Yori and Hodo (23)

1 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-15 06:01 ID:S+ZPxiyT

So I've gotten myself confused on yori and hodo. We had a lesson about it in class but something didn't fit right in my brain. Looking through the book to relearn it isn't helping.


Lets say I say




yes I'm silly




Is my Japanese even correct? What are the meanings of what I wrote. How should I properly use yori and hodo? I'll learn this if it kills me. Much thanks for your time.

2 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-15 07:21 ID:Heaven

[a] no hou ga [b] yori [adjective] desu.
[a] is [comparative of the adjective] than [b].

Under certain circumstances, you can shorten it to
[a] wa [b] yori [adjective] desu.

You should grasp this concept first before using predicates in place of an adjective.

>Is my Japanese even correct?

No. Also, typos.

>I'll learn this if it kills me.

I'll just say it again. Learning to speak or write autodidactically will be a total failure, unless you actually know a Japanese in person, or at least online, to talk to.

3 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-15 16:02 ID:S+ZPxiyT

autodidactically? I'm unfamiliar with the word.

I'm in a Japanese class so if you're suggesting I'm trying to learn this on my own you're mistaken. Not sure though, my teacher is a native speaker, she also never has time when I can go by because of my work schedule.

The first and third sentences were taken directly out of the book so I can't imagine them being incorrect. (I exchanged sore and kore for Tsukasa and Kagami for lols)

Also what typos?

4 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-15 17:50 ID:xNYZdbiM

Autodidactically means self-taught.

The only typo I saw is that you wrote "jozu" when it should be "jouzu" (that, and you're not using any kanji, but that's not an error per se). The grammar seems a bit off on the sentences using "hodo," although I'm not especially familiar with its usage myself.

Your use of "hou ga," while alright, seems a bit stiff and unusual to me. For instance, if you're trying to say "Kagami is prettier than Tsukasa" then I would just say "Tsukasa yori, Kagami wa kirei desu."
I could be totally wrong though (but I don't think so).

5 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-16 02:33 ID:rRViwotx

Basically,「BよりAのほうが[adjective]です」means "A is more [adjective] than B", and 「AはBほど[adjective]です」means "A is as [adjective] as B".

However, this usage of ほど rarely appears in its simple form. Rather, it is often used in conjunction with negations.

For example, "Kagami is more beautiful than Tsukasa" translates as:

If you want to negate this sentence, that is, to say "Kagami is not as beautiful as Tsukasa", you can say:

Although this form is OK and often used in practice, it is potentially ambiguous, in that it allows an unintended interpretation, "Kagami is more non-beautiful than Tsukasa."

Instead, the preferred way of expressing negated comparisons is to use ほど. Then the above sentence becomes:


"Kagami is more beautiful than Tsukasa".


"Tsukasa is as beautiful as Kagami", but sounds a bit awkward. I would say


"This student's English is not as good as that teacher's".


"That teacher's English is worse than this student's". Another interpretation "That teacher's English is not as good as this student's" is possible, but I find that the former interpretation is far more likely. I can't explain why.

The use of ほうが doesn't sound unusual to me. Also, if I used は instead of ほうが, I would put it at the beginning of the sentence, thus:
And if I started the sentence with "つかさより", then I would use ほうが instead of は.
This is perhaps because introducing a new topic with は in the middle of a sentence is avoided as far as possible, but this may be wrong. I'm a native speaker, but not a language specialist.

6 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-16 03:01 ID:xNYZdbiM


>introducing a new topic with は in the middle of a sentence is avoided as far as possible

That's very interesting, I was unaware of that. (Even if it's considered linguistically correct, it's interesting to know that it doesn't appear in common speech very often). Thank you for that tip.

>"That teacher's English is worse than this student's"
>"That teacher's English is not as good as this student's"

Don't those mean exactly the same thing?

7 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-16 04:14 ID:rRViwotx

>Don't those mean exactly the same thing?

Oh, that may be my misuse of English.

