May 1st Daily Reading ブラックジャックによろしく Manga

Re: H



There’s んだ there but I won’t ask if if’s a substitute for のだ.

So (ぼく) is the topic (『は』) of the sentence but it was preceded by (ちが)う which means ‘‘you’re wrong’’! I know because he said the same thing before in episode 2 I think.

今度(こんどこそ) and which followed by a new word for me こそ which… means ‘‘for sure’’ for what precedes. So, “You’re wrong, for sure this time…”. The dictionary marks こそ as a particle too. This is so interesting, I love Japanese.

あの当直(とうちょく): That… but then I’m not sure how to word this in English. This “job” comes to mind but that’s not it. That ''assignment" is the closest I can think of.

で+の so manner of action + relationship の. @Jonapedia, would you say の in this instance is this equivalent to the possessive 's?

失敗(しっぱい) means blunder, failure… and finally ()()えたい is the desiderative form of ()()える and んだ is のだ ''to bring attention to".

Wrong! This time I want to overcome this failure.

I realize this is worded awkwardly but I’m confused as to how 失敗(しっぱい) and ()()える work together. You don’t really overcome a failure, you correct it, you fix it. I didn’t want to stray to far from what my dictionary said though for fear of making a mistake.

1 Like

Some kanji, particularly pictographic ones, don’t have a clear radical (I’m using “radical” as the key for classification, and not as just “component”); they may have been created before the idea of classifying trough radicals (and making a list of them) appeared.

For 失 it’s usual decomposition is as : ⿰丿夫 (that is how wanikani does too; as 夫 doesn’t exists as a radical, I would have expected it to be under 丿 … but it is actually under 大 … (yes, sometimes it is surprising; and there may even be in some cases discrepancies between dictionaries); probably some inconsistency perpetuated by tradition.

If you look at wiktionary 失, its origin is purely pictographic.

(PS: I have seen modern Chinese dictionaries don’t use the traditional radical list, but instead a much smaller list of “stroke types” (I think there are 8 or 9 basic strokes); so the classification is 1. ttype of the first stroke, 2. total number of strokes)

1 Like

Claiming G:

Mostly because I want to know what Saitou is getting upset about.

In my humble opinion as a Chinese speaker, I think most characters that are not obviously split into components should be treated as single blocks. Of course, it’s not always true that they can’t be split into blocks: if my memory serves me, げん (げん is just one possible on’yomi, BTW) is made up of a mouth and lines representing a tongue sticking out, along with a dot representing the movement of the tongue during speech (think of the ‘movement lines’ in manga and anime).

However, most of these ‘simple’ kanji are single units that can only be broken down by delving into their pictorial origins, which isn’t always useful for understanding more complex kanji, even if it’s interesting. I can draw a tic-tac-toe grid just as easily as a square with four straight lines, and knowing the lines are straight doesn’t tell me anything about what the shapes mean, if you know what I mean.

As @ayamedori said, there are no foolproof rules for identifying the 部首. I’d say they usually give a clue into the domain (clothing, shelter, illness, agriculture etc) or element (fire, water, metal, rain, wood etc) to which the kanji is linked, but that’s not always clearly the case. I found a Chinese source with some general tips (it’s a page on dictionary usage), like giving left, top, external and central components priority, as well as looking up the ‘larger’ or more complex components in multi-component kanji (the ones with three or more blocks), or looking up the components with visual meaning rather than those that give (on’yomi) pronunciation information. These usually work, but I can already think of one extremely common exception. Ultimately though, 部首 is a dictionary classification system, and at least some of it is based on traditions and conventions. You might one day have an intuitive sense of which component in a kanji is the 部首, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be 100% right all the time. It’s more important to gradually gain awareness of the different components and their meanings, while accepting that some kanji are just monolithic blocks.

EDIT: PS: if you spend enough time staring at ancient scripts like Oracle Bone Script and Seal Script, you might eventually start to 'see' how modern characters evolved from the ancient ones.

For instance, I have a basic idea of the rough shape of the ancient symbols for hands, so when I read that しつ represents a hand dropping an object, I had a rough idea of what that referred to. (The hand is actually all the strokes except the one in the bottom right-hand corner, which is written last. That last stroke represents the falling object, or the path of the object. It’s not at all obvious even if you know 手=hand, because you need to know how the ancient symbols were codified into modern characters with sharper shapes.)

Most of this knowledge comes in as an afterthought though, and it’s only useful as general knowledge for deepening your appreciation of kanji. For practical purposes, just try to remember a reading of 失, along with its basic meaning of ‘loss’.


