I’m actually more useful when it comes to non-speech parts that’s why I usually prefer books to manga But I like to learn as well, so I’ll keep an eye on your thread.
君の名は , 10 pages.
I’m glad it’s working for you! I definitely know the feeling of reading at night and it does make a big difference.
Reply to Zakarius part 2
Thanks for the details! I had heard that it was a different game from Dark Souls but nothing else. You’ve piqued my interest though, I’ll definitely play it at some point . Also the monk RP sounds awesome! I don’t tend to RP much but I’ve always thought it was a fun aspect I’d like to explore, and it adds another layer of fun to games. There’s a fairly big community of RP going on in FFXIV but I’ve never joined yet; it sure looks fun though.
Yeah I feel you so much on this. I’ve always been very perfectionist, I think I actually talked about it in the other challenge threads, about how much pressure I put on myself when missing days and all that. I don’t expect you to remember at all though! But anyway, I’m always looking for the perfect method, the perfect app, the perfect anything that lets me achieve something the most optimal way. And it’s been so, so hard integrating the reality that the perfect tool just doesn’t exist, nor the perfect anything. And it’s awful because for what I’ve seen, as you describe it quite accurately IMO, the Japanese learning community is obsessed with doing things in one way or else you’re wasting your time. These challenges for me have been a blessing and a great chance to work on not doing things perfectly, and I’m learning for real to work on doing things not in the perfect way. I don’t even know if what I’m doing is working most of the time, I just keep doing it and at some point I’ll notice that yeah, I’m improving. But it’s a leap of faith for the most part, I don’t have these realisations often. Some random day, I’ll be reading something and poof, a thought pops into my head and I’ll notice that I no longer have trouble understanding some passage with vocabulary and grammar I didn’t know before. Heck, I don’t even remember how I learnt English after basic English in school, I just kept doing whatever I was interested in and one day I noticed that I could understand the majority of it.
I would say that even the worst methods still make you improve over time regardless, even if not in the most efficient way. There is absolutely no way that every human in the history of humans has learnt languages to a high level with the most optimal method, all of them, all the time. There must be at least one that learnt with a shit method and still made it up there, for sure . I mean, there literally are people that sit with a book in a language they have no idea about and translate it word for word, and still learn. Consistency is key IMO, you’ve mentioned yourself as well and I agree. Be the tanuki
I wasn’t worried personally, I just thought it would be your average Japanese learning community. I think I was already spoiled by /r/learnjapanese and didn’t expect much . But yes I agree, there’s a lot of very nice interactions in these forums. There’s still some one-upping here and there occasionally but it’s not the norm. Very few bad apples, but also not the norm at all. But again, the perfect community doesn’t exist. WK forums is the only JP community I’m a part of and have been for a year, and I like it a lot. It’s not so terribly active that you miss a lot of threads and nice stuff, but is also active enough to always have new threads and on-going ones to check everyday. It’s a pace I’m very comfortable with. Plus the majority of the community is very wholesome and that’s very positive.
日本語: I read a lot of 伯爵と妖精 31.
Read-aloud: We (@tiny_river_otter ) read three chapters of からかい上手の高木さん.
中国語: I read an intermediate entry on Mandarin Bean, one page of 擅长捉弄的高木同学, and a lot of 孩子最爱读的中国民间故事.
女の子：This was super simple and cute! I might just use these as speaking practise until I get to the higher levels for now.
このドア開けてくれよ： Not too difficult - a lot of rent vocab so far aha.
- 遭遇した - met with a (difficulty/accident)
- 出来事 - an incident/affair
- 当時 - at that time
- 単身者 - unmarried person
- 賃貸アパート - apartment for rent
- 築年数 - age of a building
- 不動産屋 - realtor
- 付き添う - to accompany
- 仕方なく - helplessly
- 入居 - moving in (to house)
- 慌ただしい - busy, hurried
- 引っ越し - moving (dwelling)
- 済ませる - to finish
- しばらく - for a moment/the time being
- 慣れる - to get used to
- 経つ - to pass (time)
- 帰宅 - returning home
- 敷地 - plot (land)
- 廊下 - corridor
- 戻る - to turn back (halfway)
I had my usual Tuesday night call with a friend to read 鋼の錬金術師. We read two pages together today, which went reasonably smoothly other than us both stumbling a bit over a use of という, which I’m not convinced I’ll ever quite get the hang of
I also read Chapter 14 of レンタルおにいちゃん, another fun and uplifting chapter, which has really cemented that the next chapter will be horrible and break my heart somehow…
Day 18: Today I read 11 pages of よつば＆！Its the fireworks festival chapter, and I remember it really well from when I read it in English years ago so this is very fun~
Day 18: January 18th
Time spent: 17 min
Today’s color: 枯色 (かれいろ) - the color of dried grasses/fields
Fun fact for today: apparently in the Edo period, it was a thing to go dried-up field viewing (枯れ野見), a similar concept to 花見 but in the fall.
