This is my first reading challenge and I’m a few days into consistently reading よつばと！volume 2.
I forgot how hard it is to understand hiragana/katakana-heavy sentences. This struggle with homophones is probably why I kept starting/stopping this book over the past year.
When I first started learning Japanese in 2021, I never thought that I’d prefer to read kanji instead of kana, but here we are!
As I’ve been reading the past few days I will stop and look up a word or phrase on every page/every other page. I don’t like the interruption to the flow of reading every time I encounter something unfamiliar. I also don’t like being clueless about a word that keeps reappearing.
Editing to add: I know part of this has to do with my reading level in general, but I think よつばと！is overall a good level for me - it just has a lot of kana and colloquial phrases I haven’t seen in my textbooks.
How do you strike a balance between maintaining your reading flow and expanding your vocabulary at the same time? Do you read through once and highlight unfamiliar words and then go back to them once you’ve reached a stopping point?
I also don’t know how worth it the work to create new flash cards specifically for book vocab would be. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with having too many separate decks of words to memorize, especially if they are words that aren’t that common.
I know as my vocab expands this won’t be as much of an issue but I don’t want to get discouraged before I can get to that point. Apologies if this question is already asked a lot - I’m sure it probably is - but I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts are in this thread.
Card Captor Sakura volume 5 – progress report Yesterday: Continued up to page 86. Today: Finished chapter 20, continued up to page 112.
A Clow card appeared and things escalated (as always). I have to say that an infinite darkness with no living being present is and has always been a terrifying plot point in any kind of media; just trying to imagine being stuck in such a situation to somewhat relate to the character(s) makes me feel uneasy.
Kero and Mizuki-sensei met for the first time but unfortunately I didn’t fully understand their conversation as of yet (it’s not over), so a basic understanding shall suffice for now.
@Cathm2 , @Hantsuki and @nyxqueenofshadows, it’s quite the coincidence that 3 out of 60-ish participants (according to the wiki) on their own have such close birthday dates!
I wish all of you (a belated) happy birthday!
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Word or expression of the day:
ぶつかる - ((打つかる)) - to strike against, to collide with, to bump into; to encounter; to clash
I can’t give you a proper answer yet, as I need to specify that I’m first and foremost trying to ‘just’ read for now instead of reading AND putting in extra effort to mine vocabulary. (I don’t have much time and energy to do so – and the other main reason is that I’m purposely waiting until I have more Kanji under my belt because otherwise I have trouble recognising and memorising new words).
While I have been (internally) taking note of some words during my reading sessions, I have not written down anything other than the few words I add to my daily reading posts. Therefore, I mostly try to understand unfamiliar words via context first and if that’s not possible, I start looking them up. Even then, I don’t look up every single word because as you said, it disrupts the flow a lot, meaning that it’s anything from 1-5 words per page for me. I noticed that even without putting in extra effort, I managed to memorise some words here and there because some of them are common enough to appear several times throughout one chapter or even the volume.
Now, once I start reading more ‘seriously’ in the future, I would be writing down any word in my notebook that I look up and that is deemed common by dictionaries or words that happen to be of interest to me. Afterwards, I would either simply let things be as they are and read through them in my notebook every now and then or add them to an excel sheet or make some Anki entries until I amass over a hundred words before I start doing SRS using the latter (SRS with only 50 words over the span of days and weeks sounds like a rather fruitless endeavour).
In the end it is your decision how much time you want and can put into processing newly encountered words into lists, SRS etc. Technically speaking, you can adjust your method at any time, meaning that the effort you put into actually learning words from your reading may vary.
In my opinion, in the beginning, it may be more useful to start putting extra effort in learning words you encounter from slice of life-y material because they tend to be more common in actual daily life than say, fantasy or sci-fi. But again, if you wish to read more sci-fi in the future, for example, it could also be beneficial to put in extra time to learn sci-fi specific vocabulary whereas you can read other genres in a more relaxing way; as in not going all out on collecting and learning words and instead just going with the flow.
