Beginner Japanese Book Club // Currently Reading: シメジシミュレーション

I was bored by the anime, but maybe I’d feel differently about the book. :man_shrugging:

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Oh, yeah. I downloaded it and then forgot. :sweat_smile:

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I saw the first 2 episodes of the new anime and really liked it, though. :smiley:

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I’d personally be up for reading キノの旅, but floflo say it has more words than 魔女の宅急便, which people apparently had trouble with, so maybe it’d be a bit too difficult for the book club? Or were people struggling with 魔女の宅急便 for other reasons than just the vocab? Or am I just mistaken?

(though I guess having floflo could help a bit with the vocab)

Majo no Takkyubin seemed to have a lot of substandard grammar and spelling (for characterization purposes). Although I don’t know if that was the main issue people had while reading it. Kino seemed very standard in that regard.

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@ditto20 @Raionus I think most of the reasons 魔女の宅急便 was hard are general issues with the first time reading a novel. Some of the issues I encountered were:

  1. First time encountering long strings of text and complex sentences, include complex relative clauses.
  2. First time encountering “novel speak”, like the million ways to say “he/she said” and 連用形.
  3. Large amounts of exposition in general, but particularly in the first few pages.
  4. Hard to read text that used kana when it should use kanji.

The first three problems became easier and easier over time. The fourth was a pain the whole time and it makes me reluctant to read another novel that uses kana inappropriately.


@ditto20 From my experience, unknown vocab is much easier to overcome than unknown kanji or unknown grammar.

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キノの旅 doesn’t do that at least :slight_smile:
But the first 3 points are fairly unavoidable in a novel (light or not) :confused:

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I’m grateful the current and next book are both available on Bookwalker. It is just so much easier for me being Australian given we are now restricted from buying from Amazon outside of our own country. Thank you.

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Yeah, that was my assumption. It’s just a hump everyone has to get over at some point if they want to read novels.


Also, regarding the million ways to say “he/she said”. The funny thing is that when I’m reading a book in English, I skip over that 99% of the time and just go back if I feel like I missed something important. But I can’t really do that yet in Japanese because I won’t realize as easily if I missed something.


This may be the first time someone other than Nath has voted for “No effort at all”. :open_mouth:

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Well that was based on the pages shown… I am probably tempting fate, I do realise that. :joy::thinking:

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It does seem really easy based on those pages. Hopefully I didn’t accidentally pick the easiest pages in the book! :joy:

Alright, thanks for answering. I’ve always had more trouble with not knowing enough vocab(that was just as true for English and German as it now is for Japanese), so I guess I easily end up assuming that’s what others will have trouble with too, even if that obviously doesn’t have to be the case at all.

Yeah, unknown vocab is a pain and if there are too many you don’t know it’s not a smooth reading experience. But it’s much easier to look up vocab than it is to look up kanji or grammar.

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I get the point about grammar, but there are multiple resources for smartphones (and computers) that let you search kanji by writing them down, or by components (stuff similar to WK radicals). I don’t think I had trouble looking up kanji since I got a grasp of how they are built, and everyone here should have that covered thanks to how WK teaches kanji…

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I wouldn’t say I have trouble looking up kanji I don’t know. It’s just more time consuming than looking up words when you already know at least one reading of the kanji. :man_shrugging:

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Yeah, I agree with seanblue. I was pleasantly surprised reading ゆるキャン with how “easily” I was able to look up kanji on jisho by radical composition, but it can sometimes take me about ten minutes just to look up one measly word because I miss that there’s a bigger radical combining my components.

I mean, it’s a good skill to develop so that you no longer take ten minutes to look up one measly kanji but it definitely takes longer for beginners (or for me at least :stuck_out_tongue: ).

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And then there are the times I try to guess the reading from what looks like a phonetic component. Often I guess correctly, but when I don’t I end up wasting even more time. Not to mention the times I was right but didn’t notice because the kanji I wanted was way down the list of options in the IME.

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Yes, I guess that skill should be included in “getting a grasp” of how the kanji are build. :stuck_out_tongue:
But it’s a very useful skill to have!

But again, learning! It’s not wasted :slight_smile:

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Since some people are talking about how looking up Kanji can be tedious, I want to mention that looking up Kanji seems to be something that the Google translate app actually is really good for(the phone app has a photo mode that generally seems to identify most Kanji correctly - at least for me)

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