Some good words
- 荒涼 (こうりょう) - desolate; dreary; bleak
- 襲の色目 (かさねのいろめ) - combination of colors created by layering of garments
- 待望 (たいぼう) - waiting expectantly; waiting eagerly; looking forward to
- しのぶ - to imagine; to guess; to infer
Time spent: 7 min
Today’s reading talked about 御神渡り (おみわたり) - ridged cracks of ice forming on lakes (most famously on Lake Suwa in Nagano). These look pretty cool, not gonna lie
What else did I read?
Amount read: 45 pages - finished
Time spent: 30 min
Well, I finished this already xD I enjoyed adorable pictures of tanuki and fox, but reading this felt a little like cheating, because there was not much text in this book at all
Despite the lack of text, I did learn some good words
- しめしめ - all right!; that’s it!; thank God!; good!; I’ve got it!; I’ve done it!; bingo! (said quietly to oneself when things work out as one hoped)
- 模索 (もさく) - groping (for); fumbling around (for); searching (for an answer, solution, etc.); trying to find
- 前方不注意 (ぜんぽうふちゅうい) - not watching where one is driving; not keeping one’s eyes on the road
- 一発芸 (いっぱつげい) - one-liner; funny joke; gag; quick trick
- 九尾の狐 (きゅうびのきつね) - nine-tailed fox; old, golden-furred fox with nine tails and shapeshifting powers used to fool humans; orig. a Chinese mystical beast whose appearance was considered auspicious
- 雨乞い (あまごい) - praying for rain
- 雨宿り (あまやどり) - taking shelter from rain
My favorite word today was 団子虫 (だんごむし) - roly-polies! Also known as pill bugs These bugs were my childhood xD I used to find them around my yard/on the playground at school all the time and take them home with me to be my buddies. Best bugs And their Japanese name is so cute lol, just like them.
Some tanuki pictures to soothe your soul
Chillin’ with a watermelon - you know, as one does (why does this image feel like a whole mood)
Nine-tailed fox looks very soft and comfy xD
Sleepy babies <3
Be like tanuki, stand tall and take on the day
January 18 Home Post
Achievement get: I read a whole chapter of 錆喰いビスコ in one sitting! I’m almost a fourth of the way through now which is absolutely wild; at this rate I might actually finish it by the end of the challenge I’m definitely noticing an increase in my reading stamina which helps a lot. I’m learning
I’m curious how other books will feel after this - maybe 風が強く吹いている won’t feel so unattainable It doesn’t have furigana though so kanji lookups would still be more of a barrier, but we shall see
Also chapter 4 was iconic, ビスコ and パウー are both just so powerful, that fight scene?? Absolutely wild, ビスコ really picked up her motorcycle like a baseball bat
煮え滾る - to boil
寝覚めが悪い - to have an uneasy conscience
煙に巻く - to confuse someone, to throw up a smokescreen
かち割る - to hit and break open (it was talking about cracking someone’s head open like a watermelon (it didn’t actually happen though) lmao rough)
忍びない - cannot bring oneself (to do)
I ran into a couple phrases that took some digging, particularly this: 「白く飛んでゆく」. It was in the context of someone passing out from like blinding pain, and I think it’s derived from/inspired by/whatever from 白飛び. From what I understood, it’s when you’re taking a picture and it’s super bright so part of the photo just gets blown out with white light, which makes total sense as a description in that context! These are the sort of puzzles I end up with in 錆喰いビスコ That’s part of the fun though!
I checked Natively and no one has rated it yet so I did a 立ち読み on Honto and skipped a handful of pages because it seemed to be setting up a scene/atmosphere and IMO those scenes are always the hardest because they tend to be more poetic than the rest of the book (in most cases).
My opinion from skimming:
The book you’re currently reading has been rated harder than I personally would rate this (although I haven’t read 錆喰いビスコ). The spread of vocabulary might challenge you but they’re all everyday words which will prove useful in reading other books after it. I would compare it to 君の名は in difficulty, minus the dialect challenge of that particular book. I think low 30s or high 20s (let’s say 28-32) would be appropriate with my understanding of the ranking system and mentally comparing it to other books I’ve read.