One more reply and I’ll stop for today. Don’t want to keep hogging the discussion. First of all, there are some minor transcription errors: ぼく wasn’t in the original, and it’s 乗り越 たい. I understand that you probably just missed/added some kana by accident while trying to start the analysis as soon as possible, so no worries.

As for your question,

You’re right that he should probably ‘make amends’ or otherwise ‘repair the damage’, but perhaps it’s a matter of mindset. He might see that failure as a mental block or obstacle to success, or as a sort of past trauma that he needs to move past. That’s why he feels the need to ‘overcome’ or ‘get past’ his failure. える comes from 乗る=‘to climb/board’ and 越える=‘to move past/go beyond’, so it’s ‘to move past by getting up on’, which is to say, ‘to overcome’. It’s a very visual image: he needs to ‘climb over’ his failure and ‘get past’ it in order to defeat it, in a sense.


斉藤: 確かに病院はちゃんと千円もうかってる……
そういうムダが積もり積って国の医療財政を圧迫するんだよな (fixed, thanks @YanagiPablo)

E Analysis including Vocab


  • 確(たし)かに (tashika ni) certainly, surely
  • 病院(びょういん) hospital
    ちゃんとadverb “perfectly”(exactly, properly). I put “easily” here, because when are clearing a lot of cash, they are certainly don’t, and proper sounds legal and approved, and “exactly” is too specific the amount.
  • 千円 1000¥ I think this makes more sense as a plural (which Japanese doesn’t specify, so it should be permitted)
  • 儲(もう)かってる. 儲かるVerb “to be profitable” “to yield a profit”; 儲けるVerb “to make a profit” (earn/gain/get). I think it’s enduring state of being use of て form, thus “is profitable”
    Google said:
    Certainly the hospital is making 1000¥. I interpret it thusly: Certainly the hospital is easily earning thousands of yen.


  • そういうthat kind of, such
  • ムダが (muda 無駄) “waste” subject with が
    積(つ)もり積って Verb 積もるtsumori “to pile up”, accumulate. I expected this to be idiom meaning something like “piled deeper deeper”. I think this is pronounced “つもりつもって” even though didn’t write the も the second time (it’s like part the kanji?)
  • 国の医療財政the country’s medical finances or the country’s health care budget. 療 (ryo?) medical treatment/therapy; 財政 (zaisei) finances; 財(zai) goods (fortune/wealth/assets/money); we know it well from 財布(zaifu) wallet. 政(sei) is government, its kanji is in 政府(seifu) government, 政治(seiji) politics, 政策(seisaku) policy, and 政権(seiken) administration.
  • を圧迫する Verb “to opress”
  • んだ geez! Again, I blank after 2 days of discussion on this exact thing. のだ, informal form. At here here I can see that it’s following the full plain form verb. I really liked the discussion of んだ at wasabi. In the present case, the んだis marking the conclusion of Saitou’s “Discovery” about the effect (on country’s budget) of the hospital charging (what Saitou seems to believe is excessive) fees for medical services.
  • よな wouldn’t you agree
    What Google said: That kind of waste accumulates and puts pressure on the medical finances of the country. I’m almost ashamed about it, but in this case, I believe that it is the best Interpretation!

Certainly the hospital is making thousands of yen……That kind of waste accumulates and puts pressure on the medical finances of the country.

Finally finished! Guess what? There is A LIMIT to how many times you can edit a post. I got booted off the board for 4-5 hours!!

Why not up jump in with your own interpretation instead of google? Worse that can happen is that you’re wrong which will point out about what you need to learn more. Google can also be way off due to the importance of context in Japanese. If you’re unsure about your answer and need reassurance before posting, might as well check the fan translation, it’s probably a lot more reliable than google. None of my business, I know, I know. Just be wary of google and its translations and also, I’m personally interested about you think about it.

I’ve asked around and found this website for Ruby conversion. You might like it.

G Part 1:

無理むりして がんばる事ねーよ》

Question ①: がんばる is a verb, to persevere but here it precedes 事 and is therefore attributive to it. English doesn’t have verbs which act as adjectives to nouns. Unless you mean a gerund like “a running shoe”. In がんばる事, what is the nature of かんばる?

Unless I should approach this with a different mindset, 無理して がんばる all describe 事 but that doesn’t make them adjectives as in: “My dog is the one who bit the postman and barked all night.”

G Part 2:


Japanese English Commentary
どうせ anyhow
給料【きゅうりょう】 salary, wages

What is ままだし? Is it, まま :heavy_plus_sign: だ(です) :heavy_plus_sign: し?

