📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

language, pronunciation, fluency

This is such an important thing to realize! I only figured it out after becoming fluent in Dutch, because I was wondering about the fact that I still forgot words sometimes (and things like: once I had a slip of the tongue and dropped a big fat American R randomly in the middle of a sentence, when normally my accent could easily pass for Dutch.) Now I notice every time I make a mistake in English and internally I go: HAH!

I appreciate your tangents!! :blush:


There was talk about singular/plural in the Scandinavikanian thread some time ago. Basically just wanted to share this image although you’ve covered the topic already. cc @NicoleIsEnough


:tiger2: :books: Tanuki Den (aka Homepost): Date 20220507 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

Tanuki Scroll XXXVII: 酔っ払いの化け物退治 :sake:

Read today’s hyakumonogatari, about a samurai who becomes banished as a ronin because he gets drunk one night and punches his superior. In need of a job (and more sake) he wanders round town until he stumbles upon that the emperor is looking for some monster exterminators to get rid of some pesky monsters in a temple. He says he’ll get rid of the monsters, provided he can be paid first so he can get some sake (and they actually agree to this).

So, now that he has the money he naturally goes out to hunt the monsters… drink lots and lots of sake. He passes out in the temple and is awoken by a big Onyudo, the ronin greets the Onyudo and tells him how famous he is for being a big scary monster. This flatters the Onyudo and he starts to show off by transforming into all sorts of things like a princess, tiger, kappa… the ronin is then like, “betcha can’t turn into something small like an umeboshi!”

To prove a point the Onyudo transforms into a tasty little umeboshi, and the ronin, knowing that nothing else goes better with sake than a umeboshi-snacc, munches him up.

:seedling: Japanese found in the tall grass :seedling:

New Things

ぶらぶら ー Swinging to and fro; wandering; roaming; idly; leisurely

三十三間堂「さんじゅうさんげんどう」ー A Buddhist temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto


I had this problem too! But in reverse :laughing:

When I was learning Swedish I found it pretty confusing that J’s did not sound like the J’s I was used to. Like how Juice wasn’t JEW-ss but YUU-ss. Seemed to be easier if I heard the word before I knew how it was spelt, knowing that a J was hiding in the word seemed to throw me off, like djur… I would never guess it’d be spelt like that after hearing it, and sjukhuset, sjö… got easier after I got used to it, but it really threw me off at first.


It’s probably a little bit of both. I’m sure it became a book club suggestion (and practical shoo-in) because the anime’s currently airing


Finished reading that Shinymas event earlier today. My favorite part of the last chapter was when Kaho was giving speech, saying good points about everyone and when it came to Chiyoko this is what she had to say :laughing:

Chiyoko's response to it

With that event done, I started on the next Hokura event. In this one, they are doing a web drama about some delinquents that have taken over the school. The style of speech they use in the drama is a bit different than normal SoL stuff so its a little more lookup heavy but first chapter was funny seeing Kaho with a “delinquent” way of talking.

Kaho line


Summary post :bookmark:

May 7th :cherry_blossom:

・薬屋のひとりごと (86% → 88%)

Read half of chapter 29.
@Naphthalene The case of the mysterious bamboozle sentence is now unmystified. Thank you~ :sparkles:
SleepingSnout hehe, good one :ok_hand:

Random: I’m very curious how prepared I’m going to be for my exam next week. Might have spent a bit too much time preparing for the previous exam but it was worth it. Reading might have to take a break, we’ll see!

Swedish is a mess too :joy:

Ah, yeah. Sjö, sjukhus, all the sj words. I bet you had trouble figuring out how to spell schysst, especially since Swedes can’t even agree on how to spell it (jysst? sjysst? or some other combination? My Swedish teacher back when I was in school didn’t seem entirely sure what would be the right way. Maybe it has been settled since then, but I spell it schysst). How about kyrka? :rofl: (That k is German so depending on your other language knowledge maybe that was fine. (Assuming English is your first language.))

Oh, this made me think of the tongue twister:
Sju sjuka sjömän på skeppet Shanghai etc. Adds another fun one: sk as in skeppet. But then you have skopa. Like how even…

I like to complain about English, and it is a pronunciation and spelling mess due to historically following different rules (changing the spelling to fit the English pronunciation, keeping original spelling but pronounce it in a English way, not to mention how pronunciations have changed over time but maybe not the spelling); but I am also aware that Swedish have some of that too. :joy:


I don’t think I ever saw this written or ever had to write it, thankfully :rofl: The K (like in kyrka) sound I didn’t find too awkward, K’s weird in English anyway so it being similar to a SH didn’t seem too out of place.

The hardest ones for me are the HJ sound like in hjord or hjul, never felt like I could get the hang of it. And, kinda specific this one, but I knew someone called Mårta and I could not get that the “-rta” part at all, I thought it’d just be like Martha in English but with an å… but no, it’s some kinda chth noise that I can’t make. Thankfully that one name seemed to be the only time I had to try and make that noise.

Also, how a lot of words end in: er, ar, or - because of my accent, when these are in English this is the same noise (an UH sorta noise), so trying to making them sound distinguishable was a bit difficult. Also also, knowing when something is ETT or EN, that is just… no.

Honestly, most European-stemmed languages seem to have really out-there pronunciations (and grammar) for no real reason other than “Oh it’s always been like that cos some guy did it like that back in the 1600s, now no one can agree on it and we can’t be bothered to change it”.

I’m just glad that Japanese pronunciation is what it says it is.

(Oh yeah, English is my first language, forgot to mention that)

Swedish discussion

If you still have trouble with hjul, hjord, etc. It probably wouldn’t be noticeable if you just went for the pronunciation with just a j sound. (Obviously those are problematic, but hj is basically j sound with maybe a little bit extra that is barely noticeable.) Although I don’t know if that is just my dialect. I’m from Stockholm and while we pride ourselves on being closest to rikssvenska (dialect-less Swedish); we really have quite a bit of dialect.

Funnily enough, when I went to write hjord, I wrote gjord istället which made me realize gj is also kinda the same sound. Although that is pronounced more like hjort (which is another word when spelled like that).

Side note: Stockholmska actually pronounces är (am/is/are) more like just the letter e. We be weird.

We’ve basically let our languages evolve without restriction (or temporary restrictions while not also applying them retro-actively). Should also be noted that at times nobles vs commoners have spoken different languages. There was this trend all over Europe for all nobles to speak French (at least at court). Not to mention trade had to be made somehow, and English wasn’t the international language back in history.

It is a language soup with far too many chefs, and many European languages feel the effects. :joy:


Very little time for reading today, so I just read a few pages of デスノート ・ Death Note 📓 Vol. 2.


I had that same problem when I was on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Navajo has some sounds I never could figure out how to say. Other Navajo sounds I did figure out, but they were so different from English sounds.


Sometimes the hardest part of a new language can be pronunciation.

Thank you everyone for the language discussion(s) today. I really enjoyed them. m(_ _)m

Talking about languages with other language enthusiasts is so much fun.

Now, I will finally do my update. :joy:

Finished the chapter of 坊っちゃん I was currently on. The pictures accompanying this part of the story was actually not accurate to what happened in the story. But it did build suspense, I guess. But kinda weird. Now finished up to page 21 of 36. The story’s end is drawing closer, and I’m excited to see how it ends.

Honestly, this might be my favorite story I’ve read in Japanese so far. (Excluding my favorite manga series which I’ve read many many times in English, and only did a 多読 style reading in Japanese last year. But since I don’t understand it well enough in Japanese yet, especially without lookups, I think my statement still stands.)


Day 36 :heavy_check_mark: :milk_glass:

告白 ~ 27-28%
and one chapter from 夜カフェ for the BBC

Day 37 :heavy_check_mark: :milk_glass:

告白 ~ 28-39%, end of chapter 2

I was frustrated with my slow progress in 告白 these last few days, so today I more or less devoted my day to reading. And what a ride it was! Lots of things happened, other things were hinted at, perceptions are starting to change radically. It would be such a fun book to read in a book club. As it is, I can’t share much without spoiling stuff. I’m glad I saw the movie so many years ago that I only remembered the basic premise and unconnected scenes here and there, because much of the fun is in gradually discovering all the hidden aspects of the story. Looking forward to the next chapter.
@pocketcat: It appears to me that the “crime-too-far” won’t be an issue, but of course I won’t know for sure until the end. It was touched upon briefly again and I got really worried, but it was only to diffuse it, so to speak.

No energy to run through my list of new words to select all the interesting ones, but today I learned that the multiplication table is simply called 九九 (くく), and I love it. :grin:

language and pronunciation, sorry for butting in edition

Hmm, but English is a Germanic language as well, developed from proto-germanic like all other germanic languages so it’s weird to put those two sentences together, right? English did import a whole lot of romance vocabulary after the Norman Conquest, but still.

regarding “sounding native”/“natives not sounding native” etc. There is so much variation within each language that a foreigner with a distinct accent can sound closer to a particular native than does another native speaker. It’s not a case of one being “wrong” or anything, the idea of a standard “correct” way of using language and grammar is ideological and which standard is chosen is merely a fuction of power, so why kowtow such standards (unless it’s a practical consideration for work etc)? It has also been demonstrated (sorry for not including citations atm) that multilinguals have different perceptions of what can count as “correct/incorrect” grammar in their own mother tongue than does monolingual speakers of their mother tongue, so which native speaker is “correct” about “correct” grammar? What I’m saying is that as long as you can make yourself understood you’re fine, and if you judge other people against arbitrary “standard language” standards then you are working for The Man :stuck_out_tongue:


Appreciate the input @MissDagger ! It’s all more or less stuff I recognize but at the same time it’s hard to fully feel ok with it sometimes you know? Despite what I manage to do, I still fall over on my face with basics more than I’d like, haha. What can you do tho, just how it is I think.

Summary post

Still kinda feeling that way, but I read a little over 7000 characters today, so that’s decent. This route really has been sprawling out. I like what it’s been up to though. Over time the culture of the island and its weird little eccentricities have been explored. There was even a sweet little subplot in a couple scenes where the main character was around some 小学生 and helped one of them a little, who was sad about the death of a relative. It’s been meandering, but in a way that mostly makes things a bit richer.

Hard cut to that image lol. It mentioned before that this guy puts seaweed on his head for… reasons so I think that’s what is happening here.

But while I do like Summer Pockets a lot, and I have those side books, the thought of another VN sure is appealing about now. It’s been a long journey with this one. I had thought about reading a small one as a breather after this was over but maybe I’ll consider if I want to take some days to alternate mining from one before the end. We’ll see.

Came across たる/たるもの today, an N1 grammar point that attaches to a noun, “used in relation to qualifications and requirements for a position.” Basically used to talk about what someone should do because they are X thing.

Lots of interesting descriptive new words today, I particularly like どん引き(どんびき), sort of “being left speechless” though with a secondary image of pulling a film camera back for a wider shot.

Language and stuff

Just because things have similar roots, doesn’t mean they will be closely related centuries later. For me, closely related languages are more like Norwegian/Swedish/Danish where it is possible to understand each other’s language without formal study or being good at languages. (Obviously it will depend on speed and clarity of communication, written vs spoken, etc. but generally.)

I don’t have enough experience with French, Spanish and Italian, but I would put them in a similar-ish boat because so much of the languages are similar (because of their close relation to latin), but again, not enough experience to be sure.

It all depends on scope/scale, doesn’t it? If I look at the group of all languages in the world, then sure, English and Swedish are closely related, but say within the group of germanic languages, I wouldn’t consider Swedish and English very close.

Perhaps I should have said “While Swedish is a Germanic language, I wouldn’t call Swedish and English closely connected.” But Swedish also happens to have neighboring languages that are incredibly similar.

Another good example: Icelandic could both be considered extremely close to Swedish/Norwegian/Danish, but also incredibly far away. As a Swede, I basically don’t understand a word of Icelandic (written or spoken), but historically, I probably would have because Icelandic was protected and hasn’t evolved much over the centuries, while Swedish/the Scandinavian languages have. Those four languages all stem from almost the same base. I think Icelandic is basically old Norse/Norwegian, but don’t quote me on that.

I guess, in the scope/on the scale I was talking about, I wouldn’t consider Swe and Eng super close. But use a different scale and sure they are. The more Japanese grammar I’ve learnt, the more similar I have found Swe/Eng grammar. Structurally, very similar; word-wise, not really. Except for direct loan words, obviously. Of which there are quite a few especially among modern vocabulary with computers and company culture stuff.

re:language and stuff

Yeah, I get you. Norwegian and Sweedish in particular are close enough it wouldn’t be at all a stretch to consider them dialects of the same language if we were one country. I have an easier time understanding some Sweedish dialects than some Norwegian dialects, spoken Danish is basically gibberish tho:p


I’m continuing to read “Hikoichi and the Young Lord”. When Hikoichi came to the castle at the lord’s request, the lord was a bit condescending and sarcastic about Hikoichi’s rumored wisdom. So he asked him to be playmate to the young lord, whom he called into the room. But 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, chidldren came into the room. The Lord will put Hikoichi to the test!

I read three pages, and these books are much harder than the Graded Readers, though there is more help as to grammar and vocabulary.

Some Grammar/Vocabulary New Points:

と ends a quotation

の (at sentence-end) indicates emotional emphasis

うむ hmmm

面 face, outdated use meaning " face", is a degrading or disrespectful way to say “face”

試してみよう Let’s test


Summary Post

Day 37: May 7th
What did I read?: クマとカラス
How much did I read?: 15 pages
How long did it take me?: 26 min

This is a really nice manga so far :3 It’s much more story-like than クマとたぬき (which felt like more of a 4-koma collection), and seems more…serious, I guess? But in a nice way - just a bear and a crow, traveling together, getting to know each other and helping each other out. It’s really sweet :3

And look at this art <3

I want to go wherever this is :smiling_face:

Good words
  • 井戸端会議 (いどばたかいぎ) - content-free chat; idle gossip
  • まれ - rare; seldom
  • ちぎれる - to be torn off; to come off​
  • おぼろげ - vague; faint; dim; indistinct; hazy; blurry

May 8, Sun :cherry_blossom: home post

Week 6 of Spring 2022’s summary

I have done some Anki this week, and some Kanji learning as well.

Some of my reading strategies have changed, to accomodate for reading more.

  • And I really want to read lots from my favorite authors… (I saw more than a few above.)

I have listened to a few grammar YouTube videos as well (and some casuals). I feel I should also focus on listening better.

I also think about studying Chinese Hanzi; but with some sequential order of characters (like Hanzi/Kanji), while also focus on reading complete sentences.

I also think of using WaniKani app, but there are too many things I don’t like much - like, not enough Kanji, not enough vocabularies, not enough meanings, not enough readings (of Kanji, although this is debatable); nonetheless, I do like some UserScript ideas.

  • I also like autoplaying audios, although I would want to autoplay audios for sentences as well.
  • While I now take a lot of audio from Forvo (and WaniKani vocabulary audio), I wonder if there are values in chopping audio (in YouTube / ImmersionKit), just for single vocabularies…
  • I am doing level 14 on my Anki (started at level 11).

I also learnt a little more about IME - type pa-thi- for パーティー :tada:

A way to avoid downloading lots of audio at once, to put inside Anki + syncing to mobile devices

Apparently, [sound:https://...] works in AnkiDroid (Android), but not in Anki; and of course it works for autoplay as well (<audio> doesn’t work for autoplay)

Anki pecularity must be due to AnkiDroid and original Anki are made from different teams.

WaniKani vocabulary audios’ links can be found inside WaniKani API (and the links themselves don’t need an API key). Otherwise, they can be downloaded in batch.

Regarding Forvo, I made a web app with Forvo API, and upload (cache) to AWS S3, so I can always use it later without accessing Forvo. (I can’t make it too public, not knowing whether it is against terms and conditions.)

About language learning, when being in the actual society, I feel like it might be the issue of fitting in; rather than simply the vocabulary choice, or the language tone itself; but more than that.

It might ok to be weird (even regarding language), if you are a fun folk, I guess.

I guess it’s child’s play.

Pretty sure the first horizontal row must be HOMEOSTASIS. I have no idea about the other two, even after Googling (CAUSALCLOSURE, SYMPLECTOMORPHISM).

Anya must see English characters in her mind, otherwise it doesn’t make sense…

I keep reading せいしん as しんかい. The latter must be what I really desire.

I wonder if WaniKani tilts toward USA (what about Indian folks and Japan residents; and Scandinavians?) I don’t even realize about the anime. (Then again, I am not a social person, nor an adolescent. And I also don’t really watch anime. Youtubers of non-virtual type will be considered, though.)

Though, it doesn’t write what it is. Furigana, when used, is also a culture in itself.

There are also pitch accents. When not aware / not practiced, it is prone to misunderstandings.

As for English (as a second language learner), I am used to visualizing phonetic symbols. (I am used to learning it early on by a series of textbook by BBC, English For You; then later on, several (e.g. Oxford) dictionaries.)