Graded Readers and Parallel Texts "Book Club"


I started the Oxbow Lvl 2 volume 1 book, grabed it as I left the house today to have something to read on the train…
The first story I managed somewhat, but noticed the leap from Lvl 1. The second story… well… I think I’ll put this one away for a little while longer XD

Their lvl 2 is actually intermediate though, so closer to lvl 3 on others.
I’ll go back to reading lvl 2 on graded readers instead (I do challenge myself with native material in the Book clubs though, but rely heavily on the comments :wink: )


athomasm, that’s exactly what I like about the graded readers–they make you feel like you know something, even if you aren’t that far along with your Japanese study!



My three year old niece was visiting from Europe yesterday so after we ate the タコ I grilled I read her 西町鋼板の良さん「にわにわに」from the Ask Lvl0 Vol2. It was kinda surprised at how smoothly I could narrate especially since I had only read it once the other day when I couldn’t sleep. Felt really good that I was able to read it with inflection/emotion and seamlessly recap the end of each page in English for her.

Enjoying our group here so far! Thanks all.


I had to return the books (Taishukan volume 2) to the library today :disappointed_relieved:
But I’ll go back and check them out again soon :slightly_smiling_face:


Warning: the story 「象のトンキー」 from ASK Lvl 2 Vol 1 is extremely sad. It’s even worse than 「ハチの話」 from Lvl 1 Vol 1. :sob:


Just read the level 0 story in the White Rabbit Press app. Well, I should say I listened first, trying to see how much I could understand from just listening, see if I could separate it into different words and such. It went better than I expected, but also realized that if I have zero idea what I’m about to hear, then it is much harder. After a couple of paragraphs it was much easier to understand because I already had context. Well imagine that, haha.

I think I looked up 4 words, two words to double check my guess / double check if I was thinking of the right word. The other two were ones I had no idea.

The story was kinda sad, you know proverbs or fables can be. But it is interesting because it seemed to apply to me right now. In two weeks, I get on a plan to Japan, and about a week after that I start Japanese classes at a school there. And I feel this interesting pull to just do all the fun stuff right now, stuff I do in my free time. Because I know more of it will be used for things outside my control, as in I’ll have classes and need to go to them. But when winter comes, eeeh… when lessons starts, I want my mind in the right place and as far along with Japanese as I can!


Read my first graded reader in almost a month >_< Momotarou! It was good! I’m glad I just got it in one of the Ask series rather than the standalone Clay + Yumi, as I don’t think it would have been worth it for that alone. It was nice to read something where I could understand most of the grammar.

Since I know my listening is weak, I decided to listen to the audio of the first graded reader I read (the one with the painting of the beautiful wife), and… I kinda followed the story, because I knew it, but missed some important bits, and definitely didn’t hear every word. I’m too used to just tuning out Japanese, I found it hard to concentrate, and there’s no time to digest what is heard either. Well, I guess it’s good practice. I guess I might try reading along to the audio for another one in future to see how that goes.


Has anyone read 一休さん from Ask Level 2 Vol 1? I didn’t really understand the ending of the tiger sub-story…

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Oh, yeah, that one’s pretty anticlimactic. From memory I’m pretty sure he’s like “okay sir, I’m all ready to catch this tiger for you! If you could just get him out I’ll catch him in no time!” thereby putting the onus on the dude to be the one to make the tiger magically appear from the painting.

It was pretty underwhelming.


Yeah, I kept re-reading it and looking at it, going “there must be more to the story”… and “where’s the ending”… and “what was the point of that”… so I kept thinking I just didn’t understand what was going on, but maybe… it was just not much…

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Well, perhaps someone else has some more insight! But yeah, that’s all I could deduce. I also went through the whole “there must be more to it”… “what was the point”… process!


It in the box I’ve gotten to, but not read it yet.
I do feel some of the stories are like that though, so wouldn’t be surprised =P

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Haven’t been posting much lately, but happy to update the wiki to note my progress. Completed all the lvl 0 stories. Very gratifying. Thanks group!


Actually I guess I could do a little reassurance seeking on one sentence from Ask Lvl 9 Vol 3 #17: 木村家の毎「結婚式」

Page 11, but I’ll provide plenty of context:

This book is a glimpse into Japanese weddings. As the wedding progresses the reader is introduced to various customs with an illustration and one or more explanatory sentences. On this page the married couple is presenting boquets (花束)to their parents. Then the married couple is quoted:
「お父さん、お母さん、今までありがとう!」The way I take this is the couple thanking their parents for raising them and supporting them through their lives and up to this rite of passage. If I were telling the story in English I would perhaps say: “Mom, Dad, all these years, thanks for everything!”



I just bought the level 0 Ask Graded Readers. I was gonna buy more but they are pretty expensive. -.-’

I also got a couple of Japanese-native graded readers, aka not ones made for foreigners but for Japanese school children. I’m not sure if we want to add those too, and/or if they should be in a separate heading in the wiki. What do you guys think?

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They are simply too many, and considered one step above this groups focus =)
They are closer to level 4-5 of graded readers, possibly more. As soon as it is meant for natives it is much harder, even if it is children’s material =P

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Cool. I thought they probably didn’t fit and now I know about when to start reading them.

I read the first first story/pamphlet (lvl 0, vol. 1) last night. I was a bit underwhelmed because it was perhaps too easy. Although it is also nice to have something easy to read in actual Japanese, I suppose. Maybe some of the others will be a bit more challenging, I hope so. But I also hope some of them are that easy, but maybe with a bit more text. ^_____^


They are a bit pricey. You might consider jumping to level one and see how that goes. A lot of the content in level 0, while being good confidence builders, are very simplistic. I think you might find level 1 very approachable, and more substantive.

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Updated progress – On the last volume of level 1 – and getting ready to purchase the volumes in Ask Level 2.:partying_face:


Unfortunately I got all 3 volumes of level 0. Ah well… It is easy reading practice and I’ve know gotten through the first two fact based on in volume 1 so maybe the more story driven ones will be more interesting. ^____^

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