I’ve realized that I want to try improving my reading speed specifically for karaoke. I realized the other day while doing karaoke that I stumble a lot over the kana only parts of lyrics specifically. I tend to do a lot better when singing along with someone (although it’s still difficult) and when solo-ing a song, I sometimes lose the line until the final ending or kana of that line. Funnily enough, WK seems to have helped a lot with the kanji aspect as I don’t have problems keeping pace with singing along to the lyrics when they have kanji I’ve learned from here.
So my main problem is that I tend to get scrambled on the kana only parts of songs. I’d like to improve so I can sing along better when invited to duet a song (especially ones that I just know how they sound and haven’t bothered to try to understand the lyrics) and also so I can solo better. I’m really not too worried about increasing my comprehension since I know that’ll come sooner or later with the rest of my studies (although I assume that will take several years). And I’m also not going to try to completely understand a song I’ve been asked to duet (if I like it, I can look up the lyrics later). For now, I read kana daily on WK and in my daily life, but I just can’t read it aloud at a sustained speed. I plan to try using kanjiroids’ kana function more often, but what else do you think I can do to improve my reading speed of straight kana?
I’m hoping to get good enough to sing songs in general (probably nothing rap or known for being fast though) in the next 6m-1y. I’m trying to optimistically hope for an end to this pandemic…
I’m not sure if this will help or not, but a lot of kids books have very little kanji. I find that this paradoxically makes them harder to understand, but if you can access such books via friends/library/wherever, you can practice reading them aloud and it is mostly kana.
Basically, the more you read, the better you get…
Practice practice practice. Besides reading books with more kana, you could just pick random songs and try to sing them on the fly. Repeat a given song several times, and then move on to a different song.
There is literally one song that I know well enough and can read the lyrics quickly enough to actually sing in full, so I understand your pain. Not that I’m actually doing karaoke. I just like to sing along when listening to music.
I have tried reading picture books in Japanese before although I don’t think that those will be super helpful. Although maybe the problem is that I should be trying to speed read them? At the very least, maybe they’ll help me be able to sing the non chorus parts of ♪おさかな天国〈振り付き〉 - YouTube without memorizing those lines lol.
Singing along to really fast lyrics helps too if you’ve memorized the song. I know the following by heart phonetically but reading the lyrics during the fast part actually helped with reading faster in general.
That may be a good idea to try. Maybe do a session of 3 or 4 songs that you’ve never heard and try to sing along.
The Sing! Karaoke app from Smule is something else I do quite a bit. Mostly for English but I’ve tried a bunch of Japanese songs. It’s pretty good because you can just do it yourself with no pressure or you can join someone else.
The last one I actually posted was 8 months ago but I still use it a lot.
I am still a very slow reader so probably my advice isn’t worth that much but what helped me quite a bit was the read aloud sessions we did for the Kemono book club. Of course that was not especially kana-heavy text but I still found it helpful because normal text also contains a fair share of kana. That book club is over but a similar one will start on Nov 6th: