Yotsuba weekly live reading: Finished... for now

Hi everyone! I’m looking forward to the next reading session, and I was thinking a little bit about the format. Last week we assigned roles and blasted through two chapters pretty quickly. It was definitely fun, but I feel like the pace may have dissuaded some less experienced readers from speaking up at parts that were tough to understand. Even on my third read-through, there were certainly plenty of colloquialisms and nuances that I’m sure I missed. I think we might get more out of it by artificially slowing ourselves down a little. That will make the club more accessible to beginners, while intermediate learners will still gain a lot through review and through helping explain to others.

I have a few ideas for how we could do this. I jumped into a discord group reading session with GameGrammar today (it’s a great Twitch channel, anybody studying Japanese who likes games should check it out, here’s today’s stream) and the format was really nice. Each person took a turn reading a passage then giving a general translation. Throughout the process Eve (GameGrammar) would give feedback and help people along. Using this format people of all levels were able to follow along, even if they weren’t actually doing the reading.

This exact format wouldn’t work for us for a few reasons: we don’t have a 先生 to provide feedback; and, a manga reading lends itself much better to distributing roles than to reading passages. For the first issue I figure one of our most experienced members might fill the role. For the second, after reading a section (either a page, a few pages, or the whole chapter), we could go back and take turns attempting a translation page by page. This way, by the time we’re done everyone has experienced the story regardless of level and we’ve likely discussed a few good words and grammar points along the way.

This method, or a method like this might decrease the barrier to entry for some members and might encourage some more questions and discussion. Let me know what you all think and what other ideas you might have!


Hi there!
Just joined the discord-channel. Don’t really know my way around there, but I’d like to participate in the next live reading of Yotsuba.


We… made a point of pausing after each page for people to raise questions. We even discussed that. Noone ever asked anything, so for the second chapter, we sped up a bit.


I was in for most of the first chapter but found it was too advanced for me to keep up, if I was comprehending a bit better I might have had questions about the colloquialisms and if I did I definitely would have felt comfortable enough to ask. Everyone seemed very friendly, particularly the host. As it was I would have been asking everyone to stop after each line :joy: I give myself a few minutes per page currently :sweat_smile:


I’m excited by the idea of going back and attempting a translation page by page, I would definitely be invested in that!! I wouldn’t feel comfortable reading but I’d speak up to practice translation. :grinning:


I know that there were opportunities to ask questions, but from a teaching perspective there’s a big difference between allowing people to ask questions and creating an environment where they flow freely. Some people may be too nervous to ask in a group of varying skill levels, and may not ask at all if nobody gets the ball rolling. Others may just not know what kinds of questions to ask. I find that the vast majority of the time if questions aren’t being asked the cause is one of those reasons rather than that everybody understands perfectly. Nobody did anything wrong the first reading, we were just starting to figure out a good flow. It’s definitely possible to create an environment that is valuable for intermediate+ learners while still catering to beginners.


Aside from his tendency to pronounce あさぎ as “a-saggy”. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

She’s got a saggy what?!

Kidding aside, yes, everyone raises good points.

Yes, so I guess we have to decide if this is meant to be a teaching environment.

If so, then a good slow pause after each page, and at least one person willing to take on the role as teacher will be necessary. We did try that, but it was uncomfortable and a straight read-through happened spontaneously, and was superb.

I myself got much more out of the first chapter, because I had read and studied it in advance, than I did from the second, which I hadn’t.

And I think that’s the thing. We have the threads, which, for the first few volumes at least, answer pretty much every question anyone could ever have!

So, are we trying to duplicate the threads, but in a different format, or are we doing a read-through to practice reading and for sheer enjoyment (I didn’t read, but I loved listening)?

I thought originally it was going to be the first, it ended up being the latter, and it was great. I for one loved it and was happy with it.

Perhaps, then, as a tentative suggestion, to get the best of both worlds, we could do the following:

  1. Straight read-through, as we did last week
  2. vocab and grammar discusssion / teaching afterwards, if anyone wants to stay on for that.

What do you think?


