Don’t. You’re probably better off checking the Yotsuba book club threads and see if your question has been done there, or just asking a lot of stuff.
I do use Google Translator from time to time, but it depends how much you depend on it, and how much you trust it. The correct answer is not much.
Other than that, I would recommend instead of reading manga, since you’re studying N5 stuff, and Yotsuba has a lot of N4 or even further stuff, to read stories that you know have the grammar you need.
The same as grammar drills but for reading, but that’s up to you.
It does feel less like reading and more like doing homework.
And reading manga usually leads to you learning casual grammar, which is fine, I guess that’s your endgame.
Google translate is certainly an untrustworthy study buddy. I’ll check out the Yotsuba book club.
I’ll probably keep reading Yotsuba for 30min a day. It’s really motivates me to study when I can read a panel without any help. But, I’ll try and find some N5 graded readers to do after my grammar drills.
Do you enjoy reading children’s manga? I’m not saying it’s inappropriate or anything, but be sure that you’re enjoying the material you are consuming. Yotsubato is right where I’m at grammatically, but I’ve tried reading a few pages of it and it doesn’t keep my interest. Even if it’s a little too high level for you, be sure that you are engaged and interested in what you’re reading. This is also why I can’t get through a series on SatoriReader, yet I’ll happily sit and work through one sentence of a video game for a minute and a half. I’m aiming to get to full novels one day
Some kind of vocab flashcards (you’ll learn new words from reading, but having a way to get and keep them in your memory is important)
Speaking and listening practice! Based on what I’ve seen here in the forums, speaking is the hardest for most people. If you can find a person or group to practice speaking with, you’ll be covering all your bases. Since it’s dependent on having people to talk to this works better as a once-per-week or every-other-week activity.
Yotsuba is not a children’s manga though, it’s aimed at a large audience and is considered great by many (https://myanimelist.net/topmanga.php rank 18th). That being said it does not mean that you are obligated to enjoy it, I just wanted to point that out.
I agree with you on everything you said about being interested in and enjoying the materials that you are reading/listening to/watching.
Also if you have money try Satori reader. Idk what your situation is but a lot of people make the mistake of trying to be stingy with what they’re spending on Japanese. Your time is worth a lot more than the 8$ a month you’d save not doing subscription services imo
I’ll check out some graded readers and compare them to what Satori has to offer (I’m willing to drop money if it has a decent return on the investment). What do you think would be more worthwhile? I only have an additional 20~30min I can reasonably do.
I watch anime and listen to Jpod101 if I have extra time and energy. My main goals right now are studying for my OCA/OCP certificates and working. Japanese is a secondary objective. I figured if it’s not my main objective I would achieve more by having incremental/specific goals (a.k.a reading children’s manga).
Your definitely right about the listening helping reading, though. Might have something to do with giving better grasp of phonetics (or something or other).
Some people swear by them, but I consider graded readers to mostly be for fun and benchmarking. You can use them as practice but there’s usually not enough content per volume (and they’re expensive).
Satori reader basically has easy to read articles, but the important thing is that you can mouse over parts of them and get explanations for words/grammar/phrases. That alone makes it worthwhile for beginners, I think. I think it’s better reading practice than graded readers for the reasons I just said, but some people find it boring because, y’know, it’s not “real JapaneseTM” or whatever.
Neither would take a significant chunk of time, but I think that reading is a lower priority as a beginner so make sure to focus on grammar and kanji.