So all this to say - yeah kanji look ups will suck but you totally got this.
Minor aside on kanji lookups
also btw KanjiTomo totally works on the Honto app so you can use OCR to do quick checks and the app also allows you to highlight bits of text and search via Google.
ebookjapan also allows Google lookups but their app blocks OCR.
Day 19. I reread page 186 then also read 187 of Kiki. Going super slow on these pages because I’m finding it harder to understand what the old lady says, and need more time to figure it out and use DeepL for small parts I’m really stuck on.
Some words I looked up
実写化 - adaption into a live action show or film (from manga or anime)
容姿端麗 - looking attractive
抜群 - top notch
敏腕 - skillful
緻密 - small details
貪欲 - greed
痛快 - thrilling (胸がすっとして，非常に愉快に感じる)
It’s a promo for a new show she’s doing where she will be acting as a lawyer. I’m on the fence as to whether I’m interested in watching it. I do love a mystery, but the “wow, this lawyer/cop/scientist/etc is good at their job and they’re hot” trope doesn’t do much for me.
Ah yeah, from my (super limited lmao) experience I definitely feel that; I don’t think I ever really got beyond that part of 風つよ before so that probably didn’t make it seem any easier I briefly checked out the first page or so to see and maybe I’m partially biased since I’ve technically read it before, but it feels much simpler than 錆喰いビスコ, so that’s really encouraging! I’m sure the vocab is a totally different beast than the weird stuff 錆喰いビスコ’s always up to haha, definitely more generally applicable
Ahh thank you! It’s definitely seeming more feasible than I would’ve imagined at this point, so maybe the time to make decent progress on one of my longer-term goals is approaching… exciting
I read fourteen pages of Death Note this morning.
いたずら者------いたずらもの------mischief-maker; trickster; prankster
可笑しい------おかしい------funny; amusing; comical
Tanuki Scroll XIX: 猫神(ねこがみ)
Read today’s folktale, from Nagasaki Prefecture!
About a samurai and his pregnant wife and their beloved cat, タマ. The samurai is tasked with hunting a boar on the night his wife expects the baby to be born. The cat transforms into their maid to warn the samurai, but he mistakes the cat for a tanuki and shoots it with his bow and arrow. The cat runs back to the house and he chases it to find that his wife has gone into labour. He helps deliver the child and forgets about the tanuki. In the morning he finds that he’s killed his cat who was trying to warn him of the birth.
To honour the cat he makes a shrine, and people who love cats now go to worship the cat god there. It says that the shrine is still there today in くろかみちょう [黒髪町] but I can’t really find much about it. But there is a place nearby called “猫山ダム”
☆ Learnings ☆
イノシシ「猪」ー Wild Boar (I think I remember the kanji from the Zodiac, but I don’t remember the reading)
心細い「こころぼそい」ー Helpless; Forlorn; Lonely
祠「ほこら」ー A small shrine
佐世保 「させぼ」ー Sasebo
Return of the Rikai Reply
I’m like half-perfectionist, half-just roll with it… it gets a bit awkward sometimes
(I’ve never noticed this emoji before and I wanted to use it)
But yeah, it’s hard weighing up what resource will be best for you, with both your time and money, since they all get pretty pricey (worth the money though), and sometimes it’s hard to wager how good a resource is just from the free trial. I say this, but then I bought WK on a whim when I didn’t really have the money… soooo…
You’re doing great though! You’ve been in each of these threads so far, and that’s a lot of reading. Even if it doesn’t feel it at times, just turning up and reading a short bit is progress in itself, and like you said, it’s not always noticeable just how much you’ve learnt until you get that poof moment and you’re like… waittttt, I can read this!
There’s been a few times I’ve read a paragraph without thinking, and have to stop to be like, I understood that! Then go back to read it again because I don’t believe it. But now brain is conscious that I am in fact reading Japanese and can no longer read it… thanks brain why must you be this way?
We all learn different anyways, any learning is still learning! Even if you learn wrong at the start - which really, especially with self-study, we’re gonna probably be learning a lot in weird ways - using other resources to learn and relearn the same things just cements it further. It’s hard to be consistently efficient with your learnings, even if we want them to be, I think it’d do more harm than good if we were always 100% on it with no chill.
Suppose I’ve just got wary of the internet being the internet, where some guy declares all out war because some other guy dares to say he prefers the green balls over the yellow ones when playing in the ball pit.
