13 In Japanese learning journey (:

My First Japanese Novel~ ^^

For some strange reason, I love to buy reading materials that are higher than my current standard. I bought my first Korean non-fiction book when I could barely read even the first few sentences. But it’s a form of challenge and motivation to myself. Bought my first Japanese novel a few days ago! 窓際のトットちゃん (Totto-Chan – The little girl at the window). Of course, this is NOT a full fledged adult novel, and the book says its aimed at primary school kids. But still, it’s not exactly a children’s picture book too, but a whole novel.

I was tempted by the bilingual reader version of it, which has the Japanese on one page and the English one on the opposite page. A very very good resource for the language learner. However, it was more expensive than the full Japanese one, and I decided to create my own bilingual reader since I own the English version since I was a kid! ^^ The book holds particularly much meaning for me, since it was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed during my primary school days and I think it was recommended by a much respected teacher too ^^


And.. I’m surprised that I can read the book! With the Japanese naver dictionary of course! But it’s amazing and I definitely could read at an earlier stage compared to Korean. I’m slow of course, but at least I can read, and understand. I have a feeling knowing Korean does help ALOT, which probably explains why Koreans find it easier to learn Japanese compared to say English.

And I love how the Kanji has hiragana on top! I don’t think the adult novels have that. This makes my life MUCH EASIER. 😀

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Fatima
    8 July, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    At what point in Korean study do you think a person would be able to benefit from trying to read a book in Korean? There are some that I’ve had my eye on, but I’m not sure if I should get them because I’m afraid that I won’t be ready for them (I think I’m in the later stages of being a beginner).

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      8 July, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      it really depends on what kind of book you are looking at. I find it easier to read non-fiction book first though (for korean). ^^ if you are going to continue studying korean, it’s alright to buy one or two first. it’s satisfying to see the progress you will make – from understanding 1-2 sentences to reading a page, chapter etc.

  • Reply
    Archana
    8 July, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I totally get you, Shanna. I bought 세상에 너를 소리쳐 on your recommendation way before I had the vocabulary to read anything of that length in Korean but I’ve learned a lot since then and now I can actually read a few passages without having to look up words! I pretty much learned what I know of Korean by “reading” stuff that was too advanced for me and looking up the things I didn’t know. I applaud you for buying a Japanese book already!! I think I know enough Japanese to be able to read manga or something really simple but the dreaded Kanji… OTL. I wish I could find simple Japanese readers that use furigana. T__T

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      9 July, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      I’m glad there’s a big Japanese bookstore in Singapore with decently priced Japanese novels. I wouldn’t have ordered anything online without flipping through the book.

  • Reply
    Sally
    9 July, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Hi Shanna

    Some adult Japanese novels have kanji with hiragana but not many. Mostly in Kanji.

    You can try reading some of the novels by Akagawa Jitaro(赤川次郎)and Mure Yoko (群れよこう)

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      9 July, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      Thanks Sally! I’ll try them once I get to a decent standard in Japanese

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    9 July, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    I bought the same books too! I think reading fiction really helps in learning a foreign language.

  • Reply
    meloncreme
    10 July, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    I’d love to learn Japanese too. But I heard it’s more difficult than Korean. I’d love to buy Korean books/novel but I hate our bookstores here. They don’t even sell Korean dictionaries. T__T

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      10 July, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      just use the online dictionaries. they are 10000x better than a hard cover one. and saves u more time too ^^

  • Reply
    S
    11 March, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    HI it is nice to see your responses. I am a native English speaker that wants to get back into studying Japanese. I am trying to find some e-books that I can start off with and look up words with an e-dictionary or on line. Do you have some good sites you can share on e-books, online dictionaries, etc…. and recommendations of some books. I need to find a good starting point… and in my searches, somehow found your site. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  • Reply
    wencrafting
    30 May, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    I was just re-reading Totto-chan and was thinking about the Japanese version of the book. I love this book a lot and also was thinking of buying the Jap version (even though I cannot read a single Jap… I returned my elementary learning to my Jap teacher). But hey, I did also thot of using it as a motivator to get myself back on track with the language. What a coincidence that I chanced up this post of yours…
    Now, how difficult is it to pick up Jap again after returning everything to the teacher? And how difficult is it to be able to read and understand Totto-Chan in Jap?

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