Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 耳をすませば

Because now one said anything I had already put the home thread up and decided to do it myself, but if you want you can take over!

Usually we have a week break. Between 夜カフェ and Shadows House I removed the break because the last week in 夜カフェ is mostly only the afterword. So 耳をすませば would start on the 10th September.

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Just a reminder: URLs in the OP should be in the form https://community.wanikani.com/t/x/12345, not https://community.wanikani.com/t/12345. Note the x that should be included. When the x is missing sometimes it acts weird and in the past it has completely broken, so it’s safer to include it. I’m mentioning again because I noticed some URLs in the OP were missing the x.

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The x part of the URL is usually where the title goes. I assume it doesn’t matter if x is replaced by the title? (I would think that internally they just ignore it)

I’m not even sure where you’d copy a URL without the x. Is it an old format that’s not used anymore, or is just something that happens to work but isn’t guaranteed to in the future?

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Correct. As long as something is there it’s fine. The reason we have a convention of using a single x is to make the posts easier to edit. Having the title in the URL can make it really long, particularly when the title includes Japanese since then it gets encoded in the post editor.

I think it’s from people trying to shorten the URL like we suggest and just accidentally deleting the title portion or not realizing it’s a problem to delete it.

It’s sometime that happens to work but is not guaranteed to work in the future. One time in the past it broke, causing infinite redirects until the browser tab crashed. It took the Discourse development teams multiple months to fix it, and they said afterwards that there was no guarantee they’d fix it again next time it breaks. So better safe than sorry!

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Thanks for pointing this out. A bit of regex should’ve fixed all the current links in the main thread.

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The 夜カフェ book club is in its last week, thanks to all the people that participated and especially @sumsum for hosting the club!

We will start reading シャドーハウス on Saturday!

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The first week of the シャドーハウス book club is now live. Have a look!

Could one of the regulars change the title to:

Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: シャドーハウス

Thanks!

I guess we had a small misunderstanding, since you did not answer my reply I thought I would still be doing the club and was a bit surprised when I woke up this morning :exploding_head:

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Oops, I thought I replied to that. Sorry!

Feel free to sit back, relax, and catch my minor misses such as how I didn’t post in this thread about the week 1 thread =D

(I’ve been handling just off-shoot clubs long enough that posting to the main club thread completely slipped my mind :frowning_face:)

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I’ve noticed the existence of those “Book Club” threads many times before but honestly I never really had the time to look into them. Since I’m now trying to read 「魔女の宅急便」 I was browsing a little in the corresponding threads for the first time.

What I don’t really get is this: Is there any organisation other than there being one thread per chapter? How is one supposed to make use of it, especially if the event is long past. Am I just going to have to read through all the threads and seek out pieces of information? Or is there any hidden structure that I haven’t understood yet?

What I was hoping and expecting was some organisation that is more granular and chronologically following the book. Like a group of all questions and discussions related to page 1, maybe even chronologically for that page. Then on to page 2 and so on.

Now I hope that this does not come across as a critique, it’s not meant to be one at all. I’m just trying to find out if I’m missing something…

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The structure is as you see it, in the primary clubs. No hidden structure, really, or secret passcodes to unlock the information. :wink:

It is generally 1 chapter per week, organized into individual threads. If you are coming in afterwards, this helps you narrow it down to the chapter, at the very least. From there, participants are asked to mark discussion with page numbers, but they don’t have to stick to a specific order. (Like, there is no: Saturday is only for Page 1, and so on. It would be too stifling to discussion.) Everyone has different reading paces after all.

If you use the search function on the forums (magnifying glass, upper right corner), and specify “Search Within This Topic”, you can then search the threads for specific information in a couple of ways:

  1. By page number. This isn’t always the best way because while participants are asked to mark with page numbers, that doesn’t always happen, and differences between Ebook and physical versions are an issue (with novels and such, not so much on manga)

  2. My preferred method, you type up a small section of whatever sentence you want to see if it was discussed. Like, say, a sentence was: これはぺんです, and I didn’t know what これは meant. I would go to the search function and type これは, and specify “search within this topic”, and it would point me to all posts in the thread which had that particular phrase.

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You are not missing anything. That would just be a little too fine grained most of the time. The threads organically grew while people were reading the material. It’s not like we all read one page each day or something like that. That would be a logistical nightmare with all the different timezones and such. So one thread encompasses all the discussion and thoughts for one weeks worth of assignment from the book in random order.

