While I was in Japan I bought home.. *ahem* 75 manga. Yes, it was heavy. You can check out a crappy phone photo here. All this manga goodness was thanks to the wonders and delights that is Book Off. It may just be the most wonderful place in the whole world. It sells second hand books at an awesome price. Just don’t go there on Lady’s day and expect to come out empty handed…
Never the less, looking at my wall of manga, I thought I better get started on it properly or else I all the exercise I got carrying the things around Japan would have been for nothing. I have flicked through a few, “read” a few as well, but apart from some frustration, little has been gained. I really need to sit down and “study” these books without trying to make it into too much of a chore.
So I’ve decided to tackle Hana Kimi first.
Hana Kimi is a wise choice. I’ve read it before, although in translated English. It was also a billion years ago, so I can’t quite remember the little plot points. Of course, also, I’ve watched the TV series. So I know the basic outline of the story which will definitely help.
It’s also a story that I enjoy, which will help a lot! I think that learning to read this will be exciting as I get to finally read it in it’s native language. The book is 99% of the time better than the movie/tv show!
Today, when I got up to where Nakatsu is introduced I remembered that in the manga he has an Kansai dialect. Which, I guess, will be good in helping me learn the Kansai dialect, but will also be very tricky! We’ll see how I go…
The length is another bad thing. I got the new super awesome deluxe edition which has three or four books in the one. So while manga are usually short, sweet, and to the point, this one is a whopping 368 pages. I might not come out the other side (if I make it through at all) alive!
Another bad thing is all the casual language. Yes, I know my だ from my です, but I guess I’m talking about more colloquial language that I can’t find in my dictionary. It’s something that will hopefully become easier as I learn through context – from lots of encounters both in manga and in other sources – but the first time I encounter them is always a bit baffling. I do like to read aloud though, and sometimes through reading aloud I realise I do know the word from having heard it in dramas.
The method is rather simple. I am confident that I will have encountered most grammar points before, so I am hopeful that I will be able to work out most sentences. What I will need to do is learn to recognise new kanji and to learn new words.
I am literally just going through this with a pencil and a dictionary. I am reading through, and when I don’t know a word I will look it up and pencil in an English translation near the Japanese word. Some times I need to look up almost every word in ever bubble. Other times I only have one word a page. I am hoping as I go through more and more I’ll have to rely on the dictionary less and less. But for now I don’t know enough words to gain the meaning most times through context.
I have no plans to add any of this to an SRS program or study it in any other form but to just read read read. I hope I don’t get too bored with it, but if I do, I will no doubt move onto something else and you’ll be able to read about it here! But for now, I am just going through and reading. After I have done a section I go back and read it with excitement. I am breaking down complex sentences, translating it into English to make some meaning from it. I know from past experience so far that the more exposure I have, suddenly I can just read things and understand it in Japanese. I am hoping this too will get easier the more I do!
I have noticed already, only a few pages into it, that words I didn’t know before are being repeated, so it is already acting like a natural SRS program in some sense. I am making no effort to memorize or learn the new words/kanji. I am just reading, checking an English translation, and moving on. I hope to learn them through exposure, both here in this manga and in other contexts.
In the future, if I read through and realise I don’t need my note there any more for a particular word, I will erase my pencil scribbles. I can always look it up again if I forget (kind of like failing a card in SRS!).
This is my study method at the moment and it is a lot of fun
TagsBook Off, Hana Kimi, reading, vocabulary