June 7th. Time: 45 minutes. Manga Pages: 3
What: Manga からかい上手の高木さん (Volume 1), current pick of ABBC. Chapter 6, Pages 11-13.
One more day and I’ll finish club weekly assignment with two days to spare!
June 7th. Time: 45 minutes. Manga Pages: 3
Since there was only that last part of the Ask Graded Reader volume 1, lvl 4, I decided to read it all in one go. And ah, again I am met with the love of sad stories that seems too common in Japanese literature. I typically don’t read sad stuff because well, I like the happier stuff better. But I got all the ask graded readers, all levels, all volumes, so dang it. I’m going to finish them. Only two volumes left and then I’m done.
I thought that would work, but literally got like 2 results for Chi when I searched the Japanese title (didn’t see the point of looking for the English title, I assumed the Japanese would be the effective one) on the English site, and tons of them when I searched on the Japanese site - it was weird. I had a few moments of that, where it searched weirdly on the English site, despite titles in the series being available, and just went to showing the site in Japanese. Of course, may have been user error - sometimes I’m dumb with technology.
The ASK graded readers are great, I went through the same “wow these are darker than expected” feelings quite early on. They kind of remind me of German children’s stories, although still different.
I have a few colleagues at work who I’ve shown them to and who have all had the exact same reaction, one of them (jokingly) now refuses to read them as they only make her sad.
Satori Reader: Kiki-Mimi Radio, Episode 10.
One week in already! I wanted to read two episodes today but it’s already very late because, surprise surprise, I keep reading very late. Since there’s also a Satori Reader app I might just read there as well throughout the day. I mentioned before that these episodes are not long, in fact you can read them or listen to them in a minute or two, but what makes them slow for me is that they have a fair amount of unknown words and also many grammar explanations that I like to read and grasp, so I end up needing a lot more time. Because of that sometimes I can just do one article before feeling worn out and overcome with drowsiness.
I’ve noticed I’m not the only late-night reader
Note to self: read earlier dummy.
Day 7: June 7th
What did I read?: サメーズ -サメとアザラシ-
How much did I read?: 35 pages
How long did it take me?: 35 min
This random choice of reading material was brought to you by my love of かわいい sea creatures and my laziness xD I didn’t really feel like reading today because work wore me out mentally, but I didn’t want to break the streak. When I asked my brain, what would you most want to read today?, this was what it came up with. Why? I dunno. I bought it literal years ago and I haven’t thought about it for a while. But it was actually a really good choice for me today. The freaking sharks are so dang cute D: The grammar is generally simple, and the sentences short. It’s good practice for reading handwritten kanji without furigana. This was not what I set out to read today, but I liked it, it was fun
June 7 Update
Today, I managed to read a bit more than I have the last couple of days. I caught up on this week’s ハイキュー！！chapter. It took about 30 min, though that was mostly because I had to keep track of all the words I didn’t know. About 35 words all in all, which is great compared to how many words I struggled with back when I first started this series. This chapter (and the surrounding ones) are quite emotional too, so I’m excited to see the resolution.
I also powered through another chapter of ナルト (took about 30 min), this time without using writing down any unknown words, and only looking up words that actively hindered comprehension. ナルト is a good manga to do this with, for me, since I already know the story, and I’ve watched the anime/read the manga so many times that I know what happens in each scene very precisely. When I don’t know a word it’s usually very easy to deduce it’s meaning. Probably only looked up 30 words, most of which were related to the Third and Kakashi’s explanations. As usual, the children’s speech is very easy to read and understand, and the adults only posed a challenge when they started monologuing – I get why Naruto zones out so easily. I’d forgotten how entertaining Naruto could be.
First Week Summary + Reflection
Total time read: ~8 hours
Total pages read: ~242 (manga) pages (this is approximately how much I read in English on a slow week)
It’s actually really cool to look back and see how much I’ve read over the past week! I think when I just stick to the book clubs, I probably get to around 50 pages max, and about 2 hours of reading in, but keeping up with reading daily has clearly pushed me to accomplish a lot more than usual. It’s also promising to see that the days I’m not feeling very motivated seem to be more or less evened out by the remaining days, so, hopefully, that’ll teach me to be less hard on myself.
I’d like to think that I can already notice vast improvements in my reading speed and comprehension at this stage, though that’s probably not very accurate. The chapters I read today included many low-text pages as shounen manga does. However, I do feel my reading stamina increasing, slowly but surely. I’ll take my wins where I can get them. I’m excited to see how much more I’m able to read as this challenge continues.
Since I’ve been doing the news reading challenge anyway I figure why not try this out too I’ve mainly been reading easy NHK articles and posts from Watanoc or Satori since the end of May + Quartet readings here and there, and I’d love to start adding in different content. I know I have some titles that have been sitting in my Kindle library I’d like to either finish or start, so my goal tomorrow will be to pick something from there. (Today was just an NHK article about Yuka Saso, and now I’m off for study time.) I might pick up the short stories I have from Lingo Mastery… I’ve been reading something similar every night, but for German, and it’s been pretty fun.
Between self-studying, work, and preparing for a move, I don’t expect to make any huge readings goal dents, but a little something is always better than nothing.
- to read a little bit of Japanese content every day, even if it’s a short article or a page long
- expand vocabulary
- start recognizing more kanji and words that I’ve studied out in the wild
- become more comfortable and less anxious about reading Japanese
- Days 01 - 07: completely spent on NHK Easy News, a Watanoc article, and then both Quartet Lesson 02 readings
- Day 08: Read the first chapter from Lingo Mastery’s Japanese Short Stories for Beginners~ I’ll continue with this, considering its only 20 chapters and it should be easy enough to read one chapter a night, but I think I want something more interesting! So I bought the first volume of Sailor Moon from Book Walker. I also read an NHK Easy News article about a new medication for Alzheimer’s that been fast-tracked for FDA approval.
- Day 09: Read my daily news article — one from NHK about a fishy (: A very easy 6 or 7 sentences! Afterward, I read the second chapter to the Lingo Mastery Book, which I also found fairly easy to whiz through (and also super short). Later in the day I started the first Sailor Moon volume! Only read through the end of Usagi’s and Luna’s first interaction, though. (Vocab sheet here.)
- Day 10: Had a rather busy day, so I didn’t even get around to reading an NHK news article until after 10 PM tonight. I chose the one about 進撃の巨人 since I used to be obsessed with both the show and manga! So at least I’ve read that before midnight struck, but I also plan to read the third chapter from the Lingo Mastery book + if there’s time, read through the next scene in Sailor Moon.
Yesterday was a bit crazy reading wise. I had the day off, what else was in supposed to do?
I finished 赤毛のアン chapter 19! Woo! The next few chapters are much shorter, so I might end up reading a chapter a night for a bit~
This is when the crazy happened and I started a few new things. I got the kindle unlimited deal of 3 month for 199 yen or so a week or so ago, so I figured I should make use of it and started a manga, ぼくらのへんたい, as well as a children’s book, 世界一周とんでもグルメ, that are free on the subscription. Sadly only the first volume of that manga is free. I like the premise, and the characters. The children’s book is a super smooth read, who’d have thought. I got through the first chapter, about a third of the whole thing, in what felt like no time (probably was an hour or so? I even made a few flashcards of some expressions and onomatopoeia). It’s not even that short at 3000 kindle locations, and pretty cute so far.
So manga and children’s books will probably be how I make use of the subscription.
For some reason I then thought it would be a grand idea to start another book, so I went ahead and read a bit of リゼロ 17. Yay.
I’m back at work now, so days like this will be rare.
I am pretty biased, as I love go and having such a popular manga about your favourite niche past time is a luxury! I’m half way through watching the anime and I really like it; nice characters, easy to watch, simple storylines which will hopefully make the manga easier to read!
The only problem (or advantage, depending how you look at it) from a learners perspective is that all kanji have furigana (though on the Kindle version they are pretty hard to make out).
Let me know if you try it!
Woo!! Finished chapter 2 of カラフル!
The book is getting really interesting. Also, I’m starting to pick up the pace a bit more too.
Probs because I changed my reading pattern
Because I don’t watch to stop the story to look up words, I’ve been circling the ones I don’t know and going back to look them up after I finish reading. It feels like I’m reading twice in one sitting, and I’m really enjoying this feeling of 1) reading followed by 2) review.
Interesting words from today's reading!
口下手 = A tongue-tied person
気がむく = To feel inclined (to do something)
にんまり(と笑う) = (laugh) with a smile of satisfaction
Well, from my experience in Japanese language school in Japan, the reading material was quite often sad or dark there too. Although confirmation bias is probably at hand, haha. I’ve read all Ask volumes except the second and third one for level 4, and I don’t think there is a volume without a sad story, but certainly volumes without any that you could call happy.
Edit: Also yeah, many are fairytales or folk tales and they have that similar dark tone that European ones have too. ^^
Btw, for those who might be wondering if level 4 is a necessary/useful level of graded readers (when it comes to Ask), level 4 can easily be skipped because it is similarly complex to native material, in fact a lot of it is straight native material. The only benefit is that you know you won’t find any especially hard grammar and that the vocabulary will be fairly standard (aka if you’ve picked up a good base of vocabulary, it will only be a word here or there that are unknown to you). However, only really pick it up if you’ve enjoyed earlier volumes for their content.
If anyone is interested in what I’ve thought of the Ask reader volumes including from level 1-3, check out the Graded Readers and Parallell texts (casual) book club. There is no central area to find my reviews, but searching for my username and Ask should probably bring them up. Also you can find how other people found those graded readers and a few others.
June 8th - からかい上手の高木さん chapter 3 page 11. Phewf this page was also a bit tough. It took all my morning commute and I still wasn’t finished, so I found time at work to take another ~20 minute break to finish it up. The evening was spent flat hunting and filling in an application, so no more time to read.
A thing I have been finding cool about this challenge (aside from reading everyone’s posts and getting even more ideas on things I want to read) is having a set focus for a couple of months. I’m pretty terrible when it comes to Japanese of being like “oh I should be focusing on listening, oh no maybe reading, oh no maybe speaking etc etc etc”. I feel like this challenge has given me a nice excuse to say “okay, for these two months my main focus will be reading (more specifically for me on trying to build up reading pace and stamina in Japanese).” If I’d been organised it would have been good for me to time myself reading something at the start and then maybe a chapter from the same series at the end to see what improvement there is…I guess I could maybe do that now and still have a fair few weeks comparison
It’s made me think about setting these kind of mid term goals/challenges might be a good approach to take going forward. Like whether after these two months I might want to set a new goal for the next month or two. Not sure what yet, perhaps trying to increase my comfort with using monolingual dictionaries (which I’ve been dabbling in a bit but aware that to switch over completely would mean reducing the amount and difficulty of the things I’m picking to read for a while which is difficult for me as I want to read all the things right now). Or something completely different! Has anyone else also been prompted by setting goals for this challenge to think about their approach to Japanese learning going forward?
If you do, feel free to put those in the 多読 thread! (Similar to this thread but it’s more about having a target in terms of books for the whole year rather than a focus on reading everyday; they are definitely complementary though!)
(Obviously that only works if you want to continue your focus on reading in general; if you want to focus on say listening instead, it’s not very helpful )
Today I started reading quite late. So far I’ve read:
- Today’s NHK Easy News.
Thanks! Yeah in the past I think I’ve always though I didn’t read enough to track things in that thread (probs just my standard imposter syndrome) but these two months might be a good taster to see if setting those sorts of year long goals makes sense! I have definitely popped into that thread a few times to marvel at how much people can read
Day 7 - June 7th
Finally I finished chapter 5 and started chapter 6, meaning now I’m caught up with the ABBC! Time to start reading another manga in the meantime (´。• ω •。`)
Day 8 - June 8th
Done with chapter 6! I’ll post few questions later but the last chapters were a breeze compared to the first one (ﾉ´ з `)ノ
Another pick from WK’s book clubs, this time is 日常 from BBC! When it started back in Aprile, I was able to read the first chapter, but soon after I stopped (＞ｍ＜) So today I’ve just read again chapter 1 and I plan to catch up as I did with からかい上手の高木さん!
June 4th: Continued 海の見える理髪店 and made some progress. Also started with the week’s assignment of 殺人出産.
June 5th: Finished the week’s assignment of 殺人出産. Started the week’s assignment of すべてがFになる.
June 6th: すべてがFになる. Almost done.
June 7th: Finished the week’s assignment of すべてがFになる. Did not have much time so that was it.
June 8th: Finished the first story of 海の見える理髪店 (which has the same name). Don’t know yet what to make of it. Looking forward to the other stories; I wonder whether they are similar or not. We’ll see soon