Learn Japanese through visual novels

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Cosign Member
From: Sydney Registered: 2009-04-19 Posts: 33

I wrote a guide on how to learn Japanese through reading visual novels.
With this method you will have tons of fun and be fluent in two years time (1 year to start reading really). It was just some techniques I found here integrated with ITH + Translation Aggregator + Visual Novel. Note that this is to up your reading skills ONLY. It does very little for speaking, writing and listening. I followed this method and am now able to pick up any novel or manga and read without difficulty.

http://visualnovelaer.wordpress.com/201 … tep-guide/

Hope someone might find it useful.

Christoph_D Member
Registered: 2009-04-30 Posts: 24

From the website:

You won’t be able to read everything. You won’t be able to read Rui wa Tomo or Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa nai for example.

Does anyone know how these compare to say Saya no Uta or Steins;Gate?
I mean in terms of difficulty.

Last edited by Christoph_D (2011 September 03, 2:56 pm)

Cosign Member
From: Sydney Registered: 2009-04-19 Posts: 33

Saya no Uta and Steins;Gate are much easier novels (S;G is pretty beginner friendly I hear). The examples provided were the hardest VNs I have encountered.

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Ginmanm Member
Registered: 2011-01-27 Posts: 103

Interesting read, I'll bookmark and read later...
_______
I thought steins;gate was supposed to be difficult with its science terms and stuff. Never tried saya no uta, its on my top 5 list of "I wanna play but damn moonrunes". Not going to touch a fan translation....

Christoph_D Member
Registered: 2009-04-30 Posts: 24

Cosign wrote:

Saya no Uta and Steins;Gate are much easier novels (S;G is pretty beginner friendly I hear). The examples provided were the hardest VNs I have encountered.

Have you read Saya no Uta?

This may be a representative paragraph, I think:
純粋な酸素が生体にとって有害であるように、剥き出しの真実は、ヒトの精神を破壊する。酸素は5倍の窒素で包まれてはじめて、大気として許容される。同じことだ。戯れ言で希釈された片鱗だけの真実を呼吸することで、人は健やかなる心を維持できるのだ。

When I tried to read this novel, I found the writing style quite hard. Then again, my basis for comparison was kino no tabi (the light novels), which are relatively easy to read. So maybe saya no uta is easy in the world of visual novels and just hard compared to kino no tabi.

Last edited by Christoph_D (2011 September 03, 6:50 pm)

ta12121 Member
From: Canada Registered: 2009-06-02 Posts: 3190

Bookmarked! I'll try it tonight

Hint666 Member
From: Poland Registered: 2011-07-02 Posts: 30

I'm reading 2 vol. of Kino no tabi right now. My recognition of kanji is quite good, but i saw lot of new kanji. I checked some of them in 常用 list and part of them are here and part of them aren't. What do you guys think about adding word's with non-jouyou kanji to my deck? Are they really in use or it's just author's fantasy and cruelty to make me check and drill everyone?

And about site... I'm quite against learning kanji without context. Why should I learn 10 meanings of kanji when i can catch the meaning while learning words? It's like learning each word of sentence to catch whole grammar (argggh i hate this 100-meanings-words).
Site is quite good but lack of vnovels list hurts, work on it (especially, make a list of interesting and simple ones).

Last edited by Hint666 (2011 September 03, 11:23 pm)

SomeCallMeChris Member
From: Massachusetts USA Registered: 2011-08-01 Posts: 793

Non-Jouyou kanji are still commonly used by authors for a variety of reasons. I'd go ahead and add them. If you don't already know all the jouyou kanji to some extent, then perhaps just note the words down somewhere and add them to your deck later after completing the Jouyou kanji.

Jarvik7 Member
From: 名古屋 Registered: 2007-03-05 Posts: 3946

Even after the recent expansion, there are still many non-jouyou non-jinmeiyou kanji that appear frequently in writing.

Hint666 Member
From: Poland Registered: 2011-07-02 Posts: 30

Like the pretty one in your avatar? -.-

Jarvik7 Member
From: 名古屋 Registered: 2007-03-05 Posts: 3946

That one is a bit less common.

ta12121 Member
From: Canada Registered: 2009-06-02 Posts: 3190

Jarvik7 wrote:

Even after the recent expansion, there are still many non-jouyou non-jinmeiyou kanji that appear frequently in writing.

I guess learning 3000 or a bit more isn't all pointless.

Jarvik7 Member
From: 名古屋 Registered: 2007-03-05 Posts: 3946

Not at all. I know (recognize/read) somewhere in the range of 5000.

ta12121 Member
From: Canada Registered: 2009-06-02 Posts: 3190

Jarvik7 wrote:

Not at all. I know (recognize/read) somewhere in the range of 5000.

Makes sense, 3000 is the number required to be fully literate in Japanese. But my ultimate goal for kanji is 4000.

Jarvik7 Member
From: 名古屋 Registered: 2007-03-05 Posts: 3946

I'm aiming on getting kanken1 eventually (~6000 characters /w reading and compounds), but not in the near future. Maybe kanken 1.5 within the next couple years when I feel like studying Japanese again.

TheVinster Member
From: Illinois Registered: 2009-07-15 Posts: 1000

Jarvik7 wrote:

I'm aiming on getting kanken1 eventually (~6000 characters /w reading and compounds), but not in the near future. Maybe kanken 1.5 within the next couple years when I feel like studying Japanese again.

I wanna grow up to be just like you.

nadiatims Member
Registered: 2008-01-10 Posts: 1676

Jarvik7 wrote:

Not at all. I know (recognize/read) somewhere in the range of 5000.

How do you estimate your kanji count anyway?

I have no idea how many I know. I did RTK3 and I would have learned a bunch of others plus a lot of variants from assorted places as well as extras learned from studying chinese now. But what are you reading though that requires knowledge of 5000 kanji? I feel like I almost never encounter new kanji now and I seriously doubt I know 5000.

Jarvik7 Member
From: 名古屋 Registered: 2007-03-05 Posts: 3946

I guesstimated based on the last time I used Anki at home. There is some plugin that will count the kanji in your deck. I definitely have everything needed for kanken1.5, though of course not everything for kk1.

It's not that I'm reading stuff that has all those kanji in it.. I learn all vocab with full kanji no matter if they're commonly used or not so I ended up with a lot. On a whim I also learned all the kyuujitai for the jouyou kanji. I do occasionally read classical Japanese so it's not a total waste of time though.

I only run into a kanji I don't know once every few months though, which is both good and bad (boring?). I've recently started up Chinese study again (though very casually) so I can get my fill again.

Last edited by Jarvik7 (2011 September 04, 8:15 am)

Kuma01 Member
From: The Netherlands Registered: 2011-02-07 Posts: 120

It's a good thing I found this thread because I was just about to make another one like this. Anyway one of my major motivations for learning Japanese was wanting to read VNs, so I have also tried to incorporate them into my studying. I first did the core 2 and 6k before I even touched a VN though. Right now I'm pretty much doing what you describe, adding unknown words to anki. It feels rather hit and miss, parts with familiar vocab I can read just fine if not I find myself getting easily frustrated. So now I'm wondering if I should just pour more time into the SrS because it seems more efficient, or if I should just switch to sentences completely.

quincy Member
Registered: 2008-08-22 Posts: 257

Glad to see my topic getting some use. I still stand by the Gyakuten Saiban series as being an easy read. I recently blazed through the latest one hardly needing a dictionary at all. PC visual novels/eroge still have me looking at a dictionary more than I'd like, but I find the higher level writing to be more enjoyable.

Kuma01: Don't stop reading. Whether you put vocab, sentences, or even nothing into anki, just keep reading and looking up words and things will slowly make sense. Promise smile

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