Absolute Beginners Book Club // Currently reading Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea

And we have a winner! I was going to ask if someone else could volunteer to run this one, so thanks for stepping forward Phyrne! You sure were quick setting up that home thread!

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I am just so hyped that my nomination won :joy:

… and now I’ll just have to wait 7 weeks :confounded:

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I’m currently watching the show for listening practice! I already told myself I wouldn’t buy anymore books for a while, though…Such torn emotions…

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I had a hole in my weekly reading schedule, so I started reading this a few weeks back. I’m only three chapters in, but now I feel I should set it aside, wait for the club to start, and wait for it to reach chapter 4 before I continue. Time for me to find something else to fill this new opening =D

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Well, I ended up purchasing a physical book from the Kinokuniya store in person, and this is first Japanese book (of course, besides Genki) I have bought. I am on the 5th chapter in Genki 1, and also using HumanJapanese. And I’m at WK level 9. My hope was to follow along this book’s reading club thread to pick up on grammar, as I go.
Am I being too ambitious given my current level?

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I think you could certainly join us, but if you have not finished Genki I you will definitely be looking up a lot of grammar (and/or asking a lot of questions). So it depends how you feel about that. I wouldn’t worry about having to ask a lot of questions, cause there are loads of people about who enjoy answering questions :slight_smile:

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Yes, and that’s a good thing! Don’t let it discourage you later.

My recommendations are:

  1. Utilize the vocabulary list. (It’s user-populated, so if what you’re looking up isn’t there, you can look it up on Jisho or another site, and then add it to the vocabulary sheet to help others.)

  2. Aim to get the gist of what’s going on. There will be a lot of grammar you don’t know, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. (Unless you enjoy being overwhelmed with new grammar, as I did at that level!)

  3. Read all grammar discussion even if you don’t really understand it well. Just being exposed to it will be helpful for when you encounter it in Genki later.

  4. Feel free to ask for a deeper explanation of anything covered in discussions.

  5. Feel free to ask questions on any sentence you have trouble with.

  6. Expect to learn a lot of new grammar along the way.

  7. Expect to reinforce grammar you’ve already learned.

From what I’ve seen (first three chapters), the stories look to be self-contained. I don’t know if this changes later, but for so long as that continues to be the case, that means you should be okay if you don’t finish a chapter, or have to skip a chapter.

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I tried to join the current ABBC at about level 15 Wanikani and somewhere between chapter 8,9 in Genki I (not super thorough Genki studies though…). It was a lot of work, and I decided to quit. I realised I knew far too little grammar for the reading to be enjoyable and given my time constraint I thought it would make more sense to go back and focus more on Genki I/II and recharge my batteries for the next bookclub. Although it was a bit of a blow it gave me a feedback on where I was in my learning progress and what I had to learn to start reading (with an amount of effort to still make it enjoyable to me). When self-studying, these things are valuable!

Despite my failure to follow along the bookclub, however, I definitely do think that it is doable at your level. As others have said, you’ll just have to be willing to work a bit and look up a lot of new grammar and vocabulary. How much you’ll have to work exactly depends on how much time you want to spend, on how well you can incorporate your readings to learning, on how much you want to understand, on how much you’ll like the book, etc. etc.

I guess what I want to say is that maybe (and if you’re ready to work sufficiently hard, then definitely) you’ll be able to follow along, which is great(!), or you’ll get a good sign of where you are at the moment (and maybe get a better idea on how you should proceed with your Japanese studies to reach your goal). Either way it’ll be a good outcome :beers:

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Thanks much for the detailed replies. I will certainly give it a honest attempt to follow along. I had looked at the spreadsheets with grammar and vocab from previous books, and this was definitely one part (among many) of this club that I really liked. At the least, this would be give me a different angle of immersion.
For the moment, I am going to put all my effort into Genki - while I wait for the reading to begin.

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Thanks, just what I was looking for, some proper reading material for a beginner.

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Feel free to feedback on the spreadsheet :slight_smile: I’ll try to get involved as much as I can to help others following
Really fall in love with Takahashi RiexTakagi-san after watching the anime.

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I´ve now got the full Takagi-san series with me!! It arrived so much earlier than expected :astonished: So looking forward to this manga with you guys! :muscle:

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I’m a n00b so I have a question. I have just gotten to level 10 but have NOT started any grammar yet. I’m planning on starting Genki 1 hopefully soon. Would it be wise for me to steer clear of this club UNTIL I finish Genki 1, or would you suggest otherwise?

It depends on how comfortable you are with looking stuff up when reading. I’d at the very least skip ahead a bit to learn the short forms of verbs (they’re used in casual conversation a lot, which most of the characters in this story use when talking to each other).

There’s still some stuff you’d need to look up even after finishing Genki 1 (and 2) so a lot of us will have to look stuff up too :grin: But knowing at least the verb conjugations for present and past tense + adjectives is really handy, since multiple of those show up in most sentences.

If you’re comfortable looking those up as you go along you could read along. It’d probably be a bit frustrating in the beginning though.

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Okay thanks! I really appreciate it :slight_smile: I think I’ll wait so I don’t get overly frustrated.

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I would start ASAP. I’m on level 19, but waited until recently to try actual reading. I wish I’d started earlier with either book clubs or graded readers because now I feel like I’m playing catch-up. I’ve learned hundreds of kanji and vocabulary but still have trouble with reading because I didn’t really focus on learning them in context. Also, the context sentences in wanikani are kind of rubbish; mostly sentences we’d never use in real life. There is a reading resource page in the forum that is really good.

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Hello! I am pretty new, I am on level 3 of wanikani and about to upgrade to premium. I just discovered Cure Dolly (through another forum post here on wanikani). The discription says it is best if you have completed Genki level 1 before starting this book… Is going through Cure Dolly videos equivalent to that? I would like to do this book club, I am really excited to jump into Japanese content but am still a very new newbie. Please Advise! oh gosh… I started reading some of the conversations here in the comments and realized that I am WAAAAY out of my league. :sob: I’ll put my dreams of doing a book club on hold until I am much further along in things.

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At a bare minimum, you’ll probably want to have watched through at least the first 20 or so Cure Dolly videos from her Japanese from Scratch playlist.

We’ll be starting Teasing-Master Takagi-san in a week, and reading the volume will run for two months (through the end of June). That gives you a choice:

  1. Use the next two months to watch one Cure Dolly video per day, so you’ll have watched at least 60 of them before the next book club pick is decided, scheduled, and begins.

  2. Buy a copy of Teasing-Master Takagi-san and read along, knowing in advance that you’ll be struggling the whole time. Reading the related discussion can slowly boost your grammar knowledge alongside using a grammar resource such as Cure Dolly’s series, the Genki textbooks, or Tae Kim’s guide.

The first native material (manga or otherwise) you read will be a massive struggle, whether you’ve started learning grammar already or not. I do recommend getting a basic understanding of grammar in advance. You can watch through the first six Cure Dolly videos in an hour, and even though you probably won’t retrain much from a first pass, that’ll help point you in the right direction.

From there, it’s a matter of how much tolerance you have for looking things up and learning as you go while reading native material, and if that method works for you.

For some people, learning from Genki or Tae Kim works best. For me, that method doesn’t work at all. Looking up grammar as I read a manga, and watching Cure Dolly, were what’s worked for me. (But first going in to manga reading, I did have a very basic understanding of grammar from having taken high school-level Japanese language class way back in the stone age.)

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Thank you for the reply, it was very helpful!!! <3 I am LOVING Cure Dolly’s vids so far and was hesitant to get a textbook like Genki, so it is great to know that someone else has been successful using other methods. The first Cure Dolly video blew my mind so much I immediately ordered her book Alice in Kanji Land and it is so freaking cute!
I ordered a copy of the book in my excitement so I will see how it strikes me after I look at it, but i will probably try and read along. :tada: Thank you again!

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Read along! Who cares your level!! We aren’t being graded (are we?).
I’m new too. I just read the first two pages. Took me forever but the struggle is kind of fun.
Do it!! :slight_smile:
Also thank you for introducing me to cure dolly. Sounds interesting. I’ll check it out.
See you may 1.

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