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Old 2015-07-22, 01:51   Link #1
TR199
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Question Un-translated Japanese light novel suggestions please! (Learning Japanese)

Hi all!

Everyone truly helped a lot with my other post about novels to read, so firstly - thanks y'all! Secondly, the topic for today! I have landed a job out in Japan post-grad as an English teacher, (Sugoii!) and after some research I discovered it may not be impossible to learn the written language, despite what "people" say - considering its mainly the Kanji that is complicated, but the Hirigana and Katakana aren't so bad it seems?

Due to this, I have decided that while learning the Japanese written language I will translate a light novel to help me through copying and understanding the characters etc. I'm also looking forward to reading it after I have translated it! As I have pretty much ran out of the books I enjoy now... This is another reason that spurred me on to learn the language. So that I can freely read new novels I find there un-translated.

Problem is - I don't know what to translate as I cant read the Japanese in the first place. So I thought I would ask for recommendations? You can see the type of book things I like on my other post (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...53#post5574553) or I'll list a few that I've really enjoyed or have inspired me recently:

Overlord, Slime Tensei, Monster no Goujin sama (Master of Monster), I liked the premise of Death March - but felt the translation was unreadable, same with slave harem, also loved Tate no Yuusha and Arifureta(first part). I have read the more mainstream ones and enjoyed them too, such as SAO, Blade Dance of the Elementalers and The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor.

Preferably want a really good and engrossing book, based on the rec's, that hopefully isn't written too eloquently as I will be using it to learn.

Thanks all!!
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Old 2015-07-25, 08:33   Link #2
watisit
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Join Date: Aug 2013
How about seitokai no ichizon? There shouldn't be anything too difficult but it is rather joke heavy.

Or isekai shokudo. Each story can stand alone and there isn't much plot. Shouldn't be overly difficult.
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Old 2015-07-25, 09:13   Link #3
TR199
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Thanks for the reply and suggestions, Contemplating Seitokai, do you know what the themes are in Isekai Shokudo? The cover intrigued me but there's no synopsis anywhere! Although this could make it more fun to TL
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Old 2015-07-25, 09:42   Link #4
larethian
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Join Date: Jul 2010
@TR199
There's a reason why nobody replied to the thread till watisit bumped it. No offense. But if you can't read it in the first place. Study it first. Get to intermediate level first.
You can do a litmus test by looking for a fan translated project done by someone who's credible in his/her Japanese-English level (I think you can use NanoDesu's projects as they have some sort of quality assurance). Then without looking at the translations, try translating like 10 pages and make a comparison and see where you stand.

But if you are already at intermediate level (500-800+ kanji and ~3000+ words with intermediate grammar level), and want to improve your Japanese or cultural understanding, it might be a different story. A simple slice of life romcom could be up your alley and you probably won't mistranslate too much of it. Sci-Fi and Chuuni Fantasies are way beyond you. 'Real' novels like Hyouka (even though it's slice of life), Library Wars, Yakumo and stuff are also out of your league. I think you should really become a reader first, really.

Never read I-shoku before, but for Seizon, you get a reference like every other 2-3 lines. So unless you are very familiar or know how to identify & search for references effectively, it might be too much for you.

It kind of does not make sense to even ask for suggestions, as you should read and check out stuff yourself (you will know better then). Though if you find that you are doing 1-2 page an hour, it might not be as fun as you think. It's far more efficient to study the language + play VNs with atlas to hammer in the vocab before jumping in or getting yourself hyped about it.
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Old 2015-07-25, 10:01   Link #5
TR199
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Thanks for the post Larethian, I'm just starting out really so all advice is greatly appreciated! I'm not offended in any way . The main reason I planned to attempt this was because I thought it would be a good way to practice and learn the characters, as I have been looking at them and trying to remember them, but struggling. I thought that if I tried to translate something, I could kinda go symbol by symbol with a dictionary and it would help re-iterate what I'm trying to learn - instead of forgetting it all as I have no point of practice or reference. Considering I do not know very much about the language yet - I didn't really know if it was a feasible way of doing things - but I need something that I can work on to practice the characters. As you say, a translated novel with a credible translator could be a much better option, as I can compare what I have done with the TL, so thanks for the idea!

VN's with Atlas could be another good method I guess - but for learning the actual language, aren't machine translations really bad? I don't want to pick up a load of bad habits because I'm learning from a machine translator.

If there will be too much Kanji etc to use the Kana dictionaries to muddle my way through, I guess what I wanted to do is a little impossible anyway. In that case - does anyone with the experience of learning Japanese have any advice for a way to start off with remembering the characters? Ultimately I just wanted a method which I could (to at least some small degree) enjoy, while practising the characters so that they stuck in my head through memorisation and repetition. I do not mind if it's a slow process, I accepted that when I decided to attempt it - I just don't feel that I'm progressing enough at the moment, as I cant remember the basic characters in the first place.

Any Ideas? All would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 2015-07-25, 10:34   Link #6
larethian
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Join Date: Jul 2010
The idea about VN with Atlas is to recognize vocab along with its pronunciation and writing. I never used it myself but I know quite a few people who got their massive vocab learnt in this manner. Reading VN is more enjoyable than translating so it helps in that department. Fun = better learning, probably.
If you talk about bad habits in language, then you shouldn't even be reading light novels!! Attend language classes up to N2 at least, learn the right way with access to a Sensei, then read the 'crap' literature.
For methodologies, you should google around, there's also a right thread for this in this forum, and other forums. Kanji recognition has never been my problem as I knew Chinese before studying Japanese so can't really help in that.
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Old 2015-07-25, 10:50   Link #7
TR199
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Cheers for the advice, I have been studying using textbooks etc but I guess its not the same as having a teacher. It's very expensive to learn Japanese in a class here, that's why I have been self-teaching. Maybe when I get to Japan, if I can find an English speaking Japanese teacher that would be better - although I wanted to progress to a decent (or adequate) level before I went really.

Aha, well I guess per your advice staying away from LN's to learn Japanese would be better then? I was only trying to incorporate something I enjoy into my learning process . I guess I'll try VN's with atlas and see if I can get anywhere with it.

I'll also look to the other forums for the methodologies.

Thanks!
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