At what level will I be able to read simple manga?

Hey,

When I learned hiragana and katakana, I basically brute forced it by repeating it over and over again using flash cards. I found out that it was quite difficult to read sentences fluently despite knowing the characters. By practising reading simple sentences, it has gotten much more fluid.

My goal is to be able to read and understand Japanese. Therefore I really want to practise as much as possible. I already try to read the children’s newspaper mainichi.jp every day, picking up whatever I can pick up from the sentences.

I noticed that a lot of manga use furigana and I was wondering at what level I will be good enough to read the manga and understand what it’s about without being able to literally translate it.

Right now, I can understand a few of the speech bubbles if they are very short and don’t use too complicated grammar and vocabulary.

They recommend reading from level 10. But WaniKani doesn’t teach grammar it depends on you doing grammar study.

2 Likes

WaniKani will help you not have to rely on furigana, but that’s about it. Sure, you learn vocab along the way, but that is not WK’s focus.
At level 24, trying to read Doraemon is still a struggle. My grammar and conjugation skills are still :poop:

1 Like

since most mangas include furigana I’d say you can start from level 1 but kanji’s not the problem, grammar and vocab are…

I’d agree with the others. Technically you could read manga at any level as long as you know some grammar. It’s very easy to look up unknown kanji on something like jisho.org. I’ve started reading manga at around level 16, but the problem is definitely grammar, not kanji.

1 Like

I started reading attack on titan around level 13 (which has furigana as most manga do i think). Only just started learning Japanese in February so I’m working through it quite slow. I guess it depends on if you are trying to read manga ‘now’ for added practice or to try and read it fluently like a book. If it is the latter that will take a white. If it is the first option (which is what i’m doing) then reading manga now will help improve your vocab greatly. My plan is to go back and read them again when im more fluent.

1 Like

With some basic grammar (with some vocab and Kanji learnt along with grammar) and some drive, you will be able to read simple manga.

Level 16 should be a good point for enough Kanji (N5 kanji). N4 is level 27.

I now focus on Japanese Graded Reader, though.

I’ve wanted to get those, but they’re like a bazillion dollars.

The other day, at a second hand children’s store (selling child related items that is, not actually children :stuck_out_tongue:) I came across “Inch High Samurai” in a bilingual format.
Thought it’d be some good practice, but soon became apparent the English and Japanese versions don’t appear to be true translations. Only read a handful of pages, not the whole thing. But it seems more like instead of translating the Japanese to English, someone gave the guy in charge of the English side a synopsis of what was going on, and he just rewrote it. Often the English side seems to have more and/or different details than the Japanese. Still good practice, as I can read the English side to see if I’m getting the basic concept, but not the exact story.
Probably pick some more of these up sometime, as they are on Amazon. Seems there a whole series of them.

1 Like

It was around level 30 where I started to feel like I didn’t need to look up every other kanji, and around level 45 when I felt like I could read without looking up any kanji.

Whether or not you will actually be able to comprehend anything will depend on whether you learn grammar, and whether you learn all the common vocabulary that WK does not teach (or that is relevant to the topic of whatever you are trying to read).

If the manga you are reading has furigana, then your WK level won’t really make much of a difference apart from maybe knowing some of the vocab.

3 Likes

You said that at 45 you felt no need to look up kanji. What books have you read, for example? Because I am at 39 lvl, and still have to look in the dcitonmary A LOT.

Well OP was asking about manga so I was thinking mainly about the manga I’ve read, some examples of which are: 深夜食堂、大東京ビンボー生活マニュアル、or ぼのぼの.

I notice rarer kanji occasionally in manga that have more specific subject matter, (like certain food kanji in 美味しんぼ for example)、however, rare kanji often have furigana, and because it’s manga I can usually glean from context what it is and then look it up later if necessary.

But to clarify, I’m talking about characters, not vocab. I still look up vocab constantly.

My point to OP was that by levels in the mid-40s, I noticed that WK had served its purpose, i.e. familiarized me with the overwhelming majority of kanji (meaning and reading) that I’m likely to run into reading manga, such that I no longer have to slow the reading flow with the cumbersome process of looking up an unknown kanji.

(And speaking only from my own experience, of course! Mileage varies widely in these forums)

3 Likes

sakamoto san!
squeezes him tightly


I recommend reading a yonkoma. The k-on yonkoma manga was fairly easy to read.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.