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Pleasure Reading To Learn Japanese

Hello everyone,
This time around I'd like to write about "pleasure reading" to learn a language, mostly basing the idea on Krashen's position about the method.

Reading authentic text (without the use of a textbook) is sometimes criticized as being poor or ineffective, for example:


The second user at least as the humility to admit that it's possible to learn a language that way. Those are two people's opinion however and should be considered as such as opposed to established universal fact. It'd be healthy to have some sort of skepticism and look further into those beliefs.
To quote his book Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition (p. 167):
Both conversation and pleasure reading have the potential of meeting the requirements for optimal input for acquisition very well. We have reached the conclusion that an interesting conversation in a second language, and reading something for pleasure, are excellent language lessons. This comes as no surprise to the millions of people who have acquired language using only these "methods", and have acquired them very well.
Now keep in mind that the author of this book isn't a neophyte when it comes to learning languages. We can therefore consider his statement that millions of people have learned that way can be somewhat reliable. And yet, this method is often systematically discouraged in favor of a unique, textbook-based approach regardless of what's actually being said by experts about the issue.



That is not to say that individuals shouldn't share their opinion about what works about learning language based on their own experiences. It means the exact opposite; a person's successful approach to learn a language doesn't automatically invalidates all other approaches. This is exactly why language learning methodology doesn't remain static through but time but rather evolves and changes thanks to all sorts of experimentation and new hypothesis (Grammar-Translation, Audio-Lingualism, Cognitive-Code, Direct Method, Natural Approach, Total Physical Response, Suggestopedia).
Pleasure Reading in Practice
This is an example of how I'd go about pleasure reading to get more exposure from the language. I'm studying this article.


For the purpose of a cultural exchange between Japan and Mongolia, an Akita dog as a present for 朝青龍.
交流:『こうりゅう』cultural exchange
朝青龍: Name of a person
秋田犬:『あきた』a dog breed
Although I'm fairly confident about understanding the meaning of the sentence, the translation is a bit awkward. The meaning of the sentence is likely that a dog was given as a present to 朝青龍 in the context of a cultural exchange between Japan and Mongolia.

朝青龍 comes from Mongolia to Japan in order to be the sumo grand champion.
朝青龍は:あさしょうりゅ, name. This is the subject of the sentence.
から日本に来きて: he comes from Mongolia to Japan.
大相撲で:『おおずもう』professional sumo wrestler
横綱:『よこづな』grand champion (sumo).
をしていました:to do in the past.
Again, I understand the gist of the sentence where 朝青龍 came from Mongolia to compete as a sumo. Maybe I should've translated the sentence in the past however.

朝青龍 is acting to strengthen the relationship between Mongolia and Japan.
朝青龍は今: again, the sentence is about 朝青龍, more specifically "now".
日本とモンゴルの関係: the relationship between Mongolia and Japan.
強くするために活動しています: to strengthen the relationship.
I realize there's no "trying" here, just the "doing" of an action to strengthen the relationship between Japan and Mongolia. I'm guessing the fact that he's competing as a sumo strengthen the relationship. Not as sure about this one as the two previous one.

In context of a cultural exchange between Japan and Mongolia, The Akita Dog Preservation said they gave an Akita Dog to 朝青龍 as a present.
秋田犬保存会: Akita Dog Preservation Society: は (subject of the sentence).
日本とモンゴルの交流のために: as before, in the context of a cultural exchange between Mongolia and Japan.
秋田犬を朝青龍にプレゼントしたいと: an Akita dog was given to 朝青龍
言っていました: the Akita Dog Preservation society said...
In this context, I'm not sure how 朝青龍 acts to strengthen the bond between the two places (Japan & Mongolia).

朝青龍 said next month is he will name his present dog as "Masao"...*
朝青龍が: again, the subject of the sentence is 朝青龍.
ほしい: wants; 朝青龍 wants...
と: 助詞: I think here 「と」plays the role of the citation marker "to indicate what someone said, asked, thought, etc..."
話したため: said, past.
来月:『らいげつ』next month...
「マサオ」という名前の犬をプレゼントすることになりました。: The name of the "present" dog is "Masao".
*Again, the idea is that 朝青龍 named the dog he received as "Masao". The "next month" is sort of confusing considering the ending of the sentence is なりました which is "to become" in the past. So I'm not sure how the "next month" comes into this context. Regardless, I can still keep track of what the text is talking about.

Masao is a male dog born last month in Odate City in Akita prefecture.
「マサオ」は: Subject of the sentence.
先月:『せんげつ』last month (adv.)
秋田県:『あきたけん』Akita prefecture
大館市: "Odate City".
で: 助詞:what precedes is where the action/verb takes place.
生まれた: born, past.
雄の犬です: male dog.
This sentence is fairly basic, nothing really to comment about it.

The cousin of Masao, Masaru, was a present to the winner of the gold medal last month at Zagiva Arena for the Pyong Chang Olympics.
ピョンチャンオリンピック: Pyong Chang Olympics
で: 助詞:same as before
金メダルを取った: got a gold medal.
アリーナ・ザギトワ: Zagitova Arena.
選手:『せんしゅ』player (competition)
先月: 『先月』last month
I almost missed いとこ here which was pretty important as the sentence doesn't talk about Masao but Masaru.

The chairman of the Akita Dog Preservation Society said the was happy to improve the relationship between Japan and Mongolia.
秋田犬保存会の会長: the sentence is about the chairman of the Akita Dog Preservation Society.
「モンゴルと日本の関係: the relationship between Mongolia and Japan is the subject.
もっとよくなるために: ...further improve.../further become better.
手伝う: 『てつだう』to help, to assist (五段 v.)
こと: nominalizer
が: 助詞
うれしいです:happy, pleasant, content...

Thanks for reading!


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