Japanese Extensive Reading 日本語の多読: カップヌードル、カラオケ、ウオークマン

カップヌードル、カラオケ、ウオークマン

 

Over the past few days, I read through one book. I was really slow at reading this one.

I think I was slow because it’s not fiction and not as interesting to me.

The book contains 29 pages of reading.

Overall cool, but I would not want to read it again.

 

Japanese Extensive Reading 日本語の多読: 地震と津波

地震と津波

 

Today I read a 30 page book about Earthquakes and Tsunamis.

This book was so cool! I learned so many new words without a dictionary. Though, I might not remember them all, it doesn’t matter. I got practice with the patterns running through my head. The extra vocabulary is just extra details. The trees in the forest.

I know many of you might be choking on that for a bit. “Why is he so careless about vocabulary?!”

Let me show you why it doesn’t matter so much. Here’s an example from the book.

行方不明者 = いなくなった人

It translates to missing persons, right? Does it really matter if I don’t know this word? No. Is it nice to know? Sure. Can I pick it up later when I need it? Absolutely!

I’d be more worried if I didn’t know what いなくなった人 meant. And honestly with the way some people study (from vocab lists) They would probably understand 行方不明者 and use it awkwardly in a sentence and not understand いなくなった人.

Sometimes you just gotta let go. Don’t force it. If you need the word, it will come. Or you’ll figure out a way to get it into your head.

When would you want to force the words? Maybe if you’re taking an entrance exam, or if you’re an interpreter and you have a new client who deals with manufacturing plastics or any other technical field.

Obviously if you need specialized vocab, study it! If not, just have fun and let go. It will come as long as you continue reading and listening. You can look words up too if you really need to know. But try to break that habit if you’re using graded readers for extensive reading.

My favorite  part from the book was on page 6:

「日本に来てすぐ、地震がありました。私は急いで家から飛び出しました。でも、日本人は誰も驚いていません。どうしてですか?」

I had the exact same experience! It was my first day in Japan and I felt an earthquake in Bic Camera! I didn’t fly out of the building of course, but all of the other people in the department store just stood still like It was nothing! Nobody was running and screaming like in a big Hollywood disaster film.

The book explains that running and screaming during an earthquake is a bad idea. It goes over what you should do in many different situations. The only time where you should move quickly is when you live close to the sea. You need to run toward higher ground or climb all the way up on a tall building. This is of course after the shaking stops.

Japanese Extensive Reading 日本語の多読: 吉備津の釜 〜「雨月物語」より〜

Today I read through “吉備津の釜 〜「雨月物語」より〜”, a very chilling Japanese short story.

吉備津の釜 〜「雨月物語」より〜

The book had a really interesting ending. I thought it was going to be boring at first, but then the story started to get really good. I couldn’t put the book down.

The story has 30 pages of reading. I didn’t read anything yesterday, so the consecutive daily count is just 30 now.

Japanese Extensive Reading 日本語の多読: アラジンと魔法のランプ

 

アラジンと魔法のランプ

アラジンと魔法のランプ

I slowly read Aladdin and the Magic lamp over the past three days. I’ve been really preoccupied with other things lately. Glad I got to finish the book.

I really should just sit down and finish these books instead of dragging them out over a few days. I tend to spread myself out over many different projects and things. Even when learning languages.

Bad habit, I guess. Must be a lack of focus. It’s a plague amongst creative people with no focus; Nothing gets finished. Lots of brilliant ideas but nothing to show. Well, I have a few things to show for it, but not as much as I should.

I chatted with one of my Chinese friends last night on Skype to practice Chinese. Turns out my friend started learning Japanese too. I said something in Chinese and got a blank stare back. I was quite worried. I thought for sure my Chinese was right! What happened? It turns out my friend was just thinking of what to say and then took out a big text book and then said 「ありがとうございます!」

そのため私はとても喜びました!まさか!私の中国語は正解でした!よかったな〜 笑

中国語はすごく楽しいと思う!実はまだ初心者です。レベルアップをしたい!けど、私は韓国に住んでいる。それで沢山韓国語を聞いている。韓国語も大好きです。しかし、私の韓国語よりも私の日本語の方がうまい。なんでだろう〜

でも、東京に沢山日本語の本を買いましたから、日本語の本を読め泣けラバならないですよ。ドンドンドンドン読んでなきゃ!

アラジンの話は面白かった。ちさいとき、あのディズニーのアラジンの映画が大好きでした!本当だ!そのときは2年の小学生でした。信じられない!20年後です!その考えを考える時に私は古いおじいさんのように感じる。めんどくさい!だけど、最近は私の感じは実に若くて強い男のように感じているよ!

Since I did read every day, I’ll count it towards my consecutive daily page count. Aladdin and the magic lamp is 27 pages of reading. That’s a total of 50 pages! Gotta keep on reading and get that Japanese running through my brain. Extensive reading means extensive. I know I can do more!

I also transferred my movies music from my old mac to my new one, so now I have my Japanese music and movies to watch and listen to during my free time. Or whenever I’m doing something chill like writing this blog post.

Sometimes I fall asleep listening to anime. I used to do that back in the States too. It’s much better than falling asleep to music because your mind works at decoding the meaning until it gets tired and drops out into sleep. speaking of which Zzzzz zzzz zzzz zkfal;sjfl ;ksdmfla;fchpbuoamgx,z,naznanl;bnib

Japanese Extensive Reading 日本語の多読: The Happy Prince 幸せな王子

Last night I read the story of the Happy prince!

幸せな王子

It’s from the new レベル別日本語多読ライブラリー (Different level Japanese Extensive Reading Library) graded readers that I picked up in Tokyo two weeks ago! I was so happy to get my hands on more graded readers for Japanese. I feel more motivated than ever to keep on reading and getting awesome at Japanese. Even though my language lust drags me in other directions.

I don’t need a dictionary for these things! I’m so happy!

The Happy Prince is a story by Oscar Wilde.

The book is from level 3 for beginning intermediate classes. (初中級)

Level 3 books have:

文字数/1話 : 2500 – 5000
Character count per Story: 2500 – 5000

語彙数: 800
Vocabulary count: 800 (different words)

This book has 23 pages.

I’m going to keep a consecutive daily page count, since I think this is much more important than a monthly page count.

The road to a healthier life

It was at the height of my weight. The biggest I had ever been. I weighed 245 lbs (111.13 kg).

How did I put on all that weight?

Obviously It's the meat and fat

It is only obvious in hindsight. Of course it was the meat, the oil, the eggs, the milk and cheese, the Burger King, the ice cream, and the doughnut dreams.

It didn’t really matter how much I exercised. I didn’t really know much about good nutrition. In 2007 I studied abroad in Budapest. I was on my own cooking for myself.

Little did I know that the culprit was right in my hands.

I was still fat after college. My diet had changed, but it was still the typical American diet. Lots of meat and cheese, oils, eggs and high fat doughnuts, muffins and other bakery goodies.

When I got hired to work at the bank, I joined a gym. I lost about 40 lbs there. What happened?

I did change my diet a bit. I was still eating meat. Not as much though. I was more calorie conscious and ate white bread instead of whole (less calories). I also exercised considerably. At least 5 days a week for a few months.

I did start to look at food labels more. I cut down on cheese and milk severely. I ate more oats and less sugary things for breakfast.

I still didn’t really have any good idea of good Nutrition.

iceCream

Happy Birthday!

When I came to Korea, I lost quite a bit of weight. Here’s me when I first came to Korea. I was ready to eat a whole bunch of greasy Samgyeopsal (Korean BBQ, Basically thick bacon.)

SamGyeopSal

So what happened when I came to Korea? I ate a lot more vegetables compared to meat. Still a lot of meat and cooked/pickled/sugared veggies. The typical Korean diet with an American appetite for more helpings of meat.

I did lose weight. I also started exercising at home on my own. That november I went running for the first time in a few years. Maybe even since college.

Here I am a few months after:

TongDoSa

So, I decided to get more serious. The past summer I started running seriously. I also switched my diet to the “Paleo Diet” which means lean meats and veggies. Nothing that came from the agricultural revolution.

I was also going to the gym and messing around with weights as well as playing Ultimate Frisbee.

And that worked pretty good. I lost weight and got down to around 81 Kg. I still had a big butt, but I think that will be the last thing I lose.

Pumped

Until I fell off the horse. Little did I know that the Paleo diet is hard to maintain long term. It’s the perfect Yo-yo diet. You’ll see many people lose weight fast. Only to gain it back in a few months.

Not all of it back, but I was up to around 86 kg. I got a bit depressed over the winter, and started eating junk food again. I didn’t know what was going on.

Sure I wasn’t Tubby Mc Tubberton. But geeze. It sucked. It was the depression that really sucked the life out of me. I had gotten seasonal blues before, but this time was pretty hard hitting. Good thing I had friends to be there for me.

Here is me at the beach trying to revitalize my soul:
Beached

I had been eating healthier and exercising more with the help of a friend. We ate healthier. Still eating meat, but only with lots of great veggies, beans, mushrooms, rice, and fruits.

I decided that April is the month to make a positive change in my diet and health. I had been gradually feeling better since the start of the School year in Korea. I started reading books on health and looking for ways to improve my health.

So in April, I became a vegan. I ate meat twice, and I had eggs twice in the month of april (school lunch, and on my birthday). I also had cake and ice cream on my birthday.

Luckily I had some very good influences such as a good vegan friend, and also lots of great resources for healthy eating information. I’m still learning the ropes. There are all sorts of different vegan diets. Some people only eat fruit with the occasional salad. Some eat nuts, some don’t. Some eat only raw foods. Some don’t eat soy.

Anyways, When I got back from Japan, I weighed myself on the scale. I’m down to 77kg. (169.75 lbs) The healthiest I’ve been since high school.

My taste buds have changed completely. I’ve lost the taste for coffee. Cleansing my diet of animal products means cleansing it of all of the animal fats which makes your blood clog (when you eat meat and eggs fat runs wild through your blood stream), and your senses numb. I feel life in a new way.

And most importantly, on this vegan diet, I never feel hungry all the time like I used to feel. And I don’t over eat.

I have so much more energy, and my sleep is so much better.

Here’s me in Tokyo drinking soy milk tea.

Soy Milk Tea

Now I want to get leaner with more muscle mass. The journey still continues.

If you’re interested in changing to a vegan diet, here’s a video to give you more information. This doctor describes why starches and rice are not the culprit. Enjoy!