Sounds great! Yeah August or September would be best, I guess - I’ve committed to some bookclubs but most of them end before that, as it seems. Let’s check back with each other closer to the date, ok?
o7 I’ll work on volume 1 in the meantime, see if I can slot it in after I finish Alicemare.
Today I read Volume 6, Chapter 4 of Teasing Master Takagi-san. One of my favourite side characters was in this chapter a lot, so that was fun
告白 ~ 45-46%
and chapter 9 of 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん for the IBC
Only a little reading on my main book today, but I finished this week’s section of the IBC, so I read a good amount in general. I actually need to limit my reading time because it’s taking away from other stuff I should be doing, but I’ve said that before and haven’t done it yet, so…
I'll join in on this J-J discussion
Very much agree with this. In other languages I’ve learned, there was a point after which bilingual dictionaries felt like they offered nothing (or just a gross approximation of the meaning), and monolingual dictionaries were the only resource that made sense - they would explain the nuance I was looking for in a way no bilingual dictionary ever would. This transition always happened very naturally when my brain was ready for it.
Definitely same, at least as far as language learning goes. It takes away much of the stress, and it works really well too, for me at least.
That said, I do have some very vague milestones in mind in my journey to Japanese reading fluency:
easily distinguish the words in any given sentence (well, most of the time)
stop being intimidated by walls of text
easily scan a page or more for a specific word
easily find my place in the book I’m reading, even if I’m on the wrong page
stop constantly feeling the need to look up words I sort of know but would feel better with confirmation
catch myself sometimes thinking in Japanese, or finding the right word for something in Japanese but not in my own language
inadvertently read and understand text by just glancing at it (like with ads)
spot and be annoyed by grammar mistakes or typos in what I’m reading (not there yet, although I have spotted a few typos)
be constantly unsatisfied by bilingual definitions and finding myself increasingly or exclusively turning to monolingual dictionaries in search for nuance
adeptly using search terms and sorting through results to navigate my way through the Japanese internet
They’re not necessarily in the order they’ll happen, but I know I’ll feel pretty satisfied with myself when I have ticked all the boxes. To achieve that, I just read. There’s nothing else to do, really, as far as I’m concerned.
I’m loving the flexibility of written Japanese. Playing with kanji and furigana you can load your writing with all sorts of added meaning. How do all these other languages even cope without tools like these? Translators really have a very hard job.
Edit: Forgot to add words! There were several interesting ones in today’s reading, but I’ll just mention two for now: 虫干し (airing of clothes etc to prevent damage from insects and mould) and 景気よく (with gusto, enthusiastically).
The screenshots perfectly illustrate why I hate Google Translate with a passion.
Honestly, I thought the same And I must say, I have no idea. (The same holds true for dramas where people speak in different languages, and sometimes this just doesn’t get transported adequately for dubbed versions, which is a pity.)
Today there was no way I wouldn’t finish 坊っちゃん. I hit that place in the story where the ending has truly began and pausing in the middle of that always sucks. Lucky for me, that still only made me read maybe double or triple what I do most days.
I feel absurdly proud for reading this. And I say absurdly because I can’t quite articulate why I feel so proud.
I’ve read other things before by myself.
I had a lot of grammar help (mostly early on).
This is only a graded reader.
I can surely come up with more, but each one I write it only feels like I’m being a negative Nancy.
Even while grammar was clearly making it hard to understand, I persevered. Asking for help when I needed it, but also looking up grammar things myself.
It wasn’t always straight forward what should have happened. And it had a lot of intrigue and slow reveal of the truth. (Although I’m sure smarter people than me would have seen through everything from the beginning. I can see how that would be possible. I had some suspicious, but the story was good at throwing me off the actual truth.)
The story also very much grew on me, or maybe more so the main character. In the first few pages, he is portrayed as very rash and with little sympathy. (I suppose, considering this is a first person narrative, he actually thinks so of himself.) I don’t think the character grew so much, as us readers learned more of what made him tick and, for example, his hatred of lying endeared him to me.
In conclusion, I don’t know why this particular story feels like such a huge victory. I learned a lot, and was reminded of a lot that I had forgotten. I enjoyed the story. And I enjoyed sharing it with you guys.
Maybe that is it. The shared experience of reading with other people, even though no one was reading the same thing I was. Well, turns out it still makes a difference.
I’m proud of you too, so there’s that! First Japanese classic!
Day 34-35 / Calendar
Both days I’ve read 夜カフェ, on the first day, having tons of time, I could get through half of the chapter, but today I only had around 15-30 minutes before the day rolled over, which resulted in 2.5 pages read. This puts me at about 70% of the chapter being finished. I’m confident I can finish it tomorrow and go back to my backup reading.
Next week, besides the usual clubs, both the ハピネス offshoot club and the next ABBC book club starts up, so that will be a ton of reading in a single week.
I LOVE your panels. They are beautful!
Congratulations! You have every reason to be proud! It may have been a graded reader, but from the sentences you shared it definitely wasn’t an easy one! And from what you’ve shared of the story you got me intrigued enough to want to check it out myself (some day…the original is L40 on Natively…)
I haven’t read any Soseki yet (I think), but dropping this anyways as it seems a good resource nonetheless: https://www.sosekiproject.org/
I’m honestly curious how it will compare to other classic authors I’ve read because so far the highest I’ve graded anything is 38. This could be a case of me grading things out of sync with other users again as very few of my Aozora reads have other graders thus far…
I just finished “Hikoichi and the Young Lord”. After saying the young lord was the one with ink on his hand, the real young lord looked down at his hand, and the other children looked over at him to see if it was true. So HIkoichi was correct, and the old lord was amazed at Hikoichi’s wisdom, and gave him a huge reward. “And that is it. The End.”
So I learned in Japanese how to begin and end
昔々 有る ところ所に Long ago, long ago, in a certain place
所に です And that is it.
Other new vocabulary:
与え給う to bestow
Excellent job! You’re only further stoking the desires I have to check out Soseki… maybe when I finish my current books it’ll be time to stop running away from older Japanese sometime.
I did it, gang! Another route down. This time was ~7500 characters, just the amount needed to wrap it up. This leaves just Nomiki, Shiki, and then the true route. Now is the test to see if I can handle Nomiki, who I almost started on before veering hard away when her sentences were far too loaded with compound noun kanji words all about public utilities and social morality standards and whatnot.
This game is pretty. Today honestly wasn’t too bad, another of those confidence builder days. And I can see myself more comfortably reading some words and kanji I’ve been trying to learn not too long ago, so hey, more visible progress maybe. When Clannad was mentioned the other day I briefly booted it up just to see what I thought of its writing now, and hey, it looks pretty readable. It’s probably only a small step above Summer Pockets if they’re even meaningfully different – it’s just something that months ago had 5 new words every sentence and was basically overwhelming and incomprehensible. Love to see it. I should try Dragon Quest 11 again soon out of curiosity… that was a game I played VERY early, knowingly too early, just to see what I could manage. And I did get through a bit, but what an uphill struggle it was.
Cool new word! 胸騒ぎ (むなさわぎ), an uneasiness or feeling that something bad is going to happen. It’s chest noise. Fairly intuitive while also being quite evocative.
I read こころ (in the past, I mean), which wasn’t that hard grammar wise. The vocabulary felt a bit old, but you get used to it pretty quickly. level 39 on natively, which sounds appropriate.
Gotta admit I’d probably rate it like a 34-35 then I weigh grammar far more heavily than vocabulary, unless the scope of the vocabulary is particularly wide or it’s very obscure (not in my dictionary). But I haven’t read it so can’t say for sure. At some point I’ll get to the long form classics, but I do love my short stories.
Well, that’s fair. But at the same time, I feel that in that case, pretty much everything will end up in that difficulty range which, to be fair, is pretty much what is happening with things I am reading lately.
Still, I feel like an average learner would need more dictionary lookups than usual (due to being less familiar with the vocabulary). That should be factored in some way, especially for people reading on paper (like I did) making lookups time consuming.
Day 39: May 9th
What did I read?: クマとカラス
How much did I read?: 19 pages
How long did it take me?: 31 min
The journey continues~ They must be really out in the middle of nowhere, how the heck did the crow get all the way out there?? Maybe we’ll find out eventually? But for now, they’re going to go see the volcano~ Bear is sparkling with excitement
A couple words
- 吠え声 (ほえごえ) - bark; howl; roar; bellow
- 水浴び (みずあび) - bathing (swimming) in cold water
- 手っ取り早い (てっとりばやい) - quick; prompt; without delay; simple; easy; effortless
Congrats on finishing!
The pure, goofy excitement of the bear in this panel is really selling me hard on what you’re reading.
I suppose my thought process is that most native material does fail within the ~28-39 range and outliers on the higher end are just that, outliers. For me N1+ means “would be challenging for someone with only a high school education” because based on what I’ve gathered from people who have taken the test and impressions of Japanese people who took practice exams, it’s roughly testing comprehension at the level of a high school grad. This could be wrong, but it’s what I’m basing things on.
With that said, this means very old and hard to read texts, things with very specialized ways of writing, and writing that is “college level” so to speak. The only thing I’ve read that I want to push into the 40s is 芥川’s 遺書 which I don’t recommend because it was depressing as hell.
I sometimes read paper, sometimes digital so I try to weight vocab fairly across both mediums. Hence scope of vocab and difficulty of looking up are the weighting options for me. It’s why I rate some short story collections higher even though I personally didn’t find them too difficult, because the spread of their vocabulary was quite wide.
Last night I wanted to finish the volume, but I was like, I’ll get decent sleep instead. Heh. I woke up at a good time and then accidently fell back asleep. I was pleasantly surprised to not be late for work today.
So these pages finished up the fight between JoJo and Tarkus. It was an interesting fight and I’m glad they drew it out more in the manga. I can’t help but feel a bit cheated though. Araki spends several pages talking about Zeppeli’s training and how he asks to know how he’ll die. It’s obvious what will come next. Speedwagon tells him to take care, and then Zeppeli dies literally after 1 move. I think it’s after the one move that bothers me the most. He’s supposed to be a well trained guy and he’s been taking everything so seriously, but then it’s just one move. I would have loved to see it more drawn out or depicted as either more clever or brutal. I just feel a bit cheated after all that build up to have it feel so anti-climatic.
Oh well. At least there should be more Dio again soon.