I’ve been learning Japanese on and off for several years now. I’m nowhere near good at it, though, and the knowledge decays slowly as it’s not being used. I also have a problem understanding a lot of the why’s in how the language works, so I’m really happy to have found this article:
One of the biggest reasons for this is that the usual way of learning Japanese involves remembering random phrases and sentence patterns in isolation, without actually being taught why those sentences work the way they do. This is fine in the beginning when you’re just trying to learn a few basic phrases, but it makes it very hard to take the next step. The truth is, Japanese sentence structure is actually incredibly logical, and a solid understanding of it will save you a huge amount of time trying to make sense of Japanese grammar.
It is quite well written and now a lot of the rules just click in my mind. I’m glad to now understand the emphasis on particle usages in Japanese sentences, compared to word ordering in English sentences. The article also comes with great diagrams that should help clarify things better for visual learners, like this one: