しろくまカフェ Vol 1: Absolute Beginner Book Club

Ahhh, I was thinking that I would be at least a little into Genki by the time that this started, but I won’t be. I’ll probably lag behind it.

@Kazzeon @MissMisc: alright I’ll just keep it as is.

Chapter 2 and 6 are online, if someone can review the file at a later date I’ll be very thankful!

I don’t know when I’ll have another day off but I’ll try to do some more as I actually enjoy translating stuff.


Keep doing your WK but if you’re going to read the book it’s best to get some grammar under your belt first between now and when we start. I would say that while it’s an absolute beginner book club, it’s not for absolute beginners to Japanese, it’s for those whose Japanese has got to the point they can start tackling their first books.

I’d suggest making sure you have your head around how to form the て form of verbs, and plain forms of verbs in past and non past, and in affirmative and negative. They will come up a lot! If you’ve reached that point in a textbook I think you’ll have enough of a foundation for joining in the reading and picking up the rest from the discussion. That’s about chapter 11 in Genki, or approaching JLPT N5.

For example take this part that VictorLino posted yesterday. The word 咲く has a WK level 48 kanji, which is not a problem as you can just look it up using the furigana. But if you don’t know basics like how to turn the dictionary form into the plain past 咲いた, then you are going to struggle. image

I’d also make sure you’ve got your head around katakana. That would certainly be a グッドアイディア…


I agree with this! What’s on the list Marcus? Perhaps a photo of them sitting proudly on the bookshelf?

なぜどうして will be my first book completed in japanese in just a few weeks time!

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Yeah, so far the phrases haven’t been very complex. Just a lot of new (at least to me) vocabulary. But it’s definitely advised to at least know a little into how verbs conjugate, since that can change the whole meaning of the phrase.

Some of the katakana it’s straight up foreign words like アフロヘア(afro-hair), シャンパン(champagne) ,ポワーヨーガ (power yoga).

Some of it you would expect to come in hiragana but the Panda seems to think it’s cute to speak like that, so maybe it’s to add extra emphasis?


Oh, simple, I can tell you off the top of my head! It’s a very short list!

Completely finished (7 books):

Currently reading (3 books);

Next on the list (3 books):

Future plans:

  • Yotsuba vols. 8 to 14 (all on the shelf and waiting!)
  • ガンダム The Origin vols 3 to 23 (not yet purchased!)
  • ガンダムUC バンデシネ (I bought and started one volume but put it back on the shelf for now)
  • And some Doraemon too!

I’ve never joined a bookclub on here before but I think I will participate in this one! Been a fan of the anime for a while and really want to read the manga ; u ;

I’ll be getting the eBook version on bookwalker.jp, maybe you could include the link to that one in the original post as well?


My copy arrived ^o^
Got the nice old edition. The cover is great, and I was surprised to see it had a “removable dust cover” (if that’s the right term…) When books have one of these, I was wondering if other people tended to remove the book from the cover whilst reading or leave it on? I tend to remove them.

Since I couldn’t figure out what that was saying, perhaps I do need to brush up on my katakana reading >_<


I haven’t got my copy yet but I’d spotted グッドアイディア on the picture Toyger posted of the first pages of the book.

Although looking again what the book actually says is:


I like it! I have some catching up to do!

I have a Japanese version of one of the diary of the wimpy kid books to read which I’m hoping might be a bit more approachable after all we’ve learned from なぜ?どうして?

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I think I haven’t bought a single Japanese book yet that didn’t have these (except for the Graded Readers that come in a box). I keep them all in a drawer somewhere since I find them so annoying while reading and I don’t want to ruin them. And if I ever finish a book (it will happen eventually, I’m sure…at least I finished Genki I&II… ), I put the cover back on.

Bought all of them last time i was in japan. They’ve just been sitting on the shelf tho,so this seem like the perfect time to finally try to read them. Hopefully it’s not too difficult hehe.


I highly recommend some good old fashioned hiragana and katakana chart writing! I started recently after realizing I was still mixing up some kana after so many months of learning … passive learning will bite you in the ass like that.


Excited to finally take part in one of the book clubs. I don’t have much spending money so I couldn’t purchase the other series, but this one I happen to have gotten all 4 volumes of the bis digital version while they were on sale a while back. Here’s hoping I can stick to it.


Got my copy yesterday :slight_smile:

Had a quick look through… one of the first things that struck me was how often it seems Japanese words are written in katakana, which is a bit confusing to look at. I keep wanting to figure out what foreign word they are :stuck_out_tongue:


I ordered the old series, but the book(s) won’t be here until March 26 at the earliest T_T I’ll have to start by watching the JapaneseAmmo video and then I’ll just have to do a little extra reading to catch up.

That’s interesting to hear. Why are they in katakana? Are they menu items, perhaps? I know sometimes katakana is used on Japanese menus.

Side note: I also recall reading that katakana is sometimes used like “italics”, for emphasis?

I have some arch-nemeses when it comes to kana. も and ま and は and ほ are my bane. My brain mixes them up.

As for katakana, I’m a lot weaker in general since I’m exposed to it less. I need to start reviewing katakana too.

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In the manga I’ve seen it in word like ぼく or おれ

Can you guys please send me the last sentence/photo of the last page of both the old and new versions?

I might be onto something :shushing_face: