All in all, another pretty productive month! I didn’t get as much reading done in Spanish as I would have liked, but I did read at least something!
With Japanese, I’m behind on the 大海原と大海原 book club, haha . But I read a fair amount of wrestling recaps and post-match comments! I switched to translating Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, since DDT got an official translator! Here is my post about the things I was reading, as well as a match recommendation.
All in all, it was fun participating in the challenge, and I think it did give me a little extra incentive to actually read something every day! Weirdly, it helped more with Spanish than with Japanese. I really wanted to be able to post the better check mark instead of just the normal one, so there were a few days where I really pushed myself to get a little more done that day.
I’m tentatively planning on also participating in the spring challenge, though I’ll probably continue hanging around this thread in the meantime. It’s really fun to see what everyone else is up to, and I’ve gotten some great reading recommendations out of this thread! Apologies if you get a notification from me making note of things that I want to read in my study log .
I didn’t really feel up to reading reading but I watched an episode of an anime with Japanese subtitles so close enough I checked out the first episode of 魔入りました！入間くん which I’ve been meaning to for a while, and if it wasn’t just the most delightful time! Definitely an instant mood-booster, I really enjoyed it even though it has some weird fantasy demon-world kinda vocabulary. It’s just… so absurd a wonderful time really.
Anyway I’m almost through a busy week, so hopefully afterward I’ll have more time to dedicate to some good reading!
So…I kind of fell off the wagon with regards to posting for…I’d say…all of February? HOWEVER! I did keep up with reading every day. There were certainly dark times (praise be for past me who followed Japanese Twitter accounts to read through quickly). At the same time, there were highlights. I really impressed myself during those several weeks of pushing my reading to catch up with the Intermediate Book Club. Having said that, I am still behind by a few weeks…
Still, not bad for someone who came in a little late! I’m honestly surprised that I read each day since entering the challenge on the 5th of January. I only remember waking up in a panic once thinking I hadn’t read anything the previous day (and then spent several hours in the morning periodically thinking if that was really true (Turns out it wasn’t. (Why so many parentheses? Gotta chill on using so many…))).
Needless to say, I’ll still continue to read every day, at least until I finally catch up with the club. I want to thank those that continue to put this challenge together each season; this community has truly been a gift. I also want to thank everyone who shared their progress. Despite my own lack of posts, I read through nearly every single one since I joined. What journeys everyone went on! Seeing so many of you grow in your abilities has only lit a fire under my own butt.
If people are gonna keep posting here until the spring, you can bet I’ll keep reading all of them. For those taking a break, enjoy the rest! You earned it. For those continuing through March, keep up the amazing work! Even on difficult days, you’re doing great.
I read my first ever novel in Japanese so for that alone I’m quite satisfied. 君の名は was a cool book, and even though I preferred the movie because I think the visual aspect is just too great, there were things that I really liked in the form of text. It was enjoyable, and I could stay committed everyday for the whole book, so I think that tells a lot.
星の王子さま is kind of another story. As I mentioned several times already, I underestimated this book and the amount of hiragana words broke my motivation sometimes, because it took too long to parse everything. I thought it was going to be easier but it was a bit of a challenge, which is all good but… I think I wasn’t looking forward to reading it too much, and I might just drop it at this point. I’m not sure, it’s undecided. I wasn’t enjoying the process a whole lot. I might keep going, or I might come back to it at some point.
Happy that many new people joined, and that the thread got a lot more attention than the previous ones, which were already very active. And also glad that many of you will stay and/or come back in the next one .
Also happy that my perception has changed from full-completion perfectionism to a read-more-than-usual mindset. Though I won’t lie, there’s still a small corner of my brain that is disappointed I missed 5 days, but it’s getting smaller and smaller each challenge. As I said the other day, I’m starting to see this more as a study log with friends than anything else, and I love it. As many of you, I really like the social aspect of this, and just coming back to see what you all have read or said is enough to make me do the same. It’s the magic of the daily updates, it keeps so many people going it’s so silly. It’s like, everyone is doing their best, I have to do my part, contribute a tiny bit, even though ultimately this is all for ourselves alone.
I’m not sure what I want to do for the next one. I don’t have any physical book apart from 君の名は and 星の王子さま and I’m not sure if I’ll get another one. I’ll look around to see if there’s anything close to 君の名は in level, perhaps a tiny bit harder, that I’d like to read. But as always, something that is so easy for me to keep going is video games, so will most likely do that next again.
I should probably have multiple resources going, so that if I don’t feel like doing something I don’t need to feel bad and do it when I can simply do something else. Reading NHK news when I didn’t feel like reading 星の王子さま was alright, buuuuuut… news aren’t particularly fun, to be honest. When I think of fun, I don’t think of reading a newspaper . It was mostly a way to avoid the discomfort of reading the book, more than genuine interest. So next step, find a few resources I like (again) and rotate them.
Thank you all for the encouragement, participation and fun! These threads as always are a pleasure to be involved in, and they’ve made me read much more than I would do on my own. I completely share @Redglare 's sentiment, quoting:
I’m also really bad at doing things for myself, because if I’m not required to do something, I default to “I’ll do it later” perpetually. I feel like the challenge is a “silly”, artificial type of commitment that my brain surprisingly accepts, and puts the focus on something coming from the outside, instead of something coming from me. It might not be super healthy or sustainable long term, possibly, I don’t know, but as someone who struggles with mental health and anxiety at the moment, I think whatever works is welcome. Whatever drives me and gets me doing things is welcome, even if I’d love to eventually have the drive coming from myself as opposed to an external source. But you have to work with what you can at the moment . And this is what works well for me right now, so hoping to participate in these challenges as they come!
Honestly I keep having all sorts of doubts recently – perhaps disrupting my usual patterns wasn’t the way to go. I’m sticking it out a little more, but I wonder if I’d be best served by staying the course on WK. It’s too soon to even say but I dunno, neuroticism is peaking like crazy. Pretty sure it’s more that than actual learning struggles, so far. I just think generally right now is a stressful time for me and my fiancée so that’s probably just leaking into Japanese. Life is hard sometimes; it’s been tough to relax. I’ll be alright though.
Summer Pockets was fun anyway! I’m going down a rabbit hole of things I didn’t expect and it’s really keeping me hooked, waiting to see what’s coming next. Read ~5500 characters and ~510 lines today. I guess I try to aim for surpassing 5000 at this point if at all possible. That said, I might read again later tonight… I’ve been making efforts to go back to Zoo 2 but this story is just too much. The sentences are long enough to be a grammatical challenge at times on their own, but combined with frequently having 3-4 words I don’t know in a single sentence, it’s exhausting and I’m starting to just not figure it out in the end. I really don’t like the idea of dropping another thing for difficulty so soon after Ace Attorney, but I think I may have to either skip this story (which is the sensible idea but my stubborn mind doesn’t like it) or drop the book entirely for now. Maybe extra SP time would be good for me.
Because I can go places like this and relax a little when the language is beating up on me
Also, as part of my stumbling onto cultural references experience, today I learned about the Namahage. I guess I recognize the demons by sight, but I knew next to nothing about them. The VN even featured the signature line: 泣く子はいねが? so I had to look this up to know what was going on, heh.
Still busyyy but I read some ヴァニタスの手記 so that was fun! I have theories (that I’m sure I won’t find out about for a long time considering I only own the first volume lmao) but yeah still keeping it up! I’m looking forward to having more reading time soon
然るべき - proper, suitable
生け捕り - capturing (someone) alive
殲滅 - extermination, annihilation (bruh that first kanji)
かの - that well-known (person)
刷り込む - to instill (a thought, impression)
Aw yay, very much agree! Definitely gonna have to watch more
Hey last time you did that you ended up with Summer Pockets, so I’d say it worked out! I know it can still be frustrating to drop something, but if you’d have more fun elsewhere then go for it!
I only know a little about him, but Namajague was portrayed by a Japanese wrestler during his stint in the Mexican promotion CMLL, hence, I believe, the spelling of his name. The same guy also portrays El Desperado in New Japan Pro Wrestling, though El Desperado and Namajague are treated as different people, in kayfabe. He used to run different social media accounts for them, even. I’d wondered a bit about the character, haha, but obviously searching for “namajague” only brings up results about the wrestler, and doesn’t really explain the namahage origin!
Sadly, going right back on what I had previously decided, I think I’m going to take a break from posting. My mental and physical health are both tanking – feels like not the place to go into much self-pitying detail so I’ll leave it there. I hope I can keep learning Japanese, if I’ve actually managed to learn much of anything yet.
Thank you so much for the challenge; hope I manage to see you all next time
The ABBC started reading ハピネス today, so I read this weeks assignment. It was only half of the chapter so I actually read a little too far before I realised and had to go back!
Haven’t read enough to have much of an opinion about the story yet, but the art on the first few pages was lovely, so I was a little disappointed when the art style switched!
Aw yeah, I was just going to say pretty much the same as @pocketcat - I think the things you’ve managed to read, play, listen to etc speak for themselves. You’ve been doing great!
But also, bodies and brains sometimes need a break or even just like to be butts sometimes, so taking a rest isn’t a bad thing at all. I’ve had a couple of periods of very low ‘being able to do things’ capability while learning Japanese and one thing that helped massively was to hit vacation mode on all the SRS things I was doing. That took the bit that I found the most mentally straining away and then I found that I was actually able to still do a little light reading/watching in Japanese just for fun (without adding any words to SRS or actively trying to study from it etc). This may or may not work for you and it also might be that you need time away completely but just mentioning in case it’s helpful.
Regardless, hope you feel better soon and thanks for sharing all of the interesting VN tidbits throughout this challenge!
I’m sorry to hear that things have gotten hard! I hope you feel better soon
If it helps any, I think you’ve managed to learn a heck of a lot, and the progress you’ve made so far is not nothing! Even if you have to take an extended break, the time you’ve put in so far won’t be lost. I have two friends with severe chronic illness, and they’ve both managed to keep getting better at the language, despite having to take frequent breaks. None of your work is wasted.
Busy again, so pretty brief today. I read a little more ヴァニタスの手記 though, just one more chapter left! Then I suffer until whenever I actually buy more volumes I should be a lot more free tomorrow so hopefully I can get some good 999 time in, I’ve been missing it!
Take care of yourself! Japanese will be here whenever, your health is far more important. And yeah playing a visual novel is nothing to sneeze at, you have plenty to be proud of! Best wishes
Finished reading Pretty Boy Detective Club volume 1 yesterday. Bit annoyed they didn’t manage to finish this case and it ended on a cliffhanger, but it wasn’t good enough for me to continue reading it lol. I did feel I saw plently of grammar points I learned that I didn’t see pop up in other stuff. Like more formal grammar. There was also some more vocab related to stars and celestial bodies.
As a palette cleanser I was thinking of reading Gal & Dinosaur. It’s a bit easier than what I read lately, but I know I’ll like it and I need to bridge the gap till new goods arrive anyway.