Today I read all about 杉「すぎ」- Japanese Cedar trees.
Japanese found in the tall grass
分布「ぶんぷ」ー Distribution; allocation 樹高「じゅこう」ー Tree height しかも「然も」ー Moreover; furthermore 固有種「こゆうしゅ」ー Endemic species 学名「がくめい」ー Scientific/Latin name 財産「ざいさん」ー Property; assets; fortune 利用価値「りようかち」ー Utility value 広葉「こうよう」ー Broad leaf with 広葉樹「こうようじゅ」being broad leaf tree 円錐形「えんすいけい」ー Cone shape 球果「きゅうか」ー Pinecone (though not just the classic pinecone, can mean all kinds of conifer-cones) 異国風「いこくふう」ー exotic / exotic style 人工林「じんこうりん」ー A forest that has been planted artificially 温室効果「おんしつこうか」ー the greenhouse effect 二酸化窒素「にさんかちっそ」ー Nitrogen dioxide
Thank you both! Crazy that I’ve been here for three years now.
uncharacteristically for me updating two days in a row haha
I finished 三毛猫ホームズ There were indeed a lot of twists at the end, only one of which I’d seen coming at all, which was fun! I came out mainly enjoying the book, the mystery was well done and it had a nice, almost farcical at times humour. I did feel at some times that it felt very dated particularly when it came to the romance (spoilers for things revealed right at the end) like, right from the start we get the 森崎&雪子 romance between a lecturer/member of university staff and a student. Then we get 片山&雪子 - our lead police officer dating a key person involved with the crime which no one seems to have any issues with (I though it was a bit weird that 三田村 was so on board with it but I guess he had other things on his mind). And then at the end we have the reveal of 春美&三田村….a guy who throughout the book has been positioned as a father figure to her and her brother. Like, every single relationship in this book had some kind of inappropriate power dynamic, which isn’t super unexpected but just a bit . It felt very 60s bond story view of relationships & women…which maybe was an intentional thing and part of the farcical/light satire? idk, I wouldn’t say it bothered too much but I did have a bit of an eye roll at the last reveal
Also my reaction….is she sometimes a cat? Do people treat her like a cat? So many questions.
Next thing I’m picking up is the 2nd book in the Saikawa & Moe series, 冷たい密室と博士たち . The audiobook has been released for it too which is always a plus. I’ve got a week to see how I’m finding it and to decide whether I think I can juggle it and 海辺のカフカ (also realising that I complained about the treatment of relationships and women in 三毛猫ホ-ムズ and then am deciding to read two more things that are unlikely to be much better haha, whoops)
So not a spoiler as this happens pretty quick into episode one - Holmes turns into the person seen above to deliver vague advice and scolding verbally to 片山 but most of the clues are still presented while in cat-form. 片山 is the only person who can see Holmes’ human form.
Also 片山 randomly has a brother who also lives with them. And 雪子 was cast with an actress who looked to be in her mid-30s. The TV show more vaguely takes inspiration from the series than follows it loyally.
Written 1978 Also the relationship dynamics you mention are pretty common in his books overall, although not always present.
Lol, so I was only 18 years off with my 60s comment haha. I knew it was quite old but I’d forgotten it was that old. That said, I feel like even in 1978 you probably shouldn’t date potential suspects when you are the police officer investigating a crime. Then again, ホームズ is the brains behind the operation.
@omk3 While I think manga gives quite a bit of context (especially facial expressions and other characters’ reactions to what was said), I agree with a lot of what you said. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
Manga is mostly spoken language, and it can be extremely casual, slangy, and full of contractions. Although I think it depends a lot on the manga. If I remember correctly, some people recommend Aria over Yotsuba& because characters speak with less casual language in Aria, so it is easier to understand from the get go. (In general, adult characters are easier to understand too, and Yotsuba& is about a child after all.)
For me, one of the big reasons to learn Japanese was to be able to read manga in the original language. In some ways, I’d say that was probably half my reason, the other half was to be able to read about Japanese history and my Japanese related interests (Japanese gardening, historical architecture, ikebana/flower arrangement, and more) in depth which is easier in Japanese than trying to find translated works.
From there, a desire to read historical fiction have risen, as well as other genres because I keep seeing interesting books talked about here, and I’ve always preferred to read in the original language if I know it.
So in that way, being able to read manga is kinda important to me. I never read much of it as a teen because it was so expensive to buy imported English-translated manga, and the amount of translated to Swedish manga that existed at that time was very small. (And was mostly the famous shounen series like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, those kinds.)
And right now, I have more experience with reading manga than I have books (in Japanese); so books are far more intimidating. A product of what I have done so far. ^^
Again, thanks for sharing your experience and opinions. I certainly hope to grow in confidence with books and to read many over the next few years. But maybe first… I need to reduce my 積読 manga pile.
Might just be how much experience you have reading manga vs books. My stepmother doesn’t read much and she’s said many times that reading tires her out, so she always falls asleep if she tries to read in the evening; while I can read all night, and only when my energy for the day literally runs out and my eyes refuses to stay open and my mind is falling asleep away from me, do I need to stop (or you know, I fall asleep with the book open). I don’t get tired from reading itself.
(Well… one school textbook begs to differ, but then it was written densely and boringly, like the author(s) wanted no one to read it. I would nod off to after only 1.5 page or so; I gave up reading that textbook. Never had that experience before or since.)
Stamina in reading is a thing after all. But maybe you’ve been reading manga for quite a while now, so it doesn’t apply anymore, and then I have no idea why that would be.
Continued Yotsuba& today and finished chapter one because honestly I couldn’t stop reading.
I didn’t laugh until I cried, but I laughed until my throat became dry. Does that count?
Funny moments (all the spoilers for chapter 1): Yotsuba and swinging on a swing. That jump! And Ena-san’s facial expressions. And then Yotsuba running from poor Fuuka-san. I was dying. Poor Ena-san again too. Also Asagi punching Fuuka.
Slowly getting used to the casual speech, but also almost completely misunderstood something, however I found answers in the book club thread. I guess I should probably add my questions there if I have them.
I think I read about 30-40ish pages, since I think I read ~13 pages yesterday but the volume is not beside me so I can’t check. I expect I will read half a chapter to a whole chapter a day, as long as I have time.
I’m reading “Hachi’s Story”. This is the dog who waited for his master every day, even when her master died and didn’t come back. I’m only on page 7, but I already know the story. It’s good to read it in Japanese.
As a side note, I’ve been kind of debating how I want to end my challenge…I’m going to be away on vacation for the last few days of it, and idk if I’ll be taking any Japanese reading materials with me I feel kind of weird just ending it early for myself, but I feel like realistically I won’t be able to keep to the daily schedule and that will bum me out. Tbd.
Omg yes, this surprised me so much the first time I ordered a smol book xD I think I literally exclaimed, “oh, it’s small!!” when I opened the package They’re so cute though
I finished モテ薬. Ending was meh. All of it was meh. I have nothing but meh feelings about this book. It somehow straddled the line of being just interesting enough that I kept going, but not interesting enough for me to ever care about literally any of the characters.
Edit: I wrote a more formal review if anyone wants one
I will leave it to the winds of fate (re: my mood) what I read next. I have a few unfinished books but also new murder mystery and the always tempting 青空文庫 short stories.
I had wanted to read some more previews for the series I’ve been recced, but I didn’t end up having the concentration to do so. I just played some Heroes this evening, and I’ve officially passed the furthest point I got to last time I played! The first stage I did today I know I’d gotten to on Steam. I definitely remember the horde of big monsters in the last room (Terry got his wish of fighting stronger enemies lol, there were 3 each I believe of trolls, hunter mechs, and battle rexes), but I don’t remember winning it, and the next stage wasn’t familiar. As that was the last stage in this chapter, I’ve also now recruited Bianca and Flora/Nera! Also now I finally know that the 闇竜 in the subtitle is read やみりゅう. I’d kinda guessed that was it but I wasn’t sure, and it finally came up in voiced dialogue. Well, that was the first time it came up at all, and it happened to be voiced, which is good, because nothing in this game has any freaking furigana.
Some vocab of note:
会心 (かいしん) [noun] short for 会心の一撃, “critical hit”
骨 (コツ) knack; trick; skill; secret; know-how. This sense of the word is usually written in kana.
More ZTD! I stopped for the day bc I’m stuck on a puzzle rather than anything language-related which is always kind of a fun twist haha. I’m still definitely noticing that the vast majority of “normal” dialogue is pretty instinctively understandable to me so that feels good! I still don’t really know what’s going on big-picture but progress is being made; a lot of today was エリック clearly having a lot of childhood trauma that keeps getting aggravated by the situation and which has at least mostly been explained now so that was rough, some of the depictions of the characters and the voice acting are just… powerful. I’m curious to see where it all goes as always
Chapter 2 of Yotsuba& 1 today. Poor Fuuka-san. Also Asagi-san, so mean in a sibling way. This chapter was shorter and easier overall. Can really see how Yotsuba& can become a nice and easy on-the-side read.
The only somewhat めんどくさい thing is that this was an early book club, before weekly/chapter threads were used, so the replies are all jumbled together. I usually like reading through the whole thread after reading that part, but that isn’t really viable.
I sometimes watch Card Captor Sakura because on Netflix I can get Japanese subtitles along with the original audio. My listening comprehension is crap, but hey, I’m good enough at the reading thing to understand most of what is said.
And today, I caught myself suddenly realizing I was just understanding what was being said (through reading subs) without really thinking about it. A bit like: wait what?! I just understood that without effort? Cool!
It is so nice to see that there are words and sentences that I don’t have to translate in my head anymore to understand. I still have to with a lot of it, and perhaps some of what I have now is just that my brain translates it really quick (rather than just understanding it). But bit by bit, words are added to my internal dictionary/understand of the word so I’m not translating it in my head, just understanding it. (So far mostly simple words like いちご and the like, but victories are victories.)