Japanese Goals: August 2020
– Read 2 Japanese novel
– Increase the amount of pages that I read at a time from 10 to 15
– Read more outside
– Complete 4 book reviews from previously read novels
Read 2 Japanese Novels
ふなふな船橋 by 吉本ばなな
天気の子 by 新海 誠
This is my first time setting out such clear reading goals for myself, so I want to start small. I think that reading two books is very doable and I might even try to start a third if I have time later this month. I am really attracted to Yoshimoto Banana’s writing style and sense. She always seems to write about places that are very close to my heart. I used to live in Funabashi and am excited about reading a book set there. I am not so excited about reading Weathering with You. I have read the novelization of Your Name and found that the book was too close to the original movie for me to enjoy it. But I did buy it, so I might as well make use of it. I tried starting this novel before, but was turned off of the description of Tokyo. On a good day Tokyo isn’t the most visually appealing city, but Weathering with You takes it a step further.
I have noticed that a lot of Japanese language learners are interested in novels by Makoto Shinkai so I do want to take the time to write a proper review for it. I think that for the same reasons that I don’t enjoy this novel, that many Japanese language learners will find it extremely useful and beneficial to their studies.
Increase the amount of pages that I read at a time from 10 to 15
My current reading style for Japanese involves taking breaks often. I usually read 10 pages at once, then go do something else before coming back to the novel. I feel like I have had this habit for a bit too long and would like to get myself used to reading straight for longer periods of time. I hope to slowly increase the amount of pages I am reading at a time until I am at the same level as my native language.
Read more outside
Now that I have an electric dictionary, I think this is the perfect timing for me to be able to enjoy the last of summer this year. I am not longer as anchored to my computer as a language learning resource and feeling that my dictionary has given me more freedom. While I do not necessarily have to use a dictionary while reading, I really feel that it helps to elevate my Japanese level more then just extensively reading. I work night shifts and don’t get to enjoy being outside as much as I used to. I also really used to enjoy reading in cafes and libraries and it even makes my heart hurt a little bit knowing that due to COVID I won’t be able to do that for a long time. Maybe being out side with be a healthy substitute for now.
Complete 4 book reviews from previously read novels
君の名は by 新海 誠
西の魔女が死んだ by 梨木 香歩
コンビニ人間 by 村田 沙耶香
魔女の宅急便 by 角野 栄子
Since I have started reading novels, I have noticed that there are quite few Japanese language learners online asking for advice and recommendations. While reading, I do stop time from time to take notes and the areas that I think will make understanding either easier or more difficult for non-native speakers. A lot of my reviews are incomplete and I feel that I am in a better place to write now that I have more experience reading. In particular I want to finish my review of 君の名は(Your name) as I feel that is a story line that many people are drawn too. 魔女の宅急便(Kiki’s Delivery Service) was one of the first books in Japanese that I bought and is very beginner friendly. 西の魔女が死んだ(The Witch of the West has Died) is by far my most treasured Japanese novel at this point. It has left a large impact on me and I think it make for other non-Japanese people as well. For similar reasons, コンビニ人間(Convenience Store Woman) has had an impact on me as well. I hope that my reviews and experience can help people in their own journeys with Japanese literature. In the future, I plan to open a Japanese language school with my partner and I think that the experience of reviewing novels from this specific view point will help me to develop the skills that I need to assist students in finding native material that suit both their interests and their level.
– Post 3 times a week on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday Schedule
– Work on the formatting of the blog to make it easier for everyone to use
Post 3 times a week on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday Schedule
I am still stuck on what time of day I should be posting, but I think I’ve got the days figured out. I used to write often and considered my self to be quite good at it. It has been an extremely long time since then and I hope that writing regularly will help me to develop my skills in writing and become more creative with my word choice. Since Japanese has entered my life, I find that I do not have the same level of active English vocabulary compared to when I was in high school. I used to constantly read books when I was younger and had a talent for helping people find the exact word that was stuck at the tip of their tongue.
As of right now, the M/W/F scheduling is quite hard. I feel like I have a lot to say on the topic of reading books in Japanese and could write everyday. With the 3 days a week goal in mind, I already have 4 more weeks of posts written out and waiting. Every time I write an article, I want to post it right away! But I am worried about sustaining this type of energy. Maybe if I start having months worth of articles written out I will think about changing it to a 4 day a week schedule.
Work on the formatting of the blog to make it easier for everyone to use
This my first time seriously attempting to blog and there is a learning curve when it comes to finding the right set up for a blog. I hope to make it both easier to use and more visually appealing this month. I think it will be a good break, as I seem to always be focusing on work or Japanese.