Collocations

August 31, 2020

2年半間日本語を学んでいますが、語彙を増やす間、どんな自然な言い方ずっと迷います。例えば、英語は「going into mad­ness」より「descend into mad­ness」のほうがもっと自然な言い回しです。同様に、「descend into shock」より「going into shock」(ここでいう「shock」とは循環性ショックという医学用語)のほうがもっと自然です。

最近、「閉じる」と「閉める」はどう違うことを調べっている間に、この回答を見つけた。回答内容の一部分:

Here are some pre­ferred col­lo­ca­tions. (from google results) 本を閉じる, 目を閉じる, つぼみを閉じる, 口を閉じる, 貝がふたを閉じる, 携帯電話を閉じる, 1000 年の歴史を閉じる

すぐに語学に何か欠けているものが分かりました。単語を一ずつ学んていたのは大変だと気付いました。むしろ、「連句」(または「慣用句」)を学んだらもっと流暢になったと思います。そのために、「Common Japan­ese Col­lo­ca­tions: A Learn­er’s Guide to Fre­quent Word Pair­ings」という参考書を買いました。


I’ve been learn­ing Japan­ese for about two and a half years now, and one thing I’ve strug­gled with as I sought to expand my vocab­u­lary was how to use words in a nat­ur­al way. In Eng­lish for exam­ple, instead of “going into mad­ness”, we usu­al­ly say “descend into mad­ness”. In the same way, we usu­al­ly say “going into shock” instead of “descend­ing into shock” (“shock” here refers to the med­ical usage of the term).

Recent­ly, I came across this Quora answer while re-read­ing the dif­fer­ences between 「閉じる」and 「閉める」, and the last part of the answer floored me:

Here are some pre­ferred col­lo­ca­tions. (from google results) 本を閉じる, 目を閉じる, つぼみを閉じる, 口を閉じる, 貝がふたを閉じる, 携帯電話を閉じる, 1000 年の歴史を閉じる

With­out even need­ing to look up the mean­ing of “col­lo­ca­tion”, I knew at that moment what I had been miss­ing in my lan­guage learn­ing jour­ney. I real­ized it had been an uphill effort to learn indi­vid­ual vocab­u­lary entries. Instead, it would have been much more pro­duc­tive if I had approached vocab­u­lary build­ing by learn­ing entire col­lo­cat­ed phras­es.

To that end, I bought a book called Common Japan­ese Col­lo­ca­tions: A Learn­er’s Guide to Fre­quent Word Pair­ings by Kakuko Shoji to use as a ref­er­ence.