1 Like

@Zizka, usually I only put in the Google translate when it is waaay off, because I like to demonstrate that it’s wrong and “nit pick”. But yesterday I decided to put the machine translation in AS A PLACEHOLDER because I saw that MY INTERPRETATION was taking a while (and in fact, I ended up getting cut off 4 hours by the board on top of my stepping away for personal stuff. I wanted you all to have a temporary reference in case it affected the Interpretation of YOUR sectionsんだ. (HaHa explanation-ending joke) It was expedient

1 Like

Oh my, sorry to hear about getting cut four hours :pensive:. Accurate use of んだ thought, I guess every cloud has a silver lining.:wink:

Hi, dropping by again to contribute/comment/edit. I’ll provide collapsed (‘hide details’) sections and tag each person I address so you can each find your section faster, and only the sections that interest you.


I think it's just 'a thousand yen', as in '...the hospital has made a thousand yen...'.

In the comic, the one speaking isn’t Saitou, but rather his friend (IDK his name because I’m not really following the story), and the text in E is a continuation of what he said in D. In D, he says that one IV drip costs more than ¥1000, so it’s logical to conclude that he’s discussing how much the hospital makes from one IV drip in E. もうかってる, being the present progressive form, has two possible meanings: 1. is making money 2. has made money. The reason being that both are present states.

Also, I believe that 確かに here means ‘indeed’ rather than ‘certainly’, the reason being that Saitou’s friend ends his previous remark with けど, which means ‘but’ or ‘even though’ (depends on how the sentence is translated, but it essentially indicates a contrast between two clauses/ideas). Taken together, the two speech bubbles next two the line separating the panels read (I’m trying to translate without changing the word order too much, so forgive me for using slightly less common translations of words like だから):
The patient has a one-tenth share to pay(lit. burden/responsbility), so he just pays 100 yen, but…the hospital has indeed確かに earned 1000 yen…

‘Thousands of yen’ would probably be written as すう千円 (several/a few thousand yen) or なん千円も (many thousand yen).

Also, Zizka’s site for Ruby conversion works! Just remove the %5D that somehow got tagged onto the end of the link.


Here, unless I'm quite mistaken, こと should be written in hiragana (according to formal grammar rules), because it's a nominaliser, so it's performing a grammatical function and has lost its original meaning.

The rule is that a word which also serves a grammatical function, like あげる、もらう、できる、こと、もの and the like, should only be written with kanji when they are used in their ‘original’ sense (e.g. ‘to receive (a literal concrete or abstract thing)’ for もらう, as in プレゼントをもらう). The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (the 文化庁, part of the MEXT) has an PDF on those rules somewhere, the relevant parts of which I pushed through maybe a year ago, when I less comfortable with Japanese and trying to learn the ‘correct’ forms. You should be able to find it if you google 「こと 事 違い and look out for a address. However, the rules aren’t always easy to apply. (For instance, is it そんな事 or そんなこと? Depends on what そんな represents and whether こと really means ‘matter’ or ‘affair’. I’d stick with the second, but you can argue it’s the first.) They also frankly aren’t followed very often: even the Imperial Hamarikyu Gardens use 〜て下さい instead of てください on their garden entry permission chips, and in novels, kanji are preferred for almost everything, with furigana by the side for rarer kanji. (I’m talking about light novels, whose text is usually written vertically. I don’t know if there are scholarly books that contain no furigana even for the rarest kanji.) I believe the point is to save space.

The block you should be looking at is in fact 無理して がんばる事, which is ‘the act of 無理してがんばる’. That’s how you can parse こと in such verb-noun structures. 無理してがんばる is literally ‘to try hard doing the impossible’, which you might also translate as ‘to make an effort to force oneself’, or simply ‘to try to do the impossible’. I’ve seen (or rather, heard) 無理する translated as ‘to force oneself’, but it can also mean ‘to overwork/strain oneself’ and so on.

By the way, ねーよ=ないよ, in case that was causing confusion.

The break-down you provided it correct. し indicates a justification. What needs to be explained is まま, which generally means 'state/manner/way' (these probably aren't translations you'll get in an EN-JP dictionary, because it's not treated as a noun even though I think it acts like one). The thing is that these 'states' or 'ways' are usually pre-defined in some sense, and まま rarely appears alone.

I needed to spend a really long time (at least an hour) searching for information because I couldn’t understand for the life of me why the most common kanji for まま is 儘. I know the simplified version in Chinese, but it made no sense, because it modern Chinese, 尽 (the simplified form of 儘) usually means ‘to the fullest extent’. It’s not even a noun or used like まま in Japanese. Worse, there are two other kanji for まま – 随 (follow) and 任 (according to/assign to) – that seem vaguely related to each other, but which have no link to 儘 in modern Chinese whatsoever! Anyway, what I found in the end was that in Classical Chinese (which is closer to the Chinese that Japan took kanji from), 儘 had a similar meaning to 随 and 任, and they all roughly relate to the idea of ‘following something/someone’s will’ or ‘leaving someone to do as they please’. (See the link?) That’s why it’s used in expressions like 思いのままに (lit. in the manner of one’s thoughts aka as one pleases) or おおせのままに (as ordered (by a superior)).

