Suggestions for reading practice with answers & explanations

Hello all! I have been struggling to improve my reading comprehension recently. I’ve found many resources that offer free Japanese reading practice for low-level readers, but not many that offer solutions and explain why they mean what they mean. This has been tough for me, because I often find that while I can understand each individual word, verb tense, etc., I struggle to break them into clauses & understand how the particles interact. “What is the ‘ni’ referring to? Why are they using ‘de’ here?”

My most recent exercise has been to play through Pokemon Blue in Japanese using the English script as reference. It’s fun, but it still became frustrating because a) there are often discrepancies or shortcuts taken in the English version, and b) just having the translation doesn’t actually explain the parts of the grammar that are confusing.

Does anyone have recommendations for resources that let me practice reading, but also give and explain the solution?

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That’s exactly what the Absolute Beginners Book Club is doing :slight_smile: You can either read a previous pick and make use of the existing discussion threads where you will find many breakdowns and answers (and you can even still ask questions yourself!) or you can vote on the next book and read together with the group.

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Just pester us here with questions :wink:

Or since you’re going through pokemon blue (wait do you mean green?) there’s stuff like this that was posted around recently

I can’t vouch for it but, maybe you could play LeafGreen instead of Green and follow along with this guy?

unimportant edit: Oh I always forget they did release a Blue later in Japan.

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I highly recommend the book clubs as well. You’ll have a whole community to ask your questions to :slight_smile: We also have the

threads in case you prefer reading short stories or articles instead of a whole book.

Apart from that, kanshudo has a reading corner with complete sentence break downs. You’ll need an account for accessing the reading corner but as far as I remember it is part of the free plan.

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I use Satori Reader, which is a paid service, but you can try the first two episodes of any of the series for free. Every story has voice acting, sentence translation and grammar explanations of things they consider might give the reader trouble. But for the most part, it requires a previous foundation; it’s not for complete beginners, but I’m confident it is perfect for early intermediate learners.

They acknowledged this gap though and I’m sure that’s the reason some stories have two editions: easier and harder. You can give it a try and see if it fits.

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I think OP is talking about the first pokémon gen (red and blue).

absolutely off topic...

Wouldn’t that still be red and green ? :see_no_evil: :innocent: Not sure though, which games count for “1st gen” … maybe even the pikachu version?.

I think we're hiding off-topic color talk.

Indeed. The impact on script is minimal between Green and (Japanese) Blue.

Green’s in-game trades + Blue’s script = infamous evolving Raichu

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on version names

No. I didn’t know blue was released slightly later, hence my comment, though. They are all considered first gen.

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still off topic... sorry @ OP

In case those are yours… I absolutely envy you :innocent: Feels kind of nostalgic to see them ^^

Nope… think I was :frowning: Hope, I can be forgiven… tls’ teenage time… and stuff…

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Oh yeah, I knew it was first gen. But I always think Japan = Red + Green, World = Red + Blue.

I always forget that Japan got a Blue later (but still first gen) and that the World-wide Red and Blue are based on the later Japanese Blue.

I only brought up the third gen games at all because that video was about LeafGreen, so I suggested playing LeafGreen instead of red/blue/green for the sake of matching that guy’s video guide.

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Completely off topic

When pokémon came to France, I immediately bought both red and blue and kept wondering why there was no green. Internet wasn’t really a thing at the time so I then went on a quest to find an answer to that question by buying a bunch of video game magazines (not that there was much choice either). In the import section of one, I saw a mention to red, green and blue in Japan, so I have assumed until now that they had came out at the same time. I mean, JP blue came out 3 years prior to the French release, so I had no way to know better.
It’s such a weird (and nostalgic) feeling. I wonder if I’ll ever have to go on such an adventure, going through a bunch of places (book stores in this case) in town in hope of finding something that I wasn’t even sure existed, and finally finding it after a couple a weeks.
All that to find out more than 20 years later that I was (kinda) wrong.

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Some really good resources already listed, Satori Reader in particular is one I like.

However, you may enjoy Game Gengo’s breakdowns. He explains the grammar and gives some really good commentary on the official translation vs what he feels is a more accurate translation. (Skip to 3:20 for the actual dialogue):

The videos are also pretty long, which is a good thing since he goes into depth about things, but I usually watch them over several sittings.

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