. I want to talk to  Japanese people to see what it’s like on the other side of the world.

I’m tired of everyone treating language like it’s a damn chore. Enjoy yourself! You don’t have to know the language to enjoy yourself. Ask some kids. I know this for a fact. I’ve seen it. And trust me, different backgrounds, different cultures, you’ll still learn the language if you’re surrounded by it. You really have no choice. The thing here is making sure you’re constantly surrounded by it.

Anyway, I have a habit of ranting about things I have absolutely no qualification talking about, but I just think we should enjoy ourselves more. Don’t kill your L2 with grammar. Please? What did it do to you?

Think of the kittens.

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11 Comments

  1. > They’ve fallen for that cruel joke that the linguists played on all of us. That joke that the only way to learn language is through grammar.

    Linguists never said that. In fact, linguists were the first to point the pointlessness of traditional prescriptive grammar, and to notice the role of exposure in learning. Though the “best method for second-language acquisition” is still an open question in academic circles, no linguist that I ever heard of would advise learning languages through grammar study. Even Chomsky has said, in the Managua lectures, that the best method for learning a language is the one that’s fun enough for you to keep doing it, and I concur.

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  2. As for me, I totally stopped trying to learn Japanese. I just got discouraged ’cause I cared so much and wasn’t moving fast enough. I don’t try anymore.
    Now, the only thing I try to do, my only (basically only) criteria is: just watch TV, movies, and videos. All the time. It’s easy. I’m entertained. And it seems to be the most natural way of picking up the skills needed to mimic, embedding the words/phrases in my mind so they come out naturally.
    めちゃ楽し〜い♪

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  4. Tis true, I used to read grammar sites for the languages I do(still do sometimes). I thought I would learn the grammar from them, but in actuality I read it and said, Oh thats nice. Later on when I saw the grammar used a few times I’d think to myself, “Oh, I read about this before”.

    Long story short. You’re right.

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  5. You’re right on target!!

    I’ve found no-one really speaks grammatically ANYWAY, so why learn from a book? In fact it confuses you more than anything as you try and figure out how it works–I remember trying to study keigo in University. “WAIT WHAT?”

    Maybe learn it later if you want, but I found filling my head with that stuff never helped.

    Heck, you pick it up with who you’re around. I pluralized “garbage” the other day with a Taiwanese friend of mine “want to through those garbages away?” which sounded so natural to me–because I was beginning to use their English grammar styles on my own native English!

    It’s all about environment, I tells ya.

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