This are just my thoughts and current strategies – I wonder what other people, especially members with more reading experience, have to say on this matter. I hope that my thoughts made any sense because I didn’t quite put much time into refining my answer.
Here are a few methods I’ve seen mentioned on the forums before:
Prelearning vocab using places such as Koohi and jpdb. Generally they’d set a threshold first for how many times it would appear in the book so as to not get bogged down by single uses that could be quickly looked up.
Reading digital in a manner that allows integrated dictionary for quick look up. Doesn’t really work with manga since their pics tho.
Making their own anki deck as they look up words.
Crunching Core 10k etc vocab lists along with one of the above.
Also making a descions on how often to deeply understand a sentence vs getting the gist and moving on so that reading doesn’t become completely tedious.
Personally I bookmark commonly used words as I read in my phone’s dictionary app (takoboto) which can be exported to an excel.
I managed to get to day 4, wow, grand achievement, I know.
I finished 第一話 of うずまき and gotta say it’s really my type of “horror”/uncanny stuff. It’s not something for everyone though, but man is the art style fitting and just gorgeous.
Anyway, if I keep going at this pace I might finish the first book in the series in two weeks from now with the occassional book club read thrown in. If I could hold on til then that would be really great!
Hope you guys are having fun reading as well! See you in my next status report (“status report” sounds kinda too serious, I don’t know what else to call it though?).
I read chapter 9 of 海辺のカフカ and oh boi, it really didn’t disappoint! This was probably the first time I felt truly engaged with the story - how come I don’t remember this chapter even though I’ve read the book before?
I’ve also read the first half of chapter 10, and found some words I liked.
縞猫 「しまねこ」- striped cat
野良猫 「のらねこ」- stray cat
My side quest reading for today was another short story from the collection about Milton and Bulka titled Что случилось с Булькой в Пятигорске (What happened to Bulka in Pyatigorsk). This one was gruesome and unpleasant. I was a little surprised at first, but then I remembered all the strangely gruesome children’s stories and nursery rhymes I grew up with. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected this one to be wholesome. Oh well…
I’m quite bad at not looking up a word if I’m not super sure of it. It usually means very slow reading, but rarely so slow that it annoys me. However, I’m working on not looking up words I’m fairly sure of and words I can guess from context. Because I have to look up enough words that I have no idea about that always looking up the unsure ones adds a lot to my reading time.
Especially since I tend to read on paper/Switch, meaning no instant look ups.
Personally, I have not to so far started adding words to an SRS that I find while reading. For one, I only recently finished WK and once I clear most of the reviews of the last few levels I look forward to some SRS free time.
What I do though, is that in the app I mostly use for look ups, I tend to bookmark what I look up for different things I’m reading. For example, I’m looking up so much for Loopers (visual novel) that I actually put them in folders according to chapters, meaning I can actually see if I’ve looked up a word in Loopers before when I go to look it up the second/third/etc. time.
I also have a folder where I add terms I recognize I have looked up many times that still doesn’t seem to be sticking. It usually means I’ve looked them up at least 5 times probably more like 10+ before I consider adding it to this special folder. If I ever start SRSing stuff I find while I read, this is the folder I would pull from. Words I’ve looked up multiple times across different books and games. Obviously words that would be useful for me to know, whether they are generally common or not. (Considering they seem to be common in what I read.)
The main point though, is to keep looking to your enjoyment.
Are you getting bored/annoyed/losing interest because you are looking up so much and it feels so slow? Consider either looking up less (and accept more ambiguity) or SRS words that show up in what you read (others have mentioned methods from finding word lists for specific books and such at koohi/jpdb, or making your own deck, etc.)
Are you getting bored/annoyed/losing interest because you don’t understand enough? Consider: looking up more and/or SRS words that will show up in the thing you are reading ahead of time.
