My Reading Log/Pleas for Help

I’ve finally taken the plunge to start doing what this was all for: Literacy enough to read Japanese media. So I plunged into Book :star: Walker and got myself a light novel.

Picking essentially at random I grabbed “Weak Character Tomozaki-Kun”

Well, reading real books is a doozy. I’ve essentially had to try to translate each sentence on my own, fail, use google translate, and then try to backtrack WHY the sentence says what it says vs what I could get. Right on the first page one has posed some trouble even for that.


Google translate says:
There is a certain taste that comes from having a small number of pixels.

So I got:
画素数が少ないが The subject is a small number of pixels.

味 Is taste. I was thrown off by the っ after.

So, what exactly is going on in the latter part of this? Is taste being made into a verb? What exactly is もんだって doing in here?

Yeah, I have a lot to learn to be a half-fluent reader. Any answers are appreciated while I slowly pound through learning even basic (real world) written grammar!


The って is used to “quote” the first part of the phrase, 味 is a noun in this case. もんだ/ものだ indicates it gives a certain feeling.

My biggest tip would be to try to not analyze every single sentence, it will probably decrease the enjoyment you get from reading. If you can tolerate ambiguity in the things you read I would suggest taking that approach. The more time you spend reading, the more accustomed you become with the grammar. In the beginning especially, even if you “practiced” the grammar using grammar exercises, grammar will still be unfamiliar to you. The more you read the more natural grammar rules become. The more grammar rules in a sentence are familiar to you the easier it becomes to “feel out” or understand the remaining grammar rules.

The more you read the more fluent you will become at reading and Japanese. It will come with time, don’t worry. Keep in mind that learning Japanese takes thousands of hours.


If you’re just starting I highly recommend the book clubs either here or on natively. Having others in the same boat is a huge help


I’m going to recommend a caveat (which some will disagree with) that you should analyze every sentence to the point that you can recognize the basic grammar. Once you can look at a sentence and get a vague sense of what’s going on (what the particles are doing, the conjunctions, etc), then you can ease back a little and let it soak in.

This assumes a baseline education in grammar, so it shouldn’t take terribly too long to start recognizing the basics, even if the sentences still don’t make much sense yet.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my post on what first-time readers should expect. It’s written specifically for those joining the Absolute Beginner Book Club, but excluding club activity-specific parts, everything applies to anyone taking on reading native material for the first time.



I’m not good at explaining grammar, but first off the が is not a subject marker here but it belongs to がゆえ (meaning “due to/because of”)故に-ゆえに-yue-ni-meaning/
The first part is
画素数が少ないがゆえ = due to the number of pixels being low = due to a low resolution

Add in の味: a certain flavor/flair (due to low number of pixels)

Add ってもん (short for というもの):
such a thing as (a certain flair due to low number of pixels)

Add in だってある: there is even (such a thing as a certain flair due to low number of pixels) = there are things whose flair comes from their low resolution
JLPT N2 Grammar: だって (datte) Meaning –だって-datte/

And then we only have し left at the end, indicating this is one reason of several, sort of trailing off.

I don’t have any other context for this, but I imagine them talking about the flair / style of 8-bit games, pixelart, that use the low resolution on purpose. Please tell me if I’m off-track here :smiley:


Thank you both!

@Myria : Thank you for explaining the もん. I knew って could be a shortened quote marker, but forgot to apply it here (since I forget that Japanese is VERY loose about throwing around という / て to attribute things to unspecified sayers). However, I had no clue what the heck mon was doing there. This was very helpful.

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Yes you are, you explain everything so great and understandable when you review my translations :heart:


My next challenge!

So I have this sentence: クソゲーである理由として説得力のある要素ばかりが目につく。

Google Translate: All I can see are convincing elements as reasons why it’s a shitty game.

Pretty simple on the surface. クソゲーである = A shitty game. 理由として説得力のある I at first overly literally read as toshite’s common use referring to yourself (e.g. “as a teacher”), but that confusion is easily solved. 要素ばかりが目につく = Only see elements. This one is completely easy.

My confusion: Why the noaru?

理由として説得力 Doesn’t need nominalized. I can’t see any reason for a possessive. What is the no behind that aru doing?

Isn’t it because they’re all part of the 要素?

クソゲーである理由として説得力 is something like ‘persuasiveness/convincingness of reasons why this is a shit game’. So のある要素 makes it into ‘elements of persuasiveness of reasons why it is a shit game’. In english I guess the 説得力 by itself is sufficient, but perhaps in Japanese it needs to be tied more closely to other ‘points’?


の is not a nominalization here. It’s basically 説得力がある.

In subclauses the が can be switched for a の without change in meaning to make it clearer that this is a subclause. If this is new to you, it’s worth reading up on because it comes up frequently.

I would separate the sentence like this:

As reasons why this is a shitty game,
nothing but convincing elements (that confirm it’s a shitty game)
catch my eye.

説得力がある要素 elements that have convincing power = elements that are convincing


I can remember how this got me too a few months ago :laughing:


Thank you all again!

Can’t believe I forgot the が/の thing. I had already learned that, but in the wild so many things are in your head.

Another one, this time it’s one simple translation point getting me.


If you haven’t really mastered the game, don’t worry.

I get it all easily, except I didn’t even know the last word, すっこんでろ.

Every source I can find uses it as back off/stay out of the way/bugger off. Usually in a rude command. I couldn’t find a single source defining it as “Don’t worry”. What context defines it as that?

Another matter, to at least muse to myself.

This is another one pushing the limits of my grammar understanding.

Why all of those はs?

My own reading first:
But/however (けれど) I relating to (I.e. at) Atafami (name of a game in the story)
So the reading is: However, at Atafami I…

Then we have hand and extract. As WaniKani labels it, extract is really multipurpose. Hand can relate to your skill at something.

Oh, and the negative verb has a tachi on it?

Google had to save me again. After I had guessed at “can’t take my hands off Atafami” (an overly literal reading of the noun and verb, being that it is technically a plausible expression) it gave me “can’t do anything with Atafami”. I assume essentially cannot persevere with my skills (hands).

No clue why the tachi is needed even still though.