But here’s definitely a welcome change, yeah there’s some threads here that go way overboard, but they don’t happen that often.
Be the tanuki, the 100% official bestest way to Japanese:
THE TANUKI METHOD
Transform yourself into a Japanese master
Step One of the Tanuki Method:
This fox and tanuki are way too cute I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore
Update post for 16/1 - 19/1 | Home post here!
This has been a bit more of a varied few days! Spent the weekend and Monday powering through レンタルおにいちゃん Vol. 4… and then I got a rather large gap filled in on my arm yesterday. So! Today’s reading was something new that I haven’t seen pop up in this thread yet - a smartwatch app! This is the the first tattoo I’ve gotten since buying a fitness watch that tracks my body stress levels and merges a lot of data to give me a ‘body battery’ rating. I’ve found it fascinating to see the parallels of my bodies reaction to how it reacted to my covid jabs. Here, the screenshot of my body battery level upon waking up this morning, where I had high stress points whilst sleeping (!!!) and the app is shaming me into having a restful day because I only recovered 15 points whilst sleeping.
Spoiler: didn’t really have a restful day as it’s my week off work so I’d arranged to meet some friends for lunch. But tomorrow I will. Normally I’d restore my body battery levels back to 100 overnight, so fingers crossed for tomorrow.
I’ve dotted some Animal Crossing throughout the week, and this evening I watched this week’s episode of Book of Boba Fett with a friend, with Japanese subtitles. Which is something that we’ve actually been doing every week but for some reason I hadn’t considered it as reading until today. Coincidentally, I learnt 同盟 in my WK lessons this morning, and it came up in this week’s episode which was some nice instant reinforcement.
Here's some words from this week that I've picked up!
補強 - ほきょう - reinforcement
脆い - もろ - brittle, fragile
下敷き - したじ - being trapped under (and also, apparently, a desk pad)
Progress: (24% → 26%)
Smol read today
Ok, so I read an hour and a half, and that’s neat. However, there’s a part of me debating if it’s time to leave Ace Attorney and head for something else, because case 5 truly is a jump in difficulty all around. The level of quirky writing they’re going for leads to an overload of words labelled obscure, and otherwise clearly not particularly high value words clogging up everything. I can’t expect writers to write totally literally and without references all the time (and the writing would be no fun if they did), but basically every day I’ve read led to some internet searches to figure out what could possibly be going on, and I have to imagine there’s something I could be reading and getting more out of, for the moment. I love the game, but at 83 hours and up against these struggles, it’s wearing on me. A small part of me, while I know this doesn’t really matter, is disappointed I can’t be like “I finished a full game!” if I do go with this, but so be it, heh.
All the same, I don’t mean to sound TOO beaten up about it. Jumping to Ace Attorney was something I did as an experiment earlier than I had planned to because screenshots looked easy, and it’s gone better than I anticipated. It got me into really committing to just learning from native material. I was already doing manga and the like on the side, but I used it to make the big step and drop Satori Reader for basically no more “constructed learner materials”
Still, let me share one of today’s many struggles:
Phoenix accused her of possibly having ulterior motives (again this is VERY early case stuff I promise no spoilers), she responded with a few stern words about false accusations and the like, and then… this. I think I’ve found a site that explains it? And I’m probably able to fake my way through it well enough with Yomichan, but this was at the tail end of the reading and I’m just too tired right now. I’ll give it a shot later.
I know these sort of struggles are inevitable, but I want to think they’re a little higher volume than normal here? I have to imagine I’d be better served hitting my head against a grammar wall or something a little for now, rather than a cultural/reference one.
I read two more chapters of 時をかける少女 today (I think that’s chapter 6 and 7)
I did not expect Gorou to want to call the hospital right away But Kazuo’s reaction was hilarious as well.
There were a few more difficult sentences today, but overall it was still understandable I think I’ll read a bit in the book club, maybe I’ll learn a thing or two
I was at a similar point last week with one of the books I was reading (although I hadn’t put nearly as much time into it), and I basically had the same thoughts of “could I get more out of a different book at this point in time?” Long story short, I dropped the book and am happy about it right now.
If you’re looking for more approachable material, there’s currently a whole lot of book clubs going on with books that are not too hard to read, e.g. かがみの孤城 or 地球星人 or 笑わない数学者 - I guess if you’re devoted to it you could manage to catch up on any of them if you are interested. (Unless I’m highly overestimating your book reading abilities, that is…)