There are probably more questions/situations, but you get the point. There will be days when you have no patience for lookups and maybe that day only you only look up what you absolutely need. (One method for that is to not look up a word and instead keep reading, if the word proved critical to what followed and you couldn’t figure it out, go ahead and look it up, otherwise continue on.) And there will be days where you’ll have all the patience in the world. Same goes for enjoyment/bored and so on.
I hope my little essay helped. I’m bad at being concise. xD
Today I read chapter 21 of Flying Witch. I haven’t read this in a while since I’ve overloaded myself a bit with bookclubs at the moment!
It was nice to get back to it.
It was a fairly straight forward chapter other than there being a character who spoke with a dialect I didn’t understand, but the other characters also didn’t understand and that was the point, so I didn’t spend too much time trying to decipher it
I decided I’m not in a particularly spooky mood right now, and since the 山の霊異記 book consists of standalone short stories, there is no harm in setting it aside for now. Instead, I started my new 赤川次郎, which is exactly as I imagined it: a black comedy of errors. It’s a light read (if you don’t mind a dead body or four), both in substance and in text - I don’t think I’ve seen so much dialogue outside of a manga before! All characters are unlikeable (I mean, the first chapter literally starts with the protagonist not being able to answer the door because he’s busy strangling his wife) which makes all their mishaps all the more enjoyable. If you thought that getting rid of one dead body might be problematic, wait till they start accumulating, while the phone and doorbell never stop ringing. Downloaded @pocketcat’s bingo card to fill out as I read too.
First few days going well, except from Tuesday that I missed a day because… I fell asleep too early
I also had to think of what reading material to go through, and luckily enough, I have quite a few sitting on my shelves. Thought I’d start the challenge with a simple graded reader, to ease back into a rhythm… I’m also still carrying on with a 366 I started last spring.
3/1: 教養366, 26min.
4/1: 教養366, 12min | 10分で読める伝記, 36min
new vocab and words that caught my fancy
脂肪 ｜しぼう｜fat; grease
タンパク質 | たんぱくしつ ｜protein
基礎医学 ｜きそいがく｜basic medicine
帝政 ｜ていせい｜imperial government;monarchical rule
燃え盛る ｜もえさかる｜to blaze; to burn brightly
彷徨う ｜さまよう | to roam about
とほうにくれる｜to be at a loss;
to be puzzled
奮い立つ ｜ふるいたつ｜to cheer up;to be encouraged (by)
舞い込む ｜まいこむ｜to drop in unexpectedly
語り継ぐ ｜かたりつぐ｜to pass down ( a story) from generation to generation
Also the phrase そばにいるよ (which is the chapter title) makes me so soft for no real reason, the sentiment just sounds so sweet in Japanese to me, idk, it’s one of my favorites, I love it
Capri really shines in this chapter, but both he and Rei are just so gosh darn sweet and supportive to Mira, I can’t At the very end of the previous chapter, Capri noticed that there was a サイン会 happening in town for Mira’s favorite author (the one who wrote the book that they were discussing all last chapter). In this chapter, the three of them are trying to see if Mira can get herself into town to attend it. Rei and Capri are like walking with her down the path, encouraging her as she goes the way Rei is like holding her hand and leading her gently down the road is so soft In the end, Mira’s anxiety is too bad and she can’t get all the way to town, but Capri goes to the サイン会 and gets a copy of her favorite book signed in her name, and the author writes her a really sweet note, and I just-, everyone is so sweet
Thoughts: I enjoyed the ending of chapter 1! Amusing, simple to read, but also good practice for me. The final ordeal was quite entertaining and I didn’t have to look up many words, so I could enjoy just reading it. not sure how to spoiler things here, so can’t mention what it was
I started to read ふゆから、くるる recently and its a pretty wild story so far. I haven’t gotten deep into the actual plot yet (its supposed to be a murder mystery) but the world building has been interesting. I’m loving the music and art in this one too.
Anyways, during my reading they were talking about chess and I came across what has to be the largest word compound I’ve seen so far 「二人零和有限確定完全情報ゲーム」