Fallynleaf's study log

Oh that’s super cool! I’m pretty out of the competitive gaming loop (for all games and in all languages), but my brother is into it, and I have lots of friends who are as well, so I hear bits and pieces about what’s going on in various scenes.

I’d never even thought about the need for translation there, but that totally makes sense! That’s really interesting. I wonder if the youtube autocaptioning feature could help you out there. I bet even if you tried to translate just a little, it would improve your own playing, and also lots of people would be very grateful, haha. It would be cool to sort of bridge those two worlds a little.

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Yeah I’ve never really been into the high level competitive stuff in games either except sorta passively for a couple games I was really into, it was Team Fortress 2 years ago before this. I follow a few English Splatoon high level players mostly just because it being the small thing it is, they give off really chill vibes. So much of actual esports tries so hard to look cool, heh.

There really is a big divide in the two playerbases, and the game is SO popular in Japan. Something like 3% of the country bought it within a couple weeks, heh, and IIRC it’s just the largest videogame launch in Japan now. Still toying with the idea of at least exploring in that direction, though I’m not looking forward to learning the alternate names for 100s of game mechanics/maps/weapons/etc haha.

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Made it to level 46!

Took over fourteen and a half days, which is a bit on the longer end, but that’s totally okay. I’m actually slightly reducing my pace from here on out: I’m going from 11 lessons a day (3 kanji and 8 vocab) to 10 a day (3 kanji and 7 vocab). There are less vocab lessons for these later levels, so I might end up further reducing my daily lesson count. It’s not really resulting in less work, haha, because I have more daily reviews due to more items in circulation and more leeches, but it’s compensating a bit to balance that out.

For once, it was a pretty quiet level. I spent a lot of time making Corsi-Rosenthal boxes for the library and my home, because covid is still a concern as well as ongoing wildfire smoke in the area. Turns out having good air is very nice! Would recommend!

My translation twitter account for TJPW gained a huge burst of followers last week, and now has over 140. It’s a bit scary, honestly… But I had a couple people tell me that they’ve been following me for a couple months now, and they really appreciate everything I do. That part of it is nice.

My October drawing challenge is going well. I have various artistic skills, but drawing is not something I’m especially good at, so I try to practice a little every year so that I’ll gradually get better. I’m someone who does very well with “do [BLANK] every day for a month” type of challenges, as I guess is probably obvious :sweat_smile:.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4217 (and 3054 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Here was something I found fun: if you want to write 株式会社, the general term for corporations, but you want it to take up less space, there is a special unicode character that puts all four kanji into one character: ㍿. Yomichan apparently thinks it’s an abomination and doesn’t want to recognize it, haha.

AEW has been a bit of a mess lately for a variety of reasons, but it hasn’t stopped me from watching. One of the funniest things they’ve done is that they’ve managed to get “scissor me, daddy ass!” over as a catchphrase, to the point where thousands of people will chant it and different variations of it at shows. The joke has continued to the point where they celebrated “national scissoring day” at their three year anniversary show last Wednesday.

I got distracted for a good chunk of the segment wondering how on earth the Japanese translation team was going to handle that one. “scissor me, daddy ass!” is a hard enough phrase to explain in English, haha, because there’s a lot of wordplay involved and it’s very referential. Billy Gunn getting referred to as “daddy ass” is a joke that evolved out of his own wrestling gimmick coupled with Danhausen nicknaming his sons the “ass boys”, and the “scissor me” part was a joke that the Acclaimed started by making a scissoring gesture with their hands after winning matches. Anthony Bowens, a gay man, took it to the next level by combining the two when they started teaming up with the Gunn Club. In any case, the catchphrase is loaded with so many double entendres, I do not envy the job of whoever has to translate it.

Just for fun, I came up with my own translation as a joke: “性的に魅力的な男性のケツ、私をはさみすろ!” I used the NJPW English book’s definition for “daddy” haha, even though it’s not really an appropriate translation choice here because it lacks both the snappiness and also the literal “father” connotations. Thanks to Kamiyu for teaching me ケツ.

Interestingly, my fellow fan translator made a different translation decision with “scissoring” than I did: they used 国際チョキチョキデー for “national scissoring day”. I got curious about how the Japanese AEW account translated it, but the only tweet I found just… used the English hashtag, haha (someone must’ve decided that attempting to translate that was a bit above their pay grade…)! Yomichan tells me that “チョキ” refers to the scissors in rock paper scissors, so I wonder if maybe that’s why the fan translator went with that instead of はさみ, since the Acclaimed do a scissors gesture with their hands. (The segment also did end with a rock paper scissors joke).

I was curious about the Japanese term for the, er, more common use of “scissoring” as a verb, because I was wondering if maybe that part was getting lost in translation if the double entendre didn’t also exist in Japanese, but I wasn’t brave enough to try venturing beyond wikipedia in my google investigation :sweat_smile: (and Yomichan isn’t enabled in incognito browsing, which is something I had not anticipated being a problem until now). I don’t have a NJPW subscription anymore, so I can’t check the Japanese commentary feed for AEW to see how they chose to handle that translation, if at all.

In any case, translation: it’s a hard job!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 41 – Lesson 42

I was correct! Lesson 41 did indeed contain a version of the 昔話 featuring 浦島太郎! I know this one already haha. The MNN version was slightly easier than the other version I read. The exercise afterward asked me to tell a 昔話 from my own country. I tried to come up with a folk tale that I’d be able to describe with my existing vocabulary, struggled for a bit, then gave up and wrote about Supernatural as a joke :sweat_smile: (thanks again to Kamiyu for the monster hunting vocabulary).

I also learned a bit of the even more polite language that that fan translator used when talking to me, haha! It’s funny what people say is and isn’t useful to learn as a beginner. I guess individual experiences can really vary a whole lot.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 42 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres and La Casa de las Flores fanfiction) (Listening: Duolingo podcast, La Casa de las Flores, Elisa y Marcela)

I watched the La Casa de las Flores special and movie! I finished out the month by watching Elisa y Marcela, which is a period piece about a real lesbian couple who managed to get legally married by tricking a priest over 100 years before gay marriage was legal in Spain.

I thought the movie was decent, and the dialogue was a lot more sparse than La Casa de las Flores, which made it a much easier listening experience!

I also dipped my toes into La Casa de las Flores fanfiction. There isn’t a whole lot of it on AO3, but a large chunk of it is in Spanish. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s mostly Paulina/María José, which is a ship I’m totally down to read. I ended up trying one out, and it was actually pretty doable! I barely had to look up any words, which is cool. It was easier than watching the show for sure. I suspect that the reading difficulty probably varies heavily depending on the individual fic writer.

I’m going to focus on finishing Antes de Ser Libres, but I might end up using fanfic for some of my daily reading, haha!

I finished the month-long listen every day challenge I did with a perfect score! I signed up for the fall read every day challenge, though I’m already falling behind on actually updating my chart, haha. I haven’t missed a day yet, even though it doesn’t look it!

Translated a couple more senryu! Here they are:

サヨナラをしてから続く長電話

肩叩き券不渡りにして孫帰り

Believe it or not, I actually got another chapter of 大海原と大海原 read. I had several days with nothing to translate, so I decided I might as well pick up the manga again. I finished chapter 5! Once again, it was unbelievably easier than the last time I read anything from it, haha. It makes me feel good when I see someone in the book club thread asking questions about a line that would have confused me months ago but which I now have no trouble understanding. I think translating stuff for wrestling actually helps a lot with manga because both are mostly dialogue, and there’s a lot of colloquial speech used.

I finished two TJPW show translations:

2022.09.16 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 — (11 words added)
2022.09.24 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 (part 2) — (15 words added)

I did both of these with Smartcat! I really like the program so far, and I think it does speed things up a lot. I haven’t really used it enough for it to have developed an extensive library of my past translation choices yet, but the biggest benefit I’ve seen from it so far is the way it separates the whole translation out, line by line. It makes it way less intimidating to get started on longer projects, and it’s way easier to parse the text when it’s not in huge blocks. It’s kind to my ADHD, at least, haha. The percentage bar at the top is also great. It helps me portion the whole thing out so that I can aim for getting another 20% done that day, and that sort of thing.

TJPW’s former biggest show of the year (it has been supplanted by other shows they added to the lineup in 2022), Wrestle Princess, was on October 9! This is going to be my longest translation thus far because it’s the first of their three big shows this year that I’ve had a full transcript for. So I’m looking at a document that is 9963 characters! :scream:

I have under a week to finish it if I want to get it done before their next show. This is definitely not happening :sweat_smile:. I’m going to try to do the best that I can, though.

My wrestling deck on Anki has 1,045 words in it! 74 still aren’t in circulation. We’ll get there eventually.

New resources (pronunciation-related):

None! I’ll try to get around to working on this again by my next update? :sweat_smile:

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

Tofugu posted an article with new learning resources in fall 2022, and the only one I’ve tried so far was Chika Sensei’s Japanese Academy’s JLPT grammar lists, mainly because I was curious to see exactly how much grammar I had learned. I could confidently check all the boxes on N5, almost everything on N4, and some of the N3. I didn’t bother looking at the rest, haha. That’s about where I feel I’m at, so it makes sense. There was some grammar I’ve seen when reading/translating that I can recognize, but which I can’t confidently say that I know (my rubric when grading myself was whether or not I could correctly use the grammar in a sentence in addition to recognizing it).

I’m not sure how useful this is as a learning resource, but apparently there is now a Japan Fact-Check Center, thanks to a grant from Google. It’s a resource for checking the validity of information in Japanese media.

Next steps:

It’s going to be a busy next couple weeks for me, but I’m going to do my best to keep juggling all of my different projects and various responsibilities. I’ve managed to survive so far!

They’re offering a free conversational Spanish class for faculty and staff at the college I work at. I ended up signing up for the intermediate one :sweat_smile:. It’s a little bit scary, because speaking is still really intimidating to me, but I do really need it for work. It’s kind of funny because before, I used to be very afraid of the thought of attending a class entirely in Spanish, but I actually wrote on the feedback survey for this one that I would prefer it if they taught as much of it in Spanish as possible. I’ve learned that my listening comprehension of Spanish is way better than I thought, and I don’t think I’d have trouble with beginner level Spanish, as long as the teacher doesn’t speak too fast. No idea if they’ll actually do it that way or not. I guess I’ll report back on how it goes.

There was some interest on twitter when I floated the idea of writing a blog post with Japanese language learning advice/tools with specifically a wrestling focus in mind, so I think I’m going to start a document compiling stuff and slowly add to it as I can, and then publish it when it’s complete enough. Mostly I want to be able to tell people about Yomichan, ichi.moe, and the existence of the shupro show transcripts. Everyone reading my study log has gotten to experience me learning all of this the hard way, haha.

Onward to level 47! 行くぞ!

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Made it to level 47!

Took about fourteen days. Things have been a little busier than average, thanks to the drawing challenge I’m doing this month, a job interview I had last week, my new biweekly conversational Spanish class, some charity work that has been keeping me busy, and the longest translation I’ve done thus far. Still managing to keep up, though!

The conversational Spanish class is going alright so far. The Spanish is definitely below my level, but that’s okay because I’m not really able to speak at the level I’m able to understand (the consequences of going hard on input without practicing output for years…). I’m happy to report that the instructor has been teaching a lot of it in Spanish as I requested, and I am in fact able to more or less understand it just fine.

It’s kind of interesting how the class material and style of teaching differs so much from the Spanish classes I took in high school, as well as Duolingo’s Spanish program. This class touches on some grammar that wasn’t taught to me until Spanish II, and teaches it in a much more quick and dirty way without really dwelling on memorizing full conjugation charts or any of that. We practiced some common grammar/vocab that I hadn’t learned until I saw it a lot in La Casa de las Flores and the books I’ve been reading. I’m not sure I’d like learning this way if I didn’t already have a base of knowledge to work from.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4342 (and 3165 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

A NOAH fan on twitter had a bit of a homophobic meltdown over Marufuji and Sugiura holding hands in a video that NOAH published. That video was particularly funny to me because many months ago in this study log (July 2021), I posted about being very surprised to see 彼 used by those two wrestlers in a video package for a Marufuji vs Sugiura match, because it was my first time encountering that word outside of the context of it being used to refer to someone’s boyfriend.

There was another homophobic twitter meltdown (I think by a different NOAH fan??) that went viral within the past few days, wherein a fan basically said he watched NOAH because it was properly masculine, unlike other wrestling. Right after this happened, retired Pro Wrestling NOAH legend Kenta Kobashi posted photos of himself getting his nails done for the first time, which was pretty great timing (his nails turned out really cool so I recommend clicking!).

Mercedes Varnado (formerly known as Sasha Banks in WWE) has been teasing various matches with joshi wrestlers from other promotions, and in one of those interactions, she tweeted “Hola” at Miyu Yamashita, who had just arrived in Spain for a show. Miyu responded “HOLAAァァ?!、、” which made me laugh haha. The way her Spanish transitioned into Japanese in her excitement.

Miyu and Mercedes actually ended up getting to meet each other a few days later.

During TJPW’s October 14 show, the three remaining candidates from TJPW’s 夢プロレス project all had exhibition matches agains three of the top talents in the company. After the matches ended, TJPW asked fans to vote for which of the three candidates they were moved by the most during their match. I ended up trying to translate the rules for voting during the show haha, though I don’t know if anyone really needed it. I also belatedly realized I forgot to include the #TJPW tag haha but oh well :sweat_smile:.

This one isn’t really a “fun” encounter, but I got a bit worried about Hyper Misao because of some tweets she was making where she seemed really discouraged, and seemed to be considering retiring again. The first one where she said she might retire if she didn’t reach 10k followers before the end of the year seemed to be less serious, but the last one worried me a little more because おまけ was the word she’d used earlier this year to describe when she’d discovered pro wrestling after her suicide attempt in 2015, and her speaking about this “bonus track” to her life (as she’d translated it) in the past tense was a bit concerning. The tweets were also made at a very late hour in Japan, which after Hana Kimura’s situation, always worries me, especially when they’re coming from someone with a history of depression.

I ended up composing a supportive reply to her in Japanese. I told her that she’s one of the reasons why I’m learning Japanese, and I got into TJPW in the first place because I was moved by her story in 2019. I’m not sure if she saw the reply or not, but I hope she knows that she’s loved and appreciated by people all over the world.

If anyone reading this is a fan of Misao, it might be a good idea to send her some extra support (her English is honestly decent, so don’t feel like you have to try to write in Japanese if you don’t feel confident producing Japanese!), or at least follow her on twitter.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 42 – Lesson 43

The 標準問題集 workbook had a review exercise for lessons 34-42, and it went about as well as these always go for me, haha, which is to say I got 78/100 right :sweat_smile: (I guess it’s a slight improvement on my score for the lesson 26-33 review, which was 74/100). As always, I treat these like a proper test and don’t let myself look anything up in my textbook, notes, or the internet (besides kanji stroke order so that I can write my answers properly). Usually that means I get got by some verb form or other grammar point I learned months ago, which my memory has since gotten slightly vague on… But, well, as long as I’m able to understand why the right answer is correct for everything I missed, I think I’ll be alright.

