Haiku reflections on Japan

読書

So I`m doing a 

bit of reading to feel more 

fluent and it helps..

…somewhat.   JLPT?? What JLPT??  A collection of short stories in Japanese by contemporary Japanese writers.   There`s a page of notes opposite each page of the story with each note briefly explaining a certain grammar point in the text and then you find more comprehensive grammar information on each of these notes at the other end of the book.  Naturally like an ordinary Japanese novel, the text is in vertical form and from right to left.  It has a dictionary of sorts too and a CD with the stories read by an actress so you can hear how natural Japanese should sound.  Though I don`t pay much attention to the dictionary (the vocabulary usually appears in the grammar note anyway), I do read the stories and the grammar notes and listening to the CD is great.  These stories were collected and edited by a translator called Michael Emmerich and, as he says in the introduction, this is the best way to learn and improve your Japanese.   He`s translated at least one of the novels of Yasunari Kawabata, who I mention in my literature page.  Though not the one I`ve read.  I take my time with each story not moving onto the next one until I`m sure of the one I`ve just read and though you don`t have to go through them in order if you`re really good at Japanese, I think it`s a good idea.   You should try at some point to read each story without glancing at the notes.  You`ll probably soak up the stories a bit more too if you focus on one story for a while.  Reading any novel should be a leisurely event anyway, even if it is a pageturner (if that makes any sense).  So a shout out to this guy with his PHD in Japanese Literature who has made Japanese literature accessible to bookworms like me who are much less fluent!!  You can look up all the websites in the world now to find grammar and vocabulary lessons but if you`re a bookworm, and believe me I am, this is a much more pleasant way.    If I decided tomorrow to sell off all the books I collected during my study of Japanese, most of them textbooks, this is one I`d hang onto.

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