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Old novels

IsaacDavid

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I want some advice.Old novels in japanese like: kokoro,i'm a cat...etc.do contain obsolete japanese isn't it? It's better to choose contemporary literature to practice japanese reading?
 
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Toritoribe

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Well, I don't recommend for beginners learning Japanese by translating novels, whether it's old or contemporary, or anime, manga or song lyrics. I don't say it's impossible, but no doubt ineffective.

A member who had tried to learn Japanese by translating a game said this.
As I've studied in a more structured fashion, I want to admit I was wrong in approaching the language that way. You were right that it wasn't the most efficient method, I was being stubborn.


And this is by a member who tried to learn by translating song lyrics.
I never got to thank you for bringing Genki into my life. If I hadn‘t bought it when you told me to, I probably would still be running around in circles guessing every second word. Now I sucessfully watched 1 episode of an anime and it wasn‘t all that terribly difficult. ... So, thank you very much for your recommendation
 

Reiko 1981

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Try short stories by Yasunari Kawabata, also Yukiguni (Snow country) by the same author. Anything by Yukio Mishima is great, really mind-blowing. Try reading his novel "The Sound of Waves" (潮騒) Other writers I would recommend are Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Hell Screen, Rashomon and other short stories). Also, I like Junichiro Tanizaki, especially In Praise of Shadows. Those four I have found most exciting, but it is my personal opinion. Start with Kawabata, he was a genius. Reading his novels made me fell in love with all things Japanese.
 

Reiko 1981

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One more thing. Try reading them first in your mother tongue, and then in Japanese.
 

Reiko 1981

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Well, I don't recommend for beginners learning Japanese by translating novels, whether it's old or contemporary, or anime, manga or song lyrics. I don't say it's impossible, but no doubt ineffective.

A member who had tried to learn Japanese by translating a game said this.
As I've studied in a more structured fashion, I want to admit I was wrong in approaching the language that way. You were right that it wasn't the most efficient method, I was being stubborn.

And this is by a member who tried to learn by translating song lyrics.
I never got to thank you for bringing Genki into my life. If I hadn‘t bought it when you told me to, I probably would still be running around in circles guessing every second word. Now I sucessfully watched 1 episode of an anime and it wasn‘t all that terribly difficult. ... So, thank you very much for your recommendation
Except for Genki, there is a series called "Living Language Japanese". I found it very useful when learning Japanese.
 

Reiko 1981

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Yes, it will be hard at first to understand original literature in Japanese, and it is actually better to first read texts from your textbook, but I think if you try reading a couple paragraphs or even sentences from famous novels, it will do no harm :)
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, I, too, think that there is no problem to read Japanese novels just for practice or just for fun. I know textbooks are boring. My point is that novels (or manga, song lyrics) are inappropriate as the main learning material.

If the OP got Minna no Nihongo when he mentioned it, i.e., 2 years ago, and learned Japanese effectively via well-structured textbooks, not on his own way as he himself said, he might not need to ask beginner level questions anymore now. Hope he won't repeat another inefficient way of learning Japanese by reading Sōseki.
 

Reiko 1981

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Minna no Nihongo is a great book. No, of course, I didn't mean reading literature in original as a main material, just as an occasional supplement. I basically gave some suggestions on what to read to gain knowledge about Japan in general 😊
 

IsaacDavid

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Thanks to all of you for your advices and your trying to help.i'll try kawabata as you say and the others book you mentioned.by the way,i've recently disvovered a site of brothers grimms fairy tales: grimmstories.com
 

Toritoribe

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The japanese in the novels is difficult, isn't it?
Judging from your questions you've been asking in this forum so far, it seems to me that novels are too advanced for you, whether it's old ones like Natsume Sōseki, Kawabata Yasunari or new ones like Murakami Haruki, Higashino Keigo. It would be a hard work to read even a couple of sentences per day, I think.
 

IsaacDavid

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Judging from your questions you've been asking in this forum so far, it seems to me that novels are too advanced for you, whether it's old ones like Natsume Sōseki, Kawabata Yasunari or new ones like Murakami Haruki, Higashino Keigo. It would be a hard work to read even a couple of sentences per day, I think.
I confess to you that i was trying kokoro and it have hard parts.seeing that there's native japanese speakers in this forum i'm very curious and can't help to ask this silly question: may for native japanese to be difficult to understand the difficult parts?
 
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Toritoribe

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Sōseki's Kokoro is often used as a material in textbooks in high school. I, too, learned it in Kokugo (Japanese language) class. There is no grammatical problem, or at least not so many problems. The point of learning in the class is what the author wanted to say is, what an episode represents, etc. What about your native language? You don't understand hundred-year-old novels at all?
 

IsaacDavid

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Sōseki's Kokoro is often used as a material in textbooks in high school. I, too, learned it in Kokugo (Japanese language) class. There is no grammatical problem, or at least not so many problems. The point of learning in the class is what the author wanted to say is, what an episode represents, etc. What about your native language? You don't understand hundred-year-old novels at all?
Yes i understand 100 years old novels in my language.i was seeing a video in youtube where someone said that certain text was difficult even for his wife that was a japanese.
 

Toritoribe

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The point is Sōseki's novels are (mostly) written in modern Japanese, or more likely, he is one of the key persons who created modern Japanese. Even though literature in late Edo preiod was 50 years or so older than Kokoro, they are hard to understand since they were written in classical Japanese, and the ones in Heian, kamakura or Muromachi period are extremely hard or often nearly impossible to understand for people in general because they are totally different from modern Japanese in grammar and vocabulary.
 

Toritoribe

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It totally depends on the situation where it's used. I don't think that a university professor's academic lecture is easier than fairy tale books for children. Or rather, newspaper articles might be easier to understand than colloquial conversation in anime for people who only know proper Japanese sentences.

Again, if you feel those novels are difficult, they are too advanced for you. I think that it's more fruitful to stop your own way of learning, and learn with well-structured textbooks instead. It seems to me that you are repeating similar things to what you did two years ago; asking what you should to do after finishing Minnna no Nihongo before you get it.
 
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