Language Diary #1

Welcome to the first entry of my language diary! This post is mainly about the books that I am reading at the moment.

Currently Reading

『誰か』by Miyuki MIYABE (宮部みゆき)

I am reading 『誰か』by Miyuki MIYABE (宮部みゆき). I never read this author before, but I see her name everywhere!

『誰か』is the first novel of a series involving the protagonist Saburo SUMIGURA. From what I know, Sugimura is a private detective, but in 『誰か』 he is just an employee in his father-in-law’s company Imada Konzern. This first novel will certainly show how Sugimura gave up his job and became a detective.

I find the book a little difficult to read at times. The dialogues are okay, but some descriptions and all the passages relative to Sumigura’s work at Imada Konzern are a bit challenging. I like the novel so far, but I am reading it slowly. I hope to finish it by the end of the month, it is my main reading goal for January.

ボクたちはみんな大人になれなかった by Moegara (燃え殻)

I found this book very intriguing, I loved the cover and the title appealed to me, so I bought it on Amazon with my order of JLPT textbooks.

I had no idea what the novel was about when I started it. On the cover, it says 「好きだった人の名前を、SNSで検索したことはありますか―?」but I find it misleading. The story is about a man of 43 who sees the name of the girl he loved some twenty years ago popping up on Facebook. This brings him back to the ’90s, the lost decade after the collapse of the economic bubble, the depressive working hours and a cheap love hotel.

At first I didn’t like the novel because of the author’s writing style. I prefer reading long novels with descriptions, complex characters, a constructed plot and so on. This novel is short and made of a succession of scenes rather than a plot, impressions and atmosphere rather than descriptions.

Harry Potter in Japanese, translated by Yuko Matsuoka

I got nostalgic of the universe of Harry Potter and wanted to re-read the books. I would not have read them in English because I have other priorities, but I figured out that reading them in Japanese would be a good excuse. I can say that it is to improve my reading skills in Japanese and learn useless interesting words like 一角獣 (ユニコーン, Unicorn) or 不死鳥 (ふしちょう, Phoenix) 😄.

It is strange because I don’t read Harry Potter to read something easy in Japanese, I read in Japanese to read Harry Potter, I mean, to get an excuse to spend time reading Harry Potter instead of progressing on my TBR pile.

It was an impulse buy, without a doubt, so I downloaded the e-book version to start right away. I have reached 30% of the book this weekend and it is by far the easiest novel I am reading now. I find it even easier than any of the books I read last year. I also find interesting to see how Yuko Matsuoka managed to translate perilous passages.

For example, when Harry asks Hagrid the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite, Hagrid answers “Stalagmite’s got an ‘m’ in it”. In Japanese, the exchange is as such:

Harry: 鍾乳石 (しょうにゅうせき)と石筍(せきじゅん)って、どう違うの?
Hagrid: 三文字と二文字の違いだろ。

which I find even funnier.

Music: Yonawo

I discovered Yonawo on iTunes, and I like it very much. This is the song “ijo” of the EP “ijo”.