Another possibility is for it to refer to a current state, like in 見るまま (the manner that one sees). A more elaborate example would be the possible words of a father rushing over to a hospital after work to see his injured daughter, only to meet a nurse leaving the ward after helping his daughter to turn in for an afternoon nap. (We have a tendency to need extra rest in the hospital, after all.) As the nurse turns around to wake his daughter, since she has just fallen asleep, the father tells the nurse, 「寝たままにしておいてください。私は待てますから。」i.e. ‘Let her sleep for now, please. (Because) I can wait.’ He then goes into the ward and quietly takes a seat beside the bed. In both of these examples, a certain status quo is maintained or referred to.

As such, you could think of Saitou’s friend as saying, ‘Anyhow, (we’ll) still get a 38000-yen salary [justification]’, because 給料3万8千円のまま is the pre-existing state of having a salary of 38000 yen. (They’ll be paid whether they fight the problem of excessive medical expenses or not.) A more literal translation would be ‘Anyhow, it’ll be the 38000-yen salary status quo’, but ‘status quo’ isn’t the only possible meaning of まま, as I showed in my detailed explanation in the previous paragraph.

I’ll leave you all to add on whatever you want for F and I. I’ve been staring at questions related to this page for about 4h on and off. I’m gonna take a break and/or take a look at the May 2nd page.


intersting, it seems in Japanese 儘 can also be written 侭

And thank you very much for your comments; your spent time is not in vain, it bears fruits in our learning gardens.

1 Like

Yes, apparently simplified Chinese combined 儘 and 盡 into one character: 尽. They are pronounced with the same sounds, but with different tones. Perhaps that choice was made since the modern definitions of both characters are quite similar, and since the two characters were similar to begin with. (Simplified Chinese was mean to increase literacy after all, often by using already established simplifications like grass script, the Chinese cursive script.) I can vaguely see how the inventors of grass script might have come up with the simplification, but I’m not certain if my guess really matches their reasoning.

And you’re welcome. I appreciate your thanks.

1 Like

I concur, there is no doubt your explanations help me in learning. I also have an easier time understanding them. I’ll sometimes think “jonapedia said that this is so and so”. My definition of んだ is essentially the one you’ve provided.

I’d like to actually archive them in the first thread and organise them in topics. I find informative messages like that shouldn’t just disappear in daily threads (or like your text about kanji at duo lingo).

1 Like

Ok, so, F & I. (Personal note: I really need to find a way to get my points across in fewer words, possibly with less detail. It’s exhausting me, to be very honest, but I do it because I’m also worried that things I find fairly obvious or at least manageable may not be understood by everyone else. I may need to force myself not to come online tomorrow so I can relax/get some other work done. Translating with you guys is teaching me things too, and forcing me to delve into the nitty-gritty of things I already know on Japanese sites, which improves my reading speed, but my personal plans for the past few days were to learn Japanese by watching anime without subtitles, which kinda hasn’t been happening. No offence, and I don’t hold it against you guys since I’m here of my own free will, but I think I learn faster with anime, though this is teaching me a few medical words, because the verb usage is usually slightly more complex, and the kanji combinations are creative because of all the invented words in the fantasy genre.)

For what’s below, I won’t provide much furigana. I might transcribe in hiragana though, if I feel a kanji has a weird pronunciation that you won’t find in the dictionary without knowing it’s part of a compound. In any case, the readings for common medical kanji for words like ‘treatment’ are usually easy to look up even if they have not been covered in previous translations.

I’d like to recommend if you can’t find something on or if you’re lost in the multiple results given by I believe is slightly faster for looking up kanji compounds, and it provides furigana for the dictionary headwords (i.e. the names of the dictionary entries) too. Don’t be intimidated because everything’s in Japanese. I used that dictionary once or twice out of curiosity even when I couldn’t speak Japanese at all. Just type English or Japanese into the search bar, and it will work normally, with lots of example sentences. それでは…


僕 も 今朝 よけい な 治療 を するな って 怒られた んだ…
I-humble also this-morning extra/unnecessary [adjective] treatment [object] do-don’t-command [quotation] get-angry-with-passive-past [attention]

Me too, this morning, I was scolded: 'Don't administer unnecessary treatments!'

