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)

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.


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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That company made the Human Japanese apps years ago and basically expanded that app idea into Satori Reader. It’s a great app. The only slight issue I have with it is that their flashcards could be better.

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Sure, prompt me to talk…

Ever since I moved to Duisburg, it’s been my second time at the Japan Day. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go, because, yes, I like a lot of things Japanese, but for a while allowed myself to realize that I “just enjoy learning the language”.

Fool that I am…

It took exactly two minutes of reaching the city that I spotted the first Fursuiter and Cosplayers. The former aren’t exactly part of they day, but good luck trying to keep local suiters away from events as big as that. I mention them because some people go there expecting them and they seem part of the event, somehow. But honestly I’ve seen only a couple of suiters and something upwards of three hundred cosplayers, to give you a sense of the ratios. The first time around I even met pirates and orcs, people who did fantasy re-enactment and camped next to said suiters, Naruto ninjas and the official samurai show fighters.

What's a Fursuiter?

People who like to create and wear anthropomorphic animal costumes, largely of their own imagination, though often inspired by games, cartoons, mythology and other sources of art. Quality reaches from “fluffy pajama” to half automated flashy suits with special effects and moving appendages, but generally they mingle among the more exotic street performers.

That said, my biggest plus is all the eye-candy. The creativity and effort people put into their costumes is breath-taking, and I just love seeing this kind of art. I hardly ever read manga / watched anime past my teens, but still I recognize so many characters either from personal memory or because they showed up in @ChristopherFritz snippets. :wink: There’s also a lot of other art and souvenirs you can buy there, but that goes without saying. I’ve showcased some in the Fox appreciation thread.

I mentioned the official samurai fighters. As part of the program, they put up that, zen archery, Judo, Kendo should have been there somewhere, and just generally introduce you to the popular culture of Japanese. Going from there - theme wise - I’ve seen at least two Kimono trial booths, where you could completely dress yourself in proper Japanese style and even buy a set, I believe. The same was true for cosplay props, but once I had refilled my さいふ wallet the amount of visitors had reached a point where walking wasn’t possible anymore. More like entering a snail-paced mass and hope the tides took you the right way. I didn’t reach the shops a second time. XD

That is the downside of the event. It’s getting insanely full. People take a lot of care not to step on your feet and are generally polite, friendly and, well, nice people. One single impatient dog owner tried to skewer my liver with her elbow, but I believe she was just unfortunate enough to live in the area.

When we really needed a rest, I invited myself into the Go booth and played two rounds. Years ago I got the idea out of my head to become professional in the game, but I still very much enjoy it, and the people there were also very friendly and helpful. There are always tons of spectators who got no clue what the game was about and want us to explain what we’re doing. (You guessed it, I love doing that too.)

In the vicinity were a couple of booths of travel companies, showcases of everyday life in Japan, and the Japanese / German institute that teaches language. I got some material from them because I wanted to see if there is a club or platform in reach or even around my own city. I heard Düsseldorf is pretty much the center of Japanese Culture in Germany, so the assumption made sense to me. But I didn’t get to checking out said material, so can’t give you more about that yet.

Then there were a lot of DIY workshops. Like start learning Japanese right there, in hourly classes. Or draw your own manga. Calligraphy, also a workshop, where you could create some charms and little paper trinkets for yourself or as gifts for friends and family. Origami, even a pretty big area.

And food, naturally. I can’t remember all the stuff I’ve seen there, though most prominent among them were Onigiri and Bubbletea. God I love those. (Perhaps my perception was biased?)

There was more than that, like the show at the central stage and the fireworks at the end, but I didn’t stay for those. The program varies a bit each year I believe, and this year we were blessed with perfect weather - hence the human horde.


Curious, are you using the free ChatGPT or GPT-4 (which I believe is currently only in the Premium)? I ask because apparently GPT-4 is significantly better/more accurate than the free version (3.5).

I am a strong believer in signs and omens.

The Wedding of The Fox is one such sign.

I have to read the whole thing eventually, no matter the cost. :joy: No idea what skill level it is, and the third episode needs me to subscribe. Seems like a good start to make up my mind. :slight_smile:

And thanks for all the other tips and links, I’ve already tagged your study log and will read through it. Thanks so much for the content you share and the inspiration you give!

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@PhilipZ thanks so much for the Japan Day report :heart_eyes: loving it, looks like I should definitely plan to go next year. There is so much there… all of it sounds like a lot of fun. I want to write a lot more… but I start work in a sec!

My local course is great and done with a lot of heart, maybe try a term!

They’ve put a lot into the newest stories in the last year (there are several). The Wedding of the Fox is one of the new ones - the second in the Fujiki Consulting services series. (I totally should have seen your enthusiasm coming on that one and sent you straight to it, lol) I haven’t read that one (but am super excited to get that far). Another new one, Kiki Mimi Radio really won my heart. And I’m currently reading Jam maker, which is still being released. If you go to the home page you can select “sort by difficulty”. The Fujiki stories are on the harder end - but that being said I’d go based on interest as long as you’re enjoying it.

thanks, that means a lot to me!

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I’d be curious to try out GPT-4 and mark the differences.

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would you like access to the manabi reader 3.0 beta? I’ve opened up a testflight for iOS/macOS: Join the Manabi Reader – Read Japanese beta - TestFlight - Apple any feedback appreciated!


Week three’s thread is live. This week, we finish up chapter one!