Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content

After a bit of testing is settled on bookwalker. It’s very easy to switch stores in the app although browsing in japanese is still somewhat diificult. I also was able to make my first pruchase on it. Although only credit card seems to be working as paypal is not accepted outside of Japan , i at least expect not being scammed by a book store.

Their choice of free books of manga is impressive too. Altough i normally get a good idea from the difficulty of reading from the preview of the first chapter having entire mangas to work on is neat.
They even have recent one’s like Rental girlfirend which is still a diffcult read for me but i was surprised that it still features furigana even for basic kanji that i know thanks to wanikani although i’m not sure i would have gotten the reading right. Would have been nice to “guess” the correct reading first and then look it up on the book club.

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Hey guys, this was probably already addressed here, but do you guys know some computer software that’s able to read japanese strings in images (pdf, online manga, etc.). Something like an OCR-ish software but without pointing the phone’s camera to the screen.
Maybe I’d select a screen region and it would identify the word for me or get the kanji. Do you know if there is something like that available? I think that would make the process of starting to read manga online faster for beginners like me.

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Would this be for an Android phone? Somebody mentioned something recently; I can try to dig it up again if it’s what would fit your phone.

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I was actually thinking of something for computer, like software or chrome extension. But I don’t really know if such a thing exists :sweat_smile:
My phone is an Android, so if you or someone else happen to know an app like that for Android I think it would be helpful too. Thanks.

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Have you tried Copyfish?

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Oh I see! Sorry, I don’t know anything for PC but here is the post I had in mind:

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

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I didn’t know this one, but it looks close to what I am looking for.
I’ll try it out. Thanks :grin:

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That looks pretty nice too. I’ll try it on my phone. Thanks

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Any tips or any posts i should check to decide about when should i start reading stuff?
I took a look at Dragon Ball SD and found it to be very intimidating, even though is classified as “absolute beginner” on WK forum :sob:

Classifications depend on many skills so they are difficult :woman_shrugging:

Have you read this thread’s OP? Especially the section “Where to Start” should give you an idea.

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I have read it, my question was more about WHEN should i start. Because right now everything seems so hard, is it suppose to be that hard? Perhapshould i wait 1~2 more months of study?

Thx for helping me!

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Well, I suppose anytime could be a good time, as long as you have the right reading material.

It will be hard in the beginning though, even beginner manga, as the characters’ ways of speaking might not be the standardized language you’re used to. Could be kids’ speech, regional dialects, puns and all sorts of hard to understand stuff, also in something aimed at young readers. Still, I think it’s best to start early (not having done so is a big personal regret).

What’s your grasp of grammar like at the moment? Because that’ll make a big difference too.

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This is so true! I’ve started reading relatively early on and struggled a lot in the beginning, thinking that maybe I should have started a little later. But a lot of people say they wish they had started consuming native material earlier since it’s hard in the beginning no matter when you start

Still, getting familiar with basic grammar will be helpful. You don’t have to be an expert who can always use everything correctly in every situation (that will come with time) but just knowing that certain things exist is going to make it easier to start reading

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I’m sorry, I should have been more specific. What I was referring to was mainly

So, the main question is, what grammar level are you at? Your WK level will be pretty irrelevant if you stick to material that has furigana (which I would recommend anyway in the beginning).

Or, to put it another way, the answer to your question “When should I start?” can always be “Now!” if you like, but depending on your grammar level, you need to pick your reading material carefully. If your grammar level is very low, you might want to take a look at this option:

These are grouped by JLPT level. If you have no grammar knowledge at all, you can start with Level 0. If you have around JLPT N5 grammar (or e.g. studied Genki I), then Level 1 is for you. With JLPT N4 grammar (roughly equivalent to Genki I + II), Level 2 would be your choice. And so on. I would only advise to try to read native material after you reach this level of grammar knowledge.

That depends on the kind of study you are aiming at! If it is only WK, then it will not get you anywhere, I’m sorry… But if you are talking about grammar studies, then depending on what you plan to read, that would be very helpful.

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I really enjoyed reading Yotsuba with this reading pack, because it also explains contractions and colloquialisms. I found Yotsuba a very good first manga for that reason. There is also a translation you could use to check comprehension.

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I can understand most of Genki I grammar and i finished JPZ book 1…But i feel my vocab is too restrict right now, maybe ~ 1000 words or so. I checked Dragon Ball SD volume 1 and could not understand most of the words…

No matter when you start, you’ll be needing to look up lots of words. It’s painful at first but get’s easier with time. Start with something that makes looking up words easy i.e. something with a built-in dictionary (Satori, LingQ etc.), graded readers that have a word bank on each page, or a past Bookclub book and have the vocab list open as you’re reading.

I’ve only finished one manga and one children’s book so far. On top of that, I’ve been reading 2 short articles from LingQ or Satori every day and find it helps a lot. I know about 1700 words and more often than not don’t know every word in a sentence, but sometimes I can figure it out by context. Also reading is a great way to learn new words!

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Or something with furigana, so at least looking up words manually is less painful.

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The ABBC and BBC usually have a crowdsourced vocab list, so I find vocab doesn’t have to be as much of an issue. It’s usually grammar and colloquialisms, contractions and other funny business they don’t teach you in the textbooks. The Kitty/Doggy Detectives books are also a good way to start, because they don’t contain too much funny business and there is a lot of discussion about grammar in the threads. We’re starting the next book soon :slight_smile:

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