📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2023 ☃❄

Oh sorry I totally forgot belated Happy Birthday to everyone who had their birthday. I hope you were all partying hard.

Day 6
I started reading vol. 3 of Your Lie in April manga and also read some stories in manga magazines.

733 pages read 19267 to go

It really depends sometimes I put words into a SRS system and sometimes not. If I see a word pretty often and I don’t know what it means I will SRS it. But often I’m too lazy to do it. Of course it also happens that I memorize a word without SRSing it just by seeing it over and over.

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By SRS you mean Anki or are there other tools? I’m not really familiar with the ones where you input the words into the SRS.

I’m living in the stone age and literally writing down words onto paper; kanji, reading, meaning then reading it out loud several times. 笑笑

car spaceship GIF

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Week 1

Read at least a small amount every day. Im replaying Pokemon Scarlet but in Japanese this time. It takes me awhile to get through the txt but im progressing. I also read a couple of pages of Yatsubato vol 1.

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1月9日

My last day off so who knows when I’ll have reading time again :upside_down_face: but I’m proud of myself on the progress I made on かがみの孤城. I made it to the first stopping point in chapter 1 (which is the equivalent of week 1’s reading assignment for the old book club).

I’m really enjoying it so far. The writing can be a little convoluted at times (not sure if it’s the best way to describe it), but the author switches from first person in the sort of intro to third person in the actual chapter reading. Then there’s the weaving in and out between present and past timelines so if you’re not paying attention, it can get confusing. The stylistic choices are interesting, and I’d probably appreciate it more (being a literature major and all) as a native reader or a more advanced reader.

Interesting enough, the themes and issues presented are somewhat similar to 夜カフェ. It’s just not written as straightforward and doesn’t have a sense of lightheartedness that the latter has. For example, even though bullying is a common issue presented in 夜カフェ, the author’s message is we should ultimately just find ways to get along. I don’t think かがみ is going in that direction though. Just based on the cover and title, the book seems to be going in the escapism route, which is the opposite direction of what Aunt Aiko would advise. :wink:

Overall, if you’ve read 夜カフェ or are starting to get into native content, the first volume of the series is a good way to get comfortable with written Japanese. But before you get too stuck in your comfort zone, かがみの孤城 is a good level up option to explore other writing styles. I have to say also that reading the book on the Bookwalker app is super helpful for fast look ups. Without that, it would’ve been harder to follow if I took my time with a physical copy.

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Summary post

Day 8: January 8th
What did I read?: マグメル深海水族館 Vol 1
How much did I read?: 17 pages
How long did it take me?: 34 min

Decided to start the pretty aquarium manga today :squid: Just read the prologue, which is basically the opening of the aquarium. I think like 70% of my reading time was spent on this one page that was giving detailed info about giant squids :joy:

Also, this is kind of unrelated, but I realized as I was putting this into my Bookmeter that I’ve read over 100 manga volumes or books in Japanese :o It’s mostly manga volumes, and over a pretty long period of time, but still, that’s like…a lot? Why do I feel like I’m still so bad at reading :joy: Because I don’t study, that’s why

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Jan 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th update :melting_face:

This will be a quick rundown of the past couple of days. Only missed one day! Which I’m pretty proud of as Im trying to build this habit alongside lots of other habits (looking at you, listen everyday challenge :eyes:)

3rd Spent an hour playing puzzle and dragons z on the 3ds.

4th I kept swapping manga books (and avoiding cells at work which i should be reading :sweat_smile:) and reading a couple of sentences on each page while flipping backwards and forwards. The thing that caught my attention the longest and seemed the most interesting to me was a feedback forum that i found tucked between some pages. Absolutely riveting stuff. :person_facepalming: I’ve decided to count this day because words combined Im sure it would of made at least a page.

5th read 2 pages of spyxfamily

6th missed

7th read 2 and a half pages of cells at work

I know its a little messy but Im hoping these little steps will eventually lead to a stronger habit down the line.

homepost

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I definitely wasn’t, haha, when I started with 大海原と大海原 volume one in fall 2021 :sweat_smile:. I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t really learning a whole lot from my reading because there were just too many unknowns per sentence. My grammar was below N5 (I was not even halfway through MNN book one, haha) and I didn’t have much vocab, either.