Now someone could theoretically go in there and make a post with all relevant content inside the thread linked in chronological reading order but that would be a tall order and nobody has done something like that.

If you have a specific question (and are not just interested in discussing the weeks contents) using the search inside that thread might yield a suitable result. Otherwise you could always try asking your questions in the thread. The threads are mostly still watched and if you used the search before to see if your answer was obviously answered and found nothing there will be for sure people helping you out. Also if you found an answer but it was not clear enough feel free to post too!

Another thing to mention is that most beginner clubs also have a vocabulary sheet. This is sorted by page and first occurance and can help you look up unknown words. The sheets already extracted the correct translation if it is a word with many meanings and it can help you to break down sentences and parse them.

Ah and I don’t know why you picked this particular book but from what I hear it is not necessarily the easiest first read (should this be your first book).

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:raised_hand: Actually…

It’s as time-consuming as you would imagine, even for just half a chapter of manga.

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Ok, I got it. Thank you very much for the kind and detailed explanations! I think I can handle it with the search.

@downtimes It is my first real book aside from graded readers. What have you heard is probably an easier first read?

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Might want to start with the ABBC instead of the BBC :wink: that will help probably quite a bit!!! seems like you might have jumped a level… Teasing Master is a good place to start (there are many others of course but it’s one that has been popular)

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I’m definitely an advocate for Teasing Master Takagi-san, but I might be a bit biased. :wink:

Or if you’d like to read something that is prose, as opposed to manga, 夜カフェ was a nice, simple read.

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simple…is that so… hehehe

for someone that skipped the ABBC… might be a bit much…those LONG sentences still can still sometimes completely eat my lunch haha

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I think I‘ve come across the ABBC threads before but since I really do not like manga or visual novels, I haven‘t found anything that appealed to me.

But I definitely will give this 夜カフェ a try. Thanks for the suggestion @MrGeneric.

One issue that I have with beginner material is the furigana. I really do not like it because if it‘s there, I just cannot ignore it. That‘s why I have sticked to reading NHK Easy News for a very long time because there you can turn the furigana on and off. But now it‘s time to enter native stuff I think.

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Ah, if you don’t like furigana, 夜カフェ has that, so fair warning.

If you’re trying to avoid furigana, most material is going to be quite a bit more difficult when you first step in because it’s going to assume higher levels of reading ability. Furigana is in most stuff targeted at like kid-young teen demographic, since that’s the age group where natives will often need the furigana themselves, and that trends towards being the type of stuff the ABBC and BBC read, simply because it’s most attainable for beginners. :sweat_smile:

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Adding on to what @MrGeneric says, I’m not sure what exactly the issue with furigana is here? Is it that Tofugu/WK recommend avoiding it? I think some of the beginner advice they have is a bit too strong on the recommendations against furigana. It is something of a crutch, yes, but when you’re beginning with native material it’s actually incredibly useful for looking up words. Especially when they contain kanji you haven’t learnt from WK. Even at the upper levels of WK, you’re still going to come across stuff that you won’t have been taught already. And looking up unknown kanji without a reading is an absolute pain. Even then, I don’t think it’s all that different having it there when you’re reading as opposed to not. You’ll see the reading in the moment, and that might remind you of what the word means- which does mean you won’t test your recall in that moment, but there are other ways to do that. You could add words or sentences to an Anki deck for example - this way you don’t have to have the reading visible and can test yourself on your recall

Basically I don’t think furigana is something to get too worked up about avoiding if that’s your issue (though obviously it could be something else)

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another thing to consider…furigana is in a lot of books anyway…it’s part of the learning process… can’t hide from it forever…

if it’s any consolation. I do find that for stuff I see all the time I hardly notice the furigana…the more you read the less it will bother you (would be my guess)…could always use a bookmark or something to cover your book/screen and try to hide it if it bothers you that much…

what I find far more distracting is English…if I see English my eyes/brain will completely skip overall the Japanese for the easy way out hehe

read ahead and ...

found this fun one…w/o furigana … of course the vocab isn’t populated just yet…

班長

what a pain…couldn’t find it easily through various searches so sometimes furigana is incredibly helpful…btw the reading of that first kanji is はん

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