So was telling my spouse about this chapter and he said there’s a similar thing in Ireland called Little Christmas, where women have their own Christmas after Epiphany because they’ve been too busy during actual Christmas to celebrate!
I’ve been out and about a bit for the last few days so picked up a Doraemon manga to read on the train. I got it as part of a job-lot on eBay last year - it’s volume 2 but I know enough about Doraemon to know what’s going on. Doraemon had a really bad singing voice but made everyone listen to him regardless, and it turned out that he’d got an insect caught in his wiring that had made him go wrong.
I’m working through the Minna No Nihongo Intermediate books at the moment and it’s so much easy to absorb the grammar because it’s everywhere! I had a class this morning and then used a japanese cookery book this afternoon to make a cake and it used the same grammar I’d studied in class.
That is an EXCELLENT picture. I’m a way off from monolingual cards yet but I’ve been trying to learn animal names through playing a mobile game that gives you pictures of animals and you have to enter the name in katakana (it’s called 動物クイズ - I’m on android).
New week, felt it was a good time to come with an update today. I read Look Back over the weekend. Took me like 2 hours including a tea break. It was just as good as last time I read it. In some ways even better as I figured out the main characters names are taken from the author. They’re very much a literal part of the artist. Yeah, it is very different from chainsawman, but also similar. Notably the eyes that feel like they went through things. Look Back feels like a window into Fujimoto’s life. Two constrasting parts that meet and grow of each other. Then there is also the emotional response from past events. It makes for quite a compelling read.
Difficulty wise, it wasn’t that bad. There was only furigana available for names, making it good practice to read some kanji in the wild without much help. Of course I still had to look up some words here and there. Length wise, it’s around a regular volume size with 144 pages. Not all of the pages had dialogue, some were just panels of art to convey visual information. Grammar and vocabulary was around my level. So it went better than expected.
Then I had to figure out what to read next… and I picked a cute manga I have on my kindle app. I have so many piled up and I haven’t read any yet, but this looks like a keeper. There’s also a few volumes out in English, for your friends to read maybe.
It’s about an office lady that has a big grumpy cat at home, that actually takes care of the household for her. Read two chapters and it’s pretty good so far. The office sections take me several passes to parse it well.
肥満 - obesity
し尽くす - to do all you can
拷問 - torture (This is already in my anki cards, I just haven’t reached it yet)
痩身 - slim figure. used as part of ‘weight loss surgery’
基礎疾患 - underlying disease
糖尿 - urinary glucose
摘出 - surgical removal
大ジョッキ - large beer
炭酸 - carbonation
委ねる - to entrust
It was a woman musing about a documentary on obesity that she watched with her daughter.
About a merchant who encounters some wolves on his travels and escapes by hiding in a tree. The wolves speak (they can speak human and wolf… and cat it seems) and say that they’ll go get a big old cat (called 孫太郎ばあさん) to fetch the merchant down for them. The cat says it can’t climb the tree because it doesn’t have hands (but 孫太郎ばあさん… you have claws) so the wolves stack themselves on top of each other to make steps
The merchant scrambles further up the tree but there’s a nest in the way so he stabs it with his short sword. But that’s no nest! It’s a big bear butt (!!) The bear rolls down the tree and the wolves attack it thinking it’s the merchant then run away in fear at the merchant’s apparent inhuman strength.
Gaming in Japanese
I played Nioh 2 last night for about an hour or so in Japanese.
Conclusion: I was not ready for this level of kanji
The game is basically a retelling of the three unifiers of Japan (mid-1500s to early 1600s) but including demons, magic, spirit animals and all that awesome fun stuff. There’s a load of historic figures and places and armour sets and weapons… so I knew it was most likely going to be hard going Japanese-wise, but even in the regular text parts there was very little hiragana (basically the only hiragana was grammar particles most of the time). All kanji, kanji everywhere, no furigana (though I did see some hiragana next to some of the more obscure names). I’ve played this game a lot but even then I got pretty confused.
It was hard not to get a little disheartened, knowing that even after all this time studying Japanese I’ve still got an insane high mountain to climb. I did manage to recognise quite a lot of the demon names, even if all the rest was highly confusing. But! Butttt, I did learn one fun thing from all this: すねこすり！
Cute little demon cats that like to rub against people’s legs and trip them up. The game just calls them “scampuss” in the English put I really like the Japanese word:
脛「すね - shin」+ 擦り 「こすり - rubbing」, and there’s a little ねこ hiding in the middle.
☆ Learnings ☆
ブスリ ー Onomatopoeia for the sound of something soft being stabbed
Places 甲斐の国「かいのくに」ー Kai Province, an old area of Japan that used to occupy the Yamanashi area (also just: 甲斐国) 静岡「しずおか」ー Shizuoka
このまま ー (Like this; as it is) [Rare kanji usage: この儘 / 此の儘]
The cuteness is too strong tanuki-friend! I cannot…
It feels good to be able to post completed readings back to back (technically a little later by 2 hours but fell asleep before I got to type up the summary, haha). But no one would know if I didn’t say anything right? This chapter is a few pages shorter than the others, but fast-paced thanks to the action. It looks like I’m already halfway done but I’m not quite ready to let it end. I should have a week left of content if I keep up at this pace though. Then I can decide if I want to look for the other volumes in the series.
Pocket Monsters Special Volume 1 - page 103 of 200 (13 pages total - chapter 7)
We finally get to see Team Rocket in action in this chapter, and if I didn’t already know from the fandom, it would’ve been a surprise to see Koga (still unnamed in this chapter) as a member of the organization. Then again, considering what potential skills he has being a poison-type handling ninja, it does make sense that Team Rocket would want to recruit him.
What I didn’t quite catch the last chapter but got clarified for me in this one is Kasumi’s Gyarados was originally a Koiking (the pre-evolved form), and it was through the medicine injected by Team Rocket that forced evolve it (didn’t catch originally) and rampage (did catch originally). We see the same thing happen with Koga’s Saihorn force evolved into Saidon with the medicine Koga injects it. Not only does its skills power up, but it appears immune to its normal type weaknesses.
I enjoyed seeing Kasumi and Red work together in this chapter. I wish they would stop needlessly injuring Kasumi, but they gotta paint Red as the hero so I guess that’s what the author had to do to give the protagonist the spotlight.
I think it’s awesome too how OP Pikachu is in the manga. In the anime, they tone Satoshi’s Pikachu’s ability for plot convenience and have it overcome unbelievable wins (vs Katsura’s Saidon) for the same reason, but their relationship improved significantly by the end of the first episode, so it’s harder to grow from there. At least in the manga, Red’s Pikachu seems to be annoyed to be in its current position, but it won’t ignore Red completely… less out of respect for Red and more for pride in its own power it feels like. I’m sure they’re destined to be the best of friends later, but I for now, I enjoy their relationship. How does Pikachu keep taking down all these rock/ground type Pokemon though?
I forgot to mention in the last chapter, but it’s interesting to see that Okido-hakase talks with a Kansai dialect. I forget the timing of the manga compared to the games and anime, (if I remember correctly, the games came first), but it makes me wonder if a neighboring region had already been established when the original games came out since the Kanto region is based on Japan’s eastern Kanto region, and someone like Okido-hakase (and also Masaki later on) has a dialect from the western region.
Vocab for Reference - New words are bolded
伏せる・ふせる・to lie flat (on the ground) うじゃうじゃ・in swarms
引き下がる・ひきさがる・to back down; to give up
思いっきり・おもいきり・to the best of one’s ability
機嫌・きげん・temper; mood; spirits うろうろ・aimlessly
歯向かう・はむかう・to oppose; to defy
捻り潰す・ひねりつぶす・to pinch and crush; to pinch out
一々・いちいち・every single; each and every
悪党・あくとう・scoundrel; rascal; villain
偉そう・えらそう・pompous; proud; conceited
堪る・たまる・to bear; to endure
泥だらけ・どろだらけ・covered in mud; mud-caked
触る・さわる・to touch; to feel
惜しい・おしい・regrettable; disappointing; unfortunate
崩れる・くずれる・to collapse; to crumble
偶然・ぐうぜん・by chance; unexpectedly; accidentally
Main Post January 17th:
Read chapter 4 of それでも歩は寄せてくる.
The moment near the end when Ayumu almost says 大好き but stops himself and only says “大好-” actually caught me off guard and I had a good laugh about that. Also, realized that I could recognize the complete word even though it was cut off and I haven’t learned the second kanji. I guess I have anime to thank for that.
I think I’m further than I got on the English version of this right now. So, the rest will be new to me. Looking forward to it.
It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? Very nicely done! Developing that sort of contextual knowledge is a great step.
Occasionally I’m playing the original Paper Mario “extensively” on the side (not looking up almost any words and just reading what I can manage), and last night I came across a new character who is meant to speak like a baby, and that featured a lot of sound shifts that I’ve never come across, but being able to frequently work out not just what the text said but what the words were meant to be, was immensely gratifying. (I’m leaving out the many times certain characters’ speech left me dumbfounded, haha)
I’m gonna give it a try. I started reading on the 14th and so far have been reading every night since. (I can’t really say every day because sometimes I only read after midnight… but I’ll count that for the previous day)
If you wear green and poke his hair/face if think you’ll be safe! :'D Daichi’s super cute though, I’ll look forward to your comments on it - you’re a stronger person than me to brave all that kansai-ben!