I think that means I’m about a third of the way through MNN 2? Not bad! From here, it looks like the number of vocab per chapter is lower for most of the remaining lessons, which I’m looking forward to, haha.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 43 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres) (Listening: AAA’s Triplemania)

Reading has been slow, but I’m still managing to read at least a couple pages every day! I’m on page 144/184 of Antes de Ser Libres, and expect to finish it before the end of next month.

I haven’t been actively practicing my Spanish listening, but I did tune in for the latter half of AAA’s Triplemania show on October 15, and it ended up being my biggest listening comprehension victory thus far! The show had Spanish commentary, and I was blown away by the fact that I could… actually understand it for the most part? I had probably 80% comprehension, even without subtitles.

I’m not sure what exactly changed since the last time I watched lucha libre, since I haven’t really been watching/reading much wrestling stuff in Spanish lately. I guess it was probably a combination of reading (which improved my vocab) and then listening to the Duolingo podcast and then the TV show and films I watched for the summer listen every day challenge, which boosted my comprehension speed as well as gave me practice with recognizing words when I hear them.

It made the show a lot more fun because I was able to get more context on the wrestlers I wasn’t as familiar with (the commentary would point out notable moves and explain some of the characters’ history), and I also caught what felt like a fun easter egg lol when the commentary mentioned that Kenny Omega wanted to be in the match for the Megacampeonato belt, but his AEW suspension prevented it. That is more than has been officially said on AEW television regarding his current status. Being multilingual with pro wrestling gets you all kinds of fun bonus information haha.

It was just really cool! Felt like all of my studies were really starting to pay off. It’s super neat to watch native content without subtitles and actually understand it.

Still going strong with the read every day challenge, though the challenge itself has definitely taken a backseat in my priorities.

I translated just one senryu:

ああ今日のパリは雨かと言ってみた

Been too busy with TJPW translations to read any more of 大海原と大海原 or anything else. I got just one translation done, but it was my longest yet, at almost 10k characters, so I’m proud of that! It was so long, I had to split my posts about it into three parts for the pro wrestling thread:

2022.10.09 TJPW WRESTLE PRINCESS Ⅲ — (38 words added)
(part one)
(part two)
(part three)

I’m behind again on the TJPW translations, thanks to the length of the Wrestle Princess one, but everything after that has been a lot shorter, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get caught up soon!

My Anki deck currently has 1,079 words in it, though 110 still aren’t in circulation yet. I’d hoped to get to 1,000 before November, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be happening. That’s okay, though! It’s more important that I don’t burn myself out.

The end of this level marks the start of a short Anki freeze for me. I’m going to be doing my reviews every day, and will be adding my textbook vocab as needed, but I’m not adding any new cards from my immersion to my circulating deck (I have a deck named “beneath the ring” that contains wrestling cards waiting to get added to circulation. I also have a “retired” deck that contains retired wrestling cards, and a “suspended” deck that contains suspended wrestling leeches. Those two decks didn’t get fun names because those are both concepts that already naturally exist in wrestling, though I did briefly consider changing the name of the “suspended” deck to “The Elite and CM Punk” as a joke).

The reason for the Anki freeze is that I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo next month, which is going to eat into a lot of my spare time (and there’s a possibility I will be going from working 16 hours a week to 40… :sweat_smile:), so I want to reduce my SRS workload during the month of November. Hopefully I’ll be able to start things back up in December!

New resources (pronunciation-related):

I actually found the time to get back to this! Continuing once again with this guide

I think I’m going to stop here for now. The section on phonetics in this guide looks useful, but I think I’d probably get more out of it if I was regularly practicing speaking, haha. That’s in the “maybe someday” category for me.

I do have to say, I have absolutely no idea how anyone could really start with learning pitch accent at the very beginning when learning Japanese. I feel like the videos and guides above would have absolutely done my head in if I watched them without a basic understanding of Japanese grammar and lots of hours of experience with listening to Japanese. Either that, or I would have been bored to death or overwhelmed, and would have likely given up!

But, well, I’ve managed to reach a point where pitch accent charts for words are actually useful for me, and I can conceptualize how words sound in terms of their pitch accent, and that’s pretty much what I wanted to get out of this. I think my main strategy going forward is that I’m going to try to pay attention to which sound in a word is accented (if any) when learning new words.

New resources (not pronunciation-related):

I found a game that seems like it might be worth tracking down. As this twitter thread describes it, it’s a 2002 video game called Trans, with the interesting subtitle of “僕とあたしの境界線”, which was made by a game company run by and for Japanese crossdressers. The mechanics of it are really fascinating, and apparently the company is still around and they ported the game to modern PCs in 2011. I’m marking this one down to try a bit later, when my Japanese is better, but it’s very intriguing!

Someone on twitter mentioned that the creator of the manga グラップラー刃牙外伝 recently made the digital version free in honor of Antonio Inoki (a very influential wrestling legend who recently passed away). Apparently the manga has furigana, so it’s more accessible to beginners (not that this matters for me now). I don’t really know anything about this manga and don’t know if it’ll be to my tastes or not, but thought I’d include it here regardless.

I watched this presentation by Mishima Kitan from earlier this year on the current state of LGBTQIA+ progress in Japan. It’s, uh, pretty bleak, honestly. So just a warning for that if you decide to check it out. There are some links to some further information, including some resources in Japanese if this is a subject that is of interest to you.

I discovered Fontworks, a Japanese type foundry. There are some neat fonts on here, though I’m pretty set for now, with everything I downloaded to use with the Jitai script :sweat_smile:.

With the yen being so weak right now, and since I had already ordered some wrestling goods from Japan, I ended up caving and buying some more books :sweat_smile:. I bought プロレス語辞典: プロレスにまつわる言葉をイラストと豆知識で元気に読み解く, which is a wrestling dictionary that CyberFight president Sanshiro Takagi was involved with, and which rodan has been helpfully consulting for answers to some tricky translation questions in the pro wrestling thread.

I also bought all of the volumes of よつばと!, which I found used for a good deal on Amazon. I had been a bit reluctant to buy print manga, not really having the shelf space to spare for it I still own a fair amount of manga in English from my high school years, but I already know that I love Yotsuba in English, so I figured I would not regret owning it in Japanese. All of these books are getting shipped with my other stuff via Tenso, so I expect it to be a few months before they arrive, haha.

Next steps:

I’m currently gearing up for the start of November, which means the start of National Novel Writing Month and also possibly the start of a full-time job for me, if my interview last week went well. If my interview last week went poorly, then, well, at least I’ll have more time for Japanese? :sweat_smile:

I’m trying to stay positive, but waiting is stressful. Feels like I’ve been doing a lot of waiting lately, between waiting for news on my job, waiting for the wildfire smoke to clear and for the pandemic situation to improve (not sure I’ll ever see this happen), and waiting for my favorite wrestlers to be able to actually wrestle again…

Nothing really to do about that, though, besides try and focus on other things, so I’m trying to work on my translations and keep up with my studying in general. Sometimes I feel like the TJPW translations are the sole thread on this earth keeping me sane. It’s fun getting more insight into the stories and characters, and it feels good to think that I’m helping other people get more enjoyment out of them, too. That’s something, at least.

Onward to level 48! 行くぞ!

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Made it to level 48!

It took almost fifteen days, and it has honestly been a terrible past couple weeks for me, but weirdly enough, I’m coming out of it more committed than ever to studying Japanese? Basically, I did not get the job I applied for, so my part time position at the library will be ending after December, and the whole experience is causing me to rethink a lot of things about my career, and I guess reevaluate what I’m doing with my life :sweat_smile: :sweat:.

(Depressing job stuff)

A lot of my expertise is in book preservation, and I found out the hard way that being a preservation librarian doesn’t exactly make you the most popular person at work :pensive:. I sort of lost my job (or at least they decided not to hire me for the full-time position) because I tried to insist that our library follow proper protocol when dealing with mold and that we have a disaster plan for situations like that, and my boss did NOT want to hear it.

I also pushed for improving the ventilation in our building and installing Corsi-Rosenthal box filters to help compensate for the wildfire smoke and increased spread (and severity) of respiratory diseases, and this also put me on my boss’s bad side. But I couldn’t compromise on my professional ethics, and I had to do what I could to protect our students and the other staff (as well as the library collection), so I had to try to fight for this while I was here.

Entry level librarian jobs are few and far between, and they’re really competitive, even if you have a master’s degree and experience. This job was really my best shot at career stability, and not getting it will set me back years, unfortunately.

despair_kagetsu

Long story short, I think I might be giving up on libraries? If I’m just going to fail at my backup career, I might as well fail at the career I actually want, which is writing. I’m planning on spending the next year or so hardcore studying Japanese and working on getting better at translation (and ideally trying to get back into writing as well…). I’d like to publish my own books, but I’m increasingly open to getting into translation professionally, too.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get the chance to translate wrestling stuff for pay, but, well, as I’ve recently learned, never say never :sweat_smile:. One of my friends actually has started to receive offers for paid translation work thanks to the publicity from her free translations, including getting paid by a Japanese media company to officially translate a series of interviews they’re publishing.

I’m solidly at least a couple years away from being at a level where I’d feel comfortable doing translation work for money, though. I’m still heavily reliant on rodan’s help with the TJPW translations :sweat_smile:. But it’s absolutely a skill you improve at with experience, so I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

I’d say that it’s still probably unlikely I’d get a paying job translating wrestling, but I have been thinking more about trying to eventually find work translating like short stories and novels and such. I am a short story and novel writer in English, after all, so I have the writing chops on the English side, and if I continue to improve my translation skills (and just Japanese skill in general), hopefully I’ll eventually get to a point where I’m capable of faithfully translating someone else’s fiction work into English. Maybe I could even do senryu, haha!

It also occurred to me that I could look into translating Japanese papermaking stuff into English, since the papermaking field is pretty small, and I don’t think there are many people who have papermaking expertise who are also capable of doing Japanese-English translation. There certainly would be a lot of demand for it on the English-speaking side, because the entire field of modern book conservation heavily relies on Japanese paper. But I don’t know if there would be money in that, haha :sweat_smile:. I do have some connections to some pretty big names in the field, though, so I’m thinking of reaching out to some of my old professors in a few years (assuming I’m able to reach an advanced level of Japanese) and seeing if they’d be interested in helping make this happen.

In more positive news, I finished my October drawing challenge, and National Novel Writing Month has been going smoothly so far! I was really worried about it with how depressed I was at the end of last month, but I’ve sort of just been funneling my job despair into enthusiasm for the work that actually gives me joy, which is writing and studying Japanese.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4467 (and 3264 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Don’t really have much to talk about here this level, at least nothing really worth mentioning. I did get the chance to practice some listening immersion during TJPW’s October 24 show for Wrestle Universe subscribers, which was a pretty wacky show as always. I didn’t have a transcript for it, so I didn’t do a translation for this show, and I relied pretty heavily on an English language recap from another fan, but I still picked up on a few things.

One of the matches was a 人狼ゲーム4WAYマッチ (Werewolf Game 4-Way Match), which was exactly what it says on the tin. The wrestlers all got assigned a role (three were citizens and one was the werewolf), and if the citizens pinned the werewolf, they won, but if two of the citizens got pinned, the werewolf won. I heard the WK word 人狼 many times, haha, because the wrestlers spent most of the match arguing over who was the werewolf.

I talked about some other fun bits of this show in this post.

A highlight from the past week is that NJPW wrestler Katsuyori Shibata came to AEW to challenge Orange Cassidy for the All Atlantic Championship in one of the most absurd dream matches of all time. Most of Shibata’s career was well before my time, since he got injured in 2017 and basically had to retire, but he came back to do an exhibition match with Zack Sabre Jr. in 2021, and then he had a proper match with Ren Narita (whom he trained) at Wrestle Kingdom in January this year. I actually saw that match because I was still watching NJPW at the time. I hadn’t heard much about what Shibata had done since then, though, due to no longer following the company, so I was very shocked to find out that this match against Orange was going to be his third match since returning.

Apparently Shibata specifically wanted to fight Orange Cassidy, of all wrestlers (the other AEW wrestler he wanted to fight was Bryan Danielson). This fact made a lot of fans very angry because of Orange’s gimmick, which is that he’s very lazy and doesn’t like to wrestle if he can avoid it. Some fans think that he’s making a mockery of the entire sport and that he’s going to turn casual fans away in droves because of it. But from my experience, non-wrestling fans LOVE Orange Cassidy and prefer watching him to other wrestlers because he’s extremely entertaining and his matches are really funny. He’s actually my mom’s favorite wrestler because she likes watching him even though she doesn’t like wrestling.

Shibata’s gimmick is just about as opposite as you can get from Orange Cassidy. He’s very serious about what he does, and he fights super stiff, and his nickname is simply “The Wrestler”. Despite not wrestling for years, he’s still very beloved by fans all over the world, especially in Japan, but in the US, too.

Orange Cassidy vs Shibata was an utter delight. Orange did his own version of several of Shibata’s moves, which was funny, and Shibata did some of Orange’s usual spots, which was even funnier. It was a perfect combination of what makes both of those guys so good.

My mom actually wanted to watch this match with me, because I told her about Shibata and got her interested. When their entrances played, she was like, “Oh, this almost gives me chills! I see why you like this so much.” She’d never even seen Shibata before, but just seeing him enter, she felt the gravity of that moment, and it was so cool to me that that had been conveyed.

Japanese and English-speaking fans alike were moved by it. I saw a blog post from a fan translator who translated a lot of reactions from English-speaking fans into Japanese so that the Japanese fans could see how beloved Shibata was among the English-speaking fanbase, too.

AEW does these kinds of matches so well. I think it’s really their strongest forte as a company, that they can offer this kind of stage for things like this. Sometimes I just think about all of the immense history and unique cultural context behind all of the many different pieces that make up the world of pro wrestling, and how it has these moments where somehow it all comes together and all of these disparate parts are universally understood and appreciated, and I get so overwhelmed with emotion.

On a note that isn’t specifically Japanese related, but it’s related to topics commonly talked about on my study log, haha, it looks like AEW finished up their investigation of the whole CM Punk/Elite mess. From what is being reported, it seems unlikely that CM Punk will be staying with the company. The Elite seem to be on their way back, though. They at least made it back onto AEW programming, albeit in a few very cryptic video packages wherein they are basically being erased from AEW’s history. It’s one of those interesting wrestling things where the storyline is mirroring basically what was happening in real life (AEW didn’t even wish Kenny happy birthday while he was suspended…). I’m curious to see how it’s all going to resolve in storyline, since it looks like a real-life reconciliation between the three of them and Punk is going to be impossible. I’m anxious to see Kenny back in particular, especially since I’ve been waiting all this time for him to finally wrestle in DDT again…

On the other half of the Golden Lovers’ side, judging from his recent tweets, it looks like Kota Ibushi is going to be waiting out his NJPW contract, and he’s also still waiting for his shoulder to heal. He still has plans to bring about a revolution in the industry, though.

In sort of related news, I really hope that twitter doesn’t go under because there is simply no replacement for it that is used so widely all over the world, and it devastates me to think about what would happen to the global wrestling community without it. On twitter, we regularly have English-speaking, Japanese-speaking, and Spanish-speaking fans, companies, and wrestlers all interacting with each other and sharing in the collective storytelling that is this weird as heck medium, and I don’t want everyone to splinter off to separate sites in different languages. It just feels like so much cultural exchange would be lost, and that’s heartbreaking to me.

So I’m hoping for the best, but I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for the worst…

みんなの日本語 Lesson 43 – Lesson 44

I don’t know if I really have anything to report on from lesson 43, or the lesson 44 vocab? I’m still trucking along! One thing I am looking forward to when I get to Tobira is the increase in reading exercises, because my favorite MNN exercises tend to be the reading exercise at the very end of the chapter. Tobira seems to have a lot more of this type of exercise.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 44 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: Antes de Ser Libres)

I am very, very close to finishing the book! I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to read next, though, because I’m going to be losing access to the library’s collection of Spanish books when I’m no longer working here. I’m going to look for one that is a shorter/easier read, I think, to finish out the month. Then I’ll be on my own again and will have to rely on my own collection… I guess it might be a good time to try reading some of the harder books I have again? I’ve probably improved enough to make them at least a little easier.

I’m still keeping up with the read every day challenge in both Spanish and Japanese! Had a bit of a rough patch when I was most depressed over the job stuff, but even then, I read at least a little every day.

I also managed to read half of chapter six of volume three of 大海原と大海原 during a lull in my translation work. I’m going to try to stay caught up on the translations so that I can hopefully get a bit more of the manga read.

I finished three TJPW show translations:

2022.10.14 TJPW 夢プロレス-dream on the ring- — (17 words added)
2022.10.21 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT AUTUMN~遠藤有栖地元凱旋興行~ — (7 words added)
2022.10.29 TJPW The Mountain top 2022 — (9 words added)

A stranger on twitter made a meme based on my last translation, which was a new experience for me! Naturally the meme got far more likes than the actual translation that I (and rodan) put so much work into, but that’s just how it goes :sweat_smile:.

As I said last time, I added no new cards to my circulating Anki deck! The cards that I added from these shows will get added to my main deck eventually, though. My workflow is probably going to shift after December, because I’m going to find myself with suddenly a lot more free time, but I’m not quite sure what that will look like yet.

New resources:

None, I don’t think? Sorry!

Next steps:

I’m buckling down for another couple weeks of NaNoWriMo, continuing my conversational Spanish class, doing the TJPW translations, keeping up with the read every day challenge, and trying to survive an increasingly awkward and depressing work environment :grimacing:.

Telling myself that there are better things on the horizon, so I just have to focus on getting through these next couple of months, and then I’ll be able to relax.

Onward to level 49! 行くぞ!

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Sorry to hear about the job stuff, but I am excited to see you shoot up there in Japanese ability! Show me just how quickly it can really be done :smile:

Yeah that’s been on my mind a lot too. I’ve gotten into the site a lot more recently, for Japanese content and it being kind of the only decent place for a wider Splatoon community that I know of. The associated subreddits are pretty bad. Guess there are discords but I always feel uncomfortable in a more live chat environment like that beyond a certain size, and I don’t like the very temporary nature of things there (yeah that’s true of Twitter as well but at least the latter is curated to your follows and whatnot). Plus those are fragmented for pros having their own scrim servers, it was nice to get the thoughts of the really good players from Twitter.

It’s also enormous in Japan in a way few other sites are. Dunno how much attention is being paid to the whole debacle outside English-speaking circles, but signs point to the site circling the drain fast. As funny as it is seeing that guy get forced to follow through on the deal he really didn’t want and lash out in every direction as he makes everything worse for himself… if things go badly it’s going to be a huge loss culturally, harm a lot of people who rely on the site to support them in making money or any other community activities, and cause me to see fewer pieces of good art and funny nonsense :wink:. Kinda feels like one person on a whim shouldn’t be able to wreck the equivalent of a global town square. :thinking:

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Haha, well, I will almost certainly go faster than I’m going now, but I’ll probably keep doing plenty of things inefficiently :sweat_smile:. I’ll be officially entering the intermediate stage early into 2023, so I should be wrapping up Minna no Nihongo really soon and WK a couple months after that (well, I’ll keep doing my reviews, but the daily time I spend on them will taper off pretty quickly once I’m done with all of the lessons if I stick to my regular pace).

I’m not sure how fast Tobira will go, but I’m hoping to do it at a pretty decent clip since I won’t have work or WK lessons for most of it. After that, I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing directed grammar study or just look stuff up as I encounter it. I’m one of those freaks who actually doesn’t mind textbooks, haha, so maybe I won’t be able to fully give them up until I’ve passed a mock N1 exam or something :sweat_smile:.

Oh yeah, I can totally see that with Splatoon! And yeah, there is a wrestling subreddit (there are many, actually), but it’s a pretty terrible place and I try not to spend time there. It’s also very much for the English-speaking fandom; there isn’t really a Japanese fan presence there at all (though Tony Khan, the president of AEW, is very much a Poster, for better or for worse, and he definitely reads r/squaredcircle). There are lots of wrestlers on instagram (many of them have both instagram and twitter accounts), but I… personally cannot stand instagram as a platform :sweat_smile:.

My guess is that if we did lose twitter, instagram is primarily where wrestlers would interact with each other to build stories (especially since it’s used globally), but I don’t want to have to actually start using that site, and I think it’s poorly suited for the purposes that twitter serves in a lot of ways. AEW sort of wouldn’t actually exist without twitter, for multiple reasons. The company sort of inadvertently got started thanks to a couple of wrestlers deciding to take a bet after a tweet made by the dirtsheet writer Dave Meltzer.

That said, one of the most extra things that Kenny Omega has done in the past couple years and that’s saying a lot involved instagram. On January 8, 2021, he shared this list of top 10 wrestlers in an instagram story, but as you can tell, he was looking at someone else’s description on that list first…

I learned how to save other people's instagram stories so that I could gif it:

2021.01.08-Kenny's-instagram-story

I guess we won’t lose everything if we do lose twitter, because we’ll still get to have stuff like that. But I dunno, I’m just a word person, and instagram is allergic to words :sweat_smile:.

I saw a tweet today that talked about the issue finally reaching Japanese twitter. Apparently some users are suggesting that everyone return to Mixi. I also saw a tweet about a Japanese Mastodon server. Somehow, I don’t expect wrestlers to move to Mastodon, though :sweat_smile:.

I actually did just think to ask Mr. Haku if he would consider backing up an archive of all of the tweets on the old DDT English Update account, and making that archive available to fans somehow. He said he’d consider it, if it was easy enough to do. So I’m really hoping that he does, because I’m terrified of the possibility of losing all of those years of translations that he did for TJPW and DDT that aren’t saved anywhere else… :cold_sweat:

Live translation for wrestling shows would suffer a lot without twitter, honestly. I don’t know what other platform could be used for that.

Basically,

Yeah, agreed…

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Sorry to hear you didn’t get the job. Can’t imagine how hard that must be to deal with, not to mention keep working there for another two months.

I hope this unfortunate turn of events eventually leads to something way better. :heart:

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Made it to level 49!

Another fourteen day level! This update is several days late because I have family staying over, so I haven’t had the time to finish the update post until now. I’ve had to prioritize my SRS reviews, NaNoWriMo, and the TJPW translations, and everything else has fallen by the wayside a bit.

My conversational Spanish class wrapped up this week! It was a good experience for me, I think! I’m still slow and awkward at conversing, but I’m able to understand a lot. I’ve also been surviving work, though it hasn’t been the most fun experience… :sweat:

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: ??? (I… forgot to write it down :sweat_smile:. I did pass the 50% burned mark, though!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

I made a short thread on my TJPW translation twitter account about my, uh, lack of twitter replacement plans, and I included my favorite tweet from NOAH wrestler Masa Kitamiya, translating his “プロレスは諸行無常” line. I was surprised but pleased to see him like my tweet about it. If nothing else, I’m glad that at least he knows how much that line means to me, because it truly is something I think about a lot. Though Masa Kitamiya is not a wrestler I ever would have expected to like any of the tweets on my TJPW translation account, haha.

TJPW wrestler Raku posted a tweet that absolutely floored me after she and Yuki Aino challenged for the tag team belts. She said: “愛があれば大丈夫だ” and included a picture of the two of them, which is so incredibly sweet. I could actually straight up read this in the discord embed without any problems, which is always fun.

I’ve started to see more of the Japanese twitter base realize that twitter is under threat currently. Yuna Manase from Ganbare Pro Wrestling shared this video of Ken Ohka, the heart and soul of GanPro, promising that he won’t let twitter end, haha.

AEW had a pretty strong past week. Eddie Kingston finally got his match with DDT’s Jun Akiyama (he actually got two! A tag match and then a singles before the PPV. That one is super emotional and it’s actually free on youtube, if you want to watch a man get to live his dream. It’s in English, though :sweat_smile:).

CyberFight president Sanshiro Takagi came with Jun and Konosuke Takeshita (who made his own return to AEW, now with a shiny new dual DDT/AEW contract. Let’s just hope it goes better for him than Kota Ibushi’s dual DDT/NJPW went for him, all those years ago…). Sadly, Takagi didn’t have a match, though apparently they would have given him one if he’d brought his gear, haha. He gave one of his 大社長 shirts to AEW president Tony Khan. I have a fondness for this shirt because it’s one of the first Japanese words I was able to read in wrestling.

(If you’re reading this in a post-twitter future, the pics accompanying the aforementioned tweets are included in this post).

It’s been fun seeing Takagi hanging out with the AEW folks, including Kenny. A lot of Japanese fans and wrestlers have also tweeted about feeling moved by Eddie’s match and story with Jun. Takagi wants to bring Eddie to DDT next…

Hours after he made his return to the AEW ring, Kenny showed up in a video package in NJPW, challenging Will Ospreay to a match at Wrestle Kingdom. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that match, even if I was still a fan of NJPW (though naturally I will watch it anyway…). I was admittedly amused that Kenny did his whole promo for it in Japanese, though, throwing some shade at Ospreay as well as appealing to the fans at the same time, despite it being a pretty heelish promo.

Lastly, I just wanted to share this clip from an old DDT match, which I found pretty funny despite not being someone who cares at all about the World Cup. I was actually able to catch quite a bit of the Japanese commentary, haha.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 44 – Lesson 45

I… did not finish lesson 44 in time for this update :sweat_smile:. I’m about halfway through my workbook exercises for it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to catch up on my textbook lessons next week when I have more free time.

I did get the lesson 45 vocab added to Anki, though! 優勝する was a familiar friend, after all the wrestling translations I’ve been doing. It took me a month or so of doing translations before I figured out the actual nuance differentiating that word from other words for “win”.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 45 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: finishing Antes de Ser Libres, starting Redbone)

I finished Antes de Ser Libres! I liked it! I had a bit of a hard time picking what to read next, though, because I’m running out of time to have access to library materials, and I know that I’m probably not going to get a lot of reading done next month when I pivot back to listening.

I ended up choosing a Spanish translation of the comic Redbone, which is written by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni and illustrated by Thibault Balahy. The comic is about the band of the same name, which I admittedly know very little about! I don’t know a lot of music history, so I’m learning a fair amount as I read it. I picked up the comic because it seemed well within my skill level and is short enough for me to be able to easily finish it within the month.

Still going strong with the read every day challenge!

I even managed to finish chapter 6 of volume three of 大海原と大海原 in between TJPW translations! Just five more chapters to go… :sweat_smile:. I still think finishing the book by the end of the year is in the cards, though!

I got three TJPW show translations done:

2022.11.06 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 — (7 words added)
2022.11.13 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT AUTUMN~荒井優希地元凱旋興行~ — (5 words added)
2022.11.20 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22 — (7 words added)

The November 13 show was in KBS Hall! The prettiest venue…

I’ll share a picture of it in lieu of the usual Anki statistics, since my new card freeze is still in effect until the end of the month:

New resources:

My books arrived! I’m going to try to get them arranged nicely on the shelf and get a good picture (ideally by the next update), because my collection of books in Japanese has really grown a lot over the past year especially…

Next steps:

I’m taking next week off of work, so I’ll hopefully have more time to work on my regular projects and also catch up on some of the stuff I’ve fallen behind on! I’m going to try to finish my basic Japanese language learning guide for wrestling fans, because I want to get it posted while twitter still exists, and that is looking more and more uncertain by the day…

I’m happy to say that I managed to convince Mr. Haku to archive the old DDT/TJPW English Update twitter account, so if twitter does go down, he has a backup of all of those literal years of history for those companies. In a sense, I’m almost glad that I had to learn to live without his work over the past year, because if he hadn’t left at the end of 2021, I’d have been especially devastated at twitter’s impending doom, as it would mean the end of live translation threads for wrestling shows.

I’m still really sad about that prospect, but I’ve also learned how to survive on my own! I don’t think I could handle trying to translate TJPW and DDT both, if the current DDT English guy loses his job when twitter goes, but I could keep doing what I’ve been doing with TJPW, at least. I think pro wrestling would be able to adapt to a twitter-less environment, because wrestling always adapts, but the medium is already just so unarchival as it is…

But, well,

Onward to level 50! 行くぞ!

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Made it to level 50!

It took a little over twelve days, which is on the quicker end for me. Technically, this is another slightly late update, but I didn’t end up having as much time as I’d hoped over the first half of this last level, so I had to spend my week off doing a bit of catching up.

The last half of National Novel Writing Month went well! My fourteen year winning streak continues!

The new lesson items have caused my lesson backlog to increase more than usual, so I upped my daily lesson count to 12 a day again (3 kanji + 9 vocab). I might reduce it once I catch up, or just stay at that number until I finish WK. Not sure yet! Since NaNoWriMo is over, I have a little more free time, which will increase even more when December ends.

I also was amused to learn 大麻(たいま) (marijuana) this past level, which is actually one of the first Japanese words I learned from wrestling, though the way I learned it was pretty unconventional. That was the name of the site you used to go to when you wanted to pirate wrestling shows :sweat_smile:. Taima is now defunct, though, so you have to go elsewhere if you want to illegally watch wrestling. I didn’t know the site was named after a Japanese word until I was reading one of Mr. Haku’s translations for a Hiragana Muscle show and he defined that word and I made the connection, haha.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4711 (and 3474 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

DDT wrestlers Chris Brookes and Mao had one of the funniest interactions I’ve seen on twitter when Mao was trying to promote a show they were both going to be at. The conversation is a really amusing mixture of Japanese and English.

The Japanese AEW account started a series of videos where Danhausen says just one Japanese word. Here’s the first one, in which he says “オヤスミ”. I appreciated the #ひとことハウゼン hashtag because he’ll often make various plays on his name in English, adding “hausen” to the end of various words (like referring to his “fanhausens” or saying stuff like “Danhausen is in Waleshausen”), and so they carried over that same joke in Japanese.

Kota Ibushi made a fun tweet with him and Michael Nakazawa at the secret base. Kenny apparently sent Kota a bunch of protein powder from the brand he sponsors, which made me laugh (how romantic!). I’m still a bit floored by the fact that we live in a world where they’re just casually mentioning each other on twitter again after three and a half years of keeping kayfabe and only having extremely charged interactions, so the “ケニーありがとう!!” made me smile :smiling_face_with_tear:. My friends and I spent a while discussing what he could be referring to with “無事完了” and the handshake.