But, I was still enjoying the manga even so. I ended up sort of shifting mindsets and just read it to experience the series rather than trying to get anything out of it as a learning tool. By the time I started volume 3, I’d about finished MNN volume 1 and had way better grammar (plus had gotten about halfway through WK), and even though volume 3 had a steep difficulty jump (it’s aimed at an older audience and there is no furigana :joy_cat:), I actually had a way easier time reading it. Since it has taken me so long to finish, it’s even easier (and more enjoyable) for me to read it now!

I’ve learned that I honestly don’t really like using manga as a learning tool because lookups are substantially harder, and I don’t really have a good workflow for adding new words to Anki from manga, since my normal process is to automate that with Yomichan. Even if I type out the word manually, I like to pull the context sentence with it as well, so typing that out adds extra work.

However, I do like reading manga just for fun! But it gets more fun the better my Japanese is, so I have for the most part been holding off on truly diving into manga, because I’ve found that it has just gotten more and more rewarding and useful for me over time.

If you feel like you’re not quite ready, it is totally fine to wait until your Japanese is better! Manga is harder than other types of reading for several reasons, and you might find that you have better luck starting with other mediums.

I tried adding new words from manga to Anki when I first started reading 大海原と大海原, but it quickly became way too overwhelming, because the sheer amount of vocab that I didn’t know was way too high. Plus, as mentioned above, it took extra work because I had to retype the entire context sentence to go along with the word if I wanted it.

My current process is to just not bother with SRS-ing anything from manga. Some words I naturally pick up from repetition, but I just let the rest go. This might change as my vocab improves and I come across fewer unknowns, but for now, it’s just way too much work.

For non-print media, though, it’s a totally different story! I’ve had a lot of success mining words from pro wrestling recaps and transcripts and tweets and such. I use Yomichan and Anki in combination to create cards from digital text at the click of a button, including pulling the context sentence for each word.

However, it’s still very easy to overwhelm yourself! For me, it has really worked out to 1) limit myself to one domain, and 2) only add words that contain kanji I already know.

My domain is a bit of a unique one, haha, because most people start with like slice of life type of vocab, but I started with pro wrestling :joy_cat:! But I started mining words when I started translating wrestling and had a huge incentive to improve quickly, plus I knew that pro wrestling vocab would continue to pay off for me, since it was my main reason for learning the language.

And yeah, it has paid off to an incredible extent! I’ve started to pick up a lot just from listening now that my vocab is better, and I can extensively read a lot of wrestling stuff and get fairly high comprehension without doing lookups just because my vocab is better. When I try reading non-wrestling stuff, it’s a much more humbling experience, haha.

I think most people would probably benefit by limiting the words you SRS by frequency, which is something that I have chosen not to do. It’s hard to determine that with wrestling, for one thing, because lots of words that are very common in wrestling are uncommon outside of that setting, so frequency decks aren’t super helpful. But also I just like learning interesting words, haha, which sometimes includes rare ones! It’s not the most efficient use of my time, but it keeps my Anki time interesting to me.

I also skip kana-only words, for the most part. I only SRS those rarely. Why? Because I thought focusing on vocab with kanji while I was doing WK would be the best way to reinforce the kanji that I’m learning here (and I think this has proven true), and it also helps limit the amount of words that are “eligible” for SRS-ing so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

I use my WK level to cap that as well, though obviously it’s a pretty high level cap, at this point :joy_cat:. When I come across words with non-WK kanji (I have an addon installed on Yomichan that tells me the WK level of a word/kanji), sometimes I will add the kanji and the word to Anki. I’m planning on ramping this up once I reach level 60.

Ideally, I’ll reach a point where the number of unknowns per sentence is so low, I’ll be able to add every unknown word/kanji to Anki. But I’m pretty far from that point still, though the rate of new pro wrestling words has slowed down quite a lot since I’ve mined over 1,000 words already.

Sorry for the long response! I guess to sum it up: I use Anki, yes, but limit myself to one domain, don’t add words from manga/print media, use Yomichan to speed up the card creation process (including pulling the context sentence that I found the word in), focus on vocab with kanji, and use my WK level to gate the words that I add.

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I started Japanese short stories for beginners January 2nd and it is the best decision for my language learning. I am currently in the middle of N4 Grammar so it makes it a bit more comfortable to read now than when I was at the N5 level. I skipped yesterday but I plan to do it most days and I always try to reread the previous stories as a way of refreshing my memory on the vocabulary (without actually going through the vocabulary list again).

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January 8th
What did I read?: にわにはににん
How much did I read?: 12 pages
(Continued 4th Story: にわにはににん )
How long did it take me?: 41 min

Turns out that this story is split into two parts, so today I finished the first part and started the second. A new character was introduced!

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:books: :snowflake: softlyraining’s snowy book stack :snowboarder: :open_book:

January 8th

:orange_square: ラストで君は「まさか!」と言う 冬の物語 (52% → 60%)

I didn’t really feel like reading this today. I thought about focusing on something else on my list, but that’s usually how I end up with half-read books in the first place…

I’m glad I pushed through, because I really enjoyed the first story! It was a 10-pager and took 22 minutes and 31 seconds for me to read. This young girl is staying in the mountains. She’s been bored because it’s been snowing hard non-stop, and one night she wanders downstairs where one of the workers is. From there, he tells her the story of the 雪女. I liked how it was written like a personal account of someone who witnessed a fable, and I liked the mysterious ending.

The second story I read is the shortest one since the prologue at the beginning: 4 pages. This was the closest I got to the 3-minute mark: 6 minutes and 24 seconds. :weary: So close, and yet…

Also like the prologue, this was written from the perspective of a character beckoning the reader (so kind of like second-person perspective). It was a little trippy, but also fun.

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I read Chapter 11 of this week’s ユージニア assignment and plan to read chapter 12 tomorrow. I started to read 半落ち and after about 2 sentences decided my brain was too tired for such a heavy assignment and read another chapter of チュベローズ instead. Tomorrow I’ll finish ユージニア and see if I have the mental fortitude for 半落ち close reading.

Also voting is open for the Natively Mystery Book club! :female_detective: :policeman: :hocho:
The books in the poll are a variety of different difficulty levels and types of mystery, and the more the merrier so please check it out and vote if you’re interested!

…I also need to go refamiliarize myself with the nominations. I at one point had noted down which I was interested in but now I can’t find it :upside_down_face:
edit: ok I voted but it was so hard :sob: So many I wanted to vote for.

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January 8 :snowflake: Home Post

山猫 era continues; I read another 28 pages today, it’s wild that that feels like a relatively small amount at this point :joy: all about perspective I suppose. I’m approaching the final stretch now, some big ideas are coming together and the like. I’ve already had bits where I’m like “wait I have to know what’s about to happen,” it’s just a matter of time until I get completely sucked in and am unable to stop :laughing: soon!

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January 7 :heavy_check_mark: :rose:

ユージニア , 70-77%

January 8 :heavy_check_mark: :rose: :dancer:

ユージニア , 77-82%
おばちゃんたちのいるところ , 62-70%

In the weekend I finished this week’s Eugenia and Wild Ladies. In Eugenia we’re getting close to the end, and I’m getting impatient to read on. But there’s so much else to read, it will have to wait.

The Wild Ladies are short stories, so it always takes a while to get into them (like starting a new book all over again). The first one of this week’s two stories was in the form of an essay, and I find these harder to read anyway. Am I the only one who finds short stories harder, I wonder? I’m the type of reader who can read fast and for ages once I’m carried by the flow of the book, but with short stories the flow is constantly interrupted.

The plan for today is to read 半落ち, and depending on how fast that goes, have a couple of days left in the week for チュベローズで待ってる and the 赤川次郎 I have started. (I keep juggling more and more books when I said I like focusing on one at a time, how does this even happen?)

So true. :sweat_smile: I also left out several I wanted to vote for.

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:spiral_calendar: Day 8: January 8th :snowboarder:

spacer:bust_in_silhouette: シャドーハウス Volume 4 (33% ➨ 53%)
spacer:sun_with_face: 夢みる太陽 Volume 3 (22% ➨ 40%)
spacer:girl: からかい上手の(元)高木さん Volume 10 (24% ➨ 31%)

Excluding this week’s reading, I’ve officially caught back up with the Shadows House book club. I had paused reading between volumes for year-end so I could cleanly finish all the manga volumes I was in the middle of, so I had quite a few chapters to catch up on.

Otherwise, reading’s been light this weekend as I’ve been working on an improved way to track my known vocabulary words and which are the next highest-frequency words to focus on learning from the manga I’m reading. While I don’t dislike my old tracking method (using Google Sheets), it’s nice to be building something much more streamlined.


The best workflow I’ve found is:

  1. Buy digital from Amazon or Kobo.

  2. Remove DRM.

  3. Run through mokuro to create a local webpage file for viewing images with selectable text.

  4. Use Yomichan, Migaku, or otherwise to create Anki cards.

I’m not familiar with Yomichan, but Migaku (subscription-based) allows me to select a sentence with an unknown word, and with one click create a card for the word including the sentence. (Well, I don’t fully utilize the one-click as I also take a screenshot of the panel to include on the card.)

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Yomichan also lets you with one click create a card for a word including the sentence (and there is a way to configure automatic screenshots as well, I think. Or at least, I know people do that for anime, haha), but getting the manga text to the point where you can do that with it is still a billion more steps than it takes for me to read digital articles that already conveniently have the text already Yomichan-able :joy_cat:. Plus, most of my manga collection is on Bookwalker, because I’ve been heavily utilizing their freebies :sweat_smile:.

I am interested in getting more into reading regular ebooks, though, because those are easy enough to open in browser and use Yomichan on them… But it’s just a matter of not really having the time to dive into books quite yet. It should get easier and faster for me when my Japanese is better, and I don’t have WK on my plate anymore.

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:house:
Jan 9

かがみの孤城 22% → 30%

Didn’t have a successful day yesterday… I only read one or two pages. Reason: procrastination :sweat:. Today I made up for it at least!

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Oh gosh, thanks for the recommendation! Actually I’ve tried watching Cure Dolly videos a few times before but I remember I couldn’t even finish one video because of how strange her voice is. Even if I try to imagine her as an old granny or a robot, which some people have suggested, it just grates on my ears… :frowning: It’s been months since I last tried to listen, so maybe I can give it another try, but if not, I’ll try some other path to take with that advice in my mind! And yes, I still have more than a month so I can still put some more grammar points into my grammar bank!

Arigatou! Agree with you completely. I found that ALL the clubs and challenges I’ve joined on WK so far have been extremely supportive and much of my motivation comes from these forums! Even if I’m just reading through comments that aren’t particularly addressed to me. I really wish I could find the same kind of community for other languages I’m learning (which is Korean and Spanish) :face_with_peeking_eye:

Very good point on shifting mindsets if needed! I’m not sure what it will be like for me for the next two books that was decided for ABBC. I’m kind of set on joining cause of the choice of manga, but if it gets too crazy, I think I will just have to do as you do, try not to decipher every single sentence, and just enjoy it as much as I can. Definitely want to learn from it, but I don’t wanna overwhelm myself either!

I’m currently on Lesson 21 of MNN and hoping I can finish the first book by the time the next ABBC starts. The thing about MNN is it only teaches you the informal conjugations that are often used in these manga from Lesson 20 and I’m still getting used to those forms now.

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:bow_and_arrow: Home :frog:

January 6th-8th

ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 63
1/6 50 - 113
1/7 114 - 132
1/8 133 - 139

I’ve been really tired the past two days. Might get more active today or tomorrow

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Home Post

Day 8 Progress:
お隣の天使様 五冊 - 81.48% → 87.69%

Work again tomorrow… and so another Monday comes…

Word of the Day: 我関われかんせず - no concern of mine, nothing to do with me. I just love the snooty feeling that this phrase gives off.

Thank you for the support!! After I catch up on the series I’ll probably go back to スローループ and ぼっち・ざ・ろっく! which I had been enjoying a lot but couldn’t really keep up with because of the additional reading load. After that… I’m thinking of a change of pace and reading a visual novel like Monkeys!¡ I’m starting to realize that early in my reading practice I should probably opt for something with more visuals and sound because keeping myself stimulated is definitely way more important than I had thought…

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Just out of curiosity, I see people posting here their progress such as pages read and content… should I do the same? I’ve been reading but have only marked on my calendar so far… :thinking:

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