I'd rather like to percieve language learning as a natural process~So my suggestion is that we don't need to memorize so many rules and norms~~Just try talking to people who speak the language you intend to learn...mostly, people learn a foreign language for communication, and grammar is not that important as many language teachers boast~~
~typical of the western metaphysical thinking, which seems reasonable and rational and yet, can be hardly achieved by human beings~~haha~well, "philosophically" sepaking, you are so damn right~~but again, please remind youself that you are just human. not mechanical~~~
And the sad thing is that we Chinese, in pursuit of "metaphysics and sciences", which we were forced to do due to the invasion of the West, have already done away with the humane aspects of our traditional thinking, and even become more metaphysical and rigid than westerners nowadays~~
Grammar is not universal, and it is just a metaphysical thing invented by westerners first in Latin~the original Chinese had had actually no grammar, not until we imitated the western language and "established" a grammatical system, which is inimical to the culture sustaining the chinese language~~
Besides, I'm not saying grammar is not important, but not That Important~~
I don't get the 軟 joke.
语文课上，女老师问：”软”的拼音怎么读？男生齐喊：日(fuck)完(perfect tense)－软(soft)”，老师说，男生部分发音不准．现在再让女生读一遍！女生齐读：”日(fuck)完(perfect tense)俺(me)软(soft)”
Hmm, I assume 日完 meant the end of the day, after you've just had sex and are going to sleep. Why does 日 by itself mean fuck?
@Lee, according to Norm Chomsky's theory (you can challenge it of coz, but most linguistists tend to agree on it) tell us that people have inborn "grammar" system, and upon this system there are a bunch of "parameters". Different language has different set of parameters, then the frame of a certain language is there. (it has nothing to do with the phonetics still). And then, we have the upper level concept: "grammar" we are talking about, or a sense of "correct" or "incorrect" as you put it. The thing is, yeah, Chinese doesn't have a grammar, no Chinese kids learn Chinese grammar, and no Chinese know what Chinese grammar is, but they make their judgement by sense of correct or incorrect (of coz, you can say this is grammar indeed). Systematic Chinese Grammar is just for: 1) study and research; 2) teaching mandarin as a second language.
As for the purpose 2, is grammar important in Chinese learning? yes, it's important for those quite basic rules, however, I believe you can imagine that, like any other language, you just cannot tell why this is right and that is wrong for most of times, eg. there isn't a near perfect grammar explaination on how to us "的" correctly. For the most part of the language, the thing you may wanna do is to mimic and practice. Unfortunately, this is the only way, not only for learning Chinese, but also for leaning any language in the world
(what I said above is based on knowledge from a language acquisition linguistist and a researcher of Chinese learning as a second language)