Kindle for study: a couple of questions

こんにちは、みんなさん!

I have recently bought a Kindle and would like to also use it to study Japanese by reading Japanese books. I have a few questions about this and hope the community’s phone knowledge can help me out here.

First of all, are there any learners books on sale on Amazon (accessable from Germany -> pretty much anything except .co.jp). I don’t mean children’s books but maybe something at 中級 level with occasional Furigana for difficult Kanji. I’ve tried Harry Potter which works for me - but I would prefer native Japanese texts. Is there anything you can recommend?

I would also like to order from Amazon.co.jp, as they have way more to choose from. I do have an account from when I used to live there. For some reason though, I can’t add my Kindle to my account. Is the Kindle you buy only to be used on that specific account? So can I only connect a Kindle to my .co.jp account which I’ve bought from that account?

Thanks! :heart:

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So, I did manage to add my Kindle to my Amazon.co.jp account. If anyone is interested in how that works, let me know and I’ll explain.

Still looking for recommendations of easy to read ebooks on Japanese Amazon :slight_smile:

Yes please explain

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Rather than looking for an intermediate level text with furigana, why not just read normal text, but then use Kindle’s dictionary feature? I don’t have a Kindle myself, but I think if you install the correct dictionary, then long-tap on a word, it will display the dictionary definition. You can even install jp-jp dictionary if you want to.

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A kinda related question then suggestion, while folks are here for this topic:

Does anyone use the KindleGen tool to convert articles for use on a Kindle? I’ve been doing this, but it seems to be using a Chinese font for some kanji (and I get some weird artifacts on macrons when things are romanized). I may just be missing a setting when I run the tool.

Using KindleGen opens up the possibility of using 青空, converting them to the .mobi format, but with the caveat that it is older texts (>70 years, copyright expired).

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There is http://jkindle.com/ which scrapes the NHK Easy News (https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/) daily, runs it through Kindlegen and sends the articles (with or without furigana) to your Kindle mail address. I like reading the articles as they are short enough to finish the usual set of 5 every workday without too much time required. They come nicely formatted and readable on the Kindle. As mentioned above, if you install a dictionary you can also easily look up vocab there.

If you are up for it, you can access the original source code for it over in this github repo https://github.com/hunterbridges/NHKforKindle. I forked this at some point to add a script for sending a mail with the file attached and created a Dockerfile for this as an exercise to get up to speed with Docker (these two repos are here: https://github.com/SpookyFM/NHKforKindle and https://github.com/SpookyFM/NHKforKindle-Docker). I think that the NHK website has changed at some point this year, so any of these projects would need an update.

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I recommend reading kids books of any kind or light novels. For the latter: /t/ラノベ/10504/1

I am currently reading “さくら荘のペットな彼女”.

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There’s quite a few kindle books if you look up “Japanese Edition,” but depending on your region you can get some super sketchy (NSFW even) results. I had better luck on Amazon UK compared to Amazon DE, for whatever reason. :woman_shrugging: :man_shrugging:

However, there are a few Japanese-language Kindle books you can get for free, as well as books and magazines in Japanese. Here are a few of the better ones I was able to find:

  • The Girl Living Alone (this is a 4-panel manga with no furigana, so it’s good kanji practice. Probably higher intermediate level).
  • The Little Prince (the classic story in Japanese. I know it’s not Japanese in origin, but still looks like nice practice).
  • Japanese Reader Collection Volume 1 (just like its title implies, a collection of short stories written specifically for English-to-Japanese learners).
  • CLUTCH Magazine (I’m guessing this is sort of like GQ).
  • There are also a lot of great recommendations in this thread.

Actually, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s probably better to just look it up right in Japanese in your local kindle store. The selection won’t be as vast as Amazon JP, but it’s something to get started (and you won’t run into their whole IP blocking rigmarole.)

There’s also a really great thread on other readers and sources here.

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OK, so my problem was that my Kindle was already connected to my amazon.de account. A Kindle can only be used on one single account. So I removed it from that account and tried to log into my Amazon.co.jp account from my Kindle. Didn’t work. The problem was that I used the same email address for my amazon.de and amazon.co.jp accounts. Thus, me Kindle would only connect to my .de account. So I created a new .co.jp account with a different email address and a Japanese address, logged in with my Kindle and was able to access the Japanese version of Amazon :slight_smile: quite simple, actually. If you have any more questions on this, I’ll be glad to help :slight_smile:

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Wow… that’s awesome! I read NHK easy news on a regular basis anyways, so this is great. Thanks!

As far as kindle light novels go, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai and Kino no Tabi are the easiest ones that I know off the top of my head. You can try getting a sample of them off the store and figuring out if they’re too difficult for your reading level.

Aside from that you may want to check out Aoi Tori Bunko and Tsubasa Bunko if you’re willing to put up with novels aimed at kids. Most things should have a ton of furigana and most of their titles are available on the kindle store.

Thanks for the explanation!

Can you just enter any random Japanese address (e.g. hotel address)?

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that’s what I did back then. They don’t check the address.

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I’ll try setting up an amazon.co.jp account with the address of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, I wonder if they would notice? :rofl:

Order something with CoD.

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I guess… I used the address of my former work place, which I’m still in touch with. So even if Amazon was to send anything there, I’d still ultimately receive it.

I don’t think they’d put in the effort to check all the addresses though…

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