Tobira study group - chapter 3

This is the thread for chapter 3 of Tobira. Our home thread for this study group is here .

As usual we’ll spend 2 weeks going through chapter 3.

Here is the link to the Tobira web site where you can find recordings of the main text and dialogues in each chapter plus kanji and grammar resources.

Who will study chapter 3 of Tobira the next 2 weeks?

  • I will study chapter 3 now
  • I will study chapter 3 later

0 voters


The text in this chapter looked intimidating at first glance, but when I started to go through it, it wasn’t too bad. I listened to it once while reading along. Later I’ll read again, without listening, and make sure that I understand everything. I may be back with questions later!

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I’m running a bit behind (still haven’t finished the exercises from chapter 2), but will probably start the chapter 3 readings in the next couple of days anyway!


I’m glad you’re still here!

Even if you don’t finish a chapter by the end of the two weeks, the thread will still be here. I hope that we’ll get through the whole book, so we have one thread per chapter, and then someone who wants to work with Tobira later can jump in to the chapter they’re working on. I’m still working on some chapter 2 stuff and slowly getting into chapter 3 myself. Just take your time with it!

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I also don’t always manage to end a chapter by the second Sunday or start the new one on Monday :smiley: but I think that’s the cool thing about a thread like this - there’s enough time to be flexible, but you’re also reminded to keep going through the book. The 読み物-portion was easy enough, now on towards the exercises.
Edit: though I found it hard to follow the text while listening to the audio - had to repeat that a few times with the speed and the kanji :man_shrugging:

Have you guys tried Bunpro? I had been doing that site for a while, also N3, and now that I started Tobira, I always complete the Tobira-path for the current chapter. Bunpro is very handy like that :smile:

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Yes, I have a subscription, but I don’t like their SRS system. What I do like is to read the example sentences there and read about the grammar points on Bunpro and on the sites they link to. I have enough SRS in my life as it is :wink:

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I use Bunpro too, I find it helps a lot! I’m trying to add/restudy one Tobira grammar point every day (some of them are separated on Bunpro though, so sometimes I do two).

I finished the N5 and N4 paths completely before starting on Tobira, and found I’ve already covered quite a number of the Tobira grammar points. It’s a shame there’s no easy way to quiz a whole chapter if some of them have already been done…(you can re-study them together, but it will only quiz the new ones)


Wow just finished the 読み物 and I really enjoyed reading it! :robot:

When reading the first passage (:robot: seal) I thought I was misunderstanding the text – but after googling I realized this is a real series of robots designed for animal therapy in hospitals and care homes!

Same for the second passage, (:robot::dog2:) I thought I’d misread when the person starts talking about how it started learning and adapting. But the AIBO robot really did have some artificial intelligence that allowed it to evolve its behavior over time!


I really enjoyed that text too! Somehow Tobira has managed to make textbook reading ejoyable for me. I’m actually looking forward to working on the material, which is more than I can say about most other textbooks!

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Yeah I’m looking forward to all the readings in this book! It’s still early days, but the reading level seems perfect for me right now, and so far I’ve learned interesting things in all of them!

I just read the first dialogue too, and have to agree with John about the confusing syllabic abbreviations like エンスト (from engine stalling) :sweat_smile:

Not sure how well I’ll keep up with exercises though (only so many hours in a day), but I do read through them and answer mentally… Focusing mostly on readings/dialogues/grammar for now :blush:


I’ll try to translate the first 10 lines of text from page 57:

Japan is famous for its developments in robot technology. If you go to a robot event site, you can see robots that draw lifelike pictures, robots that take orders and bring drinks, robots that can walk on the walls and the ceiling like a spider, as well as robots that perform surgery. In reallity, there are already many robots that take part in our society, by housesitting, lifting heavy items, making cars at factories, and doing different jobs in stead of humans. In addition to working robots, there are also robots that are made to live together with humans.Let’s read the stories of people who live together with robots.


I’ve managed to finish chapter 3 now so I’ve caught up with everyone! Though I’ve been skipping the questions. :sweat:
I’m enjoying reading all the text and watching the videos. I’m using Bunpro with the grammar points as well. :slight_smile:


Actually, if you look at other Japanese abbreviations, it’s probably not that strange: パソコン, for instance. I think you generally just take the first syllable or so of each word. It’s like how 東京大学 becomes 東大.

What are the videos like, actually? When I studied Tobira a while back, I basically just skipped whatever I felt was slowing me down, which included the non-textbook resources (so I had the recordings, but rarely used the website otherwise) and the comprehension questions (because after a while, I felt they were such a pain when I could basically just copy the passage and change a few words in order to make the answer relevant).

Yeah I know how Japanese abbreviations are formed, it’s just not always easy to tell I’m even looking at an abbreviation… (I would definitely not have guessed what エンスト even meant for example)

The videos are fine – a little stiff and dated, but they’re short and I find them helpful! They’re very different to everything else I watch, because I can understand everything in them :slight_smile: (the vocab is graded and I’ve already read the textbook reading :woman_shrugging:)

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Fair enough. I couldn’t guess what it meant without context either (and to be honest, I probably didn’t remember it at all when you brought it up). It’s easier to guess what the abbreviation of a phrase might be than to guess the phrase based on the abbreviation.

Are the videos actually supposed to be watched at the beginning of the chapters? I know that the book tells us that there’s plenty of stuff on the website, but I honestly didn’t know conversation and summary videos existed until I saw them being shared on this thread.

I’m not sure there’s a proper order of going through the material – my tutors tend to skip around a bit when we use textbooks and/or extra resources (usually starting with small talk, then some vocab, then some grammar, then reading/listening/conversation)…

I’m doing Tobira as self-study outside of my tutoring sessions though, so I just do the bits I like most :smile: (I’ve been really slacking on the exercises so far, but I might come back and do them at some point later on)


Hahaha. Skipping around sounds like what happened when I had French class in school. Teachers never followed the textbook strictly (though they usually stayed within the same chapter for each lesson).

I personally only really bother with the texts, dialogues and grammar points. I also read cultural notes where possible. Still, there are some things I just glance through for general knowledge without expecting to remember them, because I think it’s impossible to do so without context/practice.

Separately, I gave myself a little kick today and started chapter 8. Culturally quite interesting (as usual), but since I’m more of an academic person (as much as I love reading fantasy books) and I want to read newspapers, I hope to find a chapter on politics soon. It seems that only comes later though. Learning about literature might be nice too, though I have no clue if I would enjoy Japanese classics. (I read about 吾輩(わがはい)は猫である, in which the author writes from the perspective of a cat observing humans. I didn’t know what to think, though the premise seemed interesting.)


Yeah, that. These two weeks have been very busy, so I didn’t manage to complete all the exercises :smiley:

The chapter was cool though. This weekend I’m gonna just review all grammar-points to make sure I know them, and also watch those videos, I always forget they exist. Thanks for the reminder :slight_smile:


Have any of you done the exercise on page 58? It would be fun to compare answers if any of you have done them!

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Late to the game but I’d love to see what you answered as I’m super unsure about mine! Just started chapter 3 :smiley:
I really adored the text as well. I did end up getting sidetracked and watching videos about Paro the seal for a while tho :sweat_smile: