This paper presents a survey of how Korean learners of the Japanese language (hereinafter “KR”) use “no da” (meaning “the fact is that”) at the end of a sentence and the actual conditions of its use in comparison to written opinion statements by native Japanese speakers (hereinafter “JP”). The survey is based on opinion statements made by KR and JP recorded in the “Database of Opinion Statements of Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese University Students” (March 2011).
According to the results of the survey, no significant differences existed between KR and JP in terms of (1) the number of occurrences of “no da” per opinion statement, (2) its position in the paragraph (if the usage of “no da” is not taken into consideration), or (3) the way it appeared in predicates. However, there were differences in the form of “no da,” such as the appearance of the form “n’ desu” (an abbreviated polite form) in opinion statements made by KR. By contrast, this form did not appear in opinion statements by JP. Further, there were differences in the rate of occurrence of “no da” usage (type V), characterized by a weak relationship with the preceding context and the presentation of a certain situation to the other party as an existing fact; this was more frequent for KR. The phrase also appeared at the beginning of the paragraph in only the KR utterances. Moreover, there were three examples of unnatural uses of “no da” seen in the opinion statements of KR, including (1) the unnecessary addition of “no da,” (2) the use of “n’ desu,” and (3) the continuous use of “no da.” In conclusion, it was determined that there are distinct usages of “no da” as per written language and per spoken language, and it is necessary for KR to understand the relationship between usage and form for the purpose of language instruction.