🐶 わんわん探偵団 🕵 Home Thread - Doggy Detectives!

I’m inclined to say it would be more helpful to have it in the notes anyway, because it’s right there next to the word you’re looking up, rather than forcing you to check another sheet. Let’s see how it goes if we do it like that - just adding more extensive notes that point out conjugations the first time they occur.


Notice on Timings!

Advance warning for new people - we usually try to align our thread posting so that discussion threads are ready for people in e.g. Japan, Australia, etc. on the advertised day. Thus if you’re significantly to the West it will seem like the threads are being posted a day earlier than promised.


So, since this is my very first book club, I’m a little curious how the rest of you work through this. i.e.
What kind of notes do you take?
Should I make myself an Anki deck of the vocab, given that a lot of it is going to be brand-new to me and I’m not likely to re-encounter it in a while?
Should I be trying for full English translations, or just trying to understand?

I burned out doing full translations, so I wouldn’t recommend.

I’ve got an actual book, but for making notes I scan it, then highlight and sticky-note new words - I expect things are a bit more straightforward for ebooks.

You’d be surprised how many times suspect, case, police, investigation, etc. will crop up - you will see a number of new words becoming familiar vocab during our reading.


Same. Not just because it’s a lot of work, but also because translation is a skill in its own right and some things are really hard to translate! So I wouldn’t bother translating every sentence. What I did find useful, especially with long sentences, is to copy them out, chop them into pieces, translate the individual parts and then put the sentence back together again. The ‘relative clauses’ take some getting used to at first, so that can really help.

So what I do is exactly what Rowena does. I use a PDF editor to add sticky notes to the sentences that I want to make a note on. That way the notes stay out of the way when I am re-reading.

As for vocabulary, I am still working my way through the Tango decks. But like Rowena said, some high frequency words have lodged themselves in my brain even without Anki, just because they’re so frequent!


You’ve already had some good answers, but I just wanted to chime in to add my support to the “don’t bother fully translating everything into English” camp.

There are a few disadvantages, I think. It hugely increases amount of time and effort you have to invest, and it’s really important to keep reading fun, so that you keep doing it! Plus you’ll be able to read more in the time you have available, and the more you read, the better.

The other aspect is that I think it’s valuable to try to get out of the mindset of translating, as early on as possible with your reading. We’re aiming to read a Japanese book here, not translate it into English - as nienque touched on :slightly_smiling_face: that’s not something you can do immediately from the start, of course, but you want to encourage your brain to make that transition wherever possible. And even as a beginner, I’m sure you’ll find there are plenty of sentences which you really don’t need to write out in English to understand fully!

However, again as nienque mentioned, it can be super helpful to break a more complex sentence down completely, and make sure you understand every little bit. Japanese sentences are, in many ways, constructed “backwards” compared to English. It’s often helpful to start at the end and work your way back! If you have to ‘deconstruct’ the majority of sentences at the start, there’s nothing wrong with that - you will definitely have to do so for fewer and fewer sentences as you read more and more, if you let yourself.


… we are go!

Excited Puppers


Don’t want to disrupt the discussion thread, so I’ll leave a message here, hope it’s ok. I started reading now, despite sort of stopping learning japanese for a week, but now I have Doggy Detectives, WK subscription and Genki (all bought by my own money too), and I’m thrilled to make some progress!!! Good luck everyone!:slight_smile:


As we’re coming up to the weekend, I want to check in regarding the pace (it’s hard to judge in advance!).

  • I want to stick to this pace
  • I want to read 6 pages a week

0 voters

To be clear, this isn’t a “majority wins” situation; we’ll stick to this pace unless everyone wants to speed up. This is just the easiest way of asking :slightly_smiling_face:

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Although I voted to stay this pace, one more page per week wouldn’t kill me. It’s just nice knowing that I can miss two days and not get behind if I do a page per day the other days. It gives more time to click the grammar links that I don’t necessarily have time for as they are posted.


I voted the same as Abikin for the same reason. It wouldn’t kill me if we went faster, but I am using extra days to try to close the gap with grammar study and recap.


@Abikin @SolarHusky

Well from the votes so far we’ll definitely be sticking with the current pace :slightly_smiling_face: it does go up to 5 pages in a few weeks, mind. When I planned the schedule I was hoping it would be nice and manageable, but I wanted a sense check in case everyone was raring to go. It’s helpful to gauge how people are finding it.


Well done for making it through the first week, everybody!

Don’t panic if you haven’t quite finished yet :slightly_smiling_face: you can keep asking questions in the week 1 thread as long as you need.


I’m interested in this book club, but I am unsure about obtaining a copy. I ordered a physical copy, but it may not be here for awhile. Is there some place to buy it digitally? I can’t buy kindle co.jp books here in the US.

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Bookwalker is a fairly straightforward way of getting a digital copy. You can click on the bookwalker link in the opening post. At first the website is all in Japanese but after you click ログイン (login) at the top right you can then change to English for registration (click on the globe icon in top right that says 言語).

Once you’re registered go the book’s selling page and click カート to add the book to your cart. You then click on the カート icon at the top right to check out. Again you can switch to English to go through the purchasing process.

Once you’ve bought it you can read through a web browser or through an app on an iPad etc.


Ok. Thanks Micki,
I have it. Going to do my best with the first story and plan to follow the second part more closely.


do people typically make anki decks for the vocab spreadsheet?

If not, maybe it’d be cool to have some script or interface that could generate the anki deck from our spreadsheets.

Week 3 is here!

Remember to vote in the participation poll at the link :ok_hand:

otherwise I get anxious that nobody is reading with me anymore

And if you haven’t already, do consider setting this thread to ‘watching’ (there’s a button below ‘reply’ with a bell icon) so that you get notified when I publish these threads :slightly_smiling_face:


For the last few weeks tried to purchase this on amazon.co.jp because I wanted to read this on my Kindle. After many failed attempts, decided to purchase on bookwalker.

Looking forward to reading with you all, I will try to catch up!


Week 4!

Welcome to those who are just joining us and catching up right now :blush:

This is our first 5-page week, but the first page is really not too long - you can do it! :triumph:


Week 5!

I just want to reassure anybody who is a bit behind / catching up right now that you are very welcome to continue asking questions in previous threads!

If you’re totally stuck on a sentence and don’t even know what to ask, you can always just ask for somebody to give you a complete breakdown. Or if you’re not confident in a sentence, just post a potential translation and ask for feedback.