Picture books (絵本)

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Cyborg Ninja
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Picture books (絵本)

Post by Cyborg Ninja » Mon 08.31.2009 1:36 pm

I'm looking for Japanese children's books to increase my reading comprehension. They must be free and available through the internet. I used to go to Yahoo for these books, but back in March they discontinued the service. I think that picture books are best because you can readily relate a sentence to the picture that you see on the same page. Do you know any sites?

By the way, do you know any movies for children that are good enough for adults to watch? I have My Neighbor Totoro and it's easy enough for me to watch in Japanese without getting lost. Nausicaa was too advanced for me.

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Re: Picture books (絵本)

Post by jcdietz03 » Mon 08.31.2009 11:20 pm

Maybe that new Miyazaki film Ponyo wouldn't be too bad. I don't know if it is on DVD yet.

I have this problem too. I have resigned myself to the fact that whatever it is, I'm probably going to understand 50% of it maximum. I intentionally avoid hard stuff and try to stick with Shonen.

Isn't Manga basically a picture book? People like to knock them for practicing your Japanese because there's a lot of pictures and not many words, at least compared to a regular book. The text is related to the picture at least some of the time. You can get some Mangas on Amazon US - I got my Inuyasha that way.
http://www.amazon.com/InuYasha-Vol-Japa ... 920&sr=8-1

Check this site for some Aesop's fables (sorry, no pictures).

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Re: Picture books (絵本)

Post by furrykef » Mon 08.31.2009 11:40 pm

jcdietz03 wrote:Isn't Manga basically a picture book? People like to knock them for practicing your Japanese because there's a lot of pictures and not many words
They do? I'd have thought that that's actually a pretty good reason to read manga. A good reason to knock them would be that you have to be careful not to pick up Japanese that has little real-world application (like frequently ending all your sentences with ze/zo, always using "ore" to refer to yourself, always using "omae" to refer to another person... such things can get you laughed at or even in deep trouble!).

But, on the other hand, if you're advanced enough to actually read manga well and you take the time to observe how the language is actually used (and if you hang around places like this one), you can probably figure out easily enough what people do and don't say in the real world.

- Kef
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)

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Re: Picture books (絵本)

Post by nukemarine » Tue 09.01.2009 12:27 am

Ever wonder why college students studying Japanese can read better than a five year old Japanese kid but can't listen/speak better than a five year old Japanese kid? Children books are designed for people with good grasp of language, but not high literacy or grasp of abstract concepts.

Not knocking your choice, but you probably can read a bit more advanced material. This may sound difficult to do, but go through a manga (slice of life manga probably the best choice here) once and look up all stuff that you don't get. After that, just read through it again two, three or more times.

Besides, children books annoy me. Too much hiragana. Apparently, adult Japanese have similar issues so it's not an arrogant statement on my part. Still, this link should help if you want children stories for free. Most come with streamed audio. Not many pictures though.


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