Is it still worth reading if understand <20%?

it’s about what you can stick with, i recommend raeding something easier like manga with children as target audience, you’ll have easy grammar and furigana to go.
After reading 2 volumes of Dragonball i gave up on that tho and started reading harder manga, although still way easier than novels. But i enjoy reading this the most so i do. You should also read what interests you most. Or try to keep balance between interest and difficulty? idk


With visual novels, you might look into text hooking:
Basically, you can extract the text that the game is showing on the screen. There are then add-ons so you can run unknown terms through a dictionary. You still need the grammar knowledge to know how sentences are put together, but being able to look up terms you don’t know and add them to your SRS is a great way to improve vocabulary.

Oh my gosh, I just got set up with textractor + cliboard inserter extension + Japanese IO extension, and it works great!! Thank you so much, I’m so excited about being able to read my favorite VNs this way! I’d been wondering how I could do it, but I hadn’t heard the term ‘text hooking.’ :slight_smile: If anyone else needs getting help set up on a Windows with Chrome, I can help, since I just did it too!


I too installed all of this from this post. Lol.

But it was an unexpectedly troublesome experience. I don’t think it had to be though, if I just had more patience and tried a lot less to figure it out on my own instead of just watching the video telling me what to do in whole.

I’ve been playing Pokemon FireRed because of this comment.

Even though it’s all Kana, it’s been great for reading practice and vocabulary recall, and after decades of playing the game I have a good idea of what to do without the dialogue when it gets rough.

Pokemon has the kana spaced out like English which I feel is helping me get more comfortable with okurigana and grammar elements and how both syntactically apply to individual words. Anki Decks exist for FireRed which was probably mentioned, you could always find where the WK terms fit into it to tie it all together with some due diligence. ┐(´ー`)┌

Edit: I’m also finding that it’s helping me read furigana quicker too.


I think the Kana games are still pretty hard.

I’ve been experimenting with Pokémon X in Japanese lately and I have to say, that they sometimes drop unexpectedly high Level Kanji.

I’d imagine X would in general be harder because of the themes and mechanics they’ve implemented. The great thing about FireRed is that it’s for the most part a pretty basic RPG with less fluff. I’m not too familiar with X but with new types of pokemom, abilities, and trainer types, along with how much the game pushes you through to the end game as quickly as possible to experience ALL the content as soon as possible caters less to language learning [edit: and problem solving using context clues provided by puzzles. ]

Conversely I could argue that instead of gameplay X used dialogue to move the story along more than Red. Because of that I feel there is less motivation to do specific actions based on what you’re being told (they got rid of a lot of the HMs in the newer games IIRC) as opposed to just continuing down to the next paragraph down the games linear path.

Tldr; My opinion about the Pokemon franchise may be biased, but I believe X has high level kanji because it’s a more complicated game with less actual gameplay.

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I’d say it depends on how you’re doing it.

Reading slowly, looking up everything until you understand each line one by one, is not that effective if you understand less than 20%. Because the things you’re trying to learn are far more advanced than what you currently know, so it will take a long time and it will be too much information to learn properly in one sitting.

That’s not to say that there’s no point in doing it. You will still learn of course. But putting everything in spreadsheets for example is sentence mining more so than reading, and I know that I would get burnt out on whatever I was reading if I only read 5-10 lines per session. I suppose it depends on whether you’re reading solely for practice, or if you also want to enjoy whichever media you’re reading.

If you’re reading for enjoyment, I’d recommend looking up the lines that you can’t parse only until you get the gist of what they mean. Save the full-sentence understanding for when you come across stuff like dialogue lines that you can understand the gist of without looking anything up, then sentence mine those lines instead.

It will be a lot easier to remember if you learn things one step above your level rather than five steps above.