Agree with the above.
I tried to read a book 「日本史の英雄」(the heroes of Japanese history), but ended up having to look up about 10-15 words per page. Just kills your motivation and is indeed very tedious.
Reading another book about business now. Much easier with 2-3 new words per page. I think that is a good sweet spot Good luck!
Agree with the above.
It’s not just the words, but it’s the grammar as well. You need to know enough grammar not to get frustrated after every sentence.
I like reading foreign language books together with the English text. I take turns reading the Japanese text and where I don’t understand, I read the English. Sometimes if I’m tired of looking up words or figuring out the grammar I read a few pages in English only. For me this is a comfortable way of learning/reading.
Another question to ask yourself is how well do you know Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone?
I started reading HP when it was still WAAAY beyond my level. (I’ll still land on pages that are a struggle for me at level 35 because a lot of the vocabulary that comes up is simply not relevant to everyday life.) However, because I have read the first few Harry Potter books well over a dozen times, even when I encounter tough sections, I’m never completely lost.
Having a book semi-memorized can help compensate for gaps in grammar and help you be okay with skipping over words and even sentences you don’t quite get because you still know what’s going on.
But if you don’t know the book as well as that, I would say wait until you get into the 30s before giving it shot. It will be too tedious otherwise, and a lot of kanji/vocabulary you will learn isn’t the most useful.
This is also my reasoning.
It’s still beyond my level - given how much I had to look up in just the first paragraph of the Japanese HP1, but it’s something that I’m working towards.
I don’t expect to read the book for reading’s sake, but to expose me to more grammar usage. I have the Japanese version, the English version, and the Japanese audio book. I’ve read the original HP so often, and listened to it a lot in audio book form that I know everything that happens at every turn of the story.
If you’re going to expose yourself to reading that is still above your level so as to get better at things, might as well be something that you enjoy. It will be very difficult for me, but it’s a project I really look forward to, tackling HP1 in Japanese. ^^
Just found this topic.
I tried to read HP in Japanese a few years ago and gave up after a few sentences. Just recently I gave it another try. I’m learning Japanese for over 5 years now and after many breaks I’m into wanikani again. I learnt the kanji for fence at level 43 a few days ago when I just read it in the book.
I’m reading it in Japanese and German (my mother tongue) simultaneously and I have to say I’m finally content with my Japanese reading pace. But sometimes there are grammar points I would like to discuss with a Japanese. I’m thinking of searching for a language learning partner who likes HP as much as I do and read the books with.
You could ask people on one of the book club thread, or even recommend the book itself
I think, HP is too long for the book club. There reading shorter stories, don’t they?
You can read Harry Potter at any time, for certain definitions of the word “reading”.
As others have mentioned, aside from your WK level, you’ll need to learn a lot of vocabulary using those same kanji that is not taught in WK, some kana only vocabulary, some grammar, and some idioms and so on. Before doing that, your reading will feel more like archaeology. Which can be fun and instructive, but seldom feels like what most people think about when they use the word “reading”.
I’d recommend reading a bunch of other stuff first, so it will be more enjoyable and flow more smoothly. I’d especially recommend Native Japanese stuff. I’ve really been enjoying the ５分後に意外な結末 series recommended by Wani Kani super-user Leebo. They are nice, short and digestible stories from around 4-15 pages each and contain a decent variety of themes and styles. I’m no expert, but they seems to be that they are right around the easiest level or “real” Japanese (meaning that they are not written for students of Japanese or for young children).
I’m starting to think the best way to learn Japanese, or at least written Japanese, is to study kanji, vocabulary, and grammar until you get to the level of being able to read at the level of the５分後に意外な結末 series and then spend most of your time actually reading and looking up grammar and vocabulary as you discover it and adding to a SRS deck. Of course, by the time you get to this point, you’ll likely be at level 40+ in Wani Kani.
There’s the 10分で読める伝記 series with which I started. This is aimed at kids going from 1st year up until 6th grade.
The series you mentioned it’s aimed at kids going to elementary school starting at 4-6th grade according to the publisher webpage.
So you could start before, and still avoid all the fauna - folklore tales that plague most of the readings aimed at japanese kids.
Yes. I was lucky enough to be able to read most of those by checking out of the Japanese language branch of my local library. (I live in SF, CA)
That shows what I know, and the results are not encouraging. I thought the difficulty and subject matter was of a much higher level than the 10分で読める series and ざぜ？どうして？series with which I started.
To be fair, those stories were not made for elementary school students, they were just regular short stories selected to be abordable for them. That means that the stories can contain parts that kids would struggle with.
On the contrary, stuff like なぜ？どうして？ were made directly for kids, and thus should be an easier read.
By the way, if you read 赤い悪夢 from the 5分後に意外な結末, you can check the thread from the intermediate book club on it (we read the book 6 or 8 months ago)
It’s most definitely fine for the intermediate book club (that has no limit). The beginner book club did put a 150 pages limit though. You could just recommend the first 100 pages or so, and propose to keep it going aside from the club after that (like what is happening with yotsuba and aria).
Or you can just ask if anyone would be interested in reading it with you (like the Nya Nya and なぜどうして (and SAO) threads)
I want to start reading HP and even though I am level 60 I forget things constantly because I never actually use Japanese I just study it
I just started reading it and I’m glad I found your comment, thanks
It’s a really hard question to answer as it’s quite a subjective thing. Some people are willing to go into novels as soon as they start studying a language. They enjoy looking everything up and seeing if they can decode what’s going on.
Some people hate that and prefer to already be at a level where they understand 99% before the process of reading can become enjoyable for them.
Most people are somewhere in between. I’ve never heard of anyone reading novels and not getting a lot out of it so I’d say just try it!
If it’s fun, you’re ready! Otherwise wait a couple of months and try again (:
Did you see the thread about reading hp together?
I decided to finish the シロクマカフェ mangas first and then read HP, but thanks
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