Reading Reading Reading

What better thing to do on cold days like these, than curl up with a good book, and a cuppa coffee? This is what I am doing right now, since this is my week off so to say. The book I am reading right now is from the Narnia special edition series of books I bought some months ago. They have been my reward for finishing KO.2001 level 1. To read one chapter per day is my goal, and so far, I haven’t failed to achieve it. Today I am going to read chapter 4 of 20, and maybe even chapter 5, if I am in the mood. For the most part this book is written in Hiragana, with only some Kanji reappearing here and there. As the words are coming up ever so often, I don’t have to SRS most of them, they simply are learned by seeing them more than once. Of course it is a little inconvenient that I have to look the words up in a dictionary, in case I do want to see their Kanji counterpart, but this is only a minor thing. The book is easy to read, and I already learned some new grammar from it.

Another book series I am considering to read once I am done with ナルニア物語 is トレジャー・ハンター. Not only because this is an interesting book, but because this book contains vocabulary that might, or might not, show up on the upcoming JLPT. Not that I expect that they will have a reading section containing words like 断層像 [だんそうぞう] tomographical image, 医療技術 [いりょうぎじつ] medical technology, 放射性物質 [ほうしゃせいぶっしつ] radioactive material, etc. But there are of course other and more common words, such as 寄付金 [きふきん] donation, 倒壊 [とうかい] destruction, collapse, or 同居 [どうきょ] meaning coexistence, living together. These words will certainly go into my SRS as well, after I finished reading the books, and not a moment before. Also words such as 鈴 [すず/りん] which are both readings for the word bell, and すず is also the reading tin which is represented by this kanji 錫. Japanese really makes it easy to learn new words or word combinations, can’t say that for other languages I’ve been learning in the past.

I am also learning new grammar by reading books. Today alone I learned five new grammar points by reading chapter 4 of The Chronicles of Narnia. Two basic one’s, which can be found in the back of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, which I still have to finish reading by the way, some Intermediate and some Advanced ones. I wish there were a deck I could use, or a spreadsheet containing all the information, not that I don’t like looking everything up by flipping through the dictionaries. But for later use in Anki, it would save me a lot of time. But if it has to be, I will enter the data myself. I am used to it by now.

Moments ago, I finished reading the better half of chapter 5 of ナルニア物語ライオンと魔法と衣装箪笥 The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. For today this is enough, and puts me ahead one and a half chapter, which I will finish today, after some sleep. Some sentences in this chapter were really difficult for me to understand. But after consulting some of my textbooks, and online resources, I understood them. The last straw I resort to is the English version of the book, in case I don’t understand a sentence no matter how hard I try. I use it only to read and see that my understanding was correct. And so far, I only needed it once or twice, which I am proud of. Today is another day, and after some sleep, I will finish reading chapter 5, and chapter 6. Why not aim for two chapters per day instead of only one? I am on a good way to get there. Once I am past the 1 chapter per 3 1/2 hours, which is about the time it takes to read, and look up information in case I don’t understand something, there is no holding back anymore. Then I will begin reading 3, 4, maybe 5 chapters a day. But this seems too far away right now. But i’ll be getting there.

Now I think I deserve some sleep, after which I will do my Anki reps for about 30 minutes, and with that out of the way I can continue reading my book.

2 responses to “Reading Reading Reading

  1. What a good idea to use the Narnia books to learn Japanese 🙂
    I began learning Japanese some time ago, but I only got to learning Hiragana and some basic sentences, then I got too busy with other things…
    Ganbattemasu!

  2. ようこそ! W.R.Woolfさん、興味深いのコメントありがとうございます。

    I don’t use the Narnia books to learn the language. I read in order to reinforce what I have already learned, vocabulary, grammar, expression, etc. That I am learning new words, grammar, and expressions from reading is a very positive side-effect.

    I am learning to read while reading, and I also develop new reading strategies, such as marking longer passages in a sentence, that gives a sentence meaning. Here is an example.

    わたしたち、あの人を助け出すために何かしなければならないと思うんです。

    In this sentence, which means something along the lines of “I mean we must do something to help him – “Tamnus” – out / to save him.” I mark almost the whole passage beginning from あの人 to と思う. When I began doing it, I would have only marked あの人を助け出す because this belongs together, ため(に) and (し)なければならない as grammar, and then figure out the meaning of the sentence. Doing this works in the beginning, but it is too easy to loose track from one sentence to the next, and so it is necessary to see the bigger picture. This is also something I learned from reading. But, as I already said, I read just for fun.

    I hope that you will be able to get back to learning Japanese, and become ablel to enjoy reading Japanese books someday soon. Think of all the things that await you in this beautiful language that is Japanese. 🙂

    頑張れ!
    Nagareboshi

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