What resources are you using to help reading?

#1

Hi all,

I’ve been using WK for about a year and a half now, and progress has been slow and steady. I reached level 31 this morning and plan to take a pause and burn through some vocab that have been giving me trouble. There’s a few that look too similar, or verbs with the same root kanji that end in る/す with different meanings that I need to lock down and get through. I also struggle a bit remembering the longer conjugations.

I’ve basically overloaded on material to help me study Japanese. I’ve been using the following for my studies:

  • Genki I and Genki II (I’m about 1/4 through Genki II now)

  • Subscription to BunPro (I think I’m farther along in BunPro than Genki II)

  • Tae Kim’s guide (I like a physical copy. I find it to be more down-to-Earth and easy to consume than Genki),

  • All About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words (this comes in handy for having examples of particles and more detailed / layman’s terms explanations of them)

  • italki - This one has been great because it’s allowed me to connect with Japanese users who wish to learn English. Many of whom text with me over Line, which dramatically has improved by ability to read and write in Japanese

  • JapanesePod101 - I’m a runner and I find these podcasts incredibly useful for helping me with my listening skills, but the other thing that helps a ton, is with a subscription you get a copy of the transcript for each individual podcast. Reading along has helped me tremendously. The hosts break down each word. Some of the Kanji / Vocab will be redundant to WK users, but the grammar points are excellent and they tend to offer a lot of real world examples. Some of their grammar points registered with me a lot better than reading Genki’s or TK’s explanations.

I’m also looking for some interesting reading if anyone has suggestions on level 30-40. I’m hoping to take it easy through these levels and really reinforce what I know. I had a few points in the 20’s where I wasn’t giving myself enough time (I travel a lot for work) to reinforce things I learned, and it definitely caught up to me logging into WK to find 400 reviews waiting, knocking those out after 2 hours or so, to find another 200 waiting for me that evening.

One other thing to note is that BunPro’s SRS is not even close to as refined as WK. I think for its current state it is still quite good, though.

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#2

The book club threads here on the forum are fantastic practice + motivation for getting into the habit of reading, we’re actually starting 時をかける少女 (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) this weekend with the beginner book club in case you’re interested ^^ (here’s the thread)

Floflo is also a great tool to accompany reading (see thread here – free to sign up!), it allows you to pre-learn vocabulary for all the current material that’s available on there (時をかける少女’ is on there too) and can make reading a smoother process

If you’re looking for smaller chunks of reading, I enjoyed Satori Reader, it has lots of different article series to read on there and has meaning explanations throughout as well as audio for some listening practice, you can toggle furigana and even sync your WK API to not display furigana on words you’ve already learned – great resource, it’s subscription-based but the first couple articles in each series are free to read, so you can see if it’s something you’d be interested in (they also released a nice new app recently-ish, nice for reading on the go too)

And of course there’s NHK Easy News, also nice for daily reading practice ^^

Okay that’s all for now :crabigator::books::sparkles:

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#3

Any manga. Just buy literally whatever manga interests you. Is there an anime you like a lot? Buy a whole collection of the manga and go for it. From your description of where you’re at, I think you’d be fine, even with some struggle sometimes.

When that’s comfortable, go to town on some light novels. Or go ahead and start now by reading 時をかける少女 with us! There’s so many good readers participating, it looks like, that any questions you have could probably be answered.

Orrrrrr you can pick up some of those Graded Readers people talk about. That’s not my style because I can only read stuff I’m actually interested in, not stuff picked for me, but ymmv.

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#4

I pretty much use only FloFlo and google if I encounter something that doesn’t make sense. Besides that I just read as much as I can.

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#5

I would like to join the book club readings, but I’m so stuck on how to find a copy of the book, do you have any pointers? :frowning:

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#6

Of course! Are you interested in a physical copy or ebook?

