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Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

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Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

Postby shivles » Thu 06.17.2010 4:37 pm

Im not quite sure where to post this so I hope I picked a suitable spot! :?

How much do you have to learn before being able to read a Japanese childrens book? Im only basic right now but Ive had a skim though some books to see if I recognise anything but I only pick out the particles and things like 'desu'. Are there any particular groups of words that will help? Will it be years before I can make sense of these!? Any help/advice much appreciated! :D
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Re: Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

Postby Miaow » Thu 06.17.2010 8:14 pm

I've been wondering the same exact thing! Does anyone have any suggestions on what level is necessary to read something like Doremon or Card Captor Sakura? Where could one find a "phone book" manga aimed at younger school-age kids? I have a Nakayoshi, a Ribon, and a Lala, but these are too advanced for me at this time.
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Re: Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

Postby shivles » Fri 06.18.2010 3:55 am

I would imagine numbers, animals and food items to be useful? Oh and toys :wink:

Do Japanese kiddies books follow the same kind of structure of our English ones? 'Once upon a time there was....various fairytale characters and animals having little adventures... happily ever after' ??? Or are they totally different?

The library near me has a huge selection of foreign language books and ,to my delight, they have about 50 hiragana childrens books! I also tried looking up a few of the words in the Japanese dictionary but many of them made no sense or were not there?

This is my first language goal so if you can read these please help spread the love :lol:
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Re: Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

Postby ピーター » Fri 06.18.2010 8:45 am

Miaow wrote:I've been wondering the same exact thing! Does anyone have any suggestions on what level is necessary to read something like Doremon or Card Captor Sakura? Where could one find a "phone book" manga aimed at younger school-age kids? I have a Nakayoshi, a Ribon, and a Lala, but these are too advanced for me at this time.


Well, it really depends what you mean by 'read'. As manga is such a visual medium, it's possible to enjoy and follow the story even if you don't really understand even a quarter of the Japanese. To truly understand it, I think you'd at least need the equivalent of Genki I + II grammar and then heavy dictionary use, as even the young children these mangas are for would have a pretty advanced command of grammar and vocabulary. I have actually looked at Cardcaptor Sakura, so that's what I'd base this off.

Im not quite sure where to post this so I hope I picked a suitable spot! :?

How much do you have to learn before being able to read a Japanese childrens book? Im only basic right now but Ive had a skim though some books to see if I recognise anything but I only pick out the particles and things like 'desu'. Are there any particular groups of words that will help? Will it be years before I can make sense of these!? Any help/advice much appreciated! :D


Well, how long it'll take probably depends upon what you mean by basic. :P I wouldn't think there's really any specfic groups of words you could learn, just carry on with whatever method you're using to learn vocabulary now and it'll come to you in time. Those types of words you said would be helpful, but they're generally the sort of thing that you pick up first as you start to learn Japanese anyway (well, apart from the toys). Like I said earlier about the manga also applies here though, those books for children could be suprisingly complicated at times, so if you're anxious to start reading it might be best to pick up some material specifically aimed at non-native readers, such as the excellent Japanese Graded Readers series.

At least in what I've looked at, there's no great difference between Japanese and English children's books (apart from the language of course), so that shouldn't be a problem. Not being able to find words in the dictionary could just be down to verb conjugation or the dictionary not being very comprehensive.
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Re: Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

Postby shivles » Fri 06.18.2010 11:15 am

ピーター wrote:
Miaow wrote:I've been wondering the same exact thing! Does anyone have any suggestions on what level is necessary to read something like Doremon or Card Captor Sakura? Where could one find a "phone book" manga aimed at younger school-age kids? I have a Nakayoshi, a Ribon, and a Lala, but these are too advanced for me at this time.


Well, it really depends what you mean by 'read'. As manga is such a visual medium, it's possible to enjoy and follow the story even if you don't really understand even a quarter of the Japanese. To truly understand it, I think you'd at least need the equivalent of Genki I + II grammar and then heavy dictionary use, as even the young children these mangas are for would have a pretty advanced command of grammar and vocabulary. I have actually looked at Cardcaptor Sakura, so that's what I'd base this off.

Im not quite sure where to post this so I hope I picked a suitable spot! :?

How much do you have to learn before being able to read a Japanese childrens book? Im only basic right now but Ive had a skim though some books to see if I recognise anything but I only pick out the particles and things like 'desu'. Are there any particular groups of words that will help? Will it be years before I can make sense of these!? Any help/advice much appreciated! :D


Well, how long it'll take probably depends upon what you mean by basic. :P I wouldn't think there's really any specfic groups of words you could learn, just carry on with whatever method you're using to learn vocabulary now and it'll come to you in time. Those types of words you said would be helpful, but they're generally the sort of thing that you pick up first as you start to learn Japanese anyway (well, apart from the toys). Like I said earlier about the manga also applies here though, those books for children could be suprisingly complicated at times, so if you're anxious to start reading it might be best to pick up some material specifically aimed at non-native readers, such as the excellent Japanese Graded Readers series.

At least in what I've looked at, there's no great difference between Japanese and English children's books (apart from the language of course), so that shouldn't be a problem. Not being able to find words in the dictionary could just be down to verb conjugation or the dictionary not being very comprehensive.


Very much appreciated, thank you! Would you say JLPT level 5 would give me enough knowledge to make sense out of the pre-schooler stories?
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Re: Reading Japanese Childrens Books?

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Thu 07.08.2010 5:52 pm

More "The Hungry Caterpillar" and less "Cardcaptor Sakura." I'll go ahead and look for some nice children's stories for you. It'll help if you have a plugin for your browser like Rikaichan or Perapera-kun.
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