Vertical reading

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the new post, I would have preferred to post in a “tiny questions” thread but didn’t find one in the Japanese section…

I’ve been searching the forums for tips on vertical reading. For example, I’m having a bit of trouble recognizing small つ in vertical text, and it’s kind of slowing me down, especially when looking up words.

I’d be grateful if anyone has general pro tips for reading vertical text (or not, maybe it’s just a case of “read more and you’ll get used to it”).

Thanks in advance :blush:


It is a case of “read moar”, but if you’re reading a digital text making the font size bigger might help.

(Save us God from furigana that decides that small letters should be the same size as the big letters, though.)


I notice the same when reading on my kindle aswell, but i dont expect anything else than "I’ll probably get used to it "


Am I the only one who despite reading horizontal for a good while went “Wow this is so much better!” the first time I started reading a book :joy:


Ok I’ll keep pushing through then, thanks for the input @konekush and @Emiloow!
I’ve noticed that manga on my kindle doesn’t stay sharp when I zoom it, but ebooks with actual text (not images of text) are fine! Thanks for the tip (I really should have already tried this, silly me).

@morteasd I wish my brain worked more like yours :sweat_smile: I’m enjoying reading vertical text (somehow feels more authentic), but my learning resources kind of got me used to reading horizontally…


Yeah i noticed aswell pretty quickly that manga and kindle arent compatible
So i just dropped manga altogether and now only read light novels on it. :man_shrugging:

Although i could still use the desktop kindle reader app and read manga, its nicer to just grab the kindle and sit somewhere comfy.


Yeah, maybe part of it is just placebo effect of it being kind of “cool” and “authentic” :smiley:


For small characters, see this sample from a book I’m reading.

As you can see, the big つ kinda fills the whole space between characters evenly, while the small one leaves a bit more room open on one side. You can use these cues to tell them apart.

My personal problem with つ is in furigana. For whatever reason, in all the books I own there is no visual difference between the small characters and the large ones in furigana, which can be annoying when encountering new words (if I already know the word, I don’t have a problem with it, but new words can be annoying)


Thank you for the super clear example and explanation!

(And +1 for the furigana problem)


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