Today I read this short story called 孟姜女. It’s a famous Chinese story.
It’s another tragic love story.
I won’t go into too many details. This again is at JGR level 4.
There were only 10 pages of reading for the story, but It was a good read.
Today I read many pages in both Korean and Japanese. But I want to read more.
It’s the 21st, and I need to read about 600 more pages if I’m going to reach my goal for the Read More Or Die Tadoku contest. My goal is 1000 pages.
Anyways, I read this book:
This is story is about a beautiful girl in China who dresses up as a boy to attend school and ends up falling in love. It’s a classic.
The book has about 28 pages of reading. It’s a JGR Level 4 book. I bought many level 4 books in Japan, and I can’t wait to read them all.
It does take me a while to read because I get so distracted sometimes. But in the end I just gotta keep on reading. I’m getting faster and faster.
So, I read through an article on NHK News Web Easy site.
This site is super awesome!
It has furigana and simplified Japanese for foreigners who are learning Japanese. It’s much better than the news for kids website because I can read it extensively without the use of a dictionary.
After reading and article, I listened to the newscast and I found that I could understand it quite easily.
Also there is a link to the real article on the NHK News Web site.
I had forgotten how hard it is to learn a language and just how much Korean and Japanese I actually know.
You see when I’m writing to you here in English, I’m not thinking in Japanese, and no Korean words are popping up in my head either. It’s only the reflexes of English that have been trained into my head since I was born that spew out onto this blog post.
If you were to acquire a new language how would you do it? Let me reiterate this again. It can’t be stated enough. You have to get this concept in your head:
Is Translation Bad?
I will say this. Understanding through translation counts. If you were to review a bunch of vocabulary through flashcards with translation or pictures, you would understand the message. That will work. And sometimes that’s a necessity. Especially for higher concept words. It’s also the quickest way to understanding. You can reinforce the responses through experience later, right?
For example, you might need a strong foundation of Japanese before you could understand the word “悪循環” (vicious circle). Although with Japanese if you understand the meaning of those Kanji, you could probably figure it out. However, if you heard it “あくじゅんかん” you might have a harder time understanding without a dictionary. You’d need a lot of good context.
The point is, sometimes translation is the quickest way to understanding messages for most adult learners.
Building a strong base of working vocabulary first however, it much better than trying to reach out to those fancy newspaper words all the time. Why? Because if you know the word “あくじゅんかん” try using it in conversation. I’m not talking about “それは悪循環です” (That is a vicious circle). I’m talking about all of the context the precedes it. All of the stuff you should understand before you get to use that expression.
You can build a base through programmed learning.
Some people might call this “Deep Learning” as opposed to “Wide Learning.” Though that’s not necessarily true.
Programmed learning is training yourself for responses.
The way it works is, you start from very basic words and phrases and build yourself up through repetition and training. You get positive or negative feedback depending on your response. Just like as you were a kid, you got positive or negative responses from your parents if you said something good or bad. You train your responses with questions and practice. As long as you understand the phrases and what’s being said, you are on your way to fluency.
You can do this with computers too. There are some software programs that do this fairly well.
Pimsleur is good too. Notice how if you train your mind with Pimsleur Audio the native speakers will think you know a lot more (vocabulary) than you actually do. There are limitations. Eventually you’ll need to acquire vocabulary through narrow listening and extensive reading.
But I think the personal attention you might get with a Tutor on Skype is better.
There are many ways of learning that I’ve mentioned in previous posts that all do this “Deep learning.”
Here are some of my favorites:
Watching Kid’s shows
I started learning French on Thursday when I discovered a video from Christophe Clugston about the best way to learn French. He recommends getting the whole package and attending a class to get the full benefit, but I am just watching the videos that were shown on PBS.
It’s a really cool immersion program put on by a professor of French at Yale University filmed in the late 1980’s. So far so good. There are 52 episodes. I plan on watching one or two of them a day. They are 30 minute long episodes. You can find them here: French in Action
I finally found a few good things to read for my extensive reading in Korean!
I was so happy when I found these books at Brandi and Luni’s in Ulsan. Unfortunately, it looks like the publisher only has one series out so far. These are the best books I’ve seen! And they are really cool too! I wish there was a website for these sorts of stories. Even though I make stories with my tutor, it’s nice to just sit down with a book and read sometimes.
I’ve read 3 books already and I plan on finishing the other two early tomorrow morning.
I also got a really cool book that I can actually read without too much trouble. This book is maybe a step above my level of reading. Perhaps even 2 steps above my reading ability. But It uses both languages! Japanese and Korean! It has dialogues and explanations in both languages. The Japanese doesn’t have any furigana, but most of the Kanji is simple. if I don’t know the word, I can usually figure it out by looking at the Korean. I’ll be reading more from this book tomorrow as well.
Today I finished the rest of the story “注文の多い料理店.”
It was a pretty trippy story. Basically these two guys go out in the woods and their expensive dogs die all of a sudden. Then they get tired and hungry and see a restaurant. They go inside and there are many doors. Each door has a sign on it. The signs say different things, such as “Leave your guns on the table”, “Take off your clothes”, and “Cover yourselves with cream.” I won’t ruin the rest of the story for you, though.
I really enjoyed the strange story. But at the same time, I wouldn’t want to read it again anytime soon. However, the next book I will post about I would love to read again. More on that later.
The book has 22 pages of reading. It was short, but I found it tough to read quickly because of all of the strange things going on.