What level should I start going out and reading?

みんなさん今日は!

Hi all! What level should I go out and start reading news and manga and such? I know basic grammar (I went through Textfugu a few years back). What levels did you all go out and start reading manga especially? Is there one that’s recommended?

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Start as soon as possible. I think I first started reading graded readers around level 5. The sooner you start the more progress you’ll make.

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As early as possible.

Keep in mind that it will be extremely painful and often tedious when you’re starting out. You will be using a dictionary all of the time. I still use one multiple times per page in a fairly simple novel. Reading in your internet browser might be a good place to start since extensions make looking up words fairly trivial. However, you may never remember the words unless you save them somewhere and turn them into flash cards.

The following websites might be a good place to start.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/
https://floflo.moe/
https://www.satorireader.com/ (most content requires a subscription)

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Check community bookclubs:

There are few manga being read at the moment, and you can also check old threads to see example pages, vocab sheets and discussions. Beginner club will start new manga on Feb 15.

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As soon as possible. Start with something like Graded Readers, work your way up to NHK Easy News and easier manga, maybe check out Matcha’s Easy Japanese articles. As noted, it will be painful at first, and you’ll need to keep a dictionary handy, but you’ll also be more aware of the payoffs over time as you get more comfortable with the new kanji and vocab, and this will usually have the effect (in my experience) of making you want to keep learning more. The rewards of feeling that progress will help keep your motivation up.

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