て-form and informal ‘conjugations’ (so the ones without です/ます) will be very useful. You will want to check those out if you’re not familiar with them yet. For the rest: don’t worry, every conceivable question will probably be asked and answered in the discussion threads, so you will be able to learn as you go
Hey, I’m excited to join y’all in this book club, my first time! I managed to open an Amazon.co.jp account and bought the digital version of the book, but I have been having so much trouble trying to read it.
I can’t get it to open in the actual Kindle app on my PC. Somehow it seems to conflict with my regular English Kindle App, i.e. it won’t let me sign in with my Japan account. I can read it with the in-Amazon online Kindle reader, but it is waaaaaaaay too small for my old eyes to see the furigani, and I’m disappointed that I can’t highlight things or add notes.
I CAN open it on my iPad Kindle App, yay! But same disappointments as above.
I researched how to convert it to PDF. This seems to be what I should do so that I can englarge it, read it, make notes for myself. I even downloaded Calibre. BUT since I can’t open it in the Kindle App on my PC (see Point No.1) I can’t access the file.
I’m not SUPER techy…any simple way to get a PDF version?! PLEASE help these old eyes out!!!
What exactly do you mean by ‘won’t let you sign in’? What happens if you try?
I don’t know if newer versions of the app are any different, but for example on mine you’d have to click on tools → options → registration → deregister, change the market place on the log-in screen to Japan, and log in again.
Also, what kindle app version are you using? IIRC you need one of the older ones to be able to get the ebook file.
yep, I’m with @Scylie on this one: amazon JP needs its own separate account, so I suppose that’s the reason why it works fine on your iPad (fresh install of kindle app I think?), while it doesn’t on your PC (logged into your English account).
if it’s for creating a pdf once, you can switch accounts as Scylie says, make your pdf, and switch back to the English account.
myself, I run the JP account on iPad, and the ‘regular’ one on other devices, to avoid permanent switching and re-downloading content (bad news: obviously you temporarily lose all EN content while in JP mode). not fun. hence, seperate devices for me.
the problem with manga is: the text is usually part of the images, and can’t be adapted in the app like text in a book, hence no font options, text size increases etc. if the overall quality of the ebook isn’t great, zooming in will just show a larger muddy kanji, sadly, not a clearer version. I’m afraid you’ll also have that in the pdf. but hey, no reason to not give it a try anyway
hope this clarifies the logon issues, at least. good luck making the pdf!
Really excited to start my first book club!
Thank you Scylie for your reply! By “won’t let me sign in,” the PC version of kindle just won’t accept the username and password for my Japan account. Just says there’s a problem shrug I’ guess I’ll just have to be content with reading it on my iPad.
Thank you, sinagu, for all that good information. I guess I won’t even try for the PDF – it’s giving me too many headaches anyway – and just be content with the Kindle App on my iPad working with the Amazon JP. I’ll take your advice and designate that device just for my Japanese downloads.
Not long to go now. I’ve got the hard copy of the book and a print out of the first chapter grammar (many thanks for this great resource). Something for each hand.
Did you try changing the amazon store at the bottom of the page to amazon.co.jp? There should be an option “Sign in using” where you can change the amazon store you want to log into.
I already started to dip in a little. It’s my first book and it is really difficult. I feel like I learned nothing after 4 month of Japanese study.
It’s only natural in the beginning, no worries! I remember my first few pages of Yotsuba taking easily one or two hours per page, because I still needed to check / double check every piece of text, look up unfamiliar grammar and stuff. It gets easier the more you practice! Just hang in there, and if there’s anything unclear, don’t be afraid to ask
Can’t wait to start! This will be my first book club involvement.
I feel like I’ve been getting to the point in my studies where I need to start integrating more reading and this next book is starting at the perfect time.
This is exactly the expected experience, so you’re on the right path =D
You’ll find you are experiencing one of two things:
- You haven’t learned enough grammar.
Caveat: At four months in, any amount of grammar you may have learned won’t be enough for the first time you read.
- You haven’t read enough to build up pattern recognition. (And in that case, you’re in the right place!)
Regarding point (2), the brain is a pattern recognition machine. The way you become familiar with things is by encountering them over and over again, so that patterns become recognized. It takes time, so don’t worry if you’re needing to re-learn some grammar and vocabulary multiple times along the way.
I would read along but I am really really new so I wouldn’t understand a thing. I might try to read the first chapter(because I can get it for free) and then maybe I’ll try.
