📚 📚 Read Japanese Every Day Challenge - Spring 2024 🌸 🍡 🌱

Just the gentle push I needed to start exploring beyond Tadoku… This is going to be fun, thank you @DIO-Berry for getting this started!

Thoughts and logs
  1. Satori reader Tokyo Cat Rides Free, easy news episode 1. Knowing the kanji is indeed just the beginning :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. Got stumped quite a bit, especially on 手前 (second kanji makes sense in context, but what’s the hand doing there?!) and 行き先 (last kanji could possibly mean ‘previous’ but is translated as the opposite?!).

  2. Satori reader Chi-Batman Spotted Again, easy news episode 2. Nice to see kanjis ‘in the wild’ from my last level like 映画 and 格好 ! In context, the latter is translated as ‘dressed up’… but using the WK primary meaning ‘in the shape of’ gets the job done :sunglasses:. It’s all about getting the gist of the story at my level right now.

  3. First time on NHK easy news! The headline is about the Taiwan earthquake and the picture says it all. Scrolling down, I spot the kanji for Spring. Aha, the piece is about 竹の子 , which brings me all the way back to level 4… it’s written in hiragana, but hover over it and the kanji appears. Nice. The audio is great too and I had fun reading the Japanese-only dictionary entries.

  4. 2nd day on NHK news, article about keeping time on the moon. I thought I would be well equipped with all the kanjis for planets, but there’s always a surprise; there is space and then there is outer-space. The latter appears only in level 19! Well, something to look forward to :smile:. It was fun seeing the 2 kanjis for ‘plan’ in the same sentence: 計画 をつくる予定です。”Planning to make a plan”, anybody?!

  5. After going through the couple of panda news on NHK, discovered the reading passages on bunpro. Not terribly entertaining, but useful to consolidate grammar points. The notes are great. Too bad there’s no audio on the mobile app and the only way to toggle the furigana is to switch to vertical reading. I definitely need some practice with reading top down and right left :sweat_smile:

  6. Slowly getting used to top down reading. Deciphering would be more accurate :melting_face: Opened a few ‘easy’ stories on Satori reader and got stumped. Back to tadoku, a sherlock holmes novel. I plough through the first page, and suddenly recognise dates, ‘London’ and ‘Watson’. A few familiar kanjis appear and I’m already 3 pages in. From the picture it looks like I guessed roughly what the story is about so far. I’m a bit surprised that what must surely be ‘lady’ in the original text is translated as 女性 (“female”)?!

  7. Managed to read 6 pages more of the Sherlock Holmes story. It’s still a lot of guesswork, but I’m somehow automatically filling the gaps to tease out a coherent story out of bits and pieces. After going through a whole page I plug it into a translator. Yikes, my imagination does run a bit wild :crazy_face:.

  8. Continued doggedly through 3 more pages. Met a few of the kanjis from my current level, which was great, but overall comprehension is still pretty nebulous.

  9. Three more pages, it’s getting exciting! Word of the day: 歯ブラシ :toothbrush: :grin:

  10. I’m now alternating between reading/translating —to check what I understood—, and doing it the other way round — to recognise sentence structures and figure out overall meaning, based on the translation. This gets me 6 pages further through the story and the suspense is building up!

  11. Tadoku lvl 5 Sherlock Holmes short story: :white_check_mark:. Started Ali baba lvl4 and it’s much easier in terms of vocabulary. This should be manageable with a couple of jisho lookups per page, with some luck :four_leaf_clover:.

  12. Travelling right now, but managed half a dozen pages of Alibaba. Definitely easier than Sherlock Holmes, with colourfull illustrations. At least one kanji from lvl 15 comes in handy: 岩 :rock:

  13. Finished Alibaba. Even though I certainly didn’t get all of it, what I understood made more sense than the translation :joy:. Having broken all the golden rules of Tadoku :bowing_man:, I think I am ready to give Satori Reader another try!

  14. Second attempt on Satori, Hole in the wall episode 1. Ah that feels much better! Now I can follow the audio on normal speed, and tease out the structure of each sentence. I still need to translate about half a dozen critical words to make sense of what the story is about, but that’s a total breeze on the Satori app. What a great app :heart_eyes:!

  15. Hole in the wall episode 2 is something else :sweat_smile: Could not make sense of the grammar even with added spaces to ease parsing (another great feature!) and got stumped by the many adverbs and kana-only words. Ah well, Satori will have to wait again. Back to Tadoku level 3 野のばら. Much better… the illustrations definitely help. Word of the day 蜜蜂, which would have been easier to guess from the 虫 part, than the katakana version used in the text ミツバチ :honeybee:!

  16. 野のばら :white_check_mark:. That was a good read, though not a story to cheer one up after a long day. Tadoku seems to be heavy on dark subjects, especially the longer stories. Time to look elsewhere!

  17. Somebody mentionned Sakura and Suzuki as a good starting series on Satori, so I gave it a shot. Indeed, it’s much easier than Hole in the wall. Read two episodes. Then spotted again the Tadoku lvl 4 book on French painter Paul Jacoulet, and realised I could now follow along pretty well! I sure must have been learning something those past couple of months :grin:.

  18. I went overboard and finished the Paul Jacoulet book last night. New vocabulary is pretty limited and repeats throughout the book, something to do with prints and woodblock printing. Favourite kanji: 蝶 :butterfly:! Sakura and Suzuki episodes (easy version) are pretty short, and I managed to read 4 episodes. My grammar is still very shaky… Tae Kim and Bunpro have been very good at making me fall asleep, but I don’t think I’m absorbing much.

  19. Sh*t is hitting the fan at work :exploding_head:! I can just about keep up with WK reviews and I barely managed 1 episode of Sakura and Suzuki. Looks like work is spilling over the weekend too, oh well.

  20. Finally got back on track :relieved: . Back to reading Sakura and Suzuki, what fun to spot a word that I’ve just learned 建築家.

  21. Too much going on for daily logs, but managed a couple of episodes on Satori every day. The grammar points are great, I’m hoping that the same explanations will keep reappearing… and they will eventually sink in. The episodes are nice and short, perfect for me right now. Fun article on NHK easy about 富士山

  22. I’m through the first 15 episodes of Sakura and Suzuki on Satori reader and slowly getting into the groove. Listening to the voice actors helps me get a feel for the rythm of the language. The story is simple, but keeps me sufficiently engaged to want to read more :smiling_face: .

  23. Busy Sunday, but somehow managed to squeeze a few reading sessions. Our Japanese friend was very impressed by Satori as an app, but after shooting a quick glance at the text, promptly declared: “I don’t speak like that!”. Mind the generation gap :rofl:

  24. Read five more episodes on Satori. The epistolary format is great for getting used to sentence structure without becoming overwhelmed with new vocabulary. There’s a fair amount of repetition between episodes, where one message echoes the other. Very clever. Breezed through Tadoku level 3 book about a little きつね. I decided to simply follow along with the audio, without worrying too much about understanding every word. It was very relaxing to sit back and enjoy the storytelling and whimsical illustrations.

  25. Sakura and Suzuki :white_check_mark: . The style was very colloquial and according to the notes, borderline rude, but I guess the point was to simplify the sentence structure to make it more easily accessible?! Suited me well, and the story was engaging. Now on to the next series :partying_face:!

Log part II.

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:turtle: May :dango:
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:sloth: Jun :seedling:
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