Ah, I see. I only saw you throw N2- and N1- grammar points around so I had nothing to relate to. (And of course, I mean, why would you mention the simple and straightforward passages? Totally relatable.) On the other hand, books have that as well I think it’s very hard to assess and compare difficulties.
In my defense, I’m a very slow reader in any language. I once took a test that measured reading speed in English, and the test also measured the comprehension rate. They then explained that the average comprehension rate is about 60%. You know, wow, if my comprehension rate were that low on average, I would rather not read at all I’m aiming for 100%. Which is of course lowered by the fact that I still misunderstand things (ofc more in Japanese, not so much in English although it still happens) but I would not be fond of lowering it further on purpose by reading faster and skipping things
Sounds plausible to me. I have a video of somebody reading ~25 pages of a book out loud in 50 minutes (i.e. ~12k chars per hour), now imagine they wouldn’t read out loud, that would probably put them at 20k per hour. (I must confess I tried to read along just to see what it’s like, but at 12k per hour I can’t even take in and recognize the kanji any more )
Yeah, if you study on your own and don’t have others to compare yourself to, then I guess that it can be pretty hard to notice (the existence and level of your) improvements… If you were interested you could e.g. take some JLPT sample tests and stick to the specified time frames - and although you won’t know your exact results (because the grading scheme depends on the submissions of the test-takers at that time) you can still get a good impression, I’d think.
Oh for sure, it does run the gamut. I’ve kinda mentioned this before but I think at least compared to the couple books I’ve read, VN writing seems to have more variance. Books aren’t without that but I feel more able to holistically pin them down. This is all over the place.
I feel you on all of that. I think I can read quickly and when I was younger I did that, but over time when reading casually in English I’ve really started to slow down and do my best to appreciate every bit of it. I’m still trying to understand everything I can in Japanese of course, but knowing that I do want to be substantially faster than I am right now, I’m kind of in a mixed state of wanting to push that as much as I can while not losing much. But yeah, nothing wrong with being a slower reader if you’re enjoying what you’re reading. The only reason I’m focused on it at all in Japanese is because I know by getting faster I’ll be able to read a lot more.
I appreciate the link to where to find good ones! When I get a little more curious I might try a proper test in the future. Not too long ago I did a little online N3 test but it was a very truncated rough approximation and had no timing element. Tests are a drag even as practice so it’s hard to have the patience for the whole thing. While I don’t put a ton of stock in that, I did quite well on what they asked. I’ve also actually recently watched a couple N2 practice question streams as listening practice from 日本語の森 , and knew the answers to most of that too. They weren’t the listening section, but I mean just listening to the hosts explain the answers and all. I don’t at all intend to say I’m actually N2; these were mostly the sections I’d expect to be easier, and there was no element of timing, and etc. But it felt super good from a motivation side to see what could ostensibly be asked at N2 level and usually be able to go “it’s that word, I remember it from Summer Pockets / Ace Attorney/”
I finished 夜カフェ! And to celebrate I created a study log! I think I’ll write a little review and summary of my reading experience over there a little later. (I have a long to do list waiting for me right now.) I was just too excited about finishing to wait before telling you all!
Oh, @windupbird, I believe I’m the one who recommended that manga! So glad to see you’re enjoying it! And the pictures you’re sharing are so cute!!
Hm now that you mention that… when I was a teen I remember that I read three books in one afternoon - slim ones, maybe 120-150 pages each or so? But still. Maybe reading so much non-fiction hurt my ability to go fast? Or maybe my brain aged just like the rest
sigh That’s definitely what irks me the most with my slow reading speed.
I do that too at times, it’s quite nice! I also like Sambonjuku if you’re looking for more stuff like that.
That’s really cool! Of course when you learn from native material your knowledge will be a bit “uneven” but it’s great to know the general ballpark of where you stand. I must say for the JLPT tests what I struggle with the most is the reading section… I don’t know how this happens, but I find those texts soooo much harder than books - I sometimes don’t understand them even when I look up all the words. I don’t really know why - maybe because they are so short and there is no context? I really wish I knew a few books that would allow me to practice this level of difficulty in the setting of a longer story. (I mean, I do practice with the Shinkanzen Reading book, but it would be nice if some of my casual reading could act as good study practice at the same time. One can dream, eh? )
A few more responses that came to mind; I'll collapse this time
I think I know exactly what you mean, because yeah, even in those N3 practice questions I took with relatively simple passages, I took a moment to be like… what am I even looking at? I lean on context hard. Which is fine enough cause we’re usually gonna have it, but it definitely makes tests harder. Along those lines, I see people talk about practicing by looking at Twitter, and I do have an account following some Japanese people, but at this level everything feels like an isolated scary puzzle and I’d much rather just have a book for that sweet context.
It also just occurred to me, while I totally take your overall point (and appreciate the sort of confidence boost yet again!) what really slipped my mind was voice acting! I make an effort to keep doing my best to individually read things to strengthen my knowledge of the kanji, but the fact that I have a reading guide for half my lines speaking at a pace faster than I’d probably manage alone definitely speeds me up a bit.
Thanks for looking into that! That definitely might be it. It was literally EVERY line so it was clearly not being used properly, there were even a couple moments where the kid clearly paused and just awkwardly stuck it at the end, haha.
I finally had some significant time for reading today, so I read 20 pages to finish this week’s part for かがみの孤城 🪞 Week 22 and stuff happened. That did mean that there was a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary, though, so it did go a little slow…
Ended on a pretty good cliffhanger as well: Will Kokoro be able to get back to the castle? What will happen to the other kids?
No context combined with casual language - hahaha, nice try…
Oh, that’s interesting! I had mixed experiences with something like that so far because what I struggle with most is missing or forgotten vocab, so I don’t know how much it would speed me up on average, but if you know most of the words, then it will probably give you a speed boost because it’s easier just to listen than to read yourself, I guess.
For the pirates, I’m making good progress. In chapter 2, I was getting quite the “Famous Five” vibes somehow - big adventure, big excitement, and we get a lot of education about British history for free because one person asks a lot of questions about it, and another provides smart-ass explanations So right now it feels pretty much like a history book about Britain. Which is not bad in itself, just - unexpected I think I’m getting closer to the point where the theory turns into practice, and we might get a bit more action, but first I need to sleep.
Oh, and yesterday I also read this week’s part of がばいばあちゃん - this went by really quickly! I guess this is the most lightweight Intermediate Club pick ever…
Yeah it’s definitely mixed for me in a sense too. I hit unknown words and get all mixed up pretty easily. But it fairly regularly helps to either urge me along in speed if it’s a line that is simple enough, or it’ll feed me the kanji readings I somewhat know but would have to spend a few seconds recalling for those kanji I still need to see a lot more.
Of course, following discussions of my speed, I was a lot slower today, haha. It’s partially my own fault for doing that thing you shouldn’t where some grammar bit stuck out as odd to me and I ended up spending way more time on a sentence I already understood than it warranted, haha. All to mostly come to the conclusion that my brain just had one of those times it flags something as off when in other contexts I wouldn’t even think twice about it. Still, I learned, maybe In the end I pushed myself to not stop until I hit a little over 6000 characters, giving increasing my goal a shot, and I think it was a good idea. Still a solid day of reading.
What can I say besides what I say every day? This route continues to be a fun adventure. Today I learned, from an offhand reference, about the オオサンショウウオ (Japanese giant salamander). They’re indeed giant, but kinda weirdly cute. Also when I was starting Summer Pockets I talked about not knowing what a Boston Bag was until learning about it in Japanese… well today, the new bag to learn about is a ポシェット, a pochette. I mean… I’ve certainly seem them; they’re just small bags on a cord. But cultured enough to differentiate bags like that? Couldn’t be me.
The kid flashbacks are pretty cute. That’s about all I’ve got for now! Hoping I’ll wrap it up in a few days at this rate, but its larger scale pacing/structure is rather unlike the others so it’s harder to have a feel for it.
I read chapter 55 of Yotsuba, which is the final chapter of Volume 8.
The page of her trying to get tabasco sauce out of the bottle was very relatable.
I’m trying to decide whether to start the next volume straight away, or finish off one of the other non-bookclub books that I’m part way through first since I’m reading quite a lot of different things at the same time right now!
As I’m already done with this week’s book clubs, I read some takagi-san to fill the time. Got it from 39% to 58%. This took… I’m not sure how much time, I kinda opened my stopper, stared at it for a while and then forgot to start it…
I played more Zero Escape this morning! Things are still absolutely wild. I tried to play more a little bit ago but my brain said no, so I tried reading something else and my brain still said no so I think we’re done for the day Tomorrow’s a new day!
Ahhh congrats, that’s super awesome!!
Ah yes committment to the bit aw that sounds super cute though!
(Also I super relate on the whole VN vs books thing, every time I pick up a novel I’m just like “but video game has game2text… and voice acting” lmao, I definitely feel like having the lines basically read to me makes a big difference)
Pochettes!! AKA the things I only know from Animal Crossing and they’re the absolute cutest so obviously I wanted all of them
It’s funny, I didn’t even think about this being an issue with twitter at all, haha, because most of the Japanese tweets on my feed are about wrestling, and context there is never an issue for me. Or at least, it’s roughly the same as English wrestling tweets. Usually wrestlers tweet about shows they just did, ongoing storylines, book/merch promotions, other wrestlers they’re friends with, etc., and the fan accounts I follow react to stuff that happens in the shows and other news.
So if you’re keyed into the same world that they are, the context is very straightforward. Even before I knew any Japanese, I could somewhat muddle through with autotranslate, haha. It’s fun because you’ll get Japanese fans tweeting about American wrestling, American fans tweeting about Japanese wrestling, people all around the world reacting at the same time to huge announcements, and Japanese-speaking, English-speaking, and Spanish-speaking wrestlers all interacting with each other with varying degrees of proficiency in the other languages.
So maybe the trick to making the most out of twitter is to pick a particular narrow field that you spend a lot of time with haha so that you’re reading and watching the same stuff that they are, and you therefore have a shared base of understanding to work from.
This book is wild stuff. It only just started and it’s already managed to be bizarre, hilarious, scary, and heartbreaking. I guess part of me assumed a book about a boy during WWII would be somewhat drab and educational, but it’s turning out to be a rollercoaster.
Along the same note, I’d recommend following fanartists of some media that you like, especially ones who draw comics. Short comics have really helped me learn a lot (especially conversational stuff and descriptions) and also improved my handwriting deciphering. You can also pick up typical sentence patterns that certain stereotypical characters use.
Also, because the content is so short, it’s easy to start and stop.
Started vol 4! It’s just about 200 pages. I had hoped to maybe finish this one by Thursday because Golden Week is nearly here and I’ll be busy, but I might not succeed. That’s alright. I’m on pace if I read the same number of pages every day. I’ll just be hella busy though this week, so I’ll try not to be hard on myself.