More literal: Me too, this morning, (someone) was angry at me and said, ‘Don’t do unnecessary treatments!’
するな: this is the negative imperative (command) form. How to form it: take the dictionary form and add な. What it means: don’t [meaning of the verb]. It’s quite forceful and considered rude in daily conversation. It can probably only be used among friends. It’s the most direct way possible to say ‘don’t do ~’. Only time you might be forgiven for using it on a stranger in polite company is if it’s an emergency:「行くな!車が!」is probably all you’ll be able to get out of your mouth before a man runs onto the road in front of a speeding car, so it’s probably a good time to use this otherwise rude command form.
って=と. Can also mean という. How to tell? Context.
怒られた: 〜を怒る means ‘to get angry at/with ~’ The Sanseidou 大辞林 dictionary says that 「を怒る」is incorrect grammar, because 怒る (to get/be angry) is an intransitive verb (no object). However… the passive form is still valid according to that dictionary, so IDK… go figure. I’ll ask my friend if he has any ideas (if I remember), but the Japanese internet doesn’t have any of the usual ‘wait, this structure is wrong?’ articles showing up, so it’s probably not a big mistake or it’s not considered a mistake by most Japanese people. Another structure with the same meaning is 〜に怒る. Now then, what’s the passive form mean? The subject (Saitou) receives the action of ‘to get angry with’, literally meaning ‘he was gotten angry at’. That makes no sense in English though, so just take it as ‘someone got angry with Saitou’ (but the verb focuses on Saitou receiving that anger, not on who was angry).

By the way, it seems it’s common to use the passive form ‘Aに怒られる’ to mean ‘to get scolded by A’, so ‘to scold’ is also a valid translation for 怒る, depending on context. This would be one of those situations.

それ も 医療費 の ムダづかい を やめろ って こと な のか な……?
that also medical-treatment-fees ['s] wasteful-usage [object] stop-command called matter to-be [question] [thinking]

Was that also a case of 'Stop wastefully using medical fees!', (I wonder)?

So yes, の, as a question particle, functions like a mini のだ/のです. It needs to be preceded by a な if there’s a noun just before it.
な is a particle that indicates someone is thinking more deeply about something.
Here, って=という. Why? It’s before こと. Like I said, context.
やめろ is the imperative/command form of やめる=to stop.
遣い is pronounced つかい when it’s alone. It becomes づかい when in compounds (mostly). You may know that 使い is pronounced the same way. The difference (roughly): 使う=‘to use like a tool’; 遣う=‘to manipulate/operate OR to use a resource’. In essence, 使う is about more direct use for application (it’s about ‘the right tool (or person) for the job’, as it were), while 遣う is about more skilful use, with the thing being used not necessarily being applied directly to accomplish a task.
むだ= waste
I was going to use ‘was that also about…’ instead of ‘was that also a case of…’, but that would have required me to change too much to use proper English, so I abandoned that structure.


だったら 当直 の バイト いけ よ
to-be-if/when on-duty/on-call ['s] part-time-job go-command [forceful]

If that's the case, go to (your) part-time on-call job!

だったら is the たら form of だ. The たら forms are usually formed like this: dictionary past form + ら. So as you can see, this is だった + ら. Since they are based on the past form, they are suitable for ‘if/when’ statements involving events that have already happened: ‘When he came, everyone was there’=彼が来たら、皆がいました. It’s also usable for ‘if’ statements in general… If you want to know more about the different conditional structures, you can check Duolingo. My friend has glanced through the lesson content for conditional stuff, and he said he mostly agreed with it. There’s also this very good page from the Tokyo University for Foreign Studies:
It’s entirely in Japanese though, and I’m too tired to summarise it. Sorry. I’ll just summarise what it says for たら: mainly for one-time cause-consequence relationships in a specific context. ば is a more ‘natural consequence’/‘universal fact’ sort of thing. Same thing with と.
当直 is the act of being ‘on duty’ or ‘on call’. Seems very commonly used for doctors.
いけ is another command form. Same thing: is very direct, potentially rude, used with close friends only, no one else.
よ is the insistence/affirmation/forcefulness particle

そ……それ は……
[hesitation] that [topic/context]
Th-, that’s…
-----------------END OF TRANSLATIONS------------------
And that is all. Phew. Honestly, most of this is knowledge from dictionary searching + Google. Even the textbook I have now gets used mostly for vocabulary acquisition (aside from the end-of-chapter grammar sections). So…

Impromptu tip section:

Some tips so it’s easier to find things on your own (in English, at the least):

