Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content

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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I just found this thread and there is one reading resource I know about that I don’t see here. I’d add it myself but I’m on mobile atm and I don’t want to accidentally mess up everything. The resource is https://yomou.syosetu.com/ It’s a site similar to Wattpad, ao3, etc. If you don’t know what they are, basically it’s a place where Japanese users can submit their own stories and others can read them absolutely for free. Since these aren’t like official publications or anything I wouldn’t expect the best or most professional quality, but they seem good from what I’ve seen so far especially if you’re strapped for cash

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Oh wow I didn’t know that. That’s pretty cool. Yeah I didn’t mean to imply they were all bad or there were no great ones, but that many of them can be rather hit or miss

reminds me of this

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That’s just Sturgeon’s Law, ya know?

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The bar is lower for self publishing

Lower than ten percent? :stuck_out_tongue: That’s a bit pessimistic of you.

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What books/literature do you suggest for Level 5’s like myself?

Want to start reading now :slight_smile:

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Ooh, this is a great suggestion, thank you! (Hope you’re doing well btw :blush:)

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I really like https://www.satorireader.com and check out the free books here Tadoku

Like most people have said though it will be difficult at the start so just push through :slight_smile:

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Any recommendations for additional resources like Reajer (online) and the parallel text collection Breaking into Japanese Literature? Both are on my radar but haven’t started them yet!

I’m more interested in reading “authentic,” unabridged short stories and selections from Japanese literature, even if there is dated vocabulary and I need to rely on an accompanying commentary text to get through. My background in Classical Latin has me attuned to this kind of methodical reading.

I’m currently making my way through the parallel text Japanese Stories for Language Learners and have found the first (abridged) stories to be very manageable at my current level. But I think I’m not quite ready for something like the Penguin Parallel Text, for instance.

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Not sure if there are multiple but my girlfriends mom got me this/one of these books for christmas. It’s great and the stories are great but the language is full on, I got through the first couple of pages on the Japanese side but I don’t see myself comfortable reading the Japanese side of that book for a very long time.

Cool book though.

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The Satori reader looks wonderful! The format looks perfect for my way of learning. Thanks for the links

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Around which level should I start reading books? I have read some posts but each one says different answers. Some say to start reading from 10 onwards, while others say whenever you think you are ready. I am very confused.

I think the official WaniKani guide suggests you start reading from level 10 onwards, but I doubt you’ll find many users recommending the same.

Or at least, I think most people would agree that your WaniKani level really isn’t the determining factor for when you should start reading. If you’ve started from scratch and learnt a decent amount of grammar alongside WaniKani as you go, sure, level 10 might be a good estimate.

But basically your grammar and - to a lesser extent - vocabulary knowledge is what will actually determine when you can/should start reading. It’s very easy to look up words if they have furigana, but sentences can be impossible to decipher if you don’t understand enough of the grammar to get going.

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Thankyou for your advice. Sounds sensible. :slightly_smiling_face: :upside_down_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

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For parallel texts, I would also recommend “Once Upon a Time in Japan” from the Kodansha Bilingual book series (it doesn’t include word lists like “Japanese Stories for Language Learners” but does have furigana, and most of the vocabulary is easier). The others in that series are mostly Q&A type books which I find less fun to read.

I also like the site https://www.satorireader.com/, though it’s more interactive (you have to hover over words or phrases to look up the meaning) and I think only some of it is free (I’m new to the site so someone else probably knows more).

For a more advanced read, if you don’t mind short readings based on news articles, I also recommend “新聞で学ぶ日本語 Nihongo Through Newspaper Articles” which has excerpts/summaries of real news articles along with vocabulary lists. If you can get a copy with the CD, the CD also has TV/radio-broadcast style records that present the same information so it’s also good listening practice. The book is (in my opinion) overpriced on Amazon right now, so maybe try to get it used if you’re interested.

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I don’t think I mentioned it in this thread but the “Easy Japanese News” (Todai) app is also decent and available for both iOS and Android :+1:

iOS: EASY JAPANESE NEWS やさしい日本語ニュース
Android: EASY JAPANESE NEWS やさしい日本語ニュース

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@radish8 would you mind throwing up a link to Koohi since Floflo hasn’t been maintained in about a year and a half and this thread is pinned? There’s also this post in the thread that keeps track of what book club books are on Koohi and how to find them easily.

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