にゃんにゃん Reading Group -- Getting the most?


Thank you so much @Talena! I’m wondering if our pace is too fast at 2 pages a day? Perhaps it should have been 1 page a day? But thank you so much for letting us know you are still reading along! That is so good to know! Thank you!


The pace feels pretty good, the problem comes that not everyone can read two pages every day. I might read 6 pages one day and not read again for a few days. Unfortunately I don’t know any other way to do it. The way you’re running the thread, from what I can see in the earlier parts, seems pretty good. I like reading through the thread and it being in the order of the book.

Now if only I could find time to catch up! It would have helped me to read the story first, then reread it with the group. That way I wouldn’t have felt like there were spoilers.


Thank you so much Talena! It is so nice to hear your thoughts on the thread. Thank you. And I think you are right that it’s good that the bookclub goes along pretty much in order, hopefully it will be useful for you later and for lots of other readers too. Thank you again so much!


I’ll second everything Talena said. I’m still reading, just finding it difficult to make consistent time every day, as my schedule has been so irregular lately (had a bit of a crisis last week involving an overheated car, so I’ve been behind on all things Japanese, including WK, not just reading). Pacing-wise, in hindsight something with a little slack built in might have been better for me – maybe something like 10 pages per week instead of 2 per day, so there’s a little wiggle room – but I certainly wouldn’t want to hold everyone else up!

All that said, I think you’ve done a great job organizing things, and even though I’m behind the thread has genuinely been useful! I’m finding that most of the questions I have when I read new pages have already been answered, so that’s been a big help. I’m just not really able to participate as much as I would have liked, since I don’t want to see explanations for pages that I haven’t yet tried to read on my own first.


“Japanese – the Spoken Language” has been my favourite resource for grammar so far. I’ve tried to read Tae Kim’s guide but found it too tedious. JSL is written in eloquent language which I find much more pleasant to read (of course, if you struggle with complex English, it’s not a book for you). Once you get past the language she uses, I don’t think the actual explanations in the books are overly complex at all, I found them to be much clearer than the often muddled explanations you find in other places, but YMMV (I’ve studied a few languages before so I’m quite comfortable with grammar as a general topic, so I won’t claim to be the best judge).

The use of romaji seems to have become somewhat hated but I found it quite useful to be able to immediately look at a sentence and SEE the structure and how it’s pronounced rather than having to decode kana. Yes, you can memorise the kana table in a weekend but getting to a point where you can just look at an arbitrary word and immediately see it without having to ‘decode’ in your head first takes much longer. And being able to just ‘see’ a sentence and cross-reference it with other examples and the grammar explanations is invaluable.


Thank you so much @MosbyNeko

Perhaps we ought to take a few days off between stories?
That might be a good idea. I wonder what other people think?
Thank you again so much!


I’ve been reading ahead a lot (I’m actually in the second volume now) because the book is too entertaining :slight_smile:

I’ve also been reading with a dictionary and analysing the grammar of every sentence (in my head). When I started I frequently struggled to put sentences together but at some point it ‘clicked’ and things are starting to make sense.

In reading, the most important thing is to start getting a grip on the way Japanese works.
Formal grammar study is an attempt to put it into terms that you can understand – which is important because it ENABLES you to read – but a lot of the details just can’t be put into words.
Like what all the sentence endings really mean.
But if you read (or listen) enough, after a while the meanings just become kind of obvious to you and you learn the most natural way to phrase a sentence.


That is very inspiring to hear! Thank you so much @aiju!


When we read Kiki we did an average of 10 pages per week. So for example, if a chapter was 18 pages, everyone had two weeks to read that chapter. It worked out nicely because I (and I assume many others) don’t want to read every single day. I’d read 5 pages one day, then skip a day or two, and so. I thought it worked pretty well.


yeah, I also can mostly read on the weekends, and then have a look at the thread, when there are things I don’t get.
And I also had to catch up with you guys, because my book arrived alsmost 1 week to late.

I think something like 10 pages/per week would be good. When I motivate myself to read, 2 pages are done fast. So it is harder to motivate me to start reading, More pages are easier for me, since I can use the pace of the story to keep me reading :stuck_out_tongue:


A few days between stories would definitely help. I’m sure there are more people behind in their readings that are following along. People that have time can always read ahead if they want, and revisit the current pages at the group’s speed.


I am still reading the book and try to keep the pace. I was unable to read the last 4 days but I catched up this morning. The reason I don’t post often is because yes, I realised that the book is way over my level and sometimes I don’t even know where to start about asking. Fortunately usually I can solve most of my doubts by reading what it has already been asked and answered.
I found the last few pages a bit harder to understand but I can still follow the story.


I had a look online and have seen there are many books under the same name, are you referring to all of them? I have seen they have also made a new series of book about writing japanese. Have you tried those too?


I mean the series by Jorden and Noda. There are three main books and a few auxiliary books (like kana/kanji versions of the dialogue for the benefit of native Japanese instructors).

I have only looked at the first volume of “Japanese, the Written Language” and I’m not sure it has much to recommend it. It’s mostly slowly going through Katakana, but just has examples, no mnemonics or the like. The second volume might be better but I haven’t had a look.


I feel the pace is good and I really like how it is organised. It makes it a bit harder if you can’t read everyday but I feel the thread stays more organised and when catching up it is easier to follow it. If we set a number of pages to read in a set amount of time, how would it work for asking questions? For example now, when I check on the thread about (for example) page 23 I know that all questions regarding that page are all together and then we start discussing another page. If we swatch to a more flexible way, I fear that every time I want to check about what other have asked about a specific page I would have to read the whole thread.

I am not sure I explained myself clearly, sorry.


Personally, the pace is good to me. But I could get used to another pace, I can organize myself.
But as others said, to me the order in the thread is key as it helps me a lot to know where I am.

But, looking at the thread’s title, I thought that we were working on a 4 day sliding window! i.e., Today we discuss yesterday’s + today’s pages. That would also allow different people to organize differently. You may read 2 pages per day, or 4 every two days.

As a counter example: I’d received this week the entire series of よつばと! and I was taking a look at the よつばと! reading thread for volume 1. And the result is that I cannot follow it (even now that it is already finished! :stuck_out_tongue: ). Questions are chaotic and found in any order and I cannot relate them to the book sometimes. And worse of all people seem to have a higher level so less questions are asked. So I gave up with trying to follow that thread and just took the vocab list and try to decipher the grammar on my own…

My only request is, please, avoid chaos. Decide on some way to organise the thread and say it explicitly whatever it is, I’ll try to manage myself ^^.


That is a very good point. I can’t remember who it was that said it’s best to go through page by page, but it was a winning idea!


Good point!

And the more I thunk about it, the more I think you are right. I was going to suggest taking a break between stories, but now I’m not so sure. The schedule has been up for months, and tinkering with things can indeed lead to chaos. Thank you again so much for your excellent advice @guillepolito and everyone!


The videos below is how I’m learning grammar at current, as I was in your place a couple weeks ago and realized there was no way I could read the book. So, I went through lesson 10 of those videos and tries again to much more success. It’s still rough, but I feel like I’m learning now and it’s much more enjoyable.

I know some other ppl above some other ways to learn grammar so try those too because they may very well be better than my method lol. At least get most of the particles down (は, が, に, で, と) that way you can sort of see how the sentences break down.

Grammar Lessons for Absolute Beginners:


Same here. I’ve set myself a goal of working through these videos and Tae Kim’s Complete Guide by the end of the year. I’m not going to worry at all about reading until then. My hope is that will get me to a point where the success-to-frustration ratio is better than it is for me right now.