Teasing Master Takagi-san 😝 ・ Absolute Beginners Book Club ・ Starting May 1st!

hey everyone,

I don’t think im quite ready to participate in this book club reading - I want to get a good few more kanji under my belt and start my Genki 1 textbook before then - but I was wondering how often a new book is started? is there a main page for the absolute beginners book club, and is there anything else I could be doing in the mean time to prepare for (hopefully) participating in the next book?

Thank you, lovely people

ps good luck

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Hay everyone I am wondering is the vocabulary list is already somewhere? I would like to get started on that before may. This will be my first book club and I want to be ready:)
Thanks!

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wow nevermind I just saw it :smiley: Must have looked like an add to me and I skipped over it :smiley:

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Ohhhhh I’m mighty tempted to try join in, although I’m only halfway through Genki I (finding it a bit… sterile?) but I have started with some graded readers as they’re a bit more interesting. At the very least I might try follow along, even if at a slower pace.

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I think you could expect the next book to start in early July. We typically read one book at a time (though there are a bunch of offshoot clubs these days). It would definitely be challenging if you don’t know any grammar; the kanji are less of a concern at this point because the books we read in the Absolute Beginners Book Club usually have furigana.

If I were you I’d focus on grammar for a while. You could join the next book in July or have a look at one of the old book clubs before then. There are always people around to answer questions in those threads as well :slight_smile:

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The main page of ABBC is here, and it is also in the original post. On the main page there is a list of previous club picks, each of them has dedicated threads with schedules, chapter discussions etc, so you can see what it is.

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I am the definition of absolute beginner, but this looks really intriguing! I am not sure if I’ll be super vocal or present in the discussions, and might lurk a bit at first, but I’d like to at least try and follow along, see how well I can do!

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If you’re up to learning basic grammar at a breakneck pace, you’re in the right place.

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If we stick with the plan of a week break in between each book then the next book will start July 10th. We’ll hold a vote to decide which book to read next about 6 weeks before to give time for people to purchase the book before starting.

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Any tips for grammar one should be focussing on?

Since I have a few weeks to prep I should probably spend it trying to catch up.

the ones in the book :wink: couldn’t resist すみません。

you’ll just come across them as you read … if you have questions post them up even if they seem silly, someone else will have the same question.

as was said…(by a seasoned reader…who is also one of the folks who has also helped me in the past with bookclubs )

sometimes (maybe every sentence) you may feel like you’re banging your head against the wall but that’s what the club is for … everyone helps everyone else.

You can always search the thread (when the club starts), the whole board, as well as bunpro (if you use that resource. Lots of ways to learn…reading Japanese for a native English speaker isn’t easy (but it is easier than listening comprehension)

A good resources that has been posted in the past is:
http://www.ichi.moe

And when super desperate (practically cheating) / http://www.deepl.com
works super well… Both are free!

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Honestly, my best advice (considering reading begins in a few weeks) is to spend 10 to 20 minutes a day watching episodes of Cure Dolly’s Japanese from Scratch course. (Turn on subtitles.)

It’s okay if you don’t understand the material at first. You’re not necessarily expected to right away. Simply getting exposure to concepts will make a big difference in understanding them later. If you make it through the first 24 videos (start today!), you’ll be in a much better position to learn as you go if you stick with the book club.

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If you haven’t done so yet I’d try and get your head around the plain form of verbs and adjectives in past and non-past, positive and negative, and the te-form of verbs. These will come up a lot and if you can learn to recognise them it will make your reading a lot easier.

So for example the verb - 泳ぐ - to swim:
泳ぐ
泳がない
泳いだ
泳がなかった
泳いで

the adjective: 高い - tall
高い
高くない
高かった
高くなかった

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And to give an idea on how much there is to know about these, they’re covered across Cure Dolly’s videos numbered four through eight (five videos). That’s about an hour’s worth of watching!

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Hello everyone! I’d really like to participate in this, but I’ve just recently started studying grammar and I’ve chosen to use Bunpro.jp instead of Genki. I actually have both Genki I and II, but the last time I tried learning Japanese I found it difficult to get excited about anything because of how rote the studying seemed. I couldn’t motivate myself to finish even the first chapter. By the time May rolls around I should have finished most of the N5 grammar points Bunpro has, do you think that’s an acceptable place to be or will I still be struggling quite a bit to read anything?

Also, I know Genki is sort of the gold standard, but do you think using Bunpro is an acceptable replacement or should I ditch it and just try the textbook route again?

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I don’t think you should ditch it, but supplementing it isn’t a bad idea, there is a lot of nuance and information that gets lost in simply using bunpro. (Not that I not love bunpro, use it myself after all!). You don’t NEED to go the textbook route, you can try to encounter it in the wild by reading a lot and stuff, but I’d give the genki books another chance personally. There’s no need to do all the exercises, but seeing as you own them I’d recommend at least reading through each chapter once and doing some exercises to form your own sentences with the grammar patterns you learn, then just add them to bunpro (there is a genki path, so you can follow that if you want!) to keep it in your memory. If you feel you’re still struggling / failing on certain grammar points then, you can always read the other linked reading on bunpro, or just read more to encounter the grammar points in the wild.

For your level, this manga will be an excellent first choice though, it’s one of the easier ones around, and if you do have any questions, feel free to ask them always :smile_cat:

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This will be my first WK bookclub. I have volumes 1-6 now and I’ll probably start studying the vocab soon. I’m really looking forward to actually following one of the bookclubs.

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When adding vocab to the list, I noticed a few words that were skipped in chapter one. Is the goal not to add every word the first time it appears? I’m wondering if I should fill in missing words as I see them. I’m also worried I’m going to end up adding words that are just seen as clutter.

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I would be happy if every word was in the vocab list. We are all “absolute beginners” after all… :laughing:

(And a huge thanks to those who actually populate the vocab list. Your dedication helps all of us!)

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What’s typical…people add words they have to look up…Hence “missing” words. The sheet isn’t necessarily meant to be a vocab list of every word in the book on day 1…By the END of the week then the sheet is filled and folks move onto the next chapter.

The people that read a lot already know more vocab so if you don’t need to spend time looking it up then there’s little need to add it to sheet right? (spending time filling out a spreadsheet takes away the fun of reading…is reading Japanese fun…hmmm)

As long as folks in general pay attention to the instructions and fill out the sheet properly it doesn’t make a lot of difference who adds words.

The most common mistakes that occur (what I’ve seen):

  • Grammar does NOT go into the spreadsheet. (a common question but nope doesn’t belong)… an argument for another thread
  • Use the dictionary form of words (i.e… if 聞いてる in the book/manga… use 聞く in the spreadsheet)
  • Page numbering is typically based on the physical book (sometimes a separate column is added for digital book i.e…% to make it easier on the digital group)
  • Incorrect meanings recorded - happens when someone is unsure and uses a translator (if you aren’t 100% sure - don’t add) Post up a question to the board and then throw it in the sheet when you get an answer. People may mean well, but all it does is confuse new folks trying to understand a very strange sentence (ask me how I know) :wink:

Don’t worry too much though…just do your best and enjoy the book. Really the best thing you can do is use the forums…any question you have someone else WILL have, if not now later months from now as these clubs stay around.

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