Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content


Google Translate also has a draw function :stuck_out_tongue:
In the bottom left there’s a pencil icon, you just click that to enable it. It may prove useful for other cases, but for the time being I’ve found just using Jisho’s draw function has been enough for my purposes.


For sure, and it’s understandably more expensive than other SRS-type applications, for example, because it also provides a tonne of actual content. Actually, it’s not even much more than Satori Reader :thinking: though the latter has a good deal more free content to try out, and a yearly option; it’s a shame that doesn’t seem to exist anymore.


I had a look, and I have two questions:

  • what do you do when you find a misparsed word? I couldn’t find any way to tell the system that it was wrong.
  • clicking around created some kind of bug, I think: the system believes I have made 20 lingq (the max for a free account), but I only made 4. In any case, it only shows 3. I went to the vocabulary management page, but those 3 are the only one there. Is there a way to fix that? Reloading briefly showed the 4 words I added before reverting to 3…


I need to start get into reading. I find this site quite introductory friendly for starting: , whilst still difficult (for me). It is making breaking into reading easier with the site layout and hover. Also audio seems included (at least on the articles i have looked at ) big bonus.

Also for looking up Kanji i would say the SKIP method is quite fast once you learn it and can be used with jisho by using a search term like #kanji #skip:1-2-3 - more info

Has anybody used Clay Boutwell Reading collections such as Hikoichi, if so are they good and interesting? It looks like it breaks down the vocab being used on small snippets and autio is also free to download in natural speed and slow speed and its states that its aimed towards n5 on the following page - I may try it out.


Another source I use is TBS news:

It’s nice because the articles are relatively short, and most also have an audio portion. So you can practice both reading and listening, if that’s what you’re into.


A thought on “General Advice”

Of course reading methods vary from person to person, but I also feel the learner’s goal is also something to consider. In my case, I studied Japanese formally for a year and a half at DLI (Defense Language Institute) with the goal of passing an exam at the end of that time…an exam that was timed, and questions were asked based on content. To prepare, countless news articles were thrown at us, and we needed to read them quickly. I had a nasty habit (and still do) of trying to sound everything out when I read an article. Of course, I need to speak Japanese for my job (I live in Japan), so this is probably why. However, if you are purely reading for the purpose of garnishing the overall meaning, it may be better to simply read for the meaning and not sound everything thing out as you’re running your finger over the text. Personally I WANT to know how to say everything. However, that can sometimes be super tedious and daunting, when in fact I still know the MEANING. So…what you decide to do greatly depends on what your goals are. What sort of reader are you? Do you sound everything out when you read? Or do you scan and pull the overall meaning? Maybe a bit of both? I don’t think there is a right or wrong here, it just depends on your goals, interests, or in my case…academic requirements. But, it’s food for thought and something I didn’t always think about until somewhat recently. Cheers.


I’m sure you’ve already heard of it, but if not, I HIGHLY recommend A GUIDE TO JAPANESE GRAMMAR by Tae Kim. It’s free on his website

Though I actually bought a physical copy from amazon as my way to “thank” him because, it’s amazing. I studied Japanese grammar for a year and a half at a formal school and I can tell you Tae Kim organizes it in an excellent way and it’s a great way to attack grammar if you haven’t done much of it yet. Compared to my formal schooling, I wish they would have presented grammar in the manner and order that this book does.


I haven’t tried those readers, no, but they look really awesome, so I’d love to hear if anybody has. I’m not quite sure whether they fit under ‘graded reader’ or ‘bilingual books’, because it seems they provide not only an English translation (not alongside the text though) but also grammar and vocabulary breakdowns.

I wonder why we don’t seem to hear about them so much :thinking:


Drawing kanji in the translation app on your phone is also really convenient (for getting pointed in the right direction when tracking down pronunciation). When I was learning Chinese many many years ago, I had to look up each character by radical or number of strokes. Now, simply writing the character and having my phone guess what I was trying to say is like magic. Of course, it helps to have an understanding of how to write characters, but you can pick that up relatively quick.


If you click and drag over the word then you can custom select how you want it be saved as a lingQ. This is quite useful for selecting the conjugation endings together with the word and the feature works well most of the time although on some occasions it is a little hit-and-miss and doesn’t let you select the word in the manner that you wish.

Somewhere on the website (maybe in the help section) there should be a link to a webinar which explains in detail all the useful features of the site and how to get the most out of it.

As for your second issue, I’m not sure what is going on but it could be that you saved some words to KNOWN (in white) and therefore they counted towards the trial amount even though they weren’t saved as LingQs (in yellow). Also, by default, turning the page on any content automatically saves all words highlighted in BLUE as KNOWN.

Hope this helps

EDIT: Found the webinar on YouTube


Agreed 100%. Best part is I love the fact that the character recognisition doesn’t care about stroke order when you are drawing kanji to search for. Years ago I use to use one particular app which wouldn’t recognise the character if the strokes weren’t drawn in the correct order.


@Radish8 I just got a notification that you added some link of mine to the first post, but that post is huge. Which one did you add? :slight_smile:


Oh, haha! I added the Aria Book Club to the list of book clubs :slightly_smiling_face:


I saw the title and thought this was another reading resource request and was going to suggest that we make a sticky or something. Pleasantly surprised to see that it’s already been done, and apparently awhile ago. Guess that won’t stop the posts from coming, huh.


@CyrusS Do you have the power to pin this post to the Reading section?



Nice collection of resources, guys! Pinned.


omg omg omg

also thanks @seanblue!


Do you win an award for getting your post pinned?


I don’t need an award, the glow of happiness is enough :grin:

if you mean a badge or something then no, it doesn’t seem like you do