I’d say still to give it a try. With the furiganas, your wanikani level doesn’t matter. You can still read the pronunciation, and can find the stray kanji by typing them out. At the same time, even just by reading along and listening to the surrounding discussion you’ll get to see where other people struggle, and might learn a thing or two from them. The earlier you start, the more exposure you get, and the easier it’ll be in the end
Yeah that’s a good point. And I guess when I am doing something with other people it keeps me motivated. I know that I’m extra motivated now because I’m a beginner, but I also know it won’t last so maybe it’s better to get in the habit.
Since this is my first time participating in a book club, I was wondering if any of the more experienced members had any tips on how to make the most of it?
Particularly around grammar, as I think I have a better handle on how to approach the vocab (e.g. look up (some) vocab I don’t know, and if important or re-occurring then add it to Anki).
Do you write down / record sentences you struggle with to break down later? do you break down sentences in the moment?
Is your goal to understand everything? or just enough to progress with the story?
I have started dabbling in the first chapter to figure out how difficult it will be, and I’ve started writing out some of the more interesting sentences to break down how they work (particularly around particles and verb-endings/helper-verbs).
This is the intensive reading/extensive reading split.
For my first manga, I went the intensive reading route, looking up every grammar and vocabulary I didn’t know. After a while, I started to get used to the most common grammar, and reading became easier (maybe 5%). However, I was reading something I knew I’d enjoy (having had seen the anime adaptation), and I have a high tolerance for spending two hours working through a four-panel strip.
I continued the same method for the next few manga, but it wasn’t quite as enjoyable because the material wasn’t as interesting for me. (Shirokuma Cafe, and Chi’s Sweet Home. Things picked up for me with Flying Witch.) By then, reading was a lot easier because I got to know so much basic grammar.
After I had that basic grammar down, I was ready to dabble in the extensive reading route. As sort of a bridge from intensive to extensive, I picked up a series I knew well, having previously read it in English and having seen the anime adaptation two or three times. Knowing the context to everything in advance removed a lot of ambiguity, allowing me to read at a faster pace. This lead to increased acquiring of grammar recognition. I was also able to skip looking up a lot of unknown words, because I still knew what was going on.
Extensive reading gets easier the more grammar and vocabulary you know. Try it too early, and you may find it both unfulfilling and unrewarding.
My recommendation for grammar is:
Read up at least a little on any grammar you don’t know. You want to have at least a vague idea of it so you can recognize it when you encounter it again later.
In-depth reading on grammar can be time-consuming. Do it if you can, and if you know you won’t burn out on it. But if you don’t have the time or stamina, then focus on reading up more on grammar that comes up two or three times.
After you’ve see grammar show up more than a few times, consider how well you know it. You may have had enough exposure that you can better understand explanations of the grammar.
This method will work for some people, and not for others. If you give it a try and it doesn’t fit your learning style, don’t hesitate to try a different method until you find something that works better for you.
And most importantly, this manga’s volumes are nicely compartmentalized, so if you struggle with one chapter and fall behind on it, you can skip it when we begin the next chapter. (But never hesitate to ask questions!)
There’s quite a lot of grammar in those first several pages!
I usually use a mix of the intensive and extensive styles of reading, depending on how much is going over my head. I’ll happily read along until I’ve literally lost the plot, then I’ll go back over what I’ve just read to figure out what’s going on. That usually involves looking up words, googling a grammar point I don’t understand, and/or breaking down the sentence to get my bearings before continuing on.
Looking up unknown kanji can be an interesting experience, but thankfully you’ll have furigana to help you out with this book club. It is kind of handy to have a decent number of kanji under your belt sometimes (I just reset from Level 30 for a refresher course, and I’ve found Level 30 covers a whole lot of the most common kanji), especially when the furigana are super tiny and blurry, but you can get by without knowing any kanji at all.
And always ask questions whenever you need to. Everyone is super supportive and no question goes unanswered.
What I would recommend against is what I did when I started out, and that is to translate everything line by line. I felt like it would give me a better grip of what was going on, but it ended up costing a lot of time and sometimes confused me more than it helped. A lot of structures in Japanese cannot be translated into English very literally, so you end up wasting a lot of time worrying about such things, when reading and translating are very different skills! I would suggest reserving the full-on translation treatment only for the most difficult sentences you otherwise can’t figure out.