#7

Playing Kiseki. Play Kiseki

#8

Either, probably the one that is easiest to get a hold of hehe

#9

Kk, I’ll send you a message on the Pseudo PMs thread so that we don’t derail this thread, ちょっと待ってね

#11

There’s a great book called “Learn to Read in Japanese” by Roger Lake and Noriko Ura, which is actually two volumes, and that’s a great way for reading, because you have the translation to English on the right. There are also many books with parallel text that are great to start reading, which comes with a variety of short stories.

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#12

You’re more than ready to read. Kanji and grammar wise your greatly ahead the point I was when I started (about half Genki 1 with around 700 words under my belt :sweat_smile: ).

First let me direct you to a great post related to your question:

Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content

Then some video on youtube that is one of the few specificaly related to this

And then my personal method …Nowdays I read at least from two reasources, or better put two levels of difficulty are present in my readings.
Since I started with graded readers for japanese learners and I like them so much I went overboard and bought all the series I could get my hands on. Finally I’ll be finishing the last levels on all series by the end of this year (Ask ,Taishukan and Brookes Oxford) … It will be something like a year since I started with my first Level 0 book, now it’s almost 25 books later :blush: … I totally recommend this material.:+1::+1:

Second thing I’m reading now is a graded series for japanese kids ranging 6-11 years old, basically 小学生 . This has been such a great reasource… the amount of vocab that comes up with every new story it’s a lot, grammar wise there’s no contemplation, so you’re exposed to N5 to N1 grammar indistinctly… but good thing is that the overall complexity is still manageable, so you can surf through the difficulties and get to understand something totally aimed for a japanese audicence… and progressively go into more and more complex material. Since then I’ve picked up some other resources aimed at the same age audience and the complexity tends to be similar.

Mixing the later material with the last books in the Japanese Learners Graded series is very useful, for once I practice reading almost daily, whenever I have the time, I’ll go with the time consuming native content… if not, I’ll pick up a Graded Readers story and be able to speed read while still practicing my reading skills and ocationally learning some new vocab too.

So depending on your likings pick something that is somewhat easy to just keep you getting back regularly and then pick that other material that you feel the struggle a bit… but gets to be super rewarding in the end :+1:

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#13

I love the graded readers, too. Fun and great practice, even if they are kids’ books.

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#14

If you mean the Graded Readers For Japanese Learners (the other series I’m reading clearly is for kids as it’s tagged with 小学生 level) I think it’s a mix, aimed for learners, but not necessarily kids.

Actually some stories I would hesitate to tell them to kids as a night time story… a lot have weird endings, plain terrible endings, or just vague altogether. Many are adaptations from folk tales.
Then there’re the informative tales, about earthquakes, biographies, the use of soy beans… etc…

I guess they’ve tried to adapt stories to cover and keep interested a larger audience than kids. I mention this, because specifically the issue when doing the transition to native content is precisely that the only material that seem aproachable is books aimed at kids, so selecting an interesting material can become and issue according to how much in contact you’re with your inner child :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I went with biographies (伝記), to which japanese publishers seem to have a great fondness, so there’s a large variety. I wasn’t too fond of picking yet another folktale collection or some super fauna / magical creatures series…
Been a film buff, I had my most rewarding moment while reading the 小学生4年 volume of the series: the biography of Akira Kurosawa… one of my all time favorite directors :star_struck::star_struck:

I considered history series as well, specially some series that cover japanese history in mangas.

Fortunatly as you get into more mature aimed content (in my case going from 小学 to 中学 aimed books) the variety issue its much less of a problem.

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#15

It sounds like I have lots of choices of things to read as my Japanese gets better. Thanks, Ncastaneda!

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#16

Let me know if you have any interest in selling all of the readers. Or even the ones you have finished.

#17

It sounds like KaniWani could be a good fit for you. It couldn’t hurt to reverse-study (English => Japanese) your vocab, and KaniWani is great because it’s really flexible in how it allows you to study. Choose your vocab based on WaniKani level or by whether it’s an apprentice/guru item etc. I’m not even far into WaniKani myself and it was frightening (and enlightening) how bad my English => Japanese vocab recall was. Now I consider my daily KaniWani sessions nearly as important as my daily WaniKani sessions.