Another thought…

Last week we were really lucky to have Foxumon join us. She was, as I’m sure everyone would agree, simply amazing.

Now, she already produces videos on Youtube that break down every line of the Yotusba mangas, I think she is coming to the end of volume 2 now.

So, we already have the threads, and Foxumon’s videos. Do we really want to duplicate them? Do we want to ask Foxumon to duplicate them for us live when she’s already done the work on Youtube?

The more I think about this, the more a straight read-through seems the best approach.

But ignore me, I’m just thinking aloud here… always a risky activity for me!


First of all, while I agree with your points, I think we shouldn’t choose the path we end up taking based on a single member. The same could be said of all of us who participated in the threads and already answered all the questions that came up. And if you went about it that way, I’m sure there are enough videos that what we’re doing is irrelevant, but that’s not the point, is it?

I thought the point was to do a live-reading, based on what we choose as a group, and answer any questions that come up.

This is where we should weigh the importance of either providing a “better” or slower teaching environment, or just reading for fun and getting the most out of an experience like that.

In this scenario, I don’t think there’s a “best of both worlds” in a single choice.

However, there’s always the opportunity to do both.

I guess I agree with, and am mostly repeating, what you said:
We have to decide if this is meant to be a teaching environment or a read-through for similarly experienced users, or people who have already gone through the volumes once.

One of the most important things in learning is knowing what you don’t know, and knowing when/what to ask. It might sound/be a bit harsh, but I think we provided a friendly enough environment for people to ask questions.

If we go the learning route, we could always explain parts of the page that we already understand.

Then next would be, what level of question should we focus on. Basic grammar? Random vocabulary? Particles? Conjugation?

If people don’t ask the questions, we can’t know how in detail we should explain things, and then it becomes what you mentioned, a repeat of breaking down every line and pondering over every sentence, like what we already did in the threads. And, imo, it would take too much time for a live-reading environment.

I’m mostly rambling, too.

In summary, I think last week was as good as possible, with the caveat that no one asked questions.
But that’s something that should iron itself out.


Also, I’m in it for having fun and practicing reading.
(If anything, I have more free time now than I know what do to with, so… :sweat_smile:)

If anyone could tell me when/if I mess up, please do. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yes, exactly my point.

Indeed. I loved last week, and I think most other people did too.

So perhaps we should stick to that, a straight read-through…

… but then have a chance afterwards to start again from the top for anyone that wants to (and can stick around) to go page by page? They are, after all, two very different activities.

1 Like

Sounds fine by me. :thinking:

1 Like

I think doing both could be great! We could read through a few chapters then anybody who wants to could stick around for a breakdown.

By having people take turns doing translation we would naturally hit the points that people need without lingering on what’s already understood. Foxumon’s videos are excellent, but this is a great advantage of interactivity. There would be a “teacher” to guide things but it wouldn’t be anything like a lecture or lesson (It would be great if Foxumon were willing to do this but I’m sure we have other experienced members who could fill the role). Anybody could hop in to provide explanation. Also for the people who volunteer and have to think through translation themselves, it would provide stronger reinforcement than watching somebody else do it.

Of course this is all a moot point if nobody decides to stick around after the reading. But we might gauge interest at the session tomorrow!

1 Like

I would stay around to partake in translation - I’m really excited by that opportunity for practice. In saying that I can’t make this weekend :frowning:

1 Like

Great! See everyone there in about 45 minutes from now!

1 Like

What a great reading that was! Thank you everyone! And yes, I think we’ve found our format!
See you next week! :smiley: :four_leaf_clover: :+1:

1 Like

That’s awesome! So how did it work?
I hope I can make next week :persevere:


It was great! We did a straight read-through of chapters 3 and 4, with a part for everyone who wanted one, which went really well (such talented people!), and then we started again and took it in turns to translate each page. The read through took about 45 minutes, I think, and the translation about the same. An hour and a half in total. It was really good. Thank you everyone who turned up, and thank you to those who participated! And hopefully see you there next week @Dailyhubble and everyone!


Man, time flies. :sweat_smile: