Liann (jliann) wrote in linguaphiles,
Liann
jliann
linguaphiles

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Easier or Harder?

Something occured to me today while I was on my way to Japanese class.

For me, the fact that Japanese has 4 different ways to express "if" has always been easier for me to grasp than learning that Japanese uses 1 word to describe something that would have 5 or 6 different English equivalents.

For example, whenever I hear ~ように, I panic because I have to sort through all the possible meanings in English.

It seems kind of counterintuitive though, doesn't it? I mean, with the former, I have to take the English concept of "if" and divide it into the four different Japanese concepts, and then remember that such-and-such an "if" can only be used in such-and-such a case.

But still, I find it easier than going the other way around.

What do you guys think? Is it easier for you to learn that 1 word in your language = 4 words in Language X, or is it easier to learn that 4 words in your language = 1 word in X.
Tags: english, japanese
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