📚📚 Read every day challenge - Summer 2021 🏖🏖

I know :rofl: Just recently I had this itching feeling that I would like to go back to Aomame for a bit…

And it’s not that I’m planning to neglect it altogether, but there is soooo much stuff to read! :grin: I just wanted to take a little break and interleave it with something else, and now everything spiralled out of control :roll_eyes:

The answer is obviously to learn to read faster, to be able to read more!

11 Likes

Yeah I think particularly with stuff in Japanese I’ll be like “well, I’m not really enjoying the plot but I should read it to get the reading practice.” or “oh but it’s a better fit for my reading level than other options so I should stick with it to the end and then I can read X thing that I actually want to read”…which to be honest are both valid reasons but there’s so many options out there that why slog through something you don’t enjoy? It does really help if you’re genuinely having fun :slight_smile:

This is interesting! I feel like someone else (@rikaiwisdom perhaps?) was also saying they weren’t really getting into this one, though I might be wrong) I’ve been recommended the English translation of this book a couple of times by people that I trust the opinion of, which had made me assume that it would be even better in Japanese. But maybe it’s just a really good translation! Was it mainly the writing style that you weren’t enjoying?

10 Likes

I mean, the overall story is really good in my opinion, so if people recommended it, that might maybe be more based on the story itself and not so much on the language?

That’s of course also an option. I haven’t seen the English translation so I cannot really comment on that.

The book was adapted from a stage play and it keeps a lot of the style of a stage play, which was not that uninteresting actually. So for example, person A was talked about for a while, and then the focus shifted to person B, and in between we kept getting little glimpses of person A again (who was still in the same room i.e. on stage), like “Person A is still doing this and that”. It really felt like stage directions or something.
Oh, now that I think about it, one big thing was that we did not get any inside views from anybody (as far as I remember), it was mainly descriptions of actions and situations. So really like on a stage where we are not able to read the actors’ minds, we can only see their actions. I think there is so much depth missing without that.

On top of that, the Japanese that was used was not that rich and expressive either… The first time I got annoyed by that was when the author introduced a new expression (姿を消す - to disappear (into another room)) which I found quite interesting, but the author literally used it five times over the course of three pages! (And small pages, with not too much text on them.) Also, he used quite long-winding descriptions of the characters and repeated them over and over again, e.g. something like “the man who sat in the corner reading a magazine”. Even later, when we got to know his name, he was referred to as “the man called Tom who sat in the corner reading a magazine”.

I know that other authors also have a habit of using long-ish descriptions of their characters (MORI Hiroshi :wave:), and they also tend to repeat words and expressions sometimes, but the frequency just killed me.

So to be fair the writing was not “really, really bad” writing but maybe a bit boring and repetitive?

11 Likes

Just a play play. A stage play.

Though it was also a screenplay at some point along the way. :slightly_smiling_face:

5 Likes

Oh thanks for pointing this out! I actually knew this but clearly picked the wrong English word :woman_facepalming:

EDIT: Fixed :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

Must have been a different person :slight_smile: I’m actually enjoying it, though I don’t love it, and I’ve been already slacking for two weeks. It’s the second time it happens with book clubs, perhaps I find the almost-daily commitment too suffocating, and if I don’t have a great interest in what I’m reading it feels like a bit of a chore. I think I will keep reading it though, but it will have to be behind schedule, at least for now. I just enjoy Satori Reader much more overall these days. I have yet to find a novel that makes me go “wow I really want to read this”, I generally get that feeling only with video games, but most of them are still rather hard to comprehend to enjoy at a comfortable pace. I’ve talked before about how much I love Final Fantasy XIV; unfortunately that one is really hard ;-; I keep swapping back and forth to grab glimpses here and there but I tire easily.

Truth be told, I haven’t really dug into Japanese novels and the like, so that’s definitely a limiting factor.

11 Likes

Oh interesting - yeah, I can see why this would feel like quite an ‘un-novel’ like experience as that’s usually a big plus for the form in that you often do get those inside glimpses or clear viewpoints. Also makes sense that the story being known to you would make it less exciting if it’s written that way as you’re not really getting any “more” (as in a closer look at characters thoughts and motivations) from the novel version than watching it.

