Day One of Contest is Here!

Read or Die! Day One

Welcome to August! what a great month right? I know its going to be great for me, as I’m starting it off kicking towards my simple bare minimum goal of 100 pages. If you’re not in the know, check out this post.

I started today with some article reading on Yomiuri Online. I have some guidelines for myself too, which a lot of people might not have considered for themselves. So here is how I go about reading.

1) I do an overall skim of the words, the flow. Sometimes I feel a little intimidated if there is a lot of kanji I don’ t know, so I try to use this moment to pep talk myself so I approach this with good positive feelings versus negative.

2) Either way, I get to reading and that’s aloud when possible. Since I’m still a newbie in world of sounds for kanji I use the English meanings (unless there is furigana or such). Since I know kana, I speak them. So overall I can get a weird effect, which will end as I learn the sounds for the kanji (and has ended for a few that I know). So a sentence “私が行きましょう” is read like  “わたしが go きましょう”. Though I know that 行き is said いき, and I can read that whole sentence, I just want to show you how I read kanji I don’t know. If the kanji is completely new to me, I don’t worry about it, I just look at it, look at its shapes and such and then move on.

3) I refuse to have a dictionary attached to my hip. I do not allow myself to look up more than one word per page. This is important to me because I like to learn things in context, make my brain work. Plus I find that the more I look up, the more boring it feels, and then I don’t want to read anymore. This also allows me to value what I look up even more. I tend to look up something that I’ve seen a lot as well versus something I’ve only seen once.

That’s pretty much how I tackle reading right now. As for meaning, and understanding. Well, I don’t understand a good portion of what I’m reading as a native would and that’s fine. I don’t try to set some ridiculous goal for understanding while I’m still so new to the world of reading.

My favorite moments are when I’ve learned things through immersion and then I read them later on. Its fun when those little tiny moments click and there is no English involved whatsoever. This is why I also don’t look much up at this point. I’d rather be searching in mostly Jp only dictionaries when I do.

Also as a general outline I don’t skim just yet. I don’t really even skim in English either. I might not go through a book as fast, but I don’t mind that. I retain lots of details about what I read, and I do a lot of critical and imaginative thinking after I’ve read something. At this newbish point, I do not skim in Japanese because I notice that I don’t really read at all, I’m just looking at the characters as if they’re pictures, which is weird to me and only beneficial if I’m looking at Japanese in an aesthetic way.

But boy do I read a lot. It’s been the hardest part of AJATT to stop my obsessive English reading. I can’t wait for me to feel good in Japanese reading like I do for English because I know I’ll be hooked for good. Thank god for the internet right now, as it is my primary source for Japanese reading. I don’t possess the fundage to buy a bunch of books in Japanese just yet, so as it stands, go go internet! Don’t feel trapped just because you can’t afford bound books, though I admit I like reading them a lot more than the internet.

As for this contest, I’ll be doing a lot of reading from a forum listing. Sheetz, a user of the How to Learn any Language Forum, compiled a list of both audio and reading materials for studiers of Japanese. The reading materials is more classic in nature like “The Gift of the Magi”. Its a great way to hear and read at the same time, so go check it out.

Also the site かんこみえ has lots of Japanese stories with audio and pictures in flash form. Awesome way to kick off your first day in the Read Or Die contest! Good luck guys and lets kick some butt!

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  1. […] Read Mikotoneko‘s blog post on her first day of the contest. […]



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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    ___________________
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    ___________________
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    ___________________
    April 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 62/106
    End Tally: 154.5
    ___________________
    January 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 84/99
    End Tally: 24
    ___________________
    August 2010 Contest:
    Placement: 20/41
    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

    **************
    June:
    Goal: 600
    Total: 906.26
    blew my goal outta the water!

    **************
    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125
    Total:302.75

    **************
    January:
    Goal: 250
    Total: 314

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