I started keeping a list of common new words I seem to be learning from JoJo. It’s kind of convenient because I’m learning the kanji for some of them now, so I suspect that they’ll be on WaniKani soon too.
I’m having a great time with this volume. Just so much Dio content I’ll be sad when I finish it though because 1) less Dio content in the future and 2) the current volume number won’t happen to be the same as my number of books read this year.
Current status: Working to finish as many manga volumes that I’m in the middle of, without starting the next volumes (unless it’s a book club). That way I can clear out some of the ones I’ve barely made any progress on.
I started and finished HUNTER×HUNTER Vol.4 in a day, but I also put in some significant effort, reading half in the morning, and half in the evening. In addition, I also read a chapter of Death Note Vol.4.
HUNTER×HUNTER reading continues to have a world difference from watching-listening anime (now at Ep.29 is about Vol.4). I unrestrictedly looked up vocabularies, including ones I somewhat knew. The purpose is to connect visual vocabularies to hearing them, as well as with structured phrases. I also want to “feel” vocabularies better.
I started and finished the current Tugumi chapter. I may continue reading tomorrow too, and go a little ahead of the club, because I’m definitely enjoying the book more without breaks. However, after that I’ll definitely need to switch to 十角館の殺人, because there’s no way I’m letting myself fall behind the mystery book club and be unable to click on spoilers. Speculation in mystery book clubs is the best.
On the grammar front, I read about several grammar points today. Out of those, あたかも and あっての were new to me. あたかも is apparently a more literary まるで, and could be translated as "just like/as if. XあってのY seems to mean that Y can only exist because/for X, where X refers to human beings of some sort. I’m still not entirely clear how it works, but I’m at least aware of it for when I come across it in the wild.
My goal for this summer challenge was to read 5 books. Considering the books I usually read (Honzuki, SAO, Kusuriya), I felt that was a lot for 8~9 weeks, but not impossible. I wanted to challenge myself, after all. Turns out shorter and “easier” books don’t require as much time!
New record: 夜が明けたら、いちばんに君に会いにいく 上 (1 day) - August 2022
What was different for me this challenge compared to past challenges?
I had way more time for reading because I went home for vacation. That was very chill. Could read through the entire day if I wanted to, and so I did. Which also means stamina has increased, I guess? It’s not an easy thing to measure (and I’ve probably mentioned increased stamina in every summary so far lmao). But I did a lot of nyooms
One thing that can be measured though is known vocab. Not that I have any reliable numbers tho (), I do however look up pretty much any word I’m unsure about which over time leads to fewer lookups. Especially within the same series (SAO, Honzuki, Kekkon). I didn’t read any (for me) crazy difficult stuff like Kusuriya, that would definitely take longer to finish. (Is that a challenge? Yes, yes it is I’ll finish more of you before you know it )
If I were to compare this and last summer, it’s a bit hard to say since the variation in mediums isn’t very comparable. Summer 2021: 4.45 books and 21 volumes of manga. While this summer I read 11.14 books and 1 manga. Hmm… More than double as many books? :D This is why tracking progress is fun. And I’ll have something to compare for next summer too (I swear, if I didn’t track, I’d forget everything I’ve accomplished and feel like a droopy plant)
Answer: Vocab. A lot of still unknown low-frequency words. I’d love to keep track using SRS sites, but I’m not very consistent at it yet. If only there was a quick and easy way to add known words without sorting through all of them (this is why I have no reliable number of how many words I know ). Some days I spend more time on SRS than reading, which kind of defeats the point in my opinion. Half an hour of reading and two hours on SRS? smh. At least for the stuff I read this summer, grammar was barely any issue at all.
Anyway, long summary xD Looking forward to the next challenge!
Yeah, this is pretty awkward; I just went through this with jpdb.io. I was able to feed it my existing anki deck as a starter, but other than that the best method I found was just to get it to sort the vocab deck for the book I was reading by frequency-across-whole-corpus and then go through clicking ‘never forget’ as fast as possible for a big initial lump of words I already know. (Its UI is not as smooth as it could be for this process, sadly.) I also did the same for a “top 3000 words in the corpus” deck which you can get it to create.
First off, the elephant-sized gap in the middle was when I purposely put my Japanese studying on hold for family shenanigans.
The good: Apart from that big ol’ gap, only missed 3 days. This challenge got me to at least pick up the book even if I was busy or didn’t feel like it. So success!
The not so good: Mid/late September I fell into a bad habit where right as I was about to go to bed I’d remember I hadn’t done any reading, say “okay just one page so I don’t break the streak” and then of course stay up too late and have trouble reading because I was so tired. Gotta work on fixing that for next month.
The books: vol 1 of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, started on vol 2. That’s about it but that’s fine. My goal was consistency not speed, some days I only read 1 page.
Plan for September:
Keep NOT counting pages, low pressure is good.
Set a mid-afternoon reminder (or maybe read during lunch).
vol 2 ch 1+2 (which will hopefully it’ll go faster if I’m reading during the day and not while half asleep) & Hunter x Hunter book club
Thanks to @windupbird for organizing this and to everyone else for the company and the accountability!
Didn’t update in a little while. Truth be told, I haven’t been reading a lot this week. I have an important wedding coming up and needed to allocate time for tedious appointments in preparation. I wasn’t too busy or anything but I tend to get tired easily with things I give little value to (shopping tends to be terribly tedious for me). So anyways, all my free time has gone to gaming lately, and mostly not in Japanese.
Official end of the challenge though, well done everyone . The weekly schedule ended up working much better for me than the two-month one. If only just for removing a little pressure it has been worth it, I liked starting a new week each Monday. I also preferred not having a calendar to check daily, and I got rid of the links to each day because I realised they serve no purpose to me. This has made me wonder if I want to log days at all, and on that note if I want to have a home post. I think I do like the home post, and it’s good to come back to the progress and see how much you’ve improved, so I think I’ll probably keep it but instead of tracking days, I might just log what I’ve been reading there. It’s still a fresh idea and I don’t know what I’ll end up doing but I might experiment.
My idea behind not tracking days is that, well, occasionally I plainly just don’t really want to study Japanese, or I have a day that I’m too tired, or I really need one or two days of rest to avoid burnout. While the daily commitment has made me study almost everyday, some of those days I only did something to check the box when I could have just rested and come again the next day. I think I’m starting to realise that I don’t want to force myself to do this everyday. Luckily I don’t have many days when I feel like not studying at all, so I think it would be manageable. This is especially relevant when I want to be doing this throughout the year, challenge after challenge. There is no way I can do that without taking breaks or taking care of responsibilities, and I don’t want to feel bad when I inevitably miss some days. So essentially, I think this is possibly the point where I say goodbye to the reading everyday challenge, and welcome the reading almost everyday challenge, which means that I’ll be using the thread just exactly the same but not update any calendar . Same thing, different approach, and hopefully no guilt whatsoever.
You’ll see me posting very frequently anyways, that won’t change . Just hoping that being more rested and less forced to do it daily can make my study days more productive and balance it out, and overall turn it into an even more positive experience. As I said, an experiment.
I was able to go the the flagship HPB today to use my bday coupon, and they had several of the 今日から㋮王！ novels (which I learned today is known as the まるマシリーズ), though it’s all random volumes so I wouldn’t be able to read them anyway. Maybe the 外伝 and 番外編 after I’ve watched some more of the anime and have more than a vague idea of who the characters are again.
I finished HQ vol 15 and read the first chapter of vol 16. I knew Karasuno faced off against Seijou in the semis, but I still wanted Datekou to win…
For some reason, even though I don’t like Oikawa very much, I do like him in Kidzu Natsuki’s iwaoi DJs (and I tend to like him in ushioi fics). Also I’m pretty sure Oikawa’s the reason I don’t like Seijou as much as I feel like I should.
Some vocab of note:
手玉に取る (てだまにとる) [expression, ラ五] to lead someone around by the nose
ぶっちゃけ [colloquialism, adv.] frankly; honestly speaking; to tell the truth; to put it bluntly. It comes from the verb ぶっちゃける “to speak one’s mind and hold nothing back.”
頭がきれる (あたまがきれる) [expression, 一] to be sharp; to be keen; to be on the ball; to have a mind like a steel trap; to be clever
諸刃の剣 (もろはのつるぎ) [expression, noun] double-edged sword
百も承知 (ひゃくもしょうち) [expression] knowing only too well; being fully aware of
苦肉の策 (くにくのさく) [expression, noun] last resort; desperate measure taken under the pressure of necessity. 苦肉 itself means “hurting oneself (to trick an adversary).”
意地でも (いじでも) [expression, adv.] at any cost; at any price; at any expense
殻を破る (からをやぶる) [expression, ラ五] to break up and start anew; to break out of one’s shell; to make a fresh start; to go outside oneself
I got the JoJo All Star Battle game yesterday and the audio (mostly 1 liners) is all in Japanese. I’ve gone and changed my settings to Japanese too, which is pretty fun. It’s nice that I can read most of the sub menus (the top menus are in English I guess?). There’s also a ジョジョ辞典, which has some entries that I copied into my list of common words, stuff like 刑務所 and 幽波紋, although I should unlock more later.
As for my reading, I’m really into the climax and it’s intense. The fighting is awesome and incredible and also either very few words or almost text walls. It’s nice to see the characters’ thoughts in those moments, it comes across much better in the manga than anime I think, but it’s still cumbersome to read.
Today I read chapter 8 of Orange. A lot of stuff happened in this chapter so I’m really looking forward to starting Volume 3 now!
I’m not sure if I can quite consider volume 2 finished yet though, since it has an extra unrelated story at the end of the volume - I’m planning to read that tomorrow
Chapter one was great reading, it felt pretty modern and was an amusing, fun read. Chapter two - other than the hilarious zouni incident - felt a bit lacking, it’s been pretty much all dialogue about… not really that interesting of things. Think this may be a case of the topics being so rooted in the time period that they were written - so, so much of it just goes over my head.
Sōseki had only intended to write the first chapter as a stand alone at first, and it does show really, at least with chapter two. But chapter three is back to Wagahai-cat pondering if he is actually more than a cat and on par, or above, his humans. So hopefully chapter three will be a return to amusing cat shenanigans (that starting sentence though )
Japanese found within the acorns
火消壺「ひけしつぼ」ー Charcoal extinguisher 戒名「かいみょう」ー Posthumous name (Buddhism); Dharma name 果報者「かほうもの」ー Lucky person 肖像「しょうぞう」ー Portrait; likeness; picture 吉備団子「きびだんご」ー Dumpling made with mochi/millet flour (from Okayama)
It seems pretty clear to me that it takes Soseki a while to figure out what he wants to do with the setting, but (having got about halfway through the book) I think he kind of settles in to mostly poking fun at humans with the occasional more cat-focused scene.
Personally I like the conversational parts too, because I find the period and setting interesting. Japan had opened up to the West only a few decades earlier, and rushed into a headlong desperate effort to ‘modernize’ and ‘catch up’, including on the intellectual side, with the establishment of universities. And universities means university graduates, who can then sit around trying to impress each other with writing haiku, doing amateur dramatics, making offhand references to the last king of Rome and so on. (Some of it feels like a turned-up-to-11 version of the kind of idle conversation I might have had with university friends.) There’s also a bit of arts-vs-sciences subthread – as a Japanese university graduate in physics you could do genuinely internationally recognized work; as a graduate in English lit you could … become a lazy overeducated English teacher? (Sanshiro is a bit more explicit about that idea.)
I do strongly suspect that the humour suffers from working through it at second-language-learner pace. At least for me I have to work at getting through ten pages of this, so what for the original audience was a light-hearted bit of back-and-forth banter becomes a hard graft split over several days’ reading.
Finished chapter 7 of Tugumi, and I’m now one week ahead of the club. I enjoyed most of it - Yoshimoto’s writing is almost like poetry, in that it conjures up images from my own memory, and feelings I remember having felt, even as she’s describing very specific events in a very specific person’s life that should have nothing to do with me. What I didn’t enjoy was a rather large chunk of dialogue that had me almost completely lost. I always found Tugumi’s way of speaking hard to understand, and this time she talked a lot about rather abstract things, and I feel like I understood next to nothing. Why is dialogue still so hard for me?
On the grammar front, I read everything about all the various grammar patterns starting with あと, あまり and あらためる. Nothing especially new there, but some of the example sentences were quite hard.