The latter interpretation can be illustrated, using parentheses, as:
This simply negates the statement that the teacher is better than the student in English skill. The student may be superior, their skills may be equal, or the difference may be unclear.

The former can be viewed as:
This clearly states that the teacher is worse than, not equal to, the student. Moreover, it is often assumed that the student is also bad at English to some extent.

Maybe these points are so subtle that beginners can safely ignore them. They are all about why より is less preferred in a negative sentence, after all.

8 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-16 12:29 ID:YWK8dZrA

The negation of "Kagami is more beautiful than Tsukasa" isn't "Kagami is not as beautiful as Tsukasa",
because even when the former sentence is the case, Kagami and Tsuakasa can be equally beautiful.
But your latter sentence is negating this possibility.

>but I find that the former interpretation is far more likely. I can't explain why.

I can't explain clearly either, but ほう plus the が particle puts heavy emphasis on the immediately
preceding word and tends to make the following predicate be interpreted directly with the emphasized
word as one big chunk.

Anyway, to avoid this unwanted ambiguity, the negation of the former sentence, "It's not the case
that Kagami is more beautiful than Tsukasa" or, more simply expressed in English, "Kagami isn't
more beautiful than Tsukasa", can be expressed as follows in Japanese.
The extra phrase というわけ is inserted to make the preceding phrase be interpreted as one big chunk
and the follownig negation negates this big chunk. There can be other phrases that does the same thing
as というわけ. They are kind of functinal phrases if you will, not so much as semantics or
pragmatics-laden phrases.

9 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-16 20:42 ID:S+ZPxiyT

Thanks so much guys. I had my midterm today and trying to study for it was like chewing through asphalt. During the quizes I missed yori and hodo completely. We'll see how well I did this time round. Thanks for the imput!

10 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-16 21:56 ID:xNYZdbiM

Out of curiosity, what level class are you in?

11 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-17 09:01 ID:rRViwotx


>The negation of "Kagami is more beautiful than Tsukasa" isn't "Kagami is not as beautiful as Tsukasa",

You're right. Thank you for the correction.

I found another typo in your example.
Here a particle の is missing before ほう.

FYI, you can say "pretty" or "cute" rather than "beautiful" by replacing きれい with かわいい. Indeed, this is how the Lucky Star characters are usually described, as in かがみんかわいい.

12 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-17 18:47 ID:S+ZPxiyT

>>10 I'm in university 3rd semester, 201 as it were. I got a 92 on my test . . . meh, I'm disappointed.

13 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-17 21:55 ID:Heaven

But you're not actually studying Japanese, are you? I mean at this level... after 2 and then some semesters seems - I'm going to be blunt - awfully bad. Which uni is it?

14 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-17 23:11 ID:S+ZPxiyT

as in I'm bad? or the program is? I went to Brigham Young University for 101 and 102 then failed 201. They required everyone to memorize 30 new vocabulary and 20-25 new kanji a week in addition to memorizing the equivalent of 2 pages of conversations each week, I had 6-8 hours of Japanese homework a day. They use the text Japanese the Spoken Language by Yale Press, it's Yale University's textbook for Japanese and the program is identical, the dean of Eastern Languages is a Yale graduate.

Since I failed 201 I transfered to Utah Valley University and the class is 5x easier. That should give you an explanation of the level I'm at. I'm not really bad at Japanese and could have used Kanji, I was in a rush and being lazy. Also my question was simple and only required a simple sentence. I'm not a Japanese major but an English major taking Japanese to fulfill my language requirement.

15 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-18 03:20 ID:xNYZdbiM

Having been teaching myself for just over a year now, I would say you're not bad at all.
Personally I'm just learning recreationally, and don't want the stress of a graded course, so subsequently I don't put as much effort into it as I might otherwise (I typically only study on the weekends), but I've still learned far more than I did in 2 years of high school Spanish.
Based on your question, I would say your skill level is comparable to, or better than mine.

16 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-18 04:58 ID:Heaven

We have to learn about 50 new kanji a week and at least 100 vocabulary. It's pretty damn (fucking) tough, but more fun this way. This is semester one by the way. Also somewhere in Europe, but English unis are considered to be top notch, aren't they? It just seemed strange to me to ask about yori at semester three, but if you're only minoring I suppose it's tough to keep up.

17 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-18 21:36 ID:xNYZdbiM

50 kanji per week? With that sort of load, I kind of doubt that much information will be retained beyond test day. At that rate, if you truly are memorizing them (as in long term memory), you would know them all within 10 months. Most Japanese language courses that I know of don't start with serious kanji learning until late second semester, early third semester.

I am curious though, what sort of text book are you using?

18 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-19 04:50 ID:Heaven

It's not a language course, it's a whole course of study or whatever you call it (I apologize for my poor English, maybe you even meant the same). And the kanji do stay in long term memory past test day. I don't see any way to load so many kanji into short term memory and pass a test and forget them after. We don't learn all of them in one year, however, one semester only has like 14-16 weeks, right?
As for the textbook, it sucks ass, but is really only used to get a grasp of the grammar which is explained in depth by the lecturers and to translate texts, which are ok. I'll recommend a really good one, it's called "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" (ISBN4-7890-0454-6). This should be the grammar bible for anyone studying Japanese.

19 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-19 15:16 ID:xNYZdbiM

I believe both myself (>>17) and the OP (>>1) are just referring to language courses, not entire schools of study. In other words, our main focus is something else, with Japanese being merely recreational, or filling a requirement. That would certainly explain the discrepancy in learning pace.

>I don't see any way to load so many kanji into short term memory and pass a test and forget them after

Believe me, I know all too well that you can cram for a test during a week, but then 2 weeks later you've forgotten 75% of what you previously "learned."

There are only 14-16 weeks in a semester, but there are two semesters in a year, so in a year of study you would have 28-32 weeks of class, which would be enough time to learn almost all the kanji, wouldn't it? (assuming you kept up the pace of 50 per week the whole time).

Thank you for the textbook reccommendation, could you tell me though, does it use much romaji? I would prefer that it didn't, but I don't know of any place to find a copy to look at before I buy.

20 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-19 18:44 ID:Heaven

We do not learn all kanji, instead, after a certain number, we're expected to learn the rest by ourselves. After some time, you get the hang of it, it's only a matter of putting time into it. Same applies to writing, since all kanji consist of the same modules (just different combinations) you can eventually write them all correctly without having learnt each one specifically.

As for the exams, if you're supposed to know 1000 kanji or so, I seriously doubt you can do so by cramming two weeks. You also have to write them, after all. Or maybe you can but I know I couldn't.

The text book uses kanji from page 1. Beneath it, there's romaji and an English translation. See the picture, shitty (weeaboo) phone-cam version will have to do.
As you can see, the book is organized like a dictionary (A-Z), thus, it's recommended if you already have some basic knowledge about Japanese language - which you seem to have - since you're not introduced to it slowly. If you do have some previous knowledge, it's the best book you can get your hands on.

21 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-19 20:53 ID:xNYZdbiM

Thank you very much, I will definitely look into acquiring that book. Would you reccommend the "Intermediate" grammar volume as well? And if so, how much skill would you reccommend to have before using it?

22 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-10-19 21:51 ID:Heaven

I don't know the other volume. Just get the first, it has more than 500 pages and more likely than not it will cover everything you'll ever need. If you have no kanji dictionary, get one in place of the intermediate volume. Always good to have one, Kodansha's Kanji Learner's Dictionary is decent, perfect to make flashcards based on it.

23 名前: 名無しさん@日本語勉強中 : 2007-11-13 01:57 ID:hXjVktdR

instead of reading books, how about trying to actually speak to a Japanese person? worked for me, I did 5 years of Japanese curriculum in 3 1/2 by actually practicing with native speakers on a daily basis, as well as reading books and newspapers

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