Graded Readers and Parallel Texts "Book Club"

I finished Volume 2 of level 1 and i am starting Vol. 3. So far there has been no major problems and really love the graded readers and how they use some of the new vocab from other stories as well.

I have tried to get all the new words into a Anki deck but i have a problem. when ever i try to use Anki i always end up missing a day then 3 then a week and quit. I know anki is a great tool to learn and i keep trying to use it but to me it feels like torture and every time i load it up and see the reviews i have to do it demotivates me.

What to do what to do… Just keep reading and looking up stuff after? it will get probably harder in later levels…

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You can always only add words that you encounter repeatedly. More important words that you’re likely to encounter in general reading, and leave the more story-specific words by the wayside for now. :slight_smile:

I’m sure there are those that disagree, but I personally feel like you gain more ground by consistent, and frequent exposure, even if it feels “imperfect.”

I can worry about how it’s technically wise to add every unknown word to some kind of SRS system. But I also know that I hate doing that with a passion, and it would cut down on how much I actually read, or would push me towards burn-out if I force myself to do it anyway.

SRS-ing is important, yes, but getting loads and loads of exposure, and enjoying what you’re doing is important, too. :+1: A “perfect” study method isn’t perfect if it’s such a drag and a strain that you don’t end up doing it.

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If Anki starts to feel like torture, I’d stop using it. (well, I did!) To me, I found I would spend too much time maintaining the decks and not enough time learning.

I decided that Wanikani (and now Bunpro) is probably enough SRS… anything more common you’ll eventually learn just by natural exposure. WK really just covers kanji words, though, so it isn’t perfect. Take care not to over SRS - it’s a decent enough memory hack, but I think WK is already starting to tread into the “too much” territory. SRS will tend to crowd out other important activities - I had month long stretches where I mostly just kept up with WK and I think it led to poor retention of some of the content due to lack of exposure in the real world.

If you encountered unknown vocab in your graded reader, go back and re-read it the next day and see if you remember… if not, maybe it will solidify itself with a little repetition. With enough content the really important words (and grammar points) to remember will stick. The graded readers are sort of an SRS system in their own right - since they are a walled garden of limited vocab and grammar.

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Coming back to say I’ve finished Level 4 Volume 1’s book number 2:「永井 隆 ~原爆の地 長崎に生きて~」

This story actually made me tear up towards the end. What an amazing person!

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Okay, so I finished all the books in Level 4 Volume 1 today. I really liked the range of stories it gave, and it really succeeded in making reading Japanese fun and not intimidating. I want to read all of Volume 2 and 3 as well, but after that, what books do people usually move onto since this is the highest level? The short stories are really nice and encouraging, and I’m a bit nervous about starting on novels and other Japanese books that don’t keep Japanese learners in mind. The whole point was to be able to read smoothly and without having to look anything up, and that was the best part about reading these books. I want to do that but not have to resort to books for children either. Is there a happy medium?

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I think you’re worrying too much - I stopped using graded readers after just level two and I was trying to read native things even before that, so if you’ve completed all of level four you’re probably in a good position to get stuck in.

Why don’t you look at some of the sample pages from the various clubs? Take a look at the sample pages from コンビニ人間, generally regarded as the easiest pick the Intermediate Club have done so far. If that’s too much, then I’m afraid you are probably looking at children’s books, but personally I’ve really enjoyed the ones I’ve read, and the absolute beginners’ club has done some non-fiction ones.

Below the コンビニ人間 level I would highly recommed Zenitendou, read by the Beginners’ Club. It was pretty entertaining and very readable, and it’s essentially six short stories, so much less intimidating than a full-length book.

Otherwise, check out the upcoming absolute beginners’ book, or (and I’m biased here) join Kitty Detectives!

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I like the “Magic Tree House” books in Japanese. They are really easy grammatically for native material, but contain a huge amount of vocabulary to build on. Its a very high volume of material for a fairly low cost.

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Thanks to both of your suggestions :slight_smile: will definitely look into both of those!

@Radish8 yeah I guess I’m worrying too much. I tend to do that because I always ended up not going through the book when getting too frustrated with looking so many things up. But yeah I should just go for it.

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Look into the Aoi Tori Bunko book label. They are books written for Japanese middle school aged children.

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Thank you for this! Seems like other people recommend reading these when transitioning to novels.

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Finished level 1 and now I am re-reading a few of the free graded readers before going to level 2 which should be soon.

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I read かぐや姫. (Level 3 vol. 1) today.

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For everyone that wants to read graded readers but has no money to buy the expensive books. I have combined the free PDF’s found on the tadoku website so that you can have it all in one file and read it offline.
It can be read on tablets, PC and, and Kindle.

It has 931 pages and It has been ordered from level 0-4 and inside the levels I tried to order them from easiest to hardest(for lvl zero at least). You can find audio for some of the stories on the tadoku website.

There are:

  • 20 lvl 0 stories.
  • 20 lvl 1 stories.
  • 07 lvl 2 stories.
  • 06 lvl 3 stories.
  • 03 lvl 4 stories.

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zgLLtceaQTR0hF8KxE2eiCYNkV0eCrZX/view

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This is so convenient, thank you!

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No problem i forgot to add that You can find audio for some of the stories on the tadoku website. This way you can listen to and understand the stories.

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I read この人だあれ?お札の話
I had trouble understanding this sentence. 「一万円札は福沢諭吉のままでのままです。」What does ままです mean in this case?

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まま means to remain in a certain state.

“As for the ten thousand yen bill, it remains 福沢諭吉.”

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Thank you!

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This is great! Thanks so much for compiling this :heart:

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I just bought all of the Taishukan graded readers. Half the books are levels 1-2. I hope they publishe more 3+ books, these graded readers really boost my confidence because I understand most of the books!.

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