Don’t Innovate – Parrot

The telephone rang, 電話が鳴った, hello, HELLO?! もしもし、もしもし?! hello, HELLO?! もしもし、もしもし?! is all the person on the other side of the line is getting to hear. The person must have had the pleasure to talk to a parrot, can you believe it! Now you might wonder what this article is all about. It is not about animals, it is about you, and how you can make your life easier when holding a conversation. The way it is is that you are probably trying to memorize dozens of set expressions, that you might or might not be using in the near future, in actual conversations. But what is with all the things that you yourself might want to say? One way to deal with this problem is to think hard and say what you are going to say hoping that it was correct and understood.

The easy way is to parrot and use what others have written or said in your own speech or writing. What I am talking about is that everything you want to say has been said before. And when it comes from a native who said it, you can be sure that it is safe to use it yourself. So instead of thinking hard about things you could say, hunt it down on the internet, the radio, TV, newspapers, or blogs. When you found something, copy it out to a text file, or a database. And when you want to use it, you can open it up, copy and paste it and you are done. In case you want to use whatever it is in your own speech, than it is best to import the sentences or expressions into Anki, to memorize them for later use.

Since I started using this method it made life easier and conversations smoother. For instance if I want to talk about the weather I could use this sentence 今日も北風は吹かないものの寒い一日でした。 [きょうもきたかぜはふかないもののさむいいちにちでした。] Although the north-wind was not blowing today it was cold all day long. Or this one もうすぐ立春! [もうすぐりっしゅん!] when I want to say that the first day of spring is soon to arrive. How about this one? 綺麗な黄色の春色ですよね。[きれいなきいろのしゅんしょくですよね。] It’s a beautiful yellow spring-scenery, don’t you think? I would use this in a park, where yellow flowers are blooming in early spring, a beautiful scenery! All I have to know is when to use it, and that its actually something that I want to say, or write for that matter.

The most important thing to remember is, don’t use something that you are not absolutely sure of what it means, and when and where it is and is not appropriate to use. Everything else is up to you, and you can be sure, if a Japanese person is using it than it is likely that you can use it too. All you have to do is find a source, have pen and paper, your notebook, PC or Tablet ready, and take notes, copy and paste, or simply record and go over the collected material later on.

4 responses to “Don’t Innovate – Parrot

  1. ねえ、

    何か「今日も北風は吹かないものの寒い一日でした。」というセンテンスが不自然に聞こえる。理由は、だ・る常体を丁寧語と混乱してしまうかも。

    今日も北風は吹きませんが、寒い一日でした。
    今日も北風は吹きませんけど、寒い一日でした。

    でもさ、あなたが「北風が吹くと、非常に寒いなるわけだ」という考えを強調したいなら、「が・けど」の代わりに「のに」も自然だと感じるけど、僕の言ったことはネイティブが確認したほうがいいと思うよ。^^

    またね、
    トリ

    追伸 なるほど、「ものの」とは日本語能力試験の二級の文法のポイントなんだろう。それはさておき、「ものの」の使い分けがなんとか硬くて特別で日常的にはあんまり使われていないような気がするけど・・・・・^^

  2. Hello Tori,

    Thanks for your comment. I welcome your taking the time to point out that it might sound unnatural, that it might not be used in real life, and that it might be outdated. But it is totally unnecessary to point that out, since the examples are only there to give others an idea of what I am actually talking about. This is why I wrote could use not that I am actually using it vanilla. And that is also the reason why I am pointing out that The most important thing to remember is, don’t use something that you are not absolutely sure of what it means, and when and where it is and is not appropriate to use. So don’t worry, I am well aware of such details, and choose what I actually use accordingly. 😉

    ものの is indeed a grammar-point for JLPT2. 🙂

  3. ねえ、

    ああ、分かっただろう。ちょっと失礼なことを吐いてごめんね。でもさ、「~ものの」という文法がその文脈には正しくないということが分かったら、どうしてそのセンテンスを作る、って疑問が頭の中に出てきたんだ。間違っている例文を使わない方がいいと思う。
    ところで、メールを送った。届いた?^^

    じゃあ、またねぇ、
    トリ

  4. Hi Tori,

    There is no need to apologize. I am thankful when someone points out mistakes. You are also right to point out that it would be better to use correct example sentences, which is a good topic to write about. 🙂

    Your mail came and I will answer it asap. 🙂

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