After many years of reading manga, I finally decided to start learning Japanese earlier this year. My primary goal is to be able to read manga in Japanese comfortably, although I do have other books I’d like to get to one day: the 十二国記 series, the 勾玉 trilogy, and 萩尾望都’s memoirs and interviews with other mangaka.
Having previously studied Korean using textbooks, I wanted to take a different approach with Japanese. I spent a week or two learning a couple of hundred words, then dove into よつばと! and チーズスイートホーム. I’m mainly reading manga and graded readers, only looking up grammar and vocabulary occassionally.
Ever since Natively Korean was launched, I’ve neglected Japanese in my excitement to return to Korean, so I’m hoping that keeping a record of my progress learning Japanese will encourage me to read more regularly.
Spent about a week learning kana and reading some simple grammar explanations
Phew, good luck juggling both languages bibliothecary! I’ve been reading your Korean log since you started it, and you’ve been putting in so much good work there already. I’m pretty curious about the memoirs and interviews you mentioned; could you tell me a little more about them?
Thank you! I’m hoping I can read in both languages each day, even if it’s just a manga chapter or something. Language learning is a hobby for me, so there’s no pressure thankfully.
I’d love to!
As you may know, 萩尾望都 played a big role in pushing the boundaries of shoujo manga with the 24年組.
This book seems mostly to focus on her time with the group in the early 70s; This one is a compilation of her lectures on shoujo manga given at various universities; this one has several mangaka talking about her work and the impact it had on them; and in the Talk Collection, she documents her conversations with other notable mangaka over 40(!!) years.
I picked up 絵本 おじさまと猫 ふくまるとしあわせの宇宙船 書籍 | L19 because I was hoping it would be a heartwarming story about ふくまる and パパ (just look at that adorable chibi おじさま on the cover); instead, it was a story about ふくまる meeting a couple of 宇宙猫…
Anyway, I’ve started おじさまと猫 1 | L17 (already read it in English) and I am ready to feel some feelings.
It doesn’t look like one of my picks is gonna win the ライトノベル読書会 📚 Light Novel Book Club | Voting now! (what a tense battle ) so I guess I’m gonna be reading Magic Treehouse along with the audiobook. I’ll wait till the poll’s officially over just in case
For some easy listening practice, I started Nihongo con Teppei. Each episode is only a few minutes long, but still, I was a bit surprised to realise how many I was able to get through!
As for 本好きの下剋上, I’ve found myself thinking this seems like the type of book I would have loved as a kid; I would have fallen into the world head-first like Alice in Wonderland. Alas, I don’t foresee myself reincarnating as a 5-year-old Japanese girl in order to truly fulfil this dream.
There’s a lot of unknown vocab and grammar, but having the Korean copy to reference has been a big help (although I often find myself ‘reading’ kanji in Korean… ㅠ_ㅠ). I think I’ll have to be more discerning about what I choose to look up, though - intensive reading is slow-going, and there’s too many pages to read per week to look up every little thing.
In an attempt to speed up my 本好きの下剋上 reading, I’ve been reading a page at a time this week: first in Korean, then Japanese (ttsu + yomichan), followed by rereading the Japanese along with the audiobook. I can’t read it as closely as I originally planned, but I can get through the weekly reading and still have plenty of time for other books and TV shows.
I ended up falling head over heels for 美しい彼 | L36 and binging all the episodes… And then immediately bought the first volume of the light novel, a couple of manga volumes, the photo books for the drama series and the movie (just released; will be watching that as soon as I can!), the drama/movie script books… and Yusei Yagi’s photobook. I’m a fan now!
I seem to have settled into a nice little routine, so I’ll just continue with it.
it was our monthly pick a while back in a club I am in and you are definitely not alone in becoming a fan. Though, personally, overall it’s not quite my thing, I enjoyed the LN more than the drama. I was cringing so hard while watching the drama and only made it through because I had a group to vent with how cringe it was.
Please be sure to take pictures when it all arrives in! I want to see all the goodies!
Ah, and I was doing some research; 美しい彼’s publisher Chara regularly publishes bonus stories and such for their series throughout the year. They’re mostly just fluffy additions afaik, not anything containing important plot or anything, but if/when you wanted to see what’s available for 美しい彼, just let me know I and I can take pictures/scans of any stories I have!
(Oh, I just realized the above may sound kind of sketchy. The bonus stories are printed in “not for sale” booklets and pamphlets the publisher distributes every year, not in paid books. Well, they may be reprinted in paid books, but if they are I wouldn’t provide a copy, of course.)
I’ve struggled to really concentrate on anything this week, so I’ve mostly been watching TV and doing a bit of listening. I’m blaming my lethargy on the changing seasons…
I watched ジャックフロスト S1 | L23, which I really loved. I don’t know whether I’ve just been lucky or Japan just produces amazing BL series, but all the ones I’ve watched so far have been amazing (美しい彼 | L36 and ４月の東京は… | L30 being the others).
I’ve also started グッド・プレイス S1 | L30?? which I’ve watched half a dozen times in English. It’s so weird seeing the characters speak Japanese!
I happened to listen to the BLCD of 嫌いでいさせて | L24??, and was shocked to realise I could actually follow it! I’ve read the series a few times in English, so I know the story pretty well, but understanding the audio and being able to picture the scenes was a nice little confidence boost.
I have a modest collection of drama CDs, but I assumed it would be a long time before I’d be able to understand them, so I hadn’t even tried listening to them until now. The combination of a familiar story and pure dialogue made for a relatively easy listen, so I’ll be on the lookout for BLCDs of manga I’ve read on Mandarake (buying new is… expensive ).
My plan for listening so far has been to work my way through Nihongo con Teppei’s beginner and intermediate podcasts (~1.5k episodes), followed by more beginner/easy podcasts. It’ll be nice to have some easyish native material to add into the mix.
Catch up with book club reading! I’ve given myself some slack this week since I was so tired, but I don’t want to fall behind too much.