ちいさな森のオオカミちゃん ・ The Wolf of the Small Forest book club! 🌳 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

I’m starting to get a better understanding of @MrGeneric 's and @ChristopherFritz 's point. Here’s what happened:

As confessed before, I use google translator. It’s a strangely comfy position to hold the manga in my left hand while the right hand is typing. But what I do is that I type in specific kanji and fragments of sentences. In this way I’m getting a feel of the structure, looking at google’s output, where they separate the syllables, adding kana from around the fragment in question or removing them. Eventually I would take those kanji / kana to jigo or ichi, but so far the meaning on the page was too obvious to miss. :sweat_smile:

So what I do is typing one word at a time, trying out combinations, and thereby getting an idea of the structure and the vocab in use. I see how the translation of larger sections is usually imprecise, but it’s enough for me to get an idea what is inside the sentence in order to come up with my own translation. With @MrGeneric 's words in mind, I observed how I actually shy away from typing in too much text, because then I couldn’t relate anymore between the translation and the source text. I think the largest combination was two words plus two particles at a time.

I’d call this my easy mode. Getting a feel of the text and preparing kanji and vocab for looking up later. I see now why the deciphering and transcribing is stressed so often in this thread, because to really get a full comprehension of how the grammar bends and shapes the meaning of the words I’d need to look up all things involved. Then I’d be overwhelmed, and probably spent hours pouring over the arcana of the first page. :laughing:

Personally I still think this approach works for me, my current level and the intentions I’ve joined this book club with. It won’t suffice for more complex or exotic sentences, but should still give me the means to dig into earnest research when the need arises. Not because I don’t want to learn grammar at all, but because I’m putting that sort of effort into studying Genki, not closing a chapter until I know every grammar point by heart. I look for making Manga reading a different tool for training a different set of skills, something in approximation of “developing a routine for everyday Japanese”. I want to chat and browse like I used to when starting out on English back in the day, eventually.

I apologize for sharing so much with you in this thread and hope it doesn’t go too far. Writing is my go-to tool for reflecting my methods and hypotheses, and here are people who showed genuine interest in diversity of mind and in guiding beginners like me on their way. Any resonance, feedback or advice is going to have a strong, shaping impact on how I teach myself to learn in this phase, and is therefore much appreciated. Thank you all!

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You’ll be exposed to a lot of grammar in the weekly discussion threads, which should be a nice supplement.

Outside of that, I usually recommend not spending too much time on one chapter of a Japanese textbook unless you are keeping up a good pace.

The reason? Some grammar is harder to learn, and you need more exposure than one chapter gives. Textbooks build upon earlier material, letting you see it in more contexts.

The more you move forward, the more grammar you expose yourself to, and the more easier-to-understand grammar you absorb. This makes those Japanese example sentences overall easier to understand.

It’s possible to go too fast as well, so everything in moderation.

But, since you’ll see a lot of grammar talk in discussion threads, your current Genki process should be fine. Just be aware of whether your pacing is working for you or against you, and be sure to adjust if needed.

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Hello neighbour! I was wondering, did they already charge mwst in beforehand? Unsure how it is in Germany, but we have to pay like 10€ for every delivery that doesn’t have the mwst already collected in beforehand.

If I buy from Japan on ebay, etsy or any other bigger company, they always charge the mwst right away so I have no issues. Wondering if the process is the same for manga-republic by any chance.

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They don’t. They send it out via Fedex, which means you will get an invoice after with vat + 5€ Fedex handling fee.

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I think we are starting today, so here are a couple of questions.

Page 8 Questions

いいいいこのまに!!
really not sure what is going on here. DeepL just translates as “Good, good, good, good, good”, which does not feel right. このま might mean “in the trees”, and the いいいい bit just be a startled noise, but would like confirmation. Maybe something like “What!?!? You are in the trees (here with me and not on the road where I thought you would be)?”

丸見えだもん
Is the もん just this particle? Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary

みあっていうの
I get that she is just saying her name is Mia, but I don’t understand why there is a っ there.

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p8

That’s either a typo or a misread, it’s いいいいつのまに, いつのまに is “when did you…” In this case, and the elongated i in the front is her adorably getting scared

It’s technically not a particle, it shows a (usually negative) cause of some other thing.

って is the casual quotation particle. The informal version of と. Sometimes it even has the implied meaning of a full という jammed into a single って (for example in だって) but not here

Btw, this is the book club home thread, I recommend going over to the first week’s thread instead for questions instead

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oops, sorry will head over there. Also, happy cake day.

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Happy cake day @Gorbit99 ! Your advice about utilising time was really good. I’ve started using Satori Reader since we last met, it’s absolutely amazing! All the hard work is done as each word has a dedicated translation that’s appropriate for the context (eg. how the site defines the と particle will depend on how it’s used in that precise instance etc.). There’s a full translation after every sentence, and additional notes too!

I will 100% return to you guys at some point, but given my current schedule, Satori seems to be what’s appropriate and manageable for me at this stage. But I will return. 頑張ってみなさん😁

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@ChristopherFritz I’m assuming it was just an oversight since you’re juggling a lot of things with this book club, but should the link for the Week 1 discussion thread be put into the main post here under Reading Schedule and Discussion Links like it was for the Ruri club? At least for me that made it easier to keep track of each week’s individual thread.

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Ah yes, that was intended and forgotten. (Maybe one of these days I’ll make myself a checklist.) It’s added in now!

