04-04-2011, 04:18 AM
This is a bit late, but let me emphasize that the gap between English and Japanese is as wide as the Pacific ocean, although there is certainly a narrow and short strip bridging the two languages.
The bridge is to get used to the way Japanese people process information in their mind or head. This is called framework of language, but it is different from learning grammar and it is more fundamental. The reason why I can say that is I have crossed the bridge from the other end, from Japanese to English, and finally found out the basic reason why our Japanese people have so much difficulty in learning English.
Japanese people process information from the widest scope in conceptual space, followed by gradually narrowed down scopes in coceptual space. This may be exemplifed in our representation of addresses, which starts, for example, Japan, Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, blah, blah, blah. Similarly, the first message, or information element to be conveyed should be the information element that is supposed to have the widest scope in conceptural space, and any information element that comes thereafter is expected to be interpreted in the context of the widest scope in conceptual space. An analogy may be found in climbing a mountain... you go from the bottom to the top, or from periphery to a center (subject matter).
Contrary to this, English language speaking people comes from the top to the bottom, or from a center to periphery.
If you get used to this type of difference in information processing between Japanese and English, your learning Japanese will become much easier than otherwise. Try it.