I finished volume 2 of 七世物語 last night, and since it ended at a nice point, I thought I’d take a break to read something else before going on to volume 3. What I grabbed was 伊豆の踊り子, by Kawabata, sort of just to see if it was even doable, and also because it’s only 70 pages and I haven’t yet read a romantic story in Japanese. I managed 5 pages before becoming exhausted. The grammar is fine but the level of new vocabulary and names is much higher than I’m used to. However, I don’t think reading other books will make this any easier, so I think I will try to push through.
Just an update after my previous success in parsing out the grammar of a sentence for the first time today
Two more pages of よつばと! down! I’m now at page 16 and, although Yotsuba is nowhere to be found and Jumbo is out looking for her, her father is thinking about throwing some trash away and a new cute female has entered the scene on a bicycle! CLIFF HANGER!
I read today. But I’m so sleepy, I can’t say anything else.
日本語: I read some of 伯爵と妖精 29.
Read-aloud: We read a chapter of ハイキュー.
中国語: I read a beginner entry on Mandarin Bean and one page of 擅长捉弄的高木同学.
@pocketcat I’ll check those resources out too, they look pretty good.
Day 4: January 4th
Time spent: 28 min
Today’s color: 墨 (すみ) - a warmer black, the color of ink
Today I learned the phrase “墨に五彩あり,” meaning there are 5 “colors” of ink (although it seems like maybe the book got them mixed up a bit, because the book said 濃 was the darkest but the internet seems to say it’s 焦?). Anyway, this is what they look like:
After googling that, I accidentally started google image searching 墨絵 and ummm I wasted all my reading time, but look what I found
Cute animal 墨絵 from the internet
Penguinnnnn Why is it so small and soft This one is actually appears to be for sale, if you have 700,000 yen lying around and want a small fluffy penguin for your own
Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be learning a language
- 先史時代 (せんしじだい) - prehistoric era; prehistoric times; prehistory (what a delightfully logical word)
- 洞窟 (どうくつ) - cavern; cave; cave system; grotto
- 壁画 (へきが) - fresco; mural; wall painting
- 原始的 (げんしてき) - primitive; original
- 煤 (すす) - soot (this is like the cutest word to me)
- 濃淡 (のうたん) - light and shade; shade (of color) (can actually also refer to depth/complexity of flavor)
- ぼかす - to blur; to shade off; to gradate
- あわせ持つ (あわせもつ) - to have two things (at the same time) (e.g. good and bad points); to also have something (in addition to something else)
Time spent: 11 min
Lucky it was a short one today Today I learned about 仕事始め (しごとはじめ), which refers to resuming work after the New Year’s vacation or the first time that one works in the year. Traditionally, it’s January 4th mine was yesterday though lol. Also learned the word 御用始め (ごようはじめ) - re-opening of offices in New Year (usu. January 4). I love that there are specific words for these things xD
What else did I read?
Nothing because I got distracted by 墨絵 Oops
Literally what is this story “not the guy, the arms drink it” I cannot
Thank you for the most amusing thing I’ve read today
January 4 Home Post
Whew, another day down! I’ve been keeping a decent pace with ラストゲーム; I read another chapter today, so that makes one more this volume plus whatever random stuff it ends off with. Still absolutely loving it; I learned from the little author’s notes today that when (mild spoilers ig?) 相馬 breaks character he actually uses 東北弁 sooo that explains some of my struggles now I have two characters in it where if I don’t really get what they’re saying I’m just kinda like “whatever they’re probably saying something weird again” lmao. 九条 trying so hard to put herself out there and make friends is so she’s such a sweetheart and deserves the world honestly, 頑張って九条！
I read a little more 錆喰いビスコ too; I actually read about two more pages last night after I posted and then today I finished off the little introduction section? It’s still really difficult of course, so much wild vocabulary from all angles but it’s interesting to see such a variety! It’s all a learning experience anyway, so as long as I can muster up the energy to push through why not.
All in all it feels really good to be reading more Japanese, so here’s to keeping it up!
交流 - interaction, mingling; aka 九条 doing her best!!
横暴 - oppression, tyranny; aka 藤本 lmao
素早い - quick, agile
凄まじい - terrific, tremendous, dreadful
亀裂 - crack, crevice, fissure (ビスコ really did a number on that little shack)
Day 4: Today I read a page of よつば＆！
I fell off the wagon HARD once the holiday season rolled around, but I really want to get back on it! This challenge was a lot of fun last time. Here’s to reading more books and encouraging others to do the same!
|Main Tracking Hub|
For now, my only goal is to read a small amount of Japanese every day. Once I reestablish my habit of reading nearly every day, I’ll add in other goals.
- Read for 10 min. each day.
- Catch up with the Intermediate Book Club.
I’m going to start small this time around and only add things if I’ve caught up on a couple of the items on here.
かがみの孤城 by 辻村 深月
地球星人 by 村田 沙耶香
月刊少女野崎くん３ by 椿 いづみ
0% 〜 33%
34% 〜 66%
66% 〜 99%
progress not trackable
Yeah I‘m not yet convinced that we’ll make it to the end But let’s see…
I must confess that I only discovered now that it’s a series! I read it in German so long ago that I guess the other books hadn’t been written yet. I don’t remember when exactly I read it, but I know that I recommended it to somebody about 18 or 20 years ago, so there‘s that
Anyways, we’ll see what we can do! We plan to get together on Friday to discuss the prologue. Hope I can finish it on time
I read eight pages of a magazine called ちゃお (four yesterday, and four today). It took me a while because I had to look up a bunch of vocabulary.
These were new to me/most interesting
イケ面-----イケめん-----shown as イケメン-----good-looking guy
万能-----ばんのう-----the primary meaning is “all-purpose/utility/universal”, but it used the secondary
meaning of “all-round (e.g. athlete)”.
さばさば-----relieved; refreshed (Onomatopoeic or mimetic word)
Well done! This is pretty much the point I was at this time last year, stumbling through one page of こぐまのケーキ屋さん at a time - and now I can read a few pages of it casually before bed and have made it through several novels. It all gets easier from here!
While I didn’t really touch スパイファミリー again (master procrastinator as you can see), I did read my first manga (not complete) in Japanese without relying on any dictionaries at all. I also learnt how to draw Komiさん
(Didn’t include the manga time because I forgot how many pages I read and left the book at school =) )
*And I’m kinda thinking of dropping スパイファミリー and focusing more on また、同じ夢を見てた
Anyways, good luck everyone
I got these for christmas! its going to be slow going for a new learner like me. Any tips?
Perhaps you could check out the amazing wanikani book club for this book ! It’s happening right now and it’s ok if you are slower than the expected pace, there are always friendly people (from my experience with other book clubs) who will help you
Day 5! Today I read pages 133-135 of Kiki, which took me about 10 minutes. My time management sucks I procrastinate reading until I have barely any time left before my ideal bedtime, and then exceed it lol.
It was easier reading than I expected — maybe those pages were just generally simpler. I’m puzzled why I still find it so difficult to pick up and read books in Japanese when it’s not strenuous anymore… compared to my addiction to English books. I’m glad this challenge is ongoing, because it really is motivating when I’m updating every day for accountability
This is great to hear! I don’t mind stumbling through at all, but it would be fantastic to read like that a year from now. Thanks for sharing this!!!
Day 5! My article choice was inspired by chatting with a new tutor last night about how when I started watching 最愛 (which I still haven’t finished - no spoilers please!) I struggled with the dialect used by the characters. Turns out he grew up where that dialect is spoken!
Anyways, 「最愛」の方言が可愛い！ドラマ内で出てくる岐阜の飛騨弁フレーズまとめ - or roughly ~ Beloved’s dialect is cute! A collection of phrases from the Gifu/Hida dialect in Beloved.
Some words I looked up
飛騨弁 - Hida-Ben. I’m honestly just terrible at place name kanji.
北陸地方 - Houkuriku region
ふとした - impulsive; on a whim
しっくりくる - to fit to a T; to feel right
Turns out the dialect used in 最愛 is the same one used in 君の名は which I remember also struggling with! I’m clearly not good at dialects, haha. 関西弁 (dialect of Kansai) is the only ‘non-standard’ one I’m really comfortable with at the moment.
１月4日 ~ Day 4 / Back to Home
I had every intention to post this yesterday, but somehow down the line my draft got deleted… so I took it as a happy birthday sign from the universe to stay off the Internet for most of the remainder of the day. (Save for reviews of course!)
I technically reread the sections multiple times so I could keep a record of the kanji I knew and didn’t. I decided to combine today’s readings into this post as well.
なぜ？どうして？みぢかなぎもん (1年生) - 4 pages:
Question 5: “What does「あかんべー」mean?”
I bet Chico-chan knows!
The narrator guesses the reader has been in a situation where they’ve fought with a friend or teased them and in order to purposely make them angry, gave them the 「あかんべー」eye. (Cue nodding first graders.)
The action of「あかんべー」refers to pushing down your lower eyelid in order to show the red area behind it. Originally, the term comes from 「あかんめ」(red eye). It makes the person who see it feel bad. If you look at the words for lonely [さびしい」and 「さみしい」the first one takes the 「び」sound and replaces it with the 「み」sound. Likewise, for 「赤んめ」the 「め」is changed to the 「べ」sound and that’s where 「あかんべー」came from!
Pretty easy explanation to decipher and pretty interesting read. I didn’t have any trouble with anything that I could remember. Just asked my husband to help decipher the base verb of からかったり。
Already Learned Kanji
見せ付ける・みせつける・to make a display of/show off
仕草・しぐさ・gesture/movement - This is the kind of word I like running into because I would absolutely miss burning it if I saw it after a while without context.
表す・あらわす・to express - Another WK vocab I would’ve long forgotten if I hadn’t seen it in a book.
怒る・おこる・to be angry
押し下げる・おしさげる・to push down
入れ替わる・いれかわる・to change places
Question 6: “Why does the Maneki-Neko raise its front paw?” (3 pages)
I think I know..
The narrator asks the reader if they’ve ever caught sight of a Maneki-Neko decoration (a cat whose front paw is raised like it’s beckoning you) in a restaurant before.
Long ago, the Maneki-Neko inside of a temple would be beckoning to people, a gesture that suggested it was helping people. It was said that its beckoning invited more and more customers and money to come, and so it would make stores prosperous.
A Maneki-Neko can also be lifting either its left or right paw. If it’s raising its right paw, it’s inviting money. If it’s lifting its left paw, it’s inviting customers. About 140 years ago, its popularity spread between people running shops.
This one had a few sentences that were structured in a way that I found it difficult to decipher, but an overall interesting story. I was surprised by how many verbs were associated with Maneki-Neko.
Already Learned Kanji
見かける・みかける・to catch sight of
人助け・ひとだすけ・helping another person
所で・ところで・by the way
広まる・ひろまる・to be spread
繁盛する・はんじょうする・to be prosperous
Question 7: “Why do (children) get お年玉 for New Year’s?” (4 pages)
Better yet, why don't adults get お年玉?
The narrator declares that otoshidama is the one thing that most people look forward to on New Year’s. But do you know why they call it otoshidama?
Well, a long time ago, when a new year approached, people prayed to the God of New Year for the next year to be filled with happiness. Then people would get a blessing called a 「たまもの」from the God.
Since ancient times, Japan has gotten a gift from god called an 「お年玉」which we have the habit of sending each other. Things like katana, sake, and if someone had kids, a battledore or other toys would be given as presents.
After that, they would start sending handmade fans from their families as gifts. Then, in private universities, juniors and children would receive tenugui cloth. They’ve only started giving money as gifts instead of things since about 100 years ago.
After reading question 5, I was expecting お年玉 to be a rewriting of a different kanji like落とし玉 or something like that, but that was an interesting story about Japanese culture. I’m kinda curious what started the money exchange vs giving things as presents. And why お年玉 are mainly for kids now, but cool to know that adults used to get them too!
Already Learned Kanji
楽しみ・たのしみ・looking forward to
年神さん・としがみさん・god celebrated at the beginning of the New Year
送り合う・おくりあう・to send each other
羽子板・はごいた・battledore (early form of badminton racket)
Question 8: “Why do we decorate small bamboo with our wishes on Tanabata?” (4 pages)
What do you think?
Tanabata is on the 7th of July. You attach a special paper with your written wish as a decoration onto the small bamboo. In China, there’s a legend about Orihime and Hikoboshi. In ancient Japan, there is an event called 「たなばたつめ」where you approach a god who’s weaving a cloth on the waterside.
The Chinese legend and the Japanese event are connected and that’s how Tanabata was born. Small bamboo is a flexible and strong plant that stretches straight up. To the people back then, they recognized it as a valuable thing that they could feel came from god. That’s why they wrote their prayers on special paper and attached them to the plant, in hopes that their prayers would reach god.
After the next day of Tanabata, the small bamboo with their decorations would be washed in the river or sea. It meant that the small bamboo along with any disasters or calamities attached to it would be washed away.
This went into a different direction than I thought. I vaguely knew the story about Orihime and Hikoboshi, so I thought they were going in that direction. But surprisingly, they did focus on the meaning behind the wishes. Again, there was a little difficulty in deciphering the exact translations, but it wasn’t bad.
Already Learned Kanji
通じる・つうじる・to be understood
短冊・たんざく・long, narrow strip of paper on which Japanese poems are written - Hey, I just learned that first kanji at level 12 today!
結びつく・むすびつく・to be connected
流す・ながす・to wash away
I’ve hit my goal of reading the past two nights. One page of Fruits Basket takes me about 15 minutes, with look ups and trying to puzzle out some of the sentences.
Is there a place to get sentence help? I don’t want to make a thread every time I have a question or pollute the forum lol