Well, my Lingodeer subscription finally ran out this morning. Despite completing Japanese I two weeks ago, I only managed to get through the first eight lessons of Japanese II, partly because they're a lot harder, and partly because I was taking my time to try to understand them better.
I think one of the sentences from the final lesson sums up why Japanese is hard in one sentence:
You really don't appreciate just how much of an advantage having the sentence patterns already ingrained in your mind when studying european languages is until it's missing. I remember when I first started studying Japanese, I mentioned that it puts the verbs at the end of the sentence, to which my dad commented "Just like German!" leaving me dumbfounded for a moment before explaining that no, it is not like German at all. But I think this sentence is the perfect demonstration of that.
English: This is the air conditioner I bought at the department store last week
German: This is the air conditioner that I last week at the department store bought have
Japanese: This last week department store at bought air conditioner is
By Japanese standards, Romance and Germanic grammar is basically the same as English.
Also, I think Lingodeer was practically trolling me with the example sentences at the end. The last lesson contained the sentence "I want to buy a vacuum cleaner that is easy to use
." where use
is the word marked with the subject particle! Likewise, in the sentence "Alpacas are animals with big eyes
and soft fur
are marked with the subject particle. I thought that maybe this was some other
usage of が that I didn't know about, but at least according to Lingodeer, it actually was the subject particle in these sentences!
Oh well, Lingodeer is over now. Time to start experimenting with other forms of study.