I can’t decide whether I can read in Japanese or not. I’m now studying with Big Bang’s Japanese interviews and I was reading this yesterday. I am studying with it, so I’ll look up every word that I don’t know how to pronounce and writing them in my notebook. But even without doing so, I found that I can understand the article pretty well. Knowing Chinese helps me to guess the meaning of the kanji (which are very easy to guess 90% of the time) and I didn’t have huge problems with the grammar etc too.
And if I use a dictionary alongside, I can understand the article 100%. This is much faster progress compared to Korean. O.o So I feel really.. unsettled now? The article isn’t too difficult to begin with (an interview with Big Bang about their ALIVE album) but I wasn’t able to read a Korean article (even with a dictionary) until a year after I self studied (I think..).
All I can say is that perhaps knowing English, Chinese and Korean helps a lot? :/ English for all the katakana words (English loan words), Chinese for the kanji and Korean for the sentence structure, grammar patterns and way of expression?