@lbtnunes First of all let’s get this out of the way, this is a conversation about Japanese grammar, so use of words like ‘mean-spirited’ and ‘controversial’ should probably be left out of here. You assumed correctly and therefore there was no reason to mention it. Let’s just forget about that now.
Yes, I too have a terrible memory, especially when it comes to Japanese words because there are so few sounds and I will often get kana the wrong way around when I learn a new word or grammar point. It is a horrible thing that I’ll constantly be going through even if I’m in Japan for the rest of my life fingers crossed
And yes, memorising from a list is also pretty difficult for me if I don’t have any context, or if the list is unconnected (e.g. I’m far more likely to be able to remember the word for an animal if it’s being taught amongst words for other animals.)
Yes of course, if you’re using it as an extra step, I 100% agree with you that it’s a fantastic way to validate (although you might not have time for this step if you’re having a conversation with someone and have literally a split second to think) but I honestly think that the thought process should go to the base form first, then the stem to validate it.
Part of the reason that I think in this case learners should learn from a short list first, is that not all verbs will be learned in simple ます form. For example, you are likely to learn 帰る/帰ります pretty early, and you are also likely to learn 知る pretty early. However, although 知ります is grammatically correct, nobody ever says it - everyone says 知ってます. Therefore, it’s the same problem, just reversed. Hence why I truly believe that for Japanese learners, learning the conjugation of each word first is fundamental.
I also 100% agree that telling people to stay away from ます is a bad idea, what I don’t like is encouraging learners to use it as their base for when they conjugate. I also don’t like the term ‘ます form’ because you might as well call it ‘ながら form’ or ‘やすい/にくい form’ or something else that uses the same pattern. You’re right in using the term ‘stem’ - I honestly believe that that is how it should be learned, without even referring to ます.
I didn’t know the term 連用形 before, so thanks for that! Please don’t assume that because my BP level is higher, I must be better at Japanese, the BP level is just an indication of how much time you have spent on the site. For all I know, you could be a Japanese genius!
Hopefully that’s cleared up why I think the way I do about thinking in terms of ます. It’s a 100% necessary thing to know. I use it every day working in a Japanese office, but then I have to know how to settle down with my friends later on. I think the fact that I don’t have many gaijin friends really helps me in that journey, because I’m always hanging out with Japanese people and speaking Japanese a good 90% of the time (if you don’t count my English lessons )
@s1212z I also went down that ‘traditional’ route, which is partly why I am so against it now, because I did my degree in Japanese and so many of my friends just can’t have a casual conversation, because all the Japanese they use is from their textbook. Ending the phrase with です has saved my skin a couple of times too!
Yes I absolutely understand what you mean. Back when I was around early N3 level, so many people would let me off using casual form, but now I’m fairly fluent, they are less tolerant of me. I still do make that mistake all the time though! I also intentionally push the boundaries sometimes, like with colleagues who are older than me but with whom I have a good relationship. I have one colleague who I even adopted as my ‘Japanese Mum’ - she is basically my boss but we never speak formally to each other any more!