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Also, I know it’s been somewhat of a controversial topic here, but ChatGPT has been enourmously helpful for me in this regard. I’m using it with Satori Reader to ask it why certain particles and phrases are used the way that they are. If you’re feeding the machine a premade sentence, it’s far more accurate than simply asking it to translate a concept from sratch, which we discussed a few months back as being quite lacking/misleading. In this case, it’s very accurate and helpful, so I personally would recommend it and attest to it’s quality, though others have their own gripes with it and that’s fair.

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Eh, that’s probably the thing I would least use it for. For a few things mainly.
If you are looking for examples of translations on the web, it’s readily available in a bunch of japanese teaching sites and in the countless sentence repositories, so chatgpt has a ton of content to train itself on.
If you however want to ask for sentence breakdowns, well, there aren’t actually that many places on the internet, where you can look for it. The Japanese stack exchange does it sometimes, we do it sometimes, but not a whole lot of other communities make this readily available.
I personally tried it, if it gets confused, it will make up an answer. Once I had it explain away a weird part of a sentence as a nonexistent particle for example. It’s mostly alright, but when it gets stuff wrong, you won’t know it.

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mirroring a bit what @Gorbit99 said, ChatGPT will very confidently give you wrong or incorrect explanations, but the confidence of the answer and the informational tone of the explanation will sound extremely real and plausible. It will sound reasonable and knowledgable, despite being slightly wrong or even fully incorrect.

Unless I personally know the answer to what I’m looking for and can gauge the accuracy of the generated answer, I would maybe stick to checking grammar explanation websites, asking the r/LearnJapanese everyday question thread, or forming a casual DM-able rapport with a native Japanese teacher

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Or just asking here. There was an nhk news easy thread going made by someone reading an article. I spent more time crafting up grammar breakdowns for that, than I would like to admit. Having a general book clubesque satori reader thread isn’t a terrible idea

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All very good points. I should have made it clear as well that this is moreso when used for double-checking an explanation, or for something that I already have some familiarly with. For brand new concepts, you’re right, I would use a different resource first. But all v. good points.

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ah ok, I haven’t seen another invoice yet, but it just arrived Friday so I’ll let you guys know. It’s not a deal breaker, but would definitely make Verasia generally cheaper for future orders where possible.

That’s what I did - after getting through a full series on Satori then the ABBC seemed about right and after another series ABBC is now very comfortable. FYI if you have specific questions on Satori, you can ask in the comments section of the episode or the main discussion pages. They answer them really well within a few days or point you to an episode of their Nutshell Grammar series where it is handled. And of course, as other people have said, people on these WK forums are really nice about answering questions.

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You should have received an E-Mail on Friday. At least that’s what happened to me, and they allowed to pay comfortably online (not like other delivery services that don’t inform you in advance and expect cash payment at the doorstep…)

I didn’t check it in detail but assumed the handling fee was part of the total sum. So I suppose that’s what @wanisnani referred to. :slight_smile:

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Okay, you caught my interest.

The 日本デー in Düsseldorf already provided me with flyers/ads of material for additional study which I meant to review, but this Satori reader looks… convincing, to say the least. (Just looked up the homepage and trial text). It’s like everything you need in one place: audio files, grammar and vocab look ups, flashcards(?) and more. What’s the catch? Is the comment section you mention something inside the app? It looks too good to be true, triggering my skeptic-instincts. :joy: :see_no_evil:

eek, I just looked back at the 4 emails I deleted without reading on Friday (uh… bad habit I know) from FedEx… but I can’t find any bill. Hopefully they’ll send a letter or another email if it’s important?

Yeah, the cash thing at the doorstep. The first time that happened to me here I was convinced it was a scam and my husband was so embarrassed that I tried to put up an argument against it. :rofl: And then the frustration with another package where they didn’t do that, instead I got a letter that my only option was to drive to a different town to pick up my package and pay (a big heavy expensive textbook from the US). Surely in the 21st century…

It’s actually just really outstanding. As far as I can tell, it’s a labour of love from the developer, who seems organised and nimble enough to charge fairly, keep growing his team, and basically blow it out of the water, knock it out of the park, insert more praise here. I can’t overstate how helpful Satori has been for me.

It’s definitely the single most useful paid resource for my Japanese. I’m a subsciber since a bit more than 2 years and have seen it continuously improve in that time. In the first year, I felt like it was really too hard and didn’t use it consistently. In retrospect, I’m so glad I pushed through that, as it got me over a hump that it seems you just have to fight through with reading. Now I’m at the perfect level for their beginner content and getting through material quicker and I feel like the gains I’m making recently are largely due to just how easy it is to learn effectively on that system (I recently started a study log if you’re interested).

I’d say just make a free account and try a few episodes. Play around with all the settings. If you like, it, sub for a month. And if it seems right after that, swap to an annual subscription as there’s enough to keep anyone busy for at least a year (if not several) if you’re starting from the ground up. I wrote a detailed article how I use it since it seems popular on WK.

Edit: regarding the comments section - on the main website there is a discussion section with 4 areas. And each episode has a comments section. It uses Disqus (I think) which is really clunky, but it seems they’re swapping over to something much better around the end of this month. The developer says they will port over all comments.

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ps would be really curious when you get a chance to report on that how it was, what other material you came across, etc. I almost drove over, but I’m near Hamburg and that was a bit too far at the drop of a hat. Maybe next year…

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