Being very lazy with adding words to my posts lately, gomen ne.
Super long response to Zakarius
Honestly that actually sounds terrific! I know nothing about Nioh, but it’s definitely something I’d like to play eventually. I really enjoy Dark Souls-esque games. Sekiro is also in my wishlist.
Yeah you don’t know how much I relate to this. It’s something I’ve been integrating these past few months and still am. I think it’s natural to feel prressured to think that after a long time doing something, you would expect a much higher level if you haven’t achieved it by then, and the more time passes the bigger this feeling gets.
I started learning Japanese in late 2014. Anyone would say that after so long I must be very proficient already, but no, that’s sadly not the truth. To be fair, since I started until today, there have been different periods with varying degrees of motivation and commitment, periods when I was diligent studying, and periods when I did so litle I got nowhere. My first three years until 2018 I did them in a language school, and that accounted for only N5 and N4 content. After that, unhappy with the school’s slow pace, I went with the self-study route with Tobira, which I never finished ーI only did 3 or 4 lessons. It wasn’t until I commited to WK that I started taking it more seriously, and even then it wasn’t after finishing WK last year that I started studying properly again… and even then! It wasn’t until recently that I’m happy with my current pace and plan. So one could even say I have barely just resumed the Japanese journey I left back in 2018 when I left the language school.
Having said that, I’m happy I never quit. I barely improved my level, other than learning a lot of kanji, but I kept the interest in the background and refreshing what I knew. Of course I’m just a tiny bit sad that I had gotten nowhere after so many years, but also I don’t think I (or we) should care about past time, because that time is simply gone. What’s important IMO is how we approach things right now. And I think you and I both, and everyone in this challenge, are doing a serious and diligent effort to improving our language knowledge. And I think it’s also worth saying that, despite the pervasive hardcore aura you typically get from Japanese learning communities especially, when it comes to hobbies or interests, there is no deadline at all. Whether someone gets to their destination in 5 years or in 25, it does not matter to anyone else than to the person that enjoys that activity. As long as you enjoy the process and what you do, or get any satisfaction from your efforts, who cares how fast or slow you go? I think it’s important to not lose track of what you are already able to do ーwe’re reading in a compleeeetely different language. But yeah, just know that I understand your feelings a lot, as I feel this way frequently too.
As a last note, video games are just plain hard. Not all of them, of course, but these ones we seem to like playing are a special kind of hard (have I already talked about how ridiculously hard FFXIV can get?). I think it’s natural that we struggle with fiction that is intended for an audience that already has a lot of cultural background and well, obviously, vocabulary. We are in the process of acquiring that cultural background, and especially you much quicker than me, judging by all the things you like to read and talk about in this thread ^^.
If you are ever bored (and with 40 minutes of free time, oof), I watched this video today that talks exactly about learning through playing video games. I liked it quite a bit, it’s a pretty relaxed approach. The channel seems also pretty cool, though I can’t personally vouch for it. I know I discovered it last year when he was releasing the first videos of a playthrough of FF7 Remake, and I redescovered it today. But many people love it, so might be worth to give it a try!
Today I read Chapter 13 of レンタルおにいちゃん. It was another really sweet chapter today. I’m enjoying having a few more uplifting chapters in a row, but I suspect that its all going to build up to a sad final chapter for the volume…
January 17 update:
Read 3 pages of 時をかける少女 today. Weekdays make me feel like I’m not doing anything with my Japanese (even though I know I am, at least judging by the time spent reading and doing WK/Anki, and the resulting consistency, for whatever it’s worth). Today was especially wearisome, so by the time I got to reading I was barely functioning. The story is currently at a slower paced scene, thankfully, so I managed to mostly understand it. I hope that this consistency pays off eventually and that tomorrow is a better day.
I really should try to somehow fit my reading earlier in the day – this weekend’s success speaks for itself loud and clear.
I think it’s normal to not feel progress for a long time, then a rush of understanding…and then nothing for a while again. I’m several years into learning now so the hills and valleys are very familiar and when I find myself doubting progress I look back at my learning notes I’ve taken (saying X was hard or I couldn’t understand Y) or read some of a book I read before and go, “oh, this is easier now.”.
So long as you’re showing up and putting in the hours of reading you cannot help but progress. You brain is making connections, even if you don’t feel it.
First I read 80 more pages of ゴールデンゴールド this manga is weird. It takes place on an island, where according to local legends the seven luck gods live. A girl finds a statue and cleans it. Later the statue comes to life and ends up living at the girl’s place, an inn. Only the girl and two guests staying at the inn see that’s it’s a statue all other people see it as just a normal human. Strange things happen, it seems like the statue brings luck.
Next I read some more lines from the Demonbane visual novel.