At what level can I start reading simple texts?

The other way is easier. :wink: Vocab you can look up easily. Grammar sometime turned the meaning upside down if you don’t grasp it well. E.g., I recently misread a sentence as “I was kind to him sometime” instead of “He was kind sometime” because of a single letter に (a particle). Knowing the meaning of each word in a string of words does not mean you know the meaning of the sentence. Try deciphering this for example (an actual sample from a book we’re doing in a reading club – with the vocab translated to english):

“long ago"の"thing"を"to know” "thing"が"to be able to"のも"book"の"assistance"だしね

Japanese grammar also has a lot of nuances. Add to that the many hidden/implied/unwritten portion of the sentence and the multiple level of speeches, such as casual (in textbook)/casual (in reality)/polite/keigo/humble, it can get overwhelming. The best advice I’ve taken in myself as I’m learning Japanese is to not let any of the aspects of the language to fall too far behind (listening&speaking – yet another difficult aspect of Japanese, writing, grammar, vocab, kanji).

In any case, if you want to try something easy that is not completely basic, you can try よつばと! There is a reading club in the forum for it as well. It has full furigana, but a lot of casual speech and contraction. Alternatively, I used to do one of the graded readers (I didn’t read level 0, but it’s probably doable with basic N5 grammar and vocab).

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