Week 3: 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん 👵🏼

I struggle with that from time to time, as well. Here are my thoughts…

I’m using Tobira to learn vocab/grammar/kanji/etc, and using shadowing/italki for listening and production. With those bases covered, my goal with reading, at this time, is to maximize my total exposure to Japanese. Once I finish Tobira, then I’ll probably set aside some reading time in some way to fuel grammar/vocab study, but I’ll probably still dedicate time just to run the Japanese input odometer.

So when I’m reading, I’m shooting for something very roughly in the range of 80-90% comprehension. I read mainly on my Kindle, so word look up is instantaneous. I usually just glance at the first definition and if it sort of makes sense I move right on. If I have a problem looking up the word or understanding it I simply skip it. It’s certainly interesting to learn about the different readings of 仏心, but is that really going to give you the most return on the time invested? Now, when I start to notice the same words/issues coming up regularly, then I might take an extra few seconds to try to figure out the precise meaning, do a more in depth investigation, or even add a note card to my Anki deck, but that’s pretty rare.

This might not be the best way to do it, but it’s what I’ve settled on. It also makes reading much less of a chore. When I ask myself why I’m learning the language–what I’m getting out of it–at least I can get this daily enjoyment of reading without feeling like I’m hitting my head against a wall.

I was having trouble figuring out this bit


I figured out that 贅沢を言う means “to ask/expect too much”. And I guess that the latter half is a bit like this example sentence:

Life is not something that is easy.

But then I end up with: if you don’t expect too much, it’s not that… いる? :sweat_smile: Wait what?


要る, maybe? “I don’t need it that much”

But I’m a bit out of context, so this might not make sense at all :sweat_smile:


That makes sense!

Sometimes using kanji for いる can be very helpful! :stuck_out_tongue:


Another question.


“Though we have things to pick up, we have nothing to throw away”…? Somehow that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.


It’s saying they use everything completely, there is no leftovers or waste. They eat even the fishbones, and the melon skin, and also turn used tea leaves into food, etc. and what they can’t eat, they will feed to the chicken.


Ah, now it clicked! There is a passage of time implied. “Though there are things we pick up, [by the time we’re done with them] we have nothing to throw away.”


Thanks for posting fruit pics!! I think maybe I just bought two ぐみのみ bushes for my yard-- it looks very similar, although they come in all sorts of colors, and my berries were blue. If it’s the same, they are called Yezie berries in English, and taste like tart blueberries. At least, mine did.


My kid read Brown Girl Dreaming and House on Mango Street in Middle school a couple of years ago. I’m not sure what else. I’ve noticed that The Outsiders is still required reading in Middle school, too. I think I read that when I was in middle school.

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Or か (徳永家[とくながか])

Or even や (家賃[やちん]、 家守[ヤモリ])

It’s hard to learn these if you are only reading to yourself. I suppose that’s one reason to join a read-aloud, which some of the book clubs offer. It’s also a benefit of books/manga with ふりがな.

Also, if in doubt, look it up. I feel like I’m finally getting to a place where one just sounds better, and am usually right, but I’d never know that if I didn’t look it up.

Also, keep in mind that there are times when it’s a matter of taste. After all, even Japanese people don’t all agree on the pronunciation of their own country’s name:


This would be け, I think :wink: another reading, yay!


Oh, right! Yay, more readings!!!

か example:
漫画家 (まんがか)


I just looked up 我が家 (わがや)
And saw 我家 (わぎえ)、 so there’s another one for you.