Should you ask What a J-J Sentence Means in English? — 12 Comments

  1. I dont believe I’ve ever asked for a translation from someone. I believe you when you say it will work itself out. However, a few times in the past I have caved in due to frustration and Google translated. The good thing is, most of those translations I didn’t even remember. Also, Google translate can suck sometimes.

    I have noticed some words clicking lately that I felt never would.

    • I have strived to do this as well but also failed a number of times so far and looked at Google. Mostly though not for the sentence but for the definition part only. The definitions are just so hard to decipher sometimes. I’ve been doing it less and less as I go through intermediate and understand the structure better.

      I am going to try to make it super limited in the back half with the goal of never doing it again by the end of intermediate.

      • And just remember that struggling through the definition is you learning how Japanese definitions work (and not just the Japanese found within them)

    • I think Google Translate is fine, as long as it is kept to a bare minimum. Think of it as a panic button that you can use when desperate.

  2. “The other variant to someone giving their best guess is “I think it means A or B.” If one of them is correct, great. You allowed them to internalize the possibilities and merely just push them in the right direction.”

    When you said this, I couldn’t help but think you wrote that with the emails I’ve sent you in mind! That happens a lot to me: being on the fence with two possibilities, not knowing which one might be the correct one.

    • Hahaha, yes your emails perfectly fall into this category, and were a bit of inspiration for this post. So you are doing things right :)

    • Hahaha no, I’m happy to answer emails and have done so without a second thought for years. I’m just saying that you might just get a translation from me if you catch me at an off time, when it would be better for me to just give you assurance of your own interpretation.

  3. What are your thoughts on this situation: doing J-J and a new word is introduced but I don’t understand the definition at all. Using the RTK keyword though, the sentence makes perfect sense (however I still don’t understand the definition so I feel like I’m going to miss out on the nuance of the Japanese word).
    So far what I’ve been doing is just pushing on provided I understand the sentence even if I don’t understand the definition.

    • Using the RTK keyword (or Kanji Kingdom keyword for those using that) is fine. However, you should still spend the time to try to work through the definition. You don’t have to understand the definition 100% but work for a general grasp where possible. And if it is completely beyond your reach right now for some reason, try coming back to the definition later when the card returns to reviews.

  4. Adam, it has been so helpful when you’ve asked me what I think a sentence means. When I guess correctly, I feel great, and when I’m close to correct, I still feel great.

    It reminds me of how I practice psychotherapy. I always ask the client, “What do you think you should do?” They either know the answer and they feel great. Or if they don’t know, I ask them to give several possible solutions to their problem, and they finally figure out the correct one for themselves.

    • Glad to be of assistance :)

      It definitely feels better to know you were correct/near correct all along, rather than someone just giving you the answer.

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