New Japan Pro Wrestling is apparently hiring English to Japanese translators to translate the backstage comments of English speaking wrestlers (as well as possibly other languages, probably Spanish). I wouldn’t apply even if I was qualified, because after this year, I don’t think I’d ever want to work for NJPW, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a wrestling company actually recruiting translators.

Here’s the page on their site about the job, if the tweet ever goes down, though I’m not sure how stable that page is. And hey, looks like I was right! They have this down on the list of 歓迎スキル: “※スペイン語 ⇐⇒ 日本語テキストへの翻訳、スペイン語通訳の経験.” I’m bummed they don’t specify the pay, though. I was curious what this kind of work even offers! This is pretty much exactly the translation work that I do as a fan, except I translate from Japanese/Spanish into English. And I’m also not good enough to translate from video/audio alone, haha! And I’m much, much slower at it than the kind of turnaround they want for this. But, yeah! Proof that this is a real job that really exists, if anyone was doubting this!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 44 – Lesson 46

It was tough, but I managed to complete both lessons 44 and 45, and also 練習K! I don’t know if I have anything specific to say about any of it, but I’m so close to reaching the end of the textbook! Just five more lessons to go!

I’ve added the lesson 46 vocab, but haven’t started working on the lesson yet.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 46 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: Redbone) (Listening: Frontera Verde)

I finished Redbone! My dad was intrigued by the comic and kept flipping through it even though he can’t read Spanish, so I ended up ordering a copy of it in English for him. I might try reading it at some point just to check how well I understood it.

I tried watching the Spanish show Elite (with Spanish subtitles), thinking that since it was in a high school setting, it’d be easier, but as it turns out, there’s a lot of violence and sex and drugs and stuff, which my vocabulary (which has so far come from reading children’s books…) is not very well-equipped to deal with, and on top of that, Castilian Spanish is harder for me :sweat_smile:. So I think I’m saving this show until later!

Instead, I started watching Frontera Verde, which is a Columbian crime drama. Happy to report that even though this show also includes murder, the Spanish is a lot easier for me! This show also includes indigenous languages like Tikuna and Huitoto, which I have no familiarity with, but I haven’t had too much trouble following the Spanish subtitles.

I finished the winter read every day challenge with a perfect score! And once again, I signed up for the listen every day challenge on the off-month.

I read… part of chapter 7 of 大海原と大海原 volume 3! I had grand plans of finishing another chapter, but then had to translate a TJPW contract signing kind of last minute, so that did not happen! I’m still working on finishing up the last bit of the translation for the Korakuen Hall show on November 27. I’m technically two shows behind right now, but the show this week has a much smaller workload, so I’m hoping to get caught up soon.

2022.11.24 TJPW contract signing — (9 words added)

I’m also about to lift the freeze on adding new cards to my main Anki deck! I was waiting for the MNN lesson vocab to stabilize, and I’m just about ready to add more now! It was definitely the right call to slow down on Anki over November, because I really didn’t need the additional stress.

New resources:

None! And no pictures of my shelf of Japanese books, because I didn’t manage to finish getting it organized :sweat_smile:. Maybe next level?

Next steps:

I didn’t manage to finish my basic Japanese language learning guide for wrestling fans, due to having to spend the time catching up on other stuff. I still want to do it, though! I’m going to try my best to find the time to get it done before my one year anniversary as a fan translator (the first show I did was DDT’s December 12, 2021 show).

I’m encouraged by twitter managing to survive the World Cup so far. I hope that means the site is a little more stable than people were fearing when it started hemorrhaging important staff. But, well, there are still plenty of ways the current ownership could ruin it, and I’m sure there are a lot of potential problems we’ve only avoided so far due to luck… I guess there’s really not much we can do besides hope for the best somehow.

Onward to level 51! 行くぞ!

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Made it to level 51!

Welcome to reality!

Another almost fourteen day level, and another slightly late study log update :sweat_smile:. Hopefully after December, I’ll have less things to juggle and will be more on time? We can hope…

As of December 12, I have officially made it an entire year as a fan translator :partying_face:! It’s kind of amazing to think that I’ve made it this far. I think some part of me wasn’t convinced that I would. Or maybe I was overly optimistic that someone else who’s more qualified than I am would step up instead? But, well, I’m still here! And I’ve gotten so much better than I was when I started out!

I didn’t quite finish it in time for my one year anniversary, but I did finish writing a short guide to learning Japanese with a pro wrestling focus! I shared it on twitter and on reddit, and it did far better than I expected (it currently has 470+ hits on the blog, which is way, way more than any of the translations get, haha). I’m glad that people are finding it helpful! There is probably zero new information in there if you’ve been following my study log and/or the pro wrestling thread. It essentially gathers the resources that have been most useful to me (minus the WK-specific ones, though I do mention WaniKani), which I wish I’d known about from the start. I’m sure that whoever comes after me will figure out an even better and quicker path, but hopefully it’ll help pave the way a little for other fans :blush:.

I got through the backlog of new WK lesson items and then went back down to 10 lessons a day (3 kanji + 7 vocab), because I was starting to feel the workload a bit. KaniWani added a huge clump of new lessons at once, and I had to spend several days working through them, on top of the increased WK workload. It definitely made me realize the value of practicing recall, because my accuracy on those items was brutal at first, despite the fact that some of them had been in circulation in WK for a while… :sweat_smile:

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4827 (and 3560 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

It has been a fairly eventful past couple weeks for Golden Lovers fans, at least as far as story teases go. We seem to be getting very, very close to a true in-ring reunion. I’m not saying it’ll happen in the next week, but within the next month or so is looking very likely, which is practically tomorrow in wrestling terms.

I’ve had a couple people who aren’t even wrestling fans ask me to tell them when the Golden Lovers are back together, haha. And, well, we’re basically at code red. They have essentially never stopped referencing each other, but there hasn’t been anything as blatant and direct as this since the last time they were together. In wrestling, you don’t typically tease something on this level unless you’re going to deliver.

I elaborate more on that in this post in the pro wrestling thread. One thing I did want to talk about a little more here, because I find it extremely funny, was Kota answering this interview question in English, seemingly by machine translating his own answer and just sending it like that. According to Dark Puroresu Flowsion, Kota always responds to them in English, which is why some of it is a little off. I’ve repeatedly talked about how Kota’s Japanese is notoriously hard for machines to translate, and this is an excellent example of that haha. This is actually shockingly coherent compared to how it usually turns out.

English-speaking and Japanese-speaking fans alike have been trying to reverse engineer the translation. I’m assuming that at the end, he’s basically saying that he’s also a 選手, a wrestler (the implication being that he intends to keep wrestling?). “Vinegar” is a little harder to figure out, haha. A Japanese fan I follow thinks he might’ve meant “押忍(おす)!”, which ended up as “お()” somehow.

I watched an old Kota Ibushi vs Danshoku Dieno DDT match from I believe 2007? Here’s a clip from it (the full match is very short and may or may not be downthread if you’re interested). This match is a figure skating parody in which Kota and Dieno perform to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Op.20 Suite, I. Scene, complete with costumes and a score announcement afterward. I could understand a surprising amount of the commentary, though some of the figure skating jokes went over my head, haha.

I love this match for so many reasons. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with the ballet/pro wrestling connection, stemming from when I spent several months obsessively researching Swan Lake for an overly ambitious fic project. This was actually years before I got into wrestling, so I still hated it at the time, but ballet almost got me to appreciate it.

I actually drew this for Inktober in 2021, based on the bot prompt “dangerous swans”, because I wanted to attempt to convey what a suplex feels like to me:

(I’m not, like, great at drawing people, so keep your expectations low.)

Anyway, yeah, I loved that match! It was a nice find. It was cool to me how they timed the moves to the music, and how the overall narrative of a wrestling match fits the narrative of a ballet dance so well. I’d love to see a lot more wrestling combined with ballet and/or figure skating. (Kenny, you love Yuri On Ice, you know what you have to do…)

I also mentioned this in the other post, but I watched Chris Brookes and Drew Parker’s anniversary show, Baka Gaijin + Friends on December 13, which is one of the few (maybe the first?) independent produce shows in Japan to be arranged and booked entirely by non-Japanese wrestlers.

I was going to link the youtube video in here so that folks could watch it, but youtube took it down because they “played the Chainsaw Man theme one too many times” (according to Chris). So instead, here’s a bootleg link (which Chris himself shared on twitter, so I feel like that’s about as sanctioned as you can get :sweat_smile:). Chris vs Drew gets a bit intense, so heads up for that, but the matches before that are easier to watch.

It’s a fun show that made for some pretty pleasant listening practice for me! It’s like a standard ChocoPro show in that the commentary is a mixture of Japanese and English. I noticed that I was actually able to understand quite a bit of the Japanese, and that made me happy! Sadly, the live youtube chat for the show is gone now, because that’s always a fun bit of extra reading practice.

Speaking of live chats, Wrestle Universe now has a chat feature on their website! I’m… admittedly a bit wary of public live chats on wrestling shows, having had many bad experiences on Fite.tv and youtube, and, er, certain other platforms. Unfortunately most pro wrestling audiences aren’t like ChocoPro’s (which is almost uniformly pleasant and friendly)…

So far, I haven’t noticed anything too bad on the Wrestle Universe chat, though it is definitely a distraction for me during shows, haha. I kept trying to read it while watching DDT and TJPW. I did discover, though, that my Japanese is good enough, I can honestly read most of the chat without really having to touch Yomichan. So that is progress! It’s kind of fun to see what the Japanese fans are thinking during the shows, haha.

A small but fun thing was that I realized that I could pretty much read this short TJPW comic without much effort! Max the Impaler was demanding that someone read it to them, haha (since they’re in it), and a Japanese fan helpfully translated their panel for them.

I also wanted to mention that I found my rare wrestling DVD white whale! Pretty much all wrestling fans get to a point where there’s that one show or match that you really want to see that isn’t available on any streaming platform, and isn’t available on any of the bootleg sites, so your only choice is to hunt down some rare limited run DVD on sketchy secondhand sites :sweat_smile:.

Well, after a couple years of admittedly not very fervent searching, I finally found mine! I bought the three Shakespeare themed deathmatch shows that Jun Kasai was involved with. I’m almost certain I’ve mentioned these before; or at least the King Lear one, which, according to this review, featured a deathmatch on a bed of roses.

The irony is that as much as I respect Jun Kasai as a person and as a performer, I… actually really struggle to watch deathmatches :sweat_smile:. In the vast majority of pro wrestling matches, most of the violence is “worked”, a.k.a. it’s mostly acting, but deathmatches tend to have people getting hurt for real (albeit mostly superficially). But I’m a really big fan of Shakespeare, and the concept of these matches is just so incredible to me, my love of Shakespeare overcame my fear of deathmatches.

It’ll take a bit for the DVDs to arrive, but I’m looking forward to it! I’m curious how much of the plays these shows adapted. The Romeo and Juliet one is Romeo vs Juliet, which is a fun touch. I’ll pretty much be on my own, as far as listening comprehension goes, haha. I doubt I’ll be able to find transcripts for these.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 46 – Lesson 47

I finished lesson 46! The exercise at the end asked me to write about a ついていない日, and naturally all that was coming to mind was wrestling vocab, so I wrote about a wrestler having a bad day, haha.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 47 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Listening: Frontera Verde and Bob Esponja) (Reading: youtube comments section for GAP the Series)

My recent big breakthrough with Spanish was realizing that I can watch Bob Esponja (Spongebob) in Spanish without any subtitles whatsoever and actually follow along with it pretty well! My former coworker said that she grew up watching that show in Spanish, haha, which gave me the idea to try it. I’ve sort of been alternating between that and Frontera Verde (which I’m watching with Spanish subtitles because it’s much harder).

I saw some Spongebob as a kid, even though I was never a huge fan of the show. It’s a good choice for language learning because I don’t care if I don’t have perfect comprehension, haha. The episodes are also self-contained, which means it’s not a big deal if I don’t perfectly follow one of the plots, since it’ll have no bearing whatsoever on what happens next.

I’ve also been watching the Thai GL show GAP the Series, which is useless for practicing Japanese, but I’ve noticed that it has a massive fanbase of Spanish-speaking fans, who comment during the live chat and in the comments of all the episodes. I’ve been reading some of those comments every time I watch a new episode. I’m honestly considering looking around for a Spanish-language Discord or something for the series, because I think it might be good practice for me.

Still going strong on the listen every day challenge, for both languages!

I’ve been slacking a bit on reading, though, besides my translations :sweat_smile:. I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish 大海原と大海原 volume 3 before the end of the year after all. I was going to say that I’ll be less busy in January, since I won’t have work, but イッテンヨン will probably keep me plenty busy for at least a solid week, so I will hold off on making promises :sweat_smile:.

I’ve been reading some trashy fan-translated BLs recently, but have been running up against my usual frustrations with the genre, on top of a new frustration, which is that bad Japanese translations are increasingly painful for me to read, haha. I’m familiar enough with machine translation at this point that I can sort of guess what the original Japanese is saying for a lot of it, and I can see the fan translator making translation decisions that I personally would not be making. For extremely mediocre manga, it doesn’t really bother me, because it’s not something I’d want to take extra time to read anyway, but for actually decent manga, it feels like a waste. I guess maybe this means the intermediate plateau is almost upon me :sweat_smile:? I’m looking forward to having more time to read in 2023, so that manga doesn’t have to compete as much with TJPW and WK and my other obligations.

Here are all the TJPW translations I completed:

2022.11.27 TJPW ALL RISE ’22 (part two)
2022.12.03 TJPW AUTUMN TOUR ’22
2022.12.10 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT AUTUMN~浜松公演~

Accidentally lost track somewhere in the middle there, but I added 32 words total to Anki. I started adding cards to my circulating deck again, then kind of immediately put another pause on that, due to WK and KW taking up increasing time temporarily. I might hold off on adding cards for the remainder of 2023 until I’m unemployed :sweat_smile:.

New resources:

Here’s a book that seems neat, especially for people interested in translation and localization. Mishima Kitan describes it as such: “It’s titled 現代レトリック事典 (“A Practical Compedium of 72 Major Rhetorical Figures”) & presents wide-ranging examples from literature, manga, & more!”

I saw this tweet recommending a manga called Crossplay Love: Otaku x Punk. As the tweet describes it: “It is ostensibly about a pair of crossdressing boys, but like, no it isn’t. It’s about a pair of dense and adorable transbians who are hopelessly in love but neither one knows that they are both trans.” Long story short, I got curious, looked it up, found the first two volumes on English language Bookwalker, shrugged, and impulse-purchased them.

I’m terrible at stopping in the middle of a series, though, so I ended up finding the rest of the volumes on Japanese Bookwalker, and I’m currently tempted to try buying and reading them, haha :sweat_smile:. The series has furigana (not that I really need it, at this point…) and doesn’t seem too difficult from the preview. I’d probably read this much more extensively than the rest of the reading I’ve been doing, since it’s rather light on plot, haha. It’s nice to feel like I’m starting to get to a point where extensive reading feels more within reach.

Next steps:

It’s the final stretch for me, as far as my job goes. I’m counting down the days until my work contract ends, honestly :sweat_smile:. Feel a bit of solidarity with Kota Ibushi in that regard. So my main priority right now is surviving the rest of 2022.

I’m not going to set any goals beyond just keeping up with the regular stuff for now. I have some bigger plans in mind for 2023, since I’ll have a lot more free time opening up. But I’ll talk about that later!

I’m probably going to make a special bonus 2022 retrospective post after December ends, so I guess look forward to that? Or politely scroll past if you aren’t interested, haha.

Onward to level 52! 行くぞ!

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Congratulations! Have you thought about looking at your first (couple) translation(s) to see how you’ve improved, maybe see if you can get a bit more understanding now?

It can be fun to see tangible progress. :slight_smile:

I beg to differ :bangbang: Looks very good to me. I wouldn’t even get close to that. :joy:

I hope the Shakespear shows are everything you hope they will be. When I was in London recently, visiting a few different bookstores. I saw a “sequel” to Pride and Prejudice written by PD James. A murder mystery happening a few years after P&P, with Elizabeth and all. I really loved the original book (I did not expect to!) so it’ll be fun to read this. In fact, I found it interesting enough that I bought it in paper right then and there, and it has been over a decade since I last read a novel in physical rather than ebook. (I don’t count the couple of LNs I’ve read physical, not nearly long enough to count :joy:).

:eyes:

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Thank you! And I have considered going back and not necessarily redoing my old work (thanks to rodan’s help, the biggest issues already got ironed out haha), but I guess augmenting what I had then with a more complete translation thanks to having access to the shupro transcripts now. I wouldn’t do that for all shows, because the ongoing workload is more than enough to keep up with on its own, so there’s not really time for going back and fixing old stuff, but I have considered specifically going back to do full translations for:

  • Hyper Misao vs Shunma Katsumata from the 2021.12.17 DDT show
  • Minoru Suzuki & Maki Itoh & Chris Brookes vs Eruption from the 2021.12.25 DDT show
  • The press conference before Mizuki vs Miyu Yamashita on the 2021.01.04 TJPW show, which was before I took over the TJPW translations. I don’t think we’d found the press conference transcripts yet, or my friend didn’t have time to do that one, possibly both :sweat_smile:. In any case, it got skipped.
  • Hyper Misao vs Sanshiro Takagi from the 2022.03.19 TJPW show, in particular what was said on the mic after the match
  • Raku vs Pom Harajuku vs Yuki Aino on the 2022.06.19 TJPW show, purely because that match had a lot of fun character stuff and I want to have a more complete translation of it haha

I’d prioritize the Minoru Suzuki and Maki Itoh stuff, probably, just because that whole match was such a lightning in a bottle moment. There’s just something so incredibly special about Itoh and Chris yelling out “who’s the coolest in the world? Minoru-chan!” instead of Itoh doing her normal “who’s the cutest in the world? Itoh-chan!” spot.

That match was honestly one of the main motivations for me to start translating in the first place. I knew that it would be something special the moment it was announced, and I wanted others to be able to enjoy it, too, because I knew that it was something we’d never quite be able to recapture. I wanted that so much, I pushed past a lot of insecurity and worked really hard on it even though the workload felt so scary and overwhelming.

I was actually just thinking about revisiting that translation in the wake of the recent news that Suzuki-gun is disbanding (and NJPW’s El Desperado finally got to have his match with DDT’s Daisuke Sasaki! :smiling_face_with_tear:). I don’t think Suzuki is retiring quite yet, but… well, he’s letting go of one of the biggest legacies of his career. Suzuki teaming with Itoh and arguing with her over whether Suzuki-gun or the Neo Itoh Respect Army was the better faction was such a charming, lighthearted moment from a simpler time.

Yeah, I’m actually a huge classical literature fan (believe it or not? :joy:). So much so to the point where most people who know me in real life are incredibly surprised when they find out about the wrestling, because generally their impression of me is someone who is very quiet and bookish and academic :sweat_smile:.

I got into Shakespeare in high school, then studied it some in undergrad (I was a member of Shakespeare club…), then a little more in grad school. I even accidentally signed up for a Shakespeare class that I didn’t realize would involve acting until it was too late :sweat_smile:! So I have even technically acted in Shakespeare, too, albeit only in a very limited capacity (I arranged and directed a ten minute play consisting of spliced together scenes from Troilus and Cressida, which we performed in front of the class and nowhere else, haha. I gave myself the role with the most lines since no one else really wanted it…).

Long story short, I love Shakespeare, and I love analyzing the original text (truly it taught me everything I now apply to analyzing wrestling storytelling, haha), and I also love seeing all of the incredibly different interpretative lenses that people have applied to the plays all around the world. So a Japanese Shakespeare themed deathmatch wrestling show is conceptually delightful to me regardless of execution.

I’ve read a modern adaption of King Lear (A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, which also happens to be a really great book about Iowa) in addition to reading the original play, I’ve seen it performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (with a really great eye-gouging scene that ended up later inspiring a moment in a D&D game that I ran), but a scene adapted as a deathmatch on a bed of roses is something wholly new to me. And Romeo and Juliet as a deathmatch is just incredible? Truly a 死愛(しあい) (to use Jun Kasai’s spelling of 試合(しあい)).

Also, yeah, Jane Austen is great! I confess, I’ve seen more film adaptions of her work than I’ve read her books, but I did just finish reading Emma in real time over a period of a year plus, which was such an interesting experience. As I described it to others, it’s like experiencing Emma as wrestling, haha! Pro wrestling has such a unique quality of operating entirely in real time, which is unlike every other media, and this sort of gets at that same experience, though it’s still very different. Dracula Daily sort of did something similar to Emma, though it took off way more than Emma did.

I hope you enjoy the book you bought! :blush:

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Made it to level 52!

Technically I made it there before the end of 2022, hence why this post is before the promised yearly wrap-up post! It is also very, very late! Oops :sweat_smile:! The reason is a combination of me trying to finish up my last few weeks of work while also having family visiting and then going right from that into watching a billion Japanese wrestling shows during the first week of January…

In any case, this post is here now! And the next one will be here soon? Ideally? :sweat_smile:

I spent just over fourteen days on the last level. I’ve contemplated speeding up a bit after other things in my life calm down for me, but I’m currently leaning toward just continuing at the rate I’ve been doing. I’m not in any real rush to finish WK, at this point.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 4964 (and 3663 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

To kick off イッテンヨン week, one of my friends organized a stream of rare Golden Lovers matches that aren’t currently available on streaming sites (my friend got some of them from buying limited run DVDs). He also subtitled parts of the matches, which was really, really fun. Parts of the Golden Lovers lore have sort of been lost over time, at least in the English-speaking fandom, due to a combination of the non-archival nature of wrestling storytelling on top of the language barrier. It’s really the work of fans helping keep the story alive over so many years.

I didn’t know, for example, that the infamous Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega vs Michael Nakazawa vs Danshoku Dieno match where the Golden Lovers have their first kiss was actually an Ibushi produce match (so he was the person who planned/booked it). Basically, Dieno (who employs a lot of forced kissing in his moveset) wins the match by forcing Kenny and Kota to kiss each other, and then while they’re “distracted”, he hits his finisher on Nak and pins him. Afterward, the Golden Lovers kiss each other again, willingly, haha. Then Kenny high fives Dieno on their way out, which is hysterical.

Dieno gets maligned a lot by western fans due to his gimmick (weaponized gay sexuality, basically, including moves that look a lot like sexual assault), but he’s a wrestler whom my own opinion on has changed a lot as I’ve learned more Japanese, and as I’ve been able to understand more what he’s actually trying to do with his wrestling. A lot of western Golden Lovers fans get hung up on the fact that their first kiss in that match was technically nonconsensual, but I don’t think that’s exactly what was going on there, and isn’t how it was meant to be read.

Dieno wrote a book actually, which just came out, and my friend has been reading it, and he described it to me in such a way that it made me really interested in checking it out. More on that in a bit, haha.

I actually had another sort of small breakthrough while watching Dieno’s 20th anniversary show at the end of 2022, which was a VOD show, so I had no live translation for it, and had to rely on just a summary of the event from a fan account plus my own listening comprehension. In that show, they had a match where Sanshiro Takagi, the 大社長 himself, fought in a handicap match against like five wrestlers, and there was a stipulation where every number counted in each pin attempt (plus counts outside of the ring and any other count in the ring…) got added up and whoever lost the match would have to buy that many copies of Dieno’s autobiography. I was proud of my ability to actually hear and understand the cumulative count totals that they announced periodically throughout the match! It was a very entertaining show that ended with both of the men in the main event, Dieno and Muscle Sakai, getting pinned by Dieno’s beloved dog Haku, who was then declared the winner of the match.

In any case, watching old Golden Lovers stuff is fun and nostalgic because they get up to so much nonsense in DDT, but it’s also sort of like slowly digging a knife in your chest, knowing where things end up going for them. Stuff like Kenny saying a bunch of mushy stuff in Kota’s 10th anniversary show in 2014 and talking about how he’ll follow Kota wherever he goes (shortly before Kenny himself leaves DDT to follow Kota to NJPW). Reminded me of the comment Kenny made in NJPW years later in 2018, a few months before he left for AEW, wherein he said that no matter where he goes, no matter which country he goes to, the Golden Lovers will always fight with the same emotion and one heart. And, well… :smiling_face_with_tear:

We ended the stream by watching the Golden Comeback video that NJPW put out, which is basically about the Golden Lovers starting to work together again after reuniting (in 2018). At the beginning, Kenny takes out a rare Kota Ibushi shirt that he got by bidding in an online auction, which Kota is amused and touched to see. He and Kota wear matching versions of that shirt (in opposite colors) to their first match back as a tag team. That shirt actually just reappeared years later in AEW in their last show in 2022. Kenny wore it to the falls count anywhere match he was in, making Golden Lovers fans cry all around the world, haha.

Moments like that, you realize that Golden Lovers fans are actually getting an entirely different experience than normal people, watching his work. All of these little details that are completely pivotal to the actual intentional story he’s telling, but so easy to miss if you don’t look for them.

I watched SO MANY other shows, but I will try to restrain myself to only talking about Japanese breakthroughs, haha. One of them that was very fun was the BJW and DDT 年越(としこ)し crossover show which happens every December 31. I normally don’t watch these because they don’t air on Wrestle Universe, but a friend found this one, uh, elsewhere, and another one of my friends was actually at the show in person, haha, so I watched it on a whim, and it was extremely entertaining, and I think it might be one of my favorite shows of the year? I was almost entirely on my own, as far as translation went, but I was able to translate the rules for the matches for my friends, and even caught a few lines on commentary and such. I couldn’t catch Antonio Honda’s ごんぎつね story, but I could tell that the story Jaki Numazawa countered him with was an 浦島太郎(うらしまたろう) story, haha.

It was my last day of work, so I was especially feeling the 年越し spirit. I really like that word for the concept, honestly! I think it embodies the feeling very well.

The first wrestling show that I watched in 2023 was NOAH’s New Year show on January 1. This show was part of Keiji Mutoh’s retirement tour, and had a bonkers main event wherein the Great Muta faced WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura. Normally WWE doesn’t let their wrestlers do things with other companies, so this was a treat. I had a lot of fun watching the show because I realized that my kanji knowledge had gotten good enough, I could read most of the wrestlers’ names now, and could read most of their Abema rating scores without having to screenshot them and look up kanji/words.

The Muta vs Nakamura match was a lot better than I was expecting. Nakamura’s entrance was amazing and beautiful, and it made me so sad that he was going to be headed back to WWE afterward :pensive:. The match itself had an incredible finish, wherein Nakamura, well… he, uh, kissed Muta and sucked Muta’s poison mist spray out of his mouth before Muta could use it on him, then he misted Muta with his own poison and got the win. This kind of thing just happens sometimes in wrestling.

Unfortunately the match itself got somewhat overshadowed by Muta’s post-match comments, which were in English, and which featured a homophobic slur. There was a fair amount of debate online about what he had actually said, but it’s fairly unmistakeable if you actually watch the video. I got curious and looked up what shupro had for their transcript of what he said, and it is, uh, not entirely accurate, I don’t think.

Here’s a clip of the promo (warning: slurs!), and here’s what shupro had:

ムタ「ヒーイズグッド、シンスケ・グッド。メイビー、ヒーイズ・クリア、ヒーイズ・パーフェクトベイビー。バイバイ、シンスケ。ノーモア。オッケー。サンキュー。サンキュー。バイバイ。ニッポンブドウカン、バイバイ。サンキュー。シーユーヨコハマ!」

Going from the high of that kiss to getting slapped in the face with the reality of homophobia was not exactly the most fun mood whiplash of my week, but, well, Mutoh was already my least favorite still active old man in プロレス.

My next show after that was DDT’s January 3 show, which was a blast. I think I caught part of one of Antonio Honda’s Gon the Fox jokes, haha. Yuki Iino kept getting wheeled out of the match and wheeled back in wearing increasingly less clothing (he started from open back underwear and went even less clothes from there, somehow), and Honda kept telling his Gon the Fox story (it’s always a dirty joke. I can understand it maybe about 5% of the time), and in the last part, he talked about お年玉(としだま), only I think he pronounced it おとしたま. I was pretty sure it was meant to be the same たま that’s in 金玉(きんたま), and sure enough, when they wheeled Iino out again, he was wearing nothing except for an お年玉 envelope that was covering up… well… :sweat_smile:

On イッテンヨン (1.4, January 4) proper, I watched two shows! The first was TJPW’s former biggest show of the year, which was just a total joy from start to finish. I’ll talk about this one in much more detail when I finish translating it, but for now, the biggest highlight for me is that we’re getting part two of my favorite feud in TJPW, Yuka Sakazaki vs Mizuki. This was basically exactly what I was hoping for, so I’m thrilled! I love tag teams! I love it when tag partners love each other! I love it when they have to fight each other anyway, but still love each other…

The other show I watched was NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom show. It was my first time watching NJPW since, well, what the company did to Kota Ibushi last year. He was actually at the very center of the Kenny Omega vs Will Ospreay match, even though he wasn’t actually there. The build to the match had a lot of stuff going on (some of it better executed than others), and on the surface it was about Kenny leaving NJPW to Ospreay (and Jay White, and Kota) when he left for AEW, and Ospreay failed to live up to his expectations, so Kenny came back to “save” the company. But the actual core of the matter was that Ospreay had injured Kota in their Wrestle Kingdom match four years earlier, which meant that he and Kenny never got to say goodbye to each other before Kenny left.

Kenny did some of his comments before the match in Japanese, continuing to use his connection to the country and to the Japanese fanbase to get one over Ospreay. There was a funny moment when he asked the translator to translate them into English for Ospreay, haha. Lots of opportunities for me to get a little more Japanese practice in, though I’m looking forward to him facing someone I actually like next time. With Ospreay, I’m not that motivated to want to put in the extra effort haha.

Kota Ibushi tweeted his support (link is to a translation) at Kenny before the match, which completely bodied me while I was watching TJPW and almost made me cry, haha.

Kenny’s entrance in the match was incredible. He entered to 片翼(かたよく)天使(てんし), which is of course the namesake for his finisher, though I don’t think he had ever gotten the chance to enter to the actual song until now. I tried to read the words onscreen during his entrance, but it was a little hard to read them, so 片翼の天使 was the only thing I could read, haha. Apparently the rest of the Japanese text was lines from Sephiroth in the game.

In the match itself, Kenny came down on Ospreay like a vengeful angel. It was extremely brutal and I had a hard time watching it, my dislike of Ospreay notwithstanding, but the finish of it was one of those wrestling moments that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Kenny hit Ospreay with a kamigoye (Kota’s finisher), and then went from that right into a one-winged angel (fitting!) for the win. It felt explicitly like he won by getting vengeance in Kota’s stead (and hopefully bringing Kota some closure for the NJPW chapter of his career).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the match was instantly a critical darling and is currently getting rated extremely highly, which is both a blessing and a curse to me because I can’t stand Will Ospreay. I do appreciate, though, that once again, you can’t watch any of Kenny’s best work without getting the Golden Lovers story deeply intertwined at the very core of it. He’s the best wrestler in the world, and all of his best matches are about the power of gay love (and sometimes gay vengeance). As I heard someone once say, “in wrestling, you can choose to be whatever you want to be, and Kenny Omega chose to be in love.”

I passed out at 6am haha and woke up to two really sappy tweets from both of the Golden Lovers. Here is what Kota said in response to the match/finish, and here was Kenny’s response (links to translations). And here, at last, the actual reason I started learning Japanese is paying off :sob: :pleading_face:.

feelstana

“待ってて” and “俺はいつまでも待てる” might be one of the most romantic exchanges I’ve ever seen in my entire life?? And the “ゴールデンラバーズは終わらない” :sob:.

I guess in a weird way, there is one positive that it has taken this long for them to be able to get back together. I got into the Golden Lovers story (and from there got into pro wrestling as a whole) in 2019, started learning Japanese at the very end of 2020, and have only just started to reach a point with the language where I feel like I can actually genuinely appreciate things in the original Japanese.

I saw this fanmade Kenny Omega trivia quiz on twitter by one of the popular English to Japanese fan translator accounts. I did it on my phone the night after Kenny vs Ospreay without using Yomichan or any dictionaries or lookup tools (though I did look up the Japanese names to a few of the answers that I knew in English), and I managed to get 8/10 correct, haha :sweat_smile:. The only question that I couldn’t figure out was number 8, but that’s because I never watched Kenny’s twitch streams. And I straight up didn’t know the answer to number 10, though I could read the question just fine. Once again, my domain-specific vocab knowledge was the only thing that saved me here. I saw a few more quizzes of this type done by other Japanese fans for their favorite wrestlers, but the only other one that I tried was an AEW one, and the trivia was too hard for me (genuinely an impressive feat, considering how much AEW content I’ve watched and how much background company knowledge I have) so I did quite poorly :joy_cat:.

The day after イッテンヨン is NJPW’s New Year Dash show, which has traditionally been a pretty fun one, because it sort of sets up all the storylines for the near future. I watched this show, too, though I still don’t have plans to tune into NJPW more than occasionally in the future. The show had a mystery card (so we didn’t know any of the matches going in), and the main event ended up having a really fun surprise, which was that Kenny and Kazuchika Okada teamed up together!

I’m not sure how to convey just how strange and unlikely that duo was, but trust me, it’s not something that felt like it could have ever happened before that exact moment in time. It was really cute, though, because they’re clearly friends in real life, despite their characters having one of the most famous rivalries in wrestling and being opposite in alignment for most of their careers. They both looked really happy to do that match together, and there was a particularly fun moment where Kenny called him “Kazuchika” and the fans audibly reacted to that haha (despite not being allowed to cheer).

They won their match (unsurprisingly!), but Kenny left before they could close out the show together, which made me sad. Next time, maybe. またね!

I’m hoping that 2023 has only good things in store for both of the Golden Lovers. We’re certainly off to a good start, though!

みんなの日本語 Lesson 47 – Lesson 48

I… did not finish lesson 47, unfortunately! I was way too busy. I’m going to try to catch up soon, though! After this week, things should be much calmer, and I’ll have a lot more free time. My current goal is to finish MNN by the end of February, and I think I’m on track to do that!

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 48 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Listening: Frontera Verde and Bob Esponja) (Reading: Sí, sí es contigo)

I finished Frontera Verde! Overall, I think I liked the show, though I definitely had parts where my comprehension was only so-so, haha! It didn’t help that the ending was a little bit strange, but, well, I’m not sure that understanding more of the series would have helped me there. I also watched the behind the scenes feature that Netflix had for it.

I started reading Sí, sí es contigo by Calle y Poché, which is a book I had earmarked for adding to the library’s Spanish language collection before I left. I saw it on recommended lists of LGBTQ books in Spanish, and it looked like it would have a lot of everyday vocabulary and be a bit less, well, literary, for lack of a better term, haha, which might make it more accessible to me. I haven’t read enough of it to have formed a real opinion of it yet, though.

I completed my fall listen every day challenge with a perfect score for both languages once again! Still have not yet officially signed up for the winter read every day challenge, though I’ve been informally doing it every day on my own. Hopefully going to set up my summary post in there soon!

I slightly cheated on 大海原と大海原 volume 3 by reading 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 instead. Oops :sweat_smile:! I’ve been reading it much more extensively than I’ve been reading 大海原と大海原, and I guess my brain wanted something lower effort, so I gravitated toward that manga instead.

Here are all the TJPW translations I completed:

2022.12.15 TJPW Angel and Rabbit — (7 words added)
2022.12.24 TJPW せ〜の、メリークリスマス!2022 — (7 words added)

Currently working on translating TJPW’s イッテンヨン show, and then I will have two (much shorter) VOD shows to work on immediately afterward, haha.

My wrestling deck contains 1,173 words now. Though 173 are still not in circulation yet, haha. But I finally did it! I officially learned 1,000 pro wrestling words by the end of 2022! It’s amazing how much of a difference even that few words makes, in terms of overall comprehension of that particular domain. I’m glad I didn’t give up on mining words in Anki, though I remember having moments near the beginning of 2022 where I was tempted to.

New resources:

As I mentioned earlier, I’m thinking about eventually getting a copy of Danshoku Dieno’s book! It’s titled “イロモノの野望 透明人間と戦ってわかった自分の商品価値の上げ方”, which I saw translated as “The Eccentric’s Amibiton: What I learnt from fighting the Invisible Man on How to Increase my Value”.

According to my friend who is currently reading it, it reads more like a self help guide than an autobiography (he said “doesn’t feel scammy…yet”), and there’s “a lot about Dieno’s identity as a #gaymer and his brand and all that, and how you really need to stick with yourself in wrestling as an openly out queer wrestler because otherwise you will just be annihilated.”

I was a little surprised to find out that it actually gets into the LGBTQ stuff, though I think that’s super cool. Apparently Dieno also just openly breaks kayfabe all throughout it, haha, which I guess makes sense if he’s talking about this as a business, but it’s also a bit shocking for me, considering how protected kayfabe typically is in Japan, and how other Japanese wrestler autobiographies usually skirt a very fine line with the topic.

My friend said the difficulty is a little easier than other wrestlers’ autobiographies because it’s broken up into chunks with checklists and underlined stuff and such, and is meant for a less attentive audience than a more in-depth book. There are sections that are only like a paragraph long and then it’s onto the next part. So that sounds promising! I’ve tentatively marked this down for buying and reading in 2024, but who knows, haha, I might get curious and start reading it earlier, or progress faster in Japanese and feel ready to read it sooner than I expect.

Next steps:

My goal right now is to finish catching up on all the stuff I fell behind on while I was so busy! I’m prioritizing the translations and progressing in MNN, in addition to the usual steady progress in WK.

I’m also going to hopefully get that 2022 retrospective post up soon! I’ve been looking forward to writing it! :blush:

Onward to level 53! 行くぞ!

10 Likes

Here it is! My big retrospective post for 2022, and some plans for the year ahead.

As I’ve discussed throughout my study log, 2022 was maybe the hardest year of my life so far. I struggled with the worst depression of my life, and a bunch of distressing job stuff happened to me while distressing job stuff was also happening to my favorite wrestlers, and for a good chunk of the year, I wasn’t sure we were even going to get more of the Golden Lovers story at all, which is the entire reason I started learning Japanese.

And to top all of that off, I was trying my best to do the impossibly hard task of filling in for my favorite wrestling translator after he left, and if I couldn’t do it, I’d probably have to give up watching my favorite wrestling company, because even if I could roughly understand what was happening on my own, I’d lose the community connection I get by following these storylines alongside my friends and countless internet strangers, which is like half of the entire point of watching pro wrestling, anyway.

So I was simultaneously feeling the pressure of “I need to be fluent now; there’s no time to waste” and “what’s even the point of learning the language if the thing I’m learning it for isn’t even going to be around anymore?”

Somehow, I managed to redirect my energy into my studies and keep going. I had days where I really, really didn’t want to do it. I had days where I saw my translation workload and just cried. Days where I looked at Anki and almost just deleted my entire pro wrestling deck because I felt like I was just repeatedly failing the words and nothing was sticking and I was never going to be able to learn what I needed to learn if I wanted to actually do this.

But I told myself that the beginning is the hardest, and it’ll get easier from there if I just tough it out. I reminded myself that プロレスは諸行無常, and all I could do was appreciate what I had when I had it, and even if we never got any more Golden Lovers content, there were still plenty of other wrestlers that I love, and despite how awful the industry can be, it’s somehow capable of producing some of the most exquisitely beautiful art I have ever seen in my life.

As it turned out, studying Japanese was about the best distraction I could find. Even though everything else in my life felt like it was falling apart around me, I at least had this one thing that I could do.

Despite everything, I made it through the year after all.

I’m going to once again extend special thanks to @rodan for the continued support and extensive help with the translations. Thank you, too, to the rest of the folks who have liked my posts and commented here. You have all seriously helped me so much more than you could possibly know, at a time when I was not really getting much support from anyone in my real life.

Goals for 2022

I’ll be honest, I completely forgot that I had set any, haha. But sure enough, I had made a post in the 2022 goals thread. Here’s what I had listed:

  • Reach level 50 in WK :white_check_mark:
  • Complete MNN 1 and get most of the way through 2 :white_check_mark:
  • Keep up with Anki and Kaniwani reviews :white_check_mark:
  • Continue reading and engaging with the language while immersing :white_check_mark:

(I posted a short reflection in this thread already, but I’ll migrate it over here as well.)

It’s amazing how easy it is to meet your goals when you don’t set very ambitious ones :sweat_smile:. As I said when I set them, the goals listed above were more or less what I would achieve if I just stayed on course each day. And sure enough…!

I did have one 2022 goal that I only alluded to in the other post, because I wasn’t sure at the time what my year was going to look like. I had just tentatively started fan translating for DDT Pro Wrestling after their official translator left the company. Sure enough, DDT ended up hiring a new person a couple months later, letting me off the hook. However, I ended up picking up Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling instead, and they still have yet to hire a replacement to do it officially, so I’m still doing translations.

That goal was essentially:

  • Keep doing fan translations for DDT/TJPW as long as there is a need for them :white_check_mark:

And boy did I manage to complete it! Succeeded far beyond my imagining, honestly. I’ve translated easily a novel worth of Japanese over the past year, and even took the translations public, when I got fed up enough about how much misinformation was circulating, haha.

I didn’t set any specific goals for immersion in terms of number of hours or page numbers or books/episodes or whatever, but then I ended up joining my first read every day challenge, and whatever expectations I’d had in mind for my immersion, I ended up far exceeding them.

Read/Listen Every Day Challenges in 2022

Here are all of the challenge threads I participated in:

The summer listen every day challenge thread is actually the first of its type here. Basically from that point onward, I decided to focus on the reading challenge during the main two months of the challenge period, then do the listening challenge on the off-month.

I also started out just focusing on Japanese, but part of the way through the first winter reading challenge, I decided to challenge myself to attempt to read in Spanish every day as well.

As you can see below, once I made my mind up, I never once wavered.

= Japanese
= Japanese and Spanish

:books: Jan
Week 00
Week 01
Week 02
Week 03
Week 04
Week 05
:books: Feb
Week 05
Week 06
Week 07
Week 08
Week 09
March
Week 09
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
:books: Apr
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17
:books: May
Week 17
Week 18
Week 19
Week 20
Week 21
Week 22
:sound: Jun
Week 22
Week 23
Week 24
Week 25
Week 26
:books: July
Week 26
Week 27
Week 28
Week 29
Week 30
:books: Aug
Week 31
Week 32
Week 33
Week 34
Week 35
:sound: Sept
Week 35
Week 36
Week 37
Week 38
Week 39
:books: Oct
Week 39
Week 40
Week 41
Week 42
Week 43
Week 44
:books: Nov
Week 44
Week 45
Week 46
Week 47
Week 48
:sound: Dec
Week 48
Week 49
Week 50
Week 51
Week 52

Total days spent reading Japanese: 243
Total days spent reading Spanish: 195
Total days spent listening to Japanese: 84
Total days spent listening to Spanish: 84

Obviously those numbers only account for when I was actively tracking my reading/listening during a challenge. I was reading in Japanese pretty much every single day regardless of whether or not I was doing a reading challenge at the time, and I did a lot of untracked listening practice throughout the year.

“Books” finished in Japanese:

  • 大海原と大海原 volume 2
  • 62 translations for DDT Pro Wrestling/Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling

Books started in Japanese:

  • 大海原と大海原 volume 3
  • 新日本プロレス英語入門
  • 世界が広がる 推し活英語

Books finished in Spanish:

  • Wonder (La lección de August) by R. J. Palacio
  • parallel text book in Spanish and English about local history
  • Antes de Ser Libres by Julia Alvarez
  • Redbone by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni and illustrated by Thibault Balahy

Shows/films finished in Spanish (watched with Spanish subtitles):

  • La Casa de las Flores (34 episodes)
  • La Casa de las Flores: La Película
  • Elisa y Marcela
  • Frontera Verde (8 episodes)

“Shows” started in Spanish (no subtitles):

  • Duolingo Podcast (63 episodes)
  • Bob Esponja (16 episodes)

Misc. other media:

  • Wrestling shows in both languages
  • Magazine articles in both languages
  • Tweets and other scattered internet content in both languages
  • Translated 32 senryu poems

I didn’t have a minimum word count or amount of time I aimed to practice each day in order to count it for the challenge. I counted any amount of deliberate practice, no matter how small. Sometimes I read only a page or two or listened to only a couple minutes of audio. I did not count reading or listening to any textbook material. My main goal was to just do some sort of practice with both of my languages every single day.

And I succeeded at that beyond my wildest imagining!

Seeing how much I improved in both languages really taught me the value of forming a consistent habit of practice. I’m going to try to keep this up for the rest of my life. Not necessarily checking a box for every single day of the entire rest of my lifetime, but trying my best to always have some media I’m engaging with in all of my languages, and never have long periods where I’m not practicing one of them.

As Spanish and Japanese get easier for me, extensive reading/listening becomes more and more doable, which means that practicing them is less of a strain. The ultimate end goal is to reach a point where immersion is nearly effortless so that I don’t need challenge threads to give me that extra push to practice, haha.

But, well, considering how I’m not there yet, and also considering that I am freshly unemployed and my 2023 is wide open, I want to go above and beyond what I did last year…

Goals for 2023

  • Keep doing fan translations for TJPW as long as there is a need for them
  • Complete Minna no Nihongo 2
  • Reach level 60 in WaniKani
  • Start and finish Tobira
  • Keep up with all SRS reviews (WaniKani, KaniWani, Anki)
  • Complete alternating read every day and listen every day challenges with a perfect score, 365/365 days, in both Spanish and Japanese

Yes, you read that last one correctly—I’m aiming for a full 365 day streak in terms of practicing daily immersion. Zero missed days. Honestly, considering how well I did in 2022, despite everything, I don’t think this will be too hard for me.

2023 is going to mark a departure from the rigid scheduling I’ve been doing so far, since I’ll be completing WK soon, and Minna no Nihongo even sooner. I don’t know what my schedule will be for Tobira yet, or how much I’ll be ramping up my Anki workload. I am definitely going to have some schedule of some sort, though. It’ll just look different from how it has looked in the past because I’ll be changing tools!

Media-specific goals:

(adapted somewhat from the schedule I had laid out in this post)

  • Finish 大海原と大海原 volume 3
  • Start the 大海原と大海原 video game
  • Finish 新日本プロレス英語入門
  • Finish 世界が広がる 推し活英語
  • 小説 ミラーさん -みんなの日本語初級シリーズ-
  • Read Real Japanese Fiction
  • Read Real Japanese Essays
  • よつばと!
  • プロレス語辞典: プロレスにまつわる言葉をイラストと豆知識で元気に読み解く

I’ll be reading and listening to a lot more media besides what I listed above, but I do want to commit to getting that list done at minimum because those are all books that I already own in print, and I don’t want my collection to get too far ahead of me :sweat_smile:.

At the same time, I don’t want to over-commit, since the translations have to take first priority, which reduces the amount of time I can spend on other stuff. So I’ll start with just this list, and hopefully I’ll greatly exceed it and get a bunch more stuff read and make it look like I had an extremely productive year when I reflect back at the end of 2023, haha.

Here’s hoping that 2023 is a better year for all of us.

12 Likes

You’ve made pretty amazing progress!! Congratulations!

I think a funny thing about learning to read is that the sense of it having been difficult melts away more and more as you go - like, it’s essentially pulling your brain from “this is literally incomprehensible and means nothing” to “it just looks inherently like it means XYZ - what, it doesn’t to everyone?”

And anyway, that’s just to say it’s been really cool to see that process happen in realtime as you make progress, and more and more things go from seeming dauntingly, impossibly difficult, to totally achievable! (sometimes after you’ve achieved them)
Sometimes, with a headstart (and without any of the sense of responsibility), it’s easy to catch myself thinking like, “ah, before long the all-English promos will be disappointing instead of a relief, since they’ll be less interesting and the Japanese ones will be no sweat anyway!” or like “hey, no official translation is an opportunity not an obstacle!” but that doesn’t at all do justice to the work and drive that you’ve consistently put into it from the start! Which is all the more impressive to me since I wouldn’t have considered taking on myself such an impressive project as your translations at any level, and my kneejerk reaction to being able to understand wrestling storylines on my own is more “great, now I don’t have to pay attention to internet wrestling fans!” than to think to actively give back and make that scene a little better.

So anyway, congratulations on the progress so far and good luck in 2023! Don’t get too hung up on 365/365 exactly, just in case something unavoidable happens! (I got bit by that real bad once in high school) But I’m positive that you’ll make great progress in 2023 regardless!

9 Likes

I’ve found that for me at least, there are many internet wrestling fans whose opinions I do not care about in at all the slightest haha and whose posts I never want to see, but then there are the internet wrestling fans I’ve met in tighter knit communities who are positively wonderful people, who I really enjoy talking to. I’m in a couple good discord servers, and I really like the little community we’ve fostered here on this forum a lot.

So I guess I mainly want to do it for those people. I want to be able to keep discussing storyline stuff with my friends, and seeing strangers putting out really cool TJPW fanart, and people giffing the cool moments in the shows, and all that. And for all of that to happen, there needs to be a wider community beyond just me, haha, which keeps me motivated!

Something I think about a lot was Kenny talking about how much it meant to him that the fans kept the Golden Lovers story alive (before their 2018 reunion). He was so touched by the fact that people knew the story. The fans remembered them! Despite how many years it had been, people had followed the clues and compiled all the details and shared it and spread it so that other fans would understand. Wrestling is such a weird artform in that the fans themselves are part of the entire fabric of it, and I think that’s really cool, honestly. Fans and wrestlers alike are all part of that performance.

Actually, I just learned something kind of interesting a few days ago from a friend who met Mr. Haku at Natsu Sumire’s bar while visiting Japan (Mr. Haku was doing free translation for Natsu this week haha). Mr. Haku told my friend that Maki Itoh’s ring work had improved because when she went to the states, she made enough money off of her simp army that she could quit all of her side jobs.

That’s basically why Mr. Haku has been filming all of his interviews with wrestlers, because he’s trying to help other freelance joshi do the same thing (not necessarily setting up onlyfans accounts, but just getting their name out to English-speaking audiences so that they can get more bookings).

And it occurred to me that the TJPW translations are also probably helping the wrestlers in a similar way, honestly. Probably not to that extent, but I bet they help the wrestlers gain overseas fans. I don’t think TJPW would have had nearly as many overseas fans if it hadn’t been for Mr. Haku’s previous work over the years (I certainly would not have started watching without his translations!). So it’s something that I feel like everyone probably benefits from, fans and wrestlers alike.

But, yeah, I totally understand not wanting to pay attention to the IWC! There’s a reason why I didn’t have a public twitter account before I made the translation account, haha :sweat_smile:.

Haha, don’t worry! I feel like if I miss a day there, that’ll probably be the least of my worries with my studies. Missing a day with SRS is much more punishing :sweat_smile:. I thought about not aiming that high, but I already got there for more than half of last year, and I managed to get a 365 day streak on the forum in my first year being active here, so I thought if that was achievable, I could aim for something a little more productive. It felt kind of silly not to aim for it, considering the kind of success I’d already had in far more adverse conditions. But hey, even getting like a 360/365 or something would be pretty cool, so I’m just gonna 頑張ります!!

5 Likes

Oh, also, I finally got my Japanese shelf roughly organized! I added a photo of it to the end of my 2022 retrospective post :blush:. I had planned on including it when I originally published the post, but completely forgot, haha!

The shelf technically contains two books in Spanish, but the rest are either in Japanese, or are Japanese learning/reference books. I considered adding my wrestling books to the same shelf, but they wouldn’t all fit, haha. One day, my goal is to have a fully trilingual wrestling bookshelf. I don’t have any wrestling books in Spanish yet, though!

I also considered including my wrestling photobooks, which are technically “Japanese books” (in that they’re made in Japan, not that they contain much in the way of Japanese text…), but I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to have a book prominently displayed on the office shelf that was titled “Tetsuya in the NAKED” :sweat_smile:. When I bought that book, I was like “oh no! I can’t let my parents know that I own this or they might think I’m straight!”

8 Likes

Made it to level 53!

Once again, another fourteen day level. And once again, another late study log post, though it’s less late this time :sweat_smile:. I spent most of the past couple weeks trying to play catch-up after イッテンヨン week. Happy to report that I have pretty much caught up!

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5078 (and 3746 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Kota Ibushi blessed us with another Golden Lovers tweet (link is to a translation), which was a delightful thing to wake up to! He and Kenny apparently spent six hours together in a family restaurant, haha. He also used that #ゴールデンラバーズは終わらない hashtag again :pleading_face:. He’s lightly ribbing Kenny for getting a black eye in the Ospreay match, haha, which is only fair, after Kenny ribbed him for gaining weight in that shupro interview he did a few weeks ago.

Actually, I had one cool language learning victory here! I figured out that the “太った!?痩せます。。” in his tweet was probably in reference to what Kenny had said in that interview (he said that’s why he’d sent Kota the protein powder), which my friend had not picked up on. So for the first time, I actually corrected my friend’s translation of Kota’s Japanese instead of the other way around. And so the teacher has become the student :triumph:… Well, no, but it was nice to have one small victory, haha. 飯伏選手の日本語がわかるのはまだまだです… :sweat_smile:

Another Kota Ibushi thing I wanted to mention is this brief interview with him (make sure to read the correction in the quote retweet for the first part; that part in the original tweet was unfortunately machine translated, though the second part was translated by an actual human and is reliable). Unfortunately he seems to have confirmed that he probably won’t be able to reunite in the ring with Kenny as long as Kenny has the IWGP US championship and is still doing stuff with NJPW. So I’m going to be rooting pretty hard for Kenny to lose that belt every match he has with it, I guess! (We’re back to where I was in the early years of AEW, rooting for my fave wrestler to lose all his big matches… Golden Lovers fans are normal :sweat_smile:).

I did want to point out this line from Kota: “Because the tag team with him is more special to me than anything” (so he doesn’t want to tag with Kenny if it’s not absolutely perfect). It’s not often that Kota talks this openly about how much the Golden Lovers mean to him, though it’s obvious throughout his career. He implores Golden Lovers fans to wait for them, and, well, I’ve been waiting this long; I can wait a little longer.

I wish their relationship wasn’t so profoundly star-crossed, but at the same time, I guess that’s part of the whole draw to it, that these two people have spent the past fifteen years desperately wanting to be together, and despite the universe throwing every possible obstacle in their path, they still love each other and always find some way back to each other, even if they have to move heaven and earth to get there.

Only a tiny bit of that was actually about Japanese, but, well, it’s my study log; I can be a little selfish about what I write about… :sweat_smile:.

In other news, I was watching a Pro Wrestling NOAH show that featured a shuffle tag tournament consisting of tag teams that all paired a Kongoh guy with a guy from NOAH’s main unit, which was a lot of fun. Naturally, none of the teams were, shall we say, exceptionally cohesive, haha, though they got better at working together as the tournament progressed. At one point, things started breaking down for one of the teams (and then shortly afterward for the other team), and I learned the word 仲間割(なかまわ)れ from the fans reacting in the live chat on Wrestle Universe haha. Shortly after I moused over it with Yomichan and learned the word and the reading, I caught the Japanese commentary using the same term to describe what was happening onscreen.

Katsuhiko Nakajima won for his team in the finals, and I think I actually caught his first sentence on the mic. He said, “I don’t understand the reason for this tournament, but a win is a win.” Then he hyped his upcoming match with NJPW’s Shingo Takagi. I technically didn’t quite catch that last bit (I just heard “but I won”), but I got curious and looked up the shupro transcript to double-check my understanding, and hey, “but I won” and “but a win is a win” at least essentially mean the same thing haha.

I enjoyed this tweet shared on the Japanese AEW account, featuring Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale backstage. Ruby appears to be crocheting, but I got a bit caught up by the caption using 編んでいます, which of course I learned as “knitting”. I wondered if the verb could be used for both, or if the person who composed the tweet made the classic mistake of confusing the two. I ended up going to the Japanese wikipedia page for crochet (かぎ針編(ばりあ)み), and sure enough, it uses 編む there as well! Interesting. I liked that ()(もの) exists as sort of a catchall for both knitted and crocheted material. I’ll definitely be going down this rabbit hole further in the future haha.

The Japanese AEW account also had Danhausen weigh in on the infamous きのこ vs たけのこ candy debate, which I have a distant memory of talking about in the very early days of this study log haha.

I enjoyed this thread from my fellow fan translator about recent story happenings in AEW’s January 11 show. As I mentioned before, I really like the way this person writes about wrestling stories. They have a way with words, and a skill for summing up wrestling storylines in a straightforward but also beautiful way. In this thread, they talk about how “time turned back, and the clock began to beat again” with regards to the story between Adam Page, Adam Cole, and The Elite, who are finally all back and in the same place for the first time since… quite a while ago. Lots of the individual pieces in this have gotten mentioned in my study log as they were happening, haha. There is actually another thread that didn’t get touched on in this, which is the thread between Kenny and Kota Ibushi, who is also tied up with the Young Bucks, and a little bit with Adam Page. Kota did say recently that he wants to team with and also fight Adam Page…

It’s kind of funny that most of the stuff I wanted to talk about this time is from AEW, which is an American promotion! But they’ve made a lot of strides over the past year or so towards increasing their Japanese-language content and reaching Japanese audiences.

Sidenote, but I was talking with one of my friends about the current AEW tag champs, the Acclaimed, potentially doing a Japan tour, and I remembered that I’d written a sort of “Japanese 101” rap for them as a joke (part of their gimmick is doing a rap when they make their entrance, usually touching on topical subjects, sometimes for good or for ill), because I was trying to brainstorm ways they could get their gimmick over if they were in front of an audience that doesn’t speak English, and I thought that this would be funny.

Here’s what I came up with:

Yo, yo, listen!
We need translators about as much as we need our appendix
これはペンです
私の地図
日本語が上手!

Is it a good rap? Absolutely not, but it made my friend laugh, so in that sense, it was a success.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 47 – Lesson 49

Lesson 47 in one of the workbooks wanted me to write a sentence with によると about something I want to ask a Japanese person, and naturally the only interesting words my brain has in it are wrestling words, so here’s what I came up with, haha:

高いところから跳ぶのが大好きな選手が多いのはどうしてか、飯伏さんに聞きました。

飯伏さんの話によると、メチャクチャ楽しいからだそうです。

I shared it with my one friend who is fully fluent in Japanese (and who also happens to be a huge Kota Ibushi fan), and he only had one tiny correction, which amazed me, because I keep going for overly ambitious grammar in these.

This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to having any of my textbook exercises corrected by an actual 先生 :joy_cat:.

愛弟子(まなでし) was a new word for me (it means like “favorite pupil”), though I never would have guessed the reading! And wrestling, of all things, taught me 申し訳ございません. Thank you, Mahiro Kiryu, for your excessively polite apologies while also sitting on your opponent’s back.

I struggled a bit with the まとめ exercise in the workbook after lesson 48! It had me choose whether to use the 可能動詞, 受身動詞, ていただく, or 使役動詞 form of a few verbs in a selection of sentences, and it was a little tough! I was able to figure out why all of the answers were the right ones, but boy did I make a lot of mistakes!

When I added the lesson 49 vocab to Anki, I saw this one and did a bit of a double-take, haha. I wondered if the person who’d put together the Anki deck was playing a prank on me, so I double-checked the vocab list in the textbook, and sure enough, there it was. I don’t even know what this word means in English, haha :sweat_smile:.

Do I have to memorize this? Absolutely not. Am I going to memorize it anyway because I think it’s very funny? Absolutely.

A fun coincidence is that 胞 showed up in my very first batch of level 53 kanji, a mere day after I added the new set of vocab to Anki.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 49 kanji!

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: Sí, sí es contigo)

I’ve been keeping up with my daily reading, but for most days, that has just amounted to a few pages! So far, the vocab and difficulty level of the book has been about what I expected and what I wanted to get out of it, so I’m happy with that. One annoyance is that I have it on kindle, but the ebook appears to be a scan of the print book, which means the text is not very adjustable and I can’t copy and paste anything. I usually do vocab lookups on my phone anyway, but I’d hoped by getting the book on kindle, I’d maybe streamline the lookup process a little, and apparently that is not the case…

I am officially on the board for the winter read every day challenge, finally! As I mentioned in my 2023 goals above, I’m aiming for not missing a single day (in either language) in these challenges for an entire year. So far, so good!

I read a teeny tiny bit of 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 during the very brief breaks I had between translations. I’m hoping to get back to 大海原と大海原 volume 3 after the translation workload quiets back down haha.

I did get back into translating senryu! Here are the two that I attempted:

注射以後孫は行き先確かめる

パノラマの隅に意外なツーショット

I also went back and added the number of senryu I’d translated last year (32) to my retrospective post above. Look at that, I’ve honestly translated a fair amount of these poems!

TJPW has kept me very, very busy so far. Here are all the translations I completed:

2023.01.04 TJPW 東京女子プロレス ’23 — (14 words added)
2023.01.07 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~神戸公演~ — (7 words added)
2023.01.08 TJPW CITY CIRCUIT WINTER~岡山公演~ — (7 words added)

I am proud of myself for somehow getting all three show translations done in time for TJPW’s next live show! I’m definitely getting faster. They’re doing six shows total in January, which is a lot, so I’m going to be busy for these next couple weeks! :sweat_smile:

The translation account is up to 300 followers now, which is scary! But I’m really glad that other people are enjoying them :blush:. I’ve made so many gains in comprehension that I’ve finally started to reach a point where I can understand occasional lines that aren’t transcribed in the transcripts.

New resources:

@pocketcat sent me a few issues of shupro! The main one I’m excited about is No.1971, which is from August 29, 2018, and which just so happened to feature Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi’s third (and currently last) singles match together :smiling_face_with_tear:. Here are a few highlights. I’m probably not going to attempt to actually read these for a while (I have more than enough on my plate keeping up with current wrestling…), but they’ll be fun to dive into when casually reading things becomes easier for me.

Thanks to rodan’s recommendation, I’ve added いやはや熱海くん to my to-read list! rodan described it as being about: “a boy who gets confessed to a lot by girls but crushes hopelessly on guys himself. It’s very mundane and lived-in, with a heavy emphasis on natural but sharp Kansai dialogue, and I love how laid-back and matter of fact it is. Less romance and more, like, friends quietly figuring themselves out. They shared the first chapter here.”

I also added 司書正 to my to-read list, because, yes, I am the kind of person whom “the unusual library of a fictional Chinese kingdom” appeals to, haha.

Next steps:

Once again, my main priority is keeping up with the TJPW translations, besides the usual stuff. It’ll be a slightly heavier workload than usual, but it’s okay, I think I can handle it!

This is only tangentially related to Japanese, but I finally did something that I had been wanting to do, which was start keeping a word document with all of my favorite wrestling matches and shows from the year! My ill-fated first attempt at this was at the start of 2020, when I went from being very excited about wrestling to being very depressed about wrestling when the pandemic started, and I abandoned my list from that point on… :sweat:

The list is largely an excuse to keep track of my favorite fan photographs (each one links to the source), as well as just keeping track of all of the matches and shows that left a big impression on me. I try to provide enough context that you can read it without extensive wrestling knowledge, though honestly I’ve already subjected my audience here to hearing me talk about most of this stuff in my log, haha.

I’m down to the last two lessons in Minna no Nihongo, so some part of me is considering trying to speedrun the rest of the textbook and maybe attempt to get it done by the end of January… I don’t think I’ll be quite done by the next time I level up, but maybe I can get close!

Onward to level 54! 行くぞ!

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Made it to level 54!

Another fourteen day level! I was super busy for the first week, then a lot less busy for the second, so I’ve been able to relax a bit and work on some backburnered projects, which is nice!

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 5202 (and 3829 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

This one isn’t exactly a “fun” topic, but it leads into something that’s relevant for my log. On January 17, an American wrestler named Jay Briscoe died unexpectedly in a car accident. I had avoided watching his matches for years due to some terrible homophobic comments he’d made in the past, but after he died, a whole bunch of LGBTQ wrestlers came out with positive stories about how supportive and kind he was to them, and it truly seems like he genuinely had done the work and had changed as a person behind the scenes without advertising it, so I regret not giving him a second chance earlier. But, well, I figured I can still appreciate his older work now, so I found an old match of his to watch.

The match was an old Pro Wrestling NOAH match: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs Kota Ibushi & Katsuhiko Nakajima on September 6, 2008 (not technically a sanctioned youtube upload, but I’m pretty sure this one is not available on any official archive. A, uh, word of warning: the Briscoes made a very unfortunate choice with their entrance gear). This was about a month after Kenny and Kota had met each other and had their very first singles match, and I think Kenny had just left Japan after his first DDT tour :smiling_face_with_tear:. Nakajima is very different here from the evil tag-partner-betraying kick man we know and love today, and I thought it was cute that his adoptive mom Akira Hokuto was there supporting him.

I was pretty much on my own with this one! I didn’t have really any context for the match besides what I was able to glean from the Japanese commentary. I gathered that it was a Junior Tag League match, and Kota and Nakajima were at 8 points and needed this win to have a chance at making the finals. It’s a pretty fun match, though! Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kota was the person who stood out the most to me in this. It reminded me how thrilling and exciting his style is to watch.

It’s really neat to be getting to a point where I can actually understand some meaningful stuff from Japanese commentary instead of just catching random words.

Briefly getting back to the subject of Jay Briscoe, it’s always sad when someone dies so young like this, but it’s amazing to see how the whole wrestling world comes together to support each other. A few days after Jay died, Pro Wrestling NOAH and NJPW did a crossover show together, and they had a brief memorial for him there, since he had worked in both companies throughout the parts of his career that were in Japan.

I also watched the NOAH show the day afterward, which had the Great Muta’s last match. As you might guess from my last update, I was less enthused about this match than I was before new year’s, but, well, I got drawn in by the spectacle of it, despite my feelings about Muta.

Interestingly, a lot of this match was sort of about American pro wrestling history, since a big thread going into it was that Muta was the last wrestler of his generation still active in Japan, and Sting (who came from AEW to be in the match) was the last wrestler of their generation still active in America, whose own retirement loomed near. To me, the match itself felt like a glimpse at an era of wrestling that was long before my time, straight out of 90’s America at the peak of the wrestling boom, warts and all. Here was the painted face of this horrid and exquisite industry of ours.

The entrances in this match were truly incredible (there are a few photos and a slightly longer recap of this match as well as a couple others in my list of favorite matches). I also took the time to translate all of the Abema ratings for the wrestlers, though I don’t think Marufuji and Akira got any, unfortunately. But I got the other four (even Darby’s, though I considered just not bothering, but my curiosity got the better of me…).

Without exaggeration, this is legitimately one of the best perks to doing WK as a wrestling fan. You gain the ability to read these during NOAH shows:

Hakushi:
10 写経 (hand-copied sutras)
10 念仏 (Buddhist prayer)
10 独創性 (creativity)

Great Muta
0 倫理観 (ethics)
10 反則 (foul play)
10 毒霧 (poison mist)

Sting
10 スター性 (star quality)
10 実績 (achievements)
10 ムタとの友情 (friendship with Muta)

Darby Allin
9 スピード (speed)
10 将来性 (future prospects)
10 命知らず (recklessness)

I took screenshots of all four of their stats so that I could make sure I got them all, but the window I had the show open in was a little small, so the 毒霧 in Muta’s stats was SUPER blurry, but I was able to figure out 毒 and extrapolated from my knowledge of Muta what the other kanji probably was from there, haha. Funnily enough, after I translated his stats, I actually noticed someone typo-ing the kanji for his poison mist attack in Japanese in the Wrestle Universe chat: “独霧”.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 49 – Lesson 50

The textbook teaches 敬語, finally! Lesson 49 introduces 尊敬語, and lesson 50 introduces 謙譲語, so I’m finally learning exactly what the difference is between them instead of just putting both of them into the same “respectful Japanese” box in my head. You don’t, uh, see a lot of this language get used in pro wrestling :sweat_smile:.

It actually just occurred to me while I was doing these exercises that there’s probably a bit of an intentional cultural joke there with how the DDT wrestlers interact with Sanshiro Takagi, the 大社長 of the company. It’s commonly joked that DDT is a company where you run into your president with a van. It’s quite the contrast from these MNN exercises carefully teaching me how to respectfully talk about 社長’s actions haha. I’ll have to try to pay more attention to the language the wrestlers use when talking about him or interacting with him to see if there’s an element of them playing this up (or not) for humor.

One thing I was very grateful for WK for was with figuring out which words are prefixed with お and which are prefixed with ご when showing respect. Generally, お is prefixed to uniquely Japanese words, and ご to words of Chinese origin, so knowing kun’yomi and on’yomi kanji readings is massively helpful here. I aced this section in my workbook!

I added the lesson 50 vocab to Anki, which means I officially have the entire vocab for the beginner series in circulation now! It felt a bit strange deleting my (now empty) deck of inactive MNN cards. I started on lesson 50, but haven’t got very far yet. I should have the entire textbook finished by the next time I update this study log, which is absolutely wild to think about!

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 50 kanji! The spreadsheet is now complete! :smiling_face_with_tear:. I’m planning on souping it up a little, but that’ll probably have to wait a bit longer.

I’m thinking of sharing the spreadsheet as well as some general tips for using MNN successfully for self-study in a separate thread. My study log talks about my entire process, but it’s spread throughout so many long posts, I’m not sure how useful it is, haha. Obviously the way I do it is not the only way or even necessarily the best way, but I’ve managed to get all the way from lesson 1 to lesson 50, so I might have some advice that could benefit at least one person.

Reading/Listening:

Spanish (Reading: Sí, sí es contigo)

Sí, sí es contigo is going pretty well so far! The first chunk of the book was slow for me due to a combination of how busy I was (so I didn’t have as much time to read) and the narrative just not really hooking me, but I do have to say, recent chapters have changed that, haha. I got so drawn in last night, I ended up going to bed way later than I’d planned because I wanted to keep reading :sweat_smile:. So I’m glad that I’ve gotten good enough at Spanish that I could experience that!

I’m currently 43% of the way through the book. At the rate I’m going, I’ll probably finish it before the end of next month (and have to choose something else to read to keep up with the challenge), though I guess there’s still time for the book to lose me again and for my reading pace to slow…

I’m also considering trying to watch some of Calle y Poché’s videos after I finish their book, but I’ve gone my whole life so far without really getting into youtubers, and I’m not sure that I want to start, haha, so maybe that’s a bad rabbit hole to go down… :sweat_smile:

I have been keeping up with the read every day challenge so far! Though I didn’t really get much of any manga read, either 女装してめんどくさい事になってるネクラとヤンキーの両片想い 3巻 or 大海原と大海原 volume 3.

I translated one senryu (just today, actually!):

「時間よ」と 二度寝する妻 起きる俺

I finished two more TJPW translations. So far, this has been my busiest month yet! I’ve translated over 8,000 words (in English) in less than a month! :scream:

2023.01.15 TJPW 第3回“ふたりはプリンセス”Max Heartトーナメント (part two) — (16 words added)
2023.01.19 TJPW 第3回“ふたりはプリンセス”Max Heartトーナメント — (5 words added)

I added only a few dozen words to my circulating deck in Anki, since I had enough going on with the textbook vocab. So not a whole lot of progress on that front! Though now that the last of the MNN vocab has been added, I’ve started ramping up adding mined cards again.

I’ve been using my downtime between TJPW shows to work on another project, which is translating stuff for the BJW Shakespeare deathmatch shows! I’m bothering to translate them (and not just enjoy them on my own) for several reasons: 1) I’m going to be watching them with several friends who have very little Japanese ability and I want them to have at least a bit of an idea of what’s going on, haha, and 2) I want to get more information out there about these shows so that English-speaking Shakespeare enthusiasts (as well as other wrestling fans!) can know that they exist, since I think they’re something truly unique and special.

I’ll probably make some posts specifically about these shows in the pro wrestling thread once I’ve finished them and have had a chance to actually watch them. We’re aiming to watch King Lear this weekend, so I should have some notes on that in my next update!

So far, it has been a pretty research-intense process. I’ve been transcribing stuff from the back of the DVDs and the program for Romeo vs Juliet, and some of the people in the shows have been hard to find! I have a friend who is fluent in Japanese helping do some research on the people I can’t find names for. It’s an interesting look into some experimental artists and musicians who were performing in Japan at the time.

The matches themselves all have interesting names, often with some sort of pun, which really puts my Japanese ability to the test, haha. I’m a little bit obsessed with the title of act 2 of Romeo vs Juliet: “第2幕 パリステイオーの舞闘会”. As soon as I read 舞闘会, I had to take a moment because I was so filled with awe at how Japanese could make such a thing possible.

For folks who haven’t learned the word yet, 舞闘会(ぶとうかい) is a creative spelling of 舞踏会(ぶとうかい), which means dance or ball, and which I learned thanks to WaniKani! (struggle/fight) has the same reading as (step).

Japanese is so beautiful. Pro wrestling is so beautiful. Shakespeare is so beautiful.

I had to think for a while about how to even translate that act/match name. The nuance there is entirely lost in English… I ended up going with “Paris Teioh’s Ball/Brawl”, which feels so lacking in comparison, but, well, I don’t know if there’s really a way to do it better, haha.

As of right now, I’ve managed to translate the card/cast list for all of the shows, and have started working on some of the supplemental material, like the one program I have, which talks about some of what led to these shows happening, and describes the ~lore~ leading up to Romeo vs Juliet, haha. A friend found the guidebook for Macbeth for me while she was in Japan, so I’m currently waiting on that to arrive in the mail.

Sadly, the program for King Lear (which was the first of the plays to be performed) remains elusive, so we’re going to have to go into that one relatively cold. But I’m still super pumped for it, and think it’s really going to be a treat!

New resources:

One night, a Japanese Ammo with Misa discord server randomly popped into existence on my list of servers, and I discovered that she had made a discord for her patrons (of which I am one)! I’ve barely looked at it so far, but it seems to be a neat resource. Misa frequently comes on and answers specific grammar questions with clear and detailed responses. She’s really, really good at explaining specific nuances in a very clear and memorable way, with realistic usage scenarios if you are a nerd, haha, so I’m enjoying following along as she answers people’s questions.

Next steps:

Hopefully by the next time I update, I will have completed MNN and will have come up with a plan for tackling Tobira!

I also have a few non-Japanese projects I’ve been neglecting that I’m going to try to work on over the next couple weeks, but I’m going to try to get as much done on the deathmatch Shakespeare shows as I can, in whatever free time I have around my usual translation work. So I’m hoping I’ll have some cool stuff to report back on!

Onward to level 55! 行くぞ!

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