I find the translations to be helpful in that, sometimes, I thought I understood something (and so wouldn’t have bothered to ask about it), but then when I read someone else’s translation, I realize that I was wrong.
However, I make sure to not read other people’s translations until after I’ve tried to work through the page myself, so sometimes I feel like I miss discussions by a few days, especially at the beginning of the section.
I can’t manage to do it all before reading the thread, but I’ll quick-read a chapter, then go to thread to get to the vocab list, re-read with looking up vocab, and finally read the thread. (Then repeat for the next chapter.)
I can imagine people who are still beginners were sort of misguided by the term “absolute beginner” because I definitely wouldn’t file Shirokuma Cafe into something for absolute beginners, maybe advanced beginners or low intermediate. “Absolute beginner” for me would be graded readers with the easiest difficulty levels.
Other than that people might prefer something else to read or are put off by the puns like stated above, but I enjoyed the anime and was knowing what I was getting myself into when I signed up for the book club. It’s harmless fun with a bunch of cute animals. I personally tried reading Yotsuba before but didn’t find it particularly interesting or funny, so.
I agree that it’s not really “absolute beginner” level because of the casual, colloquial speech and all the puns, so I’m not surprised that the number of participants has dropped significantly. It’s unfortunate, but maybe the next book will go better?
Personally, I thought the puns were kind of annoying at first because I didn’t think the pun words sounded very similar. But, they’ve started to grow on me as we’ve gone on
From memory it went through the Beginner Book Club voting for a few rounds, before being squeezed out for being too easy. According to the nomination post, it was suggested for being less slangy than Yotsuba, having short chapters and lots of furigana. (I didn’t actually vote for this one either, or Chi’s Sweet Home - my votes wound up coming third, second-last, and last…)
I actually like the puns. Maybe that’s just because it somewhat resembles my style of humour already, though.
We have a group for Graded readers, this is the group above that level =)
It’s hard to find a proper name for it, but it is “starting to read native material” in difficulty, which makes it a bit harder than Graded readers whichever we pick.
Apart from the fact that I’m quite busy at the moment, I did indeed stop following along at that point. I realized that I don’t enjoy analyzing a text in so much detail, this just didn’t feel like the right thing for me. I also don’t want to fill my head with English translations too much, even if I risk misunderstanding something.
But those are just my reasons, I’m sure everyone has their own story to tell about why they are not reading along anymore. I hope the remaining readers keep enjoying this manga.
Eventually I want to read the whole series but realistically not before the summer JLPT…
I thought I could try to keep up but work has gotten super insane and for some reason I got super behind on my reviews and now I have ~300 behind for those. That, combined with me really not being up to this level yet and not knowing much grammar, I guess I just bit off more than I can chew right now. I was really hoping I could do this one.
Yeah, I do think people are less likely to start more free-form discussion when they know that a big part of each thread is going to be structured translation posts in order, which they don’t want to disrupt. But that might also just be an effect of the drop in participation overall too; I don’t know.
Of course, the unstructured discussion of the first week seemed to be confusing for some participants too.
If structured translation posts are the main content of the thread, one thing that might help participation would be if people signed up ahead of time for particular pages. That would help spread the workload around a bit, for one thing. It would also probably make more people motivated to participate on the thread. I know I tend not to like committing time into making a translation post when I know there’s a good chance that someone else might also be working on the same page and post it by the time I have mine ready.
I’ve been considering doing a translation post (especially when the started dying down a little), but 1) I didn’t want to put the effort into all the minute details of formatting, etc. just to have someone else post similar before I think, and 2) (and more important to me) I didn’t want to post translations just before someone else who had been putting a lot of effort into it had a chance to. In either case, the person who misses posting still has the knowledge gained from translating, but they lose out on any time spend formatting.
I’m trying out something different, which shouldn’t be considered a replacement for the translation posts: writing a bit on grammar, vocabulary, and conjugation on a page. If I keep this up (don’t know if I will), I’ll likely focus on bits of pieces from each page, which can provide information that others may not know and will learn from, while not covering everything to the point that there’s nothing to ask about.
Sorry for the off topic reply, I'll try and take this somewhere else but I just realized that the pseudo PM thread has been closed... :-/
Oh, I didn’t realize you are also still planning on taking it! Maybe I misunderstood something and that’s why I thought you would not take it. Or maybe you are like me and had some back and forth with your decision… I’m underprepared and starting to slowly regret that decision but that’s life.
Grabbing some food together would be really nice, thanks for asking! I’m assuming you are the Nicole Rauch that I found Google, I’ll send you a mail, I hope that’s ok.
I’m on the same boat. Going back to work, dealing with the baby etc, I’m super behind on my reviews. I got stuck in the same level for 2 months now and trying to get back into the rhythm. I really wanted to do join this book club but maybe next time…
Well, same here.
I thought I would be able to keep up the pace, but I had not enough free time.
Plus, the book is still too hard for me, I think, and I will dedicate my small amount of free time on WK reviews and grammar lessons with Genki for the moment.