Haha - I remembered that you’d mentioned it but not much more than that! I can have similar issues with some bookclubs - I do really love readalongs (the ハイキュー one in particular is real fun) and like that they generally push me to go a bit more in depth with my understanding when reading - but keeping to the set pace can be hard.

Are there any games that you would recommend that you’ve found more manageable? I would love to start playing more games in Japanese but, as you say, many of them are very challenging and harder to do lookups etc which means I keep putting it off.

11 Likes

Main Post

Finished reading Polar Bear Cafe volume 2 today, so it’s a good time to look back on it. Definitely gotten more used to reading this manga and it has become an even more enjoyable read. There’s also more variety and new characters appearing that make it more fun. Especially liked the panda mom and childhood grizzly chapters. The pun usage is also less frequent, but when they have them they do keep going a while longer.

Luckily was able to get a copy of volume 3, so I can keep on reading. Also got the today’s special volumes the other day to get up to date with the series.

14 Likes

I’ve read 12 pages of Forbidden Scrollery(2). Also it was the first time I almost didn’t rely on a dictionary for so many pages, though it was mostly due to necessity: I was reading from phone while taking a bath and switching to a different app looked like a hassle. I looked only 梯子はしご and even that in google images as from context no children were involved.

My favorite phrase was “信じるも信じないも構わない” as similar structure with Xても/Xなくても was in Bunpro N3 and 構う I met on WK recently, rare bubble that covers both recent bunpro and WK at the same time and nothing more.

12 Likes

Actually it is a very recent thing for me too, so I don’t have recommendations, sorry! But other than FFXIV, I really want to play NieR: Automata, I’ve been holding off on buying it because I want to see if any juicy sales come :joy: . I was playing Final Fantasy III out of nostalgia, and I didn’t find it hard at all, it was quite manageable. I haven’t touched it for a couple of weeks but I will resume it eventually.

Perhaps anything Nintendo could be more manageable, as they tend to target a more younger audience. If you happen to have a Switch, many games can be changed to Japanese just changing the console language, and that’s great. I should probably dig around a bit to see if I find anything cool and manageable. So far I know Animal Crossing is great, I played it in Japanese for a while, and also Zelda Breath of the Wild could be great too, although I can probably already see the archaic language… But vocabulary wise, perhaps it’s accessible!

I tend to check if there’s JP language checked in the games I buy from Steam, and it’s a plus if they do because I can replay them in JP some time after. I tried Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, and I didn’t find it too difficult, so if you like stealth games that’s an interesting one.

But other than that, I’m still pretty much a baby when it comes to doing things fully in Japanese ^^’.

12 Likes

I just finished 魔女の宅急便その6! I also broke my perfect streak (fell asleep right after work on Thursday), but that’s okay.

This volume was probably my favorite in the series as it was quite different by taking three different viewpoints. Very satisfying ending, too. The first book was the very first full-length novel I’d ever read in Japanese (in late 2017), so for me, too, it feels like the end of a small journey.

Next up? The latest Akutagawa prize winner, 貝に続く場所にて (one of them, anyway). Already bought and prepared the digital edition and will read it within the next 10 days or so.

16 Likes

Summary post
July 18 Suddenly got busy, didn’t have much time to read

・Read 冷たい密室と博士たち, ch. 6, part 1 (37% → 38%)

15 Likes

+1, TL;DR Nintendo seem great.
@sycamore

[Apologies if I’m preaching to the choir.]

There is an amazing Youtube channel called Japanese Quest where an American Japanese teacher plays video games to help people learn Japanese. His series on Super Mario Odyssey convinced me to try playing it myself and it has been great so far (I’ve previously played the game in English, which helps but I don’t think is necessary).

Reasons I think Super Mario Odyssey is a great game for Japanese learners:

  • furigana
  • a lot of the text is around basic actions - jumping, running, throwing, looking, etc.
  • the game uses lots of visual queues, including
    • highlighting key parts of a sentence to indicate objectives or place names
    • inserting pictures of character’s faces into the text to make pronouns and names easier to understand
    • explanations of techniques or actions are usually accompanied by visuals including videos which repeat on loop until dismissed
  • most text in the game only progresses after you press the A button, giving you ample time to look words up if you choose to
  • if you already own an English copy on the Switch it already includes the Japanese version, you can change your system language to Japanese and the game will switch (oh god, pun unintended).
  • explanations are repeatable, so you can’t miss key instructions
  • the dialogue in the game is often optional, you could probably get through reading very little

Japanese quest also has a series on The legend of Zelda breath of the wild if you wanted to see the language complexity.

Another great channel for this kind of content is Game Gengo, they have a new vocabulary series where each episode they play a different video game in Japanese and explain parts of it. So far they’ve covered Persona 5, FF8, Animal Crossing New Horizons, and Fire Emblem 3 houses.

9 Likes

Main post

Day 48 :ballot_box_with_check:
Satori Reader: Secret, Episode 2.


Second episode and it already introduced a nice cliffhanger. I see tomorrow’s episode being spicy, looking forward to it.

@chrisosaurus Thanks for the recommendations! I knew about Japanese Quest and Game Gengo, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat and watched more than a couple minutes. I might give it a go sometime :wink: It might be worthwile to actually mine vocabulary from the videos and put it on some SRS, it’s not actually a bad idea and seems entertaining. Some games I’d like to play myself, like FF8, but others I don’t mind watching.

11 Likes

Apologies if you already knew, but both channels have their words captured in spread sheets for easy SRS population.

Japanese Quest’s spreadsheet. Super Mario Odyssey words start from row 376 (before that it was Xenoblade Chronicles 2).

Game Gengo’s vocabulary series spreadsheet. Game Gengo also link to anki decks if you wanted to use theirs, I tend to make my own, but theirs do look really good and often includes audio/visual components.

10 Likes

Summary post

Day 48: July 18th
What did I read?: ふらいんぐうぃっち Vol. 10 and しまなみ誰そ彼 Vol. 1
How much did I read?: 29 pages (1 chapter) and 32 pages (1 chapter)
How long did it take me?: 47 min and 1 hour 10 min

Both of these had some kind of difficult parts in them today :sweat_smile: So much vocab in しまなみ誰そ彼…I really enjoyed this chapter, though, and the ending of it featured some really stunning art. Now time to go to bed, since I already stayed up later than I meant to reading しまなみ誰そ彼 :stuck_out_tongue:

15 Likes

Wiki post

July 18 Update

Today’s reading was just a small amount, about half of the next ホリミヤ chapter, and it only took about 15 minutes to get through. I’ve spent all day running around trying to get ready to leave again tomorrow so it hasn’t left much time for reading.

I go back on vacation tomorrow for another week. This time, however, I’ve managed to pack lighter, so I can bring along a couple of Japanese books. Maybe I’ll even find the time to read them.

14 Likes

Home post

July 18th からかい上手の高木さん chapter 7 pages 6, 7, and 8. I wanted to do more but I was way too tired, so I wrote out 2 more pages but didn’t do much breakdown of them yet so they’ll be my task ‘tomorrow’.

15 Likes

1Q84 Book 2: 29 Pages, 1hr 30 mins. Very close to the end, will probably finish it tomorrow.
Took me about 35 days to finish the first novel so my speed shot up considerably. Probably coulda finished it earlier if I read on the weekends but meh.

13 Likes

I’ve tried to avoid any spoilers until I finally have the time to sit down and properly play it myself. Tried playing it this spring with the Japanese audio and English subtitles for listening practice and I regret everything - it’s just so ridiculously high-paced that there was in fact no time to read the subtitles. :upside_down_face:


Main

I had originally planned to extend the challenge to August but with daily Japanese studying and reading I kind of feel like I’m not giving myself a chance to actually relax and rest this summer. Plus I only have light novels/books left on my challenge list and those tire me out so much more faster than manga. So decided to just try and finish the 2 things I have on my list and take August easier.

July 13-14
First up was ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂 - read 19 pages.

July 15
Seeing the end of the challenge approaching I decided to take another look 夏目友人帳 and ended up reading 3 pages. I no longer look up everything and just try to understand as much as I can from context to speed up the reading.

July 16-18
Read the remaining 39 pages and finished ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂 1 . :confetti_ball: :tada:

I liked the ending of the ice cream story the most since it was so unexpcted. :ghost: Have you started on the second volume yet? @Aislin did mention the stories getting repetitive and I can totally see how, so I’m not 100% sold on buying the second volume yet.

12 Likes