More japanese reading OR why not to write blog posts at 1:00 in the morning
Man, this post is just way too long and rambling
unless you want to hear the confused whimsies of an old man (21)
you'd best look elsewhere.
I recently got the book "キノの旅" and armed with "Kanji Sono Mama DS" plus my big red japanese dictionary it only took me an eternity to read.
There were two words that weren't in my big red dictionary:
殺める - To murder or wound
がさごそ - rustling sound
I had hoped that my big red dictionary was the entirety of the japanese language condensed into book form. Alas! It seems even the mighty 小学国語学習辞典 has its limitations.
But man, 小学国語学習辞典 is still pretty sweet, it's filled with school-cats like my avatar! To look up a word I find the kanji with Kanji Sono Mama, find the word in 小学国語学習辞典, and look up all the unknown words in the definition with Kanji Sono Mana. This is pretty time consuming but a great way to learn and forget lots of common words.
Anyway, the hard part wasn't so much unknown words as confounding grammar.
My way of dealing with an unknown sentence structure takes two steps:
1. Look up all words and double-check conjugations.
2. Meditate until enlightenment is achieved.
Take for example the following sentence (context is Kino's talking/whining about why (s)he <-- (gender is secret, almost as secret as what happens to Aeris in FF7!) is travelling):
We get the following words:
それ - That
してる - Doing
楽しい - Fun
たとえば - For example
人 - People
殺める必要 - Need to kill
あっても - is also
続けたい - want to continue
思える - to think (potential form)
しね - Die!
"Travelling is fun, for example even when there is the need to kill people I feel the need to continue, Die!"
Whereupon Kino assaults Hermes with a dagger!
Only Kino doesn't assault Hermes with a dagger so I proceeded to step two.
Under my breath I mutter an invocation to the god of Japanese and enter a the trance of spiritual grammar enlightenment. Time looses meaning, hours and seconds are as one, until I hear a voice from the grammar spirit realm whisper "maybe し and ね are not one word"
Yes! I was thrown off by the talk of killing, but し and ね are particles!
Victorious, I proceed to the next sentence!
Since Japanese grammar is so hard I hate to think what they must go through learning English!
Despite the difficulties reading fantasy books is a great way to study. You can draw motivation not from some abstract desire to speak a foreign language, but from wanting to know more about the fictional characters.