  • Three dictionaries to supplement Jisho: Tangorin – (similar to Jisho); ALC’s Eijirou – (apparently great for technical terms); (great for example sentences; you can literally search sentences too)
  • Grammar issues: if you a structure in which you can read all (or most) of the words, but the structure just doesn’t make sense to you, there’s probably some grammar issue you’re not seeing. What I do: I guess what the structure is, and then I go to Google and type in the most general form of it I can think of. For example: what the heck is 行くな? 行く is a verb, and な… is a particle, maybe? So I try ‘するな grammar’. Jokes aside, it’s like a magic formula: if you can isolate the thing you don’t understand, and ideally turn it into something general and just chuck it into Google along with ‘grammar’, something will come up. The most commons sites with good summaries and example sentences are called stuff like JLPTsensei or japanese-test-for-you. There are others too, obviously.
  • My other magic formulae, but for searching in Japanese this time: same thing as with Google, but with two words and 違い instead of ‘grammar’ if I need to know the difference (chigai-allguide is one of the good sites, but it’s not the only one); 文法 instead of ‘grammar’ if I need grammar info, but in Japanese; 由来 or 語源 if I want the origin/etymology (there’s also a gogen-allguide). You can of course translate all these into English and do what I
  • Some good sites to look out for in your search results: HiNative is the best site (in my experience) for quick grammar questions. The answers are often in Japanese, but there are plenty of answers in English too, and the Japanese ones are generally not too complex. Just need one or two dictionary searches at the most to figure out what’s going on. Japanese Stack Exchange is good too, with the user l’électeur providing some of the most reliable answers. (I believe he’s Japanese, and his English is very understandable, though sometimes technical.) There are some other good users there too. The best sites for grammar questions in Japanese when the usual sites (university sites like the TUFS link I posted above, business Japanese sites, common errors in Japanese sites etc) don’t come up are Chiebukuro and Oshiete. Very occasionally (read: I’ve only seen it once or twice) you get some disgruntled Japanese person complaining about something silly like dishonest 外人 asking questions without revealing their country of origin or something… but they’re mostly very helpful, and frankly, I think some (older) Japanese schoolchildren go and ask their questions there too.

More random non-research tips

  • If you guys have Twitter or other social media, follow Japanese/Japanese teaching accounts. [Side note: Don’t follow me if you find me. :stuck_out_tongue: I used to have a language blog, but it shut down (hosting server issues), and I don’t post anything on Twitter now. My latest posts are random Japanese questions addressed to Maggie Sensei’s account, written in Japanese as practice.] More seriously though,
    • You can follow people like Maggie Sensei on Twitter (I promise she doesn’t post many dog photos on Twitter, if any at all, so that’s not a problem), who post daily kanji along with their readings and uses. It’s a very good way to acquire knowledge with no effort. Even if you never use or memorise them, those ideas will be sitting in the back of your mind ready to spring into action when you next encounter those words. IDK who else to recommend. Maybe JapanesePod. There’s probably also a lady called Risa or Misa (they might both be online as Japanese teachers, honestly).
    • On Instagram, follow hashtags like #kanji. You’ll get to appreciate calligraphy on a daily basis, and more often than not, you’ll get random free Japanese lessons. So far, I’ve seen aiko_japanese lots of times (in English), and various random kanji ‘flashcards’/summaries in Portuguese. It helps, really.
  • If you like anime and have time for it (I honestly think it’s faster to consume a story via anime than via manga or novels, even if they’re translated), or if you like dramas (I think Signal is amazingly interesting), please go watch them. For dramas, Viki by Rakuten has some free dramas. Signal (a detective story involving a walkie-talkie that connects two people in two different decades) is one of them. The Viki app even has free, complete, and correct subtitles in Japanese for some of these shows, at least for the first few episodes, so you can pause the video any time to take notes or to hear how a word is pronounced. I was able to access that for Signal, and I don’t even have an account! Crunchyroll has both dramas and anime. I don’t know much about their dramas though. If you need transcriptions of anime episodes, Google (I’m sure I’ve said this somewhere) ‘[anime name] [episode number]話 感想’ for reaction blogs. Look for those from Anicobin. They’ve been very complete for me so far, and they’re very simple: just dialogue snippets and screenshots + Twitter reactions. GNO is another good one, though that has a more analytical style. What’s anime good for? First of all, what it’s not good for: learning politeness. You need to be able to differentiate registers and to switch between them yourself. Don’t imitate anime characters word-for-word in real life, or you’ll probably offend people. It also might not be good for grammar because particles are dropped, but the same problems exist in manga, so students like us just have to learn to find the full structures. What it is good for:
    • Vocabulary acquisition and standard accent training (when you imitate the characters who speak normally, and not the random oji-san or muscly dude who might have been given one of the Kansai accents to make him sound more rough/rural. Not that Kansai dialects are not cool. They are.) My schoolmate once pranked me by throwing me into a conversation with a half-Japanese girl. She said「すごい!アクセントは結構です。」, but the only speech training I do is literally listening to anime and imitating my favourite expressions/verbs/lines. I had zero verbal conversation practice at that point, my one-line conversation with a Japanese waitress aside.
    • Anime verb usage is pretty varied, possibly more varied than in most textbooks up to N3-N2 level. (After that they start to equalise, because N2 and N3 verbs are quite common in formal language, and N1 verbs… I see them in newspapers and I’ve never seen them before.) They’re also good for kanji acquisition, because authors of fiction use a lot of kanji for their invented concepts, and to make their books shorter.
    • Anime is also the perfect way to learn slang, because you have subtitles to tell you what they mean, while hearing how the characters pronounce the words. The reason I can read and guess 90% of the slang we’ve seen in this manga so far is anime. You’ll pick up the correct tone to express your feelings, and how to use them with different words. Slang isn’t the only thing: you’ll pick up expressions that you probably won’t see in textbooks, and they come out of characters’ mouths so naturally. E.g. を筆頭に. It’s made up of an N2 kanji and an N3 kanji, but it has a figurative meaning that I doubt is ever covered in textbooks.
    • It also helps with listening comprehension: my ears can understand recordings of Japanese articles faster than I can read and pronounce those same articles in my textbook, and it’s in formal Japanese, not anime Japanese.
    • You’ll also probably learn more words with two minutes of anime than two pages of this manga, provided you search all the structures (but of course, we are all free to choose what we want). Ultimately though, to do all this, you need content-rich anime, not the sort with an oversimplified story and no world-building.
    • You can even learn 敬語 from anime (I’m not kidding; and there I was saying anime Japanese is always rude…), provided you pick a story where there’s hierarchy and 敬語 is necessary.
    • One example, which is also my current favourite (it got rated very highly, so apparently I’m not alone): Shield Hero. I like the story, but I’m not gonna advertise that here. My point is, it’s very good for Japanese learning. The protagonist uses 砕けた言い方 all the time; the heroine uses 丁寧語 and 敬語. There’s also a little girl, a royal family and a country bumpkin weapon shop ‘uncle’ so you get to hear Japanese appropriate for different age groups and contexts, along with some accent variety. Rokuaka is another anime that I like, and it’s been teaching me words too, but I don’t think there’s as much variety in terms of formality, because it’s set in a school. There are plenty of kanji to think about though, because it’s about magic, meaning there are invented words that need to make sense to a Japanese audience i.e. made from kanji. Please try not to judge me on my anime choices… I’m just pointing them out as examples of how anime can be very helpful for learning Japanese. Also, my point is that, if you have Japanese television productions that you enjoy watching, whether they be anime or dramas, they might be worth a shot, though I’d recommend having subtitles because you probably won’t understand more that 50% initially. As you get used to it, your brain will start catching all the blocks you already know, and you’ll just have to fill in the gaps with a dictionary’s help.

Anyway, I’m really tired now, but I hope that helps, especially if there are days in the near future I decide not to log in because I’m tired/have other stuff to do. I’ll almost definitely come back on if I get tagged or see a forum update email from WaniKani, but I may eventually decide to only log on later. Whatever it is, see you guys some time soon! (But maybe not tomorrow. We shall see.)

1 Like

No offense taken! Everyone learns differently - personally I’m way past translating manga but just sticking around for fun, so I get you. And thank you for typing out your tips list! As you mentioned social media, there’s currently a challenge/hashtag sort of thing going on on Twitter where people share their resources and thoughts about language learning etc; could be a fun way to connect with fellow Japanese learners (might even find me there :grin:).

If you think Kansai dialects are cool, this is one of my favourite podcasts (and bonus youtuber) from Osaka. I love Kansai intonation haha.

1 Like

Hahaha. Thanks for the links. The Twitter challenge is interesting! I’m not sure if I’ll try it myself, but the concept is intriguing. :grin: As for Kansai dialects… well, I’m currently still appreciating them ‘visually’. Haha. I have a friend in Osaka who keeps dropping the Kansai words he’s picked up when we text. (He learnt standard Japanese before going there, which I guess is closer to Kantou/Tokyo Japanese.) It’s interesting to compare how different dialects say the same thing or to see how they contract the same words in different ways. I’ll probably try to concentrate on learning standard intonation first though.

By the way, do you happen to be preparing for one of the levels of the JLPT? Or have you taken one of the tests before? I think I saw you mention the N2 somewhere on Duolingo before, but I’m just curious in any case. From the links you post, I get the impression you’re more proficient than I am, since I’m honestly not that comfortable with reading some of articles that you’ve shared so far, even if I might be able to get through them with a dictionary beside me. I have good kanji knowledge, but that’s about it, and since finishing my beginner’s textbook, I’ve just been learning vocabulary and structures from random sources (like anime or news articles) with the help of a dictionary. (I do have the Tobira textbook, but I don’t always feel like picking it up. :sweat_smile:) I was wondering if you could share how you’ve been studying Japanese so far, since you seem more experienced.

1 Like

Ah, I see! Kansai dialect is quite different from 標準語 but that also makes it a lot of fun :smile:

I haven’t taken any tests yet - this July was going to be my JLPT debut but for obvious reasons plans have changed a bit… Right now I could probably just about pass the N1, so I’m currently going over the grammar points that I’m less familiar with to hopefully pass with a good score in December. I’m a 三日坊主 through and through, so the only thing I’ve been consistent in is doing my Anki reviews every day (on a 270 day streak!). Like you I’ve always been getting my grammar points from input about topics I like (podcasts, films/TV, UTokyo open lectures on Youtube etc) and looking up example sentences to make them stick, though lately I also actively search for ones I don’t know yet as some are either really similar or too rare to just pick up by listening alone. I also studied at a language school in Japan for a few weeks when I was somewhere around N4-N3, where I got the slightly insane goal of taking the Japanese 医師国家試験 at some point in the future; having something big to work towards made my motivation skyrocket and so did my progress haha. So not a very coherent study method, but it keeps learning fun for me :sweat_smile:


Oh wait, you’re a doctor, are you? That’s an amazing goal anyhow! Hahaha. I know what you mean about goals and motivation: that’s what helped me master French. (OK, I’m not as good as my French philosophy/literature teacher in university over here, but I still score better in French-cum-philosophy than most of my classmates, and they’re French.) Before that, I was on the verge of dropping the language at school because lessons had got so dry, and I was really bad at it.

My goal is just the N1 with a good score, and maybe a master’s degree in biomedical engineering in Japan. (I don’t know if it shows in how I type, but I guess you could say I’m still fairly young.) I’m partly motivated by this joke my friend made about me at the end of our pre-university education: ‘If you give him one year, he’ll be better than me in Japanese.’ He then went on to get his N1 within the next year. We were both foreign language students back then. (He did Japanese; I did French.) It’s been almost two years so far, and my university course has been really busy, so I haven’t managed to study much. :sweat_smile: I think I’m somewhere between N3 and N2, but it’s honestly hard to gauge because I know I’m missing grammar points, but knowing kanji helps me guess a lot. (Hm, speaking of my pre-university days… we had an absolute anime nerd in our year who spoke Japanese like an anime character, and he had a great N1 score… so who says anime can’t get you to N1? :laughing:)

Whatever it is, thanks for sharing! I didn’t know UTokyo had open lectures on YouTube (I know there’s a TV channel in Japan called the ‘Open University’ though) and I like the look of that Japanese study site. :slight_smile: Guess I should explore the Japanese internet a bit more than I currently do. All the best with that N1 test at the end of the year! I hope everything goes smoothly for you. (I’m sure it will.)


Unless you’re a teenager I’m fairly certain you’re older than me haha! I still have a while to go before even finishing med school so my goal really is far, far away, but bit by bit I’m getting closer. It sounds like you’re in a really interesting language environment, I’m envious! I make an attempt at Mandarin from time to time and while I feel like knowing kanji is a bit of a double edged sword sometimes, it does help a lot with understanding as you say - going the other way must be really fun too.

Thank you and good luck with your studies too! Between N3 and N2 is when I really started feeling like all the effort was paying off; if you’ve made it to that point I’m sure you’ll make it to N1 (and further) as well :grin:

1 Like

Hahaha. Hm… in that case, perhaps I am a little older, but I suspect we’re about the same age. I had to start university late because of military service, and if you happen to be in the United States, med school is a graduate course, so… well, either way, about my ‘language environment’, I guess it’s true that I was lucky to be born somewhere where so many languages are spoken, even if not all of them are spoken equally well by residents, what with local slang… but speaking a very non-standard form on English on a daily basis and hearing multiple languages probably taught me to shift between languages early on. Honestly though (not that I enjoy encouraging speculation about personal information online. Hahaha), I don’t think it should be hard to guess where I might be from. I doubt there are many countries where students can be required to take both English and Chinese at a near-native level in school throughout their formal education (before university, of course).

Anyway, I’ll get back to translating the final panels for the other comic. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s true that finally starting to re-watch anime I know while successfully (mostly) following the dialogue without subtitles is pretty rewarding. Makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. :grin: