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
For fruits basket there is a former bookclub, maybe someone had the same question You could always ask there. For any other questions, if they are short you can just put it here in with “hide details”
I’ve been using that thread but I seem to have more questions than the participants did. Wasn’t sure if it was ok to dredge up old threads since the club finished last year either but I suppose it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission
There sure are!
Thanks! You’re a Saint. I encounter at least one sentence per page that I can’t quite untangle
Reevaluating your goals is pretty important. I’m not sure how much you’ve read before or what reading level you’re at, but the first volume of spy x family was the hardest I read up to date. The second volume is already a bit easier to parse just by having more regular chapter lengths and less political background. Whenever Loid is on mission it tends to veer towards more difficult language.
I’ll be giving out my update later this week, the booster shot has sapped all of my will to make one. I have been lucky to be able to keep reading.
We explicitly arranged for the book club threads to stay open for 10 years instead of 1 year so that everybody can still ask questions even long after the actual book club is over. It would be really cool if we could get more questions in the same threads because then it becomes more and more helpful for people who read these books even later than you
So, please go ahead and ask there - I’m sure quite a few people (including me) are still monitoring those old threads and willing to help!
Oh will do! I posted in one of the threads above but I’ll use the Fruits Basket thread in that case. I have at least one sentence per page probably that I have questions about hahaha
Edit: the Google sheet is a real life saver too. Saves me a lot of time looking stuff up
Noice - glad to hear you are still enjoying the threads!
And yes, I remember the Fruits Basket dialogues are not always that easy to follow - looking forward to your questions (and whether I’ll be able to answer them )
Tanuki Scroll V: トラとキツネ
Read today’s Japanese folk story from Wakayama Prefecture!
About a Chinese tiger challenging a Japanese fox to a race. The fox tricks the tiger to win the race and the tiger sulks back to China… and then sends a cat underling to go chase and bite the fox, but the cat mishears キツネ as ネズミ and this is apparently why cats chase mice.
☆ Learnings ☆
竹やぶ 「たけやぶ」 ー Bamboo grove
早歩き 「はやあるき」 ー Fast-walking, almost jogging
反対側 「はんたいがわ」 ー Opposite side, opposition
同然 「Just like; no different from; almost the same as」
別れる 「わかれる」 (to part (from people); to part with)
@lucylavelle, happy birthday!!
モフモフ様！I don’t remember the real name of these little bird friends, but I do remember that they are just SO FLUFFY
I love these art styles, and the daily colours! I’ve got an art project going at the moment and one of your links had a section about the traditional colours of Japan and it’s actually exactly what I’ve been looking for, thank you, this’ll be real helpful!
君の名は , 9 pages.
- 気楽 = きらく carefree, at ease.
- 睨む = にらむ to glare at. to stare intensely at.
- そっけない = cold, blunt.
- ぶつかる = to strike against, to collide.
- 呟く = つぶやく to murmur, to mutter.
- 反射 = はんしゃ reflection, but also reflex.
- 老舗 = しにせ an established shop that has been going for a long time. Wanikani teaches this with the on’yomi as ろうほ but it’s apparently rare.
- 間取り = まどり plan of a house, arrangement of rooms.
I’m looking more and more forward to sitting and reading each day. It’s pretty chill. Who would’ve thought an hour would pass so fast, huh. Also so many words to learn and the grammar level seems to be about right for me, I’m quite happy :3
I wonder if I would get the same feeling reading on the Kindle . I really would like to love the Kindle, I really do. But there’s a certain something about physical books that I just keep coming back to it ;-; I still like the Kindle a lot but I get a much different feeling from it, somehow. It’s probably just not being used to it still.
Day 5: January 5
- 君の名は。page 22-31 (read 10% already in 6 days )
I got really confused when the two characters switched bodies again. I think the bold lines are there to give me a heads-up so for next time I will pay more attention to that xD This time I had to reread one page because I had no idea what was going on because I missed the important switch… Even though this novel is hard for me at my level, it is still fun to go through the book and letting the story play out in my head ^^
Its my birthday, but I still found time to squeeze in a bit of reading after snuggling lots of kitties at the Cat Cafe!
I read the first half of the 2nd chapter of Volume 2 of レンタルおにいちゃん.