I wrote about it here:
If you’re just here for the stats
Here’s a graph of my progress through Harry Potter by reading session (each instance I sat down to read the book):
Here’s a graph of my progress through Harry Potter by chapter:
How long it took me
- 75 reading sessions
- 62 hours
- Across 2 months
How many lookups
- 3366 unique words / 4738 total words
- 565 unique kanji / 975 total kanji
- 96 unique kanji that aren’t in WaniKani
That last point is pretty interesting and something I didn’t really expect before I started! Really highlights how finishing WaniKani is not the end of the kanji-learning journey. In any case, Harry Potter is just a children’s book, I’m sure there’s plenty more kanji to be encountered in more difficult texts.
Moral of the story
Reading Japanese is hard. But, if you stick with it, it will get better. If you’ve opened up a book and been discouraged by how difficult it is, put off by having to look up several words a sentence, this doesn’t mean you’re not ready. I probably would have quit reading Harry Potter if I hadn’t set myself the goal earlier on in the year. And I would have lost out on a lot of reading practice as a result. Sure, some books are easier than others and it’s best to find one that’s suited to your level. But, whatever the book, native material is never going to be easy to start with. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you improve if you just give a go!
Also, if you get excited by data (like I do), it’s well worthwhile to track your reading stats. Reading Harry Potter has definitely been the most fun part of learning Japanese for me, and it’s partly because of the confidence those numbers gave me.
Anyone else set themselves yearly goals to aim for? And how do you measure your progress when learning Japanese? I’d be really interested to hear from everyone else. If you have stats to share too, that would absolutely make my day.