Do you feel like Japanese characters are too small in books?

I start reading more native material that not for study or aiming at children. I oftenly fell like the letters are too small. It’s really difficult to see radical in Kanji sometimes.

I think this will get better overtime, right? I guess our brain would be able to guess what they are when we read enough books. The same way we can skim through books in English or native langauge.


Yes, I’ve had to use the zoom in e-books, too, and have a hard time with paper books because of this. I do hope it’ll get better with practice. I mean, older Japanese people get sight issues, too, with age, don’t they? And they’re still able to read, right?


Never in my life, I felt the need of magnifying glass before. Until I start reading Japanese books lol.


I usually don’t feel this, since the shape is usually all you need. In pixelated video games, though, that can be annoying.


This was supposed to be 容量. Sigh.


Yeah I tried to play Tokimeki Memorial and I was so annoyed that I can’t regconise some letters. Capture2Text can’t capture the text either because they’re pixelated. :cold_sweat:

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i bought one of those light up large reading magnifier lol!
the kanji is small and the furigana can be tiny!


I do. I picked up a free novel that is smaller than a A5 size. Is it because Japanese people don’t like people to know what they are reading (e.g. when they are reading on the train)? I am not young so I couldn’t read this book at night.


With kanji I know I’m usually doing fine but sometimes it can get very difficult to look up a kanji with lots of strokes when the radicals all sort of blur together… :sweat_smile:


even on pc monitor reading nhk easy news I have difficulties trying to read the furigana in words I dont know yet.

I have to zoom in to see if it is a ば or ぱ for example.


Read my first novel this summer and had to put my glasses on for reading for the first time ever (they’re usually just for screens). I’ve been reading kids books since then, but bought another adult novel last week. When it arrived I thought ‘this is great, the text is so much larger than the other one I read!’. Then compared two pages side by side and they had exactly the same number of characters. So yeah, I think you do get used to it!


I haven’t read too much native material up to this point, but I can thankfully confirm that it does get easier, and I find myself needing to look closer/zoom in less. I still occasionally do it, but there’s been a noticeable decrease. Most of the time I do it now is to speed up my reading, since it’s easier when I see them larger, or when the characters look blurry (which they are in older manga ebooks I buy).


Not to mention that sometimes the furigana make small characters normal characters, so e.g. しょう actually becomes しよう in the tiny font


Yeah. Books should have bigger kana! I would assume they don’t because it’s akin you reading smudgy or even faded text with parts of letters missing in your own language.

It’s not an issue for us because we can infer what the word is even if it has stuff missing by reading the entire sentence. I think it’s the same with Japanese. Even when the text is hard to read or it’s too small, it is not an issue for them.


lol the second kanji looks like a microphone.


Definitely. I usually zoom in to 140-150% when reading online. Oddly enough, it’s way easier when reading on the phone.

Reading manga online is still a pain in the neck :smiley: . Especially when it’s a scan.


It gets better with experience. I had to use font size 16 or larger when writing Japanese initially, now I made my default font smaller because it started feeling too large.


I don’t have a problem most of the time, but some of the smaller form factors can be pretty rough, especially when it’s a small cheap reprint of a manga that originally presumably would have been made for a larger-scale magazine, that’s old enough that it’s not like they could have anticipated someone was going to scan it when it was made, like this Golgo 13 panel that I’ve zoomed all the way in on:

(“KGB” and “ジーデーアール” for GDR/East Germany, maybe?? I assume Soviet and East German governmental acronyms of some kind, in any case)

I initially would have just blamed the scan in these cases, but when I’ve had the chance to compare, the hard copy isn’t much better, it’s just printed extremely small to begin with (though it’s not like the scan helps). So I try to just live with it and not let it get to me…


Guess why I have two of these 虫眼鏡 and prefer to buy e-books? But to be honest, with time, I noticed that I can recognize Kanji without seeing all the details. So these days, I magnify less and less then say two years ago.


Yes. 100% yes.

I take lot of pictures with my phone. This android app that does 漢字 OCR and presents a list with links to helps for both my poor memory and my poor eyes.


Oh yeah, for sure. It takes a lot of time to get used to it. Then again, I found 縦書き harder to get used to haha.

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