Author: Inhae

Reading Progress: 「在日」chapter 1

I thought it would be a good idea to post my reading progress for challenging books. It encourages me to go on reading! I finished reading the first chapter of 「在日」by 姜尚中(カン・サンジュン). The first chapter was only 25 pages long, but it took me some time to go through it. I think that I understood most of it, but there are still two or three passages where I am not sure of what is implied. I could not look up each and every unknown word (too many of them), so I dismissed some of them and did not always made a good choice in deciding whether to look up for a word or not. What would sometimes happen is that I go on reading a whole paragraph without really understanding it, just because I missed a keyword. This means that I had to go back to the beginning of the passage and look up more words. What also happened a lot is a lack of understanding due to bad concentration. I would read a whole page …

Japanese News: May week 3

This week, I had the feeling that everything I tried to read was too difficult… It happens I guess… 😐 Some survey Last week, I wrote about Yanase’s answers to the Diet concerning the Kake Gakuen scandal. He kept saying that he did not report his activities to Abe and that the Prime Minister did not know that arrangements were being made to favour his friend ‘s institution. On Monday, Abe echoed Yanase’s assertion by saying “報告は受けていない” (source). In other words, he confirmed that Yanase did not report (報告・ほうこく) to him concerning the meeting he had with Kake’s people. Abe added: “国家の重大事でない限り、(秘書官から)途中段階で説明を受けることはほとんどない” (source). As long as it is not an important case, it is rare that he receives explanations from his secretary while the work is still in progress. To go on with the repercussions of Yanase’s hearing at the Diet, let’s take a look at the results of a survey of public opinion 世論調査 (よろんちょうさ). Mainichi made public the result of a survey that took place over two days (on the 12th and 13th …

Currently Reading: 「在日」by 姜尚中(カン・サンジュン)

I am deviating a little from my “reading challenge list for 2018” with 「在日」by Kang Sang-jung. As I am currently living in Korea, I took an interest in the relationship between Korea and Japan. So when I saw this book in a bookshop of Seoul the other day, I just had to buy it. This title caught my eye because of another book that I still haven’t read but which covers, I think, the same subject: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I have been telling myself that I should read Pachinko since I read Akylina saying so many good things about it on the literary sisters’ blog. I still haven’t got around to it yet, because I have a huge list of books I want to read in English… But when I saw 「在日」, I thought it could be a way to dig into the subject while waiting for the good time to read Pachinko. What immediately drew my attention is the name of the author: 姜尚中 (Kang Sang-jung). This means that the author is using …

Read in Japanese: self-improvement books

I am mainly talking about novels on my blog, but I am also reading some non-fiction books. I realised some time ago that self-improvement books were surprisingly easy to read in Japanese and can be a good start for anyone looking for easy reads. Of course, I haven’t read enough books of personal development to state it as a general rule, but I would be prepared to bet that most writings in this domain are relatively non-challenging. Based on the books that I have read or am reading and the ones I have flipped through in bookshops, I found some characteristics that make these books easy to read in Japanese: Easy to read for Japanese too I think that these books want to reach a wide public, including people who don’t particularly like reading novels or complicated writings. Many of these books are designed for people who work a lot and don’t generally have the time or the energy to engross themselves in long reading sessions. As a consequence, the interior layout of the books …

Japanese News: May week 2

Here are some articles that caught my eye in the news this week! Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2018 Around 7000 persons participated in Tokyo Rainbow Parade 2018 on Sunday (6th): 「愛に平等を」 7000人行進. The Tokyo Rainbow Pride took place for the first time in 2012, so it was the seventh edition this year. At first, I didn’t understand the number given by Mainichi, it seemed underestimated. But I guess that only 7000 persons took part in the Parade itself, while the event as a whole drew much more participants. It is at least what suggests the Wikipedia page. The slogans were: 「すべての愛に平等を」 「同性婚法制化」 「誰も排除しない社会を」 The parade was only a part of the whole Tokyo Rainbow Pride that included concerts, discussions and seminars. Members of the Diet also participated, both from the party in power and from the opposition: パレードには与野党の国会議員や自治体の議員も多数参加した. 国会議員・こっかいぎいん: member of the Diet 自治体・じちたい: local government One politician said that in 2000 when he participated for the first time to the parade, which took place, I guess, unofficially, they marched in a “撮影禁止ゾーン”: 「2000年に初めてパレードに参加した時は撮影禁止ゾーンで歩いたのに、今日はたくさんの仲間と歩けてうれしい。お祭りの盛り上がりに、法整備も追い付かなければ」 法整備・ほうせいび: I think that this …

Currently Reading: 「赤い指」by 東野圭吾

I am a big fan of Keigo HIGASHINO. I first read his books in French (some of the Galileo series) and found it very new and original. I would never have dreamed, at the time, that I would be able to read his novels in Japanese one day. Since I started Japanese and reached a sufficient level to read novels, I have read 9 novels by Higashino, including the 6 first books of the Kaga series. Also, the very first novel I read (without given up) in Japanese was 「卒業」, the first novel of the series. I reached the point when I was exclusively reading Higashino, and this year, I have decided to read other authors to get used to different writing styles and taste some more difficult writings. But, I could not resist the temptation to add two titles by Higashino to my 2018 Reading challenge, and it is now time for me to read 「赤い指」, the seventh novel of the Kaga series. Opening a novel by Higashino is immensely enjoyable. First, I know …

Unclutter Anki

I am struggling with Anki lately, and I have, therefore decided to do something to make Anki fun again (at least, if not fun, associated with positive feelings). There are two reasons why I hate studying Anki now: I have too many cards a day There are a lot of cards I actually don’t like From now on, I will try to improve Anki every time I study it. This means clean it a bit by removing some notes, make it more efficient by adding tips and changing the settings to find a studying pace that suits me. Unclutter my deck I think that I have been obsessed with numbers: how many words do I know, how many words do I have in Anki, can I reach 10,000 words at the end of the year, and so on… My deck has now a little less than 8000 words. I would never have thought of deleting notes because my goal was to see the number growing, not decreasing. When one is self-studying, numbers can be very rewarding and …

Japanese News: May week 1

Order of the Rising Sun On Sunday (29th), the government announced the recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun. Beat Takeshi ビートたけし (Takeshi KITANO) received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette: たけし“らしく”喜び「これを糧にノーベル賞目指す」(スポニチ). I stumbled across a lot of unknown words in this article: 叙勲・じょくん: bestowal of an order. The verb 叙勲する means “confer a decoration” and the passive form 叙勲される “be decorated”. 春の叙勲・はるのじょくん: the Spring Conferment of Decorations 旭日章・きょくじつしょう: Order of the Rising Sun 瑞宝章・ずいほうしょう: Order of the Sacred Treasure 旭日小綬章・きょくじつしょうじゅしょう: The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (This is the one that Kitano received, don’t ask me what it is exactly). (I found a great source for English appellation of Japanese orders.) I am not surprised that he should receive such a high distinction, I am surprised that he didn’t receive it earlier. In France, he was named a Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters in 2010 and was even rewarded the Legion of Honour in 2016 (named Officier). The article by Mainichi underlines this fact and says …