I read the free sample of 夜警！I found it very readable, which was nice, no real issues except from the fact that I just randomly decided in my head that the protagonist was a woman (I think cos there is a woman on the cover…who I now realise is another character) and got excited for a moment that there was a queer relationship but no, protag is a dude lol. Gender of characters is still something I have some trouble figuring out in Japanese at times cos I don’t know that many names…luckily this writer loves to use the わ sentence ender for everything that any woman says so it’s pretty clear haha. Anyway, I liked it well enough so far so will most likely read it soonish. Although I discovered that the same author also has a long running slightly more comedic series about a detective that is scared of blood that solves crimes with the help of a cat (三毛猫ホームズ) which I am very intruiged by.
I also read a bit of 少年探偵団. I’m not sure if it was more difficult or if I was just more tired haha. Anyway, it also seemed promising. Too many things I want to read!
Today: spent most of my time setting up screen capture on my switch with Game2Text. I got it working…mostly…with ときめきGS4, but I played that game so obsessively (and used up enough time setting it up) that I only added one card to my Anki haha. Still, opens up the option to mine vocab/use yomichan on switch only games which is cool! Will read some more 鏡の孤城 before bed as I remembered how much I was enjoying that too. Books are great
I spent a few minutes staring at the first page of Chapter 2 of デスノート, and feeling like my brain was made of mashed potato. Then I flicked through the next few pages and saw how much text there was, and how much of it was unfamiliar vocab and felt rather dispirited and useless.
Then I put it down, and read a chapter of よつばと！ instead and actually enjoyed that.
A year or so ago, よつばと！ was too hard for me to read, and I was really sad about it. But now reading it is really fun so I’m glad I didn’t force myself to keep trying to read it while it was too difficult and frustrating.
Which made me decide that its probably best to drop out of the デスノート Bookclub, and come back to it when I’ll be able to actually enjoy it!
くすむ - to be dark; to be dull; to be unassuming; to be inconspicuous; to not stand out
取り合わせ (とりあわせ) - an assortment; combination
褐色 (かっしょく) - dark brown; colour of tanned skin
鶯茶 (うぐいすちゃ) - greenish brown
じっくり - deliberately; carefully; thoroughly; without rushing
Time spent: 10 min
Today’s reading was about 針供養 (はりくよう) - a memorial service for old needles. RIP, broken and rusty needles Today, people can bring their old needles (stabbed into tofu or konjac) and offer them at a shrine while praying for better sewing skills.
What else did I read?
Amount read: 4 pages
Time spent: 28 min
This book is making me feel like a kid again I love sea animals you guys
Today, we delved into why one of our orca narrator friends is white. There are actually 2 ways that you can get white orcas - you can get leucistic orcas, with less pigment but still some coloration (so you can see the normal pattern etc. on the skin), or albino orcas with zero pigment and red eyes (our narrator friend is leucistic).
Today I read some more 風つよ and played some more 999; I’m still enjoying them both a lot! Both definitely had some weird moments with like really specific vocab, but that’s okay because I could tell they were just moments
More puzzle adventures! The “escape” parts of the game are a lot of fun, though the dialogue gets a bit weird sometimes and there’s no voice acting in those sections, so that’s a little extra challenge. The puzzles are so fun though
Some of the infamous science talk happened lmao; 八代 started talking about like morphogenesis and サンタ was immediately like “just hearing that made my head hurt” so very relatable He really brought the dumbass energy today, I checked out a shower head and his response:
Sweetheart no But man I can’t escape the mushrooms huh, they followed me.
I also encountered ふにゃりんぱ, all the cool kids know what I’m talking about I have absolutely no idea, there was really a whole option to just make up a word and mess with 八代 for a while huh, this game’s wild
All in all another good day! 999 weirdly feels less exhausting most of the time (except when people start talking about science and ふにゃりんぱ and such), which is the opposite of what I would’ve expected. It’s been really great!
野望 - ambition
薙ぐ - to mow down, to knock someone off their feet
恫喝 - intimidation, bluster
強権発動 - invoking the coercive power of the state (this was in 風つよ… yeah)
鼻先で笑う - to laugh scornfully, to sneer (at)
清々しい - refreshing (refreshing-kun??? the man himself)
持ちつ持たれつ - give and take (bonus grammar point!! つ～つ being contrasting actions)
グラつく - to be unsteady, to waver
トンデモ - unthinkable, outrageous
並べ立てる - to talk a lot of nonsense
強いて - if I had to (say), by force
Thank you for such a thorough explanation! Well, by N3-N2 I mostly meant intermediate/upper intermediate level kanji and grammar. As I remember they also have plenty of dialects e.t.c., so I had a feeling these games will be tough to comfortably play.
I am far from lvl60, but your explanation gave me more info on how to tackle them. At least I need to know plenty of kanji reading without furigana. Good luck with Kiwami 2, it is a pretty intense one, Ryuji is a remarkable fella.
P.S. I’d like to recommend you Yakuza 0 and 4 (if you haven’t played them).
Almost finished the Doraemon manga I’m reading. Had a couple of japanese magazines arrive at the weekend - &Premium and Casa Brutus. Both have lots of pages that are just short paragraphs - for example, ten different people talking about their favourite snacks - and I’m trying to read these without looking up any words. Not least because I just transferred my latest batch of look-ups from my dictionary app to my flashcards and there were over 1000 new words in there…
I also wiped my progress in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon that I started playing in Japanese in early 2020 (my present to myself for passing N5). I had expired in the game fairly early on and couldn’t figure out how to revive myself so abandoned it for 2 years, and I thought it was best to start again from the beginning! Going through the intro yesterday I remembered how long it had taken me to read each screen 2 years ago and it was just no trouble now - so many of the grammar points were ones I’d just covered recently as well. A friend is going to Japan shortly (Japanese national) and has asked me for a shopping list so I’m going to ask her to pick me up a bunch of Switch games that I can’t get here, but this should keep me busy in the meantime. Until I expire again just because I’m rubbish at fighting games, rather than because I don’t understand the japanese.
Today had some false starts finding an article to read. I didn’t sleep well so am feeling groggy and book reviews were a bit much to get through. So, good ol’ Meaning Book to the rescue: 「貧乏飯」とは？意味や貧乏飯ブログとはどんなブログ？ | Meaning-Book
The tl;dr is that 貧乏飯 is cheap but filling food, often shown on cooking blogs.
About a おばあさん who loses her sight, the story takes a pretty dark turn but at least it has a happy ending.
☆ Learnings ☆
納屋「なや」ー Shed; Barn; Outhouse 途端「とたん」ー Just now; in the act of; as soon as 何て事「なんてこと」ー My Goodness! Holy fudge! (I think I’ve heard this before [Yakuza I’m looking at you], just never seen it) 冥福「めいふく」ー Happiness in the next world; the spirit finding peace after death. Can be used (as in the story) like: 冥福を祈る [めいふくをいのる」ー to mean “to pray for the departed / to pray for someone’s soul to reach happiness/nirvana” 札所「ふだしょ」ー Temple which gives out amulets 西国三十三所「さいごくさんじゅうさんしょ」ー Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage: a pilgrimage of 33 Buddhist temples in the Kansai region, all dedicated to the goddess Kannon.
I swear this book is work for me. I find the language much more poetic rather than purely descriptive and I’m definitely not used to it. It might have been the reason I didn’t look forward to reading it the last previous days, and I kept postponing it today too. I don’t like that I’m starting to put it off unconsciously…
Otherwise the book is pretty nice, the vocabulary seems beautiful. Perhaps it’s also the sentence structure that I have trouble with, but it’s definitely because of the amount of hiragana words I don’t even know in kanji, and it’s so uncomfortable encountering them first in hiragana, all together with particles and so on. It’s like I sometimes don’t know where the unknown word starts and where it ends, or if it’s two unknown words together, or a word + a grammar point. So in the end I lose a lot of time just trying to know what’s going on like… structurally, before even trying to comprehend it semantically. So many constant lookups.
I hope this is not too pessimist a take for anyone deciding whether to read it or not. The book is nice, and it’s only my second book in Japanese, so it was natural and expected I was going to encounter a lot of struggle. I guess I’m just venting my feeling of shock after discovering that this book isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, just because it has pictures and it seems like a children’s book. It’s not super hard either, which makes it worse because sometimes it makes me think why am I even struggling in the first place, it’s a bit of an invalidating feeling.
I hope the work I’m putting into this pays off in the end.
Damn you, hiragana words.
Prison School Vol.1
Today I read 70 pages lol this manga is super weird and the guy with the glasses is bat shit crazy.
I spend lots of time singing karaoke today. It’s really incredible but you need to be super fast at reading to sing along. Yeah I don’t cheat and use romaji. Karaoke seems to be awesome to improve your japanese.
this is the reason that somehow even though it’s meant to be the easiest of the things I am reading I find Kikis (魔女の宅急便) the hardest . Kanji really does help out so much, especially with unknown vocab! But we will get there in the end, think it really is just an issue of slowly accumulating vocab
It does help so much indeed . What I’m doing is even though I’m encountering the words in hiragana, I’m adding them to the SRS in kanji, because most of them are normally in kanji, so might as well learn them that way.
You’re right. I hope that once we know the vocabulary, it doesn’t really matter how you encounter it anymore. But wow does getting there feel so bad .
I can’t believe you didn’t know about the ふにゃりんぱ, that’s totally unforgiveable
Oh I know all of those feelings super well, trying to balance what I say on my less good days without sounding too much like a downer. All that’s totally valid – after playing (some of) a few games aimed at semi-young audiences on the side like Paper Mario, I’ve learned it’s actually pretty crazy just how much reading competence is expect of kids at times. I’m sure it’ll eventually pay off but I’ve been sure been there and it feels awful sometimes.
Yeah, happy birthday!!! Hope it’s great. Sounds like you’ve been having some fun. I’ve been meaning to try out karaoke sometime myself, mind if I ask how you’re doing it?
Today felt really good! Nothing was really too hard. In roughly an hour I came out to ~2200 characters and ~200 lines read so that seems to be a decent basis for estimating my speed at reading Summer Pockets. Hopefully in a month or two I can look back and see gains there
The newest addition to the cast showed me the symbol of the… what I want to be the bearded cat gang, but I guess it can mean whiskers and stuff too. Either way, it’s awesome. I’m spoiled for choice with these characters.
As I keep working through Zoo 1, I just want to share a sentence from last night. It’s… probably one of the longest I’ve come across, so I was super happy to be able to read a Japanese sentence that just goes on and on like this.
Pretty sure there are no typos there haha. I had to look a little bit up but, like, wow, I can read that.
Oh yeah, cool new expression: 骨を掴む (こつをつかむ) - “to get the hang of / learn the secret of.” I had no idea こつ could mean skill, knack, secret, etc. I much prefer my immediate reaction of “This is… to catch bones??”